Delirium report coverNational Dementia Pilot
Improving Awareness of Delirium
Report August 2020
What is Delirium?  Delirium is a condition where people have increased confusion, changes in thinking and a reduced attention span. Symptoms can develop quickly and often fluctuate during the day.

Who gets delirium? It can happen to anyone but there are some things that put a person at higher risk of it. These include:  Older age, Hearing and sight loss, A diagnosis of dementia, Having a lot of other health problems, Being in hospital with a broken hip or serious illness.
Delirium is also known as ‘acute confusion’. It is treatable - but if it is undetected then it can be a life threatening condition.


Raising Awareness of Delirium

Raising awareness of deliriumThis e-learning provides the baseline knowledge and skills required by all staff working in health and social care settings and also for those working in an individual's own home. It is also aimed at carers of people who may be more at risk of developing delirium.

The e-learning is available on the e-learning for health platform, it takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and anyone can access it, you dont need to sign up for an account but you can if you wish to.  Everyone recieves a certificate at the end of the e-learning.  Click on the Image to access the e-learning.

THINK DELIRIUM Awareness Resources available for electronic downloadTHINK DELIRIUM resources guide
we also have this accompanying Guide describing where to display the resources and how
to use them.


Please feel free to download, print and share these resources from the links below.


Delirium Dramas

We have produced a series of Delirium Dramas.
The films are acted out scenarios of people experiencing delirium in different setting, in the acute hospital, in a care home and in a domicillary care setting.
We have developed some of them into a more structured e- learning package but  they are also available here and should be a useful tool for skilled educators to use in delirium awareness sessions.
*Please note that the Films are designed to highlight  both good and bad practice.
In the films with Kenneth and Wendy we highlight lots of bad practice with the intention that it will stimulate key learning throughout the learning module.  It is important to remember that while the films may be shocking and/or alarming, the scenarios are written and presented to be thought provoking and to encourage rich discussion among health care professionals across all parts of the health and care system.
You can access them below.
      Filming Ward scene

Film1 – Kenneth = A scenario set in the acute hospital.  Kenneth aged 89 has been on the ward for a few days. He was admitted with breathlessness and is being treated for an exacerbation of heart failure.  He begins to refuse his medications but won’t say why. He is very quiet at other times, unless staff ask him to do something, when he shouts or pushes them away.

Film 2 - Wendy = A scenario set in the acute hospital.  Wendy is a 60-year-old lady who has undergone an elective total knee replacement under general anaesthetic and is recovering from the operation on an elective orthopaedic ward.  Wendy loses her hearing aids and problems arise thereafter which lead to an episode of delirium.



Director Shooting Film

Film 3 - Grace = A scenario set in a care home.  Grace (elderly lady) is in a care home and over the last 2 weeks she has been falling frequently.  She frequently appears to be talking to herself, sometimes loudly, but it is hard to understand what she is saying.

Film 4 – Eric = A scenario in a domiciliary care setting.  Eric (older man, mild dementia) lives alone in a sheltered flat and his domiciliary carer, who knows him well, arrives for his morning visit to help get him up, washed and dressed and to have his breakfast.



Filming picture of Sound manIn each of the 4 films we have carefully tried to bring out key learning in relation to delirium, looking out for the signs and symptoms of delirium and highlighting how to manage delirium once identified and how to help prevent further episodes.

If you would like any further information about any of the delirium resources on this page please feel free to make contact with or