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Hi, my grandmother is being held in a hospital for two weeks now because she was diagnosed with delirium. The doctors say that it may take some time for her to recover. I don't understand how they came up with diagnose of delirium, when she went to the doctor's office because she had an ear infection. Can you please tell me what the causes of delirium in elderly people are? I am worried that maybe we did not see the signs in time.

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Hi, I am sorry to say that the delirium in elderly people often has a poor outcome. The longer it takes for the person to recover, the worse the prognosis for the future is. Studies have shown that delirium in elderly people can be caused by two major groups of factors. There are predetermined factors such as age and already present cognitive impairment or dementia. The second group is consisted of acute factors like the use of benzodiazepine type of drugs, dehydration and infections. You don't have to blame yourself because you missed the symptoms in your grandmother. Sometimes even the doctors can misdiagnose delirium because it is often thought that the person with delirium is nervous and restless, but that is not always the case. Your grandmother will be treated for the delirium and for the infection that has probably caused it. It would be good for her if you and the rest of the family members spend time with her. The recovery will be much faster if she is surrounded with familiar faces.
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