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Handmaker Blog

  • Blessings from Miles Away

    By Handmaker | Jul 19, 2024
    It is amazing how someone can touch others from so far away. For more than two years, Susan has been Zooming into the Shabbat Morning service held every Saturday morning at 9:30am at Handmaker. Susan lives in Atlanta. How did this happen, you might ask? The Handmaker services are led by Susan’s cousin, Mel Cohen, and Dan Asia. Over these last few years, Handmaker residents who participate in the service have gotten to know Susan virtually, and she has gotten to know them. Hearing “Shabbat Shalom” each Saturday morning in her warm and welcoming southern drawl makes everyone smile.
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  • Interwoven Generations: Lessons and Bonds Forged Through Tucson's BBYO 'Better Together' Program

    By Handmaker | May 20, 2024
    By Aaron Handler ​Better2Write Essay Submission​ Embarking on the Better Together journey, I dove into a world that intertwined generations, nurturing a newfound respect for my elders and forging invaluable friendships within my BBYO community. This initiative has become a beacon of light, illuminating the void left by the loss of my grandparents and reshaping my daily perspective on life.​
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  • Beautiful wrinkled hands

    By Handmaker | Feb 23, 2024
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  • Intergenerational Connections Through Art - Better Together

    By Handmaker | Apr 11, 2023
    This essay was submitted by Tucson Hebrew Academy student and Better Together Intergenerational program participant, Shoshana Jacobson, and won the Better to Write Contest this year... The pencil glided across the page with grace and ease. Her hand shook gently as she drew the figure. The skin on her hand was milky white, soft and buttery, weathered by the years. Marcie had shoulder length gray hair with long fingers and nails. Even though she was sitting the entire time I was with her, she appeared to be tall and was wearing a pretty pink blouse with flowers on it. In a previous life, she was an artist who worked in the fashion industry. And I could tell that drawing still brought her great joy.
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  • Remembering Rabbi Richard Safran

    By Handmaker | Dec 13, 2022
    For many years, the weekly Shabbat dinners in the Rubin Assisted Living dining room have been a beautiful way to end the week and welcome the Jewish Sabbath. It was not exactly so this past Friday night. While we said the blessings over the candles, wine, and challah together, and were served a delicious dinner, there was something missing. That something, or someone, was Handmaker resident, friend, and spiritual leader, Rabbi Richard Safran, who passed away on Friday morning, December 2nd at the age of 92.​
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  • Friendship is Essential at Any Age

    By Handmaker | Nov 09, 2022
    “Friendship is essential,” says Rabbi Richard Safran, a resident in Handmaker’s Rubin Assisted Living Neighborhood. Having lived in many different cities and counseled many individuals as both a Rabbi and a Chaplain throughout his 92 years, Rabbi Richard has seen firsthand how important friendships are to quality of life.
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  • The Comforting Power of Pets

    By Handmaker | Jul 19, 2022
    Leo the cat shares an apartment with Jane at Handmaker. She got him from the Humane Society four years ago when he was probably about a year old. He is good roommate, doesn’t purr or ask for too much, lets her pet him, and keeps her good company. “It is so calming to pet him”, Jane says of her yellow tabby. “It’s what saves me!” Knowing how important pets are to their owners, Handmaker welcomes small pets into the apartments of residents in Rubin Assisted Living and Besserman Independent Living Apartments, as long as residents are able to take care of them.
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  • An Inspiring Recovery

    By Handmaker | Jun 21, 2022
    When Pam left her home at 7:30am on May 18th for a bike ride, she thought that she would be home by 9. She never imagined that she wouldn’t be returning home for nearly a month. Instead, she woke up in an ICU surrounded by concerned family; her three sons, husband and mom; not knowing where she was or how she got there. After weeks in the ICU and then surgery at St Joseph's Hospital, Pam made her way to post hospital rehabilitation at Handmaker, where she says all of the staff “have been wonderful and helpful” and she feels fortunate to have continued her recovery...
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  • Therapies Enhance the Quality of Life for Seniors

    By Handmaker | Apr 06, 2022
    The term “therapy” is used to describe treatment used to help resolve a disorder. Deidre Pender, Director of Therapy, explains the wide variety of options we offer at Handmaker to help our patients in post-hospital rehabilitation, long-term care, and assisted living neighborhoods to recover their physical functions, compensate for ailments, maintain their quality of life, and promote independent living:
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  • Saying Goodbye

    By Handmaker | Mar 12, 2022
    Death is a delicate subject. Most people don’t like to talk or think too much about it, even though it is something that we all have in common. But when you spend your time caring for the elderly, it is not a subject you can avoid. The reality is that we are confronted with death all too often. We all need to find ways to cope with the loss, despite the fact that most people are not even comfortable talking about it.
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  • Open to all Faiths

    By Handmaker | Feb 02, 2022
    What do you get when you take someone who was raised as a Protestant, frequently attended a Lutheran Church with his Grandmother and a Unitarian Church with his Grandfather, and then explored Buddhism in his 20’s? A Handmaker resident who likes to attend Passover Seders, Shabbat morning services, Torah Study, and a Bible Reading class!
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  • Flexibility in 2022

    By Handmaker | Jan 11, 2022
    Although we are all ready to move on from COVID, we continue to have reminders (Delta and Omicron) that COVID is not quite gone, and that we are likely going to have to live with it for some time to come. How do we do that as we begin this new year? I think that a good place to start is with flexibility, and maybe a little faith that the worst of this is over.
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  • Shehecheyanu Moments

    By Handmaker | Nov 03, 2021
    The Shehecheyanu is a Jewish blessing that is usually recited the first time we do something in the Jewish Calendar year, such as the first night of Hanukkah, Sukkot, Passover, and on joyous occasions. When the Adventure Bus Outreach program was planning their first outing since the Covid pandemic, we all thought that this could be a great Shehecheyanu moment, a perfect time to say this blessing.
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  • Singing our Unsung Heroes

    By Handmaker | Oct 08, 2021
    We are all so grateful to our Healthcare workers, who many have referred to as heroes throughout this pandemic. Some of them shy away from that description, but there is no doubt that Doctors, Nurses, Caregivers and other Healthcare workers are heroes. They have, and continue to put their own lives and health at risk while caring for others.But we should similarly recognize that there are many behind-the-scene heroes who have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic, in Environmental Services, Food Services, Maintenance, Activities and elsewhere...
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  • Still so much to Celebrate

    By Handmaker | Sep 11, 2021
    The last 18 months have been filled with adjustments and readjustments, and doing our best to make lemonade with the endless number of lemons being handed to us. We were full of optimism this spring when vaccines protecting against COVID-19 were made available to those who wanted to get vaccinated, and nearly all of Handmaker’s residents did and were. COVID-19 seemed on the retreat. But unfortunately, things did not go exactly as planned. Residents were so happy to celebrate the Jewish New Year with festive meals together in our Great Room, spaced apart, but High Holiday Services were once again virtual this year. So while this is not quite what we had hoped for this year, there is some reason for continued optimism in the face of this latest wave of COVID-19.Our resiliency may continue to be tested, but that will not stop us from celebrating as much as we can, including soon enjoying meals together in our Handmaker Sukkah in celebration of Sukkot.
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  • Mahjong Lessons…and Lessons from Mahjong

    By Handmaker | Jul 15, 2021
    Most Jewish American women of a certain age know that the Charleston is not just a dance from the 20s, but that it is also one of the steps in the game of Mahjong. Of course there are some Jewish women, like myself, who have never played Mahjong, but most have at least heard of it, and likely know others who do or did play. Certainly over the years Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging has been home to many Mahjong players and games. So when a group of current residents in the Rubin Assisted Living Neighborhood at Handmaker asked for my help in getting a game together last month, I thought it might be time to offer a Mahjong learning experience for them, and for myself.
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  • Mobility and Aging – Keeping it Moving

    By Handmaker | Jul 06, 2021
    You may have heard the phrase “motion is lotion”. It’s a simple phrase often used by Physical Therapists to encourage people to keep their bodies moving. The lotion generally refers to the synovial fluids that the motion releases in our joints, which helps keep the joints lubricated so that they work better. Choosing the proper motions that are both enjoyable and safe is important for both our bodies and our minds, especially as we age. Strength or resistance training, yoga, joyful movement, and walking are some great options to choose from to help maintain mobility. Several of the fitness instructors at Handmaker would like to share their thoughts on these various options, and on how to make the most out of your workout.
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  • Uncovering Hidden Talents ​

    By Handmaker | Jun 15, 2021
    Is it possible to discover some hidden talent when you are well into your 80’s? Handmaker resident, Dorothy D’Elisiis certainly has. The beautiful paintings of trees, barns and garden gates that are brightening the entryways to many apartments in the Rubin Assisted Living Neighborhood these days are all the work of this 88 year old who first touched a paintbrush at the age of 87.
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  • What to Consider when Choosing a Senior Living Community

    By Handmaker | Jun 03, 2021
    Are you considering a move into a Senior Living Community, or helping a family member to make that decision? With the wide variety of communities to choose from these days, it can be quite overwhelming to know where and how to begin your search. And with the recent COVID pandemic, you may have additional concerns. To help you get started, we have compiled this list of some questions to ask during your research of Senior Living Communities, as well as things to think about when considering your options.
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  • Keeping a Sense of Humor after 75 Years of Marriage

    By Handmaker | Apr 07, 2021
    Upon meeting Rosalyn and Ed Katzenberg, you would never guess that they have a combined age of 201! And, equally impressive, that they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on April 7th of this year. When asked for advice on how to stay married for that long, Ed quipped, “Manage to stay alive”.
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