Delirium is a sudden change in a person’s mental state. It is a serious condition that is sometimes mistaken for dementia or, more rarely, depression.
Unlike dementia, delirium develops quickly and is usually temporary. Having delirium can mean:
• longer hospital stays
• increased risk of dementia
• increased mortality.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and should be managed by a healthcare professional, such as a GP. Being well-informed may help reduce any distress for the person and their family.
Care staff should provide information that shows:
• where to find support
• the importance of telling care staff about any sudden changes
• delirium is a common condition that is usually temporary
• how other people with delirium have felt.