Older adults can manage pain in the comforts of home
November 5, 2013 Patricia O’Brien
Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care specializes in the care of older patients, and in my experience, the majority of my patients experience some degree of pain. It can range from mild, daily arthritic discomfort and stiffness to severe pain associated with surgery or trauma such as a fall, and in some cases, a disease like cancer or diabetes. Whatever the cause or level of severity, pain can cause a ripple effect that touches relationships and profoundly affects an individual’s quality of life.
The use of telehealth improves home care for seniors
October 24, 2013 Patricia O’Brien
Nothing can take the place of human touch when it comes to patient care. For those of us in home care, technology does not replace direct patient contact, but rather serves as a powerful ally. I like to say that technology known as telehealth enhances my team’s intelligence.
Dr. Susan Mitchell is a senior scientist at Hebrew SeniorLife whose pioneering research focuses on decision-making, health outcomes and resource utilization for older people near the end of life, particularly those with dementia. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mitchell about the motivation and vision behind her work.
Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard University joined with NBC correspondent and former “Today” show host Meredith Vieira to present the first annual Harvard Alzheimer’s Symposium on Saturday, September 28 in recognition of the Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies program.
People often tell me how hard it can be to feel connected to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, especially if he or she has advanced disease. The Alzheimer’s Buddies program is one example of how you can keep that connection alive by approaching it in a different way.
Ida Tatelbaum had never touched a paintbrush before she moved to Orchard Cove in 2009. “I was a tennis player and an active person, but I just didn’t consider myself creative,“ she said. And then one day shortly after she moved in, another resident invited her to join a class to make a hand-painted silk scarf. Ida initially thought “no way” but, because she has always loved wearing a lot of color, she reconsidered and joined in.
At Hebrew SeniorLife we recognize that for many of the seniors we serve, a sense of spiritual wellbeing is just as important to transforming the experience of aging as providing good medical care and innovative supportive living communities. As the Director of Religious Services, I work with a team that is devoted to providing spiritual support to our residents, resident families, and staff that responds to a broad spectrum of secular and religious traditions.
Have you noticed that acupuncture has been appearing in the media more and more over the past couple of years? Articles have graced the black and white pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and color spreads appeared in Time and Newsweek magazines. Television talk shows abound with info on how acupuncture is good for back pain, knee pain, and the nausea of chemotherapy.