Monthly Archives: March 2018

4 Tips and Advice for Managing Diabetes

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The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that there are around 12 million diagnosed and undiagnosed seniors in the USA with diabetes, and proper disease management is the most effective way of maintaining a high quality of life. With the right medical treatments, care and lifestyle choices, seniors with diabetes can thrive. Here are some tips and advice from our in home respite care team.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes 

First, there are two types of this disease. Type 1 is usually diagnosed when someone is much younger, as an adult or even as a child, and is the result of the body not producing insulin. It’s is rare, with only 5 percent of the population affected.

The more common version of the disease is Type 2, when the body causes glucose (sugar) levels to rise to higher than normal levels because the body is not using insulin properly. At first, the body tries to create more insulin, but it cannot keep up over time which causes blood glucose levels to keep increasing. The exact causes for the condition are unknown, but genetics and family history are thought to play a role, as do risk factors like excess weight, poor diet and lack of exercise.

The seriousness of diabetes should never be underestimated, as it is not only the seventh most common cause of death in the USA, but also places patients at risk of blindness, circulation problems, limb amputation and organ damage.

How Can Seniors with Diabetes Stay Healthy? 

Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge Here are a few things can help seniors stay independent and avoid the serious health complications of this disease, including:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. A diet low in sugar (including sugar from fruit) and saturated fats, and high in lean proteins, wholegrains and vegetables is very important for diabetics. It’s worth it to speak to a registered dietician about developing a meal plan that keeps blood sugar stable and in a healthy range.
  2. Get active. Aerobic exercise is great for managing diabetes, and the ADA recommends 30 minutes a day. Cycling is great for more active seniors, but walking, dancing, aerobics, swimming and yoga are also great options.
  3. Monitor blood sugar. Seniors are more likely to experience unstable blood sugar and often have more trouble eating proper meals. Some medications can also affect blood sugar levels. This makes it essential to check blood sugar regularly and speak to your doctor about any symptoms like confusion, dizziness, and sweating.
  4. Self-examine. For diabetics, a small cut or infection can quickly become a big problem, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on any injuries, especially on the feet where it is difficult to see. Caregivers can also help with this exam, or you can attach a small mirror to a grab-stick so you can check without bending over.

Need In Home Respite Care or Full-Time Care? Our Senior Independent Home Care Team Can Help 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer at home care for elderly through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. Our respite care and seniors home care services cover everything from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care, depending on exactly what you and your loved one requires. Our services are scalable and by-the-hour, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

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

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4 Ways to Transform Your Assisted Living Apartment into a Home

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Moving from a house you or your loved one has known for many years into an assisted living community is a big change. Many people worry that they aren’t going to be comfortable or fit in. One of the best ways to ease this transition is to take the blank canvas of the new apartment and make it feel cozy, familiar and lived-in. Here are some tips from our assisted living team in Gloucester County:

  1. Downsize with care. Most people feel sentimental about certain furniture and household items, so record these and ensure that none get left behind. Try to keep the list focused on smaller items, however, as you won’t have the space of a big house in the new accommodation. This also helps with housekeeping and safety, as a clutter-free home is easier to move around in.
  2. Measure, and measure again. This is a great opportunity to get some new furniture that fits perfectly into your loved one’s new home, and measuring the space, planning it out properly and measuring furniture is the only way to get it right. Two important things to consider include ensuring that there is enough space between items to move freely with a walker or wheelchair (even if your loved one is currently mobile, their friends may not be), and that they are at a good height that makes sitting, getting up and using the furniture easy.V
  3. Safety features. These aren’t all about alarms and alert systems! Instead, make sure that the new accommodation is accessible and put in fall prevention measures. For example, rugs should be on anti-slip matting and secured to the ground with no edges curling up. Make sure everyday items are easily in reach in all rooms, especially the bathroom and kitchen.
  4. Add some new touches. There’s something refreshing and exciting about adding new features to your home, so it’s a great idea to explore some options with your loved one to see what takes their fancy. Maybe they’d like to incorporate something as simple as new colors or they’ve always wanted luxury bedding or beautiful new small appliances for the kitchen. Looking forward to new things can make the move more exciting and less stressful.

Make a Home at Our Vibrant Assisted Living Community in Pitman, 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, 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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Awareness Saves Lives – Colorectal Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so the team from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey is sharing some important information to help spread awareness about this serious disease and save lives. Here is a quick guide to the signs, symptoms and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors 

Several factors can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer, but doctors still aren’t sure exactly what causes this disease. If any of the following risk factors apply to you, it’s a good idea to take note of the warning signs, so the disease can be caught early.

The 7 risk factors include:

  1. Inherited gene mutations. A family history of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP or colon polyps).
  2. Age. You are more at risk if you are over the age of 50.
  3. Race. African Americans are more vulnerable to the disease than other races.
  4. Diet. Low fiber, high fat diets increase your risk.
  5. Diabetes. Insulin resistance can increase your risk.
  6. Overweight and a sedentary lifestyle place you at higher risk than more active people of healthier weight ranges.
  7. Alcohol consumption and smoking.

6 Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For 

Unfortunately, colorectal cancer doesn’t always start off with symptoms, but it is important to note any of the following, as they can be indicators of the disease:

  1. Changes in bowel habits that last more than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of stool).
  2. Rectal bleeding of fresh, bright red blood.
  3. Feeling of fullness in the bowels that is not relieved by a bowel movement.
  4. Abdominal cramps.
  5. Weakness, fatigue and unintended weight loss.
  6. Low red blood cell count.

Early diagnosis is key to preventing and defeating this kind of cancer, and the American Cancer Society recommends that anyone over 50 participate in screening tests, including:

  1. Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  2. CT colonography every 5 years.
  3. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
  4. Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years.

Many of these symptoms can also indicate other health conditions like an infection, hemorrhoids or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so it’s important to see your doctor right away, even if you don’t believe you are at risk of cancer.

Independent Living for Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

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

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4 Top Tech Innovations for Senior In-Home Living

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Technology is constantly transforming the way we live our lives, and seniors are no exception! There’s some wonderful technological innovations that can help seniors keep their independence while getting a helping hand, as well as help caregivers stay on top of their needs. Here are some examples that are changing senior lives for the better, from our at home health care agency in New Jersey:

  1. Family members of elderly loved ones often express concern about whether their loved ones are coping at home, especially as they become frailer or face medical challenges. These sources of stress for loved ones can mean you end up calling multiple times a day… and still worrying if your mom or dad has taken their medication.
    Lively is a system that uses unobtrusive sensors that you can place in a refrigerator, medication box, front door, key chains and other important spots, that then track activity via a private account on a website. You can check in however many times you want to see that their activity is normal – and the company can even alert you if something out-of-the-ordinary happens.
  2. Anyone who’s ever cared for a senior knows that the medications pile up quickly, and how easy it is for a senior to forget to take a pill, take too many, or take them at the wrong time. MedMinder is a digital pill dispenser that you or a caregiver can load up, that then dispenses medication according to a schedule that you can set. It can remind your loved one when pills are ready to be taken, and if he or she fails to take them, you or an emergency contact will be alerted.
  3. Amazon Alexa. While not specifically for seniors, the features it offers can be a big help around the house. Voice activated and easy to use, your loved one can ask Alexa for the news, to play any type of music, tell you the weather, or even order groceries to your front door. Alexa can also help find a lost smartphone, or even make a phone call from your smartphone, if for example you have fallen or need help.
  4. Fitness trackers. Wearable fitness trackers are great for seniors who want to keep an eye on their physical activity and stay healthy. There are many different types of devices, and many are easy to wear and operate. Most have basic features like tracking your steps per day, and others have more advanced features like GPS tracking, heart rate tracking and custom features for different activities.

Compassionate, Qualified Caregivers from Our At Home Health Care Agency 

Whether you need a permanent in-home senior care specialist or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one with respite care, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive training and experience in at home care for elderly, including assisting individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

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

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The 3 Most Common Fears Around Assisted Living

Lonely senior woman

Assisted living can conjures up some of our most deep-seated fears, and yet most people aren’t familiar with the reality of this service! Just bringing the subject up can provoke a knee-jerk reaction or even start a family argument — but just how valid are these concerns really? Our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ, takes a look.

  • Fear Number One: I’ll lose my independence. Independence is a vital part of living life to the fullest and understandably, seniors don’t want to lose that. In reality, assisted living communities know how important this is and have evolved to do everything they can to keep seniors living on their own terms as much as possible. This actually has the effect of giving them more independence in our communities than they would have outside of it!
    The apartments are maintained by the organization, so there’s no need for extra home do-it-yourself and maintenance. Likewise, housekeeping is managed by a staff team, and lots of other everyday administrative tasks are also taken care of, so you have more free time.
  • Fear Number Two: I can’t afford it. Senior care services cost money — there’s no getting away from that. But the truth is that home assistance and caregiving may become necessary for all of us as we become more frail. By spending some time doing research and visiting assisted living communities, you’ll be able to find one that fits your budget. The best communities offer custom care plans, so you only pay for the services you want and you won’t waste a cent. You’ll also be saving on maintaining your home, on transportation, and even on having home caregiving services.
  • Fear Number Three: I’ll be lonely. Loneliness, isolation and depression are real concerns in the senior care community, but assisted living communities are actually one of the best prevention methods. Rather than remaining isolated in your own home and having to travel to see friends, these communities bring people together and allow friends and family to visit whenever they want. Different communities offer different lifestyle choices, and they’re a great option for seniors wanting to increase their social circle and share their interests.

Get to Know What Your Local Assisted Living Community is Really All About

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in senior living. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus on 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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The Role of Hospice Care for Loved One’s with Dementia

My grandma is wonderful, i love her!

Alzheimer’s and dementia conditions can bring physical and emotional battles for patients and their loved ones, and in its end stages, requires specialist care. Look for hospice services that have experience with individuals with dementia, as they provide this care with expertise and compassion, focusing on relieving pain, controlling symptoms and maintaining a good quality of life.

This not only keeps these individuals comfortable and safe, it also measurably reduces the anxiety and worry families experience, relieving them of the care burden so that they can spend time with their loved one. Here are some more insights from the team at our hospice and palliative care community in South Jersey.

What is the Right Time to Choose Hospice Care? 

Hospice is a service designed specifically for end-of-life care when a person has been medically determined to have six months or less of life remaining. Due to the unpredictable speed of decline dementia can bring, it can be more difficult to determine when hospice is the right option.

While only a doctor can make the final determination, caregivers, friends and family should keep an eye out for the following common signs in declining patients:

  • They don’t speak more than a few words at a time.
  • They are no longer mobile and cannot move from their bed.
  • They are dependent on others for eating, dressing, grooming, and hygiene.
  • They commonly express high anxiety.

If you are concerned about your loved one, you can request a hospice evaluation from your loved one’s doctor or neurologist to help determine the right course of action. It’s important to remember that you are your loved one’s advocate, and it’s up to you to act to ensure that they are getting the care they need and deserve.

While the idea of hospice care can be frightening or stressful to consider, the benefits of having a team of trained caregivers cannot be overestimated. In fact, terminal care patients benefit significantly from moving into hospice care — suffering fewer hospitalizations and gaining the advantage of effective pain management programs. Families also find greater satisfaction in hospice care, as they are surrounded by a supportive and caring team who are there to help ease this journey.

Find Out How a Leading Hospice and Palliative Care Community in South Jersey Can Care for Your Loved One 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals 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.

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