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Delirium is a serious public health problem among older adults and is one of the most common cognitive disorders affecting postoperative older adults. Delirium is a treatable illness that disproportionately places postoperative older adults at increased risk for functional and cognitive decline, as well as increased morbidity and mortality. More than 50 percent of postoperative patients develop delirium during hospitalization. Epidemiologic and clinical studies over the past two decades have provided ample evidence that delirium in hospitalized older adults is under-recognized by nurses and physicians, often leading to untoward events that the safety and well-being of hospitalized older adults.

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