Chances are, during one of your caree’s hospitalizations, you noticed that your caree experienced a significant level of confusion. The sudden change in your caree’s mental status during a hospitalization can be startling, upsetting and scary.
Unfortunately, the sudden confusion, known as delirium, among the hospitalized elderly is an awful side effect of an inpatient stay. Your caree is hospitalized for one reason but, because of the hospitalization, becomes worse.
On Friday, The New York Times New Old Age Blog featured a program that helps those hospitalized elderly suffering from delirium. (You’ll want to bookmark the article, Preventing Hospital Delirium, because you’ll find the tips to be incredibly helpful). The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), developed by Dr. Sharon K. Inouye and colleagues at the Yale University School of Medicine, has been adopted by more than 200 hospitals. According to the HELP website, two million older Americans this year will develop delirium and functional decline during a hospitalization.
The HELP program offers tips for clinicians to help prevent delirium in hospitalized older adults, including meeting the patients’ needs for nutrition, fluids, and sleep as well as keeping them as mobile as possible. The website also offers tips for family caregivers to help prevent delirium in their hospitalized caree. You can read the tips here.
What’s been your experience with delirium in your hospitalized caree? Please share your stories and tips on how to cope in our comments section, below.
- I’m Ready. Will You Help Me? (caregiving.com)
- Quick Tip: Have a Bag Ready for Hospitalization (caregiving.com)
- Suggestions to Help a Caree’s Hospital Confusion (caregiving.com)
- Updated Discharge Planning Guide Available (caregiving.com)
- Hospital Helps (caregiving.com)
- Booklet Helps Ease the Stress of Hospitalization for Persons with Memory Loss (caregiving.com)