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Healthiest States for Seniors

Similarities in best practices between America's Health Rankings and Hebrew SeniorLife
Healthiest States for Seniors

According to America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2014, seniors in Massachusetts are some of the healthiest in the United States. Rated using a broad spectrum of wellness criteria, only three states outrank us and one of those is Hawaii ­­–which I say is not fair competition!

According to their website, “America’s Health Rankings is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis,” and the report analyzes “the health of the nation holistically, with in-depth data and analysis.”

Many of the criteria that drive this assessment process are precisely those that Hebrew SeniorLife includes in determining the best way to meet the needs of the seniors we serve. Just like the Health Rankings Report, HSL leadership considers factors associated with community, environment and clinical care and how they can work together to promote healthy aging. In fact, we just published the Hebrew SeniorLife 2013 Report to the Community in which we illustrate our commitment to delivering the right care each of the seniors we serve needs, at the right time, in environments that engage them in meaningful community life. Many of our innovative programs are made possible because of generous support from donors in our community.

I invite you to take a look. You will see how we integrate health care services with community settings. A prime example is a new depression management program that is delivering treatment, support and hope to seniors where they live – in this case, Center Communities of Brookline, one of HSL’s subsidized housing communities. This program supplements the clinical care that patients receive through the HSL Medical Group, located on-site in the Sloane Family/Century Bank Primary & Specialty Care Center.

Funded by a grant from the James and Sarah Dyer Charitable Fund, the Depression Support Services model was developed for patients who receive depression treatment from primary care providers (PCPs). The program involves collaborative care by PCPs and mental health providers, with active outreach to monitor compliance and response. Delivering care in the residential setting makes it easier to track patients’ progress and offer extra support when and where it’s needed; it also makes it easier to identify patients who might benefit from treatment and support.

While it would certainly be a stretch to claim credit for our state’s fourth place ranking in senior health, it is safe to say that we embrace many of the best practices that keep seniors in the Bay State some of the healthiest in the nation.

About Hebrew SeniorLife Evidence-Based Programs and Outpatient Health Services  
Hebrew SeniorLife offers evidence-based programming in more than 60 communities across Massachusetts, training more than 200 program leaders to adopt and implement successfully piloted healthy-aging initiatives. Our community programming takes a comprehensive approach to keeping seniors vibrant and healthy by addressing a full spectrum of health-related concerns for older adults. In addition to our community-based programming, we also offer high-quality, specialized care for Boston-area seniors. We offer a wide range of services including primary medical care and treatment for conditions such as hearing loss, memory disorders, osteoporosis, difficulty with speech and language, chronic illness, rehabilitation and wound care. Our Outpatient Services providers are experts who understand the unique health needs of older adults and work to improve each patient’s health and quality of life.

Jennifer Davis's picture

About the Blogger

Director of Communications & Brand Management

Jennifer Davis served as Director of Communications & Brand Management at Hebrew SeniorLife until June of 2019.

During her 19 years with HSL she was deeply committed to the organization’s mission to “honor our elders, by respecting and promoting their independence, spiritual vigor, dignity and choice, and by recognizing that they are a resource to be cherished.” Through an integrated approach, using both electronic and print media, she worked with the Communications team to make HSL’s diverse expertise in senior living communities, health care, research and teaching accessible...

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