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.
Eileen began searching for senior care for her mother with one goal in mind: To find the best, high-quality medical care to meet her mother’s needs. Senior care presents many options, each offering something slightly different. Eileen was vaguely familiar with nursing homes and assisted living. Further research introduced her to long-term chronic care. Would this level of care be the best choice for her mother, who could not return home after a hospital stay? How is it different from nursing home care?
Long-term chronic care is a higher level of medical care not found in traditional long-term care settings or nursing homes. It combines comprehensive therapeutic programs and clinical services for seniors with chronic and sometimes complex diagnoses.
Hebrew SeniorLife has long valued the connection between mind and body, with much of our Institute for Aging Research work focusing on how brain function is linked to fall risk and mobility and investigating how an activity like Tai Chi can benefit older adults. Christina Rice, our director of fitness at NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts, was inspired by programs that combine physical and cognitive exercise together.
On Saturday, June 10th, Hebrew SeniorLife was proud to celebrate inclusivity and equality by participating in the Boston Pride Parade. About 30 HSL staff, their family members, and seniors marched under beautiful blue skies and with spirits high. HSL was honored to participate – and to sponsor the LGBT Senior Pride Coalition’s annual Silver Party for LGBT seniors earlier in the week – as part of our commitment to celebrating diversity and honoring LGBT elders.
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:
Long-term care insurance—you may have considered it when planning your retirement but now that you’re getting older, you might worry that you no longer qualify for an affordable policy and that you’ve missed the boat. However, the long-term care insurance market has changed over time, resulting in some unexpected challenges and dissatisfaction among policy owners. For those who didn’t purchase plans earlier, there are other options for ensuring some financial security for your future care.
Filled with lots of natural light, Great Days for Seniors is bright and beautiful and allows for a variety of activities to occur simultaneously. Only steps away from its former site, the new space has an open and airy feel, something everyone agrees is a welcome change.
“What matters most?” That’s a question we should all ask ourselves from time to time. And it’s one that is easy to lose sight of in the rush and routine of day-to-day life. So every now and then, it’s wise to take a fresh look at our lives and our resources—be they time, energy or money—to make sure we are dedicating them in a way that aligns with our values, preferences, and life goals.
Famed motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “effective communication is 20% what you know, and 80% how you feel about what you know.” For those facing health care decisions at the end of their lives, effectively communicating how they feel can be hard; and for those trying to do so without a voice, it can be next to impossible.
Many seniors facing end-of-life decisions are battling conditions that render them speechless, and sometimes, too weak to rely on handwritten words. For example, a person diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) may be unable to express their wishes in conventional ways due to complications related to their illness. This can be a huge challenge for the patient, the patient’s family, and the medical team charged with providing care.