Monthly Archives: August 2017

Top Concerns of Seniors Preparing for Surgery

Surgery always comes with a certain level of risk, even if it is considered routine or popular. For seniors, this can mean dealing with certain concerns before undergoing any medical procedures. This includes:

  • Transport. Even if you are able to drive, most surgeries require patients arrange transportation after discharge; they do not allow patients to drive at all for weeks after surgery. This requires finding reliable, safe transport. For more serious surgeries, the driver must be able to lift you in and out of the vehicle, operate your wheelchair and settle you comfortably at home.
  • Daily tasks in the home. Rest is one of the most important parts of recovery, and most seniors will require assistance with all kinds of daily tasks, from running to the grocery store and preparing meals to walking the dog and cleaning the home. It’s important that seniors get the right level of assistance during their recovery time to properly support the healing process and prevent falls or post-surgical illness.
  • Hygiene. Bathing, grooming and personal hygiene can become a challenge as we age, and this becomes even more difficult after a surgery. During this time, the risk of falls and illness is high, so even typically independent seniors benefit from a more intense level of assistance and will be able to pick up the slack and allow for a faster, safer healing time.
  • Rehabilitation. As we age, our bodies find it more difficult to heal and regain the strength needed to live an independent life. Studies have shown that physical, occupational and other wellness therapies play a significant role in building strength and resilience both before and after surgeries, helping to boost recovery, general health and mental wellbeing.
  • Being a burden on loved ones. Although many seniors recognize that they can benefit from post-surgical support, many worry about becoming a burden on family and friends. Realizing that caring for a loved one during this time can be a 24-hour job that may require some specialist knowledge (for wound care, for example) and physical strength (to help with bathing, for example), contributes to this perception.

In Home Respite Care Services Offer Compassionate Post-Surgical Care in NJ

For more information on independent senior home care and our respite care services offering, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Your Guide to ADLs and Assisted Living

Learning about the services assisted living communities provide and how they improve your or a loved one’s life before making the move is a prudent investment of time. You will encounter the term ADLs or activities of daily living.

What are the activities of daily living?

• Eating. Preparing and feeding meals.
• Transferring. Assistance with movement and mobility, like walking around the home, community or grounds.
• Bathing. Assistance with personal hygiene tasks like bathing, showering, oral hygiene, and grooming.
• Toileting. Assistance with using the toilet.
• Dressing. Putting out outfits to wear and helping residents get dressed.

In addition to this assistance, aides can also provide IADLs, which is assistance with instrumental activities of daily living. These are more complex activities like helping with cooking, cleaning, finances, shopping, medication management and so on.

Qualifying for assisted living

Assisted living residents usually require assistance with one or more ADL. Assistance is provided only as and when a resident requires it, so only residents needing help with bathing will get that support as well as encouragement to maintain their other ADLs as independently as possible until they need more assistance.

In the qualification process of applying for assisted living, the team will evaluate you or your loved one’s need for assistance with ADLs and IADLs, so it’s important to be as honest and forthcoming as possible in order to clearly present your needs and how they can help meet them.

Pitman – A compassionate, warm assisted living community in NJ

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of United Methodist Communities, we also offer senior 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 contact us today or book a personal tour.

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The Best Tips for Healthy Aging

Although it sometimes feels like it, getting old isn’t all about dealing with different health issues – it’s about enjoying your life. Here are the best tips from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey on how to stay in the best shape:

  • It’s never too late to get healthy. Whether you’re a smoker, never participated in a sport or hate your vegetables, getting older doesn’t mean the time to make these changes is past. Even in your 60s and 70s, you can reduce the risks of chronic disease significantly, and that means more time with friends, family and loved ones.
  • Start slow with exercise. Exercise has a massive impact on your health, happiness, and well being, by controlling your body weight, reducing risk of dementia, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening muscles, thereby reducing your risk of falling. It’s advisable to speak first to your doctor about the best exercise for your body, so that you get fit in a healthy way. Exercise can also be a great excuse for socializing and working together with friends to keep you all motivated!
  • Stretch. Stretching is important for preventing stiffness, preventing injuries from exercise, and improving flexibility.  It also helps relieve discomfort resulting from health conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. Try a yoga class for seniors at your local wellness center or gym, and get in sync with your body.
  • Eat healthier. Changing your diet is a simple way to boost your health, but it does not mean you have to avoid the food you love – providing your doctor approves. Speak to your doctor about ways you can improve your diet, like adding more leafy greens and fresh fruit, and cutting out fatty foods in favor of healthy foods rich in essential fatty acids. This will help lower blood pressure, lower risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, and give your body a better immune response.
  • Prevention is better than a cure. Preventative measures  keep your body healthy and help stop issues from getting worse, much like servicing a vehicle every year instead of waiting for it to break down. Having your yearly flu shot, cancer screening, and eye examination as well as paying attention to warning signals from your body, are important ways to prevent bigger medical issues.

Live life to the full at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community based in Sussex County, provides seniors comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of aging in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model aims to keep residents in their residential apartments for as long as possible, with access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities, amenities and services, please visit our website at and book your visit today.

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Healthy Heart Tips from HomeWorks

Hearts are the strongest muscles in our bodies, beating over 3.3 billion times over 80 years while we sleep, eat, laugh, and enjoy life. Like any muscle, it needs certain nutrients and exercise to keep healthy and fit — this becomes more essential as we age. Here are some of the best tips for senior heart health, from our home health aide services team:

  • Exercise. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week is required to keep hearts in great shape, but you need not worry about running a marathon to get results. Walking, hiking, dancing, aqua aerobics, and even gardening benefit the heart and are gentle on joints, too.
  • Eat the right diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for the heart, as are lean proteins and essential oils. Try to avoid or omit red meat, fatty meats, saturated fats, and salt.
  • Control cholesterol and high blood pressure. High numbers here put your heart under considerable stress and force it to work harder to get blood and oxygen to the brain and body, as well as leading to increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. To reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, speak to your physician about keeping these numbers in a healthy range and take the required medication as prescribed.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is just as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. This unhealthy habit causes serious health problems for the heart, including increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. However, it is important to remember that it is never too late to quit and quitting will have an almost immediate benefit. In fact, within a few months, you will be breathing easier and in just one year, reduce your risk of heart disease by half.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Managing a healthy weight is key. Like smoking, excess weight increases risks of heart disease and heart attacks. Your physician can advise you on a health and wellness plan that will help you lose weight in a safe and manageable way.
  • Stop the stress. Stress, anxiety and worry can have very real effects on your physical health, including your heart. Speaking to a therapist or pastor, taking up a new hobby, socializing more or joining yoga and meditation classes for seniors, all form therapeutic outlets.

Maintain a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body with In-Home Care for the Elderly in NJ

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality home health aide services for the elderly, from assisted living to elderly in-home care through HomeWorks. 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. In addition to medical care and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our home health aide services in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Medication Safety Tips for Seniors

Medication can be a lifesaver as we grow older and may have to deal with more health problems, but only correctly taken as prescribed by a physician. When multiple medications are in use, it’s easy to get distracted and forget to take one or forget you’ve taken one already and accidentally double dose — and that can be very dangerous. Here are some tips for taking medications safely from our assisted living community in Camden County, New Jersey:

  • Only take prescribed medication. There are plenty of over-the-counter medications and supplements available, but you should avoid taking them unless you have spoken to your doctor or healthcare practitioner. While it may be safe to take them, your doctor will know if you are already on a treatment plan for that health issue, as well as whether or not the over-the-counter medication could interact badly with another medication you are already on.
  • Take medication as prescribed. Taking the correct dosage is just the first step in safely managing your medications. In addition, it’s important to take them at the right time of day, as some medications make you drowsy, and some medications should also only be taken with a meal. These recommendations are in place not only for your safety and health, but to ensure that the medication works as it should.
  • Keep a medication list. Keeping an up-to-date list of your medications is useful when consulting with a healthcare practitioner and during a medical emergency. Keep it somewhere easily seen, like on your fridge, and give a copy to a close friend or family member.
  • Be aware of medication interactions. Medications can interact with many things such as other drugs, herbal supplements, food, or drink.  It’s important to know the possible side effects of a bad medication interaction and carefully read all instructions that come with your medication in order to take them properly. If you are struggling with keeping track, ask a friend or family member to help create an information sheet you can refer to when needed, or organize your medication into a weekly pillbox.

Professional, comfortable assisted living for seniors in Camden County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities’ network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

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

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The Importance of DNRs and Advance Directives

While planning for medical emergencies and health problems is important at any age, this becomes essential as we get older. It isn’t pleasant to think about Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate orders, but the important thing to remember it that it is about ensuring that your wishes are respected in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Here’s some more information about these legal documents, from our hospice in South Jersey.

What is an Advance Directive?

This is a legally binding document that contains instructions according to an individual’s wishes and state law on how healthcare decisions must be made on their behalf in the event that they are too ill to do so themselves. They can contain a wide range of instructions that cover situations in which you are unconscious, terminal or suffering from a disease that will affect your mental abilities, like Alzheimer’s. In this document, you can appoint an individual to act legally on your behalf for medical decisions (a healthcare proxy), specify if you want to refuse certain treatments like blood transfusions, if you would like to have a DNR order, and even if you would like to be an organ donor or not.

This document is important not only because it helps ensure that your care needs are properly met when you can’t speak for yourself, but that there is also a clear, legal guideline for family and loved ones to follow in this situation.

What is a DNR?

This is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, a legally binding document that forms part of your Advance Directive, in which a person can declare that they don’t want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. This is because without this order, medical staff are obligated to try reviving you. This may not sound like a bad thing, but for many patients who are terminal, being revived and put on life support at the very end of their lives presents a traumatic, uncomfortable and expensive treatment that offers a low quality of life and no true recovery. For these patients, a DNR offers a peaceful and compassionate transition instead.

Expert hospice care in Cape May County, founded on principles of compassion and comfort

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional hospice care in Cape May County called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice South Jersey, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

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