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The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)
Developed by Dr. Sharon K. Inouye and colleagues at the Yale University School of Medicine


Welcome to the redesigned HELP Web Site, and to the new phase of the Hospital Elder Life Program!

If you are new to HELP, please click the "Sign In / Register" link to register a new HELP account.

If you are a registered HELP site, you may use your current account. If you don't know your site account name, you may simply create a new account using any name you like.

All registrants - old and new - will be required to read and agree to the terms of the HELP Disclaimer and usage agreement. After that, you will have full access to all of the HELP program documentation, business tools, training videos, and much more!


When older adults are ill and hospitalized, their daily routines are disrupted and they can lose their bearings and become mentally confused and disoriented.

This confusion is alarming to those who know them, but those who work with hospitalized older adults know it is a common problem and they know how to help.

The medical term for this situation is delirium.

This website provides information about recognizing delirium (new mental confusion). It also describes a program that prevents delirium in hospitalized older people, the Hospital Elder Life Program, or HELP.

What is delirium?

  • Delirium is an under-recognized, but surprisingly common problem, particularly among older adults who are hospitalized.
  • People who are delirious have trouble thinking clearly, focusing their thoughts, and paying attention.
  • Delirium can come on within hours, and may come and go throughout the day.
  • Delirium can happen because hospitalization involves many tests and therapies (like medications and procedures) which can lead to confusion.
  • Delirium can be frightening, however there are many ways that the problem can be prevented or properly handled.
  • If left untreated, however, delirium can have serious consequences for recovery.
  • Delirium is different than the long-term confusion seen with dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Who should use this website?

  • Family and friends caring for older adults . Click here for information.
  • Clinicians interested in learning more about delirium and HELP. Click here for information.
  • Hospitals that have already implemented HELP. Click here for information.

You might want to browse our list of frequently-asked questions (FAQ).

What if I don't understand terms or words?

If you have any questions about what terms mean, please click here or on the glossary link for the online medical dictionary provided by the National Library of Medicine.