The Dangers of Hospital Delirium for Aging Adults

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Hospitalization should lead to a senior feeling a little better each day. However, that isn’t always the case, and some seniors experience a dramatic decrease in their mental wellbeing during their time in the hospital. Hospital delirium is a condition that can cause your aging loved one to experience extreme confusion, disorientation, and even hallucinations. The symptoms your loved one experiences can place his or her health in jeopardy, both while in the hospital and after going home. 

Stay Nearby to Watch for Signs of Delirium

Nurses and doctors do their best to watch out for signs a senior is having mental distress, but they don’t always know what’s normal for specific individuals. They may think your loved one’s confusion is normal if he or she has Alzheimer’s disease. Making sure you or another person checks on your loved one regularly helps you advocate for his or her health if he or she begins to exhibit unusual symptoms. This makes it easier to catch delirium early so the medical team can implement strategies to reduce the symptoms before it affects your loved one’s health. 

Watch Out for an Increased Fall Risk

Seniors who become confused or disoriented might take actions that increase their risk of falling. For instance, they might become scared and try to get out of bed too soon after surgery if they believe they need to get home right away. At home, a senior might exhibit poor judgment by walking across a wet floor without thinking. Surrounding your loved one with support makes it less likely that he or she will get up and do something unsafe. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist your loved one after he or she leaves the hospital. Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Assisting Hands Home Care is a trusted provider of Potomac home care service. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Reduce the Risk of Premature Death

People who experience hospital delirium are more likely to die within a year of being hospitalized. The reasons for an increased risk of premature death can vary according to each person, but it’s common for seniors’ delirium to interfere with their ability to take proper care of themselves. Seniors who are experiencing confusion have an increased fall risk, and they might forget to take their medications or even eat once they get home. 

Accommodate for Cognitive Decline

The symptoms of hospital delirium can impact your loved one’s reasoning and thinking abilities, which can continue for many months after being discharged. However, there are things you can do to help your loved one regain his or her abilities. A home caregiver can engage your parent in cognitive-strengthening activities that help him or her restore the ability to think clearly. 

Cognitive challenges often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. 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 Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Provide Support at Home during Recovery

Once your loved one has had hospital delirium, he or she is at increased risk for having it happen again. You can help your loved one avoid going back to the hospital by providing assistance at home. Rotating shifts with additional caregivers allows you to meet your loved one’s needs while continuing to monitor for lingering symptoms of delirium. 

Caring for a loved one with hospital delirium is a challenging task for anyone. 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 Potomac at-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. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (301) 363-2580 today.