The senior years can be the best years of an individual’s life. I see evidence of this truth every day in our senior housing communities. It’s all about embracing what is still possible from forging new relationships, to learning new skills, to simply enjoying interests that may have taken a back burner earlier in life. In my role as executive director at Orchard Cove, I support our residents to renew, reinvent and rediscover their interests while living a life reflective of an engaging and healthy lifestyle. It’s important at any stage to set, and plan a course to achieving one’s goals.
As part of Hebrew SeniorLife’s commitment to change the way we view aging (the concept of ReAge), we have focused a lot of attention on maximizing the independence of our patients. We do this by offering personalized care that tailors a care management plan to fit the very specific needs of each patient. In a word, we are reengineering health care.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, care is delivered through a multidisciplinary team approach led by specialists, nurses, physical therapists, psychiatrists and spiritual workers—who all work to create an environment for each patient centered on achieving a maximum level of care. Our care transition model—which leads the way to redefining the experience of aging—serves to provide patients with care at the “right place, right time.”
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.
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. This groundbreaking approach—featured in a recent issue of the New York Times—takes the guesswork out of senior health and fitness and provides many benefits.
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.