Lifestyle is a Leading Differentiator Among CCRCs

Seniors Dancing At Home

The senior living industry is thriving in the US, ensuring seniors’ access to a huge variety of services and lifestyle choices through many providers. These days, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) go above and beyond, offering far more than standard care to create real value and quality of life.

Here are some insights from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

Greater Healthcare Choices 

Not so long ago, it was a challenge to find assisted living or independent living communities equipped to deal with more complex or unusual healthcare services — but not anymore. In addition to providing standard medical care services, many communities offer services designed for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, seniors with hearing or vision impairments, mobility issues, or even specific nutritional requirements.

These services are offered on an as-needed basis, allowing residents to tailor and scale healthcare as needs change. This empowers seniors to access communities that look at their needs holistically, rather than compromising future care.

Home and Lifestyle Choices in Abundance 

While there’s an overall focus on quality of life, each community focuses on different offerings to help deliver this promise. In terms of living arrangements, some offer apartment homes and condominiums of different sizes for independent seniors, and many have additional temporary or permanent residential arrangements for less independent seniors, hospice patients, and patients recovering from illness or surgery.

In terms of additional lifestyle choices, there are communities to fit almost any interest including religious affiliation. Most communities have a thriving social calendar and some even offer extras like golf courses, onsite gyms, social clubs, music and dancing classes, day trips and much more.

Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey is All About an Independent, Happy Lifestyle! 

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable living choices that free up time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and assisted living facilities, amenities and services. Please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/lifestyle-is-a-leading-differentiator-among-ccrcs/

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8 Spring Cleaning Safety and Health Tips for Helping Seniors

cheerful young girl helping with household chores elderly woman home

Spring is a wonderful time of year that’s all about transitioning into those long, care-free summer days. For seniors, however, this season can bring its set of challenges despite the warmer weather!

Here are some tips for caregivers to help senior neighbors, friends, family and members of community to shake off the winter weather:

Spring Cleaning Safety Tips 

Some of us dread spring cleaning and seniors are no exception! If you’re planning to help an elderly loved one with this task, follow these tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Make a list of each area that needs to be addressed in the home and what you want to accomplish. Be sure to get approval for each step — especially about what must go and what should stay.
  2. Team effort. Your loved one is likely only going to be able to manage lighter tasks and supervise some of the process, so don’t take on everything else alone. Get friends and family in to help — it will make the job easier and faster, as well as a lot more enjoyable!
  3. De-clutter first. Clutter is a very real health hazard for seniors, so it should be a priority when cleaning out. Once you’ve dealt with initial clutter, only then move on to cupboards and storage areas. Remember to keep clear paths throughout the house that can accommodate your loved one’s walker or wheelchair, if necessary.
  4. Test safety devices. Use this opportunity to install safety devices in the home or test ones already in place to make sure they are in working order. This includes ensuring grab bars are secure, fire and carbon monoxide detectors function, and that lights are bright and in full working order.

Spring Health Checks 

Spring is allergy season, and seniors are no exception!

  1. Be sure to check if your loved one is suffering from any allergy symptoms and if so, plan a trip to the doctor to prescribe the right medication.
  2. If you suspect that the allergen is inside the home, check and clean air conditioning filters.
  3. Check for mold growth in moist areas of the home and inside cupboards.
  4. Give bedding and soft furnishings a thorough cleaning.

Companionship, Nursing and More from Our NJ Home Help Services for the Elderly 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Through this program, trained and experienced staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. Each care plan is designed around the client’s needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

In addition to helping with daily tasks, transport and personal hygiene, our senior home care services team can assist with nursing, medication management and much more on a permanent or temporary basis. For dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, we can develop specific care routines that ensure a sense of structure and help reduce stress and anxiety.

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

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/8-spring-cleaning-safety-and-health-tips-for-helping-seniors/ 

 

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4 Warning Signs that a Senior Needs Help

Serious Senior Woman With Adult Daughter At Home

When an elderly loved one needs help coping at home, the signs aren’t always easy to see. Often, family members and friends don’t notice a physical or mental health decline because it is gradual or perhaps they live further away and can’t check in often enough to evaluate the situation properly.

The key here is to remember to watch for small signs that can indicate a bigger problem, which will help you know when to step up and assist, and plan for the future. Here are some warning signs to look out for, from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  1. Physical injuries. These may indicate they are having difficulty caring for themselves, becoming frail, and are struggling to manage daily tasks. Signs include cuts, bruising, limping, and burns. It is also important that these heal properly, as many elderly people need more intensive wound care.
  2. Changes in physical appearance. Changes of this nature, especially if your loved one always takes care of their personal appearance, can be a warning sign of health conditions, mobility problems or difficulty maintaining personal hygiene. They can include significant weight loss, neglecting hygiene, mismatched clothing, and difficulty getting around the house.
  3. Behavioral changes. Consistent out-of-character behavior should be taken very seriously as it may indicate more serious health issues. Keep an eye out for paranoia, speaking difficulty, mood and personality changes, depression, anxiety, confusion, unfounded accusations against others, decrease in social activity, and memory loss.
  4. Decline in home maintenance. Although clutter and maintenance issues pile up on us all, observe your loved one’s home as this may indicate that they are having trouble keeping up with its demands. Watch for piles of unopened mail and unpaid bills, piles of dirty laundry and dishes, old food in the refrigerator, lack of yard and home maintenance, and excessive clutter in the home.

Independent Living for Seniors from Our Welcoming Assisted Living Community in NJ 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit, assisted living communities specializing in senior living. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus on essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/4-warning-signs-that-a-senior-needs-help/

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4 Tips and Advice for Managing Diabetes

old couple prevention of diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that there are around 12 million diagnosed and undiagnosed seniors in the USA with diabetes, and proper disease management is the most effective way of maintaining a high quality of life. With the right medical treatments, care and lifestyle choices, seniors with diabetes can thrive. Here are some tips and advice from our in home respite care team.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes 

First, there are two types of this disease. Type 1 is usually diagnosed when someone is much younger, as an adult or even as a child, and is the result of the body not producing insulin. It’s is rare, with only 5 percent of the population affected.

The more common version of the disease is Type 2, when the body causes glucose (sugar) levels to rise to higher than normal levels because the body is not using insulin properly. At first, the body tries to create more insulin, but it cannot keep up over time which causes blood glucose levels to keep increasing. The exact causes for the condition are unknown, but genetics and family history are thought to play a role, as do risk factors like excess weight, poor diet and lack of exercise.

The seriousness of diabetes should never be underestimated, as it is not only the seventh most common cause of death in the USA, but also places patients at risk of blindness, circulation problems, limb amputation and organ damage.

How Can Seniors with Diabetes Stay Healthy? 

Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge Here are a few things can help seniors stay independent and avoid the serious health complications of this disease, including:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. A diet low in sugar (including sugar from fruit) and saturated fats, and high in lean proteins, wholegrains and vegetables is very important for diabetics. It’s worth it to speak to a registered dietician about developing a meal plan that keeps blood sugar stable and in a healthy range.
  2. Get active. Aerobic exercise is great for managing diabetes, and the ADA recommends 30 minutes a day. Cycling is great for more active seniors, but walking, dancing, aerobics, swimming and yoga are also great options.
  3. Monitor blood sugar. Seniors are more likely to experience unstable blood sugar and often have more trouble eating proper meals. Some medications can also affect blood sugar levels. This makes it essential to check blood sugar regularly and speak to your doctor about any symptoms like confusion, dizziness, and sweating.
  4. Self-examine. For diabetics, a small cut or infection can quickly become a big problem, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on any injuries, especially on the feet where it is difficult to see. Caregivers can also help with this exam, or you can attach a small mirror to a grab-stick so you can check without bending over.

Need In Home Respite Care or Full-Time Care? Our Senior Independent Home Care Team Can Help 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer at home care for elderly through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. Our respite care and seniors home care services cover everything from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care, depending on exactly what you and your loved one requires. Our services are scalable and by-the-hour, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

For more information on respite care and our home health aide services offering, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Heath-Aid-services

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-tips-advice-managing-diabetes/

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4 Ways to Transform Your Assisted Living Apartment into a Home

Couple in apartment

Moving from a house you or your loved one has known for many years into an assisted living community is a big change. Many people worry that they aren’t going to be comfortable or fit in. One of the best ways to ease this transition is to take the blank canvas of the new apartment and make it feel cozy, familiar and lived-in. Here are some tips from our assisted living team in Gloucester County:

  1. Downsize with care. Most people feel sentimental about certain furniture and household items, so record these and ensure that none get left behind. Try to keep the list focused on smaller items, however, as you won’t have the space of a big house in the new accommodation. This also helps with housekeeping and safety, as a clutter-free home is easier to move around in.
  2. Measure, and measure again. This is a great opportunity to get some new furniture that fits perfectly into your loved one’s new home, and measuring the space, planning it out properly and measuring furniture is the only way to get it right. Two important things to consider include ensuring that there is enough space between items to move freely with a walker or wheelchair (even if your loved one is currently mobile, their friends may not be), and that they are at a good height that makes sitting, getting up and using the furniture easy.V
  3. Safety features. These aren’t all about alarms and alert systems! Instead, make sure that the new accommodation is accessible and put in fall prevention measures. For example, rugs should be on anti-slip matting and secured to the ground with no edges curling up. Make sure everyday items are easily in reach in all rooms, especially the bathroom and kitchen.
  4. Add some new touches. There’s something refreshing and exciting about adding new features to your home, so it’s a great idea to explore some options with your loved one to see what takes their fancy. Maybe they’d like to incorporate something as simple as new colors or they’ve always wanted luxury bedding or beautiful new small appliances for the kitchen. Looking forward to new things can make the move more exciting and less stressful.

Make a Home at Our Vibrant Assisted Living Community in Pitman, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality 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/4-ways-transform-assisted-living-apartment-home/

 

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Awareness Saves Lives – Colorectal Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so the team from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey is sharing some important information to help spread awareness about this serious disease and save lives. Here is a quick guide to the signs, symptoms and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors 

Several factors can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer, but doctors still aren’t sure exactly what causes this disease. If any of the following risk factors apply to you, it’s a good idea to take note of the warning signs, so the disease can be caught early.

The 7 risk factors include:

  1. Inherited gene mutations. A family history of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP or colon polyps).
  2. Age. You are more at risk if you are over the age of 50.
  3. Race. African Americans are more vulnerable to the disease than other races.
  4. Diet. Low fiber, high fat diets increase your risk.
  5. Diabetes. Insulin resistance can increase your risk.
  6. Overweight and a sedentary lifestyle place you at higher risk than more active people of healthier weight ranges.
  7. Alcohol consumption and smoking.

6 Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For 

Unfortunately, colorectal cancer doesn’t always start off with symptoms, but it is important to note any of the following, as they can be indicators of the disease:

  1. Changes in bowel habits that last more than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of stool).
  2. Rectal bleeding of fresh, bright red blood.
  3. Feeling of fullness in the bowels that is not relieved by a bowel movement.
  4. Abdominal cramps.
  5. Weakness, fatigue and unintended weight loss.
  6. Low red blood cell count.

Early diagnosis is key to preventing and defeating this kind of cancer, and the American Cancer Society recommends that anyone over 50 participate in screening tests, including:

  1. Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  2. CT colonography every 5 years.
  3. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
  4. Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years.

Many of these symptoms can also indicate other health conditions like an infection, hemorrhoids or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so it’s important to see your doctor right away, even if you don’t believe you are at risk of cancer.

Independent Living for Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities, amenities and services, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/awareness-saves-lives-colorectal-cancer-signs-symptoms-treatment/ 

 

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4 Top Tech Innovations for Senior In-Home Living

Mature man with his nurse looking at the laptop

Technology is constantly transforming the way we live our lives, and seniors are no exception! There’s some wonderful technological innovations that can help seniors keep their independence while getting a helping hand, as well as help caregivers stay on top of their needs. Here are some examples that are changing senior lives for the better, from our at home health care agency in New Jersey:

  1. Family members of elderly loved ones often express concern about whether their loved ones are coping at home, especially as they become frailer or face medical challenges. These sources of stress for loved ones can mean you end up calling multiple times a day… and still worrying if your mom or dad has taken their medication.
    Lively is a system that uses unobtrusive sensors that you can place in a refrigerator, medication box, front door, key chains and other important spots, that then track activity via a private account on a website. You can check in however many times you want to see that their activity is normal – and the company can even alert you if something out-of-the-ordinary happens.
  2. Anyone who’s ever cared for a senior knows that the medications pile up quickly, and how easy it is for a senior to forget to take a pill, take too many, or take them at the wrong time. MedMinder is a digital pill dispenser that you or a caregiver can load up, that then dispenses medication according to a schedule that you can set. It can remind your loved one when pills are ready to be taken, and if he or she fails to take them, you or an emergency contact will be alerted.
  3. Amazon Alexa. While not specifically for seniors, the features it offers can be a big help around the house. Voice activated and easy to use, your loved one can ask Alexa for the news, to play any type of music, tell you the weather, or even order groceries to your front door. Alexa can also help find a lost smartphone, or even make a phone call from your smartphone, if for example you have fallen or need help.
  4. Fitness trackers. Wearable fitness trackers are great for seniors who want to keep an eye on their physical activity and stay healthy. There are many different types of devices, and many are easy to wear and operate. Most have basic features like tracking your steps per day, and others have more advanced features like GPS tracking, heart rate tracking and custom features for different activities.

Compassionate, Qualified Caregivers from Our At Home Health Care Agency 

Whether you need a permanent in-home senior care specialist or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one with respite care, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive training and experience in at home care for elderly, including assisting individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our home health services in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-top-tech-innovations-senior-home-living/

 

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