Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Purpose and Scope

This Guideline outlines recommendations for the assessment and care of delirium and/or dementia and/or depression in older adults. The focus is on the provision of effective, compassionate, and dignified care, and on the management of presenting signs, symptoms, and behaviours. The recommendations apply to the foundational clinical care provided by nurses and other health-care providers in a range of community and health-care settings.

The following conditions and topics are not covered within the scope of this Guideline: delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal, delirium in the last days of life, early onset dementia (dementia occurring in middle age), and prevention of dementia or depression. As well, the Guideline does not specifically address mild cognitive impairment.

Older Adults
Delirium, Dementia, and Depression in Older Adults: Assessment and Care
Background Information