Delirium or Dementia?

Posted Sep 19th, 2019 in Caring for Yourself, Caring for Others

Delirium is a syndrome that comes on suddenly, fluctuates, causes disturbances in thinking, paying attention, and alertness. 

Delirium is a frightening condition that can occur in 25% or more of seniors admitted to hospitals.

Delirium is recognized for its:

1. Sudden onset
2. Fluctuations
3. Decreased attention
4. Changes in alertness
5. Disorganized thinking

In this video, Dr. Didyk describes the main features of delirium and how it differs from dementia (Major Neurocognitive Disorder).


  • Kim Baker on Sep 6th, 2021
    Thank you for this video! My mom is 89 living independently and still running her business. She has had at least 4 episodes of delirium in past 4 years. Most episodes have occurred when under stress. The most obvious indicator is she cant form her words clearly. She has had cat scans and no indication of stroke. I also notice she is much sharper in the morning and gets confused as the day goes on. What can i do to help her??? Thank you, Kim
  • Janet H Van Dusen on Jan 4th, 2022
    My mother is 85 in nursing home for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Suddenly she is acting out angrily and aggressively. Now they want to move her to a lock down unit. I believe this is being too hasty by Director of nurses and meet with her today at 1. I just came across your video and am now concerned she is having delirium. I don’t know what to do next. Thank u. Janet Van Dusen

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