Monthly Archives: January 2016

Understanding different types of dementia

Dementia is a term that covers a category of diseases and conditions that primarily cause memory loss through physical changes to the brain. Here’s a guide to the different conditions in this category:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60 and 80% of dementia conditions. It has been known to cause short-term memory loss, confusion, apathy, behavior changes, depression, decreased communication skills and decreased judgment. This is the result of beta-amyloid protein deposits (known as plaques) or twisted tau proteins (tangles) in the brain cells that lead to nerve cell damage and cell death.
  • Parkinson’s disease: A progressive disease that affects movement, it can lead to dementia symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the development of clumps of alpha-synuclein protein deep within the brain that lead to nerve degeneration.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: Caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, this disease often affects alcoholics. This vitamin plays an important role in brain function and nerve cells cannot function properly without it, leading to severe memory loss.
  • Huntington’s disease: This is caused by a defective gene on Chromosome 4, which results in abnormal brain proteins. Over time, this disease worsens, leading to involuntary movements, a decline in thinking and reasoning abilities, irritability and mood changes.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus: Caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain, patients experience memory loss, as well as difficulty with urinary control and walking.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Known as ‘mad cow disease,’ this fatal brain disease can be transmitted to people in certain circumstances, impairing memory and coordination.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: Little is known about this category of diseases, which includes primary progressive aphasia and Pick’s disease, as there is currently a lack of research-based evidence to link each case. These conditions affect the front and sides of the brain and include symptoms such as personality changes, difficulty with language and behavioral changes.

Memory care and support services from assisted living specialists

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia can be stressful and emotionally draining, and as the disease progresses it may become impossible for you to manage without qualified support.

This is why we offer specialist memory support and care services specifically geared toward assisting Alzheimer’s and other dementia residents. By focusing on providing onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we help ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life.

To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s patients, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505


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What are the essential do’s and don’t’s of dementia care?

If you have a loved one with dementia, it’s important to know how to handle any challenges you may face when socializing with or caring for them. Here is some great advice from assisted living specialists in New Jersey.

How to manage aggression in dementia patients

It’s common for caregivers and loved ones to be confronted by aggression – verbally or physically – when assisting someone with dementia. While often an upsetting and frustrating experience, it’s important to understand why this behavior is occurring in order to handle it properly.

Key to this, is discovering what triggers the outbursts. The most common triggers include unfamiliar surroundings, physical discomfort and fear. So what should you do and what actions should you avoid?

DO: Try to identify what is at the root of the behavior and find a way to remedy the situation, keeping in mind that different things work for different people. For some people, talking calmly and gently touching them, helps to soothe – for others, it increases aggression. Another course of action is to ensure that they aren’t in harm’s way and simply walk away and give them the chance to calm themselves.

DON’T: Under no circumstances should you become confrontational or try and force your loved one to do whatever they are refusing to do. This will only escalate the situation.

How to manage a confused dementia patient

Because dementia affects the memory, confusion about time, places and people are common. People with dementia can easily become fearful or uncertain when they don’t recognize someone or their environment.

DO: Try simple explanations accompanied by familiar things such as photographs, favorite items or even scents. Remember your aim is to try help your loved one feel safe and in control, even if it means delaying an activity or social gathering until they feel comfortable.

DON’T: Don’t use lengthy explanations or reasoning to overcome these moments of confusion, as they simply aren’t effective. Short, to the point explanations or even therapeutic white lies are the fastest and most effective way of calming and helping your loved one – which is the priority during these moments.

Expert Memory Care and Support Services

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer support services and assisted living communities specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in environments that deliver the highest quality of life. An individualized care plan, developed for each resident, addresses their unique needs and level of independence and focuses on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and other common tasks within a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness such as fitness, music and other sensory-rich activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and homey, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505


For more information, please visit


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Mobility-boosting tips and benefits for seniors

Health experts are always saying that seniors need to stay mobile – but what are the real benefits? How do you stay motivated to regain or maintain your mobility when it gets more difficult each year?

Why senior mobility matters

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), among other sources, the physical fitness that comes with maintaining your mobility isn’t just about making it easier to keep up with the demands of daily living – it also:

  • Improves cardiovascular health (reduces blood pressure, increases muscle strength).
  • Improves muscle tone and fitness.
  • Improves bone health.
  • Reduces the risk of non-communicable diseases (for example, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and pulmonary disease, including asthma).
  • Reduces the risk of depression.
  • Reduces the risk of cognitive (brain function) decline.
  • Increases longevity.
  • Reduces the risk of falls.

How to stay physically active as a senior

The key to maintaining your mobility is physical activity – but it’s important to follow a program designed to your specific health and physical boundaries. Visiting a specialist, like a certified trainer or exercise psychologist, is a great way to get a program that allows your body to get as fit as possible without suffering from over-exertion or jeopardizing your health. Some general guidelines from the WHO include:

  • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity a week. This includes activities like brisk walking, water aerobics, yoga, doubles tennis, ballroom dancing, and general gardening.
  • These activities should be in 10-minute sessions at first. They can slowly be increased as your fitness grows.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities are also important and should be done two or more times a week. An experienced trainer will recommend the right weights for you, and this training should include exercises for arms as well as legs.

Choose our community-based independent living residences for seniors

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer a wide range of tailored support services for seniors in an environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Designed to enhance independence, our senior living communities are designed to assist you or your loved one only when required, and to scale these services at any point in response to changing needs. In addition to catering for independent seniors, we are also able to provide care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

For more information, please contact UMH Bristol Glen today and ask about our continuing care retirement community or visit


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What customized care means at United Methodist Homes of NJ

At UMH, we often talk to our residents and their families as well as the community-at-large about providing customized long-term care. What does this really involve and how does it benefit our residents? All of our residents have varying levels of need, which explains why they selected the individualized care and support found at all UMH full-service communities. We offer residents a broad set of living solutions, including:

  • Independent senior living in our continuing care retirement community Bristol Glen: This is ideal for retirees and seniors who would like to continue living an independent lifestyle but still have access to assisted living services and skilled nursing (if needed). This level of care is about keeping an upscale, high quality of life without having to manage arduous tasks such as home maintenance, housekeeping and daily transportation.
  • Assisted living: This level of care is aimed at seniors who require more assistance in their daily lives regarding day-to-day tasks and medical support in addition to standard residential living services. This can include assistance with meals, mobility, personal care, health monitoring and daily reminders, as well as handyman and housekeeping services. An active social life and independence are still encouraged, as caregivers are able to support and assist in all tasks.
  • Nursing home care and long-term care: This highest level of care is managed through skilled nursing, certified aides and therapists 24 hours a day. These services are designed to assist residents with complex and serious medical conditions that cannot be managed in a residential setting, including wound dressing, breathing rehabilitation, tube feeding and more. Nursing home care and long-term care is available as a permanent or temporary service as the resident requires.
  • Short-term rehab: These services include speech, occupational and physical therapy programs designed to improve quality of life and wellness for seniors with a wide range of conditions. Through our rehab program, we are able to treat and improve wound healing, pain management, joint replacement, CVA stroke recovery, urinary incontinence, arthritis and much more.
  • Respite: We offer nursing and rehabilitation assistance both during an illness and after a hospital visit. Respite care also provides peace of mind for caregivers looking for a safe, secure environment for their loved ones while taking a vacation, requiring time off for a specific purpose, or just desiring a much-needed break.
  • Hospice:  Our hospice services are designed to give residents and their families the highest level of comfort, compassion and support through an experienced multidisciplinary team of specialists. Our aim to take care all medical, social, emotional, spiritual and other unique needs that often accompany this time, promoting dignity and serenity for residents as well as their loved ones.

Scalable senior care for every stage of life

Whatever care level best suits you or your loved one, we are able to further tailor our services to meet your exact needs – now and in the future. All our services are scalable, enabling residents to stay in their communities as long as they are able and receive the right level of care and support as and when they require it. For us, customizable services means getting the exact support our residents need to live full and dignified lives.

To find out more about our senior retirement communities and assisted living services, please contact us today or visit


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