Hospital-induced delirium is a risk facing anyone who spends time in the hospital. It is particularly pressing, however, for elderly adults, and especially so for those seeking care in the emergency room or intensive care unit. Delirium is a sudden and distinct change in cognitive functioning, mental status, or behavior, and it can lead to serious complications for your parent.
Some of the complications associated with delirium include:
- Significant and lasting decline in memory retention and recall
- Noticeable decline in thinking skills
- Decline in overall health and well-being
- Increased fall risk
- Potential for much longer time spent in the hospital
- Greater difficulty recovering from surgery and other medical procedure
- Increased possibility of need for time in other medical facilities such as rehabilitation centers
- Increased risk of death while your parent is in the hospital, as well as after
The symptoms of delirium can last for just a few hours, or can linger on for months. Prompt and effective management efforts can help your parent to recover from their delirium more quickly, and reduce the negative impact delirium can have on their health and well-being. The severity of delirium and the complications associated with it depend largely on your parents health and condition when entering the hospital. Those with higher levels of overall health upon entering the hospital are much more likely to recover fully from delirium then those who are suffering extensive health problems. It is important to mention any potential delirium symptoms to your parent’s medical team as soon as you notice them to give your parent the best possibility of effective treatment and management to protect their health, and reduce their risk of serious delirium complications.
Being a family caregiver for your aging parent doesn’t mean you’re on your own. When you step into this vital role, you are committing to making sure your parent’s needs are met, and to helping them achieve and maintain a good quality of life. While you are likely to handle many of their needs and care tasks on your own, a part of being a good family caregiver is being able to seek out beneficial help. Elder care can be one of the most meaningful and beneficial sources of this help for your parents. An elderly home care services provider will work with you to choose the personalized services to fill care needs and support a healthy, satisfying lifestyle that is right for your senior. These customized services ensure your parent has the care they need now, and are prepared for the changes of the future.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN WAKE FOREST, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).