Your Elderly Loved One, Delirium, and You

Your Elderly Loved one, Delirium, and You


Created by: Valentina Harmjanz, Richard Wu, Brianne Lacy, Viviana Casas Iberico, and William Salinas

Your elderly loved one is in the hospital. What can you do as a family member to help make their stay as comfortable as possible? A doctor, a physical therapist, and nurse will share their wishlist item to place in their hospital bag to prevent delirium, recover faster, and allow your loved one to enjoy what matters most to them!

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Your Elderly Loved one, Delirium, and You


What is delirium?

  • A sudden confused state
  • Can happen in elderly people for different reasons
  • Common causes are after surgery, illness, taking certain medications

Spot the signs!

  • D – Disorganized thinking: slow and confused
  • E – Euphoric, fearful, depressed, or angry
  • L – Language difficulty: less speaking or very repetitive
  • I – Illusions or irrational beliefs
  • R – Reversal of sleep: sleepy during the day/awake at night
  • I – Inattention
  • U – Unaware: trouble knowing time/location
  • M – Memory issues
glasses on book
elderly couple walking

YOU can help prevent delirium in your loved one – here’s what to do

  • Have a family member at the hospital with your loved one as often as possible
  • Bring their glasses, hearing aids, and/or dentures to the hospital
  • Encourage them to eat and drink regularly
  • Tell the medical team if your loved one is in pain
  • Help them get out of bed and move around as soon as your doctor says it’s ok
  • Bring them something fun to do (ex: book to read, playing cards, crossword puzzles)
  • Urge your loved one to sleep only at night and avoid naps during the day
  • Quickly spot the signs of delirium and let the staff know as soon as possible

Scroll below for some fun games to test yourself!

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