Depression and Delirium of the Older Adult

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Delirium and depression may coexist but are not the same diagnosis.  Among the older adult population depression may often be confused with delirium or dementia. Participate in this module to better understand the difference between delirium and depression in older adults and learn the standardized tools for measuring cognitive, behavioral, and/or mood changes. Acquire successful strategies for managing delirium and depression using pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches.

Author Information

Author Bios
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Nursing, Department of Behavioral Health Science

Amanda Perry, MD
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Department of Family Medicine
Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine

Curie H. Lee is a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.She earned her Doctoral degree in Nursing Practice majoring in gerontology at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is board certified geriatric primary care nurse practitioner in Illinois. She has been actively teaching clinical group of graduate and undergraduate students focused on old adult’s population in the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital. She has strong research interest in improving quality of care for older adults in Chicago community nursing homes by reducing 30-day hospital readmission.

Dr. L. Amanda Perry is an assistant professor of clinical family medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago. She completed a Family Medicine Residency and Geriatric Fellowship at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also the medical director of the Physician Home Visit Program at UIC.

Valerie Gruss PhD, APN, CNP-BC
Associate Professor
College of Nursing
Director, ENGAGE-IL
University of Illinois at Chicago

Memoona Hasnain MD, MHPE, PhD
Professor and Associate Department Head, Faculty Development & Research
College of Medicine,
Department of Family Medicine
Co-Director, ENGAGE-IL
University of Illinois at Chicago

Module Information

Duration: 30 minutes
Format: Video Stream & pdfs
CEU Value: 0.5

Module Guide and Handout
Resources & References
Continuing Education Credit Information

In support of patient care, Rush University Medical Center is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Rush University Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of (0.50) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is being presented without bias and without commercial support.

ANCC Credit Designation – Nurses
The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 0.50 contact hours.

Rush University is an approved provider for physical therapy (216.000272), occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, social work (159.001203), nutrition, speech-audiology, and psychology by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Rush University designates this live activity for (0.50) Continuing Education credit(s).

Rush University Medical Center designates this knowledge based CPE activity for 0.50 contact hours for pharmacists.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module, learners will be able to:

  1. Summarize the difference between delirium and depression in older adults
  2. Discuss the use of standardized tools for measuring cognitive, behavioral, and/or mood changes to confirm diagnoses
  3. Discuss the structured assessment method to make a differential diagnosis based on the clinical features of delirium and depression
  4. Apply management principles according to pharmacologic/
    nonpharmacologic strategies
  5. Identify materials to educate patients and family/caregivers
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This ENGAGE-IL learning activity fully complies with the legal requirements of the ADA and the rules and regulations thereof. Learners with special needs can make requests for accommodation at any time by sending e-mail to

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