Older people, their carers and families
A key strategy to improving care for an older person with confusion is proactive involvement of their family members or carers in their assessment and care planning. Family members/carers can provide valuable information to staff caring for the older person with confusion.
Carers and families may need reassurance if the older person is distressed and restless. Like the hospitalised older person, carers and family members can feel frightened, judged, confused and not confident that staff in healthcare facilities understand their particular circumstances.
It’s important to include carers and families in discussions and decisions, and to provide information about delirium and its treatment. Encourage them to notify staff of any sudden change in the patient’s mental or physical condition.
A number of resources are available to inform and support carers and families of a confused hospitalised older person in hospital.
Information for carers/family members
- Delirium (brochure)
This brochure, produced by the ACI, provides information for the families, carers and other people dealing with an older person with delirium. Available in print, product no. 2HACI08
- Delirium Information for Visitors (English)
- Carer Information Sheet - Antipsychotic Medications Used in Delirium
Delirium is a common medical problem that is characterised by changes in mental functions and often occurs in very sick older people. This medication information sheet should be used in conjunction with the Delirium Information Brochure.
- Information for carers about hospital admission of people with dementia or memory loss
A brochure produced by the South Western Sydney Local Health District for carers, providing information about hospitalisation of an older person with delirium or dementia (including tips for information to provide, going home after hospital, etc.).
The following resources are examples of forms used to collect information from carers/family members about an older patient, to assist health professionals in providing care that meets their individual needs.
- Carer-Family Questionnaire and Patient Personal Profile
- Communication and Care Cues
- My Story - Carer-Family Questionnaire
- Patient Profile: Document on Admission after Discussion with Family/Carer
- Personal Profile for Volunteer to Complete with Patient or Carer
- Personal Profile to Assist with Hospital Admission
- This Is Me: Patient Profile