Monthly Archives: July 2017

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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How to Start the Talk About Assisted Living

Assisted living falls among the  conversations dreaded by parents and their children alike. Starting the conversation about these types of long-term plans, even when they come from good intentions, can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone involved. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, for making it a positive and constructive conversation:

  • Don’t wait until for a crisis. For many of us, it’s easier to ignore this issue while our parents are healthy and independent, but this can mean trouble when serious issues do arise. Instead, keep it a casual but meaningful ongoing conversation in which everyone is involved — especially your parents — and there are no urgent and serious decisions to be made.
    Sit down with your parents at home on a quiet day.While acknowledging that this isn’t an easy topic to talk about, it’s important to you that they are cared for properly. Ask them what they envision for themselves and start planning so that you and your family can work together to achieve it.
  • Be honest. Many families have trouble communicating their fears and concerns, and parents often feel uncomfortable talking about their loss of independence making them a burden on their families. By bringing up the subject in a non-confrontational way, you may be surprised at their response.
    Talking honestly will also help you get a better idea of how they are really coping — if managing the house is becoming too difficult, looking after a spouse too demanding, or if they are becoming lonely or isolated as friends move into away, for example. This will better help you find an option that offers the right level of support.
  • Don’t gang up and let the issue escalate. As a potentially very emotional and stressful conversation, it’s important it doesn’t escalate into an argument. Use a calm, relaxed tone of voice. Listen to what your parent or parents want, rather than giving ultimatums or talking over them. Highlight the positives of each option, whether the communities you’re suggesting  have a lively social spirit; have lovely, maintenance–free living options; or are close to friends, family and loved ones, for example.
  • Don’t put on the pressure. One of the biggest barriers to entering assisted living is that many people don’t really know what modern senior communities   offer. This fear of the unknown mixes with fear of losing independence, making many people actively dismiss an potentially beneficial option. Take your time to look at recommended assisted living communities and places where family friends may reside, and do your research online. Then, visit these communities and see for yourself what would suit your parents. This will give the peace-of-mind you need to properly communicate the choices to your parents, and help convince them to come along for their own tour.

Assisted living community in NJ for independent seniors 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities’ network of high-quality, non-profit, faith-based, assisted living communities specializing in assisted living for seniors. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus on delivering essential resources to promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, please contact us at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/start-talk-assisted-living/

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When Is the Right Time for Family Caregivers to Consider Hospice Care?

Being a caregiver to a family member or friend is a choice that many people make because it helps avoid costly care and allows you to spend precious time with a loved one. However, many caregivers find this challenging role can become overwhelming in later stages of care and when illnesses become terminal. At this point, hospice care may become the right choice for you and your loved one. Here are some insights from our hospice care provider in Ocean City on making this decision:

Hospice is about comfort and care at the end of life

Firstly, it is important to know that hospice is a level of care that is reserved only for patients nearing their end-of-life, or who have terminal conditions that can no longer be effectively treated by doctors. In order to qualify for hospice, patients or their families have to be certified by a physician to have six months or less of their life remaining, however, they will continue to qualify for hospice after six months, as long as the physician is able to continue to document the patient’s eligibility.

This qualification process remains in place because the focus of hospice is not about treating a disease — rather, it is about providing patients and their loved ones a high level of comfort, compassion and care as they go through this transition. Medical teams and care workers assist with pain and symptom management and wellness, as well as to provide bereavement support and pastoral care (if needed).

Can family caregivers and loved ones benefit from hospice care?

The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. Providing end-of-life-care as a family caregiver is an overwhelming task, not only because it requires such a significant shift in care as well as increased care demands, but because this can be a difficult and emotionally stressful time for you as well as your loved one.

Hospice offers an entire team and range of services dedicated to assisting you and your loved one. Not only does their experience, access to medical equipment and skilled services help ensure the highest level of care and comfort for your loved one, they also free your time from daily caregiving tasks so you can actually spend quality time together.

The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers a compassionate, professional hospice dedicated neighborhood in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey, please contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/right-time-family-caregivers-consider-hospice-care/

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