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Sudden Behavioral Changes in the Elderly

A serious and potentially dangerous complication for elderly loved ones is the onset of "Delirium". The start is rapid and can begin within hours. The condition is characterized as "worse than usual". Delirium is dangerous because it puts an older person at risk for falls, a slower recovery, prolonged hospitalization, and even a higher chance of death.

Identifying Delirium

  • Decrease in attention span, lack of focus

  • Delusions

  • Disorientation, confusion

  • Intermittent confusion

  • Cognitive change

  • Altered consciousness

  • Hallucinations

  • Tremors

  • Decrease in short term memory

  • Drowsy and quiet behavior, withdrawal

  • Difficulty in following conversation

  • Agitation

Increased Risk for Delirium

  • Severe infection

  • Heart, Liver or Kidney problems

  • Certain medications

  • Low sodium

  • Dehydration

  • Surgery complications

  • Inadequately treated pain or constipation

  • Alcohol or drug intoxication or withdrawal

  • Organ failure

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Ways to prevent Delirium

  • Minimize meds that are known to cause confusion

  • Hydration - Is your loved one getting adequate fluids?

  • Check for infections

  • Constipation issues

  • Is there a UTI?

  • Be aware of the possible causes. Take necessary steps quickly to address the symptom.

  • Could there be sleep deprivation?

  • Look for risk factors

  • Provide mental stimulation

Busy work and family schedules may prevent you from being with your loved one as much as you would like. That's where a caregiver from an In-Home Care agency like Easy Living Services, Inc. can be an invaluable resource. Rely on a professional caregiver to provide companionship, supplemental personal care, and to serve as your loved one's advocate when you must be away. A trained caregiver can fill in family care gaps and provide peace of mind.

Find out Easy Living Services at 770-442-8664

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