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The recreational therapist’s role in treating delirium

Suzanne Fitzsimmons, MS, GNP, ARNP, Linda L. Buettner, PhD, CTRS, LRT

Abstract


Delirium is a common syndrome in older adults especially for those in hospital and acute settings. Delirium is sometimes reversible; however, it is associated with increased mortality, increased hospital costs, and long-term cognitive and functional impairment. Fortunately if recognized early, it can be treated successfully without complications and declines in health and function. Delirium can also be prevented with identification of highrisk patients and the implementation of interventions. Because delirium may be underrecognized by physicians and nurses, routine screening for delirium should be part of comprehensive nursing care of older adults. Recognition of delirium is complicated as it may be difficult to differentiate delirium from dementia and depression. This article will review the risks, signs and symptoms, consequences, and assessment techniques for the detection of delirium in this population.

Keywords


delirium, recreational therapy, screening

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2009.0006

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