Residents often mask vulnerability following hospital stay: study

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Facing criticism, AARP will drop affiliation with ALEC
Facing criticism, AARP will drop affiliation with ALEC

When a resident recently back from the hospital claims to be fine, don't be so sure.

That's the implicit message in a new report by University of British Columbia researchers. They found many older adults who have been discharged following a serious ailment do not want to be seen as vulnerable. As a result, residents tend to avoid focusing on lingering effects.

Associate Professor Rachelle Hole, Ph.D., said most residents want to return to their normal, pre-hospitalized life — even if it is not possible.

“This will lead them to downplay, hide or mask their risks. These strategies may backfire and result in rehospitalization, relapse or worse,” she added.

The study profiled recently discharged adults who were 82 years old on average. All had been recently discharged from a hospital following a heart-related event, such as a heart attack. Full findings appear in The Gerontologist.

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