Monthly Archives: November 2016

Choosing between senior independent home care and assisted living

When the time comes that your elderly loved one can no longer live independently, or you can no longer manage their care on your own, it’s time to talk about different professional senior independent home care options. Fortunately, there are some very high quality solutions, including in-home senior care and assisted living. So, what are the benefits of these options and how do you find the one best suited to your loved one’s needs?

  • Moving out of home: Unlike assisted living, senior home care services don’t require your loved one to move out of their home, which can be stressful. Often, moving into an assisted living facility is a good choice if it means moving closer to family and into a senior-friendly space. However, if their current home is convenient for you and can be modified to meet their needs, in-home care is a great choice.
  • Quality of care: When choosing an assisted living facility, you should visit the community, speak to the various teams and get an understanding of daily life there. In-home care means that the professionals come to you, which can be more difficult to evaluate. For your peace-of-mind, we recommend that you visit with the in-home care team and find out their experience and qualifications, scope of services and how they will work in your loved one’s home. Some organizations, like United Methodist Communities, offer both – giving you a chance to evaluate each option thoroughly.
  • Flexibility of care: This is vital in both assisted living and in-home care options, as it scales according to your loved one’s needs as well as yours (if you are a family caregiver). As this can differ between organizations, it’s best to address this with each service provider. At United Methodist Communities (UMC), we believe that continuity and structure is important, so our team of in-home care specialists work with you to develop a custom treatment and assistance plan that meets all your loved one’s needs, even as they change.
  • Companionship: In assisted living, residents benefit from the companionship of other seniors as well as the staff, while senior home care services provide a more one-to-one form of companionship with caregivers. The preferred option depends upon your situation, as each offers considerable benefits. In addition to companionship and healthcare, UMC also offers pastoral care for seniors who want it. Spiritual support is part of our commitment to meet our clients’ needs in holistic and compassionate ways.

Speak to us about senior home care services in New Jersey

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care through our HomeWorks program. 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.

For more information on our senior independent home care services, please contact us today


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5 winter healthcare tips for seniors

Staying healthy during the winter can be a challenge for seniors, but there are easy ways to stay on track through these icy months. Here are some great tips from caregivers at our assisted living facility in New Jersey.

  1. Eat healthily: It may be more difficult to get outside and exercise, but that doesn’t mean your diet should suffer too. Try to choose frozen vegetables over canned, and eat plenty of winter fruits and vegetables like cranberries, citrus and pomegranates. Try to also include fish, poultry and eggs in your diet as well for healthy, lean protein and plenty of zinc.
  2. Take your vitamins: Vitamins are best absorbed through your diet, but it can be challenging to get the right amounts through the winter to keep your immune system healthy. Vitamins C and D and fish oils are all good supplements.
  3. Take precautions exercising outdoors: If you are relatively fit and your healthcare specialist gives the go-ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t continue exercising outdoors – but take smart precautions. Wear the proper footwear to prevent slips and falls, follow the weather forecast, take warm clothing and don’t forget your sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect you from UV rays and the wind.
  4. Stay in touch: Over the winter months it can be easy to withdraw and become isolated, as it is difficult to get out and socialize with other people in poor weather. This can lead to loneliness and even depression, a serious condition in the elderly. Watch out for these symptoms in your loved ones and in your community, and remember that help is just a phone call away. You can also arrange a check-in system with family and friends in the neighborhood.
  5. Stay warm safely: It’s important to have a professional service all heating equipment and systems to ensure that they are in safe working order. Keep heaters away from curtains and other fire hazards, and make sure that there are working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed on each floor.

Professional, caring assisted living facilities in Camden County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of senior living and assisted living facilities specializing in high quality care and support. Our senior living community in Camden County, NJ, is known for its beautiful setting, spacious residential apartments and wide range of services available for residents. With qualified and experienced nursing, therapy and management staff on hand to provide expert assistance, residents enjoy all the benefits of independent living.

In addition to assisted living, we also offer a range of long term care services, including hospice and palliative care, short term rehabilitation and respite care. Our aim is to encourage our residents to “age in place”, through the comfort of familiar surroundings and their private apartment homes even as their care needs change.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities, our senior living community or our assisted living services, please contact us and book your visit today.

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When is the right time to look for at-home care for the elderly?

Senior home health care services are a great option for elderly loved ones who still live independently, but are starting to need help for basic, day-to-day tasks. Here are some indicators that your loved one can benefit from in-home assistance from New Jersey’s specialists in home care for the elderly.

  1. Trouble driving: The ability to drive safely is an important part of being independent, but may deteriorate as we age. If your loved one is no longer feeling confident behind the wheel, anxious about driving or has had a minor accident, they may benefit from an in-home care service that takes care of their transportation needs.
  2. Home maintenance: If your previously house-proud parents are now letting home cleaning and maintenance issues get out of control, in-home care might be a good idea. This lack of daily cleaning and maintenance may mean that your parents just aren’t able to keep up with the constant demands of their home. With some assistance, they can continue to enjoy their home, while also removing potential safety and health hazards.
  3. Loss of weight and poor hygiene: Caring for ourselves becomes more difficult as we age and this often includes bathing, traveling to the supermarket, cooking and cleaning. If you’re noticing that your elderly loved one is experiencing unusual weight loss or poor hygiene, in-home care offers a great option. These services prioritize your loved one’s health and comfort and avoid the stress of moving.
  4. Confusion and forgetfulness: Everyone forgets things sometimes, but if you’re noticing this more frequently, it could be a good time to talk about getting in-home care. As possible symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s important to consult a physician for a proper medical diagnosis and treatment plan. Your in-home care assistant can then help with daily tasks, medication management, transport and more.
  5. Depression, anxiety and mood swings: Unusual changes in mood or high levels of stress can signal that your loved one isn’t coping at home. This can be a very difficult reality for anyone to deal with, but it’s important to recognize, seek and implement a solution that suits your loved one. Often, seniors feel anxious about their inability to cope and possibly giving up their homes and their independence. In-home care can be the right choice.

Compassionate, expert senior health care services in the comfort of home

United Methodist Communities in New Jersey understands the challenges of providing 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 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 assistance with daily tasks, transportation and personal hygiene, our team can give support with nursing, medication management and much more. For dementia and Alzheimer’s clients, we can develop specific care routines to ensure a sense of structure and help reduce stress and anxiety.

For more information on our in-home care for the elderly, please contact us today.

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Travelling with your elderly loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family, but this may mean travelling with an elderly loved one, which can make your trip more challenging. Here are some tips from caregivers at one of our senior and assisted living communities in New Jersey on making this an easy and enjoyable time for everyone.

  • Plan ahead: Having a set itinerary for your trip will allow you and your loved one peace-of-mind. Know exactly what time you have to leave to the airport or get on the road to get to your destination – and be sure to plan to arrive early, as this gives you some extra time to deal with any unforeseen delays.
  • Flying: Airlines are happy to accommodate elderly passengers but be sure to take time to find out how best to travel with your loved one. Speak to the airline in advance to organize assistance through TSA checkpoints, secure a wheelchair (a good option even if your loved one is fairly mobile), oxygen (if needed), and a seat that is suited to elderly or disabled passengers. Some airlines even offer discounted tickets for seniors.
  • Medication: Keep all medications separately in a single freezer bag along with a list of their names and instructions for use. This is helpful for families who are unused to managing medications as well as doctors, in the event that medical assistance is needed. If you are flying, you will have to keep these stored in transparent 3-ounce. containers for security purposes. Be sure to check out the medical facilities closest to your destination.
  • Light schedule: Busy days filled with events are often stressful and tiring for the elderly, so make sure to either keep a very light schedule of events or ensure that your loved one can have plenty of supervised recovery time while you and other family members are out.
  • Relax and enjoy: Travelling can be stressful for anyone, regardless of your age, so take time to relax and enjoy your trip. It’s important to make the most of these events together, but that doesn’t mean taking on everything yourself. Spread the load between family members and friends, and remember to spend quality time simply enjoying each other’s company.

Aging in place at our beautiful assisted living community in New Jersey 

United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, an assisted living community in Sussex County, New Jersey, offers seniors independence, comfort and a vibrant social life along with high quality careFounded on a philosophy of aging in place, our residents benefit from a less restrictive care model where they can remain in their residential apartments to access additional services if their needs change.

With a personalized and customized set of services, seniors are able to fully access the level of care they require, when they require it. We are also fully equipped and able to assist Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through our memory care and support services.

Contact us to find out more about our assisted living facilities, and book your visit today.


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Is it time for hospice?

Choosing hospice care for yourself or  your loved one can be a daunting and emotional decision. For many residents, their focus is on staying out of hospice care until their last few weeks or days of life, when in reality, hospice care can be greatly beneficial to patients and their families many months before this. Here is some advice from experienced caregivers at our hospice in Cape May County on knowing the right time to move into end-of-life care.

A good rule to follow is that hospice is most beneficial to patients and their loved ones in the last six months of life. Once treatment options are exhausted, care turns from defeating medical conditions to ensuring holistic comfort, compassionate assistance and the best possible quality of life. In order to qualify for this care, physicians must agree that no further medical treatment can assistresident and that the resident has a prognosis of six months or less. They can then recommend hospice care and the resident can move in to an end-of-life care facility.

Other indications that show hospice care is needed include residents suffering from life-limiting illnesses, progressive weight loss, increased or uncontrolled pain, decline in ability to perform daily tasks, frequent infections and hospitalizations, increased weakness, withdrawal and poor nutritional status.

While hospice care can seem like a difficult decision, it is important to remember that the focus is on making you or your loved one as comfortable as possible and delivering the highest quality of care during this time.

Compassionate hospice care in Cape May County, NJ 

United Methodist Communities at The Shores, a senior and assisted living facility, offers superior end-of-life care through our hospice, Bridges. With an emphasis on creating a nurturing and comforting environment, we offer 24-hour nursing, personalized care plans, well-appointed private apartments and luxury linens, as well as family and spiritual support.

To find out more about Bridges,  or our assisted living community, please contact us today and arrange your visit.

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Seniors and diabetes

November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and with more than 25% of Americans over the age of 65 living with this disease, the specialist caregivers at our senior and assisted living community in New Jersey would like to raise awareness and share advice on this condition.

What is Type 2 diabetes and what causes it? 

As we age, our risk of developing Type 2 or adult onset diabetes, increases. Also known as hyperglycemia, it occurs when the body fails to make or use insulin properly, causing low sugar levels in cells and high sugar levels in the blood. Other risk factors include being overweight and unfit, as higher levels of body fat make it more difficult for the body to process insulin properly.

While anyone can develop diabetes, a family history of the disease can make your chances of contracting it higher. In addition, African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans also have a higher occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes? 

  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • An increase in appetite
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Constantly having the need to urinate
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness in the hands and feet

If you or your loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. This is because, untreated, this disease can lead to heart disease, vision problems and blindness, kidney conditions, nerve damage, dental issues, infections, amputations of limbs, and even death. A simple blood test will confirm a diagnosis and, if you do have Type 2 diabetes, treatment can begin to help improve your quality of life.

What is the treatment for type 2 diabetes? 

Treatment for this disease can include a combination of both lifestyle changes and medication, if necessary. Your doctor may recommend specific dietary changes as well as increased physical activity in order to help keep your blood sugar at a constant, healthy level. In addition, you or a caregiver will be taught how to measure your blood sugar at home and how to recognize and treat blood sugar fluctuations.

If diet and exercise alone are not enough to control your blood sugar effectively, your doctor may recommend injectable insulin or one or more medications to help lower high blood sugar.

Comfortable independent senior and assisted living in Gloucester County, NJ 

United Methodist Communities at Pitman is an independent senior living and assisted living community serving the greater Gloucester County area in New Jersey. With our services ranging from independent living through to assisted living, respite, rehabilitation, long term care, and hospice, we are able to offer our residents dignified, comfortable and enjoyable senior years.

Services are fully scalable, ensuring that residents receive assistance when and where they require it at each stage of their lives. Our dedicated and experienced staff are passionate about giving residents the highest level of care available.

To find out more about individualized assisted living services and our senior living community, please contact us today and organize your visit.

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