Approach to the Elderly Patient with Delirium: Nursing Perspective



Delirium is a common and serious problem for hospitalized older patients and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Prevention is the most effective strategy for minimizing the occurrence of delirium and its adverse outcomes. Nurses play a crucial role in the recognition of delirium. Because nurses have multiple contacts with patients and spend more time at the bedside than physicians, therefore, they are in a unique position to observe changes in mental status fluctuations in attention, level of consciousness, and cognitive functioning at an early stage. Although nurses play a key role in recognition of delirium, it is often unrecognized by nurses. Recognition of delirium can be enhanced with education of nurses in delirium features, cognitive assessment, and factors associated with poor recognition. With awareness of predisposing and precipitation factors, prevention strategies can be developed. Education and training are needed for detection of delirium and its key features by nurses during routine clinical care.


Elderly patient Delirium Nursing care 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine NursingDokuz Eylul University Faculty of NursingİzmirTurkey

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