I find my work with older adults to be rewarding on so many levels. It is a privilege to be invited into an individual’s life and truly make a difference in how he or she experiences this important stage in the aging process. I have worked in assisted living for more than 19 years and have experienced the power the arts has in giving a voice to seniors who struggle with cognitive decline. I’m thrilled to share an opportunity for professionals, to learn more about the role the arts can play in the lives of people living with dementia and to share their own stories. We’ve designed an outstanding conference for eldercare professionals entitled: ARTZ and Dementia: Innovation, Inclusion & Creative Expression.
Hebrew SeniorLife spoke with Ellen Goodman on Friday, September 14 about her involvement in our upcoming College of Retirement Living event “You & Your Aging Parents: A Lifelong Approach to Health, Wellness & Care” and her co-sponsorship with Hebrew SeniorLife of The Conversation Project. She shared her thoughts with us on these projects and topics below:
"It’s always too soon until it’s too late. This describes the circumstances too many of us find ourselves in when it comes to realizing the major transitions we face with our parents as they age. That’s why I’m dedicated to helping parents and their adult children begin a dialogue today to help them plan as a family for life’s major transitions and decisions.
Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research has helped transform the experience of aging in America through innovative studies. Our researchers have deconstructed many of the myths about what it means to age, replacing those notions with realities based on sound scientific inquiry. They have shed new light on the mechanical, physiological, and biochemical functions, as well as environmental factors that contribute to age-related conditions and decline.
While most seniors are happy, content and positive, others need assistance in helping them adjust to life's changes as they get older. It’s not uncommon for people of all ages to experience bouts of sadness but among seniors, depression can be a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Clinical depression is a disorder that affects mood, feelings, behavior and potentially physical health and is diagnosed when sadness is persistent or begins to affect a person’s ability to function normally.
You may have noticed that we’ve been using a new word at Hebrew SeniorLife to refer to our unique efforts to transform aging. That word is ReAge. ReAge is a combination of the words “redefining” and “aging.” It represents our commitment to “question everything about the aging process by challenging conventions to create a new standard-of-care approach that will positively impact the lives of older adults.”
Our commitment to ReAge extends to all pillars of service at Hebrew SeniorLife—health care, communities, research and teaching. We are redefining how aging looks and feels and tackling important issues such as how we treat, understand and prevent common health issues that stem from aging.
You and Your Aging Parents: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care
Session 1 brings together authors and experts who will help families understand the changes aging brings to their lives. Session 2 will help educate them with information and tools to help plan for lifelong health, wellness and care. Anyone who purchases a ticket can bring a family member or loved one for no additional charge.
Have you noticed any changes in vision? As we age, it’s not uncommon for eyesight to become impaired. Glacuoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and diabetic retinopathy are the most common eye disorders experienced by seniors. I see my fair share of patients with these conditions in my role as optometrist at Hebrew SeniorLife and, while eye problems are irritating for anyone, they are particularly frustrating for seniors as impairment hinders independence.
Here is more information about the commonly developed eye conditions among older adults—so you’ll be knowledgable about the condition and proactive about speaking with your physician, should the need arise.