Research Project to Reduce Hospital Stays of People with Dementia

People with dementia in assisted living communities should be admitted to hospital less frequently. This is the aim of a research project at the University of Bremen and Erlangen that will begin in March 2019. Dementia living communities in Bremen, Bavaria, Berlin, and Hamburg will be involved.

The Federal Joint Committee, the supreme decision-making body of the joint self-government of doctors, dentists, psychotherapists, hospitals, and health insurance companies in Germany, is supporting the practice-oriented research project with 1.3 million euros. The money comes from the innovation fund for health service research.

Focus on Living Communities

Outpatient assisted living communities are a form of housing for people, including those with dementia, who can no longer be adequately cared for in their own homes but do not want to live in a nursing home. Residents of a dementia living community are cared for by professional nursing staff, and relatives remain closely involved at the same time. Common everyday activities can create a family atmosphere that offers opportunities for social participation.

Increased Hospital Risk

Nevertheless, people with dementia have an increased risk of inpatient hospital stays, which are often particularly stressful and place severe restrictions of quality of life, and are also frequently accompanied by deterioration in health. In addition, the risk of becoming even more dependent and in need of care increases. The project will apply appropriate measures to improve quality of life, reduce challenging behavior such as restlessness, reduce the risk of falling, and stabilize cognitive abilities.

“More Quality of Life”

To achieve this goal, scientists from Professor Wolf-Ostermann’s (University of Bremen) and Professor Elmar Gräßel’s (Universitätsklinikum Erlangen) team focus on training the nursing staff, the early involvement of the responsible GPs and specialists, and special therapies in which motor skills and cognitive abilities are specifically trained. Everyone could benefit from the results of the research project: first of all, people with dementia would benefit from fewer hospital stays and a better quality of life. Those responsible for the project are convinced that this, in turn, will relieve the burden on relatives, nursing staff through improved processes, and the dementia living communities themselves through the addition of an innovative offer.


Professor Karin Wolf-Ostermann
Institut für Public Health und Pflegeforschung (IPP)
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-68960

Professor Elmar Gräßel
Zentrum für Medizinische Versorgungsforschung
Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
Tel.: +49 9131 8534810

About the Institut für Public Health und Pflegeforschung (IPP)

The Institut für Public Health und Pflegeforschung (IPP) at the University of Bremen is one of the largest research institutes in this field in Germany. It was founded in 2005 as a research institution of the Faculty of Human and Health Sciences. Today, more than 100 scientists research and teach in nine departments and working groups. Interdisciplinary health and nursing research, research-oriented teaching in health and nursing science degree courses, and scientific transfer in practice, politics, and society: these are the tasks of the IPP. The central goal of the research is to improve the health and well-being of the population.



Hands of elderly people
The research project involves dementia living communities in Bremen, Bavaria, Berlin, and Hamburg.