Recognizing and Preventing Delirium
Departments: Resource Central
Where to go for more information on the topics discussed in this issue of Neurology Now and for a directory of patient advocacy organizations.
According to Angela Catic, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, relatives and caregivers can play a role in recognizing and even preventing hospital delirium. Here are her five tips:
©2012 American Academy of Neurology
- GET MOVING. Hospitalized patients should get out of their room at least three times a day (with the help of nurses, staff, or loved ones). Even patients who can't stand up or walk can exercise in bed. Ask for a physical therapy referral for specifics.
- ORIENT YOUR LOVED ONE. Make sure the patient has everything necessary to see, hear, eat, and stay connected. Bring glasses, hearing aids, dentures, even favorite foods and photographs. Keep a calendar posted on the wall.
- MAKE A LIST. In the hospital room, post a list of the patient's medical conditions, allergies, and all medications.
- MAKE R&R A PRIORITY. Bring along relaxation CDs, soothing music, and large print or audio books.
- BE THERE! Patients need their loved ones close by. Hospitals are confusing places, particularly when medication is involved.