Persons with dementia have high rates of hospitalization, and along with their caregivers commonly experience negative hospital outcomes. The recruitment and retention of acutely ill older adults with dementia and caregivers can pose a challenge to investigators and threaten the validity of findings. The challenges encountered in an ongoing cluster randomized clinical trial in dyads of hospitalized persons with dementia and family care partners are described. The trial tests the efficacy of a nurse–family partnership model that aims to improve the following: (a) the physical and cognitive recovery in hospitalized persons with dementia, and (b) caregiver preparedness and anxiety. Strategies that address challenges include careful preplanning and preparation with the hospital site, strong communication with dyads and between team members, and honoring preferences and needs related to communication.
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