3 Steps to Find a Senior Community for Older Adults with Alzheimer’s

CCRC Sussex County New Jersey

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. And, that means it is time to raise awareness about this condition as well as the challenges faced by caregivers and loved ones in supporting and providing for their loved ones. Today, we’d like to talk about a significant decision – finding a long-term care option for a senior with Alzheimer’s Disease.

It Is All About What’s Best for Your Loved One 

Making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living community is a very difficult one, and many family caregivers and loved ones feel guilty or upset about making this choice. It is important to realize that whatever your reasons for making this decision, it may be the best choice, not only for them, but also for you. It is all about finding a place that gives you the peace of mind knowing that their needs are being expertly and compassionately met, which gives you more opportunities to spend quality time with them.

Step One – Research

Speak to your loved one’s doctor as well as neighborhood support groups to get recommendations for long-term care facilities in your area. Go online and take a look at their websites to get an idea of the spirit of the community and the services they offer. Call up the different CCRCs and assisted living communities to get an idea of how they charge for their services so you can develop a budget. It is also a good idea to write down a list of priorities, so you can narrow down your options.

Step Two – Visit 

Once you have a shortlist prepared, visit the facilities in person. Pay attention to how the associates interact with the residents, how friendly they are, and how well-cared-for the residents look. Ask to see a room like the one your loved one will be staying in, and ask about mealtimes. Get the details, for example, what is the food like, can you or visitors join in for a meal, and so on.

While it is important to focus on your loved one’s medical care and assistance with daily tasks, it is also a good idea to ask about social events and activities. Are there gardens for your loved one to enjoy? What activities might he or she be able to participate in? How are companionship and spiritual care provided?

Of course, it is also important to ensure that they are equipped to support Alzheimer’s residents and their specific needs, and that their staff are experienced in assisting residents with dementia conditions. They should also have the facilities to care for your loved one’s future needs as they change.

Step Three – Costs 

Every assisted living community structures the costs differently. Therefore, it is important to get a clear breakdown of the costs involved so that you can plan ahead financially. This is also a good time to speak to your eldercare lawyer and get all your loved one’s finances and legal needs in order, as you may be planning to sell property or assets to fund your loved one’s care. You may even need to obtain guardianship over your loved one to ensure that you can manage their finances and medical needs effectively.

Compassionate Care from Experienced Professionals at Beautiful United Methodist Communities in New Jersey

United Methodist Communities’ network of CCRC and assisted living communities in New Jersey is dedicated to compassionate, comprehensive care for seniors that promote independence and quality of life. We offer scalable services so residents only pay for services they need.

Through Tapestries Memory Care, we provide comfortable accommodations and support for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia conditions.  Each resident enjoys a private studio apartment, spacious communal areas, and programs designed to meet each resident’s individual capabilities and aptitude. We accept seniors of all faith backgrounds.

Our communities include Bristol Glen (a CCRC in Newton, NJ), Collingswood, The Shores (Ocean City, NJ) and Pitman. Each community offers a unique setting and a different range of services, including assisted living, memory care, respite, rehabilitation, hospice, and senior housing.

To find out more about our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ, assisted living in Sussex County, NJ, or our other New Jersey communities, please contact us today or visit our website. https://umcommunities.org/senior-living-options-nj/

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/3-steps-to-find-a-senior-community-for-older-adults-with-alzheimers/

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5 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

Assisted living Camden County NJ

Being a little forgetful is a normal part of our busy, everyday lives. But, if an elderly loved one seems to be getting more forgetful than normal, then it could be a sign of early cognitive decline. As with many diseases, it is important to detect Alzheimer’s early to supply the best possible level of care and support. Here are some essential early warning signs of this condition that everyone can watch for, from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  • Getting Lost Easily – If your loved one suddenly can’t find their way around a place that’s very familiar to them, such as their local mall, doctor’s offices or even their neighborhood, it may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. People with this condition are often confused about where they are or how to get to and from a place they should know well.
  • Memory Issues – Alzheimer’s affects memory – especially short-term memories. Patients often forget information they have just learned, like appointments, messages or recent conversations. Keep an eye out for your loved one asking you the same questions over and over again, like the name of a new friend, whether you ran an errand for them, and so on. They may also constantly misplace items and forget where they are, or struggle to retrace their steps or the events of the day.
  • Money Mistakes – Because this condition affects short-term memory, it’s easy for seniors with Alzheimer’s to make mistakes with their money, for instance, like paying bills multiple times. This can leave them vulnerable to unethical people, so it’s important to help your loved one keep an eye on their finances and budget. This way you can spot issues like questionable financial decisions, giving away money, trouble balancing their household budget if they were always good at it before, and overbuying items (duplicate groceries, and the like).
  • Social Withdrawal – A change in social habits (hobbies, visiting friends and family, and so on) can be an early sign of a range of concerning issues including depression and Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to watch for. Your loved one may be worried that they are unwell or realize that they are being forgetful and, as a result, they can withdraw, either out of embarrassment or not wanting to concern others.
  • Problems Communicating – Information on Alzheimer’s disease often focuses on memory loss, but the condition can also affect written and spoken communication skills. Problems with forming a clear sentence, struggling to remember words and names, or incorrectly identifying objects can all point to this health condition.

It’s not easy to think about a loved one having Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s so important to recognize these symptoms early. A diagnosis can be frightening, but it gives your loved one the best possible support and care from the start. And if your loved one doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, a doctor’s examination can give you peace of mind.

Memory Support and Care for Alzheimer’s Patients Through Our Beautiful Assisted Living Community 

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, New Jersey, is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit, assisted living communities specializing in an independent lifestyle for seniors. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite- and memory care, and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about career opportunities at any of the four full-service United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-early-warning-signs-of-alzheimers/

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7 Symptoms and 4 Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

An elderly Indian man with heart problems

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a progressive and chronic condition in which fluid builds up around the heart, limiting its ability to pump properly. Here are some insights into this health condition from the team at our hospice in South Jersey.

7 Symptoms of CHF 

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Fatigue
  3. Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  4. Difficulty concentrating
  5. Coughing and wheezing with pink phlegm
  6. Rapid weight gain
  7. Difficulty exercising

The most important signs to watch for include rapid/irregular heartbeat, chest pain, fainting, and severe weakness. If any of these are detected, a doctor should be alerted immediately.

4 Causes of CHF 

There are several cardiovascular diseases and conditions that can cause damage to the heart, leading to heart failure. The most common of these include:

  • Heart Attack – In a heart attack, the artery leading to the heart is blocked, blocking incoming blood flow. Without a flow of blood and oxygen into the heart, this tissue can become damaged, resulting in the formation of scar tissue. This scar tissue affects the pumping performance of the heart, which can lead to fluid building up.
  • Cardiomyopathy – This disease affects the tissue of the heart, causing the heart to become larger and more inflexible, which negatively affects its ability to pump blood, leading to fluid buildup. This condition can be caused by chronic high blood pressure, problems with the heart valves, abnormal protein build-up, inflammatory infections, metabolic disorders, and certain drugs.
  • Coronary Artery Disease – Plaque, cholesterol, and fatty deposits can build up in the arteries, causing narrowing that restricts the flow of blood to the heart. This can be caused by long-term smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Strain on the Heart Muscle – Certain health conditions can put a lot of strain on your heart that can lead to fluid buildup, including kidney disease, birth-related heart defects, HIV, hyperthyroidism, and hemochromatosis.

Treatment of CHF 

Treatment for hospice patients with congestive heart failure focuses on reducing symptoms and maintaining the best possible quality of life, and may include blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and other medications. What type of medications the patient will receive depends on whether or not they have an underlying heart condition, other chronic health conditions they may have, other medications they may be on, and how they are affected by certain medications. The team of doctors, medical practitioners, and wellness therapists will work together to ensure the best holistic care for each patient on an individual basis.

Expert Hospice Care Led by a Compassionate Team of Specialists at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/7-symptoms-and-4-causes-of-congestive-heart-failure-2/

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How Moving into Assisted Living Helps Prevent Emergency Hospitalizations

Assisted Living in Gloucester County

Hospitalizations are common for seniors, especially trips to the emergency room as a result of falls, upper respiratory tract infections, medication mismanagement and complications with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But, according to specialists, researchers, and our assisted living team in Gloucester County, it shouldn’t be this way.

According to a congressional report on this issue, up to 60% of Medicare beneficiary visits to emergency rooms and 25% of hospital admissions in the study were preventable. These unnecessary trips to the hospital take a toll not only on hospital resources, but on the seniors themselves. Although Medicare Part A and B provide some coverage, seniors are still often subject to a copay and 20% of the bill.

Seniors often take longer to recover from falls and illness, and are at high-risk of developing secondary infections in a hospital setting because immune systems become far less effective as we age. This means that these hospitalizations can rapidly become very expensive and result in the need for additional care.

Assisted Living Reduces Unnecessary Hospitalization 

A key finding of the above report is that better care in non-hospital settings are a critical component in reducing hospitalizations — and assisted living communities are perfectly positioned to do so.

  • Communities are designed around fall prevention —  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four seniors fall each year. It is the leading cause of injury in seniors, with 3 million visiting the ER each year as a result of a fall. Fall risks can be drastically reduced by changing a senior’s environment — installing handrails, entrance ramps, grab bars in bathrooms, and good lighting. Unlike homes, assisted living apartments are designed with fall prevention in mind.
  • Early detection of illness – Often, hospitalization can be avoided if a health complication is detected early and treated effectively. Assisted living communities have nurses and trained caregivers onsite who seniors interact with daily, so a respiratory illness can be recognized in the very early stages and can usually be treated by a doctor before it gets to a level requiring hospitalization. This means minimal severe symptoms, no emergency treatment costs, and no risk of a hospital-acquired infection.

Visit Pitman, An Assisted Living Community in New Jersey That Cares 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality, scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care, and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-moving-into-assisted-living-helps-prevent-emergency-hospitalizations/

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4 Tips for Making Your Visit to a CCRC or Assisted Living Community a Success

Assisted Living Bristol Glen

Choosing an assisted living community or CCRC for a loved one is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Once you’ve developed your shortlist through your own research and word-of-mouth recommendations, it’s time to take a tour of each community. This is the best way to get a feel of the place and the people running it, ask any questions you may have, and see if it’s the right fit for your loved one. Here are some tips for your visit, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  1. Hygiene and Cleanliness. Use all your senses when you visit an assisted living community – does it look fresh and clean? Are the buildings well-maintained? What are the housekeeping and laundry services for the apartments? Bad odors throughout the community along with poor maintenance can be a serious warning sign.
  2. Staff Approachability. The quality of the staff — both in terms of their training and their character — are very important as it influences care and quality of life in the community. Observe members of staff as they interact with residents — are they cheerful and helpful? Do they focus on the resident and engage with them?
    It’s a good chance to also ask questions about staffing, so you can find out how many people are involved in caring for the residents and how they are vetted for these positions. You should also meet with the management team as part of your tour.
  3. Meal Times and Activities . Ask if you can have your tour during a meal time or an activity, so you can see what daily life is all about. Find out if you can join your loved one for meals, the quality of the meals and if meals can be prepared in the apartment or only in the dining hall. Get to know the types of activities offered and observe one or two to see how they are managed, if the participants are having fun, and if your loved one would enjoy these social occasions.
  4. Personal Care. Talk to your tour guide about personal care for residents and focus on possible future needs as well as your loved one’s current care needs, as they need to be able to scale services as required. While on your tour, observe other residents to see how they are being cared for they should be well-groomed (hair and nails too) and dressed appropriately for the weather/activity.

Get to Know the Community at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy independence and privacy on a campus with various care options should their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-tips-for-making-your-visit-to-a-ccrc-or-assisted-living-community-a-success/

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What to Do When Your Senior Parent Refuses Help They Need

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult man

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they may need a little extra help and care to live life to the fullest – but not everyone sees a helping hand as a positive thing. Many seniors struggle to accept that they need assistance, and this stubbornness can be a big concern for loved ones. Here are some tips from our home health aide services team in New Jersey on what to do when your senior loved one isn’t interested in talking about assistance.

You Can’t Force Someone to Accept Help 

The first thing to realize is that you can’t make your parent accept help – or even accept your advice. Unless they are suffering from a mental or physical health condition that legally allows you to make healthcare decisions on their behalf (Power of Attorney or a legal guardianship), they are legally entitled to make their own decisions.

Don’t Make Ultimatums 

An aggressive approach, even if it’s rational and logical, is going to look like an attack, putting your parent on the defensive. Most older adults who refuse to consider assistance or at home care are rejecting the idea out of fear – fear of getting older, fear of being removed from friends and family, and so forth. Instead, speak to your parent as someone who respects their input and their point of view, and explain your concerns.

Try Meet Them Halfway 

Try to understand where they are coming from and consider their concerns too. If they don’t want to move out of their home or away from their social circle, consider home health aide services rather than assisted living. If they are worried about having to invite someone into their house that they don’t know, then talk with your local service providers about making introductions with different caregivers so your parent can get to know them.

Don’t put any pressure on – your parent needs to come around to the idea of assistance by themselves. Often, they have just as many misconceptions about these services as younger people do, so it is often just a matter of showing how useful and rewarding a little senior care can really be.

Home Health Aide Services New Jersey – Compassionate At Home Care for the Elderly 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we strive to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care through our HomeWorks program. This program is about assisting the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. We can assist you with respite care, overnight care, hourly or live-in care, as well as provide experienced care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Original Content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/what-to-do-when-your-senior-parent-refuses-help-they-need/

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Many Seniors Suffer from Loss of Appetite – Here’s How to Help

Senior couple preparing salad

Loss of appetite is common among seniors, and is a natural result of being less active, burning fewer calories and requiring less food as we age. However, a complete or severe loss of appetite is something to be concerned about and it’s important that caregivers watch out for this health issue. Here are some insights from our in home respite care team in New Jersey.

What Can Cause Loss of Appetite in Seniors? 

There are a few risk factors that make seniors especially vulnerable to loss of appetite, including these four:

  • Loneliness or depression – According to the AARP, recent surveys show the extent of loneliness and social isolation in seniors, with one third of seniors reporting a lack of companionship and feelings of isolation. This can lead to depression as well as declines in mental and physical health.
  • Medication – Some medications can cause loss of appetite as a side effect.
  • Changes in the senses – As we age, our sensory perception changes, which can make certain foods smell or taste off-putting or different than they once did.
  • Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions can affect appetite, including thyroid disorders, dementia, chronic liver disease, kidney failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A sudden unexplained loss of appetite should be investigated by a doctor.

Four Ways to Help a Senior Regain Their Appetite 

Once any serious issues are ruled out or identified, caregivers can help seniors regain their appetite by:

  1. Having set meal times – While it’s great to get input for when meals should be served and what they should be, it’s a good idea to stick to particular meal times once they have been set. This helps people mentally prepare for mealtimes.
  2. Choose quality over quantity – Because seniors naturally eat less, it’s important that what they do eat is high quality. Choose fresh, high-nutrient foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins rather than processed snack foods or sandwiches. Present them in small meal portions.
  3. Eat together – Meals are social occasions and eating together is a bonding, companionable experience. Bringing some social elements to meal times and making it a more enjoyable experience often has the effect of all parties eating more.
  4. Stick to what they love – Get input on favorite meals and ingredients you can work with through the week, as most people are likely to eat more of the foods they love! Keep it simple, don’t try anything too adventurous, and make sure it’s easy to chew and swallow.

Affordable, Quality Support from In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates, starting as low as $23 per hour, through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aides are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our in-home respite care services and seniors home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/

Original Content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/many-seniors-suffer-from-loss-of-appetite-heres-how-to-help/

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