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Jewish Senior Living in Hampton Roads A little age and wisdom it’s a good thing!

Supplement to Jewish News April 23, 2012


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May is Older Americans Month Never too old to play! by Leslie Shroyer and Sherry Lieberman

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he Simon Family JCC is joining in the national celebration of Older Americans Month 2012 with activities and events to promote intergenerational engagement and recreation. During the month of May, the Simon Family JCC senior adult department will distribute a leaflet to older Americans suggesting ways to stay engaged, active and involved. Each older American will also be presented with a gift. Since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month—a tradition that shows the nation’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans. The theme for Older Americans Month 2012—Never too old to play!— highlights the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding with other generations. Sherry Lieberman, senior adult program coordinator at the JCC, is planning a minigolf tournament the second week in May for her seniors. “The tournament fits in with the theme Never too old to play! and gives our older members an opportunity to compete without taking it too seriously,” she says. As large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age, communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults—many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. Current trends show that people over age 60 comprise an ever-growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking, as well as arts and recreational groups.

Companionship, opinions and activities galore for Tidewater Jewish senior citizens by Laine M. Rutherford

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efore he enters the meeting room at the Sandler Family Campus where senior citizens gather weekly to discuss current events, Bernie Ehrlich gives himself a briefing. Reaching into his satchel, Ehrlich pulls out a small sheaf of newspaper clippings. Index cards filled with notes written in black and red ink are attached with paper clips. Ehrlich takes a few minutes to review the issues, readying himself for the topics that may be introduced during the sometimes heated, sometimes humorous, but always lively, debates. “There are very intelligent people who come here and the discussions are concise and invigorating. I like to be prepared,” Ehrlich says. “It’s a great group—I learn from all of them. And we can discuss things that maybe we differ on, but no one walks out angry.” Ehrlich, 75, moved to the area nine years ago from New York. He didn’t know many people, but heard from new friends

that the Simon Family Jewish Community Center offered activities for senior citizens. Ehrlich came to what he calls “the best kept secret in this area,” and decided to join. He’s a regular now: visiting the gym twice a week, attending Seniors Club meetings, and participating in a variety of programs designed to fulfill the interests of older members in the area. “It’s so important for seniors to keep active, to congregate with their peers, and to keep their minds active, too,” says Sherry Lieberman, JCC senior adult programming coordinator. “Many of our programs come from the seniors’ suggestions—what they’re interested in doing,” Lieberman says. “We try to come up with things that the majority of seniors can participate in, that they want, and most importantly, that will make them feel worthy.” The list of programming offered at the JCC fills a brochure. Among the activities is the Book Club, with 29 members, which meets once a month; Sassy Seniors consists of ladies who appreciate cultural activities,

Marilyn Moranha makes a point during a current events discussion.

Bernie Ehrlich laughs. Topics and discussions vary each week.

John Moranha, Alda Bubani and Norman Greenberg and other seniors play Rummikub at the Simon Family J on a Thursday afternoon.

like to travel and shop; Twice a month, seniors meet to play games; they strategize, compete and work together as while playing Rummikub, bridge, gin or Mah Jongg. The Seniors Club, which meets at the Simon Family JCC, has 84 Jewish and non-Jewish members, ranging in age from mid-50s to mid-90s. Meetings are held monthly over lunch and include a variety of guest speakers. The group holds social events, participates in holiday celebrations, and takes field trips locally and internationally—next month, members are going on a

cruise to the Bahamas. Marilyn Moranha has been in the Seniors Club member for more than seven years. She first attended looking for people with a similar background (she’s Jewish, from Brooklyn, unaffiliated and retired), but she didn’t want to attend a temple. Less than a year in, she became treasurer, a position she held for three years. Now, Moranha is entering her fourth year as president. “I believe in the Seniors Club—it’s a way for a bunch of folks from all different walks of life to get together and enjoy a variety of programs,” Moranha, 72, says. “I’ve met wonderful people here.” “I really think of this place as my temple—that’s what I honestly call it,” Moranha adds. “I came here to be amongst Jewish people, to find my beginnings to get back to my roots. I feel I’ve gotten that— and much more.” To find out more about senior programming at the JCC, or the Seniors Club, contact Sherry Lieberman at 757-321-2309 or slieberman@simonfamilyj.org. (by Laine M. Rutherford)

Senior Living | April 23, 2012 | Jewish News | 31


Alzheimer’s prevention in the pantry Tel Aviv University researcher discovers a cinnamon extract to inhibit progression of Alzheimer’s disease

Tel Aviv—Alzheimer’s, the degenerative brain disorder that disrupts memory, thought and behavior, is devastating to both patients and loved ones. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in eight Americans over the age of 65 suffers from the disease. Now Tel Aviv University has discovered that an everyday spice in most kitchen cupboards could hold the key to Alzheimer’s prevention. An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of the disease, according to Prof. Michael Ovadia of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University. His research, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Ehud Gazit, Prof. Daniel Segal and Dr. Dan Frenkel, was recently published in the journal PLoS ONE. Taking a cue from the ancient world Ovadia was inspired to investigate the healing properties of cinnamon by a passage in the Bible. It describes high priests using the spice in a holy ointment, he explains, presumably meant to protect them from

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infectious diseases during sacrifices. After discovering that the cinnamon extract had antiviral properties, Ovadia empirically tested these properties in both laboratory and animal Alzheimer’s models. The researchers isolated CEppt by grinding cinnamon and extracting the substance and introducing the solution into the drinking water of mice that had been genetically altered to develop an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease, and fruit flies that had been mutated with a human gene that also stimulated Alzheimer’s disease and shortened their lifespan. After four months, the researchers discovered that development of the disease had slowed remarkably and the animals’ activity levels and longevity were comparable to that of their healthy counterparts. The extract, explains Ovadia, inhibited the formation of toxic amyloid polypeptide oligomers and fibrils, which compose deposits of plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. According to Ovadia, this finding indicates CEppt may not just fight against the development of the disease, but may help

to cure it after Alzheimer’s molecules have already formed. In the future, he says, the team of researchers should work towards achieving the same result in animal models. Adding a dash of cinnamon Don’t rush to your spice cabinet just yet, however. It would take far more than a toxic level of the spice—more than 10 grams of raw cinnamon a day—to reap the therapeutic benefits. The solution to this medical catch-22, Ovadia says, would be to extract the active substance from cinnamon, separating it from the toxic elements. “The discovery is extremely exciting. While there are companies developing synthetic AD inhibiting substances, our extract would not be a drug with side effects, but a safe, natural substance that human beings have been consuming for millennia,” says Ovadia. Though it can’t yet be used to fight Alzheimer’s, cinnamon still has its therapeutic benefits—it can also prevent viral infections when sprinkled into your morning tea.

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32 | Jewish News | April 23, 2012 | Senior Living

3/26/12 2:58 PM

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eteriorating eyesight, which leads to the use of reading glasses, is a natural part of the aging process. But a new iPhone application developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University could keep vision sharp for years longer, beyond the age where glasses are usually needed. The application is called “GlassesOff.” According to Prof. Uri Polat of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the cofounder of Ucansi, the company that designed the software, the application is designed to “use the brain itself as glasses.” Polat’s team described the technology at the meeting of the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society in San Francisco. The app is expected to launch this year. When we reach middle age, the lenses in our eyes become less supple, making it

more difficult to focus on objects that are close—which necessitates the use of reading glasses. The application trains the brain to translate blurry images into clear ones. In the application, groups of blurry lines called Gabor patches appear at several points across the screen, and the user must identify when one appears in the center. In trials, users with an average age of 51 were able to read two lines lower on an eyetest chart after 40 uses of the application.


Federation funds local and international senior programming

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he United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, through gifts from the community, helps support senior programming at the Simon Family JCC. Other programs and institutions that serve senior citizens and the elderly also benefit greatly from donations the community makes. Because of a commitment to the Jewish values of honoring parents and taking care of the most vulnerable members of the community, UJFT provides funds that help ensure quality care for the chronically ill and elderly who live at the Berger-Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village. And, gifts made to UJFT help support Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. JFS

provides vital social services to the elderly including counseling, home healthcare, socialization and nutrition. The impact the Tidewater community has on the lives of senior citizens extends beyond Virginia, as well. Through programs established by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and other organizations, UJFT gifts ensure that more than 158,000 elderly Jews in the Former Soviet Union receive food, medication, winter relief and caring interaction. In Israel, UJFT funds assist a variety of programs that help seniors enjoy life with respect and dignity. Visit jewishva.org to find more information about how gifts made to UJFT help senior citizens in Tidewater.

Jewish Family Service of Tidewater provides top notch care to local senior citizen

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efore she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in 2002, 66-year-old Ms. Stein* was a busy nurse herself, taking care of cancer patients at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. However, when her health deteriorated in 2002, Stein was forced to retire after 20 years of nursing, for the worsening osteoporosis contributed to a variety of health issues including hip and knee problems and multiple bone fractures. After her second hip replacement in 2010, Stein was referred to Jewish Family Service by a physical therapist at Virginia Beach General. Since that day, although she has received care from several other home health providers, she has insisted that her care now be provided by JFS. In a recent letter to Jewish Family Service she writes, “Your nurses and therapists are the best in the business. I’ve had many, and I can tell you without hesitation that JFS offers the best care. I developed incentives to perform and I felt that each one was truly interested in my progress. Every good health care professional should

Some wishes are too big to keep to yourself. Susan and her husband, John, visit our office often. We talk about their plans for winters in Florida, lots of volunteer work and grandkids bouncing on their knees.Then we talk about the collaboration our advisors use to keep their plans on track, even when the markets are a little bouncy themselves. After all, secret wishes may be good for birthday parties, but not retirement planning. Rob Krebs | Brian Pennell | Jennifer Duffy | Sandra Peters

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teach preventive medicine. Every JFS visit was filled with preventive teaching. I would recommend JFS to anyone needing home health care. The JFS team of nurses has become like family to me.” After four hip replacements and one knee replacement, Stein is now enjoying an improved quality of life. Although still having a bit of trouble, she is able to enjoy her passion for gardening and gets around quite well with a cane. Her next surgery, another knee replacement, is scheduled for July and JFS nurses, therapists and aides will be right there for her. JFS Home Health Care provides quality care to patients in the comfort of home. JFS has an experienced and caring staff of nurses, therapists and aides. For more information about Skilled Home Health Care, as ordered by a physician following a surgery or hospitalization, or In-Home Personal (Private Duty) Care, call JFS at 489-3111. *names have been changed to protect privacy

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Senior Living | April 23, 2012 | Jewish News | 33


JFS: Caring for Seniors for Over 65 Years

Jewish Family Service of Tidewater has been caring for seniors in the community for over 65 years. We thank our nursing staff, case managers and all other staff for the care they have provided to seniors. To learn about the many services JFS offers, please call us at 321-2222. You never know when you’ll need help, but you’ll always know where to find it.

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34 | Jewish News | April 23, 2012 | Senior Living

Senior Seder at JCC “What a great way to spend a Tuesday lunch before Passover,” says Nona Lipsey, an active senior at the Simon Family JCC, about the annual Seder held April 3. “For $5, we couldn’t believe we got all this!” Lipsey is referring to a beautiful Seder meal, generously catered by Beth Sholom Home, a serenade of string instruments thanks to talented young HAT students, and a wonderfully HAT students playing strings. led Hagaddah reading by Rabbi David Barnett of Temple Emanuel. a traditional Seder plate and a copy of a Dozens of seniors attended the Seder Hagaddah was made available to all. lunch, an annual JCC tradition. And, for The Simon Family JCC is a constitumany, it was the only Seder they had this ent agency of United Jewish Federation of Passover. Every table was supplied with Tidewater

Senior living at Beth Sholom Village

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ocated in the College Park section of Virginia Beach, Beth Sholom Village consists of two primary facilities—The BergerGoldrich Home and The Terrace. The Home is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility dedicated to those who can no longer live alone and need assistance with the activities of daily living. The Home includes a complete rehabilitation program for physical, occupational and speech therapy. The Rose Frances and Bernard Glasser Health and Wellness Center, with a fulltime physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner and RN, is also located in The Home and serves residents and staff from The Home, The Terrace and other nearby senior apartments. The Terrace, a Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Assisted Living Center, is connected to The Home via the Sonenshine Art Gallery. The Terrace consists of studio, and one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as an 18-bed Memory Enhancement Unit for residents in the early stages of dementia. The Village, which is a kosher facility, has a café, two beauty salons and a gift shop. A full complement of activities is available for all residents. Jewish religious services are held in the chapel every day and representatives of other faiths often volunteer to lead Bible study groups. And what is available for residents

during a typical day typical day at The Village? The Terrace has a full art program including painting and ceramic studios. Also, the rehab department recently started a weekly program with group therapy sessions. New Nu-Step exercise machines are available for residents to use independently or with supervision from a therapist. Volunteers help with knitting classes, bingo games, computer lessons and more, as well as trips to restaurants and museums. The Club Room is always a popular place for a snack and a visit with friends. At The Home, there are classes, movies, art projects, bingo and outings to local attractions and restaurants. Now that the weather is getting nicer, activities at The Home also include a new Nature Club, which consists of outdoor gardening coupled with art projects related to gardening. Residents, with the assistance of the activities staff, have planted vegetables, flowers and herbs and enjoy seeing the fruits of their labors. The Home also encompasses two rehab gyms fully staffed with physical, occupational and speech therapists. For more information or a tour of the facilities, contact David Abraham, executive vice president at 420-2512. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.


Baku Grandma is sole provider, but not alone

Natalia and Narmina, grandmother and granddaughter, lean on each other for support. Thanks to the IFCJ-JDC fellowship, they are not alone in their time of need.

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part to her poor diet of mostly bread, potatoes, and tea. Because the family has no electricity and limited water, nutritious, warm meals are hard to prepare. “I pray for her good health,” Natalia says urgently. Despite her own crippling medical problems, grandma cares lovingly for the

atalia D., age 55, worked as young girl. a bookkeeper for decades Thankfully, she isn’t the only one until she took a devastating investing in this bright child. The fall last winter that landed International Fellowship of Christians and her in bed for 10 Jewish -JDC Partnership for months with a broken vertebra. Children in the Former Soviet As a result, she lost her job— Union provides the family with “Gauge a which provided the sole income a monthly food card to purchase to support herself, her husgroceries, which they use to country’s band, and their eight-year-old avoid making the tough decision granddaughter. To make matbetween whether to pay for their prosperity granddaughter’s medicine or ters worse, she recently learned that she has a tumor growing food. The Partnership also furby its in her liver. Fearful for her famnishes Narmina with the school ily’s future, Natalia reached out supplies she needs to attend to the only place she could get treatment of school and excel in her favorite assistance—the American Jewish classes, which include natural Joint Distribution Committee– the aged.” sciences, math, and drawing. In JDC-supported Hesed in Baku, addition to her regular subjects Azerbaijan. in Azerbaijani, Narmina studJewish Even before her accident, ies Russian. “My granddaughter Proverb Natalia’s daily survival was a chalworks hard at school and earns lenge. Her family lives in a poor excellent grades,” Natalia neighborhood with high rates proudly shares. of vandalism and violence. Their cramped, For Natalia and other parents and two-room “home” is on the seventh floor grandparents of the more than 27,000 chilof a hostel, which has no working eleva- dren helped by the IFCJ-JDC Partnership, tor and long, dark corridors that smell of it is often about the little things…the day urine, tobacco, and alcohol. The family’s to day survival. living quarters are stained with mildew and “Thanks to your help, Narmina has are painfully cold during most of the year. sugar in her tea today,” she says. “I’m “There’s no insulation. There is no money really grateful. to repair the broken lamps. And we don’t Article written and provided by the use the electric stove because we can’t afford American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. the electric bill,” explains Natalia. The only In Israel and around the globe, JDC is a lifeline exception is when they heat a bucket of of support and hope for hundreds of thousands water in order to bathe themselves. of elderly Jews living in abject poverty and Above all, Natalia worries about her extreme loneliness. granddaughter, Narmina. The girl is painJDC is a recipient of funds from United fully shy and frequently gets sick, owing in Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

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