Goals of HELP
The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is a comprehensive patient-care program that provides optimal care for older persons in the hospital.
The program is an innovative approach to improving the hospital care for older patients.
The primary goals of the program (Inouye, 2000) are:
- Maintaining cognitive and physical functioning of high risk older adults throughout hospitalization
- Maximizing independence at discharge
- Assisting with the transition from hospital to home
- Preventing unplanned hospital readmissions
These goals have been accomplished using a multicomponent intervention strategy. In addition to targeted interdisciplinary geriatric assessment, the program uses an innovative volunteer model to provide personal, supportive attention to vulnerable older patients. HELP materials include a structured curriculum for instructing volunteers to deliver daily orientation, early mobilization, feeding assistance, therapeutic activities, a non-pharmacological sleep protocol, and hearing/vision adaptations.
The Hospital Elder Life Program has been successful at returning older adults to their homes following hospitalization.