Communication is a fundamental aspect of human relationships and the way we connect with others. All too often that communication breaks down as loved-ones age and develop disabilities. Although communication disorders affect people of all ages, the prevalence and complexity of these conditions increase with age and the onset of conditions that cause cognitive decline, including stroke and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.
I recently spoke to Jana Galvin, Community Life Leader at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. She and her team of life-enhancement experts offer tools that stimulate the senses, which in turn, enhance communication and maintain, or strengthen ties with loved-ones. Here are their tips.
So many of us grapple with what to say and do with an elderly loved one when visiting. Memory and cognitive impairment can be additionally challenging. My advice is paradoxical – get creative and keep it simple. Here are a few ideas to consider when planning your visit.
It’s no secret that getting out and about can become harder with age, especially for seniors with complex health conditions. But this doesn’t mean that meaningful recreation has to go out the window. At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), staff from Life Enhancement, Nursing, IT, and the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) have come together with volunteers and family members to help launch a creative solution to this dilemma.
Getting the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease today is much like what getting a cancer diagnosis used to be for some people: devastating, often debilitating, and leaving one not knowing who to tell or where to turn. Years ago when I was a nurse, some patients didn’t want their families to know they had cancer. While cancer patients have gotten braver about their need for support and advocating for treatments and cures, many individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease still fear the stigma…and the confusion over what to do next.
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.
Anne is a memory care patient in long-term chronic care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale. To learn more about our memory care offerings, please click here.
Families personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are robbed of many things others take for granted, but though speech and other faculties may decline, a person’s light and spirit are indelible. Now living with advanced dementia, Anne radiates kindness and warmth and is a valued member of our community. See her story.
Given the choice, older adults prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. However, changes in health and functional status can often put a senior at risk. A home safety evaluation is a good place to start to help ensure that the home environment is comfortable, secure and safe where seniors can age in place safely. I spoke with Heather Margulis, Associate Director, Rehabilitation Services for Hebrew SeniorLife, to learn more about in-home safety and what to expect from a home safety evaluation.
Visiting a long-term chronic care hospital is always a good idea. Daily activities and group programming are some of the first things family members ask about when exploring long-term chronic care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston or Dedham, MA. They want to know how their loved one will spend his or her days. On tours, visitors can explore the amenities available and witness seniors and staff engage. They can join patients taking part in group activities, including exercise programs, creative arts, expressive therapies, and discussion groups.
Elder abuse and neglect is emerging as a critical public health issue. It is one of the most under-acknowledged and under-reported public health threats.
The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as a "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
It can be broken down into 5 distinctive types of abuse: