Annales de Gérontologie


Role of the mobile geriatric unit in the identification and orientation of elderly subjects with cognitive disorders Volume 2, numéro 1, janvier 2009

Mobile Geriatric Unit, University Clinic of Geriatric medicine, Grenoble University Hospital, Grenoble

The management of elderly patients with cognitive disorders is frequent in different specialties. Hospital admission is not always related to this diagnosis but those patients require a specific management. The mobile geriatric unit (MGU) assessed 100 elderly hospitalized patients with cognitive impairment in different specialty units. Only 42 patients were known to have dementia and 23 out of them were hospitalized mainly for dementia syndrome (psycho-behavioral disorders and acute confusion). Among the other assessed 58 patients, most had acute confusion at admission and 39 were diagnosed as having a probable dementia after the MGU intervention. The majority of patients were oriented to geriatric services and only 10% were discharged to home. In 36% of cases, difficulties in discharge planning were due to patients' social conditions. Adherence rate to MGU recommendations in term of patients' orientation was 71%. A complementary assessment was often needed in acute geriatric care or after-care units, due to difficulties in dementia diagnosis during acute phase. Screening for cognitive disorders in emergency units is necessary for a better prevention of acute confusion and behavioral disorders during the time of hospitalization in frail elderly.