Monthly Archives: April 2019

What Does it Take to Work in the Assisted Living Industry?

Happy And Confident Woman At Work As Nurse In Hospital

The senior living industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the USA, with a forecasted 1.2 million employees need by 2025. This makes it a great industry for people who are looking for a career that’s in high demand, but there’s much more to working in this industry than just having valuable skills. Here are some insights into what it takes to thrive in this industry, from our assisted living team in Gloucester County.

What Roles are Available in the Assisted Living Industry?

 Assisted living communities are all about teamwork, so a wide range of roles and specialists are needed to work together to provide a high-quality living experience. These roles can include:

  • Personal care – Certified nursing assistants, orderlies and personal attendants who assist with tasks of daily living (grooming, bathing, eating, dressing, etc.) and (depending on role) medical assistance (medication management, wound care, monitoring, etc.)
  • Medical teams – Headed by a Medical Director who oversees medical care, this team can include Registered Nurses, therapists, wellness specialists and doctors.
  • Administrative staff – This team oversees the administrative side of the community, including day-to-day-management and the co-ordination of all the different departments.
  • Housekeeping and maintenance staff – From laundry and janitorial services to maintaining the grounds and buildings, these staff departments play a critical role in keeping the facility safe, attractive and functional.

Why Working in Assisted Living is So Rewarding

Every day is different – While routines and schedules are part of a well-organized community, there is plenty of variety in every role, especially in caregiving. Caregivers need to thrive on new challenges and have to have a flexible approach to their work, but you’ll never get bored.

  • You learn a lot – Caregivers and assistants have to have a lot of training to take on these roles, so you get plenty of opportunities to increase your skills. Your on-the-job experience will be full of variety too, as you have to assist seniors with a wide range of physical and mental health conditions.
  • Your co-workers are a team – It’s common for most organizations to refer to their employees as a team, but nowhere is this more true than in assisted living. Your co-workers have a unique understanding of what this job takes and everyone joins in to support each person whether it’s a good or a bad day.
  • You get to connect with residents – Unlike in medical facilities where patients come and go every few days, assisted living means residents are generally here for the long-term. This is something that many staff members love, as they get to form close relationships with different residents and their families, and share each other’s stories and lives.
  • The work is meaningful – Even on the toughest day, the work you do makes a real difference in someone’s life. Working with seniors is very fulfilling and having the opportunity to care for people, assist them in their daily tasks and bring companionship into their lives is very satisfying!

Visit Our Warm and Welcoming Assisted Living Community in 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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The Best Apps for Seniors

Senior man at home

Technology is invaluable when it comes to supporting a high quality of life for seniors, from helping families and loved ones stay in touch to ensuring rapid medical support when needed. Here are some of the best apps for seniors, from our senior home health care services team in NJ.

  • Lumosity – This app is packed full of games and activities designed to keep the mind active and thriving. From memory games and puzzles to riddles and more, the app is diverse enough that anyone can find an activity that they enjoy. This mental stimulation is key to staying sharp and fighting disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Pandora – Everyone loves music – it uplifts you, brings back great memories and gets those feet dancing! This app allows you to access the music you love whenever you want, from playlists that follow certain moods (relaxing or inspiring content) to personalized radio stations filled with all your favorites.
  • Senior Savings – This app helps track down local discounts and savings, which is ideal for bargain-hunting seniors. It tells you exactly which companies have specials on for seniors, from hotels and restaurants to retail stores.
  • Red Panic Button – This app works in the same way as a medical alert necklace – instead of wearing one of those, you can just press a button on your phone to alert emergency services that assistance is needed. It also sends out the current location, so emergency services can easily find someone in need.
  • Senior Phone – Smartphone interfaces can be confusing for many seniors who aren’t used to using complex devices, or who have trouble reading or identifying icons close up. It replaces the standard Android interface with a large-text, simplified version, including large buttons for “call” or “text” as well as options for sending an SOS message in an emergency.
  • LibriVox – This provides access to over 15,000 free audiobooks in a wide range of genres all recorded by volunteers. These can be streamed over WiFi or downloaded for listening at a later stage. It’s a great option for seniors who love to read but have started to find it a challenging activity.
  • MedWatcher – Medication management can quickly become a challenge for seniors and missing critical medication, taking conflicting medications together or accidentally overdosing is a real risk. This app was developed with the FDA and helps schedule all medications for you and has a comprehensive directory of drug descriptions, uses and side effects.

Senior Home Health Care Services in NJ Promote Well-being, Independence and Quality of Life 

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 independent home care program, trained and certified home health aidescan assist seniors and their families through comprehensive senior home health care services. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

For more information on at home care for elderly or to contact fully qualified home health aides in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at

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What is Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specific medical care service offered at our senior residence, The Shores in Cape May County New Jersey. Here is some insight into what this service entails and how it works, from our team.

Helping to the elderly

What is Palliative Care? 

Palliative care is a set of medical services designed to improve the quality of life for residents with serious illnesses and their families. It identifies, assesses, and treats symptoms. These health conditions may include any stage of cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and more. It is appropriate at any age and can occur alongside curative treatment.

In palliative care, a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and other relevant health practitioners address the needs of residents and their families offering psychosocial and spiritual support, as well as bereavement counselling, if indicated. This focus may also positively influence the course of illness.

The team customizes care plans for residents’ specific needs, which could include loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. The prescribed treatment and therapies aim to prolong life. People also call palliative care, comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management.

In order to deliver the most benefit, the team takes time getting to know each resident’s specific needs and concerns. They communicate often with each other, the resident, and loved ones to ensure thorough monitoring and efficient follow-up.

Palliative care is important because curative treatments for serious illnesses are sometimes taxing on the residents. Professional assistance can make a big difference in managing any side effects. Starting a palliative care program upon diagnosis of a serious illness benefits residents and helps ensure a better quality of life.

What is the Difference Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care?

The Shores in Cape May County provides both palliative and hospice care services. While both palliative and hospice care provides comfort, these services are very different.

Palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and continue at the same time as the treatment designed to cure the disease or health condition. It offers a support system to help people live as actively as possible.

Hospice care begins only after curative treatment brings no further improvement. Hospice starts when a medical professional determines that the person is not going to survive beyond six months.

Customized Palliative Care at the Jersey Shore

The Shores, a part of the United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, provides dedicated palliative and hospice care through Bridges, located in an assisted living neighborhood. Trained and experienced professionals in medical, emotional, and spiritual care bring UMC’s compassionate approach to the treatment of medically challenged seniors. Our program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care programs and support.

If you choose our Bridges neighborhood for your palliative care needs, loved ones are encouraged to bring plenty of home comforts along with them. At The Shores, we offer many amenities for residents and families, including linens, Wi-Fi, 24/7 food availability, dining rooms, café, outdoor courtyards, life enrichment programs, beauty/barber salon, music room, and much more. Most importantly, we recognize that we are caring for families, as much as for the palliative care residents in our community.

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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Creating Awareness Around Parkinson’s Disease

Hand Showing Ribbon With Hope Text

It’s National Parkinson’s Awareness Month and because 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with this condition each year, our home health aide services team would like to share some essential information to help raise awareness and support for these patients.

What is Parkinson’s Disease? 

This is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system, causing symptoms like tremors, stiffness, poor mobility and slurred speech, which worsen over time. This is caused by dopamine-producing neurons in the mobility area of the brain dying off, so this part of the brain does not get the required chemicals it needs to send signals to the rest of the body. The reason for these neurons dying isn’t yet known.

There is no cure for this disease, but there are treatment options available that can improve symptoms. It is critical that this condition is diagnosed early to ensure the best possible care.

What are the risk factors for this condition? 

There are certain risk factors that can place you at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease, including:

  • A genetic history of the condition – If multiple family members related to you have been affected by the disease.
  • Environmental triggers – Exposure to certain toxic substances including herbicides and pesticides may lead to Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Age – Most people diagnosed with this disease are 60 years old or more.
  • Sex – Men are more likely to have this condition than women.

Complications of Parkinson’s Disease 

As the disease progresses, patients often experience additional challenges to their daily life, many of which can be treated or supported by caregiving services. These include:

  • Cognitive difficulties – Difficulty thinking or remembering, similar to dementia conditions.
  • Depression or mood changes – This is common in the early stages of the condition and getting effective treatment and support is key to managing the progress of the disease and quality of life.
  • Chewing, eating and swallowing challenges – The disease can affect oral functions, leading to choking risks and poor nutrition. Food needs to be adjusted and eating monitored to ensure proper wellbeing, comfort and safety.
  • Sleeping problems – Tremors and muscle spasms often lead to poor sleep quality, and waking up at night or falling asleep in the day is common. REM sleep disorders may also occur, leading to patients acting out their dreams. This can be assisted with medication.
  • Toileting challenges – As muscle control becomes compromised, patients can experience difficulty controlling their bladder. The digestive tract can also be compromised, leading to constipation Home health aide services and medication are an invaluable source of support here.

Home Help Services for the Elderly – Supporting Parkinson’s Patients in New Jersey 

Whether you need residential in home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one with Parkinson’s on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aide services staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on residential in home respite care in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at

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4 Tips for Celebrating Aging!

Senior African-American man practicing golf swing

We live in a culture that’s so focused on youth that we often forget to celebrate something that’s equally impressive and wonderful – getting older! Reaching our senior years is an accomplishment that we should all do more to appreciate. Here are some tips from the experts at Bristol Glen, our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

  1. Be proud of your loved one’s age (and your own!): In Native American, Greek, Indian and African-American cultures (as well as many more) people are respected for reaching their senior years – but the positive attitude starts with you! Encourage your senior loved ones to celebrate their birthdays with friends and family and treat it like the accomplishment it is. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be filled with love and laughter.
  2. Follow a passion: For many seniors, one of their biggest challenges is finding a reason to get up in the morning. Not having a purpose can make a person feel lonely and compromises their sense of worth. But being a senior means you have so much to give, from both your work and life experience! Celebrate by sharing it with others by joining a mentoring program or making use of your skills by volunteering your time for a cause close to your heart.
  3. Start a new hobby: The saying that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick is wrong – as a senior, you can learn to do anything you want! It’s healthy too, as the act of learning provides the mental stimulation that every brain needs to stay fit and help fight off cognitive disorders. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either – there are plenty of organizations that offer courses that are free for seniors or offer a discount. Learn the piano, start dancing lessons, get involved with board games or learn computer skills and show off your new skills!
  4. Have fun: Too often, seniors are criticized for not acting their age, but life is all about having fun. Dress up, look your best, play with the grandkids, make a mess, sing along to your favorite music, go to the movies or a concert – whatever you love best. Being a senior isn’t about always staying home and living a quiet life – after all, every day is worth celebrating your own way.

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

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of ageing in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model where they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

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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What is Occupational Therapy and How Does it Help Seniors?

Occupational therapist works with an elderly woman

It’s Occupational Therapy Month and our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, would love to share a little insight into how these talented and valuable members of the medical community make life easier and better for seniors.

What is Occupational Therapy?

 This is a very broad type of therapy that focuses on helping people of all ages and abilities to gain or improve their ability to take part in daily tasks (occupations) and live better with injury, illness or disability.

Occupational therapists work with seniors to provide support during physical or cognitive changes, to recover from injury, illness or surgery, and to assist with disabilities. This type of therapy takes a very holistic approach to making daily tasks easier, so they are able to evaluate and adapt aspects of the patient’s environment as well as help them on a personal physical or mental level.

Why is Occupational Therapy So Important?

One of the biggest fears for seniors is losing their independence – and an occupational therapist plays a vital role in helping seniors live longer, better and healthier lives, allowing people to stay independent for longer. They work alongside a medical team to develop customized treatment plans that promote self-reliance, physical health and key abilities that strengthen self-care in a range of areas including cooking, eating, grooming and dressing.

Unlike physical therapists, occupational therapists focus on all the activities of daily living rather than on a specific injury or issue. They work with seniors who need assistance regaining mobility, range of motion and other skills that are needed for everyday care.

For seniors with dementia conditions, an occupational therapist can assess a patient’s cognitive abilities, use behavior modification to assist with personality changes, educate loved ones about the condition and develop activities and exercises that provide sensory stimulation, help calm patients or teach coping mechanisms to assist when memory fails.

In addition, their work helps prevent injuries, as seniors who are stronger, healthier and more confident in their everyday tasks are less likely to fall or injure themselves and also tend to recover much faster if an accident does happen. They can also consult on making homes and other spaces safer for a senior.

UMC Assisted Living in Camden County NJ – Actively promoting Independence and Quality of Life 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 at Collingswood, 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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