Monthly Archives: November 2018

6 Christmas Activities Your Whole Family Will Love

Grandparents with children looking Christmas photos on cell phone

Want your festive season to be filled with fun for every member of your family? The team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County has put together a list of events happening in December 2018 everyone will love, young and old:

  1. Santa Parade and Christmas in the Park. Christmas in Pitman! Beginning Nov. 24, Santa comes to Pitman in the Santa Parade. Then each Thursday-Saturday, visit Santa in his house and take an old fashioned trolley ride throughout town and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Christmas each weekend, leading up to Christmas.
  2. Downtown Haddonfield Candlelight Shopping. From November 23, 2018 through December 21, 2018 enjoy candlelight shopping in Haddonfield, featuring in-store events, unique gift ideas, horse-drawn carriage rides and live holiday entertainment every Friday in the Downtown.
  3. Christmas shows at the Strand Theatre. Located in Lakewood, this theatre puts on a range of productions over the Christmas season, from the traditional Nutcracker performed by the Atlantic City Ballet and Garden State Philharmonic, to holiday shows, carols and concerts.
  4. The Nutcracker at The Kendall Main Stage Theater. The Roxey Ballet, the award-winning professional dance company, is proud to present its annual holiday classic: Audiences can also expect a visit from Santa and his jolly friends during the performance! The Kendall Main Stage Theater is in Ewing, NJ. Follow this link for dates, times, and ticket details:
  5. Christmas Village in Philadelphia. Located in Love Park from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, Christmas Village will feature over 80 vendors selling authentic European food, ornaments, and arts & crafts from all over the world!
  6. The Christmas Spectacular. Starring the Radio City Rockettes, this Broadway show is a festive season tradition that’s being happening for over 75 years! With something for every age, this singing, dancing show is sure to wow any audience. Get ready for dazzling costumes, precision choreography and special effects!

Looking for Assisted Living Gloucester County That Prioritizes Quality of Life? Speak to Our Team Today 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality, scalable 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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Making Home a Safer Place for Elderly Parents

Female Neighbor Helping Senior Woman Change Lightbulb In Lamp

One of the leading concerns for family members of elderly parents is that their loved ones will suffer a fall while at home. Although reduced reflexes and becoming less steady while standing are a normal part of aging, it does increase the risk of falls. This poses a very serious issue for seniors, as falls are the number one reason seniors visit the emergency room and the leading cause of hip fractures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UMC’s trained home health aides can assess the fall risks inside the home and correct as many as they can. They may also develop a list of recommended modifications for the home, if necessary. Here are just a few of the most common precautions on our checklist:

  • Get rid of all tripping hazards. Things that may never present a tripping hazard to a young person can easily cause a fall in older adults. Remove all rugs and throw carpets from rooms and passageways, or secure them firmly to the floor with double-sided tape. Remove all clutter from floors and stairways, including stacks of books and magazines, blankets and even decorative items. Make sure all wires and cords are removed from walkways, repositioned and secured against walls.
  • Rethink the furniture floor plan. Evaluate the furniture in each room and decide whether it should be repositioned, removed or replaced. Make sure it is positioned to keep primary traffic areas clear and easy to navigate (especially important for wheelchairs, walkers and walking sticks). Cupboards and storage should be easy to access, with everyday items within easy reach and with easy to operate handles. Furniture should sit solidly on the floor and not present a hazard if someone grabs onto it.
  • Update the bathroom. Low-profile non-slip mats are ideal for placing over tiles that can become slippery, and should be positioned by the bath, shower, basin, and toilet. Non-slip strips can also be affixed to the inside of the tub itself. Grab-bars can be installed to make getting into and out of the tub easier. Grab-bars, also highly recommended in the shower and by the toilet, can be easily installed by a plumber or handyman. For seniors with more severe mobility issues, a transfer bench and a hand-held shower are important, yet small investments that make bathing a whole lot safer.
  • Check the lighting. Aging affects our ability to see at night, so bright lighting throughout the house is essential, especially by stairs, hallways, main bathroom and in the master bedroom. Touch lights are also a great idea if light switches are located outside of easy reach when entering a room, and you can also install automatic nightlights in the hallway to assist your parents if they wake up late at night.
  • Ask for help. Even with all these thoughtful changes, there may come a time when your parents simply cannot keep up with their home or self-care on their own. Keep in touch with them about how they are coping and remember that help is always close by. If you want to try a home health aide even for a few hours per week, UMC HomeWorks offers care and services for older adults living at-home, assisting with everything from daily tasks, bathing and cooking, to transport, companionship and health care assistance, all in the comfort of their home.

Setting the Standard for Senior Home Care Services – One of the Leading Home Care Agencies in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, one of New Jersey’s leading home care agencies, we strive for quality senior home care services, including in at-home care for the elderly and respite care through HomeWorks. 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, safety and independence. In addition to healthcare and daily homecare, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

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

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How Virtual Reality Therapy is Helping Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

Older patient using virtual reality glasses

Virtual Reality (VR) and the tech industry are often regarded as a young person’s domain, but the reality says otherwise. VR technology is proving a wonderful and therapeutic resource for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions!

Here are some insights about this breakthrough therapy, from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

As caregivers and family members are all too aware, dementia conditions cause people to lose connection with their lives. From confusion and memory loss to aggression and disorientation, they struggle to relate to the reality around them, especially as the condition progresses.

However, this technology creates a virtual world — one tailored to the specific needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Developed in a partnership between gaming studio, Opaque Media and Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria (a non-profit), this technology offers a richly detailed, beautiful, soothing and fully interactive world.

Virtual Reality as Sensory Therapy 

While many fantastic therapies are available for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, VR offers something new. Using motion-sensing cameras and powerful gaming engines, it becomes a truly immersive sensory therapy.

Focused on positive, soothing imagery, patients can observe and interact with butterflies and other aspects of a peaceful, nature-rich world. While the application of this technology is still new, therapists from Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria report people became more engaged, more interactive and more communicative — even in cases in which they were previously non-verbal.

With the right support, this technology can advance further, with ideas focusing on tailored media design to help trigger memories, relive personal events and engage with loved ones. By all reports, this kind of therapy is poised to be a functional and practical way of providing critical emotional support to patients as well as their loved ones, fighting isolation and enabling the connections so critical to quality of life.

Become Part of the Community at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen, a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) and assisted living community based in Sussex County, aims to provide 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 in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at and book your visit today.

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Is Assisted Living Tax Deductible?

The next numbers are as follows

As an assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, our team often gets asked about the cost of assisted living. With the cost of senior care services on the rise, it’s more important than ever that families know what financial options are available to ensure their loved one gets the best possible care, affordably. One way to help achieve this is through tax deductions for assisted living.

In fact, you may be able to deduct a portion of what you pay for assisted living costs. Medical expenses (including some long-term care expenses) are deductible if they exceed 10% of your gross income in 2019.

What Are the Qualifying Criteria for Assisted Living Tax Deductions? 

In order for assisted living expenses to be tax deductible, the resident has to be considered “chronically ill.” This means that they cannot perform two or more activities of daily living (eating, toileting, transportation, bathing and dressing, etc.) or they require supervision due to a cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or outcome of traumatic brain injury, etc.).

Assisted living services also have to be provided according to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider. This requires a doctor, nurse or social worker to prepare a plan outlining the specific services your loved one needs. Often, this can be done through the assisted living community itself.

While tax deductions usually apply to the assisted living services themselves and not room and board, these can also be included if it is part of the care plan. This often applies to chronically ill residents and residents who are there for medical care.

In the event that your loved one is not a chronically ill resident, they may still deduct a portion of their expenses not related to medical care, such as initiation fees or entrance fees.

If you are an adult child paying for your parent’s assisted living, you are also able to deduct these expenses providing that they meet the criteria above and that you cover more than half of these expenses in the applicable tax year. If you cover between 10 and 50% of these expenses, you can still qualify for a deduction if you contribute according to a Multiple Support Agreement.

This agreement must be signed between all contributing family members and the total contribution must be for more than 50% of your loved one’s expenses. In these agreements, each person will qualify for the deduction.

Visit Our Assisted Living Community in Camden County, NJ and Experience True Independent Living for Seniors 

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 care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide 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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5 Great Ways to Honor Veteran’s Day!

November 11th, a very important day for many Americans and their families, is a wonderful opportunity to remember and thank the men and women who have served our country. For seniors, this is an especially important day, so our home care services team is sharing their best tips for helping your senior loved one honor this day:

  1. Display the flag. While many Americans already do this, it is an especially poignant activity on this special day. Where you fly the flag, or the size of the flag is up to you, but the most important thing is that your loved one gets a chance to participate.
  2. Visit a VA facility. If your loved one is fairly mobile and up to a busier day, then why not visit a VA hospital or assisted living community? It’s a good opportunity to show your support or even share memories. They may offer events that you can participate in or you could even bake a few treats together that will brighten a patient’s day!
  3. Pay respects. If your loved one knew veterans who have passed away, then one good idea is to visit their gravesite and pay your respects. Take the time to talk about the person who has passed and thank them for their service with a poppy or token you can place at the site.
  4. Visit a veteran. If there are any elderly veterans in your neighborhood, then this is the perfect opportunity to visit and thank them in person. It’s a good idea to make up a few care or treat packages together to drop off when you visit. It’s also a great way to reconnect with neighbors and build those essential connections that keep isolation at bay.
  5. Take part in local activities. Check out local community, town and state websites to find out what’s planned for Veteran’s Day in your area. The usual list includes parades, choirs, memorial ceremonies, the Battleship ceremony and much more.

Aging in Place – Qualified Home Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer high-quality home care services in New Jersey 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.

For more information on our at home care agency or our senior homecare services, pleasecontact us today or visit our website at

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Celebrating the Patients and Caregivers this National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Elderly senior person or grandparent's hands with red heart  in support of nursing family caregiver for national hospice palliative care and family caregivers month concept

Hospice care is about providing an essential service that ensures terminally ill loved ones are properly and compassionately cared for as they approach the end of their lives. Palliative carefocuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. In both cases, the goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

As November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, the team at Bridges, our hospice in South Jersey, would like to raise awareness about these services — and the importance of reaching out for compassionate end-of-life care when it becomes necessary.

We’re also taking this month as an opportunity to celebrate the lives of the residents we care for and the dedicated staff who put all their efforts into ensuring the comfort and dignity of those in their care.

Get to Know What Hospice Care is All About 

Each year, around 1.4 million people with life-limiting illnesses receive and benefit from hospice care in the USA. Whether provided at home, in a hospice, assisted living facility or hospital, this care service focuses on symptom and pain management, psychosocial support and emotional support for patients and their loved ones.

This is critical during the last six months of life, when health conditions are no longer curable or treatable, ensuring that terminally ill loved ones have the best quality care and support they need during this journey — and guaranteeing that friends and family spend as much quality time with them as possible in pleasant, comfortable surroundings.

Each patient will have a professional interdisciplinary team dedicated to delivering care tailored to their specific needs and health conditions. This includes doctors and nurses as well as therapists, wellness specialists and more.

In many high-quality hospice communities, residents have private apartments and may to bring many of the comforts of home with them. In most settings, families are well-accommodated and encouraged to spend time — including meals — with their loved ones. There are also spiritual and emotional support structures available for families and loved ones to help them through this time.

Is Our Hospice Neighborhood in South Jersey the Right Choice for Your Senior Loved One? Speak to Our Team Today 

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. It focuses 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 in the Jersey Shore area, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

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