Dorothy said it best, “there’s no place like home.” With age, often needs for care change, which means assessing living options. Yet we can all agree that the comforts of home are always beckoning.
For that reason, many seniors make “aging in place” a high priority even as they feel their functional abilities – and sometimes their health – have begun to fade. Thankfully, with the help of home care services and home health care services, many people are able to maintain their independence in their own homes for quite some time.
Given the choice, older adults prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. However, changes in health and functional status can often put a senior at risk. A home safety evaluation is a good place to start to help ensure that the home environment is comfortable, secure and safe where seniors can age in place safely. I spoke with Heather Margulis, Associate Director, Rehabilitation Services for Hebrew SeniorLife, to learn more about in-home safety and what to expect from a home safety evaluation.
When researching a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, it’s all about finding the right place at the right time. Understanding the difference between options like independent and assisted living will help you determine what’s right for you and help you decide where you will live your best life.
Here are three ways independent and assisted living differ.
Independent senior living communities focus first and foremost on serving the social needs of senior residents, with central communal areas, recreational programming and adjunct support services to address minor needs.
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.
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:
“What matters most?” That’s a question we should all ask ourselves from time to time. And it’s one that is easy to lose sight of in the rush and routine of day-to-day life. So every now and then, it’s wise to take a fresh look at our lives and our resources—be they time, energy or money—to make sure we are dedicating them in a way that aligns with our values, preferences, and life goals.
These days we rely on hand held devices to manage almost every aspect of our daily lives. Alarm clocks? Forget it. We wake up to the beeping of our phones. Maps? Gone. Siri can direct us anywhere we need to go. Whether we’re communicating with our loved ones, reading the daily news, or updating slides for our next meeting, we’re often doing it with the help of a mobile device.
Caring for our elders shouldn’t be any different. For this reason, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife teamed up with affiliates from Harvard Medical School and several other organizations to create a senior care coordination app called InfoSAGE.
It’s no surprise that the holiday season can bring the passage of time into focus. As we catch up with relatives and friends we may not have seen over the course of the year, we notice the small changes in them that come with age. Even for those who see their family members regularly, the contrast of this year’s celebration to the last can make us all realize that we’re not getting any younger. And the older memories of childhood and holidays past usually contrast with the way things are today.
As a nonprofit leader in the field of aging, focusing on senior living communities, health care, teaching and research, Hebrew SeniorLife possesses a wealth of expertise and a broad range of services to support families facing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Whether it’s a fall, a wandering episode, death of spouse, or loss of a dependable caregiver, too many families find themselves making decisions about assisted living in “crisis mode.” Up until turning points like these, there is often some level of denial about the possibility that a more supportive living environment could someday be needed. Yet beginning a search for assisted living at such a moment is far from ideal. Any preparation you can do in advance is a gift you provide for your family, whether planning for yourself or for a loved one’s potential future needs.