Monthly Archives: May 2018

4 Non-Medical Therapies to Help with Memory Loss

Woman working on watercolor painting.

Modern medicine is an invaluable source of treatment for a wide range of health conditions, but there are ways to supplement this resource with non-medical therapies that can help improve memory or even help prevent memory loss in older adults. Here are some effective therapies from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Get creative. Participating in creative arts is a great way to exercise the mind and fight memory loss, as they boost engagement and alertness. For adults wanting to fend off memory loss, dance classes, music classes and taking to the stage, assist with mental fitness. For adults with memory loss, painting, drawing and imaginative projects like scrapbooking are suggested.
  2. Music therapy. Recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association to assist with cognitive and emotional struggles, many patients with fairly advanced memory loss can still sing and remember songs. This relaxing and energizing experience often triggers past memories.
  3. Physical exercise. Studies increasingly confirm that physical fitness is an important contributor to mental fitness, and memory is no exception. While this exercise can take any form, it should be tailored to each person’s level of physical fitness and interests. In addition to fighting memory loss, physical exercise brings countless other health benefits, as well as boosting self-esteem.
  4. Pet therapy. Many assisted living communities have resident pets or access to pet therapy. Interaction with animals is increasingly being recognized for its mental and emotional health benefits, which include helping residents feel calm, engaged in their surroundings and happy.
    It also helps residents connect with memories of their own beloved pets. In fact, some research has shown that therapy animals help improve the nutrition of residents while decreasing behavioral concerns, improving the overall quality of life.

Memory Care Services from Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester County, 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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4 Caregiving Tips for Celebrating Spring

Happy family

Spring is all about the promise of life, from the lengthening warmer days to the new growth all around us. It’s a time when we start getting outdoors more to enjoy nature and time with friends and family — and seniors are no exception!

Here are some tips from our senior home healthcare services team on making your springtime more senior-friendly:

  1. Get outdoors. An overwhelming number of studies show that physical activity is invaluable in combating health conditions and frailty, and even plays a vital role in staying mentally fit. Spring is the perfect time to resume an old hobby or pick up a new one like birdwatching or nature walking. Just remember to wear some sturdy shoes and start off slow.
  2. Prepare for changing weather. Warmer days are ideal for outdoor excursions before the heat of summer sets in, but the weather is very unpredictable this time of year. For senior caregivers, this means checking the weather in detail and planning for every variation by dressing in layers and keeping an umbrella and a sun hat nearby.
  3. Bring spring indoors. The sights and smells of spring stimulate and uplift the senses, especially for seniors who may be less mobile. Spring flowers are a great way to do this! Bringing these into the home is a great way to lift spirits. You’ll find a variety available in shops and even fresh from the garden.
  4. Take care of allergies. If the senior in your care suffers from allergies, it’s a good idea to stock up on over-the-counter medications in advance, as allergens become very concentrated in the spring. Check with your loved one’s doctor to confirm these medications won’t cause averse interactions with others in use. Another approach is to tackle the spring cleaning to clear out dust and other allergens that tend to gather in the winter. Have HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filters cleaned out and check for mold growth in cupboards and other damp areas of the home.

At Home Care for the Elderly to Support Seniors, Caregivers and Families in NJ 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a nonprofit organization, we offer at home care for older adults through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. As one of the leading home health aide agencies in New Jersey, our respite care and senior homecare 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 services offering, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Parkinson’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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May is Arthritis Awareness Month!

This month, our home healthcare services team is looking at a health condition that affects so many seniors — arthritis. This includes over 100 conditions that cause joint disease and joint pain, affecting over 50 million adults in the United States. Here is some helpful information about arthritis and its treatment.

Do I Have Arthritis? 

As this name is given to such a large group of conditions, there’s no definitive single set of symptoms for diagnosis. However, these four most common symptoms can indicate an issue:

  1. Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints
  2. Decreased range of motion
  3. Physical changes to the joints, for example, knobby finger joints
  4. Difficulty with daily activities like walking, typing and climbing stairs

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Osteoarthritis, the most common condition in this category, generally affects the elderly. It is caused when the cartilage (the hard but smooth cushioning surface on the ends of bones) wears away, leaving bone to rub against bone. This causes pain, swelling and stiffness, which often worsen over time, resulting in a lack of strength in the joint.

Inflammatory arthritis conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are immune conditions which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints of the body, resulting in painful inflammation and even damage to internal organs and other parts of the body. It can result from genetic and environmental risk factors, including smoking.

Treatment for Arthritis 

For osteoarthritis, symptoms are treated by not overworking joints, engaging in therapeutic activity and strengthening the muscles around the joints, healthy weight management, hot and cold therapies, assistive devices, mild pain medications and avoiding repetitive movements.

For inflammatory arthritis, early diagnosis is very important, as patients can get medical treatment in the form of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent permanent damage.

Compassionate, Quality Care from Our Home Health Aide Services Team in New Jersey 

Whether you need permanent senior homecare services or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a respite care or temporary basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. As one of the leading home health agencies in NJ, our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience. Please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information about HomeWorks’ home health aide services, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Leave the Old Age Home Stereotype Behind

Elder talking to woman

If you grew up in the 70s, your perception of senior living is probably tainted with ideas of very old, fragile men and women with serious end-of-life issues. A tour through many of that period’s facilities may have done little to dispel your image of these “homes” as places to be avoided at all costs.

But like everything else, the world for older adults has changed and evolved. People are living longer and a greying population makes up more of the overall population in the USA than ever before. People are savvier about the care options available for them or their loved ones, and the internet offers a wealth of information on the credibility and capabilities of caregivers.

And so, 50 years later, the senior living and senior care industry has changed dramatically. The current need for care and companionship has as many different levels as the people who need them. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all business, and the level of service, quality of lifestyle, and the diverse options for comfort of living make senior communities a vibrant place-to-be for many — both rewarding for employees and stimulating and safe for residents.

The stereotype of cold, hospital-like facilities has been left behind in favor of diverse, vibrant communities that cater to a wide range of lifestyles, living options and care services. This has made assisted living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities much-desired options for older adults, who desire a high-quality of life, convenience, independence and tailored care from trained professionals, all in a homey, comfortable and modern setting.

These demographic and consumer changes are also creating a boom industry for healthcare workers. Modern senior care aides, an enthusiastic and passionate flock of professionals, feel excited about the industry and the difference they make in the lives of seniors.

From nursing and medical staff to certified caregivers and therapists, all these associates are trained and screened. They genuinely care about delivering real quality of life to seniors. In fact, the attraction to this industry is so strong that in 2015, employment in the healthcare and social assistance sector grew by a significant 3.5%. Between 2000 and 2016, healthcare employment in general grew by a huge 42% —much of it sparked by the increased focus on healthcare services for seniors.

This transformation in the population and thus in the senior living industry creates an important milestone, changing the perception of senior care and creating communities that are a joy to live and work in.

Customized Care with a Focus on Independent Living – Assisted living in Camden County, NJ 

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood New Jersey  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.

If you speak with the team at Collingswood, you will learn about their tremendous sense of satisfaction from caring for, and having relationships with active, vibrant seniors — often a rewarding and life-changing experience. An environment which upholds spirituality and a non-profit mission as the framework for everything they do helps. Our associates also live “the abundant life” by having a true sense of purpose when they come to work every day.

To find out more about career opportunities at any of the four full-service United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at or contact us today.

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A Guide to Terminal Restlessness Among Hospice Patients

Person supporting sick family member

As much as dying is a fact of life most people prefer to avoid thinking about this topic. While understandable, it does mean that many of us are unprepared when facing the dying process, which makes the passing of a loved one even more difficult.

One common part of this process is known as terminal restlessness. In order to comfort their loved one through this experience, it’s important for the family and friends to understand what this is and how it is managed. Here is a basic guide from the team at our hospice residence in South Jersey.

What is Terminal Restlessness and How Can It Be Managed? 

This term, used to describe a mental state that many terminal patients move through during their final stages of life, is estimated to affect up to 85% of patients. The symptoms include agitation, restlessness, delirium, confusion and impaired consciousness. Many patients also experience myoclonic jerks (involuntary muscle movement) and twitches. Understandably, this is distressing for loved ones.

While the exact cause of these symptoms isn’t linked to one particular condition, caregivers will monitor any changes in mental state to ensure that any underlying conditions are treated. Common causes for terminal restlessness include hypercalcaemia (a metabolic disorder common to cancer patients), fever, organ failure, sepsis, drug interactions, increased pressure on the brain, or opioid toxicity.

Researchers also point to a likely psychological element at work here, in which patients are more aware that they are approaching the end of their lives. Whatever the reason, caregivers play a vital role monitoring mental state, offering spiritual and emotional comfort, ensuring treatment of any underlying conditions whenever possible, and offering sedation if needed. Specialists often recommend that loved ones try playing calming music, talking in a gentle and reassuring manner, and holding your terminal loved one’s hand to help reduce agitation.

Comfort, Compassion and Care at Our Hospice Residence in South Jersey 

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 neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and schedule your visit.

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