The Partnership for Sepsis and Aging (TPSA)

Sepsis is a disproportionate threat to older adults.
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

The Partnership for Sepsis and Aging (TPSA)
Sepsis Alliance, along with its partners, The New York State Office for the Aging, the Association on Aging, and the Home Care Association of New York State, have been working hard in New York to reduce the impact and burden of sepsis, and to raise awareness among communities of older adults and the healthcare professionals who serve them.

A national effort is needed for increased education and awareness of sepsis and for improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in older adults. No one is better positioned to lead this movement than state aging departments, local aging network providers, and health and social services partners working in partnership with Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s first and leading sepsis patient advocacy organization.

To help mobilize this national aging effort, Sepsis Alliance, along with state aging leaders, is establishing The Partnership for Sepsis and Aging (TPSA) to share resources across stakeholders, invite and encourage collaboration, and discover gaps in education and care.  TPSA will be comprised of state aging office leaders who will support and coordinate their local aging services network’s efforts toward sepsis education, prevention, and service system intervention for older individuals, including collaboration with health care professionals and other partner organizations in their states and communities.

Sepsis Facts:

  • Sepsis impacts 1.7 million individuals and families (one every 90 seconds) and takes the lives of 350,000 adults in the U.S. each year.
  • 87% of all sepsis cases are community acquired.
  • Sepsis is the #1 cost of hospital and skilled nursing care in the U.S. at $62 billion each year.
  • Sepsis is the #1 cause of death in hospitals (35%).
  • Sepsis is preventable (infection prevention is sepsis prevention) and treatable in most cases with early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Black and other non-white populations have nearly twice the incidence of sepsis as white individuals.

Sepsis and Older Adults:

  • Sepsis disproportionately impacts older adults with more than 70% of cases occurring in individuals aged 60 or older.
  • Adults aged 65 and older are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized with sepsis than people younger than 65.
  • Older sepsis survivors (65+) experience on average 1 to 2 new limitations on activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, managing money) after hospitalization and are 3 times as likely to suffer moderate to severe cognitive impairment.
  • Older adults are twice as likely to require a readmission to a hospital including 40% of older patients.
  • Nursing home residents are 6 times more likely to present with sepsis in the emergency department.
  • Nursing home residents are over 6 times more likely to present with sepsis in the emergency department.

TPSA’s aim is to save lives and improve health outcomes by working together as state aging leaders and partners to help ensure that each state’s aging network of providers and service organizations are prepared to combat this major public health problem. TPSA seeks to equip the local aging networks with the educational materials and point-of-service tools they can incorporate into their practices to maximize sepsis prevention, screening, and early identification, as well as develop systems for prompt entry into care for this life-threatening condition.

Our Vision – A nation in which older adults are sepsis-aware, and their caregivers and government agencies are trained and responsive to their community’s risk of sepsis and the rapid intervention necessary to prevent severity, shock, and/or death from sepsis.

Our Mission – To improve the health and well-being of the nation’s older adults by improving sepsis awareness, prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment, including support for the millions of sepsis survivors who may face significant struggles in their recovery.

Program activities are anticipated to include, but not be limited to:

  1. Regular virtual (and in-person) meetings of TPSA to ensure communication to and feedback from members across the states;
  2. Dissemination of public, patient, and caregiver education materials;
  3. Dissemination of healthcare professional training materials, as well as point-of-care screening and intervention protocols and tools;
  4. Development of a resource hub that can be accessed by all members;
  5. Development of new education and training materials based on needs and opportunities across the states;
  6. Establishment of a research agenda to identify gaps in our understanding of sepsis and its impact on older adults;
  7. Establishment of Quality Improvement programs that can be implemented in care settings across the nation (e.g. skilled nursing facilities, home health, rehabilitation centers) including better coordination of health system partners in timely and effective sepsis response;
  8. Policy briefings and advocacy action on matters important to the health of older adults.

3 Year Goals:

  1. Expand TPSA membership to more than 100 participants representing at least 25 states;
  2. Distribute sepsis education to more than 1 million older adults;
  3. Raise national awareness of sepsis among adults 55+ to 75% (from 69%);
  4. Train more than 10,000 healthcare professionals on sepsis and aging clinical guidelines and tools for intervention;
  5. Convene research roundtables on sepsis and aging and publish a whitepaper on the findings
  6. Develop Quality Improvement initiatives for relevant points of care including skilled nursing, home health, rehabilitation, senior centers, and EMS.


Suggested Citation:
Sepsis Alliance. Sepsis and Aging. 2023.

Sepsis Alliance. Sepsis Fact Sheet. 2023.  

How can individuals and organizations participate?

Aging organizations and interested individuals can join The Partnership for Sepsis and Aging as a free member.

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For sponsorship and other information contact Sepsis Alliance CEO, Thomas Heymann, at