The creative arts are a way of life for the many resident artists who live in Hebrew SeniorLife’s independent living community at Orchard Cove. Our residents are always seeking new ways to stay active, keep social and remain creatively engaged. A variety of research documents show the value of creative stimulation to enhance cognition, improve wellness and foster interaction between seniors.
In this season of graduations, I was privileged to attend the ceremony honoring Boston-based Hebrew SeniorLife’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program’s class of 2015. I was moved by the depth of compassion and humility expressed by the graduates as they shared reflections on their experiences as CPE students. Their stories poignantly illustrated what it means to be part of a faith-based organization.
“Aging in Place” is an often-used phrase in senior services. Many senior product and service companies have designed their offerings around this concept. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we have adopted a somewhat different philosophy – “seniors living their best life in the right place at the right time”—that we consider to be a step beyond aging in place.
Early on many Friday mornings at NewBridge on the Charles, resident Roz Holt can be found in the lobby waiting for her daughter, Judy Klein, to arrive from her home in Canton so they can start their rounds of special deliveries to friends and neighbors throughout the campus. When Judy’s small van pulls up, she begins to carry in her loaves of homemade challah, still warm and fragrant from the oven. Challah, a loaf of yeast-risen egg bread, is a traditional Shabbat dinner food and often a centerpiece of many a holiday or ceremonial occasion in Jewish life.
“Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender older people who fought the first battles for equality now face so much fear of discrimination, bullying and abuse that many are hiding their lives to survive. Thousands are dying earlier than their straight counterparts because they are isolated and afraid to ask for help.” This quote was excerpted from the movie Gen Silent, a film by Stu Maddox.
When new residents arrive at Orchard Cove, members of the Coffee Klatch typically appear at their doorstep as a welcome wagon into the community. The Coffee Klatch is known to residents of Orchard Cove as the place to meet new faces and make new friends. For club members, it’s more than just a cup of coffee and a chance to catch up. The club exemplifies the efforts of residents and staff to maintain a sense of community and makes Orchard Cove a welcoming place for all. Watch the video below to hear Orchard Cove residents describe their experiences as members of the Coffee Klatch.
This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook.
The ACO playbook you need today. This is the title of the panel discussion I served on at the recent Senior Living 100 Leadership Conference. Senior Living 100 is the annual destination for the nation’s most progressive senior living organizations, and it was a privilege to represent HSL.
Joining me on the panel were a trio of senior living leaders, who, like us are charged with addressing the monumental changes being fostered by health care and payment reform. We each shared and discussed our respective health care environments, goals, approaches and challenges in creating meaningful relationships with Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs for short.
At Hebrew SeniorLife we know that pairing seniors with students creates endless possibilities for meaningful connections that change lives. Students often volunteer at HSL to fill community service requirements—providing support in our sites, and bringing smiles to the faces of residents throughout the HSL network. Sometimes the connections between students and residents run deep, and we witness powerful interactions between our young volunteers and the residents they have befriended. Such was the case with our series of intergenerational programs launched in late February and early March centered around Black History Month and the anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery Civil Rights March.
Nearly one in five Americans over the age of 65 struggles with depression, which can be a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Social isolation, illness and the loss of loved ones can all trigger or worsen depression, as can certain medications.
Center Communities of Brookline, one of HSL’s supportive housing communities, recently implemented a depression management program that delivers treatment, support and hope to seniors. The program, developed by Baylor College of Medicine, has been shown to reduce the severity of depression symptoms in older adults.