Anyone can be affected by delirium and it is often under recognised and misunderstood by the community.
Delirium is a change in a person’s alertness, orientation and behaviour, and is usually caused by physical illness.
To coincide with World Delirium Awareness Day, the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Dementia and Vulnerable Elderly (DaVE) group ran awareness and educational activities for staff and patients across the district.
DaVE Cognition working party chairperson Katie Conciatore said the district has reduced the age of delirium screening from 65 down to 16.
“We reduced the screening age because we have found that delirium can affect people of all ages, and more so for patients who had heart problems, hip surgery or intensive care admission,” Katie said.
“Most people don’t know that delirium is preventable and treatable.
“All types of delirium can include the following symptoms: confusion or disorientation, difficulty concentrating, may have hallucinations, changes in sleep patterns or in mood or personality.
“The sooner we recognise delirium in our patients, the sooner we can work to treat the underlying cause and manage the symptoms more effectively.
“If members of the public are concerned about their loved ones, I encourage them to see their general practitioner.”
This year’s World Delirium Day theme was “Let’s stop delirium before it starts”.
For further information about World Delirium Day, click here.