Monthly Archives: January 2018

5 Essential Go-Bag Items for In-Home Senior Caregivers

Being a caregiver for a senior loved one often means facing the same routine challenges each day, like preparing meals, getting to and from shops or appointments, dressing and bathing. But caregivers also must plan ahead and be ready to act quickly in the event of an emergency — that’s where your go-bag comes in. Here are some insights from our in home senior care team in NJ.

Pack your go-bag today 

As a caregiver, you know that a lot of preparation, planning and teamwork is needed to care for your loved one. When an emergency happens, there’s not a lot of time to think — only time to act.

Having a go-bag ready in advance keeps you prepared and ensure you both have the essentials you need without causing additional anxiety or confusion for your loved one.

What should be in my senior go-bag? 

While the final items are up to you, our team has the following suggestions:

  1. Patient fact sheet. A brief document for healthcare professionals so they have the basic information needed to manage your loved one’s treatment. Include information like his or her full legal name (to match insurance documents), current health conditions and medications, allergy information, contact information of his/her healthcare providers, special dietary considerations, any communication issues or behavioral issues, and religion. Be sure to also include your own contact details.
  2. Copies of important documents. Including Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance cards; healthcare proxy; Living Will; Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR); etc.
  3. Basic toiletries and supplies. Spare set of eyeglasses, denture storage and cleaning supplies, a change of clothing and/or pajamas, hand lotion, hair brush, facecloth, small bag for jewelry or valuables, reading material, and any comfort items.
  4. Snacks and water. A few of your loved one’s favorite snacks and some bottled water often come in handy and help keep blood sugar stable and prevent dehydration.
  5. Items for you. Keep a few crossword puzzles, a novel or a few magazines in your go-bag, as well as some healthy snacks and water, for the wait. It’s also a good idea to keep a spare phone charger in your bag so you can stay in contact easily.

In-home senior care from trained and experienced home health aides in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Trained and highly experienced staff assist seniors and their families through this comprehensive senior in-home care program. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

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

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under in-home senior care

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care – What’s the Difference?

Sharing best memories with her granddaughter

When looking at care options for your senior loved one, you’ll come across many different services and options, including assisted living and memory care. Here’s some insight into what these are all about, from our team in Gloucester County, NJ.

What is assisted living? 

This type of residential community often consists of apartments and communal buildings/spaces that provide daily assistance to residents who need some help to continue living by themselves. The best assisted living communities actively promote independence, giving seniors the right level of support for them to actively engage in community life.

This type of support includes assistance with chores and meal preparation, as well as transport, dressing, bathing, and medication management. There are also skilled medical staff attached to the facility who provide medical or nursing support as and when it is required.

What is memory care? 

Memory care, a service that some assisted living communities offer, focuses on residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurological conditions that affect memory and thinking function. As these diseases progress, residents require additional, specific support to ensure a good quality of life. Memory care professionals not only work with residents to provide support and monitor your loved one, but also offer therapies and programs to help fight the progress of the condition.

This highly skilled assistance level is not provided by all assisted living facilities — only those with the resources and training required to do so. If your loved one has a condition affecting his or her memory, it’s important to speak to assisted living providers about the kind of support they can provide your loved one.

An assisted living community with professional memory care services 

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, access to therapists, hospice, respite and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors of 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.

Original content posted on


Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

4 Tips for a Great Day Out With Your Senior Loved One

Passing on her pottery skills to Mom

Although it can be a challenge to find something different that you and your loved one can enjoy together, spending time with a loved one living in a CCRC or assisted living community is important, and many people love to do it. Here are 4 tips from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  1. Get outside. While the weather at the moment may not be great, spending time outdoors when it warms up presents a perfect outing. Parks, open gardens, national heritage parks, beaches and more, offer favorite spots for every age, including seniors. This change in scenery will really be appreciated, especially if your loved one is no longer as mobile as they used to be. Just be sure not to pick an adventure more physically challenging than they can manage.
  2. Fairs and festivals. Check your local calendar for community events your loved one may enjoy attending. Concerts in the park, jazz evenings, craft and food fairs, markets and parades are all opportunities for a wonderful day or night out.
  3. Historical tours. Historical walks and heritage sites are great for seniors and families. It’s amazing to delve deep into the history of a town or area and learn about its past. While many tours are physically undemanding, some offer coaches, so people with mobility needs can be easily accommodated.
  4. Take a class. There are so many activities that welcome people of any age! So, if you’re feeling ready for something new, why not try a local class that caters to all ages? It can even be a fun family event. Some great examples include cooking classes, yoga classes and painting workshops.

Plan ahead for your day out together 

Many seniors need additional time and planning to ensure a successful outing, so it’s best if it’s not a surprise. Talk to them about what you’d like to do a few weeks in advance and keep them up-to-date about the event. On the day, make sure they have enough time to get ready, as you don’t want to make them feel rushed or confused. Check your loved one’s outfit so that they are properly prepared – this includes comfortable shoes with good traction, a walking stick if needed, medication if required, and warm item of clothing that can be added if it gets cold.

A warm and welcoming spirit at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life.

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.

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living, Bristol Glen

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Caregivers!

Making her stay as pleasant as possible

2018 is here and January is the perfect time to evaluate our lives, address challenges and move forward with positivity. For caregivers, this is an especially important time, so our in-home respite care services team has put some New Year’s resolutions together just for you:

  1. Ask for help when it’s needed. No matter how prepared, life gets in the way and throws all kinds of curveballs in our direction. Whatever the challenge, as a caregiver it isn’t your job to face it alone. Whether you need a family member to step in when you have a commitment to meet for your child or career, or you need a skilled nurse to deliver respite care services to help your loved one heal, finding the right help when you need it is an important part of being a great caregiver.
  2. Take time for yourself. Despite meeting the challengers of caregiving, even the best caregivers can find themselves burning out if they don’t take some time off. This doesn’t mean time off for other commitments — it means time off for just you. It will leave you feeling de-stressed, relaxed and refreshed, so upon your return, you can deliver the best quality of care.
  3. Look after your health and happiness. Staying healthy and putting your wellbeing first might sound selfish, but the reality is that it’s best for everyone – especially you. Caregivers need to be mentally and physically healthy to take on this demanding position, so it’s important not to neglect yourself.
  4. Don’t take on everything. Even if you are the primary caregiver for a loved one, it’s important that other family members pitch in and do their share. Caregiving is best when it’s done by a team! This can be as simple as doing the grocery shopping, fixing things around the house, providing transportation, or even companionship. If family members live too far away, financial contributions can be a big help, and you could hire home health aide services to help carry out the responsibilities.
  5. Join a support group. Only people in similar positions can understand what it’s like to be a caregiver. They can offer invaluable support when you are going through a difficult time or are up against new challenges. It’s also a great way to share your expertise with others who are new to family caregiving, and help make their journey a little smoother.

In-home respite care services – Whenever you need a compassionate helping hand 

Whether you need residential in home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our home care aide services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under At Home Care for the Elderly

5 Surprising Facts About Assisted Living

Breakfast is their favourite meal of the day

If you’re starting to search for an assisted living community, it can be a surprise to find out that they are very different from what you originally thought! Here are 5 facts about today’s assisted living:

  1. They’re all unique. A huge range of assisted living communities cater to different tastes, locations and budgets, all with different services, living arrangements and activities. Each community possesses a very different feel from the others, and while some are actively part of a bustling local town, others may be more secluded. This great news means that you can find somewhere that’s a great fit for your loved one, rather than settling for a cookie-cutter facility.
  2. They don’t all provide the same services. Some communities focus on special care for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or on independent living for seniors who are active and can generally care for themselves. Others meet the needs of seniors on every level of care, from independent younger seniors to hospice care. While it’s important to find a community which offers the care your loved one needs, it’s also a good idea to ensure they can scale their services up or down as your loved one’s needs change, so you don’t have to start searching all over again.
  3. Costs vary. It’s no secret that senior care is expensive, but do your research because costs can vary based on care needs.
  4. They are culturally diverse. Many assisted living communities offer their own unique ethos and ability to accommodate the needs of seniors and often offer multiple cultural, religious and dining options. There are even activity-based niche options, like golf-orientated assisted living communities!
  5. They are not nursing homes. Nursing homes are very different from assisted living communities, as they are designed for people who need a little help to live on their own, not 24-hour care. Some communities do offer skilled nursing too, but generally, assisted living residents are very independent and mobile, simply requiring a more manageable living space, help with meals and medication assistance.

Independent living for seniors at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ 

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

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

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Hospice Care Increases Comfort and Reduces Hospitalizations

When a loved one has reached the end stages of terminal cancer, hospitalization often becomes an increasingly frequent experience. This has a significant impact on care costs as well as on the patient’s quality of life. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that palliative care options like hospice, can significantly reduce the rate of hospitalizations and aggressive procedures for these patients.

What is hospice and palliative care? 

When a patient is no longer able to benefit from medical treatments due to a terminal illness or disease, the care focus changes to keeping the patient comfortable and as healthy as possible for the remainder of their life. For example, cancer patients will no longer undergo chemotherapy, radiation or surgeries designed to cure or remove the cancer. Instead, they will receive medications and therapies that keep pain and discomfort at bay.

Why is reducing hospitalizations a good thing? 

Aiming to reduce hospitalizations for end-of-life patients may sound counter-intuitive, after all, hospitals provide cures and treatments to extend and enhance our lives. However, this is not the case for terminal patients at the end of their lives. They are often hospitalized for health issues that could have been prevented through better end-of-life care. Treating these preventable issues costs families, insurance companies and government insurance programs a huge amount of money.

What did the study find? 

The study, conducted with the input of 18,000 pairs of Medicare patients with terminal cancers, found:

  • Non-hospice patients had more hospitalizations than hospice patients (65% vs. 42%);
  • Non-hospice patients were placed in intensive care more often than hospice patients (36% vs. 15%);
  • More invasive procedures were done on non-hospice patients than hospice patients (51% vs. 27%); and
  • Most hospitalizations of non-hospice patients were due to health concerns unrelated to their cancers.

These findings also show that overall, a non-hospice patient incurred a total cost of $71,517 during their last year of life, while a hospice patient’s costs totaled $62,819 — a relative saving of nearly $9,000.

These findings highlight an important issue that goes far beyond the cost of end-of-life medical care. It’s not simply a matter of money. The quality of care hospice delivers actively works to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and health complications, and ensures comfort at this important stage of life.

Comfortable, wellness-focused end-of-life care at our hospice dedicated assisted living area in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit assisted living organization in New Jersey, we offer a compassionate, professional hospice-dedicated are of our community at the Jersey Shore called Bridges. It 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 our hospice in South Jersey, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Hospice Care, The Shores