On a gentle spring morning, the Charles River winds and flows its way through the 100-acre nature preserve on the NewBridge on the Charles campus, quiet but for frogs on the shore and birds in the air at this time of year.
In 2014 three million (9%) U.S. households with seniors age 65 and older experienced food insecurity; 1.2 million that live alone also experienced food insecurity, according to the non-profit organization Feeding America. Poverty and food insecurity has been increasing in Massachusetts affecting more seniors than ever before.
Many seniors want to continue to live a life of purpose in retirement and have turned to volunteering to satisfy that desire. The medical community recognizes the benefits of charitable work to enhance the physical, spiritual, and mental stimulation of older adults.
Today’s technology entrepreneurs are rapidly responding to the many market opportunities for seniors and their caregivers, such as managing their health, living independently and maintaining family and social connections. Yet many technologies that come to market were not developed in collaboration with seniors and go on to fail because the promised functionality more often just produces frustration.
As we age pursuing a lifestyle of health and wellness is directly related to how we live our lives and less related to being free of disease. The residents at Hebrew SeniorLife’s senior living communities take a proactive approach to living life to its fullest with the highest possible levels of physical, social and emotional engagement. This is achieved by setting supported goals through the Vitalize360TM program for improving all aspects of one’s wellness.
Residents aren’t the only ones with green thumbs at NewBridge on the Charles. In addition to the raised communal garden beds situated around our campus, one large plot is set aside each spring just for our culinary team. There, fresh produce is grown to supplement our kitchen’s “farm to fork” offerings with vegetables, lettuces and herbs.
We were so fortunate a few weeks ago to have Ari Seth Cohen present his documentary, Advanced Style at NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham as a part of our “Remarkable People, Remarkable Performances” program series. What makes Ari remarkable is his attitude and appreciation of older women. Ari is a young man – just 32 years old – who celebrates the beauty of aging through his photography, his blog and, now, his documentary.
As children we may look up to our fathers as superheroes. As we age, we realize our fathers are not invincible, but human with their own personal stories of how they overcame the most difficult challenges in their own lives. The Bussgang men, including NewBridge on the Charles resident Julian, and his father, Jozef (now deceased), survived many challenges in their lives. Julian’s own son, Jeff, applied that same determination to succeed and achieve many accomplishments in his life as well.
Professor Anna Ornstein stood at the front of the room to help frame an extraordinary day at Hebrew SeniorLife. In her presence were eleven wounded Israeli soldiers who had been on the front lines of battleserving their country.