Inova Loudoun Hospital is now a part of the innovative Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). This free program works to improve the hospital experience for older patients. Being in the hospital can disrupt normal routines, and coping with these changes and the stress of illness can slow recovery — especially with older patients.
HELP staff and volunteers offer assistance and activities at no charge that keep patients mentally and physically active. This can help prevent confusion and preserve mental and physical functioning in older patients. This extra attention enhances patient comfort and helps them maintain their independence while hospitalized. It also lessens or prevents what is known as delirium.
Delirium is a frightening but often controllable form of confusion that is surprisingly common among older patients in the hospital. It can often result from acute illness, infections, new medications or a move to unfamiliar surroundings.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to get involved at the hospital,” Inova Loudoun Elder Life Specialist James Worfolk said. “We will provide specific training for our volunteers. No previous experience is necessary.”
ILH is currently seeking volunteers who would like to make a difference in the lives of older adults. If interested in volunteering, visit inova.org and search for volunteer opportunities or call 703-858-6547. For more information about HELP visit inova.org/help.