Our Services


Video

Discover the Lester Lifestyle
Village Luxury Apartments

Classic Challah Bread Recipe

Hey it’s almost Friday! Which means it’s time for a classic Challah bread recipe. Check out this recipe that came from our friend, Abi in West Chester, New York. This recipe has been passed down from her mom, Halina and is the perfect addition to a Friday night dinner at home. 

Halina’s Classic Challah Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
5 – 6 cups bread (or all-purpose) flour
1 tsp salt
¼ – ½ cup sugar (your choice how much)
2 pkgs rapid-rise yeast (I buy yeast by the jar)
1 ½ cups water
4 tbsp shortening (I use butter; more is fine)
3 eggs

Instructions:
-Place 5 cups of flour, the salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
-Heat the water to about 130° F and stir in the shortening; beat in 2 eggs. If the liquid temperature drops below 120°, warm it a little. Add liquid all at once to the flour mixture.
-Mix the flour and liquid together thoroughly, then knead for 8 – 10 minutes, adding more flour – probably no more than 1 cup total – until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky.
-Let the dough rest, covered with a towel, for about 15 minutes.
-Divide the dough into two balls. Make 3 or more equal ropes out of each ball and braid. (I usually do 2 braids per ball of dough, making the 2nd braid much smaller and laying it across the top of the first, larger, braid.)
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment and place the braided breads on it, leaving room between them.
-Cover with a towel and allow to rise until about doubled in size.
-Preheat the oven to 350°. Beat the 3rd egg; add a little bit of water, if you wish.
-When the bread has risen sufficiently, paint each loaf with the beaten egg wash, sprinkle with seeds (optional), and place in the oven.
-Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, reversing the sheet about halfway through to ensure even browning. Check if they’re done by knocking on the bottom of each loaf. They should sound hollow.

My tweak is that I double the shortening. I’ve made this with honey and sugar, too! Leave a comment to let us know if you tried out this challah bread recipe! 

Tips for Seniors to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep and waking up rested are important and help maintain concentration, memory and focus at any age, especially as we age. Sleep not only refreshes us mentally; it also refreshes our immune system. Getting a solid seven to nine hours of sleep every night is important for adults but the way you feel upon waking—and feeling rested throughout the day—are good indicators of whether or not you’re getting the restful sleep you need for optimal quality of life.

Sleep patterns in seniors
Due to hormonal changes, older adults may notice changes in their sleep patterns such as waking up earlier in the morning or getting sleepy earlier in the evening. Other seniors may find themselves becoming “light sleepers.” While these changes are normal with aging and are relatively easy to adapt to, insomnia, disturbed sleep or waking up tired all the time are not normal and can affect health and well-being. Insufficient sleep can lead to depression or irritability, memory and attention issues, and may increase risk of certain health problems.

Sleep disruptions are not a normal part of aging, so it’s important for seniors to identify the underlying causes. These may be:

  • Emotional or psychological – Feeling stressed or anxious, or dealing with a significant life change or traumatic experience. Some ways to combat stress are to keep a journal, listen to calming music, do puzzles, and stay in touch with friends or relatives.
  • Medical – Chronic or emergent pain, and certain chronic conditions may make it difficult to fall asleep or cause you to wake up several times during the night. These may be sleep apnea, asthma, diabetes, heartburn, or arthritis to name a few. Medications may also be a factor.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – Being too sedentary and not getting enough exercise during the day inhibit restful sleep. The same goes for spending too much time indoors with a lack of sunlight.
    • If you can, take a walk outside, do chair Zumba or arm & leg exercises
    • Open the shades during the day to let in the sunlight, or use a light therapy box.
    • Avoid daytime naps so that you are more tired in the evening.
  • Diet – Some sleep-friendly dietary measures are:
    • Limit intake of coffee/tea or chocolate late in the day (these all contain caffeine that will stimulate your system rather than invite sleep).
    • Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime, as this disrupts sleep
    • Reduce your consumption of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates – fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole grains are better for everyone
    • Avoid a big meal or spicy food just before you go to bed (indigestion!)
    • Limit your liquid intake about an hour or so before bedtime
  • Sleep environment/habits – Maintain consistent sleep hours, and keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
    • If you are sensitive to noise, earplugs or a white noise machine are helpful, and a sleep mask can keep out light that may cause sleep problems.
    • Turn off the TV before bedtime
    • Don’t use backlit devices such as tablets or e-readers before bedtime; the artificial light can suppress your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes your sleepy. Using a supplemental low-wattage lamp at your bedside will help with this if you are a late-night reader.
    • Mindfulness meditation and deep breathing are excellent ways to induce relaxation.

Making small changes from the list above can help improve your sleep experience if you’re having trouble sleeping or are not feeling rested when you wake up. Of course, if problems persist, please consult your medical professional to make sure underlying or chronic conditions are not causing issues.

Trends and Benefits of Technology for Seniors

Seniors—a generation that’s seen telephones become palm-sized devices and computers go from filling a room to fitting in a pouch—are using today’s technology in many ways, from staying in touch with loved ones to managing their health.

Smartphone ownership has risen among older adults ages 65 and up; today, about half who own cellphones have some type of smartphone, up from 23% in 2013. Internet use among older adults has risen to nearly 70%; and e-readers and tablets, and the use of social media, are also growing in popularity among seniors.

Here’s a look at how some technology is benefiting elders.

Senior safety
For seniors who take several prescription medications a day, it can be challenging to keep track of medications. One way in which technology helps is with smartphone apps and wearables for medication management and health tracking. Reminders and alerts are available, and these apps can also help prevent medication errors. And, we are all aware of the emergency alert systems that summon assistance in our buildings at the push of a button on one’s pendant. There are also other devices are available to monitor heart health, activity, and location to keep users safe.

Voice-activated devices and smart homes are also helping keep older adults safe, especially as mobility issues arise. These devices can turn lights on and off and adjust thermostats; in private homes, they can also turn the lawn sprinklers on and off.

Socializing
Staying socially active is as important as being mentally or physically active as we age. The emergence of Skype and similar video and audio chat programs are helping seniors stay in touch with family member across the country and around the world. Social media adoption is rising as grandparents want to stay abreast of their grandchildren’s accomplishments and enjoy photos of friends and family.

There are a few social media networks specifically for seniors. The stated goal of Stitch is to help seniors find peers with similar interests. Those seeking a roommate can go on the Gold Girls Network, and video-based virtual senior centers are available.

Active minds and bodies
Computer games help keep older minds agile. Of course, in our JCHC communities, there are many activities already programmed into each week, and for those who enjoy some screen time, there are many games one can play alone or with other online participants, such as jigsaw puzzles, mahjong or Scrabble.

JCHC residents enjoy weekly exercise classes but there’s always room for some additional physical activity revolving around technology. For those with grandchildren who own video game systems like Wii or PlayStation, a visit with family could include a fun round of virtual tennis, bowling, golf, and other ways to stay physically active.

Residents in all our JCHC senior living communities have access to computers in the libraries or computer rooms, where they enjoy using It’s Never2Late, a computer program designed specifically for older adults. Residents can browse the internet, send and receive email, play computer games, use Facebook, explore distant lands, and more.

Whether living in their private homes or in a senior living community, there are many opportunities for seniors to enjoy and benefit from technology. A quick internet search will yield many results for devices and programs to keep older adults engaged, socializing and safe.

Winter Exercise Tips for Seniors

We all need exercise at any age, and the National Institute of Aging recommends at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity in your routine every day.

Physical activity helps older adults improve and maintain balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. But when the winter comes, it’s not easy to get outside for those brisk walks or a leisurely bike ride. Between the colder temperatures, snow and ice, many seniors take their exercise indoors for safety and comfort. Here are some ways to keep active this season.

Dancing. Whether ballet or foxtrot, dancing keeps minds and bodies healthy. You can dance alone, with a partner or in a group, and enjoy music at the same time. Ballet steps and poses have been shown to improve posture and dancing in general is a great way to enjoy social time with friends. As with any form of exercise—particularly as we get older—it’s important to stretch and warm up beforehand, and be careful not to overdo it.

Yoga. This popular form of exercise, combined with elements of mindfulness, is a wonderful year-round activity. It’s gentle, quiet, and low impact and you can do yoga in a chair. Yoga is said to increase flexibility, help improve balance and strength, and lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Poses can be easily modified to avoid injury or to accommodate physical needs or restrictions, while still providing great benefit. Several JCHC communities offer yoga and balance & mindfulness classes for residents to work on their balance, stretching, and stress reduction.

Gym workouts. Weight-bearing exercise is good for bone health and a light cardio workout is important for young and old alike. Treadmills, stair climbers, recumbent bikes, weight machines, and more provide many options for maintaining muscle tone and cardiac health. Working with a personal trainer or instructor will ensure you are using the equipment properly and are handling the right weights for your level of fitness and ability. Lester Senior Living in Whippany and Village Apartments in South Orange have nicely equipped fitness rooms with a variety of equipment and space for exercise classes.

Swimming. This low-impact form of exercise improves balance, flexibility, endurance, and strength. Senior aquacise is a popular and fun swim class. Moving gently in the water can provide benefit for seniors who have limited mobility, and water exercise may be helpful for those with arthritis or joint pain.

Walking. Walking outdoors gives you fresh air along with the exercise but indoor walking is a fine way to keep moving. Make sure you wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes, that the area is well lit, and that the track or route is free of trip hazards. Mall walking with a small group is popular—many shopping malls have early hours before the stores open for mall walkers. Find out if a local community center or senior center has an indoor walking track or an area suitable to walk. Residents at Jewish Federation Plaza in West Orange enjoy walking the Promenade, which connects the buildings.

Benefits of exercise for seniors
Regular exercise activities such as those noted above are key factors in helping prevent falls. Exercise that strengthens and tones muscles, improves mental state and alertness, and keeps bodies more limber will enhance one’s balance.

Aerobic exercise (such as using a treadmill or bike, or swimming) is good for the heart and lungs, and improves oxygen flow which is good for the brain as well. Incorporating arm movements into walking helps pump up the workout.

Simple stretching—before or during an exercise class—helps combat the loss of elasticity many older adults deal with, which decreases range of motion. Staying limber helps one perform many daily tasks—think of how many times we reach for things every day.

Regardless of what type of exercise you enjoy, make sure it’s comfortable and suited to your abilities, and remember to listen to your body. It’s good to challenge yourself somewhat but don’t push yourself too hard—it’s not a competition!

Making the Transition to a Retirement Community

Moving from your long-time home to a retirement community brings about a lot of change which can be difficult for many people. Leaving the place where many memories were created can bring up strong emotions, moving away from old friends or the thought of going to a new place may trigger feelings of uncertainty.

However, moving into a retirement community also means starting a new chapter of life—one that brings new opportunities for discovery with peers.

Benefits of living in a retirement community
If you’re moving from a private home or condo, you’ll leave behind the cares of maintaining or upgrading a home. No more worries about the roof or siding, appliance repair, lawn maintenance, sidewalk repairs, snow removal, and so many other expensive or time-consuming tasks.

Do you like to visit family and friends for long weekends or plan nice vacations? Forget security systems or asking neighbors to check on the house. Just close the door and go, knowing your home is secure.

Best of all, senior living enables you to age in place, safely and with dignity. There’s always staff around, programming is designed to keep seniors active and engaged, and the residences are built with older adults’ needs at the forefront.

If you’re an older adult considering the move, here are some things to keep in mind.

Getting familiar with senior residences
Visit several senior living communities to get a feeling for the type of environment or lifestyle best suits your preferences or needs. Some considerations are:

  • Would you like senior housing with a range of services and programs?
  • Would you like to open your apartment door every day to an array of activities?
  • What about the amenities offered?
  • While touring the communities, take a ride around the area as well so you have a good idea of where town services, stores, and restaurants are located.
  • Ask if you can sample a meal in the dining room (where you’ll also have a chance to meet and chat with residents). If you have specific dietary needs, find out if those can be met.

Settling into your new home
When you move into your new home, place some favorite photos or special keepsakes in your apartment to help it feel more familiar (along with furniture pieces you’ve brought with you). If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you might consider buying some new furniture to give your apartment a fresh look. Have fun with it!

Once you move in, make sure to try out some of the offerings so you get familiar with your new surroundings and get acquainted with your neighbors. Whether it’s a class, lecture, or movie night, participating in all that’s available will help you meet like-minded people with whom to share this life chapter. Staying open to new experiences will help you write a new story for yourself. Perhaps you will:

  • Learn a new hobby or creative pursuit like painting, knitting, or poetry
  • Engage in adult learning classes about new topics
  • Join a book club or discussion group.
  • Go on an outing to a place you’ve never visited before

Widen your social circle
Remember that you’ll be surrounded by new neighbors who will welcome you, and a support staff that’s eager to make you feel at home. Talk to your fellow residents about their experiences, the kinds of programs they enjoy, and give yourself time to acclimate to your surroundings and your new acquaintances—some of whom will soon become your friends. Many seniors find that when they establish those personal connections, they feel truly at home. That’s when the fun can really begin!

At the JCHC, our senior living communities offer older adults a variety of services, programs, and amenities—and many ways to write a new chapter that enriches their lives. Contact our team for information about independent living, assisted living, and memory care options in Essex County and Morris County, NJ.

National Assisted Living Week: Assisted Living with Creative Flair

National Assisted Living Week (NALW) takes place every September and at Lester Senior Living, our residents embrace it with great enthusiasm. We celebrated every day in our Weston Assisted Living Residence from Sunday, September 8 through Friday, September 13.

Thanks to our community life coordinator, Keisha McDonald, the week is always filled with great programs aligned with the year’s theme. This year, it was “Spark of Creativity” and featured daily ways in which our residents could express their creativity. All programs were open to everyone throughout the community with one exception: a special all-white dinner party for our Weston residents.

The week kicked off with Movies & Mimosas and a screening of the film, “Woman in Gold.” On Monday, the Heller multi-purpose room became an art studio for those who like to paint, and we enjoyed musical entertainment by David Elgart. Continuing the art theme on Tuesday, residents attended an art lecture titled, “Impressionists: The Rebels of Their Time.”

That evening was the “Diner en Blanc,” an all-white dinner party for seniors in our Weston Assisted Living Residence, which was just beautiful. The Weston dining room was decorated with white ostrich feather centerpieces, white balloons, and crisp white table linens. Residents wore all white, sipped on sauvignon blanc wine, and feasted on an elegant meal. Everyone was in good spirits, buoyed by live entertainment by Frank Musumici. It was a great evening!

Our seniors were on a creative roll for the remainder of the week with an improvisation acting class, a decoupage class, a trip to the Morris Museum, and “We’ve Got Talent,” the Lester talent show. This multi-faceted event showcased the many talented residents who call Lester Senior Living their home and it was so much fun. The broad range of talent in our community is really something to behold. The talent included:

  • Songs performed by members of the JCHC Resident Choir as well as some soloists
  • Artwork on display
  • A dance routine
  • Comedy acts
  • Poetry readings

Our talented lineup included David Rozen, admissions and marketing manager at Lester Senior Living, who played guitar and sang “Sunrise, Sunset” to everyone’s delight, and musical entertainment by Mitchell Goldberg, JCHC’s Regional Director of Dining Services. You can see pictures from NALW and other programs our residents enjoy on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/LesterSeniorLiving.

These activities and many others on our monthly calendar are among the ways we support healthy minds and bodies, cater to a diverse range of interests, and promote an active lifestyle at Lester. We invite anyone who is interested in learning more to contact David Rozen at davidr@richardc95.sg-host.com or 973-929-2725 to arrange a tour-or reserve a spot at our next open house on Wednesday, October 23 (3:00 to 5:00 p.m.) and discover what the Lester lifestyle is all about.

Pet Therapy Brings Comfort and Joy to Seniors

Leo the therapy shih tzu loves when his owner, Sandy Stoll, brings him for visits with residents at Jewish Federation Plaza.

There are many benefits of canine therapy in for seniors. While people often think of the furry therapists as visiting hospitals, rehab centers and nursing homes, many do not realize that older adults in senior living communities also benefit from these visits.

Science has proven that interaction with gentle, friendly pets:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Enhances mood
  • Diminishes physical pain
  • Produces a relaxation response
  • Increases socialization, decreases feelings of isolation

Why animal therapy works
Spending time bonding with an animal produces serotonin in the brain—the hormone that makes us feel good or happy—along with other chemicals that foster a sense of calm. Whether it’s stroking or brushing out an animal’s fur, giving a treat (and getting grateful puppy eyes looking back), or simply sitting together (perhaps with a dog’s head or paw in one’s lap), those moments are quite beneficial for older adults.

Pets are non-judgmental and are quite empathic—they sense a person’s moods (and often know whom to approach in the room in order to provide comfort); and service dogs sense changes in heart rate or other physical markers. Pet therapists also play a role in reducing the agitation and confusion associated with sundowning in people with dementia.

Although animals don’t communicate with us verbally, their gentle manner and acceptance can be soothing to people who may have trouble communicating with language. Interacting with a pet therapy animal can also help get seniors talking about their own pets from long ago, providing opportunities for socialization and sharing stories with each other.

At the JCHC, residents in our communities enjoy periodic visits from canine therapists and enjoy connecting with these loving animals. Given the beautiful interactions, these visits are clearly a treat for both humans and dogs.

Tips for Seniors to Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

Photo credit: soc7 on pixabay

High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is a common issue—and major health problem—among many older adults. High blood pressure can lead to other dangerous conditions in the kidney, the eye, and heart. It can be controlled with medication and by adopting a healthier lifestyle. But what exactly constitutes and causes high blood pressure in seniors?

Blood pressure measures the force of one’s blood pushing against the artery walls. That inflatable cuff and the stethoscope are checking your systolic and diastolic pressure—the first being the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood and the second when the heart relaxes and fills with blood. Your blood pressure is typically read and records as systole over diastole; a normal number for adults is under 120/80.

As we age, the chance for high blood pressure increases due to changes in our vascular system. Men are more likely to have hypertension before age 55 and women after menopause.

What’s a normal blood pressure reading?
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology now define hypertension for most adults as 130 or higher for the first number and 80 or higher for the second number. There are different kinds of hypertension, depending on which way those systole and diastole numbers go from there. However, everyone is different, so a medical evaluation of one’s overall health and fitness is a good first step in diagnosing and addressing high blood pressure. If you are feeling lightheaded upon standing quickly or are short of breath during light physical activity, you should be checked for hypertension right away.

Conversely, hypotension is low blood pressure (lower than 90/60); it is often caused by dehydration, blood loss, medications, or a medical condition. With the heat of summer upon us, we remind everyone to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You might not feel thirsty, per se, but your body is feeling it in other ways.

Controlling blood pressure in seniors
There are some ways you can keep your blood pressure in the healthy range:

  • Adopt a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. A low-salt DASH diet might also help; it encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Read the labels on all processed foods, which often contain high levels of sodium.
  • Watch your weight!
  • Moderate your alcohol consumption – alcohol can affect blood pressure (and puts on weight).
  • Get some moderate exercise every day, whether it’s walking the halls, taking it slow but steady on the treadmill or exercise bike, taking a Zumba™ Gold class, or doing some chair yoga. (Make sure your physician clears you for exercise before getting started.)
  • Don’t smoke – quitting at any age is better than risking hypertension, heart disease, or stroke.
  • Get enough sleep
  • Relax and manage stress

Also be sure to tell your doctor about any vitamins or supplements you are taking, which could affect blood pressure.

Remember: You could feel absolutely fine but have early signs of hypertension you are not aware of. Therefore, routine blood pressure checks are wise for seniors to do, in order to detect a rise in pressure that may require you to change your diet, engage in exercise (mindfulness & meditation classes can do wonders!), or perhaps take prescription medication.

Keeping our seniors healthy at the JCHC
Residents at the JCHC communities are doing their part by participating in our weekly exercise classes, which include balance, mindfulness & meditation, and physical exercise; residents at Village Apartments and Lester Senior Living are using the equipment in the communities’ fitness centers; and at Jewish Federation Plaza, walking club members enjoy cruising the promenade that connects the buildings. We also encourage everyone who is able to get out during the early morning or late afternoon hours to enjoy a walk in the fresh air and sunshine—it’s good for the body and the soul!

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Seniors

In the 1990s, brain research showed that a stimulated mind promotes a healthy brain and helps us retain mental alertness as we age. In fact, scientists discovered that even an aging brain can grow new connections and pathways when challenged and stimulated. It appears that learning new skills or taking up new hobbies can help boost memory and improve quality of life.

  • In 2001, a research study by neurologists at Case Western Reserve University found that seniors who engaged in mentally challenging or intellectually stimulating activities were 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A similar study at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School also found that seniors who enjoyed higher levels of intellectual stimulation throughout their lifetimes had a marked delay in the onset of memory problems and dementia-related symptoms.
  • Researchers in the U.K. found that reading lowers stress levels, slows heart rate and eases muscle tension. Reduced stress is significant because it decreases blood pressure, reduces risk of stroke or heart attack, boosts immunity, and lowers levels of depression.

Our retirement years present an excellent opportunity to take advantage of free time to learn about subjects of long-time interest or learn something new. It is no longer unusual for older adults to advance their education by attending and graduating college or pursuing a graduate degree. Enriching and stimulating one’s mind and overall outlook on life is what lifelong learning is all about.

In addition to keeping brains more nimble, certain lifelong learning activities keep the body active, such as creative arts or mindfulness programs. Lifelong learning programs also offer opportunities to socialize, whether those happen during discussion groups, educational field trips or arts presentations with like-minded individuals.

Community colleges, senior centers, and others offer many classes for seniors, who can explore topics of interest through survey courses and seminars. Lucky for our residents, the JCHC also offers a variety of enriching educational and enrichment programs right in our senior living communities. These include:

  • Creative arts classes – poetry and memoir writing, fine arts, and floral art
  • JCHC University – this past semester, courses were taught by college-level instructors who covered politics and government, literature, the arts, critical thinking, and family dynamics in the Torah
  • Art appreciation lectures and cultural presentations
  • Field trips to area museums and attraction
  • Lifelong Learning – a program run by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Joint Chaplaincy Committee in partnership with the JCHC

Lifelong Learning was conceived and launched in 2011 by Jay Murnick, a past president of the JCHC board of trustees, to provide continued Jewish learning to our seniors on a variety of Jewish-themed topics. The weekly educational program, which changes every year, is taught by community teachers, rabbis, and cantors. Every year; participating seniors study Jewish texts and discuss a variety of topics that interest them.

In addition, our communities offer discussion groups about current affairs and other areas of interest, and various clubs that enable our residents to broaden their horizons or participate in activities they’ve long enjoyed. From mindfulness to knitting to walking, we’re always finding ways to keep our seniors active in mind and body at the JCHC.

The Importance of Advance Directives for Older Adults

If even you or a loved one is not suffering from a chronic or life-limiting illness, no one can ever know when he or she might be in severe pain or too ill to express their wishes about the kind of medical care they want to receive. To avoid confusion or conflict among family, friends and healthcare providers, an advance directive is an important document to have.

As the name implies, this legal document directs medical providers in advance by spelling out a person’s personal desires regarding the kind of medical treatment or end-of-life care he or she wishes in the event it becomes impossible or too difficult to convey those wishes on one’s own.

A comprehensive document will spell out the types of decisions that may arise at that time, among them nutrition and hydration, use of a ventilator, CPR and defibrillators (and the “do not resuscitate” order), and the types of desired comfort care.

Creating your advance medical directive
You do not need to be dealing with a medical condition to write an advance directive–it can be created at any age and when you are healthy. For example, young couples who are newly married or starting families may create them along with their wills. Even young adults who are no longer minors should have one as a proactive and very helpful tool for physicians, nurses, and family members.

The first step in creating your advance directive is to give careful consideration to the type of treatment you would want–or not want–in the event of a medical emergency and at the end of life. A healthcare provider can outline the various possible scenarios, explain treatment options, and help you determine what is in your best interests and/or aligned with your values.

One’s personal beliefs or values, cultural or religious background, and other factors often help shape a person’s decisions about how they would want to spend time in the case of an incapacitating or a terminal illness, or in the event of a catastrophic accident. Some people may feel strongly that all medically possible interventions are the way to go; others may prefer that no “heroic measures” or other interventions are taken at all.

At the JCHC, we strongly recommend that all our residents have an advance medical directive in place; as we know, things can change in a heartbeat. If you drew one up at an earlier age and your health condition or perspective has changed, it’s a good time to update it now to reflect your current wishes. That way, your loved ones and medical providers will have a clear picture of what you want in any situation that may arise, so that you can receive (or not receive) medical treatment on your terms. Although the subject can feel sobering, the decision-making is empowering.

Search Our Site