Monthly Archives: February 2018

5 Common Balance Disorders That Can Lead to Falls

Falls present one of the biggest threats to senior health and wellness, and are a leading cause of injury and death in American seniors. Therefore, fall prevention is a priority for families with elderly loved ones, as well as the senior healthcare industry. Balance disorders can make falls far more likely, resulting in trips to the emergency room, expensive operations and long recoveries. Here’s a guide to common balance disorders from our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ:


  1. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo. This is a form of vertigo triggered by a specific change in the position of your head. It can be very intense, but brief, and you may feel like you are spinning. This can occur when you bend down to look under something, roll over in bed or look up and behind you. It can result from head trauma or simply age.
  2.  Ménière’s disease. This is a condition characterized by episodes of hearing loss, vertigo, buzzing in the ear, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. The cause is unknown, but may have something to do with the change of fluid volume in the ear. There are some treatment options available, from pressure pulse treatment to surgery.
  3.  Labyrinthitis. This infection of the inner ear can cause dizziness and loss of balance. It can occur as the result of an upper respiratory infection, like the flu, so it is especially important to watch for in seniors who have or are recovering from these conditions.
  4. Vestibular neuronitus. This is caused by a viral infection that causes the vestibular nerve to become inflamed.
  5.  Perilymph fistula. This condition occurs when fluid leaks from the inner ear into the middle ear, causing unsteadiness that usually increases with increased activity, as well as dizziness and nausea. It can be caused in seniors after being exposed to dramatic changes in air pressure, head trauma, ear infections of even as a surgical complication.


If you are noticing increased dizziness, ringing in the ears or balance issues with yourself or an elderly loved one, it is important to visit your doctor. The condition itself may not be serious, but a fall that results from a balance problem can be severe. It’s always better to be safe!


Comfortable, Professional Assisted Living in NJ with a Community Spirit 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported 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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Stroke Recovery Advice for Senior Caregivers

Senior woman in wheelchair with caregiver at home

A stroke can be a frightening event with serious consequences, and compassionate, expert care is key to making the best recovery possible. Here are some tips for caregivers from our home health aide services team on how to cope with this recovery period and give your loved one the support they need.

Change Your Caregiving Routine 

Strokes can cause significant changes in your loved one’s temperament, personality and physical abilities. These can be temporary or permanent depending on the severity and location of the stroke. This means that your regular caregiving schedule will have to be completely rethought in order to meet new challenges as your loved one recovers.

Some of the most common results of a stroke include difficulty walking, eating, or speaking. Often, patients also have trouble focusing their attention, remembering things or even recognizing people. It’s important to meet with your loved one’s physician in person to discuss exactly what to expect from your loved one’s current condition and how permanent these effects may be. Always remember that no two strokes are the same, and everyone recovers differently, so there can be no set timeline or definite expectations of recovery.

Speak to the physician about any new medications your loved one will be on. Take a list of all current medications and go through them with the physician to ensure a clear understanding of when they should be taken, the possible side effects and to confirm that there aren’t any medication combinations that should be avoided.

Emotional Support is Essential 

Recovering from a stroke is a confusing and frightening experience, and it is normal for patients to be upset, scared of future health problems, confused and even frustrated. An important role for caregivers is to provide emotional support — helping to keep your loved one motivated in their recovery, and watch for signs of anxiety and depression.

Don’t be Afraid to Get Professional Assistance from Home Health Aide Services in New Jersey 

Stroke patients are a big adjustment for caregivers, and usually require intense care especially in the beginning of their recovery. As a caregiver, getting the assistance of a home health aide can be the best way of getting the support and guidance you need to care for your loved one, as well as relief assistance to help you focus on your loved one’s recovery.

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer at home care for the elderly through trained, experienced aides to help your loved one as they recover from a stroke. Our respite care and senior home care services cover everything from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care. Tailored to what you and your loved one require, our services are scalable and by-the-hour or live-in, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

For more information on respite care and our home health aide services, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Don’t Miss Out on These 7 Essential Health Screenings

Doctor Checking Blood Pressure

Early diagnosis of health conditions is essential for fast and effective treatment, especially when you’re in your senior years. Comprehensive medical check-ups can help keep you fit, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Here are the most important screenings for seniors, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  • Blood pressure and cholesterol. Your blood pressure should be checked once a year by your physician, or more often if you suffer from high blood pressure. It’s recommended that your cholesterol be checked with a test for lipids every three years as a senior, or more often if you suffer from high cholesterol.
  • Colorectal cancer exams. After the age of 50, you should have this exam once every 10 years, or more frequently if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or if polyps have been found during a previous exam. Because colorectal cancer is highly treatable, it is important to detect early.
  • Vaccinations. Seniors should have a tetanus booster shot every 10 years, as well as an annual flu vaccine. At age 65, get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against infections like pneumonia, sinusitis, meningitis, endocarditis, pericarditis and inner ear infections.
  • Eye exams. As your vision can quickly deteriorate as you age, it’s important to schedule an annual eye test. This will pick up any deterioration in your eyesight as well as check for age-related eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts. Early diagnosis is key to safeguarding your eyesight.
  • Hearing tests. It’s recommended that you get your hearing tested every two to three years.
  • Bone density scans. Osteoporosis, a serious and incurable disease, affects millions of Americans, especially women. A bone density scan, which is recommended at age 65, measures bone mass and records any bone loss, as well as give you access to crucial early treatment.
  • Diabetes test. A quick and easy blood sugar test is the best way to screen for diabetes, a disease that affects millions of Americans. Catching this disease early will make treatment easier, and will help prevent much of the damage this disease can cause if left untreated.

Community Living for Seniors at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. With an experienced team and a lively social calendar, we focus on providing essential resources that promote independence and quality of 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.

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Keep Your Heart in Shape This Valentine’s Day

February is the month of love, so it’s no surprise that it’s also American Heart Month! Though heart disease risks increase with age, there are many things seniors can do to lower these and keep hearts in great shape. Here are some tips for a healthier, happier heart through your senior years, from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ.

Know the 8 Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Attack 

For many people, the first sign of a heart problem may be a heart attack. Therefore, it’s vital to stay alert for signs of a heart attack to assist yourself and others in emergency situations. These warning signs or symptoms include:

  1. Feeling faint, weak or light-headed;
  2. Breathlessness;
  3. Nausea and/or vomiting;
  4. The sensation of being very full or having indigestion/stomach pain;
  5. Pain or pressure in the chest;
  6. Pain in the arms, especially down the left arm;
  7. Sweating; and
  8. Irregular heartbeat.

6 Ways to Reduce Heart Disease Risks 

A healthier lifestyle is the foundation of heart health, and specialists recommend the following steps to make your heart stronger and reduce the risk of disease:

  1. Get enough exercise – 30 minutes a day is ideal, but you don’t have to start running! Aqua-aerobics, dancing, gardening, walking, yoga and other activities count. Always include weights, activities and exercises appropriate for your level of physical health. If you’re new to exercise or worried about overdoing it, speak to your doctor and a senior fitness specialist.
  2. Quit smoking.
  3. Reduce alcohol intake – Recommended consumption is no more than 7 drinks a week, and no more than 3 on any day.
  4. Eat healthy – Good diets for heart health include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, water, and lean protein, as well as limiting saturated fats, salt and fatty meat. This also promotes weight loss, as maintaining a healthy weight also reduces risk of heart disease.
  5. De-stress – Because stress is bad for the heart, it’s important to find healthy outlets for stress and remove unnecessary stressors from your life.
  6. Have regular check-ups – Commit to regular check-ups with your physician to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Any high levels can be checked and managed before they become a problem for your heart.

Relax, Unwind and Enjoy Your Golden Years – Independent-Style Living for Seniors 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent-style 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 community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at or contact us and book your visit today.

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It’s Time to Celebrate National Senior Independence Month!

February is National Senior Independence Month, and it’s as much about celebrating the seniors in our communities as taking the initiative to help them preserve their independence for as long as possible. With a little help and these tips from our in-home respite care team,  you can help seniors live a fuller, happier and healthier life:

  • Promote senior accessibility. With a few changes that don’t impact greatly on the rest of the community, spaces can become far more senior-friendly! Ramps are one feature we often see, but traffic patterns can also be adjusted to suit a pedestrian population. Seniors’ taxi services and public transportation can also make a great impact on your senior community, as well as keeping sidewalks clear of debris.
  • Accessible, affordable housing. Affordable housing is a priority for many groups in the community, but seniors are especially under pressure due to limited or no earning potential, and requiring housing that they can manage and use easily. The most senior-friendly communities have zoning laws which permit assisted living facilities and homes on small lots.
  • Community-based caregiving. Although we all live busy lives, it doesn’t take much effort to lend a hand to your senior community — and will make a huge difference in their ability to stay independent! Food programs like Meals-on-Wheels, donating clothing and blankets, helping to install grab rails and lighting, or even just volunteering to walk the dog or clear the snow off the steps of an elderly person’s home are all fantastic ways to give your time. If you own or run a business, it’s also an opportunity to offer senior discounts and participate in charity through your products and services.
  • Realize the value of seniors. Seniors have a lot to offer their communities, and cities and towns that integrate different generations are often happier and healthier for all who live there. Seniors often bring a huge skill set that they can pass on to younger generations, and mentoring programs also benefit seniors by creating purpose. Seniors make up a big proportion of volunteers and caregivers in communities, from providing babysitting and care to those who need it, to giving children lessons in music, reading and other valuable skills. Keeping seniors involved and a part of the greater community, helps them to remain independent and live life to the full.

Senior Independent Home Care Services – Keeping NJ Seniors Healthy, Happy and Cared For 

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 senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

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A Guide to Medicare Hospice Coverage and Programs

Hospice is a service offered to preserve a patient’s quality of life in the end stage of life or during a terminal illness. It also addresses the patient’s spiritual, emotional, medical and physical needs. This important service provides care and comfort to both patients and their loved ones, and under certain requirements, can be covered by Medicare. Here is a quick guide to these requirements from our assisted living hospice neighborhood in South Jersey.

Medicare Eligibility Requirements for Hospice Services 

In order to be covered by Medicare for hospice services, your loved one must:

  • Meet eligibility requirements for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance);
  • Be certified by a doctor and hospice medical director as terminally ill with six months or less to live;
  • Have a signed document from a legal guardian stating that hospice care is being chosen instead of other treatments covered by Medicare; and
  • Choose a Medicare-approved hospice care provider.

Hospice Services Covered by Medicare 

If eligible, the following 10 hospice services WILL BE covered by Medicare:

  1. Nursing care and doctor services
  2. Hospice aid services
  3. Physical and occupational therapies
  4. Social worker services
  5. Medical equipment (for example, a wheelchair) and medical supplies
  6. Pain relief and symptom control medications
  7. Nutritional counselling
  8. Grief and family counselling
  9. Short-term respite care
  10. Short-term inpatient care

The following services are NOT covered by Medicare:

  • Treatments designed to cure the terminal illness;
  • Prescription medication to cure the terminal illness (only symptom management is covered);
  • Room and board for hospice care, unless covered by short-term inpatient care or respite care requirements;
  • Any care that is not arranged by the hospice medical team. If you want a service from a different hospice provider, you need to officially change your selected Medicare-approved hospice provider; and
  • Emergency care, including ambulance transportation, inpatient facility care or emergency room care unless it is arranged by your hospice medical team or it is the result of healthcare needs unrelated to the terminal illness.

Speak to our Team at Bridges, an Assisted Living Neighborhood Dedicated to Hospice and Palliative Care at The Shores in Cape May County, NJ for Advice 

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 the Jersey Shore area 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 or if you need advice on hospice care options and Medicare, please visit our website at or contact us today.

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