Volunteers needed for delirium prevention program

11/7/2017

November 6, 2017

Amery, Wisc. – Amery Hospital & Clinic is looking for more volunteers to work with patients who are at risk for developing delirium during their hospital stay. Delirium, which can develop in a matter of hours, is a sudden change in mental status or sudden onset of confusion. Delirium is more common among older people who are admitted to hospital.

Through the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), an award-winning international delirium prevention model developed at the Yale University School of Medicine, volunteers sit and talk with patients; play games and do puzzles; offer magazines and adult coloring books; and help patients order lunch among other activities. “It sounds simple,” says Anna Mulfinger, the HealthPartners Delirium Prevention Project Manager, “but the volunteers’ work has an important goal of stimulating patients’ cognitive abilities through activities.”

Dick Herberg, a Valley HELP volunteer, said the benefits of the program are two-fold. “Patients get someone to talk with, play games with and keep their mind occupied during their stay, but it’s also a very rewarding experience on my part.”

For more information on becoming a HELP volunteer at Amery Hospital & Clinic, visit amerymedicalcenter.org or contact Kathy Rasmussen at 715-268-0682.

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