Delirium is a serious issue that can have devastating effects on older adults, and it’s often missed by family caregivers, nurses, and other medical staff. It’s best for the elderly to receive supportive care and for the symptoms to be noticed quickly. Continue reading to learn some of the dangers of hospital delirium for seniors.
Increased Cognitive Decline
Many seniors living with dementia are more likely to develop hospital delirium. For example, if your senior parent experiences a severe fall and needs short-term treatment, delirium can set in while he or she is at the medical facility. If your loved one stays for long-term care, his or her memory could begin to fade quickly, and his or her ability to reason could also decrease at a rapid rate. This is due to the inactivity, fear, and sadness your loved one may feel while in the hospital, especially during the later stages of dementia, when he or she cannot remember where he or she is, why he or she was admitted, or who any of the medical staff or visitors are.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist your loved one after he or she leaves the hospital. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Edmonton, AB, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Older adults with hospital delirium have a higher risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia because they’re more likely to have poor thinking skills and react to situations unsafely. For instance, if your loved one is experiencing hospital delirium, he or she will be unlikely to wash his or her hands regularly, particularly after touching items covered in bacteria. Instead of avoiding items and situations that cause dangerous infections, your loved one may put him or herself in harm’s way by engaging in these things or interacting with infected people, increasing the risk of pneumonia and other severe illnesses.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Hospital delirium can last for a few days or months, depending on a senior’s health and the type of care received. Although the condition is treatable, some seniors die because their symptoms don’t get better during their hospital stays. Older adults are at higher risk for passing away during hospitalization or soon after discharge, which is why you need to work hard to help your loved one receive high-quality treatment. When caring for your parent during hospitalization or after discharge, get him or her out of bed often, and keep him or her physically active to make it easier to sleep at night and ease other hospital delirium symptoms.
The mental confusion caused by hospital delirium can lead to low oxygen levels and blood clots. If your loved one has sharp pains in his or her chest, mental disorientation, or difficulty speaking or moving, take these as warning signs and get help immediately. An excellent way to reduce these dangers and boost your loved one’s health is to ensure he or she gets plenty of rest, keep reassuring items nearby, avoid overstimulation, and minimize issues like vision or hearing challenges. This can reorient your loved one and help him or her remember where he or she is and what’s going on. It also provides a sense of security, reduces stress, lowers the risk of inflammation, and leads to better circulation.
Caring for a loved one with hospital delirium is a challenging task for family members. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Edmonton elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (780) 490-7337 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.