AGS CoCare®: Hospital Elder Life Program

AGS CoCare®: Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

The AGS CoCare®: Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is an innovative model of hospital care designed to prevent delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older adults. HELP uses interdisciplinary staff and targeted intervention protocols to improve patients’ outcomes and provide cost-effective care.

The primary goals of the program are:

  • Maintaining cognitive and physical functioning of high-risk older adults throughout hospitalization.
  • Maximizing independence at discharge.
  • Assisting with the transition from hospital to home.
  • Preventing unplanned hospital readmissions.

These goals have been accomplished using a multicomponent intervention strategy. In addition to targeted interdisciplinary geriatric assessments, HELP uses an innovative volunteer model to provide personal, supportive attention to vulnerable older patients. HELP materials include a structured curriculum for instructing volunteers to deliver daily orientation, early mobilization, feeding assistance, therapeutic activities, a non-pharmacological sleep protocol, and hearing/vision adaptations.

In 2020, a formal partnership between HELP and the American Geriatrics Society led to the establishment of the AGS CoCare®: Hospital Elder Life Program. The AGS CoCare portfolio provides resources for health professionals implementing the program at their institution. This includes a new website, e-learning modules, program manuals, and hours of video instruction. For decades, HELP has been successful at returning older adults to their homes or previous living situations with maintained or improved ability to function. With extensive demonstrated clinical- and cost-effectiveness in over 25 published studies, HELP provides training and support for skilled interdisciplinary staff to implement the program, which has been adopted by over 200 hospitals worldwide.

AGS CoCare® HELP holds an annual conference, 2 national interest group sessions per year, and ongoing Coaching calls throughout the year. For information about upcoming special interest groups, please email:

Visit the AGS CoCare®: HELP website for more information on how to establish HELP at your hospital (

Follow us on twitter at: @ElderLifeProg and @sharon_inouye.