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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Living With Dementia as a Family

Dr. Ruth Westheimer discusses impact of dementia on caregiving partners

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, PhD's picture
Dr. Ruth Kandel
Dr. Ruth Kandel

In 2011, Dr. Ruth Westheimer came to NewBridge on the Charles for Hebrew SeniorLife’s College of Retirement Living.  During her visit, she met with Hebrew SeniorLife Dementia Research, Medical and Care Team and interviewed them for the book she was then writing “Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver: How to Care for Your Loved One without Getting Overwhelmed…and Without Doing it All Yourself.”  Dr. Ruth recognized the HSL team with a special thank you in the Acknowledgements section of the book. 

Two of those professionals who contributed to Dr. Ruth’s book were Tara Fleming- Caruso, psychotherapist and Marketing Manager for the Assisted Living Community at NewBridge, and Dr. Ruth Kandel, MD, Geriatrician for Hebrew SeniorLife.  What follows is an interview between Tara, Dr. Kandel and Dr. Ruth regarding Dr. Ruth’s book and what Tara and Dr. Kandel believe to be some of the most pertinent information contained therein. 

The interview questions and answers will comprise a series of posts on our blog over the next two weeks.

If you enjoyed this content, we encourage you to let us know by sharing your own story in the blog comments below, by filling out our “Tell Us Your Story” form, or by leaving a comment on our Facebook page

Dr. Ruth Kandel:  Depression? Anxiety? Guilt? Burn out? What are some of the most common feelings you have heard caregivers express when they talk about dementia?

Dr. Ruth: I've heard them all, but here's the important point: it doesn't matter what others are experiencing. My least favorite word is normal. People are always asking me if this or that is normal. Who cares? If you're in a caregivers group and you're the only one gripped with a certain emotion, don't let that make you feel strange. They're your emotions and they stem from your unique background and mental makeup. So the important thing is to pay attention to your own feelings and deal with them. Don't worry about whether you are feeling the same things others may be. 

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Renowned Psychosexual Therapist

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a renowned psychosexual therapist whose straightforward approach to sex and relationship advice has made her an American icon for decades. In addition to having appeared in every form of media, she is the author of 36 books including her latest “Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver” 

To learn more about Dr. Ruth, visit her website www.drruth.com

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