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We have earned a reputation as a leader and innovator in the area of senior services and have helped redefine the experience of aging for older adults in Greater Boston as well as throughout the nation and the world.

Hebrew SeniorLife sponsors the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research (IFAR). During its 50-year history, researchers at IFAR have discovered that many of the characteristics associated with aging can be traced to mechanical, physiological, and biochemical functions, as well as environmental factors.

  • IFAR research established supportive housing as an alternative to nursing homes, a discovery that initiated a new model of care in the US. This concept let to more appropriate living conditions for seniors and alleviated the extensive wait lists for costly long-term care.
  • All U.S. nursing homes are legally required to use the Minimum Data Set (MDS), developed at IFAR, for clinical assessment of residents' functional capabilities. The MDS helps nursing home staff gather information about a resident's health, needs and strengths to determine the best care plan.
  • A joint study in which IFAR participated and conducted with Hebrew Rehabilitation Center residents showed that seniors at any age can build muscle strength through weight training. Today, exercise programs are an integral part of many long-term care and senior living communities and senior service organizations.
  • The largest preventable cause of death among older adults is falls. IFAR researchers identified preventive interventions such as medication adjustments, treatment of high blood pressure, and walking after meals.

Our NewBridge on the Charles campus is the nation's only senior community with a school on the campus. This mutually beneficial relationship allows both generations to learn from each other. While the young people share artwork, perform plays and visit with residents, seniors share their knowledge and life experiences through reading, tutoring and participating in learning activities.

Our Vitalize360 program, which is part of life in all HSL communities, helps seniors make lifestyle changes that lead not only to improved health, but to a richer quality of life. V360 looks at the entire well-being of a person and encourages them to consider of aspects of their lives, including health, nutrition, physical and mental fitness, community links, lifelong learning and spirituality.