Cognition & Mental Health
The most common cognition and mental health diagnoses among older adults are dementia, delirium, depression, anxiety and substance abuse/dependence. (Flood, M. & Buckwalter, K.C. (2009). Two types of changes in cognition that occur frequently in older adults are delirium and dementia. Although they are distinct diagnoses, they can occur together. The presence of dementia, even in early stages, can increase the likelihood of the occurrence of delirium and can also make a diagnosis of delirium more difficult. Knowledge of the older patient’s baseline mental status is essential to the ability to diagnose both delirium and dementia. (Fick, D.M., Agnostini, J.V. & Inouye, S.K. (2002).