In the United States, the 65-year-old and older population is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050. These seniors will need more services than are currently available. And perhaps more important, they also bring expectations: a desire that their senior years should and can be lived to the fullest.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, we are committed to honoring the wishes of our elders. In fact, honoring and respecting our seniors is rooted in our 108-year history and in our mission.
A 2009 study found that more than half of Americans over the age of 65 take 5 or more prescription drugs regularly and one in 4 seniors takes between 10 and 19 pills per day. And that the more medications a senior takes, the more room there is for error.
Ahhhhhh, the holidays are here, the sweet wonderful holidays. And we all know what that means… get togethers and sweet treats! I love this time of the year, but I know a lot of people dread it. Work parties, family gatherings, drinks with friends all can be a challenge on our belts. I try to tell my clients that this is what we train for. The holiday season is our Superbowl. My motto is we workout so we can enjoy our life, and part of enjoying life is being social and a big part of being social is eating and drinking with your family and friends. So enjoy it!
When I was in nursing school in the mid eighties, I had not yet attained influenza vaccination enlightenment, and in the middle of that winter season, I got the flu. What ensued was a week of being bedridden. I was unable to eat, drink or move. I was helpless. I had a high fever, body aches and the whole week was a complete blur, except for the one thing I remember very clearly. I was so sick, I came very close to asking my roommate to give me a Tylenol suppository. I was too embarrassed, so I suffered through it.
As the admissions counselor for Assisted Living at NewBridge on the Charles, I frequently talk to families of seniors about the advantages of an assisted living lifestyle. While supports like meal preparation, medication reminders and bathing and dressing help can be brought into a senior’s home, assisted living communities offer residents the added benefit of living among a community of peers and caring staff members.
For many Jewish elders, fasting on Yom Kippur is a religious and cultural imperative as well as a life-long tradition. In fact, many seniors who may not be traditional in other ways continue the practice of abstaining from all food on this holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement.
But is it safe for seniors to fast? And what does Judaism have to say for those whose health issues may make fasting dangerous?
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, putting them at risk for broken bones. Therefore, researchers are continuing to work towards finding strategies to improve bone health and decrease osteoporosis risk.
Generally speaking, seniors want to do all they can to stay healthy. Sometimes my patients tell me there’s just too much information available, and they are not sure what advice is important and should be followed. A question I hear over and over again is: What vaccines do I really need?
I’m pleased to join HSL’s blogging team, representing Information Technology (IT) in health care. I thought for my first post, I’d begin by reflecting on Hebrew SeniorLife’s pioneering effort to bring electronic medical records (EMR) to the long-term and post-acute care environment.