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The incidence of Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD) usually increases
in elderly people. However, because the knowledge of POCD is not widely known,
healthcare personnel may mishandle the condition, wrongly assuming that older adults’
memory loss is a normal age-related physiological consequence. Elderly patients with
POCD usually display slow postoperative recovery, a high rate of re-hospitalisation,
and an increased mortality rate. In addition, POCD affects the quality of life of both the
elderly patients and their families. Currently, mechanisms leading to POCD are not
fully understood, but they are believed to be related to several factors. As healthcare
personnel working closely with elderly patients, nurses are, therefore, required to develop
a better understanding of POCD. Such an understanding could enable them to properly
monitor any resulting abnormalities and provide elderly patients with suitable care
based on empirical evidence, to prevent or reduce POCD-related abnormalities in this
group of patients.
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