The other day I sat in with a group of older adults who had recently moved into a senior housing complex. They talked about the emotional dynamic of transitioning to a new living environment. They spoke of loneliness, fear of change, and sadness at the loss of their former homes.
A similar set of emotions is present when a person faces the last stages of a terminal illness. Hospice care is dedicated to helping ease these inevitable difficulties. The hospice team becomes a community within the community to accompany the patient and family during this difficult life moment.
Nothing can take the place of human touch when it comes to patient care. For those of us in home care, technology does not replace direct patient contact, but rather serves as a powerful ally. I like to say that technology known as telehealth enhances my team’s intelligence.
What is telehealth? Telehealth is defined as a means for exchanging health care information using communication technology. It can be as simple as a conversation between two providers discussing a patient’s status over the phone, or as sophisticated as performing robotic surgery between locations miles apart or even on opposite sides of the globe.
In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events.
Do you know the difference between gerontology and geriatrics? Or understand what a gerontologist does versus a geriatric specialist? While both strive to improve life for seniors, and are clearly related, there is a difference between the two disciplines.
Gerontology is the study of the aging process including investigation of the physical, mental, and social changes that affect people as they age. Geriatrics is a branch of medicine that focuses on health promotion, as well as the treatment of disease and disability later in life.