Delirium is a state of mental confusion which can happen if a person becomes unwell. Delirium can affect anyone however it is more common in older people and those with a memory issue such as dementia are at greater risk.
Symptoms of delirium may include:-
• Suddenly becoming more confused which can vary throughout the day
• Poor sleep pattern
• Mood changes
Only some of the above may be experience however all are signs of delirium.
Common causes include:-
• High temperature
• Inability to pass urine
• New medications
How to help when delirium is suspected:-
• Inform your Doctor as soon as possible
• Try to ensure someone they know is with them
• Ensure glasses and hearing aids are clean and working
• Encourage/assist with eating and drinking
• Remind them of current time and place
• Stay calm
• Talk in short, simple sentences and try not to argue over unusual or incorrect ideas
• Remind them what is happening and how they are doing
• If in unfamiliar surroundings such as a hospital take in familiar items from home
Delirium can be distressing for all involved, but when the cause is treated the symptoms will usually improve. There are however a small number of cases where the symptoms do not completely go away, your GP can help to arrange the appropriate support if this is the case.