Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Caregiving Strategies for Older Adults with Delirium, Dementia and Depression

Project / Initiative: 
Mental Health & Addictions Initiative
Type of Guideline: 
Publish Date: 
About this Guideline:

This guideline has been developed to address the question of how best to care for older adults (65 years or older) with delirium, dementia and/or depression.

The guideline focuses on:

  1. Practice recommendations: directed at the nurse to guide practice regarding caregiving strategies for older adults with delirium, dementia and/or depression;
  2. Educational recommendations: directed at the educational institutions and organizations in which nurses work to support its implementation;
  3. Organization and Policy recommendations: directed at the practice settings and the environment to facilitate nurses’ practice;
  4. Evaluation and monitoring indicators.

It is acknowledged that the individual competencies of nurses varies between nurses and across categories of nursing professionals (RNs and RPNs) and are based on knowledge, skills, attitudes, critical analysis, and decision-making which are enhanced over time by experience and education. It is expected that individual nurses will perform only those aspects of care for which they have received appropriate education and experience. Since care strategies for delirium, dementia and depression are based on accurate screening assessment of these conditions, the development panel for this guideline strongly recommends the implementation of this guideline in conjunction with the RNAO (2003) Best Practice Guideline entitled Screening for Delirium, Dementia and Depression in Older Adults.
Supplement: 2010