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Untangling Depression, Delirium, and Dementia: Screening and Assessment Strategies

presented by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Teepa Snow receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Teepa Snow has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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When assessing someone who may exhibit signs of one, or all three of the conditions, delirium, depression, and dementia, it can be difficult to determine what changes can be made and what tools to use for screening. Each of the three Ds has a unique onset, duration, impact on alertness and arousal, as well as orientation and possible causes and treatment recommendations. This session will help providers recognize and respond more accurately to reduce non-helpful hospitalizations, delays in medical attention for acute illness, non-treatment of treatable conditions, and premature discharge of residents who might be able to stay in the community.

Meet Your Instructor

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Teepa Snow is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with such challenges and seeks to change and improve life for everyone involved. Her practice has included everything from neuro-intensive care units in tertiary hospitals…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Screening Strategies and Tools that Help

This chapter will provide the clinician with a set of tools and screening maneuvers that can aid in determining what is happening at the time of the referral and what should be addressed, immediately, short term, and long term for this person’s well-being. Emphasis will be placed on both standardized tools as well as interactions and observational strategies that optimize accuracy. In this session we will review characteristics for each, and demonstrate examples of how each would appear in a clinical setting.

2. What Do We Do Now? What About the Future?

In this chapter we will briefly address what should and could be done once you sort through the three Ds. Determining who needs to be notified of your findings, in what time frame, with what level of intensity is critical. Equally important, however, is helping the team consider which approach to care should be explored. This section will highlight the importance of addressing complex care situations in a responsible manner to both use resources wisely and, more importantly, allow the person to live as well as possible until life ends, with the right support and care provision.

3. Discussion of the Complex Patient

In this chapter we will revisit the role-play from the first course and discuss in depth the characteristics present of the three Ds. Using the feedback from the therapist and nursing staff, we will model a productive care-plan with immediate, short-term, and long-term goals to address the needs exhibited or known. Finally, we will review the key differences between the three Ds as a way to enrich the individual’s evaluation and value of life.

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