This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
As both a spokesperson for Hebrew SeniorLife and from personal experience, I can attest that successfully navigating through our nation’s health care system can be daunting for older patients and their families. Making the transition between one care environment to another, or from one service to another, often leaves both patient and families feeling quite vulnerable. In my own case I had to step into the position of advocate unexpectedly and quickly when my Dad was admitted to the hospital with a very serious illness.
I discovered that I had a lot of reconnaissance work to do to help him navigate what felt like a minefield of acute, post-acute, primary care and home care services in Massachusetts. And, I was ill prepared to anticipate what can go wrong when communication breaks down or does not exist at all between providers. Even though I was familiar with the senior care landscape, I felt very much alone in the trenches as I tried to identify all of the providers involved with my Dad’s case—who knew what, what services were available and how I could piece it all together.
Hebrew SeniorLife leadership has recognized the problem that care transitions pose for older patients for some time now. In response they have developed a continuum of in-hospital care including post-acute and long-term care, as well as community health services delivered to seniors in their homes, whether residents in one of our senior living communities, or in the greater community. Although, Boston boasts a number of top quality housing and health care services for seniors, no one has a continuum quite as comprehensive as our continuum of care. With a history of caring for seniors that spans more than a century, Hebrew SeniorLife has earned a reputation for providing top quality long-term care. We bring that same quality and geriatric expertise to all of our services.
We understand that remaining independent can be challenging for older patients who are recovering from an acute illness or managing chronic conditions. Our experts in geriatric care, at any point along our continuum of health care services, can serve as your advocate, ensuring comfort and safety as you move from one service to another—one setting to another. Our providers get to know you and your family, and can help you access exactly the right care you need quickly and easily.
But don’t take my word for it. If you are struggling with health care decisions for yourself or a loved-one give us a call. At any one of our access points, an HSL expert will listen to your situation and guide you toward the right option. You may be surprised and encouraged to see that we offer an option that is just what you or your loved-one needs and can help you make the right choice for care at the right time, delivered in the right place.
We’d like to hear from you! Are you helping an older loved one navigate the health care system? Share your experiences with us by commenting below.
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