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Recognizing delirium

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How do you recognize delirium?

​​​In care settings staff members regularly look for signs of delirium. However, you or someone who knows you may be the first to notice you're different than usual.

​The questions below may help you recognize delirium in a friend or family member. If you check off more than 1 question, please tell your nurse, doctor, or other healthcare provider.

  • Is there a sudden change in your ability to do things?
  • Do you have more trouble paying attention to what's going on around you?
  • Has your behaviour changed in the past few days?
  • Does your speech ramble or do you jump from topic to topic? Are your words garbled and hard to understand?
  • Do you have more trouble understanding what others say?
  • Are you more forgetful than usual?
  • Do you have more trouble recognizing people you know?
  • Are you more confused about where you are or what time it is?
  • Are you more worried, angry, troubled, or sad than usual?
  • Does your mood change suddenly?
  • Have you started to see or hear things that aren't there?
  • Are you more restless or quiet than usual?
  • Do you fall asleep during your visits from friends or family or are you harder to wake up?​​

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