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Celebrating Jewish Women of Valor During Women’s History Month

“A woman of valor, who can find? Far beyond pearls is her value.” – Proverbs 31:10

On March 8, we will celebrate International Women’s Day, a highlight of Women’s History Month. In the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, March has been designated as a month to highlight and celebrate the contributions of women both historical and contemporary. For those of the Jewish faith, this month is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the women of the tribe who exemplify the eshet chayil – the “Woman of Valor” praised in Proverbs 31.

“The eshet chayil is one powerful woman, and she has long been at the forefront of our people’s spiritual and communal growth,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Although we celebrate her before every kiddush, Women’s History Month is the perfect time to honor the eshet chayilwho have helped shape history.”

The History of Women’s History Month

The roots of Women’s History Month begin with the first International Women’s Day held in 1911. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation founding National Women’s History Week, and in 1987, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month.

Notable Jewish Women of Valor

Here are just a few of the trailblazing Jewish women who have had the conviction and courage to overcome barriers and difficulties in order to make a difference in the world.

An Advocate for Justice – Bella Abzug

A daughter of Russian immigrants, Bella Abzug became a significant leader of the women’s movement. By the age of 13, she was giving speeches in her local synagogue, which was just the beginning of her activist aspirations. Bella went on to study at Columbia University and became one of only a handful of women law students in the nation. She worked as a lawyer for the next twenty-five years, specializing in civil rights and liberties cases as well as labor and tenants’ rights. Throughout her career, she served three terms in Congress, fought to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and other vital legislation, and presided over the first National Women’s Conference in Houston.

An Entrepreneurial Dreamer – ‘Madame’ Beatrice Alexander

Beatrice Alexander had a dream – and knew how to make it happen. Although she was born into poverty, she built her own company practically singlehandedly and emerged as one of the most prominent female entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Although her company, the Alexander Doll Company, still exists today, she is celebrated as a woman of valor in no small part to her philanthropic works with both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations throughout the world.

A Groundbreaking Scientist – Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion’s tremendous accomplishments spanned the course of her long career. She was responsible for helping develop the first chemotherapy drug for childhood leukemia, the first effective anti-viral medication and treatments for hepatitis, lupus, gout, arthritis and other diseases. Together with George Hitchings, her research partner, she was able to revolutionize drug development, saving and improving the lives of countless individuals. Her efforts earned her the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988.

A Philanthropic Example – Rebecca Gratz

Rebecca Gratz was the founder and secretary of one of Philadelphia’s earliest women’s philanthropic organizations and devoted her life to providing aid to underprivileged women and children. As a devout Jew, she combined her American experience with her cultural identity and went on to establish the first women-run American Jewish institutions, including the first Hebrew Sunday School and Jewish Orphanage. Her mission was to provide a space for women who wished to embrace all sides of their identity in order to preserve and evolve what it meant to be Jewish in America.

A “Fighting Judge” – Justine Wise Polier

As the first woman Justice in New York, Justine Wise Polier believed firmly that championing the cause of justice would truly change the world for the better. For 38 years, she fought for the rights of the poor and disempowered from the Family Court bench. She believed that treatment, not punishment, was the answer to juvenile justice law, and made her court a community network of economic aid, placement agencies, psychiatric services and other forms of assistance to families.

The “World’s Best Girl Athlete” – Bobbie Rosenfeld

Canadian Olympic medalist Fanny ‘Bobbie’ Rosenfeld led a double life: by day, she was a stenographer in a chocolate factory. On evenings and weekends, she became the “world’s best girl athlete,” winning softball games in crowded stadiums, shattering track records (both national and international) or leading a basketball or ice hockey team to victory in a league championship. She was voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the Half-Century in 1950, and was among the first women to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

The Ordained Rabbi – Rabbi Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas long knew she was destined to be the first woman rabbi. Her fellow pupils remember her talking about her dream of becoming a rabbi even in high school. Prior to WW II, she focused on caring for the sick and elderly at the Jewish hospital. During WW II, she was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where she performed rabbinical functions until her transportation to and death at Auschwitz.

The Passionate Organizer – Hannah Greenebaum Solomon

Hannah Greenbaum Solomon was the founder of the first national association of Jewish Women – the National Council of Jewish Women. She was also a dedicated organizer and driving force for reform at the beginning of the 20th century. She believed that a “woman’s sphere is the whole wide world,” emphasized unity, and orchestrated agreements among Jewish, gentile, and government groups on local, national and international levels.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the lives of these amazing women and so many more this month,” says Andrea. “We celebrate our Jewish heritage every day at The Reutlinger Community and we’re proud to be a senior living community that embraces the tradition and values of our Jewish faith yet also welcomes and honors all faiths.”

For more information about our community, our culture and our mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today

From Kosher to Kosher-Style: How We Maintain Culture in Our Kitchen

The practice of keeping kosher, or following the laws of Kashruth, is an important tenet of Jewish faith and tradition. At The Reutlinger Community, our commitment to Jewish values means providing healthy and delicious dining options that help celebrate our traditions and faith. Our dining team works blends the latest trends with tradition to provide options for our residents of all faiths, as well as provide options for Jews who keep kosher or kosher-style.

“Food plays such an important role in our faith and in so many of our memories,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “While some of our residents choose to keep kosher, many others simply enjoy the comfort and familiarity of kosher-style meals. Since our reopening in 2016, we have committed ourselves to the future of senior living, which means offering a wide variety of flavors, tastes and cultures into our menus and dining lifestyle. Kosher and kosher-style are a part of that.”

From Kosher to Kosher-Style

Unlike keeping kosher, which requires following a strict set of laws that cover everything from the food we eat to how it’s prepared, kosher-style refers to foods that have been associated with Jewish culture but aren’t necessarily following Kashrut. Think of the traditional foods you’ve enjoyed over the years – pickles, knish, matzah balls – and you’ve got a flavor of what “kosher-style” is.

“Pretty much any dish or cuisine can be adapted to be kosher,” says Andrea. “But there’s no substitute for those traditional, kosher-style foods. Sometimes you just crave it, whether because you miss the taste or because it reminds you of holidays past.”

Kosher-style foods appeared in the 1920s and allowed Jewish immigrants to feel “at home” food-wise, without having to follow dietary restrictions. While the term was colloquially used to describe delicatessens and similar restaurants, it also encompassed a new wave of Jewish families who were now able to still eat traditionally without having to strictly follow all of Kashruth’s very strict rules.

The Dining Culture at The Reutlinger

The Reutlinger Community is an interfaith community, and we’re pleased to be able to offer menus that encompass a wide array of different traditional dishes from cultures around the world. Offering kosher options is one way we honor our culture and believes, and kosher-style options are yet another nod to a different aspect of our culture.

“Many of our residents enjoy seeing dishes on the menu they grew up with,” says Andrea. “Providing these traditions, including a weekly Shabbat meal, allows us to blend past and present while also incorporating the latest trends in the food and dining industry.”

For more information about our dining team and our offerings, please contact us at (925) 272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Making Your Assisted Living Apartment Feel Like Home

One of the biggest reasons why a senior may hesitate to move into Assisted Living is because they don’t want to leave “home.” This can be both a practical matter (I don’t want to move my stuff, the house is paid off, it’s nice to have the extra space) or it can be an emotional matter (this is where we raised our kids, it’s belonged to the family forever, I simply don’t want to give it up). Whatever the reason, it mainly stems from the fear of losing “home.”

“They say home is where the heart is, and for many people, their heart is linked to the physical structure,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Moving away from that very personal place is a step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s okay to grieve the loss of ‘your home,’ since it has played such an important role in the past.”

But that shouldn’t stop you, Andrea says, from moving into a new “home” to begin a new chapter of your life. “There are lots of ways you can decorate your Assisted Living apartment to honor your past while still making it new,” she says. “It’s all about balance, looking at your needs and recognizing what’s really important to you.”

Here are nine tips to making your new home feel like, well, home.

  1. Remember “Something Old”

Downsizing doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. Sure, you can’t take the 12-foot dining room table or the room-sized wraparound couch. But you can take the things that mean the most to you, because they’re your link to the past. Your breakfast table, your antique lawyer’s bookcase, a few favorite pieces of Wedgwood® china – pick and choose your favorites, and then sell the rest or gift items to friends and family.

  1. Buy “Something New”

Who doesn’t love getting new stuff? One of the best parts of moving into an Assisted Living apartment is that you get to play interior designer and create a brand-new space that’s totally your style. Have fun and buy new rugs, curtains, throw pillows, coffee tables – whatever will make your home a home. It’s an excellent time to go a little wild and buy something that you’ve always wanted but never got for whatever reason, like a French press coffee maker or a wine fridge.

  1. Get Creative with Your Storage

No matter how much you downsize, you’ll probably still have a lot of stuff. And depending on your new place, you may not have a whole lot of storage space. In order to maximize your square footage, consider furniture that serves a double-purpose, like an ottoman that opens up to store blankets (and can become a low table by adding a tray).

  1. Use Photos for Decoration

Your family and friends are what’s important in life, so why not use them to really warm up the space? Place photos around your new place, similar to how they were arranged in your old home. Print a big family photo and hang it on the wall. Change out photos every once in a while (or every time you get new ones) to keep things fresh and interesting.

  1. Add Foliage

A living plant or two is a great addition to any Assisted Living apartment. If you have a large potted plant that you can’t take with you, consider potting some cuttings and taking them. Not only are plants pretty, but they also help improve air quality.

  1. Make Space for Guests

One of the benefits of an Assisted Living community is making new friends and compatriots. You probably enjoyed entertaining friends, family and other guests at your old place, and we imagine you’ll want to do the same in your new apartment. As you’re decorating, make sure there’s a space where you can entertain a few people for game night or a cozy dinner party. Don’t forget extra chairs or tables so that guests have a natural place to sit and relax.

  1. Make Room for Hobbies

Yes, Assisted Living communities have a full schedule of events and activities that you can take part in. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re not going to have a place where you want to escape to read a book, do embroidery or knitting or whatever other hobbies you enjoy. Mark off a corner or a space that’s dedicated to your hobbies so you have a space for your materials and tools – as well as a way to keep everything organized and neat so things aren’t just scattered across the counter or the kitchen table.

  1. Consider Your Abilities

It’s annoying to recognize it, but it’s possible that you may need a little “extra” from your décor now that you’re getting older. Like that favorite comfy chair you use to watch TV? It may not be the best fit, since the deep, soft cushions can be difficult to climb out of. Think about things that will make your life easier: brighter lighting in the bathroom, or contrasting colors in the kitchen to help delineate what goes where. The more you can take care of before you settle in, the easier it will be.

  1. Name It & Own It

The easiest way to make a new place feel like home? Start referring to it as that. Yes, it can be a bit of a psychological stumble at the beginning, but the more you can name your apartment as your “home,” the more you’ll be able to internalize it. Using all the tips listed above, we imagine it won’t take very long before the word “home” comes naturally.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

The Bay Area’s Premier Jewish Senior Living Community

Over 60 years ago, The Reutlinger Community was founded as the Home for Jewish Parents in Oakland, California. Since then, The Reutlinger Community has experienced growth and enhancement that have allowed them to provide high-quality health care and social support services to seniors – all within an environment that is committed to Jewish values. Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Short-Term Rehabilitation, everything seniors need and more is offered so that you can maintain your friendships, keep your family together and truly feel at home.

According to Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director at The Reutlinger Community, the principles by which they serve seniors are simple and come down to a few key words: honor, respect, love and tradition. “At The Reutlinger Community, we know how much you value your parents and understand how difficult it can be when you want to care for them but are unable to provide the level of care they deserve,” says Andrea. “This is why we strive to care for your parents with the same dedication and love that you do. We truly spend each day caring for your loved one just as you would, while providing the support and education you need.”

Something for Everyone

The Reutlinger Community has something for everyone. From an array of living options to multiple programs and activities, no days look the same.

  • A true continuum of care. With Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Short-Term Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community is able to meet any needs your loved one may have. This can bring you and your family peace of mind knowing that your loved one will never have to move because their needs change.
  • Living options to fit needs and preferences. No matter if your loved one is independent or needs more care, there are unique living arrangements suited to their needs. Whether they desire a one-bedroom or studio apartment, private or semi-private room, each area has full-time nurses, activities coordinators and caregivers ready to help each resident thrive.
  • At your service. The Reutlinger Community provides residents with three restaurant-style meals each day in one of our five dining venues with snacks and beverages available any time. Feel like going out to eat or seeing a movie? Just ask for scheduled transportation to take you where you want to go. Here, residents also never need to worry about housekeeping, laundry or maintenance. We’re here to take care of all of it for you.
  • Be as busy or as relaxed as you wish. Spend the day surrounded by our beautiful gardens and hills, relax in the library with a good book or the café with your favorite drink. Participate in one of our many activities or go out on the town, the choice is yours.
  • Focus on spiritual needs. The Reutlinger Community believes that caring for the spiritual and religious needs of residents is essential to increased well-being. Our on-site synagogue, Sh’ma Kolenu, provides an ideal setting for prayer, meditation and services. Attend weekly Shabbat and enjoy our holiday services with Rabbi Debora Kohn or attend various religious programs and classes.
  • Express yourself. At The Reutlinger Community, our residents enjoy our art program with artist-in-residence Betty Rothaus, MFA. Teaching and exploring various art techniques, Betty helps others to enjoy learning new skills and ways to artistically express themselves through drawing and painting with acrylic, pastels, watercolor, textiles and more. 
  • Explore your heritage. Many residents enjoy The Reutlinger Community’s Jewish Heritage Museum, located on site with both permanent and temporary exhibits. Open Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., residents can see over 100 artifacts representing a range of cultural and ceremonial objects.

To experience The Reutlinger Community for yourself, or to learn more about our continuum of care and support, contact our team today. We would love to talk with you and show you why our community stands above the rest as the Bay Area’s premiere Jewish senior living community.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and

rehabilitation, The Reutlinger provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Understanding the Aging Process: Helping Your Aging Parent Cope with Loss (Part 4 of 4)

At The Reutlinger, we are experts in the aging process and strive to educate our residents, future residents and adult children about what to expect as a parent ages. In this four-part series, we explore the aging process and provide tips to help adult children navigate and manage these changes.

Our lives are marked by constant change. Graduating college, finding employment, getting married, becoming a parent – all these and more are the milestones by which we measure our lives. As we age, we find ourselves changing as well, sometimes in large ways and sometimes in smaller but no less significant ways, retiring, moving into a senior community or requiring caregivers. The change that comes with age is often defined by a sense of loss: loss of identity, purpose, independence, mobility, functionality – all these things and more add up to a shifting reality.

“Seniors are bombarded with constant change, from the physical and emotional to mental and situational,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Caregivers and loved ones play an important role in helping seniors and aging adults work through these difficulties and reaching acceptance of their new reality. There’s a grieving process that must be worked through in order to get to the other side to cope with and accept these everyday losses.”

The Stages of Grief

Many of us are familiar of the Five Stages of Grief developed by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross . These stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – were originally developed to explain the grieving process that an individual goes through when dealing with a terminal diagnosis.

“We usually associate the five stages of grief with dealing with external losses, like the death of a parent or loved one,” says Campisi. “However, Kübler-Ross never intended them to be used in that way. The stages were specifically developed to deal with personal, individual journeys of loss, whether that be the diagnosis of a terminal illness or something smaller, like not being able to drive in the evenings anymore. At The Reutlinger Community, we’ve found that these stages of grief can be used to help seniors internalize and accept the everyday personal losses they face as they age.”

Our society generally doesn’t tend to view everyday losses and transitions as something that should be grieved over. How many times have you heard someone say this: “Just get over it!” or “It’s not so bad – other people have it so much worse! What are you complaining about?” or “It’s time to move on!” In order to transition in a healthy way, we need to give our aging parents and other loved ones the space and the ability to adequately grieve these small but important losses and get to the other side.

The Stages of Grief for Everyday Losses

Here’s an example of how an aging parent may exhibit the five stages of grief as they’re experiencing an everyday loss, like mobility issues.

  • At first, your parents may react as if everything is fine. “I can do this myself! I don’t need help!” they may say as they refuse the help you’ve offered. It’s easy to view this as simply being stubborn or not facing facts, but denial stems from fear of the unknown. What does it mean if they accept they need help? Will they be forced to leave their home or give up something they love, which is another loss on top of this loss? It’s frightening and vulnerable, which is why the first reaction is to sweep it under the rug, so to speak.
  • As the issue can no longer be easily ignored, your parent may experience outbursts of anger as their body continues to betray them. This can result in anger at completely unrelated things, or they start to “fly off the handle” more easily. They may blame others for issues, or begin saying things like “It’s not fair!” While it seems counterintuitive, the best way to move forward is by encouraging them to embrace the anger and express it instead of trying to mitigate it or calm them down. The more your parents can feel that anger, the sooner they will be able to work through it and move forward.
  • “I’ll let someone come and help for a day a week, but I won’t give up my car!” If a phrase like that sounds familiar to you, that means your parents have entered the “bargaining” stage of grief. They’re trying to negotiate and regain a semblance of control over the situation. It can be frustrating for you as their child to have them do this “halfway acceptance” because in many ways they’re still in denial about the problem. If your parents are in this stage, it’s important to listen to them and accept the terms they can offer, no matter how ridiculous or small they may seem.
  • Depression. Depression has often been defined as “anger turned inward.” This manifests in feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, abandonment and loss of purpose. Your aging parents may seem dull and apathetic, not experiencing any interest or joy in the things they love to do. The most important thing you can do for them is to listen, to be there and let them know you care and they’re not alone. Medications and therapists may be able to help lessen the severity of this stage.
  • Acceptance. Oftentimes we see this stage as a destination, but it’s actually more like a beginning. At this point, your aging parent may finally accept that they need help and begin making plans and changes to address the new normal. However, it’s important to note that true acceptance takes time, and it’s possible your loved one will be accepting one day and then bounce back to another stage of grief the next. Eventually, though, your aging loved one will be able to face their new reality with honesty and acceptance and move forward.

How You Can Help Your Aging Parents Cope with Loss

The five stages of grief are not a rigid progression and can easily shift back and forth for a long time. As an adult child, it’s more important to think of them as guidelines for how your aging parent is feeling. By understanding what they are feeling and going through, you can better assist, support and help them through this journey.

The biggest gift you can give your parents at this time is acknowledgement. Our first reaction when there’s an issue is to provide advice, or try and fix it or, even worse, try to take over because we “know better”. But what your parent needs at this time more than anything is acknowledgement of their pain and what they’re feeling. Although it seems like something small and simple, it’s the biggest thing you can do to help make things better.

Here are some ways you can show your acknowledgement and support of your aging parents’ struggles:

  • Give them the space they need to be sad without attempting to cheer them up. It’s painful to experience loss, but it’s okay to let things hurt for a while.
  • Remind them as much as possible that it’s okay to grieve, and that it takes time – as much as they need.
  • Listen to them and allow them to vent their emotions and feelings as much as possible.
  • Tell them you hear them, that you’re sorry for what’s happening and ask if they would like to talk about it.
  • Encourage them to grieve in whatever way they wish. Encourage them to seek out support groups so they can speak with others who’ve gone through similar issues.
  • Be there for them, and if you’re concerned about how they’re coping, speak to a medical professional to see what resources may be available.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and

rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Knitters Club led by Nonnie Fluss, Activities

See the work our Knitters club has done!

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Left to right is: Laurette Abrams, Jean Jones, Nonnie Fluss and Jane Spector

 

Understanding the Aging Process: Planning Ahead for your Aging Parents’ Healthcare Needs (Part 3 of 4)

At The Reutlinger, we are experts in the aging process and strive to educate our residents, future residents and adult children about what to expect as a parent ages. In this four-part series, we explore the aging process and provide tips to help adult children navigate and manage these changes.

Planning for college. Saving up for a down payment on a home. Putting money into a 401(K). Being prepared for the future is an integral part of life, and we understand how important it is to make thoughtful decisions. However, when it comes to caring for an aging parent’s healthcare needs, many of us don’t think of planning until there’s an immediate problem.

“Adult children and senior parents often want to avoid discussing what will happen to their senior parents as they age because they just don’t want to think about it,” says Andrea Campisi of The Reutlinger, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “It’s hard to think about, but failing to plan for the future can make bad situations even worse. That’s why advance care planning is so important to the health and security of your family.”

Advance care planning is the process of discussing, determining and executing directives for an individual’s future treatment. This includes but is not limited to creating a living will and appointing a health care proxy who can make medical decisions if the individual isn’t able to do so. An advance care plan can be critical for providing the best quality of life for your parent as he or she ages, whether it’s a planned-for outcome, an emergency or an end-of-life situation.

“While talking about these scenarios can be emotionally charged and difficult, these conversations are one of the best ways to provide peace of mind for both senior parents and their adult children,” says Campisi. “These are complicated decisions that require a great deal of careful consideration and thought, and should be an ongoing, comprehensive process that includes everyone involved – from the senior, to family members, to care providers and health care proxies. We always say good communication is the single most important critical factor in a successful advance care plan.”

Issues and Options to Consider

Here are just some of the issues for you and your senior parent to consider:

  • Values and beliefs. What are your parents’ spiritual beliefs and personal values? What do they consider to be an appropriate quality of life, or what makes life worth living? Understanding their philosophies and personal concerns about aging is incredibly important to consider. Any advance care plan should respect their values and beliefs while balancing appropriate care regimens and directives.
  • End-of-life Preferences. While most people have an idea of how they would like to face their own death, disability or serious illnesses, they may hesitate to discuss them to avoid upsetting friends and family. If a senior parent is avoiding the subject, adult children can help spur the conversation by sharing your own ideas or discussing how other friends or family have approached similar situations.
  • Health care proxies. In the event of a debilitating event like a coma or disease such as dementia, it’s important to have someone who can make healthcare decisions if Mom or Dad is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions. This is an incredibly important and personal decision, and can result in a lot of heartache if not adequately discussed and planned for. Whoever is chosen as proxy will need to be able to make rational decisions based on the preexisting advance care plan, as well as the individual’s previously discussed beliefs and values. As an adult child, it’s important to thoughtfully consider your own feelings and the feelings of family members, and if needed, help your parent select an individual who will be able to carry out their wishes. If you, as their child, feel like you would not be able to carry out the role of proxy, it’s important to discuss this with your parent so they may select a more appropriate party.
  • Professional advance care planning. There are many different professionals who can help you with official documentation that ensures your senior parent’s wishes are respected. Some examples are members of the clergy and lawyers who specialize in estates or elder law. You can also research social workers and counselors who specialize in hospice, end-of-life care or age-related services who can offer guidance at every stage of this process.

Important Documents Required for Successful Advance Care Planning

Aging involves a lot of different legal and financial issues, not just emotional ones. By consulting with professionals who specialize in these services, you can make sure that everything is in order if and when your senior parent’s advance care plans need to be implemented. Here are some of the more common advance care planning documents that are required:

  • Living Wills, which are also known as medical directives. These are written care instructions that state your senior parent’s care wishes in the event they can’t make decisions for themselves.
  • Power of Attorney, also known as durable power or health care power of attorney. This document appoints a particular individual as proxy or agent to make health care decisions if the senior is unable to do so.
  • Advance Directive, which is a common term that describes both a living will and medical power of attorney. They focus on preferred type of care, care that’s not wanted and identifies health care proxies.
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), which is a physician’s order written in an official medical record that indicates health care providers should not attempt certain life-saving measures. A DNR request can be included in planning documents, or communicated directly with a senior’s physician.

What Adult Children Can Do to Ensure a Parent’s Wishes are Carried Out

  • Make sure family and important individuals know your parent’s wishes. It’s most important to make sure that the health care proxy knows your parent’s wishes and is comfortable with carrying them out.
  • Make copies of planning documents and keep them in easily accessible places. Generally, it’s important that copies are distributed to the health care proxy, family members, physicians, friends and lawyers if appropriate. That way a copy can always be accessed quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • Continue the conversation and review plans on a regular basis. By revisiting the advance care plans, you can make sure your parent is still satisfied with the decision they’ve made, and that the health care proxy is still willing to carry out the plan.

While advance care planning isn’t the most enjoyable conversation to have, it’s an important part of the aging process that provides peace of mind for everyone involved. As you go through the process, remember: it’s not necessary to make all the decisions at once. And it’s okay if decisions change in the future. What’s most important is to start the conversation and continue it in a positive, healthy way so that you, your senior parent and the rest of your family have confidence and assurance for the future. 

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, The Reutlinger provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

The Reutlinger Community: An Extension of Your Home Now and Forever

At The Reutlinger, we were specially designed and built for living. Newly renovated and offering a true continuum of care, we are a community that not only looks and feels like home, but can truly be home for all of seniors’ different care needs. Whether they need Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, they never need to worry about making a move from the community that provides them with the engaging lifestyle, beloved traditions and dedicated care they deserve.

According to Andrea Campisi, Marketing Director at The Reutlinger Community, an Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation community in Danville, CA, The Reutlinger has been serving seniors throughout the area for over 60 years. “Recent renovations have been completed to provide better service, comfort, care and connection for our residents,” says Andrea. “This allows for an engaging lifestyle where up to 180 residents can thrive. Even better, our dedicated and seasoned specialists can now provide even more of the care that our residents deserve.”

At The Reutlinger, we believe it’s a combination of our programming, heritage and care that creates the lifestyle seniors deserve. Here, our residents can be at home and feel at home, enjoying the services they need.

The Dedicated Care You Deserve

No matter what care needs your loved one may have, The Reutlinger can always be home. Here, we provide an array of care options that can fit a range of needs, including:

 

  • Assisted Living. Residents in our Assisted Living program benefit from services and amenities that help them life worry-free lives. From chef-prepared meals, scheduled transportation and assistance when needed to weekly housekeeping, laundry and engaging programming, residents can enjoy each day.

 

  • Memory Care. We have been designed to take care of various Memory Care needs, no matter what level your loved one may be at. For those requiring minimal Memory Care to more advanced, our range of capabilities can help residents live their best lives. We even provide sensory-based therapies and programming adapted to meet the changing needs of residents with Memory Care needs.

 

  • Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. To end our continuum of care, we also offer Skilled Nursing, allowing the peace of mind of knowing you’ll never need to make a move because The Reutlinger has you covered. With personal assistance, support from an expert team of professionals and an array of on-site services, our residents and families can enjoy everything The Reutlinger has to offer with complete peace of mind.

The Engaging Lifestyle You Desire

Residents of The Reutlinger enjoy a range of activities and programs designed to enhance and enrich their lives. These offerings allow them to connect and engage with others, find purpose and meaning and feel at home right where they are.

 

  • Art classes. Taught by our artist-in-residence, Betty Rothaus, our residents can enjoy learning how to paint or simply watch. This program gives resident artists multiple opportunities to explore art therapeutically, or just enjoy a calming creative outlet right in their own home.

 

  • Scheduled transportation. We worry about taking your loved one places so you don’t have to. We provide transportation each day to doctor’s appointments, nearby shopping, special events and more.

The Traditions You Love

At The Reutlinger, not only do we treat your family like our family but their traditions are upheld. We cherish the Jewish lifestyle and its beliefs, and believe that their values should be honored. As the area’s only Jewish community, residents of The Reutlinger can enjoy:

 

  • Rabbi on site. Rabbi Debora Kohn holds weekly Shabbat and holiday services, conducts spiritual and religious programming, provides guidance and ensures the spiritual needs of residents are met.  

 

  • Kosher kitchen. The Reutlinger provides kosher meals to fit the needs of our Jewish residents. With the area’s only kosher kitchen, our residents enjoy three restaurant-style meals plus snacks and beverages.

 

  • Jewish Heritage Museum. Residents and their families can find our Jewish Heritage Museum on site. Our museum features Jewish artifacts that have been donated. This is open for residents, families, staff and visitors to enjoy.

To learn more about The Reutlinger, or to experience it for yourself, contact us today. We would be happy to take you on a tour, have you attend an art class or meet with our rabbi.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and

rehabilitation, The Reutlinger provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

5 Factors to Look for in a Senior Living Community

One of our greatest fears is that of the unknown. But equipped with the right questions, and knowing what to look for, will make the transition from living at home to a senior living community feel safer. Remember when you moved out of your parents’ house to a college dorm? Moved into your first apartment? Bought your first home for your family? Transitions are part of life and The Reutlinger Community is here to help guide you.

Can adequate care be provided as your needs change?

Everyone has their own unique care requirements. Are licensed care practitioners such as nurses available onsite? Do they offer medication management, physical therapy, and general medical care? At The Reutlinger, we offer a full continuum of care. This means you will never have to move again. Our home is your home now and forever.

How are the dining services?

Ask to have a meal in the dining room. Is it healthy and delicious? Is it vibrant and invites socialization? Can family and friends visit and dine with you? Are there accommodations for dietary restrictions and how they are managed?

What activities, programs and spiritual services are available?

Keeping an active mind, body and spirit are essential as we age. Are there activities that promote social interaction? Physical fitness? Spiritual well-being?

Is the staff kind and caring?

At The Reutlinger, we pride ourselves in being family. We do not just provide care for you, we care about you.  When you visit a community, do you see staff interacting with the residents? Are they having conversations about family, politics, arts and culture? What communication methods are in place to keep families and residents informed?

Is the community investing in upgrades?

Take a look around. Is the community funding upgrades to carpets, wallcoverings, furniture? Technology accessibility? You want to live in a home that is taken of.

For more information call us at (925) 648-2800 or visit www.rcjl.org.