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Welcome to the Hospital Elder Life Program

The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is a structured, evidence-based, patient-care program designed to prevent delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older adults. The international HELP program was originally developed by Sharon K. Inouye, MD, and her colleagues at the Yale University School of Medicine. The University of Utah has been a HELP site since 2010. HELP delivers targeted interventions that are administered daily by specially trained volunteers. The goal of the program is to reduce cognitive and functional decline during hospitalization, allowing older adu​lts to return home at their maximal level of independence.

Our volunteers provide fre​quent orienting to hospitalized older adults. They assist with daily cognitive engagement and provide companionship along with encouragement during meals. Our evening volunteers promote sleep using a non-pharmacological sleep protocol. Lastly, our volunteers are trained to encourage mobility with active​ range-of-motion exercise (or ambulation) for appropriate patients.

The patient inclusion criteria for our program is as follows:

  • Patients ≥ 70 years 
  • Admitted less than 48 hours ago
  • Anticipated length of stay greater than 40 hours 

Exclusion criteria for the HELP program are: 

  • Presence of delirium - because we are a delirium prevention program, we focus on patients who are not already experiencing delirium 
  • Patients who are incarcerated 
  • Patients with dangerous or aggressive behaviors


Dr. Mark Supiano

Co-Chief of Division of Geriatrics, Medical Director of Hospital Elder Life Program


Christine Lee, MS, CHES

Elder Life Specialist

Wendy Mohlman, MS-GERON, RN

Hospital Elder Life Nurse Specialist

Roxanne Weiss, MD

Hospitalist, Geriatrician


two women with masks

Contact Us

Christine Lee, MS, CHES

Elder Life Specialist

The HELP Office Location:  Division of Geriatrics, School of Medicine AB193 

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm 

Smartweb: Hospital Elder Life Program or HELP 

Phone: 801.213.2944