Spotting the 5 Signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild Cognitive Impairment

As we age, our brains change just like the rest of our bodies. While it’s natural to notice a little forgetfulness as your loved one ages, it’s important to know the difference between normal signs of aging and something more serious — mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Here’s how to identify signs that indicate your loved one needs a little extra support, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)?

This is the stage between the expected cognitive decline (natural aging) and a more serious cognitive decline (dementia). As a result, many adults with MCI experience a noticeable change in mental abilities like memory, language, or judgment, but nothing severe enough to require assistance with daily living.

However, it is important to be aware of these symptoms, speak to your doctor, and watch for any further decline. They increase the risk for more serious cognitive issues that will make daily assistance necessary in the future.

5 Signs of MCI:

  1. Forgetfulness – Examples include forgetting a word or phrase, a familiar name, the route home, an important social event, appointment, or paying bills on time and other daily routines.
  2. Losing Your Train of Thought – Forgetting what you were talking about or finding it difficult to follow a movie/TV/book plot, or a conversation.
  3. Difficulty Making Decisions – Those with MCI feel overwhelmed and struggle to make decisions or follow a set of instructions or directions.
  4. Poor Judgment – Making decisions that are out-of-character, impulsive, or with poor judgment.
  5. Emotional Issues – MCI residents can experience depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, and aggression.

If friends and family exhibit any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak to a doctor. Seek support if the diagnosis is positive. While it doesn’t mean that you or your senior loved one should consider assisted living or a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), it may be wise to investigate your options and explore memory care and support.

The right assistance and appropriate management allows residents to live to their fullest potential and gives loved ones peace of mind.

Independent Living and Memory Care at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County. It aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living options as well as memory care and support. Our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a full continuum of care on one campus to ensure that care needs can be met.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/spotting-the-5-signs-of-mild-cognitive-impairment/

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6 Shopping Tips for a Healthy Heart

National heart month concept in flat style

February is Heart Month. We are not just talking about Valentine’s Day! Here are six great grocery shopping tips for seniors that will help keep their hearts both healthy and strong, from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

1. Plan Your Meals – Meal plans make not only healthy eating easier, but they are also great for your budget. If you are looking to create a week’s worth of heart-healthy recipes, look at the American Heart Association, Eating Well, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation for some great meal inspiration. You can also use the menu planner from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help stay organized.

2. Categorize Your Grocery List – To navigate a grocery store and not miss anything, organize your grocery list according to store and aisle. If you like to bulk order or if transport is a challenge, you can also order online from many stores — they deliver everything right to your door.

3. Fresh Is Best – But It’s Not Your Only Option – Fresh fruits and vegetables are always the best choices for a heart-healthy diet, but it can be difficult to get fresh produce easily in the winter or if you bulk buy. In those cases, choose frozen fruits and vegetables. Look for brands that flash-freeze their produce without adding extra salt and sugar.

4. Read Nutrition Labels – Certain foods often look like a healthy choice, but the nutrition labels show a different story! Use the labels on the foods you buy to reach your daily heart health targets. Keep cholesterol to 300 mg per day and limit sodium to 1500 mg.

5. Stay Away From Processed Foods – These are often very high in cholesterol, trans-fats, sodium, sugar, and preservatives. Worse, they are (more often than not) low in nutritional value. Processed foods to avoid include most breakfast cereals, canned meat and vegetables, potato chips, frozen dinners, and flavored snacks.

6. Eat the Rainbow – Aim for meals, fresh foods, and snacks that offer lots of bright colors, as this helps ensure you’re getting enough fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Prioritize dark leafy greens, berries, tomatoes, zucchini, avocados, squash, oranges, bell peppers, raw nuts, and more.

Looking for High-Quality Assisted Living in Camden County, NJ? We Can Help

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high quality, non-profit assisted living communities. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life. We know how important a healthy and delicious diet is, which is why our community offers some of the best dining for seniors in town!

To find out more about living options at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today to organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/6-shopping-tips-for-a-healthy-heart/

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Inside the Causes of Heart Disease

February is all about the heart, from Valentine’s Day to American Heart Month! Our in-home health care providers are taking this opportunity to raise awareness of a very serious health condition for seniors — heart disease. Here is some insight into the causes of this condition, how to help keep the heart healthy, and how our senior independent home care team in NJ can help care for people with heart disease.

Heart Disease and Seniors

Heart disease is a term that covers a range of health conditions that affect the heart, like coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and cardiomyopathy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease accounts for one in every four deaths in the USA, with 610,000 people dying every year from these conditions. Both men and women are affected, and it’s the leading cause of death amongst most ethnicities in the US, especially people of African American, Hispanic, and white ethnic backgrounds.

What Are the Causes of Heart Disease?

  • Health Conditions – High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity all increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Behavioral Risks – Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk of heart disease, like diets high in salt, processed foods, unhealthy fats, a lack of regular physical activity, drinking significant amounts of alcohol, and using tobacco products.
  • Genetic Risks – If you have close relations who have suffered from heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, you can be at higher risk for the same conditions. The risk of heart disease also increases with age, and is slightly more common in men than women.

 How to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Fortunately, there’s a lot we can all do to help reduce our risks of heart disease, even as seniors!

  • Start Exercising – It’s never too late to start exercising and it has an amazing impact on health, both as far as the body and mind are concerned. Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult either. Your doctor can help you find something manageable, whether it’s water aerobics, walking, dancing or yoga. Aim for 30 minutes, five times a week. Here’s a tip to get started if you’re worried about overexerting yourself: buy a Fitbit!  It’s smaller than a wristwatch and can monitor your heart rate, and level of exercise instantly.
  • Improve Your Diet – A healthy diet is essential for the human body. For starters, it helps you fight disease, heal faster, keeps your muscles healthy, and your blood sugar stable. Cut down on processed food, salt, saturated fats, and red meats. Rather, replace these with healthy fats (fish, avocado, and nuts), lean meat, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble managing your diet as a senior, our senior independent home care team can help you out with grocery shopping and meal preparation.
  • Get Rid of Bad Habits – It’s time to quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Seniors should stick to no more than seven drinks per week and no more than three in a day, although it is often recommended that seniors quit alcohol almost entirely. If you are worried about the effects of drinking as a senior, this article on alcoholism and the risks facing seniors is important and helpful.

In-Home Respite Care and Assistance for Seniors in New Jersey

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience. So, please feel free to ask for formal certification and references, as well as information on home care costs.

For more information on our seniors home care services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors

Inside the Causes of Heart Disease

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What is Terminal Lucidity?

Terminal Lucidity

Every individual reaches the end of their life in their own way. Often, this time brings unexpected feelings, events, and phenomena.  One of these phenomena is terminal lucidity. Here’s some insight into what this mysterious rally is all about, from our hospice community in South Jersey.

The Phenomenon of Terminal Lucidity 

What causes terminal lucidity, also called an end-of-life rally. Why some residents experience it while others do not remains unknown. However, it’s a fairly common event when patients close to the end of their life suddenly experience a boost to their physical and mental state. Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can suddenly recognize loved ones and speak clearly, and those struggling at the end of severe illnesses suddenly have the energy and clarity of mind to connect with their loved ones.

Although confusing for many families and caregivers, it can be a wonderful experience to see a loved one become more alert after months of decline. Terminal lucidity tends to fade rapidly and often indicates a loved one is close to the end of their journey. Therefore, families should treasure whatever solace it brings rather than it becoming a cause for false hope.

What Causes Terminal Lucidity?

Current thinking is that terminal lucidity can result when a resident stops medical treatment for terminal conditions. These medical treatments tend to cause side effects that can be detrimental to the mind and body; once the resident is no longer on them, the mind can become more responsive. Terminal lucidity may occur because patients cease medical treatment and opt for care that prioritizes comfort rather than a cure.

An Opportunity to Connect and Honor Final Wishes

Family members, caregivers, and hospice associates use these last moments of lucidity to show residents additional care and attention. Many use these moments to make special requests to see loved ones, listen to specific music, and even eat their favorite dessert!

Residents are usually aware that these are among their final moments, making it important that loved ones are prepared to fulfill final requests and be present to enjoy this last time together.

Quality, Compassionate Care 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 in a community called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents 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 to organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/what-is-terminal-lucidity/

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The Difference Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted living and memory care are both types of senior care services. While people assume these terms mean the same thing, there are some important differences between them. Here is some insight from our assisted living community in Gloucester County.

What is Assisted Living? 

As we get older, we will all slowly start to require some extra help to manage our daily lives. These are known as assisted living services. Assisted living communities are designed to provide all of these under one roof. The following are included in these services:

  • Rooms or apartment homes are wheelchair and walker-friendly and have safety measures in place to help prevent falls;
  • Manageable-sized housing, which is maintained by building services;
  • Transport to shops, events, and scheduled appointments;
  • Trained staff to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), like eating, bathing, dressing, medication management, and mobility; and
  • Additional services that support senior health, like a calendar of social events, clubs, senior classes, outings, fitness centers, communal dining, libraries, computer centers, and wellness therapies.

There are different levels of care within assisted living that scale according to a resident’s needs. For example, independent seniors may only need housekeeping, transportation, and companionship, while older less robust seniors may need help with physical therapy, pain management, or grooming.

What is Memory Care? 

This senior care service is available at many assisted living communities. It is specifically tailored to the everyday needs of residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia conditions. These residents need specific care only available from trained and experienced staff who understand the needs of residents with cognitive decline. This assistance is designed to ensure comfort, dignity, and the highest possible quality of life. These services can include the following:

  • Cognitive therapies and wellness programs;
  • Assistance with ADLs;
  • Management of doctor’s appointments, medication, and transport;
  • Social events suitable for dementia patients;
  • Additional safety measures and trained associates to ensure residents don’t become disoriented or wander off;
  • Life Enrichment Team Specialist (LETS) experts lend companionship, hands-on assistance, strategic intervention, and more; and
  • Highly trained LETS associates understand not only the challenges of working with dementia patients, but also their needs.

Your loved one’s cognitive health primarily determines the choice between memory care and assisted living. If he or she has not been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, then assisted living should be a good fit. If your loved one has a diagnosis, however, you can rest assured that memory care will ensure all their needs are expertly met.

Compassionate Memory Care and Independent Assisted Living at Pitman, NJ 

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, and Tapestries® 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/the-difference-between-assisted-living-and-memory-care/

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Great Brain Games Can Keep Senior Minds Sharp!

ccrc nj

Memory loss, whether it’s simple forgetfulness or a serious health condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s, is a common challenge for the majority of seniors. A lot of research is going into how we can prevent or slow this type of memory loss, and researchers are increasingly promoting brain games to achieve this. Here’s some insight from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What Are Brain Games? 

Just like physical games and activities strengthen our muscles, so brain games challenge our mental abilities. They’re important to every stage of development, from babies all the way up to seniors, helping to keep neurons in the brain active and stimulated.

The good news is that there are a lot of different types of brain games. So, it’s more about finding ones you or your senior loved one enjoys rather than making it a boring exercise. It also means that they’re great for socializing and spending time with family and friends, so start planning your next intergenerational games night!

4 Good Examples of Brain Games 

Crafting – Arts and crafts are a huge industry, which means that there is so much out there accessible to seniors. This includes everything from flower arranging and scrapbooking to knitting, crocheting, and painting. These creative exercises are plenty of fun for everyone, and they’re great for your brain, especially if it means you’re learning a new skill. There are also charity craft events with opportunities to join in on a great cause and help others.

Online Gaming – Online gaming isn’t just for teens! There’s something for every age group and interest, even if you’re not particularly comfortable with technology. From puzzle games and word games to adventure challenges and more, these games are absorbing, social, and stimulating – and your mom or dad can always call your kids for a little help to get recommendations or setting them up.

Audio Books – Reading can become a challenge when we get older, whether it’s our eyesight or just having to focus for long periods of time. These days, almost every book released also comes with an audio edition that can be downloaded onto a smartphone, tablet, or computer. These systems are not only incredibly easy to use, but also rewarding as talented actors read aloud and bring the stories to life!

Chess and Strategy Games – Strategy games force us to use our reasoning, logic, and cognitive skills in a competitive environment which can be as challenging as it is fun. Classics like Chess, Mahjong, Bridge, and Scrabble are classics that are incredibly popular all around the world. So, it’s not only easy to learn and progress, but it’s also easy to find plenty of fellow enthusiasts locally and online.

It’s All About Independent Living at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community, which is based in Sussex County, and aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living options that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of ‘aging in place’, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model where they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as 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/great-brain-games-can-keep-senior-minds-sharp/

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5 Examples of When Respite Care is a Must-Have for Seniors

Family caregiving is a common role in the USA, with the AARP reporting that around 34.2 million adults around the country provide unpaid care to a loved one over 50. While many family caregivers find a lot of meaning and joy in doing so, there are some occasions when it makes sense to handover caregiving to professional home health aide services temporarily. Here are some examples, from our in-home respite care services team in NJ:

Recovery After Illness or Hospitalization – After an illness, operation or hospitalization, a senior will require a more expert level of care than what a family caregiver may feel equipped to offer. In these cases, home health aide services can offer a skilled nurse for this care, helping your loved one to heal faster, preventing complications, and giving peace of mind.

Medical Conditions – A diagnosis of one or more serious and long-term health conditions can mean a lot for a caregiver to cope with – emotionally and in terms of the advanced care demands. Respite caregivers often specialize in specific care for clients with serious medical conditions (including Alzheimer’s and dementia), and can lend essential assistance to family caregivers as they adjust to new care requirements.

Travel – Family caregivers need space to rest and recharge. If you’re planning a vacation with family or friends, a respite caregiver can step in and support your loved one while you’re away. These trained professionals can handle it all, from nursing and assistance with daily activities to appointments and companionship, so you’ll know your loved one is in the best possible hands.

Scheduling Conflicts – Being a family caregiver is not your only role – you have a life, career, and family of your own to care for too. Respite caregivers can step in whether you have a scheduling conflict, an important meeting with a client, a child’s sports game, or anything else. These services can be scheduled as and when you need them, whether it’s a set few hours each week or to cover last-minute conflicts.

Rest, Recharge and Refresh – No matter how much you love someone, caregiving is a lot of work – especially when you have other roles to fulfill in your life! Respite caregivers are there to give you that all-important break so that you can come back feeling refreshed and re-energized. You can book these services for a few hours while you do anything you want, such as catching a movie, enjoying a date night, or getting a massage.

Talk to Our Team About Professional In-Home Respite Care in NJ

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience. So, please feel free to ask for formal certification and references as well as information on home care costs.

For more information on our home health aide services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-health-aide-services/

 

originally posted https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-examples-of-when-respite-care-is-a-must-have-for-seniors/

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