Photo of elderly man sleeping in a parkDelirium is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of your environment. The start of delirium is usually rapid, within hours or a few days. Delirium can often be traced to one or more contributing factors, such as a severe or chronic medical illness, changes in your metabolic balance (such as low sodium), medication, infection, surgery, or alcohol or drug withdrawal.

Objectives
At the end of this overview you will be able to:
  • Describe the importance of recognizing delirium and associated responsive behaviours
  • Identify the strategies for intervention of responsive behaviours.
  • Recognize which behaviours respond to treatment
  • Review the recommendations for management and treatment
  • Consider the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma in the older adult