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March 31, 1978 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-03-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

38 Friday, March 31, 1918

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Residents' Needs Discussed at Federation Apartments

Children's concerns for
the welfare of their aging
parents was the main item
of business discussed at
Jewish Federation Apart-
ments on March 19, at the
first formal meeting bet-

1 MAN

ORCHESTRA

Freddy Sheyer
398-2462

ween the apartments
executive director and
board of directors and the
sponsors of the facility's re-
sidents.
The apartments, a
member agency of the
Jewish Welfare Federation,
which planned the original
building, houses 200 senior
citizens with limited in-
comes. - Sponsors, in most
cases residents' children,
are the individuals who as-
sume "primary responsibil-
ity" for the residents' well-

being, said executive direc-
tor Helen Naimark.
Mark E. Schlussel,
apartments president, ad-
dressed the problem of in-
sufficient senior citizens'
housing with the an-
nouncement that construc-
tion will begin in June for a
new building, adjacent to
the present one, which will
provide space for an addi-
tional 130 residents.
"With a total of 330 per-
sons here, we're going to
have to develop a more

PASSOVER 6 78

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structured program, and
we're going to need your
help," he told more than
200 persons who filled the
apartments dining room.
Main speakers at the
meeting were Margaret
Weiner, casework and
group treatment supervisor
at Jewish Family Service,
and Dr. Hyman Mellen,
consultant at Sinai Hospital
and chairman of the Medi-
cal Coordinating Commit-
tee serving the local agen-
cies of the Jewish Welfare
Federation.

Lack of suitable work is a
major problem for the el-
derly, Mrs. Weiner said.
"People have a tendency to
expect older people to sit
back and be passive. Well,
when your parent, who
would otherwise be a 'nood-
nik', suddenly becomes very
quiet, you'd better start
worrying. The meaner they
are and the more they comp-
lain, the better."
Another major problem
for older persons is their re-
duced mobility in today's
geographically spread-out
community. Public trans-
portation, if it exists at all,
is inconvenient, and the
aged can't usually afford
taxis. By ignoring the prob-
lem, she said, we help the
aged to become more and
more isolated. "The world
starts to shrink as people
age."
Mrs. Weiner suggested
the aged could be useful
in teaching Yiddish and
personally-experienced
Jewish history to chil-
dren. "This remarkable
generation of people who
immigrated from Europe

Residents of Jewish Federation Apartments enjoy
dinner in the building's dining room. Five kosher
meals are served each week to the building's 200 resi-
dents.

will soon disappear, and
they have so much to of-
fer," she said. "We are
wasting an enormous
human resource by not
using the aged."
Dr. Mellen, a board
member of Jewish Federa-
tion Apartments from its
beginning in 1969 until his
retirement last year, dis-
cussed what he admitted
was a painful topic: the
problem of persons who
grow too old to stay on at the
apartments.
"We should only continue
to house individuals here
who retain the capacity to
function independently,
who can take care of their
own housekeeping, per-
sonal cleanliness, cooking,
laundry and medication,
and who are able to recog-
nize the need to call for
help," he said. -
"A temporary loss of in-
dependence because of
acute illness can be hand-
led. But if an illness be-
comes long-term, the resi-
dent must be located
elsewhere," he said.

for a move at the first sign of
incapacity, the transfer will
be much easier because it
won't have to be made on an
emergency basis."

Mental or emotional in-
capacity is more difficult for
relatives to face than physi-
cal disability, he said.
"Some senility in the aged
is normal, especially mem-
ory loss," he said. "But a
rapidly increasing tendency
to forget, plus lack of in-
terest, clarity and com-
prehension, moodiness,
paranoia, a slowing of gait,
difficulty with speech, a de-
sire to be left alone -- these
are not normal and indicate
brain atrophy.
"An individual so in-
volved cannot be ex-
pected to reside inde-
pendently; he becomes a
hazard to himself and to
others," Dr. Mellen said.

He urged sponsors not to
make their own diagnoses,
however. "These symptoms
may mean a medical or
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• • • • • • • • • • •
mental condition which can
• HORS D'OEUVRES • CONDOLENCE DINNERS
be treated. If you notice
Dr. Mellen said resi-
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these symptoms in your pa-
dents' personal physi-
rents, let a professional
cians are asked to render make the decision about
prognoses of their medi-
whether treatment is possi-
cal conditon at periodic ble," he said.
intervals.
AT 12 1/2 MILE — IN THE FARRELL PLAZA
Bess Krolik, Jewish Fed-

12711 W. 1 MILf RD.

eration Apartments vice
"If there is evidence that a
president who chaired the
chronic inability is develop-
meeting, noted that "social,
ing, plans should be in-
FREE ESTIMATES

• itiated for change," he said.
intellectual and physical

AT YOUR Mit
• "These decisions are never activity can slow down the
Not Affiliated With Any Other Business
onset
of senility."
easy,
but
if
the
children
or

FOR ALL PARTIES

• • • • • • • • • • • • other relatives begin to plan
She called for volunteers
to help with the building's
library, with discussion
groups, Sabbath services,
parties, clerical duties and
other activities. "The resi-
dents can run most of these
programs themselves," she
said. "They just need a little
help from you."
Mrs. Naimark noted
that residents of the
apartments have been
actively working on pro-
jects to benefit the Allied
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"Proceeds from games
nights go to the Campaign,
and we were just given a
check for $250 from a group
that runs a 'coffee klatch' on
Sunday mornings, selling
coffee and bagels," she said.
"We recently discovered a
lot of things in our storage
rooms that are no longer
Free Gift Wrapping No Due Bills, Cash refunds
being claimed by our ten-
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VISA'
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M., Th., Fri., di 9, Tues., Wed., Sat. til 6
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Betty Bloom

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• GRAEME •
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• •

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SEE WHY EVERYONE'S TALKING

TAPPER'S JEWELRY

donate the money to the
Campaign."
-•-• • • •-•

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