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About the Core Interventions

HELP joins a skilled interdisciplinary team with geriatric expertise, to a highly trained and supervised volunteer staff. This provides an effective system to consistently provide interventions that address the special needs of older patients.

Hospital Elder Life Program staff (Elder Life Specialist and Elder Life Nurse Specialist) assess and enroll patients who meet specified enrollment criteria and determine which interventions are appropriate based on each patient's needs. Patients receive personalized interventions that evolve to match their changing needs throughout the course of hospitalization.

Enrolled patients are regularly reassessed by HELP staff, and supervised volunteers administer interventions that are reassigned daily and tracked for adherence.

HELP provides an organized system to actually do what everyone knows "should be done" in the care of older persons.

HELP Services Include (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2000;48:1697-1706):

  • Daily Visitor Program: cognitive orientation, communication, and social support .
  • Therapeutic Activities Program: cognitive stimulation and socialization.
  • Early Mobilization Program: daily exercise and walking assistance.
  • Non-Pharmacologic Sleep Protocol: promotes relaxation and sufficient sleep. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1998; 46:700-705 .
  • Hearing and Vision Protocol: hearing and vision adaptations and equipment.
  • Oral Volume Repletion and Feeding Assistance Program: assistance and companionship during meals.
  • Geriatric Interdisciplinary Care: nursing, medicine, rehabilitation therapies, pharmacy, nutrition and chaplaincy care and support for patients and their families.
  • Provider Education Program: geriatric education for professional staff.
  • Links with Community Services: assist with the transition from hospital to home.