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Sharing new thoughts on aging.

innovation & future of aging

Clinical Dietitians at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Introduce Nutrition Focused Physical Exams into Patient Care

December 1, 2017

For centuries, Italian grandmothers have been telling us that food is medicine for the soul. And more recently, clinical dietitians have started telling us that food is medicine for the body as well. To prove this, clinical dietitians are using a new tool called the Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (NFPE) which serves to develop a person’s nutritional profile, and can help clinical dietitians identify and treat harmful deficiencies.

We spoke with Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s Clinical Dietitian Kathleen Horrigan, MDA, RD, LDN to learn more about this important new skill and how it impacts the well-being of older patients.

What is a Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (NFPE)?

New Clinical Trials Website Guides Aging Researchers, Improving Senior Health

IFAR researchers provide clinical trials expertise

September 25, 2017

Residents at one of HSL's senior living communities practice tai chi

The Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) is one of the few research institutions in the country translating clinical and health services research discoveries into interventions that improve the experience of aging.

“Most advances in medicine come from clinical trials,” says Susan Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., senior scientist and director of Palliative Care Research at IFAR. “But many of the interventions that we are examining can be more complex than testing a pill,” she explains.

Sarcopenia: What is it, and who will it affect?

New study from the Institute for Aging Research finds hereditary link to muscle mass

September 25, 2017

The underlying cause of extreme loss of muscle mass could be hereditary

Every morning I wake up and stare inquisitively at myself in the mirror. And every morning, someone who looks alarmingly like my mother stares right back.

Now to be fair, I’ve always born a striking resemblance to my mom, though it seems to intensify with each passing day. She and I also share similar voices, similar handwriting, and the same inability to turn down anything made with chocolate.

And now, according to researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) along with several other institutions, my mother and I will most likely share similar chances of developing sarcopenia in our later years.

Discussing Brain Stimulation to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

June 7, 2017

Dr. Manor with a patient

When you think about how to prevent falls, strength exercises or adaptive shoes may come to mind. There’s another fall prevention method that we are coming to learn more about through work at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research (IFAR). IFAR researchers, under the leadership of scientist Brad Manor, Ph.D., director of the Mobility and Brain Function Lab, have uncovered a mind-body connection related to fall prevention by improving balance with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques. Watch Dr. Manor describe this correlation in the video below.  

Age is just a number. It’s your DNA that counts.

Could DNA hold the secret to how we age?

March 22, 2017

Could DNA hold the secret to how we age?

My grandfather lived to be 96-years-old, surviving mostly on red wine and M&Ms. He started smoking a pipe before World War II, and probably never saw the inside of a gym. He outlived two wives and one girlfriend, and died peacefully in his bed—without ever succumbing to an injury, illness or disability.

Many of us have a relative like this—a legendary figure who defies all odds in the race against time. And on the flip side, almost all of us have firsthand knowledge of someone on the opposite end of the spectrum – who ate all the right foods, never smoked, and exercised daily— only to die young, sometimes seemingly out of the blue.

A Voice for the Voiceless

Assistive communication devices are improving quality of life for seniors in our care

March 1, 2017

Assistive communication devices are improving quality of life for seniors in our care

Famed motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “effective communication is 20% what you know, and 80% how you feel about what you know.” For those facing health care decisions at the end of their lives, effectively communicating how they feel can be hard; and for those trying to do so without a voice, it can be next to impossible.

Many seniors facing end-of-life decisions are battling conditions that render them speechless, and sometimes, too weak to rely on handwritten words. For example, a person diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) may be unable to express their wishes in conventional ways due to complications related to their illness. This can be a huge challenge for the patient, the patient’s family, and the medical team charged with providing care.

Nursing Education Training Manual Shares Model for Innovative Intergenerational Collaboration

February 22, 2017

Nursing students from Curry College with an HSL community resident

At Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), we are always on the lookout for opportunities to bring seniors and young people together to build relationships and shatter stereotypes. We’re also deeply invested in training future generations of senior care providers. So when the opportunity came along to build a program that would combine the two, we jumped at the chance.

Institute for Aging Research Scientists Contribute to Dementia Care Best Practices

Aging research helps directly inform treatment care of elderly patients

September 28, 2016

Susan L. Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H. Senior Scientist and Director of Palliative Care Research Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Recently, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) highlighted the dramatic decrease in feeding tube use by patients with end stage dementia over the last 15 years.

Envisioning the Future of Senior Living Communities: Design and Accessibility

An Interview with Architect Martin Siefering

September 7, 2016

The Future of Senior Living Design

Earlier this year Hebrew SeniorLife Communities sponsored the “Senior Living Communities of the Future Forum” at NewBridge on the Charles as an opportunity for our residents’ adult children to hear from experts in their fields on the future of senior living communities.

We sought insights to some of their most significant concerns as they relate to aging as well as important questions about their vision of the life they want to lead in later years. Concerns such as:

IFAR Researchers Investigate Potential New Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

August 4, 2016

IFAR Researchers Investigate Potential New Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

When Josephine Pina of Boston spotted an ad in the Metro newspaper seeking individuals who had difficulty with thinking and who moved slower than usual, she immediately contacted the staff at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew Senior Life. They were investigating the link between brain function, balance and falls in older adults. “I wanted to be part of the study and to see what the brain does at 67 years old,” she said.

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