When should I worry about Delirium? - Geriatrics and Extended Care
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Geriatrics and Extended Care


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When should I worry about Delirium?

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.