Monthly Archives: September 2018

Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Loss

Asian old woman having her ears checked

Hearing loss typically begins around age 40 and slowly progresses — in fact, most people don’t even realize they’re not hearing things as clearly as they used to. For the elderly, hearing loss often progresses to the point where quality of life can be affected, and verbal communication is difficult, so it’s important recognize the symptoms of hearing loss early and get professional treatment. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team in New Jersey.

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed? 

An audiologist will be able to run a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your hearing and measure the extent of its deterioration. These aren’t painful tests and don’t require a hospital stay — most require you to answer questions about your health and hearing issues, and to listen to differently pitched tones through headphones.

It’s important to get a diagnosis on your hearing problem, as there are many conditions that can affect your hearing. These include:

  • Age-related hearing loss;
  • Build-up of earwax;
  • Infection;
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
  • Nerve damage; and
  • Medication (including cancer chemotherapies).

How is Hearing Loss Treated? 

Most of these conditions are very treatable, so early diagnosis is key to getting your hearing back and preventing more serious issues. Treatments can range from a course of antibiotics in the case of infection, to a high-tech hearing aid in the case of age-related hearing loss.

Managing your diet and lifestyle can also help preserve your hearing, and following doctors’ orders to manage conditions like hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, kidney disease, cholesterol, and thyroid disease are especially important. Even simple lifestyle changes can have an impressive effect – for some people, cutting down on their caffeine intake can prevent inner ear issues like tinnitus, ear pressure problems, dizziness and hearing loss.

Compassionate, Professional Care from Senior Home Care Specialists in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior home care options, including in-home respite care through our HomeWorks program. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to medical care 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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How to Recruit the Best Hires for the Senior Living Field

Retired couple relaxing outdoors with female caregiver

The senior living field is a growing, vibrant space, so it’s no surprise that top providers are racing to recruit skilled staff members to form a part of their team! Here are some tips from our assisted living team in Gloucester County on how to attract top talent to your facility:

  • Look outside your industry. Organizations in the senior living field tend to look only within the industry when recruiting — but this means looking at a very limited pool. By turning to adjacent industries and providing that little bit of extra training, you’re able to access a much wider pool of talent. Also, by spending time and investing in your recruit, you’re building a stronger, more loyal relationship.
  • Tap into newcomers. While work experience is always a good thing, there’s a lot to be said for approaching local training organizations and getting the pick of new recruits. By providing your own on-the-job training and balancing this staff intake with seasoned industry specialists, you get the best of both worlds — experience and enthusiasm. Your new recruits will be ready to prove themselves and happy to put in the work needed to gain that essential experience.
  • Go online. These days no business can afford NOT to be online – and it’s important that your organization isn’t merely paying digital lip service either. Your website should be functional, look great and represent your brand – and it should be accompanied by a well-managed social media presence. LinkedIn is a great platform for professional recruitment, while Facebook gives your brand the chance to really express its values and character to attract vibrant new hires.
  • Change the focus of your interviews. The senior living field has changed a lot in the last decade or so, making it almost unrecognizable to the facilities of the past — and interviews need to take this into account. In addition to skill requirements, put a focus on finding hires who have high emotional intelligence, who fit into your workplace culture and would be a good fit with residents.

Instead of asking them where they see themselves in five years, ask them to share a story about why this industry is so important to them. A passion for caregiving and senior wellbeing is key!

Assisted Living in Gloucester County – Discover a Community Focused on Senior Wellbeing 

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.

The team at Pitman is united by their tremendous sense of satisfaction in caring for, and having relationships with active, vibrant seniors. Our assisted living community offers associates an environment which upholds our faith-based, non-profit mission as the framework for everything they do, creating a supportive and focused environment. Our team also lives “the abundant life” we offer our residents 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, please visit our website at contact us today or book a personal tour.

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5 Tips for Seniors: Cyber-Crime Prevention

Cyber-crime is a growing concern that can affect any member of the population. Seniors can be more vulnerable because they often lack the awareness of cyber security techniques that younger and more tech-savvy people may have.

They also tend to have a fair amount of savings, making them valuable targets for scammers. Here are some easy tips for seniors to follow to help reduce their risk of becoming a victim of cyber-crime, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  1. Don’t respond to emails and texts requesting personal information. Scam emails and texts often look entirely legitimate and typically pose as being from a company whose services you use. They’ll offer an upgrade or special, or even claim that something is wrong with your account — this will include a request for your personal information like social security or credit card details.Never respond to these emails and texts, and don’t click any links in them — don’t even give your name or phone number. If you are worried that the email is legitimate, call the company directly at their listed number and they can assist you from there.
  2. Create strong passwords. The passwords that you use for online services should be at least eight characters in length, using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. An easy way to remember these passwords is simply to write them down in a notebook that you keep in a safe place inside your home or with a loved one.
  3. Secure your social media. Facebook and other social media platforms have security measures that you can activate to protect your information, so ensure that these are kept on their highest setting. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know, and don’t share your personal information with them.
  4. Browse the internet safely. Ensure that you have up-to-date security software on your computer to prevent infection from viruses and malware (software programs designed to steal information or harm your data). Don’t enter contests or sign up for clubs online unless you are sure that they are from a reputable organization, as this may be another way to steal your personal information.
  5. Get advice from a trusted person. If you are unsure of the legitimacy, want to learn more about using your computer or fixing a technical issue, be sure to ask for help from a reputable source. Often, a family member who is tech savvy can assist you – even from the other side of the country – or find a reputable company who can send out a tech assistance specialist to work on your system. It is easy for someone to pose as a helpful person and steal information directly from your computer under the guise of assisting you.

A Warm, Welcoming Senior Community – Visit Our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life. Many living styles are offered including, independent living, assisted living, memory care, long-tern nursing care, and short-term rehabilitation.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at and book your visit today.

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3 Tips for Managing Confusion in Alzheimer’s Care

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult man

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a great opportunity to share news and insights into the treatment and care of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as spreading information and awareness of this serious condition. In this blog, the team at our home health care agency shares some helpful tips for managing confusion — a common challenge experienced by caregivers.

People with Alzheimer’s disease are likely to experience frequent bouts of confusion as the disease progresses. This can’t be prevented, as it is a direct result of the condition, but there is a lot caregivers can do to help people cope with the fear, agitation and anxiety that accompanies bouts of confusion.

Tips for Reducing Frequency of Confusion 

Caregivers can help reduce confusion by:

  1. Creating a calm environment. Busy, loud and unfamiliar environments are a significant source of stress and over-stimulation, which can lead to confusion. Try to minimize time spent in these environments and ensure that everyday environments are peaceful, quiet and filled with familiar objects and sources of comfort. Blankets and clothing items can also be a source of comfort and security.
  2. Staying on top of personal care. Ensuring that an Alzheimer’s patient is receiving medication correctly, is eating enough, staying hydrated and getting sufficient sleep is also very important to prevent episodes of confusion as well as maintaining their physical health. Making these daily tasks part of a stable routine ensures that caregivers are able to note any changes in physical needs or health and take action to manage these needs as soon as possible.
  3. Having a progressive care plan in place. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and old age is likely to bring other health conditions as well, which makes it important to have a long-term care plan in place and to implement it earlier rather than later. If you are choosing professional caregiving assistance in the home, opt to implement this even on a shorter level (for example, as part-time or respite care) before it becomes urgent – this will give the patient time to adjust and become comfortable with the new caregiver while they are able to manage the change, rather than suddenly and dramatically adjusting their routine.

Respite Care, Part-Time and Live-in Care for Alzheimer’s Patients from Our Home Health Care Agency 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through our HomeWorks program. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information on our at home health care agency or our at home care for the elderly services, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Prostate Cancer and Seniors – What You Need to Know

Men health man prostate cancer November awareness month vector blue ribbon

This month is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so the team from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ is sharing essential information to raise awareness and help fight this serious health condition.

What is Prostate Cancer? 

This is the third most common type of cancer, affecting over 3 million men in the USA. Almost all cases — over 90% — occur in men over the age of 55, making it essential that seniors take active measures to be aware of this condition.

Symptoms of the disease can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Trouble maintaining bladder control
  • Erectile dysfunction

It is important to note that these symptoms may only show up years after a tumor begins to grow, so it is important to have regular screenings to ensure an early diagnosis. Most doctors recommend that men should go for an annual screening every year from their 40s or if concerning symptoms appear.

5 Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer:

  1. Active surveillance. This treatment program focuses on a combination of frequent check-ups (monitoring of the tumor) and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) bloodwork, and is only recommended for mild cases.
  2. Another treatment for milder cases, this involves a process whereby cancer cells are frozen in order to kill them. It can also be used along with radiation if there are still remaining cancer cells after treatment.
  3. In advanced stages of the disease, the prostate can be removed surgically along with the tumor. This does involve a hospital stay and rehabilitative therapy to combat the urinary incontinence and erectile disfunction that 80% of men experience post-surgery.
  4. Radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-energy rays focused on the treatment area to kill cancerous cells. It has a number of unpleasant side effects, although these disappear over time after a successful treatment is over.
  5. High-intensity focused ultrasound. HIFU is a newer treatment option that is less invasive and has fewer side effects than many others. It uses high-intensity sound waves to kill the cancer cells and has the advantage of being repeatable in the event that the treatment doesn’t eradicate the cancer the first time around.

As with all cancers and medical conditions, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment — so annual screenings are essential to saving lives.

Independent Style Living for Seniors – Assisted Living New Jersey 

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 delivering essential resources that promote independence for seniors.

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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4 Tips for Starting the Discussion About End-of-Life Care

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For people with elderly parents, ensuring that their end-of-life care wishes are met is important — but they’re often held back from having this critical discussion because it is such a difficult one to start, or even to think about. Here are four tips from our hospice community in South Jersey to help you have this critical conversation.

  1. Speak now, don’t wait until it’s too late. It is important for discussions around end-of-life care to happen as early as possible with elderly parents or those facing a terminal illness to give them time to think about their wishes and consider different options. This ensures that your loved one gets the care option they prefer, rather than having an option pushed upon them in an emergency situation when they are unable to have their own say.

It also gives loved ones and their families’ time to adjust and absorb what they are facing while ensuring that a high quality of care is maintained throughout this time.

  1. Get to know different end-of-life care options. Since these discussions are often avoided, many people have little idea of what end-of-life care is all about, and this means that it’s often shrouded in fear and misconceptions. Before starting the conversation, visit different hospice and end-of-life care providers in your area and get to know their facilities, services and staff.

This is a good opportunity to speak to staff about daily routines and the kind of care your loved one will receive, and to have any of your questions answered. This way, you’ll be able to share reliable information and insights with your loved one.

  1. Have many conversations — don’t try to cover everything at once. This emotional and challenging conversation is likely filled with plenty of things all parties need to consider. Instead of trying to cover all your ground in one discussion and possibly overwhelming your loved one, limit your conversation to simple concerns and let your loved one lead the way.

For many terminal patients, end-of-life care has also been on their minds, so rather let them air their concerns and ask questions rather than dominating the discussion yourself. They may be relieved that you have brought it up.

  1. Ask the experts. If you are unsure of when end-of-life care would be needed for your loved one, what their illness entails in terms of end-of-life care or want recommendations for quality providers in your area, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make an appointment to speak to your loved one’s doctors, to friends and family who have loved ones in end-of-life care, and to the professionals at the facilities you visit.

End-of-life care is about compassion and support for terminal patients as well as their families, and leading providers are more than happy to sit down and advise you on how to manage this difficult issue.

Ask Our Hospice in Cape May County, NJ for Advice, Insight and Support 

At The Shores, 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 in a part of our building called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support.

To find out more about our hospice or assisted living in the Jersey Shore area or if you need advice on hospice care options and Medicare, please visit our website at or contact us today.

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