Recognising World Delirium Awareness Day

Wednesday, 15 March is World Delirium Awareness Day. A day that raises awareness and highlights the often under-recognised but preventable condition of delirium.

Delirium is a serious medical condition where people’s cognition and attention fluctuate. This can often develop over a very short period of time.

People in hospital, and in particular older patients and those with pre-existing cognitive impairment, are at greatest risk. However, if delirium is identified early, it can be managed and ultimately improve the health outcomes of our patients.

Monash Health has an organisation-wide approach to improve the recognition and management of patients with delirium in our care. 4AT test should be done for all patients >65yrs or >45yrs for our First Nations patients on admission to identify risk factors and potential causes, we can improve the care and experience of our patients, their carers and our employees.

Many strategies may be helpful for delirious patients, such as involving the family in care, ensuring the person is getting assistance with eating and drinking, encouraging them to get out of bed or finding meaningful activities based on their interests.

Our Delirium Toolboxes: Now featuring hand-knitted fiddle blankets

Our Delirium Toolboxes – available on all Monash Health wards – contain many resources for managing delirium, including fiddle blankets, music or games.

Fiddle blankets can help to settle an agitated patient by providing a variety of textures to explore and may prevent them from removing devices such as IV drips and catheters.

Dalene Culliford (pictured) has volunteered at Monash Health for over 30 years, knitting and crocheting hundreds of garments for the Kingston Centre Gift shop. Recently, Dalene has used her talents and started producing fiddle blankets for our Delirium Toolboxes.

Training and more information

You can find a Delirium and Dementia e-module, ‘Delirium: Suspect it, Spot it, Stop it’ on Latte for clinicians. The module only takes 15-20 minutes to complete and will be featured under “My Required Learning” on your Latte dashboard. Log in to LATTE and complete your training today.

For more information and resources, visit our Delirium and Dementia Intranet page.


Approved by Andrew Perta, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Monash Aged and Rehabilitation, Kingston Centre

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