Background: Transitional care units aim to assist caregivers who cannot manage the care for
persons with dementia who manifest behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
However, there is a dearth of research on such care units.
Objective: The current study reviewed one specialized transitional unit to better understand the characteristics
of the persons with dementia and behavioral symptoms entering such unit. The study also
looked at the change in terms of (a) BPSD, (b) use of psychotropic medications and (c) function of the
patients in this unit.
Method: A retrospective chart review of 73 residents of a transitional care unit was conducted. Background
and outcome information were collected on electronic data entry sheets.
Results: Patients had an average age of 75.0 years, 74.0% were men. Mean Cognitive Performance
Scale score was 4.7. Comparing admission to discharge, there was a significant decrease in BPSD, and a
significant increase in number of central nervous system medications. There were no significant changes
in cognition or ability to perform activities of daily living.
Conclusion: Patient characteristics differed from those of other long term care settings. This unique
population requires further study to optimize the outcomes.