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.