Upcoming Conference will Address the Interface of Delirium and Dementia


The Fourteenth Annual International HELP (Hospital Elder Life Program) Conference will be held this year on April 7 and 8, 2016, in Pittsburgh, PA. The event is sponsored jointly by the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences.

The theme this year will be “The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP): Addressing the Interface of Delirium and Dementia.” And will feature presentations, workshops, and a panel discussion on strategies for delirium prevention and management in persons with dementia. Sharon Inouye, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Aging Brain Center at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, developed HELP along with colleagues during her tenure at Yale University School of Medicine before joining IFAR. HELP is a comprehensive, evidence-based, patient-care program that provides optimal care for older persons in the hospital and was originally designed to prevent delirium among hospitalized older persons. The program also prevents functional decline and falls and allows older adults to return home at the maximal level of independence. HELP does this by keeping hospitalized older people oriented to their surroundings, meeting their needs for nutrition, fluids, and sleep and keeping them mobile within the limitations of their physical condition.

Delirium (or acute confusion), an acute decline in cognitive functioning, is a common, serious, and often fatal problem affecting up to 60% of hospitalized older adults and costing over $164 billion (2011) per year in the United States. If delirium develops during an inpatient hospital stay, it leads to a longer stay, increased risk of adverse outcomes (increased morbidity and mortality, functional and cognitive decline, increased rates of dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder & caregiver burden) and a cascade of post-discharge concerns, including post-hospital syndrome and institutionalization.

The HELP model of care has been demonstrated to be clinically effective and cost effective for both acute hospital and long-term healthcare costs in more than 20 studies and has been adopted by more than 200 hospitals worldwide.

The conference will be hosted by University of Pittsburg Medical Center-Shadyside in Pittsburgh, PA, a HELP Centers of Excellence and will occur in conjunction with their Clinical Update in Geriatric Medicine course.

The conference is an excellent opportunity to learn more about HELP and delirium prevention and to connect with the vibrant HELP community. Benefit from the shared knowledge of experts and peers, with state-of-the-art geriatric updates, presentations from HELP sites around the world, and updates from HELP Central.

For more information and conference registration please visit:

About the Institute for Aging Research Scientists at the Institute for Aging Research seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age. The Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making. The Aging Brain Center within IFAR studies cognitive aging and conditions affecting brain health.