In 2004, ABC News journalist Dan Harris experienced a panic attack while reading the news on Good Morning America. This led him down a path of exploring the connection between our mind and our bodies, ultimately finding meditation as an answer to quieting his “internal narrator.” Dan wrote about his journey in the best-selling book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Works – a True Story.
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. I’ve seen seniors not only gain the physical care they need but also regain access to the human connections that give life meaning and purpose. Here are some interesting facts about how even minimal daily social contact can improve an elder’s health:
On October 28, Hebrew SeniorLife will host EngAGE, a fundraising event that will cue the conversation on how we think about aging. We’re excited to welcome celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman, ABC News journalist Dan Harris, best-selling author Mitch Albom and humorist and journalist Mo Rocca to speak alongside HSL experts. We invite you to follow our EngAGE conversations through social media on the day of the event by searching on Twitter for #HSLEngAGE.
I had a chance to catch up with Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D. and HSL Institute for Aging Research scientist Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., to get a preview of what they’ll be talking about at EngAGE and learn some tips on seniors and nutrition.
Mo Rocca travels the country to learn family recipes from grandparents for his Cooking Channel show My Grandmother’s Ravioli. While chopping vegetables and rolling dough, the grandparents share cooking tips and lessons they’ve learned about family, life, love, and community. I’m a huge fan of watching these seniors live a ReAge life – they’re redefining what it means to get older and continuing to learn, grow, laugh, and share in their later years.
As director of Culinary and Nutrition Services at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, I make it a priority to meet with residents, patients, employees and other customers face-to-face to gather feedback and comments on our culinary offerings and target areas that may need improvement. Frankly, in today's world of electronic communication I am somewhat old fashioned and find that personal connection with customers and employees has served me well over the years.
This past July I had the opportunity to join colleagues from across the globe as we convened in Copenhagen Denmark for the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Nearly 4,500 professionals representing organizations both large and small, from every corner of the globe, were in attendance. It’s always a great feeling to come together as one in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, all of our direct care staff are trained in the “habilitation therapeutic method” when caring for clients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Habilitation was developed in 1996 by Paul Raia and Joanne Koenig-Coste of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and has been successfully implemented in a variety of care settings nation-wide.