Friends are a precious commodity for us all, but especially for seniors. The love and companionship we enjoy with our friends make our lives emotionally richer, and research now shows that our friends can be powerful allies in helping us increase our longevity. For instance, data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Aging has shown that people age 70 or older with active social lives live 22% longer than those with less active social lives.
The number of programs my team provides for our patients in long-term chronic care is truly amazing. And while the number itself is impressive, it’s the quality and uniqueness of the programs that put us over the top.
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center prides itself on redefining the experience of aging. All programs are designed to allow patients to remain active and be part of a larger community.
At HRC we’re giving our patients choices when it comes to the senior fitness programs that help them stay healthy, active and engaged.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, the word ReAge expresses our commitment to redefining the aging experience and represents our mission to improve the quality of life for all seniors as they age. It means that we promote the independence of seniors and encourage their goals at all stages of life. But how does that translate into the daily life of the residents who live in a Hebrew SeniorLife continuing care retirement community? And what does it mean to be a ReAge community?
“Bingo!” Just the name makes people cringe and ask, is this all social life has to offer for residents in long-term care—how terrible! Well, I want to help you look at Bingo in a new way.
I have been working at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for 22 years, and Bingo has always been one of the most popular activities on my activities calendar. Bingo is popular not because it is fun, and certainly not because there is nothing else to do—we schedule more than 75 activities weekly— but because it is safe on many levels. Let me explain what I mean.
It’s that time of year again when the days get shorter and colder. It is also the time of year when a condition known as fall-onset seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, becomes a problem for some older adults. I have blogged about this in the past, but with the shortest days of the upon us, I thought it would be helpful to revisit, and expand on the topic.
The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology published cholesterol guidelines early in November aimed at preventing a first heart attack or stroke, which sparked controversy among researchers and has been heavily covered by media.
According to media reports, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston charged that the guidelines relied on old data and that the formula over-estimates cardiovascular risk in certain individuals, which can result in unnecessary, or over treatment.
Gone is the belief that growing older means inevitable and irreversible physical decline. Thanks to aging research, including that conducted in the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, we now know that not only is physical activity possible at any age, but it is beneficial— from staying heart healthy, to helping prevent falls, to slowing the onslaught of dementia.
The fifth commandment instructs us to “honor your mother and your father.” Last time I checked, there is no social commandment instructing our elders to hide their gray. The veneration that our tradition gives to a person with gray hair is undermined by a nip-and-tuck culture. People in large numbers persist in trying to mask the natural effects of aging, which creates a false hierarchy of youth and communicates that those who are older are less valued.
It’s time we got over it. The statistics are quite clear: We are living in a time when the oldest in our society are the fastest-growing portion of the population. And yet it is also clear that people over 85 are frequently marginalized, lonely and alienated from the larger community. Significant change is needed.
If I told you that a key to happiness would be to give away money, would you believe me?
Researchers recently gave a group of volunteers $5 or $20 each. Half of the group was told to spend the money on themselves and the other half was told to spend it on others. Regardless of the amount, the volunteers who spent money on themselves reported an insignificant boost in happiness, while the people who spent money on others felt much happier.
Scientists have found that when people donate to charity, it activates areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. They also believe that giving releases endorphins, which are hormones that boost mood and reduce stress.
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.