Key Points

Delirium is an acute clinical state with fluctuating change in mental status and varying levels of attention and consciousness. Delirium is often a missed diagnosis in older adults.  It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of delirium, determine the causative factor (s) and treat those factor(s). 


Delirium Handout

Delirium in Older Adults Powerpoint Presentation


Ehlenbach, W.J., Hough, C.L., Crane, P.K., Haneuse, S.J.P.A., Carson, S.S., Randall Curtis, J., & Larson, E.B. (2010). Association between acute care and critical illness hospitalization and cognitive function in older adults. Journal of American Medical Association, 303(8), 763-770.

Fong, T.G., Tubevaev, S.R., & Inouye, S.K. (2009). Delirium in elderly adults: Diagnosis, prevention and treatment. National Review of Neurology, 5(4):210-220. Doi:10.1038/nrneurology.209.24. Retrieve from

Inouye, S. (2006a). Delirium in older persons. New England Journal of Medicine, 354(11), 57-65.

Inouye, S. (2006b). Geriatrics At Your Fingertips (9th Ed.) New York: The American Geriatrics Society.