Grant Application

Alexandra Briggs, MD, UPMC Presbyterian

Proposed Innovation

Geriatric patients who experience a traumatic injury have a high risk of developing delirium and functional decline. Age, sensory impairments, reduced mobility, disrupted sleep, unfamiliar environment, and multiple medications — compounded by boredom and inactivity while hospitalized — makes them particularly vulnerable to complications.

With funding from the Beckwith Institute, this innovative project will create a Geriatric Trauma Activities Center aimed at promoting cognitive stimulation and engagement of older patients during their hospital stay.


Improvements in Action

Established through a partnership between trauma providers (surgeons, residents, advanced practice providers) and the nursing and support staff on 5G, the Center will be designed as a comfortable and stimulating environment for patients and family members. It will be equipped with furniture and a diverse selection of activities, including word searches, DVDs, CDs, puzzles and games, adult coloring books, and musical instruments. The center will be staffed 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.


Intended Outcomes

The goal of the Center is to increase cognitive and physical stimulation for patients and to increase family involvement during the hospital stay. Other goals include preventing delirium, improving staff/family perception of the care of geriatric trauma patients, preventing hospital acquired conditions (such as falls, pressure ulcers, blood clots, dehydration, and pneumonia), maintaining function (walking, performing activities of daily living), and decreasing the length of stay.