Hebrew SeniorLife created the word ReAge to reflect the breadth and depth of services we offer: providing world-class health care; building innovative senior communities; funding groundbreaking research; and teaching future generations of geriatricians.

ReAge, a combination of “redefine” and “aging,” means to question everything about the aging process. Through ReAging, we are challenging conventions in order to create and implement new standard-of-care approaches that will positively impact the lives of older adults.

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Confronting the changes in your aging parents

You and Your Aging Parents

Robert Schreiber, M.D.'s picture
Robert Schreiber
Robert Schreiber

In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events. 

In addition, we published expert advice from the first program in an ebook, You and Your Aging Parents,” which Hebrew SeniorLife is offering as a free downloadable pdf. The discussion also inspired our “You and Your Aging Parents” blog series, a series that includes this blog post and covers the various issues and concerns you may encounter as you and your parent/s continue on the journey of aging.

If you are observant, involved in your parent’s life and know their patterns of behavior, you will know when things are changing.  If you observe changes that are of concern to you, ask your parents about the changes, whether they have seen their doctor about these changes and sought the doctor’s advice or recommendation.  If you feel it is significant, help them to schedule a doctor’s visit promptly.  The changes may be side effects of medication they are taking, and the doctor can make immediate adjustments, if that is the case. If they’re reluctant to go to the doctor because they’re avoiding hearing information or taking an action they are reluctant to accept, let them know that there are probably alternatives the doctor can recommend that can still improve their quality of life.

If your parents have multiple medical issues, it behooves both the child and the parent to visit the doctor’s office together and for the adult child to be another set of eyes and ears. It is always best for another person to go to the doctor’s office with the parent as it is difficult for older patients to always absorb and recall the information that is being presented.  If you can’t attend to hear and talk with the doctor firsthand, write down your questions for your parents to take with them which can help them frame a productive conversation with the doctor.

The Medicare benefit now allows for an annual wellness exam with a zero premium and no out-of-pocket costs for your parents.  If they haven’t been to the doctor, this is an annual opportunity for them to get a wellness assessment and create a wellness program with a doctor.  This exam can identify any issues, and at the very least, confirm that you’re on the right preventive path.

To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.

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Medical Director of Outpatient Primary Care Practice, Community-Based Programs, Innovation and Development

Robert Schreiber, M.D., provides oversight of the Hebrew SeniorLife Medical Group, which offers primary and specialty care services to older adults. He is also involved in promoting new initiatives, including new models of care at HSL's long-term care facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and senior housing sites. Prior to joining HSL, Dr. Schreiber served as chairman of geriatrics at Lahey Clinic and held leadership positions at several Boston area long-term care facilities. He is board certified...

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