Delirium: Responding to delirium in the older person
Delirium is an acute syndrome characterised by changing levels of consciousness, disorganised thinking, inattention and abnormal brain functioning. Some refer to it as an “acute brain failure,” that alters behaviour and function over a short period.
Delirium typically resolves within seven days, but it may persist for several weeks or months. Symptoms of delirium are similar to and may occur in conjunction with other neurological conditions, such as dementia and depression. It is therefore important for aged care workers and nurses to be able to identify the signs of delirium and respond early to prevent deterioration, and ensure aged care residents receive the appropriate care.
This module will use an interactive case scenario to help aged care workers and nurses gain the knowledge required to identify and respond to the signs of delirium.
At the end of this module participants will be able to:
- Describe the three types of delirium: hyperactive, hypoactive, and mixed delirium.
- Highlight risk factors for delirium.
- Identify the signs of delirium.
- Identify potential causes of delirium using the MISTE acronym.
- Understand the non-pharmacological interventions and pharmacological treatments that may be indicated to help manage delirium.