Clinical characteristics overview

Understanding the hospital clinical characteristics that commonly lead to people transitioning into residential aged care is important to determine where high-quality transitional care is most needed, and where new policies and interventions should be targeted. As current hospitals are also not typically well-designed for people living with dementia, high-quality transitional care is essential to improve outcomes for people living with dementia.

All clinical characteristics are reported by people’s change in usual residence or mortality in the 7-days after discharge from hospital.

First Hospitalisation

For people aged 65 or older, this study reports on the characteristics of each person’s first hospitalisation ending in 2017 and their transitions of care before and after. This includes hospital admissions that started in 2017 (or earlier) that resulted in discharge or death in 2017. For people who had more than one hospitalisation ending in 2017, the first hospitalisation is the one that occurred earliest in the year.

Transitions in aged care use or mortality in the 7-days after discharge from hospital

For people living with dementia, Figure 5 shows that in the 7-days after discharge from hospital:

  • 44% of people were community-dwellers
  • 46% were aged care residents, including:
    • 14% of people who transitioned into residential aged care
    • 33% of people who were already in residential aged care
  • 8% of people died during their first hospitalisation or within 7-days, including:
    • 3% who were community-dwellers
    • 5% who were aged care residents (Table S1.5).

Figure 5 Change in usual residence or mortality 7-days after discharge from hospital for people living with dementia

The figure is a bar chart and shows that most people living with dementia continued to live in the community (44%) or continued to live in aged care (33%), while 14% of people transitioned from living in the community to living in aged care, and 8% of people living with dementia died during their hospitalisation or within 7-days of discharge.

Source: AIHW NIHSI 2018–19, analysis of NIHSI.