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health care & seniors

A Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care Volunteer Tells His Story

September 16, 2015

A Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care Volunteer Tells His Story

Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care volunteer Bill Shulman comes from a family with deep roots in Boston’s Jewish Community and a connection to Hebrew SeniorLife that spans generations. I sat down with him recently to learn about his experience as a hospice volunteer.

JD: There are many volunteer opportunities in Boston. What motivated you to become an HSL Hospice Care volunteer?

A Holiday Message of Love and Acceptance for LGBT Seniors

Rabbi Sara reflects on the changes in LGBT care

September 9, 2015

A Holiday Message of Love and Acceptance for LGBT Seniors

Yom Kippur is referred to in the book of Leviticus as sabbath of sabbaths, and the double use of the word communicates a completely restful Shabbat, the Shabbat of all Shabbats. Rosh Hashana, the 7 days in between, and Yom Kippur are a time of reflecting on our lives. We literally pause, stop in our tracks, to assess, and recalibrate. The prayers, songs, and time in community are all ways to support our process of deep reflection — and in that time of suspension, we experience what the Torah understands to be a Shabbat shabbaton, a time of complete rest.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

How you can prevent and treat a common cause of vision loss

September 2, 2015

Vision loss is a common concern for my patients as they get older, and something that I discuss often with the residents I see at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. One of the most common causes of vision loss for those over age 60 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It accounts for 90 percent of new cases of legal blindness in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know to recognize, prevent, and treat AMD.

Making Sense of Delirium and Improving Life for Older Adults

August 5, 2015

Making Sense of Delirium and Improving Life for Older Adults

As a newly trained attending physician, I vividly remember several patients who became extremely confused during their stay at the hospital. They were disoriented, and had problems with attention and memory. I realized that something was wrong. What was causing their confusion? They were all older adults and had been admitted for different conditions such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, and cancer.

Philanthropy at Hebrew SeniorLife Changes the Lives of Seniors

Donors H.E.L.P. Build a Lifeline for Employees

July 23, 2015

Philanthropy at Hebrew SeniorLife Changes the Lives of Seniors

First in a series of occasional blog posts highlighting Hebrew SeniorLife donors who are redefining the experience of aging through their generosity.

Four years ago, Hebrew SeniorLife Board Member Harold Kotler found himself at Hebrew Rehabilitation

Center in Boston—but this time, as a patient.

Harold chose HRC Boston for his rehab from back surgery partly because he wanted first-hand experience with the care that he had heard so much about. “The care was wonderful,” Harold recalls. “It’s amazing the work and effort that goes into every person’s job—they do it out of love.”

ACO Partnerships in Senior Living

How partnerships with Accountable Care Organizations benefit HSL seniors

March 19, 2015

ACO Partnerships in Senior Living

The ACO playbook you need today. This is the title of the panel discussion I served on at the recent Senior Living 100 Leadership Conference. Senior Living 100 is the annual destination for the nation’s most progressive senior living organizations, and it was a privilege to represent HSL.

Joining me on the panel were a trio of senior living leaders, who, like us are charged with addressing the monumental changes being fostered by health care and payment reform. We each shared and discussed our respective health care environments, goals, approaches and challenges in creating meaningful relationships with Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs for short.

Living with Dementia: Complementary and Alternative Therapies

March 11, 2015

Living with Dementia: Complementary and Alternative Therapies

As dementia progresses, brain cells are damaged, causing cognitive symptoms to worsen. While current medications cannot stop disease progression, they may help lessen or stabilize symptoms for a time by boosting certain chemicals involved in carrying messages among the brain's nerve cells. However, these drugs have unwanted side effects, or have little effect in some individuals. Given no cure and limited treatment available, it is no surprise that there is high public interest in complementary and alternative therapies when it comes to treating dementia.

Depression in Seniors: Reversing the Downward Spiral

Innovative program uses activity to improve mood

February 11, 2015

Depression in Seniors: Reversing the Downward Spiral

Nearly one in five Americans over the age of 65 struggles with depression, which can be a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Social isolation, illness and the loss of loved ones can all trigger or worsen depression, as can certain medications.

Center Communities of Brookline, one of HSL’s supportive housing communities, recently implemented a depression management program that delivers treatment, support and hope to seniors. The program, developed by Baylor College of Medicine, has been shown to reduce the severity of depression symptoms in older adults.

Senior Health Care at HSL in 2014

Looking back on a great year for health care services at Hebrew SeniorLife

January 13, 2015

Senior Health Care at HSL in 2014

In the United States, the 65-year-old and older population is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050. These seniors will need more services than are currently available.  And perhaps more important, they also bring expectations: a desire that their senior years should and can be lived to the fullest.

At Hebrew SeniorLife, we are committed to honoring the wishes of our elders. In fact, honoring and respecting our seniors is rooted in our 108-year history and in our mission. 

As I look back on 2014, I am extremely proud of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and the accomplishments that have furthered our mission and prepared us for the future.     

Choosing a specialist for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease

January 8, 2015

Choosing a specialist for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia, is a chronic brain disease characterized by the progressive deterioration of memory, language, visual perception and activities of daily living.

If you have a loved one with memory problems, it’s important to see a clinician who has expertise in Alzheimer’s to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. That may be the patient’s primary care physician, or the PCP may refer you to a specialist. Neurologists and geriatricians are two types of specialists who diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

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