Caring for an aging loved one at home can be challenging. Whether a senior wants to “age in place” or isn’t ready for nursing home care, many families can struggle with making sure their loved one has the right social and medical supports while still maintaining work and other obligations.
One resource that many families might not know about is adult day health which provides seniors and older adults a place to go for care and companionship throughout the day. Many programs offer support for a wide range of medical and social needs and play a critical role in respite care. It gives caregivers time to go to work or handle personal business.
Joan Kaplowitz, a resident at Hebrew SeniorLife’s continuing care retirement community Orchard Cove, believes in the importance of the written word. Wanting to share her love of words, Joan established a fund at Orchard Cove, the Joan Kaplowitz Fund for the Written Word, to bring in speakers and writing programs for her fellow residents.
“I took writing courses over the years,” she says. “But I didn’t do it seriously. And then when I came to Orchard Cove four years ago, I signed up for a writing workshop.
Financial abuse targeting seniors is on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, seniors lose more money to scammers than people much younger. Seniors over the age of 80 lost an average of $1,700 compared to $188 lost by people 19 and younger, according to the FTC.
So why are seniors common targets? There are many factors. Older Americans have had more time to accumulate wealth, which is often invested in their homes and retirement savings. Some scams target older adults because of perceived or real frailty. Today’s seniors also grew up in a more trusting time. When older adults are scammed, they’re often too embarrassed to report the crime.
When researching a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, it’s about finding the right place at the right time. Independent living and assisted living are wonderful options that have similarities and differences and understanding the choices will help you determine what’s right for you or your parent.
Here are ways independent and assisted living differ.
-This is typically a rental model. Monthly fees include maintenance, housekeeping, security, three meals a day, programming, and 24/7 staffing.
An interview with Debra Block, NCCAP (National Council for Certification of Activities Professionals), Life Enhancement Coordinator, 6W Berenson, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center
Debra Block recently joined HSL as the Life Enhancement Coordinator on the newly renovated sixth floor west of the Berenson Allen building on Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s (HRC) Roslindale campus. She has introduced an interactive theater and film program for patients at HRC. I sat down with her recently to learn more about her work with patients and the therapeutic value of theater arts.
Chaplains at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) are engaged every day in caring for seniors – during difficult times, celebrating the happy moments, and then often again at the end of life. We are called upon by staff when more hands are needed on deck during a patient crisis, and also when staff themselves are suffering and need someone to listen.
At HSL, we have a very special and caring team of chaplains. Two years ago, Dignity Memorial (Stanetsky and Levine Chapels) recognized our work and the individuals on our team with a gift to support learning and self-care. Each year we now hold two half-day retreats and two full-day retreats with learning and reflection, sponsored by Dignity Memorial.
Hebrew SeniorLife’s Multigenerational Program represents an organizational commitment to bringing together youth and seniors to build mutually beneficial relationships at our nine campuses across Greater Boston. Through our 50+ partnerships with local schools, synagogues, and other community organizations, we provide the training and support to develop dynamic connections across generations and redefine the experience of aging.
Here is just one of the many stories about friendships forged through our programs.
Each of Hebrew SeniorLife’s multigenerational programs serves as a key touchpoint for the broader community, engaging youth and their families in learning about the full spectrum of aging and developing relationships with our senior population. Participants in these group programs are often inspired to deepen their connections to the seniors they meet, well after the programs have concluded. One such example involves two families who participated in a guided music program for infants and HRC-Roslindale patients, overseen by HSL’s Adam and Matan Adelson Multigenerational Program.
Amid the flurry of the holidays, a group of community volunteers brought flowers and beams of sunshine to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale.
In my time at HSL, I have come to value the power of art in our patients’ and residents’ lives. Science backs this up: For example, a recent study at The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York showed that Alzheimer’s patients had fewer emotional problems the week after a museum visit, as well as an improvement in mood, self-esteem and greater sense of social support.
September is the time for students of all ages to head back to school, and students at the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech in Canton have a special program to look forward to this coming year with residents of Hebrew SeniorLife’s Canton community, Orchard Cove.