“HOSPITAL ELDER LIFE” PROGRAM
"The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is an innovative approach to protect older patients from declining physically and mentally while they are hospitalized."
Geriatricians, a geriatric nurse practitioner, an elder life specialist and trained volunteers work together to protect older patients from experiencing the potential loss of independence that may occur as an outcome of a hospital stay.
Volunteers encourage elderly to engage in therapeutic activities to provide mental stimulation and socialization. Volunteers visit elderly patients daily and offer assistance with meals, walking and other daily exercise and hearing and vision equipment.
The "Hospital Elder Life" Program goals are to:
Maintain cognitive and physical function of high-risk older adults during hospitalization
Maximize elderly independence at discharge
Assist elderly with transition from hospital to home
Prevent unplanned hospital readmissions of elderly
Training includes classroom education and supervised hands-on experience. A minimum of one four-hour shift per week for six months or more is required for volunteers.Other programs to improve elder nursing care offered by the Muller Center for Senior Health Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania include:
Memory Fitness Center -Activities to sharpen skills and stimulate the mind
Geropsychiatric Services - Inpatient and outpatient mental health care
Geriatric Fracture Program -Quick admission and skilled treatment
Therapeutic Walker Program -Regular walks with staff for hospital patients
Geriatric Assessments -Medical and psycho-social evaluations, inpatient and outpatient
Operation Reassurance -Support contact for independent living
ElderMed -Social and recreational wellness group
Stop Abuse in Later Life (SAILL) - Elder abuse prevention program