As we, all know that the fast growing population in the United States is the older adult population aged 65 years or older. Approximately 37% of older emergency department patients present with Cognitive impairment (most common Dementia/Delirium). Patients 65 years and older have the highest ED visits which result in a hospital admission. Every 33 seconds someone develops Dementia. Delirium is missed anywhere from 57% to 83% of time in the ED by providers because we do not screen for it! The problem is that the ED is a fast-paced environment and patients present with vague chief complaints, and often-altered mental status. It is imperative that nurses have the screening tools available to initiate individualize treatment plan, develop patient centered discharge, and disposition planning. Nurses have the ability and the responsibility to advocate for appropriate and safe care for all patients that enter into the hospital doors. Dementia versus delirium is often terms that often used interchangeably because they have similar symptoms. The way for nurses to ensure they can be advocates for their patients is to walk in their shoes and experience what they are going through.
Take Away Notes:
• The purpose of this presentation is to provide a brief overview of the differences between dementia versus delirium and tools used to quickly identify which one the patient may be experiencing. In addition, to provide participates with some communication techniques, and some hands on/simulations on auditory and visual changes using a sensory kit to be able to experience the impact of having dementia, delirium or both