Healthy Heart Tips from HomeWorks

Hearts are the strongest muscles in our bodies, beating over 3.3 billion times over 80 years while we sleep, eat, laugh, and enjoy life. Like any muscle, it needs certain nutrients and exercise to keep healthy and fit — this becomes more essential as we age. Here are some of the best tips for senior heart health, from our home health aide services team:

  • Exercise. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week is required to keep hearts in great shape, but you need not worry about running a marathon to get results. Walking, hiking, dancing, aqua aerobics, and even gardening benefit the heart and are gentle on joints, too.
  • Eat the right diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for the heart, as are lean proteins and essential oils. Try to avoid or omit red meat, fatty meats, saturated fats, and salt.
  • Control cholesterol and high blood pressure. High numbers here put your heart under considerable stress and force it to work harder to get blood and oxygen to the brain and body, as well as leading to increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. To reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, speak to your physician about keeping these numbers in a healthy range and take the required medication as prescribed.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is just as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. This unhealthy habit causes serious health problems for the heart, including increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. However, it is important to remember that it is never too late to quit and quitting will have an almost immediate benefit. In fact, within a few months, you will be breathing easier and in just one year, reduce your risk of heart disease by half.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Managing a healthy weight is key. Like smoking, excess weight increases risks of heart disease and heart attacks. Your physician can advise you on a health and wellness plan that will help you lose weight in a safe and manageable way.
  • Stop the stress. Stress, anxiety and worry can have very real effects on your physical health, including your heart. Speaking to a therapist or pastor, taking up a new hobby, socializing more or joining yoga and meditation classes for seniors, all form therapeutic outlets.

Maintain a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body with In-Home Care for the Elderly in NJ

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality home health aide services for the elderly, from assisted living to elderly in-home care through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to medical care and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our home health aide 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/healthy-heart-tips-homeworks/

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Medication Safety Tips for Seniors

Medication can be a lifesaver as we grow older and may have to deal with more health problems, but only correctly taken as prescribed by a physician. When multiple medications are in use, it’s easy to get distracted and forget to take one or forget you’ve taken one already and accidentally double dose — and that can be very dangerous. Here are some tips for taking medications safely from our assisted living community in Camden County, New Jersey:

  • Only take prescribed medication. There are plenty of over-the-counter medications and supplements available, but you should avoid taking them unless you have spoken to your doctor or healthcare practitioner. While it may be safe to take them, your doctor will know if you are already on a treatment plan for that health issue, as well as whether or not the over-the-counter medication could interact badly with another medication you are already on.
  • Take medication as prescribed. Taking the correct dosage is just the first step in safely managing your medications. In addition, it’s important to take them at the right time of day, as some medications make you drowsy, and some medications should also only be taken with a meal. These recommendations are in place not only for your safety and health, but to ensure that the medication works as it should.
  • Keep a medication list. Keeping an up-to-date list of your medications is useful when consulting with a healthcare practitioner and during a medical emergency. Keep it somewhere easily seen, like on your fridge, and give a copy to a close friend or family member.
  • Be aware of medication interactions. Medications can interact with many things such as other drugs, herbal supplements, food, or drink.  It’s important to know the possible side effects of a bad medication interaction and carefully read all instructions that come with your medication in order to take them properly. If you are struggling with keeping track, ask a friend or family member to help create an information sheet you can refer to when needed, or organize your medication into a weekly pillbox.

Professional, comfortable assisted living for seniors in Camden County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of 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 provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, 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/medication-safety-tips-seniors/

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The Importance of DNRs and Advance Directives

While planning for medical emergencies and health problems is important at any age, this becomes essential as we get older. It isn’t pleasant to think about Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate orders, but the important thing to remember it that it is about ensuring that your wishes are respected in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Here’s some more information about these legal documents, from our hospice in South Jersey.

What is an Advance Directive?

This is a legally binding document that contains instructions according to an individual’s wishes and state law on how healthcare decisions must be made on their behalf in the event that they are too ill to do so themselves. They can contain a wide range of instructions that cover situations in which you are unconscious, terminal or suffering from a disease that will affect your mental abilities, like Alzheimer’s. In this document, you can appoint an individual to act legally on your behalf for medical decisions (a healthcare proxy), specify if you want to refuse certain treatments like blood transfusions, if you would like to have a DNR order, and even if you would like to be an organ donor or not.

This document is important not only because it helps ensure that your care needs are properly met when you can’t speak for yourself, but that there is also a clear, legal guideline for family and loved ones to follow in this situation.

What is a DNR?

This is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, a legally binding document that forms part of your Advance Directive, in which a person can declare that they don’t want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. This is because without this order, medical staff are obligated to try reviving you. This may not sound like a bad thing, but for many patients who are terminal, being revived and put on life support at the very end of their lives presents a traumatic, uncomfortable and expensive treatment that offers a low quality of life and no true recovery. For these patients, a DNR offers a peaceful and compassionate transition instead.

Expert hospice care in Cape May County, founded on principles of compassion and comfort

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 Cape May County 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 South Jersey, please visit our website athttps://theshores.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/importance-dnrs-advance-directives/

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The Differences Between Home Care and Assisted Living

When an elderly parent or loved one starts requiring additional assistance to manage their daily lives, two of the most popular solutions include assisted living and in-home senior care services. So, how can you evaluate the two?

It is important to remember that one service is not ‘better’ than the other in a fundamental sense. Rather, one is a more suitable choice for you and your loved one than another, based on certain factors including your budget, the services required and hospice considerations. Here are some insights from our senior independent home care team:

  • Budget. The costs of assisted living and in-home senior care are on the rise, but there is no set cost for either option — it will vary between service providers. While most assisted living services have a set living expense to which additional costs will apply only when your loved one needs care, in-home care offers more flexibility through hourly costs. Here, you can employ a home health aide for anything from a few hours a day for daily assistance and companionship to 24-hour care, making in-home care a very flexible option, especially for family caregivers needing respite care. When making a budget, remember to include your loved one’s home and monthly costs (meals, cleaning service, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, taxes, etc.) to get a true comparison.
  • Services offered. Assisted living facilities may offer a wide range of services, from simple residential living services for independent seniors to skilled nursing care. They also offer the benefit of living in a community of like-minded people, with activities, social events, clubs and connections all aimed at keeping residents happy and healthy. Private home care, however, focuses more on keeping your loved one in their established home and community — a great feature if they are active in their community and have lots of friends and family nearby. In-home services focus more on daily assistance, such as grooming, bathing, mobility, light housework, shopping, medication management and so forth. For more serious conditions, skilled 24-hour care can be provided.
  • Hospice services. In contrast to regular assistance, hospice services focus on palliative, end-of-life care. Assisted living communities often partner with hospice agencies, offering this level of care. Some in-home senior care providers also offer  hospice programs, but it’s important to check to ensure they can accommodate this if needed, and that the costs suit your budget. In-home end-of-life care can be easier on patients who are able and prefer to stay in familiar surroundings close to family and loved ones.

Senior independent home care from trained and experienced health aides 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality holistic at home care for the elderly through HomeWorks. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to medical care and daily in-home care, we also offer pastoral care, lending spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our home health aide services in New Jersey, please contact us today at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/ .

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/differences-home-care-assisted-living/

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Fun Mental Exercises to Keep Our Brains Healthy and Sharp

An active and healthy brain plays an important role in our happiness and wellness as we age, helping to fight dementia and other degenerative conditions which affect cognition and memory. Here are some useful mental exercises from our assisted living community in Gloucester County that help keep brains sharp:

  • Long-term learning. Fascinated by history or literature? Always wanted to play a musical instrument? Studies have shown that learning new things has a lasting long-term effect on mental abilities, and free time in retirement allows us to indulge a passion or interest.
  • Crosswords and Sudoku.: Affordable, easily available and catering to different strengths, crossword puzzles and other word games and Sudoku provide quick, and enjoyable mental challenges. While newspapers always offer a few options, there are many dedicated books available as well as online resources, so you can make the most of this challenge.
  • Take up gardening. Gardening isn’t just about physical labor, which increases oxygen flow to the brain, it’s also about learning new skills and information and putting them into practice. Discovering and understanding new information about different plants, soils, pest control, cultivation, tools, and climates, then putting it all into practice, stimulates the brain. Being outdoors in the sunshine also helps seniors get their dose of Vitamin D, which helps balance hormones in the brain and strengthen bones— just don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear sun protection.
  • Getting creative. Drawing, painting and other crafting activities help to stimulate fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and focus/concentration skills. As social activities, they help stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, language and more.
  • Learning a new sport. Sports aren’t just for the young they benefit seniors, too. Great sports like hiking, walking, yoga, swimming, dancing, golf, and tennis utilize mind and body to help strengthen memory and cognitive ability, as well as muscles, bones and other vital systems.

Independent living at our assisted living community in Camden County, 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; physical, occupational and speech therapists; hospice and palliative care; respite care; and memory support services for seniors of all faith backgrounds.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fun-mental-exercises-keep-brains-healthy-sharp/

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Fascinating Facts About Aging

Consistent with a rapidly aging population, research about what happens and what we can do about it continues to increase each year. In contrast to  negative perceptions, recent findings have unearthed some very interesting facts about aging that may change the way we think about this process:

  • We get happier as we age. Several recent studies by research bodies and universities have shown that humans tend to get happier as they age, and our happiest times of life are during our youth and then again through our 70s and 80s.
  • Your brain keeps developing. Contrary to popular belief, your brain continues to make neurons as you get older, making it possible to keep learning new things. In fact, studies demonstrate that the brain simply changes the way it takes in information as we age, and learning new skills and even studying new subjects keep your brain young and active, helping it fight off degenerative conditions like dementia.
  • Negative thoughts become more powerful. A study by the University of New South Wales found that being anxious about falling, even when  physically sound and healthy, can make you more likely to experience a fall than someone who is physically more likely to fall, but unconcerned. As  a serious issue for the elderly, falls are the single biggest reason for injury and hospitalization. So, a positive, anxiety-free mindset is important!
  • Life expectancy is still increasing. From 1900 to 1960, life expectancy increased by just 2.4 years, however, since 1960 it has increased by 3.5 years and is likely to keep doing so. Many factors account for the change, including better nutrition, lifestyle choices and medical advances.
  • Your votes count the most. Did you know that 70% of citizens 65 and older voted in the election, making them the largest voting demographic in the country?
  • Stress decreases as we age. While many seniors report anxiety over medical conditions, work, money and family, these numbers are far lower than people aged 35-49, who are the most stressed, and people aged 25-34.
  • Marriages get stronger. Studies have shown that marriage gets better as we age— a result of learning to properly express affection. Also, the more difficult years of middle age and stress over children, work and so forth, actually bring couples closer together as they age. This is great news because other studies have shown that happy marriages positively impact our health, quality of life and happiness as we age.

Put the happiness back into aging at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen, a senior community in Sussex County, aims to provide seniors with comfortable,serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fascinating-facts-aging/

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A Guide to Arthritis

In the USA, over 50 million adults suffer from some degree of arthritis, , making this health condition  the leading cause of disability. Here’s a quick guide from our in-home respite care services team.

What is Arthritis?

This is the collective name given to more than 100 different rheumatic diseases which cause joint pain and disease. The term refers to inflammation of the joints; symptoms can be mild, moderate, severe or  even come and go over time. These symptoms can include:

  • Isolated pain or pain throughout the body.
  • Skin around the joint becomes red and swollen, and feels warm to the touch.
  • Stiffness often flares up after a period of immobility, such as sleeping or sitting at a desk. This may also occur after exercise, or in some cases, persists throughout the day.
  • Experience problems with mobility such as getting up from a sitting position or bed, doing fine motor work (knitting, writing, etc.), and walking.

Common Types of Arthritis and their Treatments 

Rheumatoid Arthritis. This systemic disease typically affects wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles on both sides of the body. Symptoms commonly include morning stiffness for over an hour, equal joint pain on both sides of the body, loss of joint  range-of-motion and joint malformation over time. These symptoms can also be accompanied by sleep difficulties, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, nodules under the skin, chest pain and eye discomfort.

While not curable, treatments for the symptoms, include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and biologic agents. Doctors may also recommend occupational therapy, and dietary supplements rich in healthy fatty acids and oils, and in severe cases, surgery.

Osteoarthritis. This is usually the result of wear-and-tear on the joints, often seen in older adults. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in certain joints, worse pain after exercise, grating sounds when the joint is used, and morning stiffness. This health condition cannot be cured or reversed, but there are treatment options to help manage symptoms. These can include pain medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chronic pain medication, injections of cortisone and lubrication, and occupational therapy. Doctors may also suggest certain exercises and nutritional supplements that are rich in healthy fatty acids and oils.

Care from our NJ in-home respite care and health aide services 

United Methodist Communities, strives to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options through HomeWorks. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes, providing them, their families and caregivers, personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

In addition to medical care and daily home care, we also offer in-home respite care services.

For more information on our in-home care services and residential in-home respite care in NJ, please contact us today at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/ .

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/a-guide-to-arthritis/

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