Even when the cause of delirium is identified and treated, clients may not regain all cognitive functions, or problems with confusion may persist. Because delirium and demen-tia frequently occur together, clients may have dementia. A thorough medical evaluation can confirm dementia, and appropriate treatment and care can be initiated (see the following section).
When delirium has cleared and any other diagnoses have been eliminated, it may be necessary for the nurse or other health care professionals to initiate referrals to home health, visiting nurses, or a rehabilitation program if clients con-tinue to experience cognitive problems. Various community programs provide such care, including adult day care or residential care. Clients who have ongoing cognitive deficits after an episode of delirium may have difficulties similar to those of clients with head injuries or mild dementia. Clients and family members or caregivers might benefit from sup-port groups to help them deal with the changes in personal-ity and remaining cognitive or motor deficits.