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Article
December 22, 1956

MENTAL REACTION TO TRAUMA AND HOSPITALIZATION IN THE AGED

JAMA. 1956;162(17):1522-1524. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970340012004
Abstract

• The removal of an elderly person to a hospital during acute illness or after an injury involves certain difficulties and dangers that need to be recognized. Disorientation leads sometimes to delirium, which in severe cases can exhaust the patient. Many simple steps can be taken to aid the patient in keeping oriented, such as having a member of the family at hand, leaving a night light on, and avoiding sedatives that may increase the patient's confusion. The presence of familiar objects and the observance of familiar rituals such as a nightly drink of brandy have excellent sedative effects. Early ambulation and occupational therapy are important. If such measures fail and delirium becomes dangerously severe, the patient should be transferred to a psychiatric ward or hospital for special care.

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