The 15th annual National Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) conference was held in conjunction with the Clinical Update conference April 6-8. This two-day international conference educated HELP teams with strategies for delirium prevention, and insights to learn to use HELP to improve hospital-wide care of the elderly, and creating a climate of change.
Expert clinicians and seasoned members of the HELP sites shared evidence-based information and their clinical insights on selected topics regarding the influence of HELP, delirium updates and the larger policy implications of care for the elderly. The conference attracted registrants representing numerous states, including international participants from Canada and Thailand.
Serving as course directors were Fred Rubin, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, UPMC Shadyside; professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Sharon Inouye, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair; director, Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, Mass. and Sarah Dowal, LICSW, MPH, project director I, Aging Brain Center, Hebrew SeniorLife, Institute for Aging Research, Boston, Mass.
This innovative model program, designed by Dr. Inouye, improves the hospital experience for older patients by helping them maintain their cognitive and functional abilities; maximizing independence at discharge; assisting with the transition to the home; and preventing unplanned readmission.
Through HELP, the hospital becomes a place where older patients can feel secure as they participate in their course of treatment and maintain some control over their own recuperation. Hospitals around the world have implemented the program, and HELP has received extensive coverage in medical journals and mainstream media.
For more information on HELP and delirium, or to learn how to become a HELP site, visit www.hospitalelderlifeprogram.org.