Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) announces coordinator, seeks volunteers

Becky DeMuth, RN, was recently named the clinical nurse coordinator for the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center. Demuth has served in past positions within Ministry Health Care in the medical/surgical and intensive care units, as hospital supervisor, and most recently in case management at Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital.

HELP is a comprehensive model of care for hospitalized patients that are over 70 years old and assessed as being at risk for hospital complications, such as delirium and functional decline. By using a multiple component approach via a multi-disciplinary team of providers, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, dieticians, chaplains, and specially trained volunteers, risk factors will be identified, resulting in improved patient care, positive outcomes and significant cost avoidance.

“Falls, pressure ulcers, adverse drug reactions, delirium and other hospital acquired complications contribute to increased length of stay and higher costs per patient stay, particularly in the geriatric population who is at higher risk for these complications,” said Rebecca A. Morin, Vice President of Patient Care Services, Ministry Howard Young Health Care. “Our new geriatric model of care will assist in improving quality of care, and reduction in costs, length of stay, and readmissions.”

A team of trained volunteers will use specific interventions directed at six risk factors for cognitive and functional decline.

“In addition to staff, volunteers will truly be a contributing factor in the success of this model,” said Becky Demuth, RN, HELP Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center. “Illness and hospitalization are stressful for the older patient and we would like to do everything possible to make their hospital stay more comfortable, healing and less taxing. Volunteers will be able to provide the extra attention, interaction and support to patients while they are here.”

Many volunteers are needed to provide companionship, assist with daily walks, participate in interactive activities, help during meals, and simply talk with the patient.

Implementation of a geriatric service model exemplifies Ministry Health Care’s four core values of Presence, Service, Vision, and Justice. This model will focus on specific initiatives and programs to meet the needs of an at risk population in our community.

Volunteer training dates are scheduled for December 8 and 9. For more information or to volunteer with HELP, contact Becky DeMuth at 715-356-8305.

 
 
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