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Caring For The Aged
Continued from Page 49
planning is essential. A lot of the
better facilities have long waiting
lists. "I waited for two years to get
my mother into the Jewish Home
for the Aged," says Miriam
Sandweiss. "She would revert to
speaking Yiddish, without realiz-
ing she was doing so. I wanted her
to be somewhere she would be un-
derstood and comfortable."
Finding homes which provide
kosher meals, or facilitate reli-
gious observance, can also be im-
possible without. pre-planning.
Moreover, it is important to
"make the first placement the
right one," says Alan Winer, ad-
ministrator of the Bloomfield
Hills Care Center. The first few
weeks can be crucial to successful
rehabilitation and change can be
unsettling, sometimes danger-
It is a misconception, says
Winer, that nursing home place-
ment is always a final step and a
last resort. Many patients enter
by choice and many are rehabili-
tated sufficiently to return home.
It is also a mistake, he says, to
believe that no quality care exists.
Proper placement is easier to
make if the decision is not made
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
hurriedly and under stress.
Check out several facilities, he
recommends, and don't settle for
substandard care. But be realis-
tic, he warns. A $40 a day nursing
home cannot and is not intended
to provide the services of a $400 a
Feelings of guilt and inade-
quacy make nursing home visit-
ing very difficult for some rela-
tives. "You have to remember,"
advises Miriam Sandweiss, "that
however hard it is for you, it's
harder for them. You must visit.
They need your advocacy and
support." Short, frequent visits
can be more valuable and less tax-
ing for .both patient and visitor
than one long one.
Volunteer work within the
nursing home can give a sense of
joint involvement as well as the
opportunity to stop in frequently
and maintain an easier, more
natural contact. Sharing a favo-
rite recreational activity can also
lessen the awkwardness of the
traditional bedside. visit. And re-
miniscing, reliving happy, shared
experiences, is not only one of the
most effortless ways of making
conversation, but, say psychol-
ogists, one of the most therapeutic
and rewarding activities for the
Society today, says the Home
for Aged's Charles Wolfe, tends to
measure a person's worth by his
productivity. Tried in this bal-
ance, many old people feel a
deadening lack of self-esteem.
The most powerful antidote to this
poisoriing sense of uselessness is
family love, frequently communi-
cated and clearly shown in con-
Showing it is not always easy.
In fact it is often extremely dif-
ficult. But perseverance can bring
its own rewards, as Marlene
"Some good things came out of
our experience. We all learned a
lot, especially the kids. They
learned compassion," she says,
turning to her husband for cor-
roboration. "I'm not afraid of how
they will treat us when we get
Looking For Help
Some community sources of
information and/or services:
Area Agency on Aging,
29508 Southfield Rd., Suite
100, Southfield 48075. Tele-
Regional planning organiza-
tion for older persons in
Livingston, Macomb, Monroe,
Oakland, St. Clair and
Washtenaw Counties. Services
funded include: personal care,
legal assistance, adult day
care, congregate meals, em-
ployment for older workers,
services for vision and hearing
impaired elderly, advocacy,
homemaker, counseling, re-
spite, home - delivered meals
Service priority is directed
towards those in greatest eco-
nomic and social need.
Jewish Information and Re-
ferral Service, 15110 W. Ten
Mile Rd, Oak Park 48237.
Volunteer staff guide in-
quirers to resources in the
Jewish and general com-
munities and make routine
follow-up calls to ehsure that
referrals are appropriate and
Jewish Family Service,
24123 Greenfield Rd., South-
field 48075. Telephone 559-
Services include: support
group programs, respite or
apartment relocation and
housing referral, homemaker,
Wheels, advocacy and volun-
Jewish Community Center,
15110 W. Ten Mile Rd., Oak
Park. Telephone 967-4030.
6600 W. Maple Rd., West
Bloomfield. Telephone 661-
Services include: Diagnostic
health screening program,
kosher nutrition program,
educational and recreational
programs, and transportation.
Jewish Home for the Aged,
Borman Hall, 19100 W. Seven
Mile Rd., Detroit 48219. Tele-
phone 532-7112. Meyer L. Pre-
ntis Manor, 26051 Lahser Rd.
Southfield. Telephone 352-
2336. Fleischman Residence
and Blumberg Plaza, 6710 W.
Maple Rd., West Bloomfield.
In addition to institutional
care, catering to different
levels of dependency, services
include day care programs and
community education on is-
sues relating to the elderly.
Citizens for Better Care,
28600 W. Eleven Mile Rd.,
Farmington Hills 48018. Tele-
phone 476-2040 (Oakland,
Livingston, St. Clair and Mon-
roe counties). Telephone 962-
5968 (Detroit - Wayne
A wide range of information
and advice is also available in
the publications of the Ameri-
can Association of Retired Per-
sons (AARP), 1909 K Street
NW, Washington, D.C. 20049.
Members are entitled to group