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Monday, March 07, 2011

Guideline on the Assessment and Treatment of Delirium in Older Adults at the End of Life

Delirium is a common and serious condition encountered in older persons. Compared to similarly aged individuals, older hospitalized persons who are delirious have a worse prognosis. They have prolonged lengths of hospital stay, worse functional outcomes, higher institutionalization rates, increased risk for cognitive decline and higher mortality rates (Leentjens & van der Mast, 2005; Rockwood, 2001). In many cases, delirium is not recognized or is misdiagnosed as another condition such as dementia or depression.

The occurrence of delirium is not inevitable.With funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada Population Health Fund, CCSMH was able to collaborate with experts in the fields of geriatrics and delirium to develop evidence-based recommendations on the assessment and treatment of delirium in older adults. From 2007-2010, pilot projects were launched to disseminate information and implement recommendations from the guidelines.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge. If you prefer a hard copy of the material, or need multiple copies for your team or class, contact Kimberly Wilson, Executive Director, (416-785-2500 ext. 6331).

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