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MARCH 23, 2018


Life Care Planning A Cleveland Jewish News Special Section


MARCH 23, 2018


Questions abound when choosing hospice care center BECKY RASPE | SPECIAL SECTIONS STAFF REPORTER @BeckyRaspeCJN braspe@cjn.org |


ooking for a hospice care center for a loved one is confusing, emotional and overwhelming. According to Rabbi Akiva Feinstein, Vinney Hospice chaplain at Montefiore in Beachwood; Shnea Walker, hospice administrator at McGregor Home in Cleveland; and Dr. Christine Marsick, medical director at Visiting Nurses Association of Ohio in Cleveland, families usually don’t want to ask questions when it comes to hospice, but it’s necessary. “It can be an awkward subject,” Feinstein said. “The main thing a person should look out for is the kind of care they provide. Hospices vary in the quality of service and attention to family.” Feinstein said families should ask about the frequency of visits, how quickly someone can respond to needs and what inpatient options are available. Walker said families should ask how the hospice supports a patient’s loved ones. “The family needs support through the transition,” she said. “We want the whole family to be comfortable and feel like the process isn’t a burden on them.”



Marsick said before asking questions, families need to know which centers they’re going to look into. “Ask your family, friends and neighbors about who they have used,” she said. “Hospice has matured as a health care field in the past 20 years. So, almost everyone has had an experience in their family. They can say what went well and what didn’t.” The professionals said families should talk to each center and find out what each offers before selecting one. “The family should interview many hospices and have them come to their house and visit the centers,” Feinstein said. “Once they have a sense of the organization, they may know then. It’s not a number thing

either, sometimes it’s time convenience.” Walker said, “The main thing they should ask is how we are going to keep their loved one comfortable. In hospice, (centers) don’t give evasive treatment, so families should understand what will be provided.” Marsick said it’s important to ask how long a hospice has been in business. “There are a handful of long timers that have been through thick and thin, and there are also a lot of newcomers,” she said. “But, if someone has been around in the world of hospice for 30 years, that is a good indicator. Nothing beats experience.” Feinstein said hospice decisions vary from family to family. “Each hospice offers different things, some families like when (a facility) is close by,” he said. “Others are more attracted to the fact that social workers are more involved and there is a lot of bereavement support. It’s a very personal experience. (The family) needs to be with people they trust and like.” Marsick also said the difference between hospices that are not-for-profit or for-profit may not be big, but that’s a question to ask. “It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s definitely a different environment,” she said. “On the same note, with many smaller

programs out there, (families) should ask if they have a full-time medical director. There are full-time employees of an agency that is here all the time to direct patient care. Having an experienced hospice physician will help provide better care.” Walker said when a family finds a hospice center they like, they will know. “When asking the centers questions, families will know by the answers the center is giving them and if the answers are what they wanted to hear,” she said. “The focus of hospice is comfort. When they hear these answers, they should know from their gut. It will fall into place. Hospice is there to fit around the family and patient’s needs. If we can fit those needs, you will know if we’re the right facility for you.” Feinstein said his biggest piece of advice for families preparing for hospice care is to not wait until the last minute. “It’s an awkward moment when someone is getting worse and worse and the doctor doesn’t say anything, and the family doesn’t want to talk about it,” he said. “It’s OK to ask what things will look like when the body isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. It’s about understanding the timing of treatments and what hospice exactly is before it’s actually needed.”



MARCH 23, 2018

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MARCH 23, 2018


Technology makes life careplanning more manageable BECKY RASPE | SPECIAL SECTIONS STAFF REPORTER @BeckyRaspeCJN braspe@cjn.org |


ife care planning encompasses many components like medication management, doctor visits, care plans and end of life planning, which can make the process overwhelming. But according to Scott Kravitz, general manager of Senior Premier Concierge in Cuyahoga Falls, and Jason Welther, community development director at Windsor Heights in Beachwood, the process has become easier as more digital resources are available. “Life care planning in the digital age is changing tremendously, simply because of the access families have

to resources right at their fingertips,” Kravitz said. “The research involved and the options that are out there in our communities are right at our disposal.” Kravitz said technology empowers individuals before they even leave their home or make a decision. “We know what we need in the future ... and we have a good idea whether that fits in our plan or if it needs to be changed,” he said. “Technology has also made my job easier. But working with the demographic that is really seriously interested in life care planning, I’m able to use tools during transitioning.” Welther said he finds technology also has a negative impact on life care planning, although it also allows for ease of access.


Care and andcompassion compassion for the theentire entirefamily. family.

When the time comes to make difficult end-of-life care decisions, you will find the comfort, dignity and loving care care you you and and your your loved loved ones ones desire desire when when you you choose Vinney Hospice of Montefiore as your care partner. as your care partner. Our compassionate hospice team, led by a board-certified medical director, is dedicated to providing exceptional exceptional levels levels of of physical, physical, emotional emotional and and spiritual spiritual support. Integrative therapies – art, music, massage and Reiki treatments music, massage and Reiki treatments––are are also available to help soothe body, mind and soul. soothe body, mind and soul. Hospice care may be provided in the familiar familiar comfort comfort of of your your residence residence or or in in Beachwood at Maltz Hospice Hospice House House,, Montefiore’s Montefiore’s “quiet “quite gem.” To learn more, please call 216.910.2650 216.910.2650 or or visit visit montefiorecare.org for for aa virtual virtual tour. tour.

One One David DavidN. N.Myers MyersParkway Parkway Beachwood, OH 44122 Beachwood, OH 44122

“The good part of technology is that it allows us to access information easier,” he said. “But, technology also takes away the personal aspect of the process.” Technology allows Kravitz to help people move into the next stage of their life, letting him determine at a moment’s notice the costs involved. Kravitz “If we take the concept of estate sales, there are always pros and cons to doing that,” he said. “Now, there are ways because of the internet and because of the devices we use, no one has to enter your home in order to see the things you want to get rid of, including payment.” When it comes to care plans, Welther said there is no downside to technology use. Welther “As you obtain data that you’re putting in for the care of the resident, you’re able to identify issues and changes in their health quicker,” he said. “You’re also able to compile data in how their health is trending. The staff is then able to use that data to see if the resident needs treatment or staffing changes.” If families don’t know where to start, Kravitz said there are online resources, like A Place for Mom or Care Patrol, that can help. “There are resources that are tapped into all of the specific searches or tags that a family may be looking for,” he said. “If you’re planning for the end of life, you can also find a lot about funeral homes, cemeteries and different options right at your fingertips without having to take the time and energy all over the city.” Welther said his biggest piece of advice is to gather as much information as possible. “You have referral sources that gather information on facilities that provide them to families,” he said. “Don’t base your decisions on looks. Talk to whomever you can.” Kravitz said it’s important for families to remember although it’s a stressful time, starting early for life care planning can greatly decrease the possibility of problems. “It all starts with utilizing the internet and the tech available,” he said. “Once you decide and gather all of the information and make a decision, you’re armed with enough information and recourses to narrow down your search and make that decision.”

“Life care planning in the digital age is changing tremendously, simply because of the access families have to resources right at their fingertips. The research involved and the options that are out there in our communities are right at our disposal.” Scott Kravitz, General Manager Senior Premier Concierge



MARCH 23, 2018

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MARCH 23, 2018



Your life care plan begins with where you live


Life can change dramatically when living alone becomes a challenge. To ensure we are placing priority on our safety and well-being as we age, we must make countless adjustments to our lives as our physical, emotional and mental health changes.

Where do you begin? Menorah Park. With specially designed residences to help you age in place without having to uproot your life, you can live independently at the beautiful R.H. Myers Apartments, or, if you need a little more help, you’ll love the lodge-like settings of Wiggins Place, and to get as much assistance as you need with day to day needs, you’ll find the comfort of Stone Gardens a treasure. With a wide variety of enriching opportunities to engage your interests, passions, and

purpose at each residence, you’ll have your own one or two-bedroom apartment (standard safety features in all apartments), with all the amenities of home, and then some. Offering musical entertainment in the Piazza, a wine bar, a movie theater, on-site banking, a hair salon, educational classes and the fulfillment of individual wishes through a DREAMs program, our connected campus provides amenities that are convenient and close to home, including our on-site Miller pharmacy,

physician house call service, the Center for Brain Health and an on-site convenience store. Menorah Park is a warm, inviting community with many choices in activities, fine dining and premier supportive services. Several levels of assistance are available, including on-site personal care options, health and wellness services and support.

Contact Deanna Snider for more information at 216-360-8202. Advertorial


Montefiore’s Vinney Hospice, Maltz Hospice House provide compassionate end-of-life care for loved one

OUR FAMILY. OUR DECISION. When Dad’s doctor told us the treatments wouldn’t help anymore, we got together as a family and then called Hospice of the Western Reserve. With their staff of compassionate caregivers, extraordinary medical care and 24/7 support, we can keep dad at home, where he belongs. And he gets to keep his family doctor. That’s important to all of us. Living with serious illness is hard. Deciding on the right hospice and palliative care was easy. Insist on Northern Ohio’s leading hospice and palliative care provider. Call today to arrange a visit or go to our website for information.

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Montefiore is proud to introduce the latest addition to its continuum of care services with Maltz Hospice House, an inpatient residence located on the Montefiore campus in Beachwood. Since opening in spring 2015, Montefiore’s Vinney Hospice team has cared for more than 300 patients in the Maltz Hospice House, providing a calm and comforting environment within a warm, Lieberman homelike atmosphere, specifically designed for patients and families in need of end-of-life care. The Maltz Hospice House consists of six private and spacious suites with full bathrooms and individual patios, beautiful living and dining areas overlooking courtyard gardens, an open pantry/kitchen, a playroom for visiting grandchildren, a consultation room that doubles as an overnight option for families and a meditation room for quiet contemplation. Our emphasis on integrative therapies – Reiki, massage, art and music, as well as access to beautiful gardens and other spaces for quiet reflection, help improve symptom management and are available in-patient rooms as well as offered to clients in the community who are under Montefiore’s hospice care. Led by a board-certified medical director, our dedicated team of hospice professionals, all under Vinney Hospice and Palliative Care of Montefiore, provide support wherever you call home, whether in a private residence, an assisted, independent or skilled nursing facility or in Montefiore’s Maltz Hospice House. To see how we can help you or a loved one, please contact a member of the Vinney Hospice team at 216-910-2650 and visit montefiorecare.org for more information and to take a virtual tour of Maltz Hospice House.

Susan Lieberman, Montefiore director of marketing and public relations


MARCH 23, 2018



Care tips for family caregivers of loved ones with Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that progresses over time and affects a person’s movement, balance and muscle flexibility. About 1 million people in the United States and 10 million worldwide are known to have Parkinson’s, which robs the brain of dopaminergic neurons that send important signals to the body’s nerve cells. “Caregiving for a loved one with ParkinPlotkin son’s can be enriching as patients and their families draw closer together, but there will be good and bad days,” said Shalom Plotkin, owner of Right at Home Cleveland East. In our family, we’ve been living with it for more than 23 years, and while there’s no cure yet, there’s a ton of promising medical research going on locally, and far more support for families. Plotkin recommends the following tips for Parkinson’s family caregivers to help restore equilibrium in their own lives and in daily caregiving routines: • Acknowledge your conflicted feelings. Feeling sad or incapable at times is OK. When intense emotions build, it’s important to take a breather and bring things back into the present moment. • Know your limits. Be realistic on what you can and cannot do in your caregiving role. • Build in leisure time and keep meeting your friends for lunch. Being intentional about respite care is important for your long-term success, because this disease is like a marathon. • Guard your own health. It is imperative that you continue your own physical checkups and reduce stress.

PEP Support Group PEP, the Parkinson’s Education Program, meets on the first Wednesday of the month. Recently we had research updates from Dr. Ben Walter of University Hospitals as well as from Dr. James Leverenz of Cleveland Clinic with an excellent Q&A session. We meet again at 2 p.m. April 4 at the Cleveland Heights Senior Center on 3077 Mayfield Road. For the free monthly, newsletter email dbrandtpep@gmail.com In Motion I can’t say enough great things about this free disease specific gym and support group founded by Dr. Karen Jaffe for classes like “Rock Steady Boxing,” 4829 Galaxy Parkway, Building M, Warrensville Heights. Call 216-342-4417 for a tour. Moving Day Walkathon Every year, about 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson’s Foundation believes in educating and empowering people with Parkinson’s through providing resources and programs that bring the Parkinson’s community together. Last year we had 500 of our friends and neighbors join us, had a great time, and together we raised $150,000. This year we will be returning to Wade Oval at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June, 23. We have free parking and shuttles from the VA Hospital’s patient parking deck. If you’d like to walk with me, you can register for the Right at Home Cleveland Angels on the MovingDay.Org website, or perhaps you’d like to create your own team? Call the Parkinson’s Foundation helpline at 800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) to learn more.

To sign up for Right at Home’s free adult caregiving e-newsletter, Caring Right at Home, visit caringnews.com. To reach Shalom Plotkin, call 216-752-2222.


Hope for the future after leaving back pain in his past These weren’t the golden years Jerry had hoped for. Instead of enjoying retirement with his wife of 40 years, he was dealing with an unexpected nightmare – debilitating back pain. At times, the pain was so intense his wife had to put his socks and shoes on for him. It finally reached the point where he could no longer enjoy many things most of us take for granted, like spendJones ing quality time with loved ones or doing meaningful work. And after nearly three decades as a homebuilder, life as Jerry knew it would have to wait. “I wasn’t able to help families build lives and memories in their dream homes anymore,” he said, “And it was a career I truly loved.” Jerry tried everything to relieve his painful back condition. But when rounds of acupuncture and physical therapy didn’t provide relief, his doctor suggested another option – pain medication. “I knew I was only masking the pain and not fixing it,” he said. “It’s a little depressing to know the pain is still there, you’re just taking medicine to make it go away.” That’s when Jerry saw an advertisement for Laser Spine Institute and thought, “I’m going to call, because my back is to the point where I have to try something.” Jerry learned his chronic condition could be treated with Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine procedures.

He also discovered something else when he arrived for his surgery: a level of hospitality he’d never experienced. “When we got there, it felt like we were movie stars that went to some place to have a private operation,” he said with a smile. “The people were just as nice as they could possibly be. And my experience there was incredible, just incredible.” Hours after his surgery at Laser Spine Institute’s Cleveland facility, Jerry was in the car and on his way home when his phone rang. On the other line? A caller he never expected. “The surgeon who performed my operation called to see how I was doing,” he said. “That floored me, I just couldn’t believe it.” After hanging up the phone, Jerry thought, “Who does that? That’s when I knew – Laser Spine Institute does.” Jerry said there were several factors that led him to choose Laser Spine Institute, including its centrally located state-of-theart facilities and highly skilled team of surgeons. But he says it was the less than 1-inch incision that made his big decision an easy one. “Other than marrying my wife, having surgery at Laser Spine Institute was probably the best decision I ever made,” he said. And thanks to Laser Spine Institute, Jerry is back to enjoying his retirement and catching up on playing rounds of golf, taking his favorite car for a spin, trying new adventures and spending quality time with his best friend of 40 years, his wife.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from chronic neck or back pain, call Laser Spine Institute at 888-202-9852 and discover the relief you deserve.

ServiceS ● Marcus Post-Hospital Rehabilitation ●Home Health Services ● Outpatient Occupational & Speech Therapies ● The Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center ● Mandel Adult Day Center ● Housekeeping Plus ● Dialysis (CDC Beachwood) ● Center 4 Brain Health

reSidential OptiOnS ● R.H. Myers Apartments ● Wiggins Place Assisted Living Residence ● Stone Gardens Assisted Living Residence ● Helen’s Place Memory Care Apartments ● Menorah Park Skilled Nursing Home

Call Beth Silver at (216) 839-6678 27100 Cedar Rd. Beachwood, OH



MARCH 23, 2018



Your decisions matter

home care

From posting memorial photos and tributes on Facebook to hosting celebrations of life, today’s seniors are transforming the way death is viewed. Although attitudes may be evolving, barriers still exist when it comes to having conversations about health care preferences. According to a survey by the Conversation Project, a national program dedicated to helping people talk about end-of-life care wishes, 82 percent agreed putting their wishes in writing is important, yet only 23 percent had done so. Planning does not have to be scary or overwhelming. It’s about each Finn individual having a plan in place to communicate unique beliefs, wishes and values. It should be a normal part of life planning that is done while adults of all ages are still healthy – not when they are in the middle of a medical crisis. Advance care planning – which includes completing health care power of attorney and living will forms – gives people a voice in their care by communicating their preferences. Making these choices and then sharing the written plan with family members and doctors is the best way to make sure wishes are followed. To help anyone create a health care plan, Hospice of the Western Reserve offers a free booklet, “Courage in Conversation.” It includes tips, worksheets and all the legal forms required by the state of Ohio. Free copies of the booklet can be downloaded at hospicewr.org/decisions.

you you.


Private duty services customized to the unique needs of you and your family.

For more information visit www.benrose.org or call 216.373.1979

A family decision you can feel good about.

Bill Finn is president and CEO of Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Boker Tov

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Profile for Cleveland Jewish Publication Company

Life Care Planning  

A Cleveland Jewish News Special Section

Life Care Planning  

A Cleveland Jewish News Special Section

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