Injuries and Unattended Home Exits in Persons with Dementia: A 12-Month Prospective Study

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dementia, falls, injuries, home exits, injuries

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Persons with dementia (PWD) are at particular risk for injuries and unattended home exits. The purposes of this study were to prospectively describe the characteristics and determine the hazard rates of unattended home exits and injuries. Nine times over 12 months, data were collected from 53 PWD’s caregivers about PWD unattended home exits or injuries. Twenty-four percent of PWD had at least one unattended exit; four participants exited multiple times. Males and younger PWD were significantly more likely to exit than females or older individuals. Thirty percent of PWD sustained injuries in 29 separate incidents; all but three injuries were caused by falls, and 38% of injuries resulted in nursing home placement. The hazard rate of untoward events was high, at approximately 1 unattended exit and 1 fall per person-year. For all PWD living in the community, healthcare plans should include specific interventions to prevent these untoward events.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias, v. 25, issue 1, p. 27-31