It’s the summer of 2017 and a new group of students has arrived on Hebrew SeniorLife’s Boston campus. They are part of HSL’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, and all are eager to learn about spiritual care as it relates to aging, illnesses of aging, family caregivers, bioethical decision-making, dying, and bereavement and share their newfound knowledge with their local communities.
Visiting a long-term chronic care hospital is always a good idea. Daily activities and group programming are some of the first things family members ask about when exploring long-term chronic care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston or Dedham, MA. They want to know how their loved one will spend his or her days. On tours, visitors can explore the amenities available and witness seniors and staff engage. They can join patients taking part in group activities, including exercise programs, creative arts, expressive therapies, and discussion groups.
You’ve been with Hebrew SeniorLife for several years. Can you share a little about your background and your career at HSL?
I came to Boston from Spain on a Fulbright scholarship to do a masters-level viola performance degree at New England Conservatory. In Boston, I discovered the incredible world of music therapy and the field fascinated me. I found that the combination of science and art was a calling and a home for me in a way I never experienced as a performer or teacher. I then earned a second master’s degree in expressive art therapy at Lesley University and became a licensed mental health counselor.
Eileen began searching for senior care for her mother with one goal in mind: To find the best, high-quality medical care to meet her mother’s needs. Senior care presents many options, each offering something slightly different. Eileen was vaguely familiar with nursing homes and assisted living. Further research introduced her to long-term chronic care. Would this level of care be the best choice for her mother, who could not return home after a hospital stay? How is it different from nursing home care?
Long-term chronic care is a higher level of medical care not found in traditional long-term care settings or nursing homes. It combines comprehensive therapeutic programs and clinical services for seniors with chronic and sometimes complex diagnoses.
Hebrew SeniorLife has long valued the connection between mind and body, with much of our Institute for Aging Research work focusing on how brain function is linked to fall risk and mobility and investigating how an activity like Tai Chi can benefit older adults. Christina Rice, our director of fitness at NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts, was inspired by programs that combine physical and cognitive exercise together.
On Saturday, June 10th, Hebrew SeniorLife was proud to celebrate inclusivity and equality by participating in the Boston Pride Parade. About 30 HSL staff, their family members, and seniors marched under beautiful blue skies and with spirits high. HSL was honored to participate – and to sponsor the LGBT Senior Pride Coalition’s annual Silver Party for LGBT seniors earlier in the week – as part of our commitment to celebrating diversity and honoring LGBT elders.
Elder abuse and neglect is emerging as a critical public health issue. It is one of the most under-acknowledged and under-reported public health threats.
The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as a "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
It can be broken down into 5 distinctive types of abuse: