Monthly Archives: September 2017

What is Senior Isolation and How We Can Help?

“Senior isolation” is a blanket term meaning feelings of loneliness, depression and isolation commonly found among the elderly. While these issues may seem less concerning than illness, the truth is that they lead to serious health and quality of life problems. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team:

Senior Isolation is On the Rise 

Although the USA has a growing elderly population, that doesn’t mean seniors are feeling less isolated — in fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 28% of seniors lived alone at the time of the study. This lack of in-home support from a spouse or loved one is further exacerbated by demographics: fewer adults have children, so there are less people available to assist with companionship and care.

Risks to Health and Lifespan 

The sad reality is that loneliness, even perceived loneliness, damages our health and wellbeing. It’s associated with a higher risk of mortality in people over age 52, and increases the risks of poor physical and mental health. Social isolation can affect cognitive abilities, too, leading to poor cognitive performance, increased cognitive decline and higher risk of dementia.

Long-term illnesses strongly associated with social isolation include arthritis, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure, depression, and mobility problems. Many seniors who experience social isolation often recover from illness and surgery much slower and don’t regain the same strength and mobility as those with healthy social connections.

Therefore, these seniors often require more intensive care and may require it at an earlier stage in their lifetimes, too.

How Can We Help Fight Social Isolation? 

There are many ways that we can all help keep seniors more socially connected and cared for. Here are some effective strategies for helping family members, loved ones and the elderly in your community:

  • Living situation. If your loved one lives far away or by themselves, they are at risk of senior isolation. Moving into a vibrant assisted living community, a home closer to friends and family (or a senior-friendly town), or investing in senior independent home care can help ensure their access to companionship and social connections.
  • Pets. Beside wonderful sources of companionship, pets give your loved one a sense of purpose and plenty of love. Your local animal shelter may be able to provide an equally-lonely and gentle cat or dog; some assisted living facilities even allow animals.
  • Transport. If your loved one can no longer drive, then lack of transport may be holding them back from an otherwise active life. Look in your local directory for transport services for the elderly, volunteer your own time, or speak to home healthcare professionals about providing a transport service for your loved one.

Companionship, Medical Care and More from NJ In-Home Respite Care Specialists 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options, from assisted living to 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 and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

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

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Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Gives Seniors Their Lives Back

Physical therapy is one of the most beneficial options for seniors who have been ill, had a hospital stay or surgery. Rather than recuperating in bed with a good book or your favorite show, medical professionals recommend that you get up and get moving — under the supervision of our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ.

What’s the benefit of physical therapy? 

Physical therapy is designed to help:

  • Restore and improve functionality;
  • Restore and improve balance;
  • Restore and improve strength;
  • Reduce pain (for example, for arthritis patients);
  • Speed up the healing process; and
  • Increase mobility.

Why is it important for seniors? 

Everyone should undergo rehabilitation and physical therapy after a physical setback or surgery. But, it’s even more important for seniors. As we age, our bodies find it more and more of a challenge to bounce back after an illness or injury. It can be a challenge to achieve the same levels of physical wellness, even years after. Unfortunately, this can lead to risks of further complications down the line, including:

  • Increased fragility;
  • Infections;
  • Balance issues; and
  • Increased fall risks that can result in serious injury.

Physical therapy is incredibly important to give your body the support and assistance it needs to ensure that you can get back that level of confidence and independence you need to live a quality life.

What happens in physical therapy?

Everyone’s physical therapy plan is unique and tailored to what their body needs and can manage, so that it brings the greatest benefit without causing injury. Therefore, it is very important to follow your medical professional’s advice and visit recommended therapists who understand how to work with seniors.

You will work one-on-one with your therapist to ensure that you are doing exercises correctly. They will likely recommend some exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Getting the best results from physical therapy means committing to following any regime properly — the success stories speak for themselves!

Professional, Compassionate Assisted Living and Respite Care in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman, an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offers high-quality assisted living services in a well-supported, comfortable and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer:

  • 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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Seniors and Technology – Staying in Touch and Avoiding Scams

Technology is an increasingly significant part of our lives. Not just for the Millennials — seniors are increasingly adopting technology too. In fact, around 4 in 10 seniors own and use smartphones, one-third use tablets, and 67% regularly go online. Here are great uses for technology, as well as tips on how to stay safe online, from our Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Sussex County, NJ.

Benefits of technology for seniors 

Why are more seniors adopting cutting-edge technologies? Well, there are plenty of benefits. Here’s what the experts say:

  • Staying social. Staying in touch with family and friends is easier than ever before, thanks to text messaging systems, video chat programs, email, and social media. It’s also faster than ever before, with many options to connect you face-to-face instantaneously like Skype and Facetime, no matter how far apart you are geographically. This is a great way to check in with friends, see how the grand-kids are doing and much more, all with the click of a button.
  • And a healthier social life has a significant impact on physical health, too, keeping seniors active and engaged. In fact, according to United Healthcare’s 2012 100@100 survey, it’s just as important as healthy genetics, exercise, and a nutritious diet.
  • Safety. One of the biggest fears of seniors and their loved ones is safety. Thanks to technology, you can send an assistance alert simply by pressing a button on your Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices can also help families and loved ones keep track of seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, who can easily become disorientated and lost.
  • Medication Management and Health Tracking. As we age, we usually take more and more pills — all of which need to be taken on a specific day, at a certain time and under particular conditions. There are many apps and technologies today that can simplify this process, preventing overdoses and medication mismanagement. Similarly, apps can help seniors meet their physical fitness or nutrition targets and monitor daily health activities. They can also store health records and information on health conditions for easy access.

Staying Safe with Technology

Of course, technology has its own risks and seniors are vulnerable to scams. Simple rules to follow include:

  • Only use apps that are recommended by your healthcare professional or someone you trust;
  • Keep your smartphone or device secure with a password; and
  • Only allow trusted individuals access to your device.

Experience the Best in CCRC And Assisted Living in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community, based in Sussex County, provides comfortable, serviced living arrangements that allow seniors to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of aging in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model that does not require them to move from their residential apartments to 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 go to our website at and book your visit today.

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Food Matters – Maximizing Nutrition Among Seniors

Good nutrition and a healthy diet is an essential for every time of life, but is more of a challenge for seniors. As we age, our bodies can become less effective at getting nutrients from the food we eat, appetites can decrease, chewing certain foods becomes more difficult, and many older adults experience mobility issues that make shopping and food preparation more difficult. Putting the extra effort into getting the right nutrients, however, is very important, as they significantly impact health, wellness and quality of life.

Here are some strategies from our at home health care agency for helping to improve the diet and nutrition of your elderly loved one:

Five steps to take to help ensure good nutrition in your elderly loved one 

  1. This important first step in the process will help you find out the quality of your loved one’s nutrition, what they are missing and where complications are occurring, so that you can develop a plan that suits their need. Ask your physician to recommend a nutritionist to assist you.
  2. Know the basics. The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s guidelines for nutrition in older adults are a good way to get to know the basics. Fruits and vegetables should be central to the diet, along with nuts, legumes and wholegrains, fish and low-fat dairy products. Sugar and refined foods should be limited.
  3. Small, frequent meals. Large portions can be intimidating and result in limited nutritional intake (for example, just eating one type of food on the plate before becoming full). Encourage smaller portions more frequently from a greater variety of foods. Snacks of yogurt and fresh fruit between meals with lean protein and a few different vegetables help create a more varied diet and make eating greater quantities of food easier.
  4. Healthy calories. If maintaining weight or gaining weight needs to occur, choose high-calorie healthy options like health shakes and protein-filled smoothies. These often contain plenty of vitamins and additional nutrients and are easy to eat and digest —just be sure not to choose one that is high in sugar.
  5. Ask for help. For many seniors and their caregivers, mealtimes are a challenge that take up a lot of time and effort. There are many meal services, however, that specialize in nutritionally-balanced home-cooked meals for seniors who can take the strain off you and your loved one. Try a few providers in your area and look for meals that meet the guidelines of your physician and nutritionist.

Professional, affordable at home care for the elderly in NJ 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and offers them, their families and caregivers, personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information about our at home healthcare agency or our home help services for the elderly, please contact us today or visit our website at

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It’s National Assisted Living Week!

From the 10th to the 16th of September, we’re celebrating National Assisted Living Week, when we join hands with the rest of the assisted living community and share the experience of being part of this important network. Here’s more information on what it’s all about, from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ.

This Year’s Theme Is “Family Is Forever” 

For our assisted living team, our residents really do become part of the family, and many caregivers form strong bonds with the people they care for, as well as their families. Caring for the elderly, the disabled or those suffering from debilitating conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s is more than just a job — it’s a calling. Our caregivers are known to go above and beyond to ensure that their residents have what they need to live a joyful, abundant life.

This year’s theme focuses on these connections and their importance to caregivers and residents. It is inspired by the words of Maya Angelou, “Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”


How You Can Celebrate National Assisted Living Week 

This week is organized and hosted by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). There’s plenty of information on their website and Facebook page about events that will be held during and how you can participate. Other ideas that might inspire you, include:

  • Visiting your loved one in assisted living.

You can make a special day of it, bring the grandchildren around and plan a special outing to one of the many events organized for this special week.

  • Treat your local assisted living center.

Do you live or work near an assisted living center? There are many all over the state and country looking for volunteers and assistance, and would appreciate the help! From spending time with residents or hosting a craft day, music event or talk on their events calendar to dropping off a bunch of flowers to brighten up their reception area, there are so many ways you can make a difference.

Become Part of The Community and Sign Up for Assisted Living in Camden County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, nonprofit assisted living communities specializing in independent 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 providing 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 and contact us and book your visit today.

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What Families and Loved Ones Want from Hospice Care

Death, or the approach of death, is understandably difficult to deal with. Terminal patients, as well as their families and loved ones, often find it hard to address, feeling overwhelmed, confused and a loss of control.

This is when hospice comes in and lends a guiding hand in understanding what is coming, preparing for death and supporting loved ones in their grief. It is this support and these resources that families, patients, and loved ones need. Our hospice in South Jersey focuses on these needs to set the standards for excellent end-of-life care.

How Our Hospice Team Meets Your Needs

  • A comforting environment:

Very few people want to spend their last few months in a sterile, busy and unwelcoming hospital environment. Hospice offers the terminally ill a space to call their own, filled with the comforts of home and familiar items.

  • Spend time together:

Hospice providers understand this is an important time for family and loved ones. So, they are welcome to spend time at the hospice. With private accommodation for patients, you don’t have to worry about intruding on others. Our family dining space allows you to dine with your loved one throughout their stay. We also have gardens and outdoor spaces for family and loved ones to enjoy.

  •  Customized care:

No two hospice patients are the same, so care plans are created to meet each person’s specific requirements; modifications occur as their needs change. Whether your loved one is suffering from dementia, cancer or any other terminal illness, our fully trained and experienced care and medical staff can deliver the necessary assistance and treatments.

  • Grief support:

Compassion is the primary focus in hospice care, for patients as well as their loved ones. In addition to grief counselors, we also offer spiritual support throughout this difficult time.

  • Reduced stress:

While always an emotional and stressful time, our team will do as much as possible to share the load. Expert hospice care helps reduce the stress of caring for a loved one yourself. Knowing their medical and wellness needs are being taken care of means that family caregivers and loved ones can focus on what really matters — spending quality time together.

Find Out More About End-of-Life Care at Our Hospice in Cape May County

The Shores, part of the well-known United Methodist Communities nonprofit organization in New Jersey, offers compassionate, professional hospice care in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses 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 hospice care in the Jersey Shore area, please visit our website at or contact us today to organize your visit.

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