Large rehab projects to bring health-care services to elderly in affordable housing
Portland senior citizens living in affordable housing have limited health-care options. Sometimes the only one is an emergency room visit, according to David Fuks, CEO of Cedar Sinai Park.
That could change, however, with the rehabilitation of the 89-unit 1200 Building on Southwest 12th Avenue. Cedar Sinai Park plans to implement a new program there to provide extensive services for elderly residents – a first for a Portland affordable housing complex.
“In context of health-care reform, it’s critical that we provide some support services for aging individuals in subsidized housing,” Fuks said.
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Hurricane Katrina swept away more than just Sheila Cohen Springer’s house in Biloxi, MS: it took her health, too.
“Her house was completely gone, it ended up miles off the coast in a canal leading into the Back Bay,” Sheila’s son Bill Cohen recounted. “The trauma tipped her over, severely exacerbating the symptoms of early dementia she’d been experiencing.”
An artist, teacher and printmaker all her life, Springer now lives at Miriam Suite, a memory-care unit that is part of Robison Jewish Health Center at Cedar Sinai Park, in Portland.
Cedar Sinai Park employees come from many walks of life and countries. Quite a few become American citizens during the time they serve our residents. The latest such staff member, Francoise Kasongo, from Congo, took her oath of allegiance last Wednesday, June 20. The Oregonian newspaper reported on the occasion:
On Wednesday, Kasongo stood with 27 other refugees in a room at the Portland office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, promised to renounce allegiances to “any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty” and became an American citizen.
The naturalization ceremony was held in honor of World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to bring attention to the approximately 14 million refugees around the world.
RJHC Assistant Administrator Lesley Sacks said, that Cedar Sinai Park “celebrates our staff for their accomplishments such as these. It’s very significant and so many families know and love our caregivers here.”
That was the title of Rose Schnitzer Manor Assistant Activity Director Elizabeth Moore’s submission to the contest organized last summer by MOVE (Making Oregon Vital for Elders) in connection with its anniversary celebration.
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That was the main message of Cedar Sinai Park CEO David Fuks’s op-ed in yesterday’s issue of The Oregonian (August 2nd, Metro, p. B7).
Those served by Medicaid are by definition the poorest and most fragile people in our society. They are children growing up in poverty, they are abused children receiving treatment, they are adults with disabilities, and they are elders who, while they had the good fortune to live for a long time, have become ill and spent down their resources in order to pay for health care. These individuals frequently are not in a position to speak up for themselves. Those of us who are advocates and those of us who serve these individuals must speak up for them … and so should everyone else.
The Jewish Review published a lengthy article about activities at Cedar Sinai Park in their latest, July 15th, issue. The article begins:
Smiles and outstretched arms greeted Rojo, the Llama, when he visited Rose Schnitzer Manor for a barbecue July 5; the next day residents again reached out to touch living things–this time the plants they care for in raised planters.
Continue reading the article at JewishReview.org →