Geriatrics and Extended Care
When should I worry about Delirium?
If someone has changes in their thinking or level of awareness (agitated or sleepy) that comes on quickly (over a period of days), they should be seen by a health care provider. This is especially important if there are recent medical illnesses or medication changes.
The signs of delirium are:
- Ups and downs in one’s ability to think clearly
- Difficulty paying attention
- Disorganized thinking
- Inability to stay awake during conversations
Delirium can be either overactive (restless) or underactive (sleepy). The underactive form is usually more difficult to identify.
Delirium happens commonly during a hospital stay or after surgery.