Specialty Units & Clinical Services at SSI

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HIV/AIDS Specialty Unit

SSI houses 120 beds for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the only one of its kind in Brooklyn. Residents on these units generally have a high level of function, thereby requiring a minimum of intensive care and medical intervention. We also serve residents who have intensive rehabilitation needs and who require a minimum intensive care and medical intervention. We also serve residents who have intensive rehabilitation needs and who require complex medical care, such as IV therapies for pneumonia, chronic fungal infections and other illnesses some AIDS residents are prone to. We have a special unit for residents with AIDS-related dementia. While each unit has a different focus, they all have the same goal: to improve the resident’s ability to function so that he or she can move to a lower care, and ultimately return home and transition back home.

Ventilator Dependent Unit

Our specialized Ventilator Dependent Unit was one of the first in Brooklyn, opening in 1994. Equally, our secondary Pulmonary Care Unit was developed to accommodate the residents we had successfully weaned from ventilators. Our success rate for weaning YTD is 73%. Our round the clock respiratory therapists and physician staff ensure quality care on every level throughout our facility. The homelike atmosphere created at SSI takes the emphasis away from sickness and helps residents to think in terms of getting well. When a ventilator dependent resident is able to see another resident successfully being weaned off the ventilator, they are motivated to work harder and they themselves, many times make remarkable strides in their own improvement. That it will one day be possible for some of our residents on ventilators to go home is no triumph. Not many residents whose illnesses have caused them to be dependent upon respirators in order to breathe are able to do that. Because SSI has a complete unit devoted exclusively to ventilator-dependent individuals, these residents benefit from a full range of medical and rehabilitation therapies designed to wean them from their respirator and, if possible, breathe on their own.

Alzheimer/Dementia Special Care Unit

The Dementia Special Care Unit meets the challenge of caring for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by focusing on their remaining capacity and individual neds. The Unit embraces the latest thinking -- the premise that social and physical environments are significant factors in caring for the dementia patient. Our healthcare professionals strive to preserve the quality of life as well as address the medical needs of each resident. Instead of functioning as care providers, staff members act as enablers, vigorously supporting residents to do everything that they are still capable of doing. Staff does no task or part of a task a resident can manage independently. Every interaction becomes an opportunity for therapeutic intervention. This holistic approach recognizes the need for all residents to preserve a sense of self esteem and provides immeasurable comfort to the residents and their families. An array of support and counseling services for the family is available as well. The Unit is a secure, homelike environment. Corridors are painted in relaxing colors and decorated with photos, artwork and plants to aid in the residents’ memory of specific locations.

Clinically Complex Units

The Clinically Complex Units are designed for residents who receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bed mobility, eating, transferring from one surface to another and toileting. In addition, residents classified as Clinically Complex meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Had a diagnosis of pneumonia
  • Had an active diagnosis of hemiplegia/hemiparesis and an ADL score of five (5) or more
  • Had surgical wounds or open lesions with any selected skin treatments
  • Had any of the following treatments after admission or reentry to the facility: Chemotherapy, Oxygen therapy, IV medications, Transfusions

The above treatments do not need to be provided in the facility. For example, dialysis received by a resident at a dialysis center or Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center after admission or reentry to SSI may receive dialysis treatment while a resident.

Nursing Services

We strive to be a compassionate, caring and empathetic nursing team by providing care that is in line with our core values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence.

Our excellent nursing staff is comprised of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and Registered Nurses (RN) with an outstanding level of educational and practice preparation. Our nursing staff is multicultural with many nurses who serve a diverse community and prides itself on offering a variety of language assistance services to our non-English speaking and Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents and their families.

Our dynamic Nursing team provides skilled nursing care that is best known as individualized centered patient care, where each patient care is tapered to that individual. We meet monthly or weekly with other disciplines on the team to discuss and review your loved ones care.

Our specialized nursing care includes but is not limited to caring for Dementia, Geriatric, Clinically Complex, Ventilator Dependent, HIV/AIDS, Wound, Palliative, Rehabilitation, and of course, Loving Care.

We look forward in providing care to your loved one should the need arise. Feel free to stop by and meet with our dynamic team so we can say a friendly hello and answer any questions you may have.

Rehabilitation Services

After a full evaluation, individual therapeutic programs are devised. These may include:

  • Occupational Therapy to restore or improve strength, dexterity, range of motion and coordination.
  • Physical Therapy to restore optimal movement and function and to relieve pain.
  • Speech-Language and Audiology Services, including evaluation and therapy programs.

Social Work Services

The Social Work Services Department is an integral part of care from admission to discharge. A coordinator is assigned to each resident to familiarize him/her with the facility and its services and assure the resident of comfort and involvement in community life at SSI.

After admission, a social worker, who is also a discharge planner, meets with residents and their families to begin planning for eventual discharge. The social worker can help with paperwork and arrange for assistance, if needed, with returning to home and community.

Recognizing that family members are also affected by a resident's hospitalization, social work staff is available to counsel and provide information.

Families and friends are encouraged to participate in monthly discussion groups, led by staff to provide support and an opportunity to meet with people in similar circumstances.

Therapeutic Recreation Services

Therapeutic Recreation activities serve to satisfy the need for pleasure and relaxation, self-expression, creativity, well-being and comfort. Leisure activities are also a pleasant arena in which to work on building life skills and restoring function. The Therapeutic Recreation Department, unlike most facilities that just use unlicensed activities leaders, includes only Certified Recreational Therapists, Licensed Art Therapist and Licensed Music Therapists to develop a variety of activities and recreation therapy interventions to meet each individual's interests, preferences and needs. At SSI, we offer a full range of therapeutic recreation services including:

  • Recreation Therapy Services, which use the pleasant medium of leisure activities to work with the individual resident in improving physical, cognitive, psychological or social abilities.
  • Leisure Education Services, which focus on development of leisure skills and interests, as well as wellness, health promotion, stress management and relaxation training. The Wellness Program offers group and individual training in a variety of relaxation and stress management techniques, including visualization, meditation, and progressive relaxation techniques.
  • Leisure Participation Services, which focuses on enjoyment and leisure expression. We offer a broad range of activities including arts activities, music activities, exercise and sport, horticulture, games, discussion groups, social events, and spiritual activities. Group activities are an opportunity to become involved, explore leisure interests and spend time with friends and family. Group activities are also a time to practice the skills gained in recreation therapy and the other rehabilitative services. Activities are offered daily, on each residential floor and, in season, in the Schulman and Schachne Gardens, one in each pavilion.

Behavioral Services & Alternative Therapies

Clinical care at SSI is based on the highest standards of modern medical science. But medicine today also recognizes that, for many people, alternative therapies can be an important adjunct to traditional treatments. In addition to traditional medicine, we offer a wide range of alternative therapies such as acupressure, herbal medicine or aromatherapy.

Aligning Community Efforts to Improve Behavioral Health is a quality of care initiative of utmost importance. Improving behavioral health care at SSI and extending our care into the community has become one of the most promising and challenging priorities facing our organization today that ultimately provides the building blocks of networks and partnerships for better care. Effectively addressing behavioral health at SSI is the first step for those residents integrating into our community. Preparing our residents during our nursing home care process and preparing them to transition into our community has positioned us to integrate behavioral and physical health care services by building networks or partnerships with community stakeholders — other hospitals or health systems, clinics, social service agencies and local and state organizations — to coordinate quality of care.

Shared Services

There is a bridge between SSI and The Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. It stands as both a real and symbolic connection between the residential healthcare environment of the nursing home and the hospital's acute medical setting. All residents at the Schulman and SSI benefit from this link, with their care backed by the vast experience of one of Brooklyn's largest voluntary nonprofit teaching hospitals.

Brookdale provides residents of the Schulman and Schachne Institute with a variety of shared services such as expert laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, dentistry, respiratory therapy, and food and nutrition services.

An Adult Day Health Care Program, Assisted Living Facility, and Senior Housing provide residents access for individuals in need or continuity of care beyond skilled nursing care.


In keeping with our determination to help residents function at their highest level, we have arranged for certain specialty services at the Schulman and Schachne Institute on a regular basis.

24 Hour in-house Doctors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating the unique problems in our resident population.

Unlike most Nursing Homes, SSI provides round-the-clock medical care by on-staff physicians. A dedicated in-house physician takes personal care of each of our residents.

In addition to Dental, Psychiatry, Psychology, Podiatry and other medical services, consultants in all specialties are available. Since the Institute is at The Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center campus, our residents have access to advanced medical services in an atmosphere that encourages excellence and innovative treatment initiatives.

Other Medical Support Services

Our comprehensive array of services combines quality onsite medical care and state-of-the-art therapeutic techniques. A creative approach to individual care is initiated through the development of personalized plans that focus on the unique qualities and needs of each resident. A care team of professionals, working in collaboration with the residents and family, contributes to designing a comprehensive plan to maximize the physical, cognitive, psychological and social abilities of each resident. Our goal at SSI is to support residents to function at their optimal level and to enhance their quality of life.

  • Audiology:
    Audiologists are hearing specialists who can evaluate for hearing loss and can prescribe a hearing aid if necessary.
  • Optometry & Eyecare:
    Optometrists are vision specialists who can provide regular testing, examining the eyes for visual defects and prescribing corrective lenses when necessary.
  • Ophthalmology:
    Ophthalmologists are vision specialists who can provide regular testing, study, and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye.
  • Dentistry:
    Dentists will treat the diseases and conditions that affect the teeth and gums, especially the repair and extraction of teeth and and provide ongoing dental care, including fitting for dentures if needed.