7 Essentials to Pack for Hospice Care

Packing suitcase in hotel room. Young man folding t-shirt on baggage in home bedroom. Open luggage on bed for vacation preparing.

Moving into hospice care in jersey shore can be a challenging time for patients and their families, but knowing what to bring can help make this transition easier. Here’s a basic guide from the team at our hospice in South Jersey.

  1. All current medication. This includes medicines, treatment creams, medical inhalers, eye drops, and any medical equipment, including a walker, unless supplied by the hospice.
  2. Comfortable clothing. Three to four pairs of pajamas, a night gown, socks, slippers and a bed jacket or sweater. Slippers should fit well and have good grip.
  3. All day-to-day toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste, denture cleaning/storage (if needed), deodorant, body wash and skin moisturizer/lotion, hairbrush, cosmetics, razor and shaving cream, and so forth.
  4. Favorite foods. This depends on what food the hospice can store on your behalf, but favorite cookies, snacks, chocolate and other goodies are always welcome.
  5. Personal bedding. Although high-quality linens are supplied, many patients get extra comfort from using a pillow or blanket from home.
  6. Pictures and sentimental items. A few personal photographs, a vase for flowers, a favorite plant or sentimental items are welcome and help bring in the comforts of home.
  7. Music and books. A radio, music player or other device loaded with your loved one’s favorite music and audio books makes a great addition. Books are also welcome, as are other reading materials.

If there is anything else a patient or visitor would like to bring into hospice, be sure to contact the staff and ask whether it can be accommodated. Our team is happy to work with you to create a comfortable, supportive and caring environment.

Visit A Hospice in South Jersey and Discover A Program Based on Compassion and Care 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood called Bridges, in the Jersey Shore area.

It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for assisted living individuals 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 schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/7-essentials-to-pack-for-hospice-care/


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Cataracts – Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Optometrist with patient

June is Cataracts Awareness Month, so our in home senior care team is helping to raise awareness by sharing important information about this health condition.

What are Cataracts and What Causes Them? 

Cataracts is clouding of the eye’s lens (which is normally clear) that causes vision problems. It is predominantly a result of aging, and by 80-years of age, more than half of all Americans will have experienced a cataract. It can occur in one or both eyes and is not a contagious condition.

The lens of the eye is largely made up of protein and water. The proteins can start clumping up over time, which clouds the lens and prevents the right amount of light from reaching the retina. When this clumping first starts, it only affects a small portion of the eye and may not be easily noticed. As it progresses and grows, the symptoms will worsen, and vision will be increasingly affected.

8 Symptoms of Cataracts 

Symptoms of this condition include:

  1. Clouded or dimmed vision
  2. Sensitivity to bright light/glare
  3. Halos around lights
  4. Difficulty seeing at night
  5. Increasing need for brighter and brighter light for reading and close work
  6. Difficulty distinguishing different tones and colors
  7. Fading or browning/yellowing of the eye
  8. Double vision in the eye

Risk Factors 

Cataracts primarily result from the aging process, but other risk factors can make cataracts more likely, including certain health conditions like diabetes, certain medications like corticosteroids, as well as smoking, high alcohol intake, obesity, high blood pressure, eye injuries and excessive exposure of the eyes to sunlight.

Treatment for Cataracts 

Cataracts can be diagnosed by your physician using a range of eye tests, so annual checkups are important. Fortunately, there are very effective treatment options available to restore your vision once your prescription glasses are no longer effective.

During cataract surgery the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. This is usually done on an outpatient basis and, after a few days of recovery, your vision should be fully restored.

Senior Independent Home Care in NJ – Compassion, Care and Independence! 

At United Methodist Communities, a leading senior homecare services provider in New Jersey, we offer tailored, compassionate care through our advanced HomeWorks program. This program offers in home senior care for the elderly tailored to their specific requirements and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.For more information on our senior independent homecare services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/cataracts-signs-symptoms-and-treatment-options/

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Donating Blood – How Your Generosity Saves Lives

A hand gives a red heart to a hand - blood donation,world blood donor day

Ever wanted to be a hero and save a life? Well, you can! June 14th is World Blood Donor Day and almost anyone can participate in this essential and life-giving service. Here’s some motivational information on how you can participate, from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ.

Why Donate Blood? 

Blood is needed in many medical situations in order to save lives. This includes premature babies, children with anemia, cancer and surgical patients, as well as trauma patients.

Blood banks allow people to donate blood and store it until needed by a patient — and there is no alternative, no medicine or substitute that can be used instead of these donations. This makes donating vital to saving lives.

Blood Donation Options: 

  • Whole blood donation. This method of donating usually happens in blood drives. It’s called a whole blood donation because you are supplying red blood cells along with other elements found in the blood stream.
    There are different types of red blood cells and some people can only receive donations from compatible types, which is why it’s essential for blood centers to have a wide range of donated blood types on hand. Type O- (O negative) is “universal” and especially important as it is a blood type anyone can receive.
  • Plasma donation. Plasma is a component of blood that is vital to carrying salt, nutrients, protein and enzymes to the tissues of the body. It is often used for people receiving treatments for rare health conditions that depend on protein delivered by the plasma in order to be effective.
  • Platelet donation. Platelets, another component of blood you can donate, plays a vital role in helping wounds to clot. Patients who are bleeding heavily require additional platelets to stop this bleeding, so it’s often used in trauma cases.

Your local doctor or the American Red Cross can help you find out if you are eligible to make these donations, but the general guidelines require you must be:

  • In good general health
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be at least 16-years-old

As a whole blood donor, you will need to wait 56 days between donations and 7 days before donating platelets. Platelet donors cannot donate more than 6 times in any 8-week period.

Independent Style Living for Seniors at Our Assisted Living Community in Camden County, New Jersey 

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 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 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/donating-blood-how-your-generosity-saves-lives/

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5 Options for Summertime Fun with Seniors

Summer with my grandpa

Here are some ideas from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County New Jersey for spending quality time with your loved ones this summer:

  1. Pack a picnic lunch and dine at the local park. When the weather is great, there’s nothing like gathering the family together for a picnic in one of the beautiful local and state parks! Memory Park in Newton is great if you have active young kids who want to run around while you sit and relax.
    Swartswood State Park, a 3,460-acre protected area spreading across both Stillwater and Hampton townships in Sussex County, is fantastic for whole-day family events as there are lots of activities as well as beautiful scenery.
    Waterloo Village, a restored 19th-century canal town in Byram Township, offers a trip down memory lane with historic buildings and pretty canal walks.
  2. Attend free summer concerts. Thursdays on the Green is a free summer concert series hosted by the Sussex County Community College that’s become a much-loved tradition for local residents. This year, the line-up features everything from country music and Broadway hits to folk, jazz and classic rock.
    There will be food vendors, artisanal stalls and giveaways — all you need are your picnic blankets and chairs. Performances start at 6:30pm on the Connor Green.
  3. Spend time on the beach or lake. Sussex County has many beautiful miles of beach and lake shores and summer is the perfect time to plan a family day trip. Sand Beach is a safe haven for swimming, picnicking and relaxing. There are lovely grassy areas, too!
    Cranberry Lake is another popular option with two swimming beaches (including a toddler-friendly beach), sailing and boating facilities and a snack shack.
  4. Create a family memory book. Crafts are another fun way to pass the time and enjoy some quality time with your loved one. A memory book filled with the adventures you’ve had together is a great project! Get all your crafting gear together, print photos and settle down to share some memories and laughs, while creating a lasting souvenir.
  5. Make a pie with seasonal fruit. If you and your loved one share a passion for baking, then summer is the perfect time to make everyone’s favorite dessert — pie! Visit a farmer’s market like the Sussex County Farmer’s Market or Andersen Farms to pick up the freshest and tastiest fruit of the season and enjoy a delicious day together.

Please take care during all outdoor activities this summer and remember sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and cover-ups for your seniors — and stay hydrated!

Live Life to the Fullest with Our Scalable CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

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

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and in Sussex County, New Jersey, 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/5-options-for-summertime-fun-with-seniors/

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4 Non-Medical Therapies to Help with Memory Loss

Woman working on watercolor painting.

Modern medicine is an invaluable source of treatment for a wide range of health conditions, but there are ways to supplement this resource with non-medical therapies that can help improve memory or even help prevent memory loss in older adults. Here are some effective therapies from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Get creative. Participating in creative arts is a great way to exercise the mind and fight memory loss, as they boost engagement and alertness. For adults wanting to fend off memory loss, dance classes, music classes and taking to the stage, assist with mental fitness. For adults with memory loss, painting, drawing and imaginative projects like scrapbooking are suggested.
  2. Music therapy. Recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association to assist with cognitive and emotional struggles, many patients with fairly advanced memory loss can still sing and remember songs. This relaxing and energizing experience often triggers past memories.
  3. Physical exercise. Studies increasingly confirm that physical fitness is an important contributor to mental fitness, and memory is no exception. While this exercise can take any form, it should be tailored to each person’s level of physical fitness and interests. In addition to fighting memory loss, physical exercise brings countless other health benefits, as well as boosting self-esteem.
  4. Pet therapy. Many assisted living communities have resident pets or access to pet therapy. Interaction with animals is increasingly being recognized for its mental and emotional health benefits, which include helping residents feel calm, engaged in their surroundings and happy.
    It also helps residents connect with memories of their own beloved pets. In fact, some research has shown that therapy animals help improve the nutrition of residents while decreasing behavioral concerns, improving the overall quality of life.

Memory Care Services from Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester 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, 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-non-medical-therapies-to-help-with-memory-loss/

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4 Caregiving Tips for Celebrating Spring

Happy family

Spring is all about the promise of life, from the lengthening warmer days to the new growth all around us. It’s a time when we start getting outdoors more to enjoy nature and time with friends and family — and seniors are no exception!

Here are some tips from our senior home healthcare services team on making your springtime more senior-friendly:

  1. Get outdoors. An overwhelming number of studies show that physical activity is invaluable in combating health conditions and frailty, and even plays a vital role in staying mentally fit. Spring is the perfect time to resume an old hobby or pick up a new one like birdwatching or nature walking. Just remember to wear some sturdy shoes and start off slow.
  2. Prepare for changing weather. Warmer days are ideal for outdoor excursions before the heat of summer sets in, but the weather is very unpredictable this time of year. For senior caregivers, this means checking the weather in detail and planning for every variation by dressing in layers and keeping an umbrella and a sun hat nearby.
  3. Bring spring indoors. The sights and smells of spring stimulate and uplift the senses, especially for seniors who may be less mobile. Spring flowers are a great way to do this! Bringing these into the home is a great way to lift spirits. You’ll find a variety available in shops and even fresh from the garden.
  4. Take care of allergies. If the senior in your care suffers from allergies, it’s a good idea to stock up on over-the-counter medications in advance, as allergens become very concentrated in the spring. Check with your loved one’s doctor to confirm these medications won’t cause averse interactions with others in use. Another approach is to tackle the spring cleaning to clear out dust and other allergens that tend to gather in the winter. Have HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filters cleaned out and check for mold growth in cupboards and other damp areas of the home.

At Home Care for the Elderly to Support Seniors, Caregivers and Families in NJ 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a nonprofit organization, we offer at home care for older adults through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. As one of the leading home health aide agencies in New Jersey, our respite care and senior homecare 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 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-caregiving-tips-for-celebrating-spring/


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Parkinson’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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