Kirkland District Hospital

Please Help Us Prevent Delirium

What is Delirium?

Delirium is a sudden confused state of mind. It is common for older people in the hospital to experience. Delirium is a medical emergency that can be prevented and treated.

What does Delirium look like?
            · Be restless, strikeout

· Have slurred, rambling speech

· Switch topic frequently

· Have changing levels of alertness

· Have trouble concentrating

· Be disoriented to person, place, and time

· See or hear things that are not real

Causes & Risk Factors of Delirium

-Infection                                                    -Worsening of a chronic illness

-Dehydration                                              -Sleep disturbances

-Recent Surgery/Anesthesia                      -Depressive symptoms

-Diarrhea                                                    -Pain

-Ill fitting hearing aids/glasses

-History of cognitive impairment

-Over 75 years of age

-Not taking medications as prescribed 

-Medication Side Effects

-Alcohol/drug withdrawal


-Increase or decrease in blood sugars       

                             How Can You Help Prevent Delirium

Promote Rest and Sleep                                   Encourage Use of Assistive Devices
-Reduce noise, distractions                              -Encourage the use of hearing aids & glasses
-Avoid sleeping Medications

Promote Healthy Eating                                    Promote Physical Activity           
-Check with nurse & if alright                            -Help with sitting and walking
offer fluids & assist with feeding                       -Talk to a nurse about helping with exercise
Promote Mental Stimulation 
-Rent a television set
-Encourage family & friends to visit
-Bring personal items from home(blanket,photo)