Caring for Elderly Patients Article Review

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Slide 4: How are the 3 Ds alike?

Delirium is a confused state caused by a psychological or physiological condition (Peacock et al. 2012:26). It is not a permanent mental state. Persons of all ages can experience delirium. However, the elderly are particularly apt to manifest it, given that the conditions which can cause it such as over-medication, a lack of sleep, and physical stressors are more likely to be suffered by aging patients (Peacock et al. 2012:26). Likewise, depression is also manifested in an estimated 40% of all elderly patients in resident care even though it is not an elder-specific disease (Peacock et al. 2012:26). All three -- dementia, delirium, and depression -- can manifest themselves as sharp changes of mood; shifts in eating and sleeping patterns; confusion; irrational behavior; and physical acting out.

Slide 5: How are they different

However, from the point-of-view of the clinician, the most important difference between all of these conditions is their cause. A patient experiencing delirium can potentially be returned to a coherent state if the underlying physical cause of the delirium can be addressed. A person with depression may not be irrational and unable to be reasoned with even though his or her mood is deflated and he or she may manifest a lack of affect: counseling and antidepressants are potentially beneficial treatments for a mood imbalance. In contrast, these forms of psychological counseling will not help someone with delirium and no pharmaceutical or therapy has been found to eradicate dementia.


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Joosse, L, Palmer, D. & Lang, N. (2013). Caring for elderly patients with dementia: nursing

Interventions. Nursing Research and Reviews, 3: 107 -- 117

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Peacock R., Hopton A., Featherstone I., & Edwards J.…
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How to Cite "Caring for Elderly Patients" Article Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Caring for Elderly Patients.  (2013, September 20).  Retrieved July 5, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Caring for Elderly Patients."  20 September 2013.  Web.  5 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Caring for Elderly Patients."  September 20, 2013.  Accessed July 5, 2020.