How to try this: Delirium superimposed on dementia

Am J Nurs. 2008 Jan;108(1):52-60; quiz 61. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000304476.80530.7d.


Delirium is common in older adults who have dementia, but too often nurses confuse the symptoms of delirium with those of dementia and it goes unrecognized and untreated. Delirium can signal a serious underlying condition such as infection or dehydration and can increase the risk of falling and the length of hospitalization. This article presents an algorithm meant to guide nurses in the assessment and treatment of delirium superimposed on dementia. For a free online video demonstrating the use of this algorithm, go to [corrected].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Delirium / complications
  • Delirium / diagnosis*
  • Delirium / nursing*
  • Dementia / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nursing Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Management