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Getting the Word Out about the benefits of Senior Supportive Housing

Posted: January 14, 2013

This morning I had the privilege of addressing my fellow Boston-area Jewish agency executive directors at a CJP meeting.  I had prepared a lot of photos, since I assumed they well all so familiar with Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly.

Luckily, I failed to ask in advance for a projector, so I had to just talk.  Mostly I focused on the measurable impacts we are having on critical outcomes:

  • Avoiding or seriously postponing nursing home admissions—by roughly 9.25 years;
  • Protecting income/benefits of our residents;
  • Increased health from regular social interaction—citing Harvard School of Public Health research that demonstrates that regular, meaningful social interaction can reduce the rate of cognitive decline by more than 50%;
  • Promoting volunteerism and how much that adds to the economy; and
  • Longer lives—citing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services research suggesting this type of housing adds 5 years of expected life.

To my surprise, the other directors seemed genuinely surprised by the information and appreciative of the data.  Now these are highly-educated, well-informed, plugged-in leaders—and they didn’t know this stuff.

This is the challenge for JCHE—to combat the general lack of concrete information about the aging process.  We have learned so much over the years about what it realistically takes to age successfully—and we have a genuine desire to share this information, but in a way that does not seem self-serving or self-congratulatory.  Any suggestions?


January 14, 2013

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