Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Seniors Discuss the Many Ways We Love

“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”
-Dalai Lama

Affection is a gentle expression of love or care a person shares with another individual. Whether you’re petting your cat, kissing your grandma, hugging your brother, writing a note to a peer, paying a compliment to a stranger, giving a gift to your niece, or having a deep conversation with your best friend, you’re showing affection to other individuals. Regardless of the degree, benevolent interactions like these can help people in any relationship create a lasting bond.

In a recent conversation with activities director Caryl Geiger, the Home’s seniors discussed the many ways people show affection. “Just like a plant needs nutrient rich soil to grow, healthy relationships need acts of affection in order to develop.” Caryl explained, “As human beings, it is essential for us to have contact with others in order to survive. Affection is a very special kind of social interaction that can nourish this need.”

Showing affection makes both the giver and the receiver feel great and it helps us build better relationships. While there are numerous ways we can show others we care for them, there are 5 distinct categories all signs of affection fall into:

  •  Affirmation – Saying things like “You did well” or “That was so nice of you”
  • Acts of Service – Helping with a task or chore
  • Giving Gifts – Notes, chocolate bars, tickets to a game or show, jewelry
  • Quality Time – Listening or giving feedback
  • Physical Touch – Giving a squeeze or a rub on the shoulder, arm, or hand
Different people show affection in different ways. Some people don’t like being touched or embraced. Other people have a hard time carrying on intimate conversations. There’s no way to know what each individual prefers without getting to know them and taking the time to try the different love languages.

One senior shared her history of receiving affection, “When I met my fiancé’s parents for the first time I was very shocked the way his family showed me affection. They hugged me and kissed me whenever we met. These acts of affection were welcome and appreciated, but because my parents were never demonstrative with me it was truly a shock for me to experience this hands-on kind of love.”

“Did those signs of physical affection make you feel special or loved?” Caryl asked.
The resident responded, “Of course! His family really took an interest in me and went out of their way to make me feel welcome and like a part of their family. They created an environment of love and happiness that I ended up modeling my relationship with my husband on.”

Another resident mentioned how he shows affection every day. “Whenever I’m walking around campus, I’m happy to “Hello, how are you?” to the people I pass in the walkways. I’ll always pay special attention to the people who’ve been sick and missing from our usual daily activ
ities. It shows people I’m aware of what’s going on around me and that I’m compassionate about what other people are going through.”

When you go the extra mile to show people you care, you’re creating an environment where others are more comfortable, happier, and even willing to return the favor. So share your smiles and take an interest in those around you. Affection goes a long way. 

MNO Update: Bill AB 1319

As direct result of the Jewish Home’s efforts, Assembly Member Matt Dababneh introduced Bill AB 1319 on February 27th, 2015. The bill is proposed as an act to amend the existing legislation that determines the amount of money low-income individuals will receive each month. If passed, Bill AB 1319 will increase the amount of money allotted to the medically needy seniors of California from $20 to $50 each month.

On Friday, March 13th, Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown, Chair of the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee met with Eisenberg Village representatives Douglas Tucker, Ashley Teal, and Alison Shaw to discuss Dababneh’s Bill. Assembly Member Brown informed the Jewish Home representatives that she fully intends to continue her commitment to the seniors of California and support AB 1319.

To read Bill AB 1319 click here.

Brandman Centers for Senior Care Receives Design Award

Brandman Centers  for Senior Care Receives Design AwardEach year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognizes projects they categorize as "Design for Aging Knowledge Community." This year, the Jewish Home's Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC), a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), was honored with the Merit Award for Small Projects by the prestigious group.
Opened in 2013, BCSC was built out of renovated space on the Grancell Village campus of the Jewish Home. Designed by GMPA Architects, Inc., BCSC was designed with the intention of having a unique identity, while remaining integrated with the Home's existing style. Its contemporary design reflects the fact it serves as the first PACE in the Jewish Home's comprehensive senior healthcare system.
BCSC/PACE provides the community's seniors with the comprehensive care they need to continue living safely in their homes. Services include primary medical care, specialty services for vision, dental, hearing, and foot care, laboratory and diagnostic services, medical supplies and equipment, nursing and preventative healthcare, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation therapy room, nutritional counseling, a full service pharmacy, recreational activities, reliable transportation, and 24-hour emergency and urgent care.
Because BCSC offers such a large array of medical and social services to participants, one of the biggest challenge the designers faced was to find a way to create a space that would meet the complex requirements of the program. The designers managed to take advantage of the limited space they had to work with and created a beautiful, welcoming environment where seniors can come from their homes and benefit from the various health and social services made available to them at the Brandman Center.
Susie Fishenfeld, executive director of the Brandman Centers for Senior Care, said, "In the conceptualization of the Brandman Center, the designers wanted to create a space that breathes comfort and peace. We are thrilled with the idea that BCSC can be a source of admiration for the design community as well as other senior care centers."
People who are 55 or older, in need of nursing home level of care, are able to safely live in the community, and are living in the BCSC service area are eligible to become participants. To schedule a first meeting with the Brandman Centers for Senior Care, call 818.774.8444, toll free at 855.774.8444 or via TTY at 818.774.3194 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Home's Seniors Thank Our Firefighters

In order to thank the local firefighters for all of the incredible work they do, the seniors of the Jewish Home invited the brave men from Tarzana Fire Station 93 to the Home for a delicious lunch.

On Wednesday, March 18th, Eisenberg Village residents could be found lining up along the campus' many walkways. Droves of seniors came out to welcome the parade of esteemed men in uniform. 

As soon as the visitors took their seats at the table of honor, staff served the gentlemen ice cold bottles of non-alcoholic beer, bowls of delectable chili, buttery slices of cornbread, and scrumptious red velvet cupcakes. 

While the gentlemen enjoyed the delicious meal, residents and staff members took turns with the microphone, recited poems of gratitude and shared memories of times when firefighters made an impact on their lives in the past. In closing, the firefighters thanked the seniors for a wonderful time, said their goodbyes, and returned to another day of demanding work.

Susan Leitch, community manager at the Goldenberg∙Ziman Special Care Center and Factor Nursing Building was integral in facilitating this lovely luncheon. “It was a humbling experience for both the Home’s seniors and the firefighters,” says Susan. “I’m glad we were all able to come together to host today’s lunch and recognize this incredible team for everything they do.”

On behalf of the Jewish Home, thank you to all the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to serving our community each and every day.

National Social Work Month

In 1965, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) chose March as the month to annually recognize the profession of social work. This year marks the 60th anniversary of NASW and focuses on how social work paves the way for change.

“I’d like to recognize all of our Jewish Home social workers who dedicate their lives to supporting others,” said Devorah Small-Teyer, MSW, director of social services in the Home’s Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center (JEKMC). “They provide assistance to residents and families with the intention of improving their quality of life. Our social workers assess issues related to a patient’s emotional, psychological, or physical needs and help other healthcare professionals understand these needs. Social workers make a positive difference in many lives every day.”

On behalf of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, thank you to social workers everywhere for your commitment to the welfare of others.