Why you should read this article: » To improve your awareness of the causes of delirium in patients receiving palliative and end of life care » To enable you to support patients experiencing delirium, and their family members » To understand the responsibilities of nurses in identifying the effects of delirium on the patient’s physical and psychological well-being Delirium is the most common neuropsychiatric disorder in patients with palliative and end of life care needs; therefore, providing effective care for patients, and their families, is a clinical priority for nurses. Delirium is characterised by a fluctuating state that affects an individual’s attention, orientation, thinking, perception, memory, psychomotor behaviour, emotions and sleep-wake cycle. Early recognition, assessment and management of delirium is essential, because this has the potential to relieve distress and improve the quality of life and death for patients. This article discusses the causes, effects, and signs and symptoms of delirium. It also outlines the non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies that can be used to assess and manage patients with delirium at the end of life, alongside the support that should be provided to their families.
The editors of this book define compassionate communities as those that support people with life-limiting illnesses and end of life care needs. These communities are founded on the social and public health principle that palliative and end of life care is everyone’s business.
Compassionate communities are defined by the editors as those that are providing support, independent of available health and social care, for people with life-limiting illness and end of life care needs