Hebrew SeniorLife Pressroom

2014 Press Releases

Pain and Depression Place Older Adults at Risk of Delirium Following Surgery
BOSTON—New research reports that preoperative pain and depressive symptoms in older adults place them at greater risk of delirium following surgery.  According to the findings published today in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, both pain and depression are independent and interactive risk factors for delirium, suggesting a cumulative effect.

Study Shows Vibrating Insoles Could Reduce Falls Among Seniors
Boston researchers find vibratory stimulation applied to the sole of the foot using novel piezoelectric technology shows promise for fall prevention.
BOSTON — Findings published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation show that imperceptible vibratory stimulation applied to the soles of the feet improved balance by reducing postural sway and gait variability in elderly study participants. The vibratory stimulation is delivered by a urethane foam insole with embedded piezoelectric actuators, which generates the mechanical stimulation. The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and Harvard Medical School, all of Boston, Massachusetts; and Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Consumer Care, Inc., of Memphis, Tennessee. 

Harvard and Brown-Affiliated Researchers Receive $4.5M Grant to Test Videos for Advance Directives
A new NIH-funded project will assess whether videos can help nursing home residents, family members and staff have the difficult but important conversations about advanced directives for care.
BOSTON—Advanced directives help to clarify appropriate care for elderly nursing home residents at critical moments for their health, but the process of having the necessary conversations between residents, family members and home staff is hardly routine. With a new grant from the National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2014/nccam-20.htm), Susan Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Palliative Care Research Center in Harvard-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research along with colleagues from Brown University and Massachusettes General Hospital plan a big test of whether a suite of videos can help.

Could Age of First Period Influence Development of Diseases in Older Women?
Genetics involved with menarche may hold keys to preventing diabetes or osteoporosis in later life
BOSTON—A novel study shows that the age girls reach puberty is influenced by =imprinted genes‘—a subset of genes whose activity differs depending on which parent contributes the gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted genes can control the rate of development after birth and details of this study were published today in the journal Nature.

Boston-Area Researchers Develop New Delirium Severity Measure for Older Adults
New method to measure delirium offers potential to improve clinical care, prognosis and response to treatment
BOSTON – A new method for measuring delirium severity in older adults has been developed by researchers from Harvard, Brown, and UMASS. The new scoring system, CAM-S, is based on the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and standardizes the measurement of delirium severity for both clinical and research uses. Details of this study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers Develop Criteria to Identify Muscle Loss, Weakness in Older Adults
Improved Diagnosis Aids in Prevention and Treatment of Mobility Issues from Frailty
BOSTON – Scientists from Harvard Medical School–affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) took part in a collaborative effort by U.S. researchers to develop criteria for diagnosing sarcopenia—a common and disabling condition of low muscle mass and weakness in older adults. Findings from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium Sarcopenia Project are published in The Journals of Gerontology and suggest evidence-based cut-points of grip strength and lean mass could be used to identify sarcopenia in seniors.

With Accreditation Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care Opens Doors to Patients in Greater Boston
New England’s preeminent senior care provider adds hospice to its comprehensive continuum of health care services
BOSTON – Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), the largest provider of senior health care and senior living communities in New England, announced today that Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care has earned accreditation from CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program). CHAP is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body for community-based health care organizations authorized by Medicare to survey hospice organizations. With accreditation, services provided by HSL Hospice Care are now broadly available to seniors in Greater Boston.

Hebrew SeniorLife Names Todd Finard as Chair of Board of Directors
Young Boston Business Leader Leverages Deep Family Experience to Bring New Attention to Issues of Senior Care
BOSTON – Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), the largest provider of senior health care and senior living communities in New England, has named Todd Finard as Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors. Todd has been a devoted volunteer leader at HSL for almost 20 years, having recently served on the HSL Board as Chair Elect and on the Governance and Development Committees, and previously as President of the Friends of Hebrew SeniorLife.

Research Sheds New Light on Heritability of Disease
Study explores the role DNA plays to predispose individuals to diseases such as type 2 diabetes
BOSTON - A group of international researchers, led by a research fellow in the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, published a paper today in Cell describing a study aimed at better understanding how inherited genetic differences, or variants, predispose certain individuals to develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The study integrated computational methodology with experimentation to address and prove underlying genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. In principle, the new methodology can be applied to any common disease, including osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The hope is that with better understanding of how DNA functions in these individuals, new treatments will follow.

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