Hospice care provides comfort and improves quality of life for many patients, but it is still underutilized even though the Medicare hospice benefit has been available to qualified patients since the early 1980s.
For patients returning home from a hospital stay, the last thing they or their families want is a return visit to the hospital or the emergency room.
At Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, our goal is to keep seniors from returning to the hospital by providing the in-home medical treatment, therapy, and help with the essential activities they need to recover. Whether an individual is diagnosed with a new illness, recovering from surgery, or chronically or terminally ill, home health care services can be invaluable.
For centuries, Italian grandmothers have been telling us that food is medicine for the soul. And more recently, clinical dietitians have started telling us that food is medicine for the body as well. To prove this, clinical dietitians are using a new tool called the Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (NFPE) which serves to develop a person’s nutritional profile, and can help clinical dietitians identify and treat harmful deficiencies.
We spoke with Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s Clinical Dietitian Kathleen Horrigan, MDA, RD, LDN to learn more about this important new skill and how it impacts the well-being of older patients.
Every morning I wake up and stare inquisitively at myself in the mirror. And every morning, someone who looks alarmingly like my mother stares right back.
Now to be fair, I’ve always born a striking resemblance to my mom, though it seems to intensify with each passing day. She and I also share similar voices, similar handwriting, and the same inability to turn down anything made with chocolate.
And now, according to researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) along with several other institutions, my mother and I will most likely share similar chances of developing sarcopenia in our later years.
The center will serve people with all types of memory concerns, and also family members and friends of those with memory issues. We’ll start with a comprehensive assessment for a person with a memory complaint. That assessment will provide answers about whether the complaint is due to a memory condition like Alzheimer’s, or something else such as depression. Once the assessment program is in place, treatments will focus on family support and care management, including a focus on person-centered goals to adjust to memory concerns and improve quality of life.
It’s the summer of 2017 and a new group of students has arrived on Hebrew SeniorLife’s Boston campus. They are part of HSL’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, and all are eager to learn about spiritual care as it relates to aging, illnesses of aging, family caregivers, bioethical decision-making, dying, and bereavement and share their newfound knowledge with their local communities.
You’ve been with Hebrew SeniorLife for several years. Can you share a little about your background and your career at HSL?
I came to Boston from Spain on a Fulbright scholarship to do a masters-level viola performance degree at New England Conservatory. In Boston, I discovered the incredible world of music therapy and the field fascinated me. I found that the combination of science and art was a calling and a home for me in a way I never experienced as a performer or teacher. I then earned a second master’s degree in expressive art therapy at Lesley University and became a licensed mental health counselor.