Rabbi Jim Morgan is rabbi and chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Center Communities of Brookline. He ran the Vermont City Marathon on May 29 to raise money for HSL’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, in which he recently completed his third unit of training. The CPE program trains rabbis, rabbinical and seminary students, leaders of many faiths, and qualified health care professionals to become chaplains.
Nursing students begin their careers with the understanding that caring for ill and frail people will include having a large population of seniors as their patients. And while caring for them in times of greatest need is vitally important, they often never have the opportunity to get to know patients as people and relate to their more specific medical needs associated with aging.
For patients who want to be home but need ongoing care that can't be managed by friends or family, home health care services can be invaluable. Patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, particularly benefit from receiving care in a familiar environment.
Flexibility, creativity, and consistency all come into play when providing home care services to this population: It's about promoting maximum independence while maintaining safety.
Generally, Medicare and managed care insurance will cover home care if there is a skilled need for services and the patient is homebound. Services typically include:
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s Adult Day Health Program, Great Days for Seniors serves a diverse group of older adults with a wide range of needs both medical and social. Together, the seniors make up an engaged community supported by an exceptional staff and funding from BNY Mellon as well as Hinda and Arthur Marcus. Hear what their family members have to say about Great Days for Seniors.
During his time as a chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Rabbi Herman J. Blumberg was known for his wisdom, kindness, and overwhelming compassion.
Rabbi Blumberg’s “passion project” was to establish a hospice service at HSL. He strongly believed that seniors in the local Jewish community, in particular, deserved better end-of-life care and that HSL was the perfect organization to provide that care. Thanks in no small part to Rabbi Blumberg’s commitment, HSL Hospice Care launched in 2013. He served as Rabbinic Director from the program’s inception to his retirement in 2015.
Identifying and effectively treating older patients who suffer from depression continues to be a challenge. Primary care providers (PCPs) tend to screen for and treat depression, and although well-intentioned, treatment in a primary care setting does not always yield the best outcome for older patients.
PCPs actually now screen patients for depression more often than they used to, however increased screening has not always led to better treatment. Depression in older adults can present differently than in younger patients, and PCPs who aren’t aware of that may underestimate the severity of depression in their older patients.
Dementia is one of several medical conditions associated with increased rates of depression. Depression in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, occurs in up to 25 percent of patients, and is more frequently diagnosed in patients with mild to moderate AD. Even higher rates of major depression have been linked to dementias associated with Parkinson’s disease and strokes.
About 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have trouble with their speech. Thanks to Lee Silverman Voice Technique, a voice therapy offered at Hebrew SeniorLife, Helene “Honey” Deutch, a Hebrew Rehabilitation Dedham patient living with Parkinson’s disease, has seen remarkable improvements in her ability to communicate with others. Along with being able to speak, Honey has regained her confidence and enjoys all that life has to offer.
What is good health? I think it’s safe to say that the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. To some it may mean the absence of disease. For others it may be effectively managing a chronic condition. But for many of us, good health involves a combination of physical, psychosocial and emotional well-being and the interplay between all three.