Mobility and Self-Care are Associated With Discharge to Community After Home Health for People With Dementia

Sara Knox, Brian Downer, Allen Haas, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: A priority health outcome for patients, families, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a patient's ability to return home and remain in the community without adverse events following discharge from post-acute care services. Successful discharge to community (DTC) is defined as being discharged to the community and not experiencing a readmission or death within 30 days of discharge. The objective of this study was to determine the association between patient factors and successful DTC after home health for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Design: This retrospective study derived data from 100% national CMS data files from October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017. Settings and Participants: Criteria from the Home Health Quality Reporting program were used to identify a cohort of 790,439 Medicare home health beneficiaries, 143,164 (18.0%) with ADRD. Measures: Successful DTC rates with associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for each patient characteristic. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate the relative risk (RR) of successful DTC after home health, by ADRD diagnosis, mobility, self-care, caregiver support, and medication management, adjusted for patient demographics and clinical characteristics. Results: Overall, 79.4% of beneficiaries had a successful DTC. Beneficiaries with ADRD had a significantly lower odds of successful DTC than those without ADRD (RR=0.947, 95% CI=0.944-0.950). This association remained significant after adjustment for caregiver support, assistance with medications, independence in mobility, and level of self-care. Greater need for caregiver support, greater need for assistance with medications, greater dependence in mobility, and greater self-care dependence were all associated with decreased risk of successful DTC. Conclusions and Implications: Older adults with ADRD receiving home health had decreased RR of successful DTC. To have a successful DTC, older adults with ADRD need sufficient support from caregivers and independence in functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1499.e1
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Dementia
  • function
  • home health
  • successful discharge to community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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