I find my work with older adults to be rewarding on so many levels. It is a privilege to be invited into an individual’s life and truly make a difference in how he or she experiences this important stage in the aging process. I have worked in assisted living for more than 19 years and have experienced the power the arts has in giving a voice to seniors who struggle with cognitive decline. I’m thrilled to share an opportunity for professionals, to learn more about the role the arts can play in the lives of people living with dementia and to share their own stories. We’ve designed an outstanding conference for eldercare professionals entitled: ARTZ and Dementia: Innovation, Inclusion & Creative Expression.
Hebrew SeniorLife spoke with Ellen Goodman on Friday, September 14 about her involvement in our upcoming College of Retirement Living event “You & Your Aging Parents: A Lifelong Approach to Health, Wellness & Care” and her co-sponsorship with Hebrew SeniorLife of The Conversation Project. She shared her thoughts with us on these projects and topics below:
You and Your Aging Parents: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care
Session 1 brings together authors and experts who will help families understand the changes aging brings to their lives. Session 2 will help educate them with information and tools to help plan for lifelong health, wellness and care. Anyone who purchases a ticket can bring a family member or loved one for no additional charge.
Stay connected-and we don’t just mean online! Research has shown that maintaining social engagement with people contributes to longer and healthier lives. A study conducted by Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research showed survival rates among socially active long-term care patients were greater than they were for those who were not.
You can build your social network of friends and family by setting a goal of getting out of the house regularly.
Here are a few ideas I share with seniors about how they can make that happen:
The benefits of walking are well known, especially when it comes to seniors. Because of this, NewBridge on the Charles makes it easy for residents to include walking as a part of their daily routine. Thanks to some smart designing, walking at NewBridge is much more than putting one foot in front of the other.
Food for our residents is more important than ever. Not only does it need to be nutritious, it needs to be tasty and appealing to the eye. Sal Filetti, Director of Food and Beverage at NewBridge on the Charles, took on the challenge of developing and implementing a “food philosophy” which will guide his department in meeting the needs and desires of NewBridge residents. I recently sat down with him for a quick Q and A on what this means:
While many retirement communities only provide regular exercise classes and fitness equipment, the Vitalize360 program at Orchard Cove goes further by providing individualized fitness programs for its residents.
When I first came to work at NewBridge on the Charles, it was a construction site, evolving every day. I just couldn’t imagine how we would meet the challenges of creating a state-of-the-art senior living option as I walked through the unfinished buildings in a hard hat.