Back to top

Maintaining and regaining independence with tasks for people with dementia in hospital

What we are doing:

We are developing an evidence-based intervention/rehabilitation programme led by occupational therapists to help people with dementia retain independence with activities of daily living during hospital admission.

Why we are doing it: 

Dementia is a global challenge and a national priority. People with dementia have longer hospital stays and are more likely to be readmitted. For a person with dementia, hospitalisation may have a profound impact on their daily functioning and quality of life.Evidence suggests that staff completing tasks for people (such as getting them washed and dressed) increases a person's disability through a lack of practice, a decrease in motivation and loss of skills.

There is a need to develop an evidence-based intervention specifically for acute hospital stays.

What the benefits will be:

Potential benefits:

  • Having an opportunity to retain daily activities, skills and independence for longer, and therefore have more control over their lives and choices.
  • Improvement in the quality of life of people with dementia.
  • Having a higher level of independence with daily activity skills may also mean that the person with dementia can return straight home, avoiding unnecessary relocation to rehabilitation settings, which can cause disorientation.
  • Promotion of patient and carer-centred care, which could improve both staff and patient experience and satisfaction.
  • Promotion of discharges to community setting, reducing readmissions and limiting the number of days spent in hospital, which could reduce the negative effects of prolonged hospital admissions.
  • Decreasing the pressure on the hospital resources and reducing the costs of social care. The rehabilitation programme can also contribute to the family needing to provide less assistance, so that they can focus more on meaningful activities.

Who we are working with:

Professor Pip Logan; Dr Sarah Goldberg; Professor Rowan Harwood; Dr Jane Horne


Lisa Patrick,


Image by fsHH from Pixabay