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University of Michigan Health System- Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)


 

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Description
Our Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) volunteer experience provides individuals with hospital inpatient care exposure through contact with patients, family members, other volunteers, social work, and hospital staff on nursing units. Students or community adults will gain experience assessing a patients medical condition, cognitive status and physical functioning. They will learn how to coordinate a care plan and provide related interventions. HELP interventions promote and monitor patient support, orientation, cognitive stimulation, relaxation/sleep, mobility, feeding/eating, and hearing or vision needs where functional deficits require assistance. HELP goals include improving the hospital experience of older patients, reducing the length of hospital stays, promoting independence after discharge, and reducing the risk of physical de-conditioning, isolation, falls, and delirium. HELP volunteers are part of a team that truly make a difference every single day for our older adults who are admitted, and build upon their own clinical skills at the same time.
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