Distinguishing Delirium from Dementia

  • Malissa Mulkey East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
  • D. Erik Everhart East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
  • Sonya Hardin University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Daiwai Olson University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas
  • Cindy Munro Miami University, Coral Gables, Florida
Keywords: Acute confusion, delirium, dementia, geriatrics


Distinguishing between delirium and dementia is essential for understanding the underlying mechanisms which direct a nurse to the best interventions. However, delirium and dementia are conditions that are at times difficult to differentiate even for experienced clinicians. While the similarities can make distinguishing between the two disorders challenging, there are distinct differences. Therefore, this article describes similarities and differences in the characteristics of each condition to assist clinicians in accurate detection and identification.


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How to Cite
Mulkey, M., Everhart, D. E., Hardin, S., Olson, D., & Munro, C. (2019). Distinguishing Delirium from Dementia. Journal of Health and Caring Sciences, 1(1), 56-67. https://doi.org/10.37719/jhcs.2019.v1i1.rna002