When it comes to LGBT elders, “most 90-year-olds have lived silent hidden lives.” This is one of the reasons that Rev. Mary Martha Thiel created a one-of-a-kind chaplaincy education unit, Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders. It’s part of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program she directs at Hebrew SeniorLife. “We’re not aware of any other CPE program with a unit focused just on the needs of the elder LGBT community,” says Mary Martha.
Reflecting on my first blog where I talked about why I became a hospice nurse, I describe how gratifying it is to care for others at this special and tender part of life—that just being there for patients and their family members means so much to them. In turn, I have learned so many important lessons from them about life—what’s important, what is not, and what brings true contentment.
For the past two years, registered Dance/Movement Therapist Whitney L. DiGeronimo, MA, R-DMT, has been a member of the Expressive Therapies Department at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. I recently spoke with her about her role and the “Dance for Parkinson’s” class now offered on-site to HRC residents at our Boston and Dedham locations.
Tell us about your professional background and training, and your role at HRC?
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC) offers stroke support groups in Dedham and Boston. Patients recovering from a stroke and preparing for discharge from one of our post acute care units or from one of our partner hospitals, like Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, are encouraged to get involved.
Delirium is a state of confusion that develops suddenly, often following an acute medical illness, a surgical procedure or a hospitalization. Although delirium is estimated to complicate hospital stays for more than 2.5 million older adult patients in the U.S. each year, this common condition often goes undetected. The end result can be serious complications with sometimes devastating consequences for vulnerable hospitalized elders.