A Message From the Executive Director
Toni Lynn Davis MHA, CNHA, FACHCA
According to United Health Foundation’s annual report, as reported by Kathleen O’Brien NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, New Jersey ranks 26th in the nation for senior health. UHF’s report identified low weight of the state’s senior citizens as the largest ranking identifier, with NJ 43rd in this area. NJ is also ranked as 19th for obesity in seniors.
Being active in one’s community is a factor ranked by UHF and NJ is listed as 43rd again for volunteering. Ms. O’Brien wisely notes that seniors who are involved in activity are happier, have lower rates of depression and retain cognitive function longer than those who are isolated.
NJ ranks last for the amount of time seniors spend in intensive care units, and 46th for the number of senior deaths that occur in hospital. These are very frightening statistics.
The challenges that all seniors face, especially those in New Jersey, is that care is often not structured holistically. A senior citizen needs an advocate who focuses on the whole person. This advocate may be a family member or another person who can monitor their daily needs and health. Someone who can make sure they are eating enough and correctly. Help keep them involved in their community by inviting them out to activities or volunteer opportunities. Drive them places if the senior no longer can drive, like the market, or to activities and doctor appointments. The advocate can make sure a senior is taking their medications correctly, are getting their vaccinations, that their home is clean and tidy, and that they are bathed.
Having a person to monitor and assist in the quality of life of our seniors will greatly reduce incidents of weight issues, depression, and unrecognized illness, or denigration of cognitive and other health issues.
May seniors can’t afford home care but don’t want to leave their homes. Many families live far from their seniors or don’t have the physical capacity to provide daily care. Once a senior is in distress, or deteriorates to the point of hospitalization, the ICU can be appropriate medical intervention. Yet a personal advocate when a senior is hospitalized can reduce days of stay. Keeping our seniors out of the hospital with proper personal care whether in their home, or in a group community is the best way to reduce ICU stays and hospital deaths.
To help combat these horrifying New Jersey statistics about our seniors Green Hill has expanded its care programs to include Green Hill @ Home, which provides elders at-home personalized services, and caring support as needed for short term, or long term periods. Green Hill @ Home providers are highly trained and certified nursing home care professionals. Services provided are as broad as bathing, dressing and grooming to shopping, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, correspondence and bill paying, and participation in activities, to medication and treatment reminders, occupational or physical therapy, hospital stays and personal support in long term care facilities. Green Hill @ Home provides elders with a friend who will help them enjoy a healthy and positive quality of life.