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Health Care & Seniors

Getting to know Sarah Sjostrom

July 9, 2019

I sat down with Sarah Sjostrom, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Dedham (HRC-Dedham) on the campus of NewBridge on the Charles, to learn more about her background and future goals for care at HRC-Dedham.

Getting to know Bozhena Kogan

July 8, 2019

 

I sat down with Bozhena Kogan, the Director of Nursing at  Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston (HRC-Boston), to learn about her background and her future goals for care at HRC-Boston.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

July 8, 2019

It’s not uncommon to experience some memory loss as you get older. Although your parent or loved one may complain of memory problems, that does not mean they have dementia or even Alzheimer’s. Common memory issues include difficulty remembering names and details of events. If this does not interfere with any daily functioning, then it can be considered normal and likely related to natural aging. However, significant memory loss is not a part of normal aging.

Here is a warning sign checklist from the Alzheimer’s Association which outlines the signs to look for and when to talk to a doctor. 

Saluting Hebrew SeniorLife’s nurses

May 15, 2019

As Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services at Hebrew SeniorLife, I have the fortune to see the incredibly selfless work our nurses do every day to care for seniors and their families. The practice of nursing changes and evolves, but one thing remains consistent: the commitment of HSL’s nurses to creating new standards in the care of older people. Nurses are teachers and life-long learners who stay current, lead change, and commit to raising the bar on the quality of care that we provide.

What Seniors Should Know About Marijuana

May 7, 2019

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts in 2016, and dispensaries in Massachusetts seem to be opening up weekly. This means adults 21 and older do not need to be card-carrying medical marijuana patients to buy cannabis from a licensed retailer. 

As marijuana’s use for pain treatment is widely talked about, we thought it might be a good time to ask Dr. Jennifer Rhodes-Kropf, staff geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a few questions about its use. 

Can marijuana be an effective solution for pain relief? 

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: How do you know which is best for your aging parent?

May 2, 2019

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.

Assisted Living:

-This is typically a rental model. Monthly fees include maintenance, housekeeping, security, three meals a day, programming, and 24/7 staffing.

It’s Never Too Late to Express Yourself

April 24, 2019

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.

JD: What brought you to HRC?

For Hebrew SeniorLife chaplains, the learning never stops

February 4, 2019

For Hebrew SeniorLife chaplains, the learning never stops

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. 

What it takes to be a Top Place to Work

December 27, 2018

What it takes to be a Top Place to Work

Being named one of Boston’s Top Places to Work may well be proof that Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) is a great place for our 2,600-team members to work, and that employees are fully engaged with our organization. But what does it take to get to this benchmark—to be chosen a Top Place to Work—as HSL has for three years by The Boston Globe, including the publication’s recent list for 2018.

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Treatment of Patients with Dementia

September 25, 2018

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Treatment of Patients with Dementia

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that antipsychotic medication is overprescribed for patients with dementia. Antipsychotic medications were created years ago to treat serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. Over time, these drugs came into use to treat dementia patients with symptoms that put them and others at risk, including physically aggressive behavior and wandering.

However, research shows these drugs are not effective for most dementia behaviors, and can cause unnecessary and sometimes dangerous side effects. Experts agree that all dementia patients on antipsychotics should have their medical plans reviewed, since some patients may benefit from either reducing or stopping the medication.

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