My connection to Hebrew SeniorLife extends beyond my residency at NewBridge on the Charles, a senior community of Hebrew SeniorLife. As a former Hebrew SeniorLife Board Chair, the concept of ReAge is near and dear to my heart. ReAge is best realized when community members are able to support the concept and the organization as a whole. ReAge thrives because members of the Hebrew SeniorLife community, both residents and supporters, are sending a message about how we look at aging and how we adapt to the changing needs of our community.
Women outlive men by of average of five years in the United States. The typical lifespan of an American woman is 81 years old, while the average for a man is 76. This may seem like a large chasm of time, but the five year gap is actually the smallest gap in lifespan in almost thirty years!
Ten thousand people are turning 65 every day. The need for geriatric leaders in healthcare will only continue to grow. As the only senior care organization affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, we are in a unique position to fulfill the promise of ReAge through all aspects of aging.
What is so scary about hearing loss? Everyone gets a little hearing problem as they age, right? Well….yes. Most people do acquire age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, as they get older. Untreated hearing loss, however, can be a scary thing! Its onset is usually slow and gets worse gradually, making it easy to ignore until much damage is already done.
Research out of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, presents us with evidence of some frightening correlations between hearing loss and its subsequent effect on cognitive brain function.
The senior years can be the best years of an individual’s life. I see evidence of this truth every day in our senior housing communities. It’s all about embracing what is still possible from forging new relationships, to learning new skills, to simply enjoying interests that may have taken a back burner earlier in life. In my role as executive director at Orchard Cove, I support our residents to renew, reinvent and rediscover their interests while living a life reflective of an engaging and healthy lifestyle.
Volunteerism among seniors is on the rise. A report released by the Administration on Aging noted that the number of volunteers age 65+ increased by 1.4 million people in a seven year span. There are many good reasons behind the jump. Older adults today are on average better off than those in the past. Their better financial standing and higher levels of education may be playing a role in their willingness to serve the community.
As part of Hebrew SeniorLife’s commitment to change the way we view aging (the concept of ReAge), we have focused a lot of attention on maximizing the independence of our patients. We do this by offering personalized care that tailors a care management plan to fit the very specific needs of each patient. In a word, we are reengineering health care.
Today, our nation is entering uncharted territory. An unprecedented number of seniors will want, need, and deserve more services than are currently available. Coupled with the increased need for services are rising expectations that reflect a desire and determination to live senior years to their fullest. This new reality makes our commitment to seniors more relevant than ever. We are an organization uniquely qualified to transform the experience of aging in America.
I’ve worked in the senior care field for almost 20 years. I continue to be amazed by the role art can play in enhancing life for seniors. It’s fair to say that art is a part of life at Hebrew SeniorLife. And as an employee, I get to enjoy it as well!