Caring for older people experiencing agitation
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Caring for older people experiencing agitation

Jane Caroline Pritchard Nurse consultant, Dementia, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Rushden, England
Ami Brighty Staff nurse, Forest Centre, St Mary’s Hospital, Kettering, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Rushden, England

Agitation commonly affects older adults, particularly those living in care homes and in hospital settings. Agitation can be distressing to experience, may be associated with poorer health outcomes and can present a challenge to staff in keeping the person and those around them safe. This article examines why agitation can occur in older people and discusses current best practice, focusing on communication and non-pharmaceutical interventions. Agitation is commonly associated with dementia and delirium. This article indicates how these conditions can affect the older person and their interactions with the surrounding environment. A case study is used to illustrate application in practice.

Nursing Standard. 29, 30,49-58. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.30.49.e9693

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 16 October 2014

Accepted: 17 December 2014