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When Hospice is the Right Choice

January 18, 2018

When Hospice is the Right Choice

Hospice care provides comfort and improves quality of life for many patients, but it is still underutilized even though the Medicare hospice benefit has been available to qualified patients since the early 1980s.

I recently sat down to a frank conversation with the Spiritual Director of Hebrew SeniorLife's Hospice Care, Rabbi Amy Goodman about the state of hospice care.

Do you think patients and their families are becoming more comfortable with choosing hospice care at end of life?

What's the Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living?

October 26, 2017

When researching a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, it’s all about finding the right place at the right time. Understanding the difference between options like independent and assisted living will help you determine what’s right for you and help you decide where you will live your best life.

Here are three ways independent and assisted living differ.

Care Management

Independent senior living communities focus first and foremost on serving the social needs of senior residents, with central communal areas, recreational programming and adjunct support services to address minor needs.

Seniors, How Often Do You Think About Health Care Decisions?

Hebrew SeniorLife partners with Mass. Coalition on Serious Illness Care to empower seniors on health care decisions

March 15, 2017

“What matters most?” That’s a question we should all ask ourselves from time to time. And it’s one that is easy to lose sight of in the rush and routine of day-to-day life. So every now and then, it’s wise to take a fresh look at our lives and our resources—be they time, energy or money—to make sure we are dedicating them in a way that aligns with our values, preferences, and life goals.

Caring for Elderly Parents? There’s an App for That

New InfoSAGE app will assist multiple family caregivers coordinate care of loved one

December 6, 2016

Caring for Elderly Parents? There’s an App for That

These days we rely on hand held devices to manage almost every aspect of our daily lives. Alarm clocks? Forget it. We wake up to the beeping of our phones. Maps? Gone. Siri can direct us anywhere we need to go. Whether we’re communicating with our loved ones, reading the daily news, or updating slides for our next meeting, we’re often doing it with the help of a mobile device.

Caring for our elders shouldn’t be any different. For this reason, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife teamed up with affiliates from Harvard Medical School and several other organizations to create a senior care coordination app called InfoSAGE.

Home for the Holidays: A Time to Observe, Converse and Connect with Aging Parents

November 23, 2016

Home for the Holidays

It’s no surprise that the holiday season can bring the passage of time into focus. As we catch up with relatives and friends we may not have seen over the course of the year, we notice the small changes in them that come with age. Even for those who see their family members regularly, the contrast of this year’s celebration to the last can make us all realize that we’re not getting any younger. And the older memories of childhood and holidays past usually contrast with the way things are today.

Senior Planning: 3 Ways to Avoid Crisis-Driven Assisted Living Decisions

August 3, 2016

Memory Care at Assisted Living at NewBridge on the Charles resident and her daughter.

Whether it’s a fall, a wandering episode, death of spouse, or loss of a dependable caregiver, too many families find themselves making decisions about assisted living in “crisis mode.” Up until turning points like these, there is often some level of denial about the possibility that a more supportive living environment could someday be needed. Yet beginning a search for assisted living at such a moment is far from ideal. Any preparation you can do in advance is a gift you provide for your family, whether planning for yourself or for a loved one’s potential future needs. 

Benefits of Mobility Aids: When Is It Time for a Walker, Cane or Wheelchair?

June 22, 2016

When is it time for a walker, cane or wheelchair?

As parents, watching our children take their first steps is one of the proudest, most gratifying moments imaginable. As adult children, watching our parents begin to lose their footing is one of the most concerning. Those who find themselves at this juncture are often left wondering what to do and where to turn for more information.

To help with this dilemma, we’ve asked Timothy Parke, Rehab Clinical Supervisor at Orchard Cove and a Board Certified Specialist in geriatric physical therapy to answer some fundamental questions about assistive devices.

Long-term Chronic Care Patient Blossomed at HRC Dedham

Son of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Dedham patient shares his experience

January 13, 2016

Esther Taube was a patient at HRC Dedham for three years until September 2015.

I recently sat down with Bill Taube whose mother, Esther, blossomed as a patient at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Dedham (HRC Dedham). Bill’s mother moved to HRC Dedham three years earlier and was at the time,  “Angry at the world and depressed.” 

Before moving to HRC Dedham, she was so depressed that she would not even visit the hairdresser, a long held Saturday morning ritual. Bill was concerned that perhaps his mother would not adjust well to a move and grow only more despondent. Carol Westheimer, Esther’s geriatric care manager, pushed for the change and recommended HRC Dedham as a good match. “Carol was right,” says Bill. 

4 Resources for Family Caregivers

August 27, 2015

4 Resources for Family Caregivers

Taking care of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease and/or a related dementia can be as exhausting as it is meaningful. Both physically and emotionally, caregiving takes a toll that we can all appreciate. Occasional breaks – whether for a few hours, a day, or a week or more – are important in order to recharge. Family caregivers need rest and support in order to continue to provide the best possible care to loved ones.

There are many supports available for family caregivers:

Families Appreciate CNAs at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston

Highlighting the great work of one of HRC’s Certified Nursing Assistants

July 9, 2015

Families appreciate CNAs at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston

I saw Pat a few months ago on one of her many visits to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. It was a beautiful spring day and she was visiting her mother so they could take in the sunshine together. I sought her out because I wanted to ask her to elaborate on feedback she sent in about Nomfundo Woods Mzamo, a certified nursing assistant at HRC, who she nominated for the “Hebrew SeniorLife ROCKS*” award.

Pat was happy to speak with me at length about the care Nomfundo has provided her mother throughout her time living at HRC. The first thing Pat told me is that Nomfundo has empathy, which she believes is very important.

You can improve the lives of seniors today, and for generations to come.

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