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U-M Hospital Inpatient Care

The Geriatrics Center's inpatient activities include a multidisciplinary geriatric consult team based in University of Michigan Hospital. Staffed by faculty and fellows from the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, the team also includes a clinical nurse specialist. The Geriatric Inpatient Consult Team works with the hospital staff to optimize care for the older adult while hospitalized. The Team is often consulted for common aging health problems such as acute confusion, chronic confusion (dementia), nutrition concerns, immobility, pain, urinary and bowel problems, and sensory deficits.

Elder Life Program

The Geriatrics Center also offers the Elder Life Program for older hospitalized patients in the University of Michigan Health System. Functional and cognitive decline can occur in as much as one third of the hospitalized elderly population. Elder Life is designed to help inpatients maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being. The program utilizes volunteers to provide stimulating activities, early mobilization, nutrition support, and relaxation interventions for frail elderly patients at risk for developing delirium while hospitalized. The program uses modest, but creative approaches to provide support to the nursing care that enables older patients to remain optimally functional during a hospital stay. Elder Life volunteers provide the encouragement and extra support older patients need to get better. The Elder Life program is based upon an award winning clinical trial at Yale University School of Medicine that demonstrated clinical effectiveness using specific protocols and interventions to prevent delirium and physical de-conditioning in elderly patients.

Volunteers receive excellent training and provide a valuable and enjoyable service. They are asked to make a one year or, for students, a three-term commitment. They serve at least one 3-4 hour shift per week.

For more information contact Amanda Schoettinger at 734-764-2556, or by email: aschoet@med.umich.edu