Hospital Elder Life Program – North Bay Regional Health Centre
The elderly population is a vulnerable group with multiple chronic health conditions and special needs. Loss of independence, strength and new confusion are frequent outcomes of hospital stays for elderly patients. This new confusion and disorientation is medically termed delirium which is considered a medical emergency.
HELP is a quality enhancement program provided by our hospital that seeks to improve the hospital experience of hospitalized older patients. HELP utilizes specific interventions and specially trained volunteers to keep older people oriented to their surroundings, mobile within the limitations of their physical condition while meeting their needs of nutrition, hydration and sleep.
At North Bay Regional Health Centre the HELP program is presently implemented on our medical units and surgical units.
- To maintain physical and cognitive functioning throughout hospitalization
- To maximize independence at discharge
- To prevent delirium
- To prevent unplanned re-admissions
- Regular orientation, socialization and mental stimulation
- Therapeutic activities — friendly visiting, newspaper, cards, word puzzles, ect
- Promotion of regular exercise eg. ROM exercises or supervised walking
- Encouragement and set-up for meals and fluids
- Promotion of healthy sleep by engaging patients in meaningful activities and preventing excess napping throughout the day