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Health & Medical - Resources for Jewish Seniors in Greater Boston

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Association
Massachusetts New Hampshire Chapter
311 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 800-272-3900

The Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts New Hampshire Chapter has multiple offices New England. Call 617-868-6718 or 800-272-3900 to talk to a Care Consultant over the phone or call to schedule an appointment.  

Institute on Aging Research Hebrew SeniorLife
Research Guide
1200 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
Phone: 617-971-5300

Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Institute for Aging Research is the largest gerontology and geriatrics research facility in the country based in a clinical setting.  Institute scientists work to discover the mechanisms of aging diseases and disability, which leads to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease, advances the standard of care for older people, and informs public decision-making. Their vision is to transform the human experience of aging by ensuring a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age.

“Advanced Dementia: A Guide for Families” provides information to the family members and individuals responsible for making health care decisions for patients with advanced dementia. The information is intended to complement and encourage, but not replace, counseling by the patients’ direct health-care providers.

National Institute on Aging
Alzheimer's Disease Educational and Referral Center
31 Center Drive
MSC 2292
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 800-438-4380

The National Institute on Aging (NIH) offers information about brain disorders that strike middle-aged adults, causing changes in behavior, personality, emotions, language and movement. Visit the United States Alzheimer's Disease Educational and Referral Center to order free reading materials. 

NIH collaborated with HBO Documentary Films in presenting THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT, an Emmy Award winning, multi-platform (television, web, DVD, and print) public health series. The series looks at groundbreaking scientific discoveries and seeks to bring a wider public understanding of Alzheimer's disease research and care.

THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT is centered on four documentary films—on science and research, children touched by Alzheimer’s, and people with the disease and their caregivers. The series debuted May 10-12, 2009, on HBO. Two of the films received 2009 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? won the Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Program Award and The Memory Loss Tapes won the Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking Award. The Alzheimer’s Project also received the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. All of the films are available to view free at www.hbo.com/alzheimers

Toll free number is 800-438-4380 or email adear@nia.nih.gov

General Health Information

American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society
6300 N. River Road
Suite 510
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: 800-235-4855

Click here to learn more about the foot structure, skin problems, and foot conditions that cause discomfort.

American Podiatric Medical Association
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-1621
Phone: 301-571-9200

The American Podiatric Medical Association's website offers information on Feet Health Tips and what insurance benefits will cover for routine foot care.

Hebrew SeniorLife
Outpatient and Inpatient Services
1200 Centre Street
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-369-8000

Hebrew SeniorLife's outpatient services offer a wide range of health services like audiology, bone density testing, lymphendema,exercise programs, memory disorders clinic, occupational therapy, osteoporosis screening, physiatry, rehabilitation, speech-language pathology, and wound care. The Inpatient Medical Acute Care Unit offers medical and rehabilitative care for patients with complex medical conditions or multiple acute or chronic illnesses

To schedule an appointment with any of these outpatient service clinics, call 617-363-8539.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services (MCPHS)
The Pharmacy Outreach Program
19 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608
Phone: 866-633-1617

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services (MCPHS) offers several free service to Massachusetts residents as part of its community service program. The Pharmacy Outreach Program (formerly called MassMedLine), is a free prescription drug information and referral service which offers medication counseling, prescription drug plan referrals, and other prescription drug assistance. The Helpline is 866-633-1617. Click here for more information.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Institute of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

Click here to learn about Complementary and Alternative Therapies and related health topics.

New England Sinai Hospital - Steward Health Care
Sinai Outpatient and Inpatient Services
150 York Street
Stoughton, MA 02072
Phone: 781-297-1500

Programs and services include: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, health education, a rheumatology center, a foot center, a center for continence control, primary care, eye care services, adult day health programs, wound care, physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Inpatient Acute Care Units specialize in pulmonary and medically complex rehabilitative therapies. 

The Meals for Home program at New England Sinai offers the hospital and surrounding community access to fully-prepared meals through the hospital kitchen. Orders placed prior to Wednesday at 12PM are then available to be purchased/picked up on Friday between hours of 12 - 6:30PM. Order forms are available in the kitchen office (across from the cafeteria), and multiple individual meals may be ordered at once. Kosher, low sodium, low fat,and modified consistencies  are offered with a price range from $4.50 - $7.50; cash or checks are accepted. Please call 781-297-1154 with questions.

ROFEH International
Reaching Out, Furnishing Emergency Healthcare
1710 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445
Phone: 617-566-1900

ROFEH is a medical referral and hospitality liaison service while out of towners are visiting for medical treatment.

St. Elizabeth's Medical Center - Steward Health Care
Bikur Cholim Room
736 Cambridge Street
Brighton, MA 02135
Phone: 617-789-3000

The Bikur Cholim Room at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center is located within the Greater Boston Eruv. This space is accessible by stairs, allowing observant Jews to visit patients during  Shabbat. The room provides Siddurim, Chumashim, a kosher microwave and refrigerator. Kosher meals will be available provided by a local business.

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project began in 2010, when Ellen Goodman and a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy, and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of family and friends. - The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care by offering provocative questions which stimulate conversation about this difficult topic with friends, family and medical providers. The mission is to encourage people of all stages in life, to think about and talk about their wishes while they are still able. Very often a crisis or accident occurs and families do not know what are a loved one’s wishes.  Please read through the website http://theconversationproject.org/ and explore the many stories that others have shared. Hearing about other people’s experiences can be a good way to get your own conversation started. –
Feel free to print out the “starter kit”

Geriatric Mental Health Providers

Jewish Family & Children’s Service
1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-647-5327

For almost 150 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Service has provided the people of Greater Boston with vital support at critical stages of their lives from newborns and their parents, to individuals with disabilities, to the elderly and families in crisis. Staff can treat a full range of problems, from the most disabling mental illness to the emotional adjustment that is common during difficult life transitions. The scope of geriatric mental health services include individual, couples, and family counseling; psychiatric assessment and medication treatment; and home-based services for elders unable to come to the office.

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest
475 Franklin Street
Framingham, MA 01702
Phone: 508-875-3100
Fax: 508-875-4373

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest is a non-denominational family service agency providing comprehensive services to elders and their caregivers. Our services include geriatric care management, home care, grief and transition counseling, a personal emergency response system, support groups and trainings for caregivers, Friendly Visitors, and guardianship and conservator's services.

Health Care Decisions and Planning

Aging With Dignity
Five Wishes
3050 Highland Oaks Terrace
Suite 2
Tallahassee, FL 32301-3841
Phone: 888-594-7437

Aging with Dignity is a national non-profit organization with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human dignity of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life. The life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta served as the inspirational foundation of Aging with Dignity.

Aging with Dignity founder Jim Towey served as Mother Teresa's friend and legal counsel for 12 years and was a full-time volunteer in her home for people with AIDS. Her tender care and concern for all a person’s needs – medical, emotional and spiritual – served as the inspiration for Five Wishes, America’s most popular living will.

Aging with Dignity introduced Five Wishes in Florida in 1997, and a year later, to the nation. Dubbed “the living will with a heart and soul,” Five Wishes today meets the legal requirements in 42 states and has helped literally millions of people plan for and receive the kind of care they want. Five Wishes is unique among all other advance directives and living wills because it is user-friendly and easy to complete. Five Wishes Online was introduced in 2011, allowing people to complete Five Wishes on screen and print out a personalized document immediately. The document is available in 27 languages and in Braille.

American Bar Association: Comm. on Law & Aging
Consumer's Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning
1050 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-662-1000

If you are either thinking of making a health care advance directive (such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care), or you may have already signed one, the American Bar Association suggests that in either case, you should be aware that just having a written advance directive by itself does not ensure that your wishes will be understood and respected. Studies have shown that standard advance directive forms do little to influence end-of-life decisions without: (1) informed, thoughtful reflection about your wishes and values, and (2) personal communication between you and your likely decision-makers before a crisis occurs. Click here for American Bar Association Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning.

American Bar Association: Comm. on Law & Aging
General Advance Planning Resources
1050 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-662-1000

The American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging examines a wide range of legal issues affecting older persons. The website offers consumer information relating to health care decision-making, selecting an agent and having conversations with loved ones and health care providers. The list below reflects the topics addressed.

•Multi-State Health Care Power of Attorney The Commission has published a booklet offering a simple durable power of attorney for health care, designed to meet the legal requirements in nearly all states.
•Family Conversations About End-of-Life Care Commission Director Charles Sabatino appeared on WAMU’s Diane Rehm radio show August 8, 2012.
•Consumer's Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning
•Health & Financial Decisions: Legal Tools for Preserving Your Personal Autonomy
•Health and Financial Decisions (En Español)
•Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A How-To Guide
•Shape Your Health Care Future with Health Care Advance Directives
•Myths and Facts About Health Care Advance Directives (Updated 2011)
•Links to State-specific Advance Directive Forms (Updated 2011) 
•In Your Hands: The Tools for Preserving Personal Autonomy
Narrated by the late Helen Hayes, with an epilogue by her son, James MacArthur, addresses the legal aspects of planning for incapacity in a clear and positive way, and introduces four legal tools: durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, living wills and trusts. 1994.

Click here to find the above information.

Honoring Choices Massachusetts

Honoring Choices Massachusetts is an independent, non-profit Massachusetts incorporated organization.  They have licensed the name from Honoring Choices Minnesota, integrating a successful collaborative, community based model into a consumer focused initiative.

Honoring Choices Massachusetts brings together information, tools, and community resources to help adults and families make a personal health care plan.
The Glossary, Forms on  Advanced Illness Directives and End of Life Care Easy to Use Documents are provided for download and printing. Click here

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project began in 2010, when Ellen Goodman and a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy, and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of family and friends. - The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care by offering provocative questions which stimulate conversation about this difficult topic with friends, family and medical providers. The mission is to encourage people of all stages in life, to think about and talk about their wishes while they are still able. Very often a crisis or accident occurs and families do not know what are a loved one’s wishes.  Please read through the website http://theconversationproject.org/ and explore the many stories that others have shared. Hearing about other people’s experiences can be a good way to get your own conversation started. –
Click here and print out the “starter kit”

Hearing Impairment

Massachusetts Commission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Resource Guide
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-740-1600
Fax: 617-740-1700 (TTY)

Please click here  for a list of resources.

Also, click here to learn about Accessible Community Events (Coolidge Corner Movie Theater and the Wang Center have technical listening devices for the hearing impaired).

There are 5 sites across the state that provide Independent Living Services for individuals that are deaf and/or hard of hearing. Peer mentoring, training, and advocacy is offered. Click here to find the site closest  to you.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute of Health
31 Center Drive
MSC 2320
Bethesda, MD 20892-2320
Phone: 800-241-1044
Fax: 301-770-8977

The NIDCD within the National Institute of Health provides detailed information on health issues related to hearing loss and hearing aids. Please view these links to learn more about Hearing Loss and related health issues.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Program
D.E.A.F. Inc.
215 Brighton Avenue
Allston, MA 02134
Phone: 617-254-4041 TTY/Voice
Fax: 617-254-7091

D.E.A.F. is one of the 9 sites contracted with the Massachusetts Commission Department for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Advocacy, skills training, peer counseling, resources, and funding for assistive equipment is offered. Hearing aides, doorbell lights, door knock lights, and visual/vibrating alarm clocks and smoke alarms can be obtained by contacting this office. Eligibility will be determined.

The Massachusetts Specialized Telephone Equipment Program
MCDHH administered by Verizon
280 Locke Drive
Marlboro, MA 01752
Phone: 800-300-5658 TTY/voice
Fax: 508-460-3962

Amplified telephone, telephone signalers, and teletypewriter (TTY) products are available if eligible. An application needs to be filled out and disability verifications are required. Email MAEDP@verizon.com or call for an application.

Low Vision Services

American Foundation for Blind
Senior Site
2 Penn Plaza
Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121
Phone: 212-502-7600

The AFB Senior Site is designed for seniors losing their vision, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Click here to read articles and for access to resources.

Carroll Center
770 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02458
Phone: 800-852-3131

The Carroll Center for the Blind is a private, non-profit agency that serves people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. Programs are available to help seniors identify the best low vision solutions, learn skills for greater independence, and provide emotional support to seniors whose vision loss interferes with daily living. Both on and off campus programs are available.

JBI International library
110 East 30th North Street
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 800-433-1531

The Jewish Braille Institute provides free books of Jewish interest for the visually impaired. JBI is an affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Library Services for the blind and physically impaired. The JBI talking book circulation contains 13,000 audio books in different languages including Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew in addition to magazines on cassettes, educational materials, and liturgical materials. Registration is required by calling the above mentioned office. A letter from a professional stating the need for this free service is required. However, if a person is already registered with a state agency they can submit the name of that agency and the certification number.

Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
200 Ivy Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Phone: 617-738-5110
Fax: 617-738-1247

MAB Services provide low vision clinics, in-home vision rehabilitation, case management, and support groups to help elders adapt to vision loss and learn strategies for managing healthcare and daily activities.

The Vision Program matches volunteers with blind individuals who need help with clerical tasks, shopping, managing finances, or medical transportation.

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
48 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-727-5550
Fax: 617-626-7685

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind is a state agency that provides a wide range of social and rehabilitation services to legally blind residents. Legally Blind does not necessarily mean total blindness. Most people who are legally blind retain a significant degree of useful vision. Ask your eye care provider about your condition and call the commission for an application. 800-392-6450 (within Massachusetts) and TDD 800-392-6556.  

Memory Loss Evaluation

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Cognitive Neurology and Memory Disorder Program
330 Brookline
Brookline, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-4074

The Cognitive Neurology and Memory Disorders Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center can help determine if memory loss is part of the aging process or a sign of dementia. The multidisciplinary team of cognitive neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and social workers together, perform a comprehensive evaluation and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s individual strengths and weaknesses.  Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment, call outpatient services at 617-667-4074.

Hebrew SeniorLife
Memory Disorders Clinic
1200 Centre Street
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-363-8539

The memory disorders outpatient clinic at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center can help determine if memory loss is part of the aging process, due to medications being used, or a sign of dementia. The clinical team includes a geriatrician, neuropsychologist, and social worker and provides comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, appropriate interventions and care plans, and patient and family education. The program also offers a social work component. Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment, call outpatient services at 617-369-8539.

Parkinson's Programs

Jewish Family and Children's Service
Living with Parkinson's: Resource, Networking, and Support Group
1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-693-5069

JF&CS Parkinson’s Family Support offers a wide range of programs for people with Parkinson's disease and their families. Included are: a monthly Education, Networking, and Support group; Community Wellness exercise and chronic disease self management program; Specialized Parkinson's DANCE classes; a group for adult children of people with Parkinson's; information and referral services; and a one time free home safety assessment/consultation. Click here for more information or Email Nancy Mazonson, MS, OTR/L at nmazonson@jfcsboston.org for information and intake.

National Parkinson Foundation
1501 N.W. 9th Avenue/Bob Hope Road
Miami, FL 33136-1494
Phone: 800-327-4545
Fax: 305-243-5595

Today NPF is the largest and oldest national Parkinson foundation in the United States. NPF supports Parkinson-related research, patient care, education, training, and outreach. A variety of topics of interest to the Parkinson community are covered. They are unique in their genre, and are distributed free of charge to anyone who requests them. Chapters and Centers work with hundreds of people in support groups. Allied Team Training for Parkinson (ATTP) Program has trained dozens of professionals in the proper care of people with Parkinson disease. The Community Partners Program (CPP) seeks to identify underserved communities, forge alliances with health-care providers, and make available resources not otherwise known or accessible to thousands of people. www.parkinson.org is the most visited website of its kind. "Ask the Doctor," "Ask the Surgeon," and "Ask the Parkinson Dietician" are some just some of the interactive features on this website.

The American Parkinson's Disease Association
APDA Information & Referral Center (Boston)
Boston University School of Medicine
715 Albany Street, C329
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617-638-8466
Fax: Fax: 617-638-5354

The job of the Massachusetts Chapter is to accomplish the mission of the APDA through the grassroots efforts of its members. Those goals are to ease the burden and to find the cure. To that end, they seek to educate those interested in learning more about Parkinson's disease, to assist support groups throughout the state, to help develop programs to meet the needs of Parkinson's patients and their caregivers, and to raise funds to find the cure.

The Massachusetts Chapter and APDA Information and Referral Center at Boston University Medical Center are committed to the development and ongoing support of groups in Massachusetts. If you are interested in learning more about a specific group please call 617-638-8466 or 800-651-8466.