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Posted on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Complementary therapies help Arbor Hospice provide well-rounded complete care

By Alan Caldwell


Michelle Chaves-Torres with Arbor Hospice

We really were Everything Elderly on the radio show this past weekend with several wonderful senior topics. First, Michelle Chaves-Torres from Arbor Hospice talked about her role as the complementary therapy coordinator. Michelle and her fellow therapists help provide comfort and relief as part of the end-of-life care at Arbor Hospice. The complementary therapies include pet, art, music and massage therapy.

Alpine is their new pet therapy dog and, having met Alpine myself, I can agree with Michelle — this golden retriever is "the sweetest dog you'll ever meet." As Michelle shared, their patients pet Alpine and immediately smile and get a warm feeling.

Music therapy calms anxiety and provides stress relief. The therapy may be simply listening to music, or frequently patients become active participants and play the bongos, tambourine or piano. The families enjoy the music therapy as they can see their loved one really feeling good and being more comfortable.

Art therapy uses the creative process of art and is particular beneficial to families in the grieving process. This therapy can provide physical, emotional and mental well-being. Creating memory books may help process the death of a loved one.

For hospice patients, massage therapy uses a very light and compassionate touch that is nurturing and relieves pain. Michelle is a massage therapist, and many of her patients have edema, swelling in their legs that can cause considerable discomfort. Massaging the legs, patients often feel instant relief. Michelle also educates families on how they can touch their loved ones in a soothing manner.

To listen to our 13-minute talk, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0303 Michelle Chaves-Torres .mp3">

To get in touch with Michelle or Arbor Hospice, call 888-992-CARE (2273) or visit their website


Beth Adams with Meals on Wheels and the Housing Bureau for Seniors

Photos by Sheila Doeden

We were so pleased to also have Beth Adams on the show. Beth is one busy woman these days, serving as the director of both the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels and the Housing Bureau for Seniors.

Meals on Wheels delivers to the home-bound in Ann Arbor, regardless of age or income. Up to two meals a day are delivered, a hot entree meal and a sack lunch (Saturday deliveries can include an extra meal for Sunday). Meals are provided at no cost, although voluntary contributions are suggested.

Deliveries are handled by volunteers, and Beth said they always need more volunteers. Besides providing tasty nutritious meals, the socialization aspect of the delivery service is important. Beth shared that one client said, "The food event and the social event are each in their own way the most important event of the day for lonely elderly folks."

The Housing Bureau for Seniors offers an array of important services to assist older adults in Washtenaw County find and maintain affordable housing. The recession has impacted seniors and high-lighted the need for the eviction prevention program. Additionally, the foreclosure prevention program helps people stay in their homes, and post-foreclosure assistance helps those transitioning to a new home, usually an apartment.

We had time for a quick mention that Senior Living Week is coming up in May. This kicks off with the Expo at Washtenaw Community College on Friday, May 11. Organized by the Housing Bureau for Seniors, this is truly a one-stop shop opportunity for caregivers, families, and professionals. Look here for more information as we get closer to the big event.

To hear this 13-minute discussion, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0303 Beth Adams .mp3">

To get in touch with Beth or Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels call 734-998-6686, or the Housing Bureau for Seniors at 734-998-9339 (click on their high-lighted names to jump to their websites).

Alan Caldwell and Sheila Doeden co-host Everything Elderly every Saturday morning at 8:30 on 1290 WLBY. In their day jobs, Alan and Sheila co-own and co-manage Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. Both can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.



Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

While care of an elderly relative (95) at Arbor Hospice was wonderful, this relative was affected by the strict rule of not being there over six months. This relative didn't die right away. Within weeks of dying, this relative had to be moved to a nursing home. Fortunately, family members were able to assist and provide care and attention for this elderly relative in the nursing home. It would have been better if the time limit at Arbor Hospice was flexible, especially when it's obvious the person who has been there for six months is near death. Transferring a patient in his or her final days subtracts from the otherwise wonderful care at Ann Arbor Hospice.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

I'm curious if these folks ever heard of the Gerson protocol or Stanislaw berzenskis cancer cure useing antineoplastins. The fda agreed that it prevents cancer however it is not approved by them so you can't use it to save lives. I know,I know,they are just looking out for us.Right. please see the berzynski movie on net flicks and rate it 5 stars so more people can see it. He is confined to texas. His cure works.He used it on the worst types of brain cancers and has had great success. better yet on other cancers. Infants almost always die from brain cancer and he saves 30-40% of them routinely. Max Gerson found a cure for some cancers that his daughter still tries to get into the public eye at 86 years old. She simple says that you should juice organic fruits and vegatables and do coffee enemas useing dark organic coffee to clear your liver of the debrie from the cancer death. If people are going to die anyway,where is the harm in trying these things? If this post stays up it means that this fine paper is one of the few that is not controlled by the medical mafia in this country. Drug advertisements pay the bills,but good news sells a lot of papers as well as keeping your subscribers alive to read them.

Rork Kuick

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Beware: Gerson and Burzynski are both spectacularly infamous. Search for either at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> or quackwatch. Or use common sense. If you have cancer, avoid people whose real purpose is to get as much of your money as possible. No, it is not my reptilian overlords that implanted a chip in 99.9% of doctors and scientists that are making me say these things.