Sephardic Home For The Aged Foundation Awards $1.5 Million Dementia Care Grant To MJHS Health System

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Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation today announced that it has awarded a $1.5 million grant to MJHS Health System for a dedicated 80-bed wing that will offer specialized non-pharmacological treatments, programs and services for Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care (Menorah Center) residents who have dementia. A portion of the grant will also be devoted to ongoing staff training, continued education development opportunities, workshops for family caregivers, in addition to expanding existing efforts throughout Menorah Center that empower and reconnect memory-impaired residents with their passions and sense of identity.

Menorah Center is located on 10 acres of oceanfront property in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. The campus includes 420 long-term and subacute beds, as well as the MJHS Hospice inpatient unit, which is the first in New York City to care for children and adults.

“We selected MJHS Health System for this grant because of their already groundbreaking, research-based and dynamic dementia care, as well as shared legacy of providing compassionate care to vulnerable New Yorkers,” says Clifton Russo, chair of the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation grants committee. “Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care—the last not-for-profit Jewish nursing home in Brooklyn—is the right place for us to help preserve our mission. Creating a dedicated unit, much like the historical program at Sephardic Home for the Aged, is one of the many ways Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation can continue to celebrate and advance our heritage of providing Jewish services, as well as reach the broader and more diverse elderly community.”

Menorah Center clinicians and researchers have for years demonstrated the positive benefits of creative arts and other therapies, including music, art, pet, aroma, tactile and dance/movement, for its residents with dementia. With more national attention now focused on the increase in nursing home residents living with dementia, so too is demand for a MJHS Health System workbook that outlines how skilled nursing facilities can utilize a multidisciplinary care planning process led by music therapists—aided and supplemented by direct care staff—to provide individualized and small-group music-based activities.

“It’s an honor to have Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation recognize our work, support our mission, as well as seek to expand the many ways we engage and help our residents recall aspects of their younger selves—whether through sensory activities, memory stimulation or other therapeutic experiences, says Alexander S. Balko, president and CEO of MJHS Health System. “We also believe that one of the best ways to ensure the safety and quality of life of our residents with dementia is by empowering all of their caregivers. This generous grant will definitely help us further develop Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care’s existing education programs and broaden the audience of our workshops that help clinicians or family members learn to better communicate with people throughout all stages of dementia.”

Implementation of the grant, beginning with unit design, staff training and family education workshops, will begin in the first half of 2018. It will incorporate evidence-based approaches to the changes in cognition that may occur with the progression of dementia.

About Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation

Drawing on more than 60 years of experience providing healthcare to the community, the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation seeks to improve the health, independence and quality of life for the elderly and infirm. As a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit, the Sephardic Home Foundation awards grants to organizations who strive for excellence and innovation in serving the elderly Jewish community. It is the mission of the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation to serve the needs and interests of the elderly community. We promote healthy aging strategies for the elderly and seek to aid those devoted to the overall health of the elderly and infirm. By assisting and sponsoring programs in the fields of aging, long term care, and rehabilitation, and developing and expanding community involvement and participation in these fields we wish to improve quality of life.