Dementia Discharge Processes Project

Initiative Type
04 September 2017
Last updated
28 February 2020


Older people with dementia and their carers are the population of interest. For the purpose of this study, the operational definitions of older people ‘with dementia’ will be inclusive of older people with unresolved delirium and of ‘older’ being inclusive of people who are 65 years of age and older. Secondary outcomes are expected to be reduced length of stay and reduced incidence of hospital acquired injury (specifically pneumonia, urinary tract infection, delirium and pressure injuries).

Collectively, the four phases of the project will contribute to our understanding of the issues that impact on discharge processes, allowing us to develop, and test for feasibility, an evidence-informed complex intervention designed to improve discharge outcomes, specifically patient and/or family confidence to leave hospital, reduced length of stay, and reduced incident of hospital-acquired injury.

Key dates
Jan 2017
Jun 2018
Implementation sites
Cairns, Townsville and Gold Coast Hospitals


The aim of the project is to improve the discharge from hospital processes for older people with cognitive impairment.


This project intends to determine the effectiveness of a carer-inclusive discharge process. The project will concentrate on the partnership between older people with cognitive impairment, their carers and hospital staff. The carer-inclusive discharge process will be implemented and evaluated in one ward in three hospital and health services across Queensland: Cairns, Townsville and Gold Coast.


Patients with dementia have longer lengths of stay and experience difficulties in transitioning from hospital to the community. A conjoint group consisting of allied health and nursing clinicians from the Statewide Older Person’s Health Clinical Network and later those from the Statewide Dementia Clinical Network identified the discharge processes from hospital for older people with dementia and unresolved delirium as an area requiring further development. The long-term aim is to support the person with dementia or unresolved delirium and their carer to feel confident to remain at home as long as possible. A literature review revealed draft guidelines for the care of people with dementia more broadly but a dearth of research into the discharge process specific to older people with dementia.

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Key contact

Jamie Page
Network Coordinator
Healthcare Improvement Unit
(07) 3328 9154