April 30, 1976
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Reality Orientation: Changing Life at Borman Hall
successes may be small, but JHA volunteers, the RO pro-
other programs across the man Hall.
well as other pro-
Tests were administered for the residents and to gram, as
those of us who share that grams at Borman Hall, can
According to Jessie
happiness, it is a big step utilize additional help.
Booker, head of house- floor of Borman Hall prior forward," Elsie Harold said.
keeping at Borman Hall to selecting residents to par-
For information, call Miss
According to Becky Kim-
and a Jewish Home for ticipate in the program. 'men, staff coordinator of Kimmen, 532-7112.
Aged employee for 30
years, the program has ties and limitations were
been well accepted by her selected.
"One thing we found
staff. "RO is helping the
the survey was
residents and giving the
staff a new outlook on the that some residents didn't
residents' care," she said. even know their room-
Ms. Kleinplatz explained, mate's name. People
"Whenever a staff member would sit next to each
encounters a resident, day other in the dayroom, day
or night, he is expected to after day, and wouldn't
address the patient by name even say hello," Ms.
and to say something that Kleinplatz said.
After 10 weeks of RO
will help to orient him to
of the residents are
place and time. The staff is
urged to repeat directions finding new interest in their
often. What may sound like surroundings. "They look
a recording to staff does not forward to going to class
Nursing home staff and to the resident. We now use and being with other peo-
volunteers attended exten- this technique for everyone, ple,"
resident, an Ortho-
sive training sessions before not only those who are in
the program began. the actual classroom pro- dox rabbi, had lost interest
in almost everything. He no
"Nurses, aides, orderlies, gram."
longer said prayers over his
dietary staff, social work-
ers, housekeeping staff, vol- also taught not to let a resi- food and did not even recog-
unteers and administrators dent persist in his confu- nize the Torah. After 10,
weeks of RO, the rabbi has
were taught to, apply RO sions.
"For example, if a resi- regained interest in his sur-
when working with the resi-
roundings and is amazing
dents. It is important that dent identifies an aide as JHA
staff with his recall of
RO be used 24 hours a day
by all the staff to be suc- kinder to set the resident which prayers
once were so much a
straight about the mistaken
cessful," she said.
of his life.
To make in-service train- identity. The aide should part
All Home for the Aged employes, including execu-
ing easier, Ms. Kleinplatz then suggest that she may RO," Ms. Kleinplatz said. tive director Charles Wolfe, shown in the top photograph
uses tapes and movies from look like her daughter," Ms. "Residents have a short at-
talking to a resident, have received reality orientation
Kleinplatz said. "It would be
training. Wolfe is a frequent visitor to Borman Hall's
much harder on a patient if
third floor, where the program is being implemented. In
she thought the aide were
the bottom photograph, nurse Ruth Maye is shown while
her daughter and the aide
using reality orientation techniques during a casual con-
versation with a resident.
The second major part of
the reality orientation ton his clothing or not know
program consists of what a fork is."
A team approach has
30-minute class periods,
five days a week, which proved the most effective
are taught by volunteers means of communication
and nursing home staff. to achieve consistency.
The classes not only in- Therefore, two volunteers
volve a structured orienta- or two staff members are
tion to time, place and per- assigned to each class of
sonal identity but also three or four residents.
"With this arrangement,
activities with objects.
The classes are taught in of illness or vacation doesn't
English and Yiddish. In- affect the class's continu-
structors begin each session tiy," she said.
The program was inter-
with a series of simple
statements to orient the rupted by an outbreak of flu
senior adults to the situa- in February, but both volun-
teers and staff members
The instructor begins by feel they have re-established
telling each resident where the program and that it will
he is, and introduces herself continue on its successful
and the others in class. She path.
According to Ms. Klein-
then points to a wall clock
volunteers are a vital
and says, "The time is now
11 a.m. and time for our part of the reality orienta-
tion program. "It's difficult
class to begin."
She may then say, "Today to find volunteers willing to
is Friday, April 30. Tomor- work in the third floor set-
row is Saturday." ting. This area isn't always
The instructor next asks the most pleasant. And the
each resident, "Mr. job certainly isn't easy. On
Schatz, what day is to- the other hand, it's very re-
day?" If the patient gives warding to share in a pro-
the right answer, she re- ject where the successes are
NEW YORK — The Israel Philatelic Agency in Amer- wards him with praise. If
Members of the Jewish
ica has announced three new stamp issues. Shown above, at
for Aged Women's
the top, is an IL 7 souvenir sheet honoring "Netanya '76."
Auxiliary involved in the
The sheet honors the city which has become the focus of the answer or patiently
industry, citrus growing and tourism, as well as a regional helps the resident to reply volunteer RO program in-
center for the Sharon area. The three stamps on the sheet correctly. elude Bess
show a beach umbrella representing tourism, a small boat
classroom include pictures vasser, Ethel Cohen, Ann
for water sports, and a diamond representing industry.
The stamp at bottom, left, commemorates Lag Vomer, of everyday activities, foods, Faigin,
the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, in which the semi-
Galper, Elsie Harold,
mourning period of the Omer is broken with shaving, hair- calendars.
Bulletin boards with the Evenly Kasle, Elsie Katz,
trimming, weddings and other festivities. The colorful
Reality orientation coordinator Fae Kleinplatz is
month, place and next Eleanor Newman, Tania shown in the top photograph conversing with an elderly
stamp features the dancers of Meron, in IL 1.30 denomina-
Saslove and Gloria Zab-
gentleman who was generally unresponsive before the
The stamp at bottom, right, commemorates Israel's bored letters are displayed ner.
RO program. Below, volunteer Maxine Canvasser is
in the hallways and day-
Memorial Day, honoring all who have courageously given rooms
shown speaking to a Jewish Home for Aged resident
their lives for Israel. The stamp depicts a contemporary me-
while pushing a cart of simple props to the reality orien-
morial monument, and is issued in the IL 1.85 denomina-
the basic facts of life in Bor- der some of the residents' tation class.
Things are different to-
day on the third floor of
Borman Hall, Jewish Home
for Aged. The floor for resi-
dents receiving the most in-
tensive medical and nursing
care used to be a place to
which relatives and resi-
dents sometimes resisted
Through a rehabilitation
program known as reality
orientation (RO), many of
the elderly living on the
third floor and classified as
confused, disoriented, with-
drawn or senile, now have a
more meaningful outlook.
Reality orientation, ac-
cording.to Charles Wolfe,
executive director of the
Jewish Home for Aged, is a
basic approach to confused
or withdrawn persons —
most particularly, the con-
fused geriatric patient.
"It recognizes that for
many confused people, the
functions of daily life —
eating, grooming, dressing
and so on — are impossible
because these actions have
been forgotten and must be
relearned," Wolfe said.
RO was started at the
Borman Hall facility of
Jewish Home for Aged in
January as a demonstration
project. Funded by the Jew-
ish Community Foundation
of the United Jewish Chari-
ties, the program presently
involves 17 residents.
According to Wolfe there
are a number of reasons for
confusion and disorienta-
tion. The patient's first
symptoms may accompany
a physical illness where he
•may gradually become ab-
sentminded, forget facts or
"It is the task of our staff
and volunteers to reverse
the downhill process," He
Fae Kleinplatz, coordi-
nator of the RO program
at Borman Hall, terms the
therapy an around-the-
clock orientation to the
with emphasis on time,
place and person.
New Israeli Commemoratives