The Delirium Epidemic in Hospitalized Older Adults

“Medical care has evolved to be absolutely inhumane to older people.” Sharon Inouye, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Hospital-induced delirium, the sudden disruption of consciousness and cognition marked by vivid hallucinations and an inability to focus, affects 7 million Americans annually. Once triggered, it can persist for months. The good news is the 40% of delirium cases are preventable. The bad news is that the nature of modern hospital care with large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics combined with a busy, noisy brightly lit environment where sleep is constantly disrupted amid frequent staff change can trigger an episode.

This insightful article by Sandra Boodman on the causes, impact and prevention of hospital-induce delirium is a must read for all caregivers of older adults...