Far too often health care providers mistake symptoms of delirium for dementia in their older residents. While the conditions both present similar changes in reasoning, memory and personality traits, delirium is reversible, while dementia is chronic and progressive. Unfortunately, as many as 30 percent of residents could be misdiagnosed, which keeps many residents from receiving the proper treatment they desperately need and deserve.
While dementia culminates over a long period of time, delirium is far more abrupt, possibly happening in just a few days or weeks. Times of confusion can fluctuate drastically, even on a daily basis.
The Alzheimer’s Association explains that residents could be suffering from delirium due to a medical illness, a stroke or other brain event, an adverse reaction to medication, or because they are experiencing withdrawal from a medication or another substance. Learning to identify the differences between the two conditions can drastically improve the quality of life of your residents.
To learn more about this topic, consider taking Mariposa Training’s course in dementia care called, “Dementia and Delirium: Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis and what WE NEED TO KNOW” today!