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Health Care & Seniors

Seniors, How Often Do You Think About Health Care Decisions?

Hebrew SeniorLife partners with Mass. Coalition on Serious Illness Care to empower seniors on health care decisions

March 15, 2017

“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.

A Voice for the Voiceless

Assistive communication devices are improving quality of life for seniors in our care

March 1, 2017

Assistive communication devices are improving quality of life for seniors in our care

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.

Nursing Education Training Manual Shares Model for Innovative Intergenerational Collaboration

February 22, 2017

Nursing students from Curry College with an HSL community resident

At Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), we are always on the lookout for opportunities to bring seniors and young people together to build relationships and shatter stereotypes. We’re also deeply invested in training future generations of senior care providers. So when the opportunity came along to build a program that would combine the two, we jumped at the chance.

The Benefits of Palliative Care at Home

February 10, 2017

The Benefits of Palliative Care at Home

Hebrew SeniorLife has launched a palliative care program available through Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care. A question often asked is “What is palliative care?” and “How is it different from hospice care?”

Palliative care is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team and treats the “whole” patient by providing medical, psychological and spiritual care for people with chronic and/or serious disease. Its focus is on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a seri­ous illness, and offering guidance for the patient and family.

The Life of a Post-Acute Care Rehabilitation Patient

The firsthand testimonial from a former RSU patient

February 8, 2017

A patient on the Rehabilitative Services Unit at HRC during a rehabilitation session with staff.

Post-op is a difficult time. The body is adjusting to new limitations and trying to heal. It’s not uncommon for patients recovering away from home at rehabilitation centers to feel additional sadness brought on by being without familiar comforts. It comes as no surprise that the care a patient receives in post-acute care can make all the difference between a difficult recovery and quickly meeting the necessary goals to regain independence.

Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders

One-of-a-kind program educates chaplains to provide culturally competent care

January 18, 2017

Hebrew SeniorLife is actively working to create an informed, welcoming, and inclusive community for LGBT seniors.

When it comes to LGBT elders, “most 90-year-olds have lived silent hidden lives.” This is one of the reasons that Rev. Mary Martha Thiel created a one-of-a-kind chaplaincy education unit, Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders. It’s part of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program she directs at Hebrew SeniorLife. “We’re not aware of any other CPE program with a unit focused just on the needs of the elder LGBT community,” says Mary Martha.

Vitalize 360 Inspires Orchard Cove Enhanced Living Residents to Live Full Lives

Personalized wellness program adapts to residents throughout the continuum of care

January 6, 2017

Enhanced Living Manager Ilana Klarman talks with a resident about how his Vitalize360 goals are progressing towards living his best life at Orchard Cove.

A resident who is part of our Enhanced Living environment at Orchard Cove, Hebrew SeniorLife’s continuing care retirement community in Canton, MA, loves to read, but found that retaining the contents of a whole book was no longer possible for her. Through her participation in our Vitalize 360 wellness program, she was encouraged to join a community book club that reads and discusses short stories to help prompt her memories and share her impressions of what she read. She is now a regular attendee and finds she can retain enough to have a meaningful discussion with others in the club.

Bringing Wellness Home to Senior Living Communities

Hebrew SeniorLife launches new program aimed at enhanced health care/housing integration

January 4, 2017

A resident exercises at Center Communities of Brookline

Mrs. B., a resident at Center Communities of Brookline (CCB), is extremely grateful for the support that is available right where she lives. The following story illustrates the difference that access to onsite health care and wellness services can make in the life of an older adult.

At CCB, one of Hebrew SeniorLife’s supportive affordable senior housing communities, residents don’t take Zumba lightly. So Sarah, the Zumba instructor, was concerned when Mrs. B. skipped a class. Sarah contacted her to see what was going on.

Caring for Elderly Parents? There’s an App for That

New InfoSAGE app will assist multiple family caregivers coordinate care of loved one

December 6, 2016

Caring for Elderly Parents? There’s an App for That

These days we rely on hand held devices to manage almost every aspect of our daily lives. Alarm clocks? Forget it. We wake up to the beeping of our phones. Maps? Gone. Siri can direct us anywhere we need to go. Whether we’re communicating with our loved ones, reading the daily news, or updating slides for our next meeting, we’re often doing it with the help of a mobile device.

Caring for our elders shouldn’t be any different. For this reason, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife teamed up with affiliates from Harvard Medical School and several other organizations to create a senior care coordination app called InfoSAGE.

IFAR Researchers Take Part in the Football Players Health Study

New iPhone app tests mobility and balance in retired players and the general public

November 9, 2016

New iPhone app tests mobility and balance

It’s said that with the rise of smartphones, we have the world at our fingertips. Now, thanks in part to researchers at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR), that world includes medical research.

IFAR scientists are part of a collaboration that has created a new iPhone app to test the health of retired NFL players. But you don’t have to be a football player to participate, or to benefit.

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HSL in the News

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