Clinical Guidelines

Information and Resources for

Health Care Professionals

Information and Resources for

Older Adults and Care Partners

Information for Older Adults and Care Partners

Delirium, a common and serious condition encountered in older adults, is a sudden and severe disturbance in thinking. It can cause changes in a person’s ability to stay alert, remember, be oriented to time or place, and speak or reason clearly. Sometimes, delirium is misdiagnosed as dementia or depression. It can often be prevented or treated.

There is no single treatment for delirium. Most often, the health care team will work with the patient and their family to learn about and then fix what caused the delirium. The delirium will often improve once the cause of it is found. For example, if an infection caused the delirium, the infection will be treated. If a medicine caused the delirium, it might be stopped, taken at a lower dose or a new medicine may be tried.

Tools and resources: 

Access our Delirium Prevention and Care with Older Adults pamphlet.