People diagnosed with dementia are provided with information on delirium and their increased risk of developing the condition.

People living with dementia are at a higher risk of developing delirium, which causes a short term confused state. Delirium can affect memory, concentration and personality. Delirium will usually improve, once the underlying illness is treated, but sometimes it can last for a while.

You should be informed of your greater risk of developing delirium and provided with information about the condition. The information will help you prevent delirium from developing and understand how to manage and treat the condition in somebody living with dementia.
For extra information, evidence and best practice please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Regional offerings

Delirium Toolkits in Greater Manchester; Dementia United

The Greater Manchester delirium toolkits were designed for health and social care staff to use to help them identify and manage delirium in people over the age of 18 and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are based on national evidence and include resources and training for both professionals and people with delirium and their families.

Dementia Wellbeing Plan for Greater Manchester; Dementia United

The Greater Manchester dementia wellbeing plan promotes personalised planning conversations with people living with dementia and carers about their needs and wants. The plan ensures an improved standard of care planning for people living with dementia and also facilitates sharing across the system. It will be available as a standardised plan which can be accessed and shared digitally between practitioners; as well as being available from the website for people affected by dementia to be using when having person centred care plan reviews


Health Improvement Scotland, SIGN, Risk reduction and management of delirium: "Several predisposing factors increase the risk of delirium, including older age, dementia, frailty, the presence of multiple comorbidities, male sex, sensory impairments, a history of depression, a history of delirium, and alcohol misuse. If a patient is at risk of delirium: Explain to the patient and the family/carer about delirium."

Research paper, Lancet Commission 2020:

  • Risk factors for delirium in dementia include sensory impairment, pain, polypharmacy, dehydration, intercurrent illnesses, such as urinary tract infections or faecal impaction, and an unfamiliar or changing environment.
  • Delirium in older people should prompt consideration of underlying dementia.
  • No definitive evidence that any medication improves delirium in people with dementia exists: cholinesterase inhibitors, antipsychotics, and sedating benzodiazepines are ineffective and antipsychotics and benzodiazepines are associated with mortality and morbidity.
  • People with delirium without known dementia are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in the future than others, either because of pre-existing undiagnosed dementia or cognitive impairment, present, or because delirium has neurotoxic effects and so precipitates dementia.

Best Practice Resources

Greater Manchester Community Delirium Toolkit:

Assessment of delirium: use of 4AT and Delirium TIME bundle for early management and prevention of delirium.

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