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Delirium and Dementia




Many older people living in residential care have significant cognitive impairment. Differentiating between dementia and delirium can be difficult, but a correct diagnosis is essential to determining the appropriate treatment pathway. An incorrect assessment can result in plans of care that are detrimental to both the patient, those caring for them and the relatives of the patient. As such, it is imperative that nurses identify the onset of change and document clinical observations accurately to ensure that appropriate and timely interventions can and do occur. In this chapter, you will discover how to identify cognitive deficits and to manage the resulting symptoms using the nursing process.


Contents include

  • Differentiation between delirium and dementia
  • Nursing assessment
  • Managing care
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Author / Editor Biographies

Sandra Keppich-Arnold is a registered psychiatric nurse with post-graduate qualifications in health education. She has been involved in community aged psychiatry for the past 15 years and has contributed to the establishment of a number of innovative community treatment and consultancy services aimed at improving outcomes for people with dementia and delirium. Sandra has been particularly interested in ensuring nurses and others approach dementia care positively, and she has been actively involved in a number of action groups to highlight issues pertinent to improved dementia management. Sandr...

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