Healthy eating and physical activity are important at any age, but they can be critical to prevent the development and progression of chronic disease in older adults. Our Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults™ program helps participants better manage their health through nutrition and activity.
Most program participants have one or more chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. But the program also benefits individuals who have been healthy and active throughout their lives and want to be more proactive about wellness.
In the hands of dozens of Hebrew SeniorLife residents are magical technological devices that offer opportunities to view, reflect, connect, peek, play, explore and learn. iPads and other forms of new technology are popping up more and more within our walls, often times gifted by family members. However, residents often struggle to make good use of them.
If you live or work at NewBridge on the Charles, one of Hebrew SeniorLife’s continuing care retirement communities, chances are you’ve noticed Irving Backman. Every morning, regardless of weather, Backman laces up a pair of Saucony sneakers, grabs his handheld radio and begins his daily run around our campus.
“I run in blizzards, ice storms and heat waves. I suppose the only thing that stopped me was not rain, but floods, when water is more than two inches deep.”
During the school year, NewBridge on the Charles resident and artist Gladys Sklar devotes one morning a week to one her favorite activities – volunteering as a classroom aide to art teacher Erica Smiley at the Rashi School on the NewBridge campus. She opens the classroom door to the greetings of children calling “Gigi!” as they reach for her hand to lead her towards their latest project.
It’s a highlight of Gladys’ week and makes her feel “really fantastic to have them so look forward to me coming to their classroom.”
“I enjoy just being there for them and for the teacher and sharing in their creativity. I consider all the children in the classroom my friends.”
At Hebrew SeniorLife communities, we believe friendship has the power to help our residents live healthier, happier lives. Our communities are hubs for many different types of friendship, friendships forged through common hobbies, experiences and along gender lines.
Friends are a precious commodity for us all, but especially for seniors. The love and companionship we enjoy with our friends make our lives emotionally richer, and research now shows that our friends can be powerful allies in helping us increase our longevity. For instance, data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Aging has shown that people age 70 or older with active social lives live 22% longer than those with less active social lives.
Lynda Bussgang is the Multigenerational Program Manager at Hebrew SeniorLife, responsible for overseeing and developing multigenerational programs for all of Hebrew Senior Life’s senior housing communities.
So, what’s a hashtag (#) and do apps grow on trees? The language of technology is taking over our world and it is growing increasingly difficult to keep up. “Selfie,” the act of taking photos of oneself to share on the Internet, is officially a new word in the dictionary. Learning new Internet lingo might not be worth all of the time and effort required, but many of the new apps (applications that are often free or inexpensively accessed on a Smartphone or tablet device) can, in fact, positively impact the lives of seniors.
Many programmers and organizations are making apps with seniors in mind. So many, in fact, that I can’t list them all but will share a few of my favorites to whet your appetite.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, the word ReAge expresses our commitment to redefining the aging experience and represents our mission to improve the quality of life for all seniors as they age. It means that we promote the independence of seniors and encourage their goals at all stages of life. But how does that translate into the daily life of the residents who live in a Hebrew SeniorLife continuing care retirement community? And what does it mean to be a ReAge community?