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Prevention and comfort rounds

​Can delirium be prevented or avoided?

​​​​​​​​For some people, delirium can be prevented. Here are some ways to try to prevent delirium:

  • reviewing all the medicines you take with your healthcare provider – ask if any medicines can be stopped or if you can use a lower dose
  • make sure you drink enough fluids and eat a healthy diet
  • try to reduce stress (for example, treat pain, decrease noise and simplify routines)
  • get support for your needs (for example, help with going to the bathroom regularly)
  • make sure you get enough sleep at night

How can comfort rounds help?

Comfort rounds are a way staff, caregivers, or family in hospitals, care homes, or even your home can offer supportive care at regular times during the day and evening. It means staff, caregivers, or family intentionally check in often and provide the care you need at that time.

During rounds, they talk to you to let them know what's going on around you and check for any signs of delirium.

Staff will also:

  • check to see if you're in pain
  • help you to the bathroom
  • offer a drink
  • help you change positions when you’re in bed or take you for a walk if you're able

Staff will also make sure items such as water and the call bell are close by before they leave.

Your friends or family can help by talking to you about your memories, interests, and everyday events.

Ask if it's OK for you to go for a walk with your friend or family member, or if they can help you with moving in other ways. They can also help you with your meals to make sure you're eating well and drinking enough fluids. Before they leave, remind them to be sure to leave items like water and the call bell close by.​

If you have questions about delirium or dementia call Health Link at 811. You can talk to a registered nurse​ and ask about the Dementia Advice Line.​​

Current as of: May 26, 2022

Author: Provincial Seniors Health and Continuing Care, Alberta Health Services