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.
At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, we believe our patients deserve to receive care in an environment that reflects current best practices and provides for outstanding clinical care with all the comfort and choice of home. This is exactly why we are working to revitalize the top level of the Berenson Allen Building at our flagship Boston location, bringing it into alignment with the renowned patient-centered, compassionate care we provide.
The current phase of the project is being supported by generous leadership gifts from Deanna and Sidney Wolk, the Theodore W. & Evelyn G. Berenson Charitable Foundation, and Helaine Berenson Allen.
Dorothy said it best, “there’s no place like home.” With age, often needs for care change, which means assessing living options. Yet we can all agree that the comforts of home are always beckoning.
For that reason, many seniors make “aging in place” a high priority even as they feel their functional abilities – and sometimes their health – have begun to fade. Thankfully, with the help of home care services and home health care services, many people are able to maintain their independence in their own homes for quite some time.
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.
When researching a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, it’s all about finding the right place at the right time. Understanding the difference between options like independent and assisted living will help you determine what’s right for you and help you decide where you will live your best life.
Here are three ways independent and assisted living differ.
Independent senior living communities focus first and foremost on serving the social needs of senior residents, with central communal areas, recreational programming and adjunct support services to address minor needs.
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:
“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.
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.