Mental confusion is the inability to think clearly by making an elderly person, for example, use a fork to take soup, wear winter clothes in the summer, or even show difficulty in understanding simple orders.This kind of confusion may slowly arise with the development of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, for example.
In these cases, treatment with medication and psychological therapy slows the worsening of the disease and mental confusion. And to learn how to get along with this person, here are some tips that can help you: What to do to get along better with the mentally disturbed elderly.
However, the elderly may suddenly become confused when they are hypoglycemic or even if they fall and hit their head and, in such cases, the mental confusion that may arise, is usually reversible and it is necessary to go immediately to the emergency room to be medicated and/or stay in observation.
3 Major Causes and Treatments for Mental Confusion in the Elderly
1. Severe dehydration
To treat dehydration, which usually leads to mental confusion in the elderly, and also prevent problems such as malfunctioning of the heart and kidneys, it is important to take it to the hospital to receive serum through the vein and replenish the water and minerals.
To ensure that the elderly do not get dehydrated, water must be offered several times a day because in general, it does not feel thirsty, but the lack of water leads to the malfunctioning of brain cells because it increases the number of toxic substances in the blood causing the mental confusion.
The treatment of mental confusion of diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s involves medications prescribed by the psychiatrist, such as Donepezil or Memantine so that the symptoms of the disease do not get worse so quickly.
Dementia has no cure, so that the elderly, with the passage of time, have less understanding and depend more on their family.
Mental confusion in the case of stroke does not allow the affected region to perform functions properly causing mental confusion. Therefore, in case of suspected stroke take the patient to be treated in the hospital.
If you have suffered a stroke, in addition to mental confusion, the elderly may lose strength in their arms and legs and have difficulty speaking.
Other common causes of confusion in the elderly include urinary tract infection, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or respiratory problems such as respiratory failure.Therefore, it is important to maintain regular consultations in the geriatrician, to identify and treat early any disease that may arise due to old age, so that the elderly live with a higher quality of life for as long as possible.
How to identify the mental confusion of the elderly
To make sure the elderly person is confused, the following information can be observed:
- You can not tell the day of the week, date, season or even recognize people or your name or profession;
- Being very agitated or very still, uncontrollably moving arms and legs or not responding to stimuli, such as calling my name or not reacting to touch;
- Not complying with small orders, such as going shopping or even raising an arm;
- Wear inappropriate clothes to the temperature, wearing very hot pieces or can go to the street without clothes, besides being able to walk dirty;
- Not being able to have a contextualized conversation or say very short sentences and very slowly;
- Having difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as not knowing how to go home or eating food without preparing food;
- Forget the conversations, situations, and tasks that have to do, repeating them, like taking the medicines twice at the same time;
- Having inappropriate behaviors that he did not habitually do, such as spitting on the floor, belching, or shouting, as well as not being able to pack things in the right place, for example;
- Become aggressive, hurting yourself or hurting others.
In case the elderly present some of these signs it is important to go to the doctor to identify the cause of the mental confusion and start the treatment more correct not to aggravate the problem. In addition, the more signs the older person presents, the greater the degree of confusion and the more complex the treatment.