When a senior loved one starts changing behaviors or personalities, you may begin to wonder if you’re noticing signs of delirium or dementia. To make sure mom or dad is getting the best care possible, you’ll want to know the difference. At PeachTree Place Assisted Living near Ogden, we offer specialized senior care for residents with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. So, we understand your concerns.
Delirium and dementia both involve a significant degree of cognitive impairment and can sometimes appear quite similar. We’ve put together some brief information to help you until you can get in for a proper diagnosis from a licensed medical caregiver.
What Is Delirium?
Delirium is a sudden worsening in a person’s mental state. Seniors commonly exhibit symptoms during periods of illness, injury, or extreme stress. It typically goes away fairly quickly but can sometimes indicate a more severe health problem.
Your elderly family member may seem restless and agitated (Hyperactive), quiet and withdrawn (Hypoactive), or a mixture of the two. The symptoms of delirium can be dangerous if your loved one is alone while experiencing them.
- A Lack Of Concentration – Getting easily distracted or agitated, having a hard time focusing on the topic at hand, or becoming extremely fixated on a specific idea can all be signs of delirium.
- Difficulty Following A Conversation – With delirium, your loved one might slur his or her speech, have a hard time understanding what others are saying, or say things that make no sense.
- Extreme Confusion – Delirium can cause people to become very disoriented and confused to the point that they may lose awareness of where they are and what time it is. This can be an extremely distressing experience for your loved one.
- Mood Swings – If your loved one is experiencing intense fear, anger, agitation, suspicion, anxiety, or depression, or if his or her mood shifts rapidly between extremes, this could be a sign of delirium.
- Hallucinations, Delusions, & Paranoia – In severe cases, your loved one might experience psychotic symptoms, such as seeing or hearing frightening things that aren’t there or believing that others are trying to harm them. For example, he or she might think a family member is poisoning his or her food and thus refuse to eat or drink.
Delirium Vs. Dementia
The onset of a delirium episode is very rapid and often happens in response to an illness or injury. Dementia is usually progressive—it begins with mild symptoms and gradually worsens over time. Moreover, delirium symptoms may fluctuate significantly throughout the day and tend to go away fairly quickly, while dementia is persistent and long-lasting.
Senior Care For Delirium & Dementia
If your loved one’s dementia or delirium is causing significant difficulty, it may be time to consider a Utah assisted living community. At PeachTree Place Assisted Living, your loved one can live independently while also having access to individualized services like dementia care and Alzheimer’s care, based on his or her unique needs.
Learn more about our amenities and services or tour our Ogden area senior apartments. Contact us today.