The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ) understands the importance of using proven and cost-effective measures to prevent or reduce the onset of delirium, and in 2013 HFNJ awarded Trinitas Regional Medical Center with its first Delirium Prevention Initiative grant. Trinitas subsequently adapted the Hospital Elder Life Program (H.E.L.P.) model founded by Dr. Sharon Inouye, a pioneer in delirium research and prevention. The original program allows volunteers to feed patients. Although our volunteers do not feed patients, they provide bedside companionship during mealtimes to encourage the importance of nutrition.
- Prepare a “medical information sheet” listing all allergies, names and phone numbers of physicians, the name of the patient’s usual pharmacy and all known medical conditions. Also, be sure all pertinent medical records have been forwarded to the doctors who will be caring for the patient
- Bring glasses, hearing aids (with fresh batteries), and dentures to the hospital. Older persons do better if they can see, hear and eat
- Bring in a few familiar objects from home. Things such as family photos, a favorite comforter or blanket for the bed, rosary beads, a beloved book and relaxation tapes can be quite comforting