Monthly Archives: January 2019

Start the New Year by Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community

Smiling senior friends standing with arms around

The senior living industry is growing in the USA, with over 40,000 assisted living communities in the country catering to their residents. That’s a lot of choice and it’s easy to see why selecting the right assisted living community can seem like an overwhelming task. Here are some tips from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ.

Our Best Tip? Always Take a Tour of the Assisted Living Community 

A tour is the best way to get to know a community, meet the staff and find out if it’s a good fit for you or your loved one. Here’s a checklist for your visit:

  • Cleanliness, hygiene and maintenance. The facility should feel clean and fresh and be in good repair. Ask about how often the apartments are cleaned and what kind of maintenance is provided — and don’t forget to ask about laundry services, too.
  • Staff friendliness. The quality of the staff can make or break the assisted living experience. Watch how staff members interact with residents, find out how many staff members are routinely available to assist and how the team works. Chat with the management team about their vision for the community and how they are achieving their strategic goals.
  • Meals and dining. The dining experience is another key element to assess quality of resident life. Be sure to discuss meal choices, the availability of meals and snacks throughout the day. Find out if they are nutritionally balanced and the policies on family and friends dining with their loved ones. Also, ask what the procedure is if a resident wants to eat in their apartment or is unable to join in the communal space.
  • Personal care and assisted living services. The extent and organization of the services offered is unique to each, so it’s vital that you talk about exactly what they can and cannot provide. Scalable services, both medical and activities of daily living, are good options, as it means your loved one can stay long-term, even if their needs escalate as they age.
  • Move out criteria. Some assisted living communities are not equipped to manage certain health conditions or other issues, which may mean that you or your loved one would have to move out under certain circumstances. This can be very challenging and confusing for any resident, so be sure that you know their specific move out criteria before you sign up.
  • Follow your instincts. Take the time to envision yourself or your loved one living day-to-day in the community. Consider some important questions. Would you feel comfortable and at home there? Would you feel happy to visit loved ones there? Or as a resident;  welcome visitors? Would it give you peace of mind? You know yourself and your loved one better than anyone, after all!

A Warm and Welcoming Community – Assisted Living Gloucester County 

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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A Guide to Thyroid Diseases and Health Issues

Checking the Lymph Nodes

It’s Thyroid Awareness Month, and our in home senior care team is bringing you these insights to help raise awareness of thyroid health conditions and how they affect seniors. By helping people recognize symptoms and receive treatment for these conditions, we hope more seniors can truly enjoy their Golden Years!

What is the Thyroid? 

This is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. Although it’s small, it has a huge role to play in the human body, releasing hormones that control your metabolism – essentially controlling the way each cell and organ uses energy.

It helps regulate hundreds of critical functions, including:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Body weight
  • Muscle strength and control
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Digestive functions
  • Mood
  • Bone maintenance
  • And much more

Because it affects so many different systems, it can be very difficult to link different (seemingly unrelated) symptoms to a thyroid health condition. Other indicators that you may be at risk include a family history of thyroid conditions, certain medical conditions like Graves or Plummer’s disease, and iodine deficiency.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms 

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone, causing many of your body’s systems to speed up. You may only experience some of the following symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including sudden weight loss, anxiety or jitteriness, tremors in hands or fingers, irregular or pounding heartbeat, sweating, increased appetite, increased body heat, and muscle weakness. It can also cause your thyroid gland to become enlarged.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms 

This is when the hormone output of the thyroid drops below ideal levels, often causing the body’s systems to slow. Symptoms can include fatigue, lack of energy, feeling cold, dry skin, high cholesterol, brittle hair and nails, unexplained weight gain, muscle weakness and aches, and depression.

Treatment for Thyroid Conditions 

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication or radioactive iodine to slow hormone production, while hypothyroidism is treated by taking a synthetic version of the hormone produced by your thyroid to bring you up to healthy levels. It’s a fairly simple treatment that can make an incredible difference in your health and quality of life – all it takes is a blood test to diagnose.

Companionship, Skilled Nursing and Respite Care from In Home Senior Care Specialists 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Through this senior home care program, trained staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. Each care plan is designed around the client’s needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

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

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Need a New Year’s Resolution? 5 Reasons to Volunteer at Your Local CCRC in Sussex County, NJ!


It’s 2019 and if there’s one thing the New Year is all about, it’s self-improvement! If you’re setting out your goals and are looking for some rewarding ways to live a happier, more fulfilled life, we have a suggestion for your list — volunteering at your local CCRC or assisted living community. Here’s why:

  1. It’s ideal for almost any age. Whether you’re a teen, an adult or retired, it’s a great place to volunteer. There are roles for any age group, whether you want to share your time, provide companionship or help out with your skills.
  2. It’s great for your wellbeing and health. Countless studies have shown that volunteering is key to living a full and happy life — you can be proud of what you do, have a sense of accomplishment from helping out, and see the very real effects of giving back to your community. These studies have also shown that people who lend a hand are usually healthier and live longer lives, lowering risks of depression, anxiety and improving brain function.
  3. It really makes a difference. Getting that gym contract isn’t a bad idea, but if you really want to make a big difference, volunteering is the way to go. By giving back to seniors, sharing their lives and helping out – even with the little things — you’ll make an impact that lasts a lifetime!
  4. It’s easy to contribute. No matter how much or little time you have, or what your skills are, there’s something you can do. There’s so much that can be done, from helping out in the gardens, donating goods and treats, giving talks and demonstrations, to holding classes and even just spending time with residents, so you’ll always be useful.
  5. You’ll expand your skillset. As a volunteer, you can learn new skills too, which can be a great start to a new career path! You might discover a passion for senior care, nursing or fundraising, learn administrative and organization skills, or even great event planning skills.

Visit Bristol Glen, Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that 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 in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at and book your visit today.

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Over 60? These 6 Eye Care Tips are For You!

Senior woman visiting optician.

It’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month and Eye Care Month, so the team at our assisted living community is sharing their best eye health tips for people over 60!

  1. Eye tests, eye tests, eye tests. We’re sure you’ve heard it countless times, but your annual eye examination is one of the most important and effective things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. It’s not just about spotting deteriorating vision, it’s about early detection of different eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  2. Wear the right lenses for your vision. Vision deteriorates as we age and most people over 60 have several pairs of eyeglasses lying around the house. Wearing the right lenses for your vision is essential however, so don’t let yours get out-of-date. This can result in eye strain, headaches and increase the risk of falls.
  3. Know the risks. Did you know that women are more likely than men to have glaucoma — and that they are 24% less likely to get treatment? And that genetics play a role in the development of eye health conditions? Knowing your eye health risks and family history are important — this way, you can take action quickly if you notice any warning signs.
  4. Sun protection. Always wear quality sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays when you’re outdoors, as this will reduce your risks of cataracts, pterygium and macular degeneration. Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines your eyelids and covers your eyeball.
  5. Eat well. A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins is important for eye health, and studies have shown that fish and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce macular degeneration. A balanced diet also helps keep blood sugar and blood pressure regular.
  6. Get medical attention for any eye injuries. Any form of trauma to the eye, whether it’s from a fall, a foreign object or anything else, should be attended to as soon as possible by a medical professional. This will ensure the issue is treated properly and that risk of eye diseases or infections is reduced.

A Full and Abundant Life – Assisted Living Camden County, NJ 

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 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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Effective Therapies to Change Senior’s Lives for the Better this New Year!

Positive joyful man waving his hand

Aging is a process filled with new challenges and adjustments, and the effects of aging – from losing bone and muscle tissue to changes in cognitive functionality – often mean that seniors can no longer participate in activities they previously enjoyed. However, this is more about discovering new activities and paths to wellness and happiness! Here are some great therapeutic, fun activities ideal for seniors from our in home respite care services team.

  • Art therapy: Arts and crafts are a source of enjoyment at any age, but this type of creative expression is especially beneficial to seniors. It provides mental stimulation, improving cognitive and sensorimotor functions, triggering the memory, building self-esteem and self-awareness. And there are so many creative activities to choose from, including painting and drawing, origami, crafting photo albums, knitting, weaving baskets, making jewelry and pottery – there’s something for everyone.
  • Movement therapy: If you have a senior loved one, you know just how important it is – and how challenging it can be – to stay strong, fit and mobile. Movement therapy is calibrated especially for seniors and customized to their current mobility and health status. Not only does preserving or improving mobility help seniors live a more full and independent life, it also fights a wide range of health conditions, improves the immune system, helps create social connections, improves appetite and memory, and fights depression. Again, there are so many activities to choose from, including water aerobics, tai chi, swimming, nature walks, dancing, yoga, and gardening.
  • Music therapy: As everyone knows, nothing can quite lift spirits and transform a mood as hearing your favorite song! Music therapy, whether it’s learning an instrument, taking singing lessons, joining a choir or dancing, is a critical part of living a full life. The activities are social, co-operative and encourage engagement, helping build social connections, relive good memories and living a life of purpose and accomplishment.

In Home Respite Care Services in NJ – Experienced Home Health Aide Services for Seniors 

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

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

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Insights from Bridges Hospice: Coping with Grief

I find comfort in being with you

One of life’s greatest challenges is coping with the loss of a loved one. Just like every person is unique, so the grieving process is different for every individual. Here are some insights tips to support those grieving from the team at our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey.

What is Grief? 

It’s important to know that grief is a natural process and response to loss, whether it’s the loss of a loved one through death, the loss of a relationship, the loss of health or any other experience when something or someone we love is no longer with us. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief can be. There is absolutely no shame in how you feel — it’s normal and appropriate, and there are healthy ways to deal with this pain and come to terms with your loss.

Inside the Grieving Process and Why Grieving is Important 

Everyone’s grieving process is different and there is no right or wrong way to grieve, as a lot depends on your personality, coping style, relationship to the person for whom you are grieving, and even your life experience. For this reason, there is no schedule for grief or healing. Above all, patience is essential.

Grieving may seem like an unhelpful process, but it’s important for a few reasons. First, it helps us acknowledge the reality of death and therefore, the importance and value of the life that has been lost. It also assists us to process emotions associated with that person, facilitating us forward rather than being stuck in the past or in a negative emotional state. It also enables us to redefine who we are without that person and relationship, prompting healing and building new relationships with others.

Without a healthy grieving process, we can easily get stuck in numbness, have trouble maintaining relationships or building new ones, project damaging emotions onto other relationships or even lose a part of ourselves.

Where to Find Support as You Grieve 

  • Take care of yourself – Make sure you are eating well, getting enough rest and exercise – promoting wellbeing and fighting depression.
  • Acknowledge your loss – Give yourself time and space to feel sad or remember your loved one rather than keeping constantly busy. Write down memories of them or notes about how you’re feeling or what you want to say to them.
  • Share your loss – A good network of support is incredibly helpful, whether it’s talking to a good friend, a support group, a spiritual advisor or a therapist.
  • Give yourself time – Try not to make any major life changes (new job, new home, moving states, etc.) in at least the first year after a significant loss. If you have to make these changes, make sure you have a strong support network with you.

Support and Care for Patients and Loved Ones at Our Hospice Neighborhood in South Jersey 

The Shores, part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers compassionate, professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. This program 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 Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

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