Monthly Archives: March 2017

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.Senior independent home care, Assisted living and in-home care UM Communities HomeWorks
  • 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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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 At home care for elderly, senior home health care services, elderly care in-home servicescleaning 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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Help Yourself to Help Others

We see it all the time – caregivers putting all of their energy into helping others and not allotting the same time or energy to take care of themselves. In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that you take care of yourself. Here are five simple tips for even the busiest of people:

  1. Meditate: Start your day off with a short 5 to 10-minute meditation, visualizing the things for which you’re most grateful. Morning meditation fills you with positive energy and helps kick-start your day.
  2. Work Out: A brisk 30-minute walk or workout at the gym stimulates your brain, improving your mood and energy and leaves you happier and more relaxed. Exercise can also help you fall asleep faster, providing that much deserved rest after a long day.
  3. Sleep: It is important to let your body and brain rest. By getting more sleep, you improve your decision-making, health and mood.
  4. Schedule Time for Yourself: The lack of time for yourself can cause you to build up resentments. By scheduling “me” time, you can help avoid health problems, irritability and negative emotions.
  5. Talk to Family and Friends: Those closest to you encourage you, motivate you, and celebrate YOU! Your relationships generally make you healthier, happier, and give you the ability to tackle those tough situations.

Compassionate Home Care for Seniors in New Jersey
United Methodist Communities HomeWorks is committed to providing comprehensive and coordinated care, fostering independence at home in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers help our clients through their daily activities and provide professional medical care support.

To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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5 Tips to Protect Your Information When You Shop Online

As the online shopping industry continues to evolve, so do the scams. It is important to take steps to protect yourself.  Here are five tips to protect your information when you shop online.

  1. Use complex passwords: Try for passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols or very long passwords. Both are harder to crack. And don’t use the same password for all your accounts!Shopping Online
  2. Review your financial statements: If you see an unfamiliar charge on your account, contact the institution right away.
  3. Look for security signs: You should see an https in front of the web address or a lock icon at the end verifying its safety.
  4. Use your credit card if possible: If you need to dispute a charge it is much harder to resolve if the money has already been taken out of your bank account.
  5. Check the seller’s reputation: Online reviews are priceless. And if you are shopping on eBay or another site with independent sellers choose one with a track record of high satisfaction scores.

Compassionate Home Care for Seniors in New Jersey
United Methodist Communities HomeWorks is committed to providing comprehensive and coordinated in home care for seniors, fostering independence at home in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers help our clients through their daily activities and provide professional medical care support.

To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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The Importance of Proper Discharge Planning

If you are being discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility you have the right to discharge planning and to participate in the process. During your stay, your doctor and the staff will work with you on this process. You and your caregiver (a family member or friend who may be helping you) are important members of the planning team.

Discharge planning is an important tool for making arrangements for on-going healthcareDoctor talking patient needs across the healthcare settings. Patients and their families should begin by reading all discharge documents carefully including their rights, discharge evaluations and discharge planning documents. They should also question treating physicians, nurses and social workers about necessary services as the patient’s condition improves or declines and voice opinions and concerns and participate fully in all care decisions.

Here are some discharge planning action items to consider:

  • Where care will be provided and who will help after discharge.
  • Whether the patient understands his or her health condition, what problems to watch for, and how to handle them.
  • Level of knowledge about the medications prescribed and what conditions they were prescribed for including how and when to take them.
  • Whether any equipment is needed when returning home, such as a walker.
  • Whether and for how long the patient will need help with activities of daily living and chores such as bathing, dressing, grooming, using the bathroom, shopping for food, making meals, doing housework, paying bills, getting to doctors’ appointments, picking up prescriptions, etc.
  • The patient’s or family member’s comfort level with performing care tasks such as using medical equipment, changing a bandage, or giving a shot.
  • Whether family members or other caregivers understand the help needed from them.
  • Concerns about how well family members are coping with the patient’s illness.
    Whether the patient knows which doctor or other healthcare provider to call if there are questions or problems.
  • Understanding what appointments and tests will be needed in the next several weeks after discharge.
  • Whether the patient has been provided with understandable written discharge instructions.
  • Whether the patient understands the need for home health, nursing, or hospice services and how to go about obtaining them.
  • Level of knowledge about community resources.
  • Understanding what insurance will cover for prescription drugs, equipment, and services that will be needed, and what the patient will have to pay for.

If you think you are being asked to leave a hospital or other health care setting (discharged) too soon you may have the right to ask for a review of the discharge decision by the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIP) before you leave.

A BFCC-QIP is quality improvement organization (a group of doctors and other health care experts under contract with Medicare) that reviews complaints and quality of care for people with Medicare. To get the phone number for your BFCC-QIP visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also ask the staff for this information. If you’re in a hospital, the staff should give you a notice called “Important Message from Medicare,” which contains information on your BFCC-QIP. If you don’t receive this notice, ask for it.

Compassionate Home Care for Seniors in New Jersey
United Methodist Communities HomeWorks is committed to providing comprehensive and coordinated care, fostering independence at home in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers help our clients through their daily activities and provide professional medical care support.

To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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Home Health Aide Services: How Can We Help You Live an Abundant Life?

Home health aide services are more than simply getting household chores done or managing medication and healthcare services for seniors. They’re about providing essential support so seniors can live the fullest, most rewarding lives possible. Here’s how we do it:

  • Staying in the comfort of your home and community: If moving into assisted living isn’t something you want  or simply doesn’t make sense from a financial or other perspective,senior home care services can help. By bridging that gap between full independence and living in an assisted living community, home healthMale care assistant reading senior woman bookaide services can make living in your home easy again. This means the comfort of familiar surroundings, as well as staying within your community and social circles.
  • Health monitoring: Chronic disease management is about staying on top of medical conditions before they become a more severe problem. In an unobtrusive way, home health aides will help you track your health data to ensure more effective management of chronic diseases y. This directly leads to better health, less falls in the home and less time in hospitals.
  • Emotional and spiritual support: While friends and family are a wonderful source of love and support, many seniors feel a lack of spiritual support as part of their medical and health care program. This is why HomeWorksoffers pastoral care. .Compassionate, community-based companionship brings a great source of spiritual wellbeing to many seniors and yields essential support for health and happiness.
  • Custom care: Is your health still good but you’re struggling with daily housework? Does your partner need special assistance to deal with a chronic medical condition or Alzheimer’s? Whatever your needs, home care services can be tailored to meet them , so you aren’t paying more than you should be or getting more assistance than you require. These services can also be scaled up or down as you need them, making it easier and more affordable to get high quality assistance without sacrificing your independence.

Custom, affordable senior home care services in New Jersey for a full, independent life 

United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, strives to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care through our elderly in-home care HomeWorks program. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. We can assist you with in-home respite care, overnight care, hourly or live-in care, as well as experienced care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

For more information on our home health aide services for the elderly, please contact us today.

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Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Although moving to an assisted living community can be very stressful for seniors as well as their families, the great care, amenities and socialization result in real improvements in care and quality of life. However, positive outcomes rely upon finding the right fit.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when on this search, from our assisted living community in Gloucester County.

  • Deciding too quickly: Even if your need for an assisted living community is urgent, it’s best not to go with the first one you see. Rather, narrow down your choices to a few that meet your criteria and then visit them all in person. This allows you to get a feel for the place and speak to staff, as well as observe what it’s like to live there first-hand.
  • Not considering future needs: Your loved one may not require much assistance selective focus image of hands holding magnifying glass over contractAll information on contract is fakeright now, but what about in 5 years or 10 years’ time? What if he or she develops Alzheimer’s or dementia, or requires long term care? A move a few years in the future could be even more stressful and financially difficult than  right now.Therefore, only consider  communities that can scale their services up or down to keep it affordable as well as meet your loved one’s care needs.
  • Putting your needs over your loved ones: Because families often provide the financial support, it can be difficult to take a step back and accommodate your loved ones’ desires. The answer is to listen and compromise on things that are realistic, like having a separate apartment-style home rather than a room, or the location and amenities of the communities under consideration.
  • Not reviewing the contract: In order for your loved one to live in an assisted living community, you’ll have to sign a binding legal contract. While many of these are straightforward, they are detailed legal documents that carry essential information about care and costs. It’s important to know exactly how the contract works to make a fully informed decision, so you should take the time to read through it carefully or consult a lawyer.
  • Prioritizing location over services: At first glance, location seems like a natural priority — but in reality, care comes first. If choosing between a facility just a few minutes away offering more limited services or a less pleasant living arrangement, and one across town or even in the next city which offers better services, the services should come first. After all, this decision will determine your loved one’s daily quality of life, so travelling a little further is a smaller price to pay.

Scalable services, expert care and a high quality of life at our assisted living community 

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

Our fully scalable services  ensure 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 our residents the highest level of care available.

To find out more about our individualized long term care services, please contact us today and plan a visit.

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Immune System Boosting Tips For Seniors

As we age, our immune systems can weaken, making us more vulnerable to infections and making recovery more difficult. Fortunately, there are ways in which we can help support our immune systems to fight off infections more effectively. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ.

  • Flu vaccinations: Seasonal flu viruses are especially difficult to treat in the elderly and very young children, so getting an annual vaccine is important. Studies have shown that this significantly decreases the rates of sickness and death in seniors.
  • Exercise: A physically healthy body has a much better immune system, and regular exercise is key to achieving this. Walking, cycling, yoga, dancing and swimming keep hearts, bodies and immune systems strong.
  • Healthy diet: Getting the right nutrients will strengthen your immune system, so it’s important to eat correctly and have a healthy, varied diet. Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and zinc are great, so try including lots of leafy greens like spinach as well as tomatoes and oranges, to complement a diet of wholegrains and lean protein.
  • Reduce stress and loneliness: While depression and stress are very real health issues in the senior community, isolation and anxiety can also have a detrimental effect on the immune system. Keeping socially active with friends and loved ones, joining social groups and clubs, as well as speaking to professionals about these issues help make us less vulnerable to a huge range of health conditions, and improve quality of life.
  • Hygiene: Because germs are primarily passed  through physical contact,  washing hands regularly is a must. Avoid touching your face or eyes after being in a public space and covering sneezes and coughs is essential.
  • Stay hydrated: Whatever the weather, stay hydrated. Seniors often feel less thirsty, but that doesn’t mean they need less fluid. Eight to nine glasses of fluid a day  (includes water, tea, soup, coffee, juice, etc.)  keeps mucous membranes healthy and actively reduces the chance of infections.

Assisted living and nursing home care in Camden County, NJ

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

In addition to our assisted living campuses, 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 keep our residents “aging in place,” ensuring that they stay in the comfort of familiar surroundings in their own private apartment even as their care needs change.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities, our long term care services in NJ, please contact us and book your visit today.

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Home Organization Tips For Seniors

Keeping your home well-organized is essential for any stage of life, but it is especially important for seniors. Keeping the home clutter-free and easily navigable is key to a long, healthy and enjoyable life for several reasons: First, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries for the elderly. Second, recovery becomes more serious and lengthy as we age. Here are some tips from our continuing care retirement community in Sussex County, New Jersey.

  • Raise your storage height: As we age, we lose flexibility and strength, which makes bending down to pick up boxes more difficult and poses an injury risk. Place boxes and stored items no lower than upper-thigh height and keep lower areas clear.
  • Keep important documents together: Sorting through papers can be a mammoth task, but it’s also a very important one. Recycle anything unimportant to get rid of clutter and reduce fire risk. Place passports; insurance policies; wills; powers of attorney; and social security, tax, home and car documents together in designated folders inside a specific cupboard or desk at home.
  • Medication sorting and list: Sort through all medications in the home and remove all that are expired. Make a list of all the medication and dosages your loved one is currently taking and attach it to the fridge along with any important notes. This is very useful for tracking medication and for providing doctors with essential information on your loved one’s medical status. Medication should be sorted in day-of-the-week pill boxes.
  • Remove clutter, add light: It’s easy for clutter to build up in the home, especially if your loved one has lived there for decades. Unfortunately, it presents a very real tripping, health and fire hazard, so it is important to sort through belongings and keep spaces clear. This is especially important in bedrooms, passageways and on stairs. In these spaces, the floor should be kept as clear as possible, carpet should be perfectly flat, and without throw rugs. Additional lighting should be added to ensure visibility and easy around-the-clock navigation. A press-on or bedside light in the bedroom  eliminates the need for seniors to search in the dark for a wall light.

Comfortable, vibrant, independent senior living in Sussex County 

Bristol Glen, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Sussex County, New Jersey, offers seniors independence, comfort and a vibrant social life. Bristol Glen is part of United Methodist Communities, a ministry of over 100 years and experts on senior living.

Contact us to find out more about our Continuing Care Retirement Community and  book your visit today.

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The Different Stages of Dementia and How They’re Treated

Dementia is a name given to a group of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that cause the deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions. Here is some insight into how these diseases generally progress and how care needs increase over time, from Alzheimer’s care specialists in South Jersey.

Symptoms of mild dementia 

People with mild dementia can often  function fairly independently and care for themselves, as they generally experience less severe symptoms of the disease. They may suffer memory loss around recent events (long-term memory is often unaffected), get lost or lose items, experience trouble organizing or expressing thoughts, forget words or struggle with complex problems like managing their bills.

In some cases, personality changes may also occur and the person may become withdrawn or isolated. Although symptoms may be mild, it’s important for families to start considering additional support for their loved ones, either through family caregiving or assisted living communities that offer Alzheimer’s and dementia support.

Symptoms of moderate dementia

In the next stage of the disease, moderate dementia,, people require more help to manage their symptoms and daily lives. They typically experience increased confusion and poor judgement, more significant memory loss (including loss of long-term memory) and changes in their sleeping pattern. This stage of dementia affects the ability to cope with personal daily activities like dressing and bathing, as well as household chores, cooking and maintenance.

Often, significant personality changes occur at this stage, and sufferers often feel agitated, suspicious and even aggressive. Caregivers need to understand how to minimize these symptoms, as well as deliver the necessary support and compassionate care to ensure a high quality of life.

Symptoms of severe dementia 

As the most advanced stage of dementia, severe declines occur in mental and physical health. This stage commonly results in the loss of communication abilities and physical capabilities like walking, sitting, and bladder and bowel control. Patients at this stage require constant, specialist assistance 24 hours a day for all their physical and medical needs, especially as they often become more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.

Compassion, care and community in our beautiful assisted living facility in South Jersey 

The Shores, part of United Methodist Communities, offers memory care support services andassisted living communities specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia,  providingan environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Professional staff assesses each resident and designs a program that is unique to their needs and level of independence, focusing on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and living a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness like fitness, music and other sensory activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and home-like, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact us today.

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