Monthly Archives: May 2019

What are ADLs and IADLs?

Smiling young woman shaping dough

As with any other industry, senior home health care services have certain jargon we use in our care programs, including the terms ADLs and IADLs. Here is some insight into what these terms mean, from our team.

First, ADLs are Activities for Daily Living – the basic self-care tasks that every adult needs to be able to handle during the course of a normal day. There are 6 ADLs, namely:

  • Eating – Feeding yourself and getting adequate nutrition to stay healthy.
  • Bathing – Getting in and out of the shower or tub safely, and cleaning yourself properly.
  • Dressing – Putting clothes on easily and ensuring that those clothes are appropriate for the weather.
  • Toileting – Recognizing urges to go to the bathroom and using the toilet without assistance.
  • Mobility – The ability to walk, go up and down stairs, get up from seated positions and getting up out of bed.
  • Grooming – Brushing your teeth and maintaining personal hygiene.

IADLs are more complex tasks that support adult independence, and include everything from managing finances, driving safely and managing medication properly to shopping, basic home maintenance and housework.

Why do ADLs and IADLs Matter? 

These skills all revolve around being able to live an independent life and the loss of these skills can indicate that assistance is required for someone to live a safe and enjoyable quality of life.

IADLs and ADLs are evaluated by senior care specialists including doctors, social workers and other healthcare practitioners to ensure that seniors get the care they need when they need it, rather than waiting until an emergency situation to intervene. They are also used to evaluate if a senior meets certain criteria for particular services like Medicaid. If you are caring for a senior loved one, it’s important to know these IADLs and ADLs so that you get a clear picture of the kind of assistance they need, and to watch for any deterioration that could indicate health issues. For example, deterioration of IADLS and ADLS is common in early stages of dementia conditions.

Looking for Qualified Aides to Provide At Home Care for Elderly? Our Team Can Help

At United Methodist Communities, 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 one of the leading home health aide agencies and senior care programs in New Jersey.

Through our senior home health care services, trained and highly experienced staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. 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 our seniors home health care services, please contact us today or visit our website at

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How to Finance Senior Care – We Answer Common Questions

Angels are often disguised as daughters

Shot of a doctor discussing a senior woman’s health with her and her daughter by her side

One of the considerations of moving a loved one into an assisted living community is how to pay for these services or create a budget for them. Here are some insights from our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost? 

This depends entirely on the institution, their location and the type of care your loved one needs, but the national average is between $2,000 and $5,000 per month. It’s best to look for an assisted living community that offers scalable services, so you aren’t paying for services your loved one doesn’t need.

Can You Rely on Medicare? 

Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide for any of the costs associated with assisted living, as this service is considered a medical service rather than a medical expense (like medication, for example).

Are There Other Financing Options? 

Banks and financing companies do offer short-term bridging loans to help families play for assisted living. It is important to speak to several qualified lenders to ensure you get the best possible rates and conditions on the loan.

Usually, this option is used if a family decides to sell property (for example, their loved one’s home) to fund the assisted living move, and needs financing to cover expenses while the property is on the market.

Another option is to sell your loved one’s life insurance policy. Unfortunately, this will be a lower reimbursement than if the policy was left in place and it is recommended that you speak to an elder law attorney to ensure that this is the best path to take.

For veterans, it’s possible to apply for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. Many veterans and their families are unaware of this benefit and it can be incredibly helpful in making assisted living expenses more affordable. In fact, married veteran who qualify can currently receive $2,127 per month, a spouse who needs care can receive $1,408 per month, a single unmarried veteran can receive $1,794 per month, and a surviving spouse with no dependents can receive $1153 per month.

Get to Know the Team at Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester County, NJ 

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 or contact us today or book a personal tour.

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6 Things You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

Doctor Checking Blood Pressure

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, so the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey would like to share some facts about this health condition that can help save lives!

  • High blood pressure is a primary or contributing cause to almost 1,000 deaths per day: This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who says that high blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure and kidney disease.
  • 1 in 5 American adults don’t know they have high blood pressure: 7 in 10 adults in the USA have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and use medication to manage it. An annual health checkup is essential to monitoring blood pressure.
  • It may be linked to dementia: Recent studies have shown indications that high blood pressure could be a contributor to dementia conditions and loss of cognitive function, especially if high blood pressure develops between 45-65 years old.
  • It’s not just a senior condition: Young people can get high blood pressure too, especially between the ages of 25-45 years old. This and the high obesity rates among young people are thought to be some of the reasons why strokes are on the rise in this age group.
  • There aren’t usually any symptoms: It can be impossible to tell if you have high blood pressure, which is why it’s often called “the silent killer”. Even if you feel completely healthy, have your blood pressure checked by a doctor for your peace of mind – it’s painless! This is especially important if you are in a higher-risk group, which includes women and African American men.
  • It is manageable: The most important fact is that having high blood pressure isn’t an automatic death sentence – if you manage it correctly. Getting diagnosed early is key, and your doctor can recommend a regimen that may include weight loss and dietary as well as lifestyle changes along with medication that can help you live a long, enjoyable and healthy life!

Become Part of a Community 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 and book your visit today.

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What to do When Each Parent has Different Care Needs

Senior man and female carer enjoying coffee at home

Each person ages differently and it’s normal for one parent to need minimal assistance while the other requires far more intensive care. Here’s some advice to help you ensure both parents get the right amount of assistance, from our home health aide services team in New Jersey.

Is Living Together No Longer an Option? 

Whether it’s due to an age difference, illness or other complications, senior couples are often faced with the decision to move into assisted living. As much as your parents may want to continue living together, different care needs can make this a challenge, if not impossible. For families, this means that one parent may have to transition into assisted living alone.

Coping with separation can be difficult, even if it’s for the best. It’s important for family caregivers to ensure regular visits (your local Department on Aging may be able to assist with transportation services), create a schedule for family activities, and focus on self-care.

When faced with this difficult decision, it’s important not to focus on feelings of guilt, but rather, to contribute positively to shared decision-making, providing support, and – importantly – having quality time together.

Are Home Health Aide Services an Alternative to Assisted Living? 

Every provider is different, whether you are looking at senior home care services or assisted living communities, so it’s important to research and find out if they can meet your loved one’s needs.

Professional home health aide services can be a viable alternative to moving into an assisted living community, especially when parents have different care requirements. The provider can do a detailed assessment of your loved one’s needs and make recommendations about  the services and type of care they offer, with some providers offering everything from assistance with chores and transport, as well as skilled nursing care, 24-hour care, and assistance with daily living activities.

This allows your parents to stay in their home together and continue living as independently as possible. These services can also be scaled up or down to meet changing needs as you or your parents require, which gives you the benefit of flexibility.

Skilled, Compassionate Home Health Aide Professionals in New Jersey 

Whether you need a permanent home health aide services in New Jersey or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one temporarily with respite care, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive training and experience in at home care for elderly, including assisting Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

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

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Enjoying the Summer Sunlight – Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D and calcium are vital for healthy bones, but older adults are likely to suffer from a deficiency in these two important nutrients. This is because our ability to absorb nutrients decreases as our bodies get older. Here are some insights from our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ, on why this happens and what you can do about it.

Why Seniors are at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

As we age, certain changes take place that make it more difficult to supply the body with a healthy amount of calories and other nutrients. This includes:

  • Loss of appetite, which is very common amongst seniors.
  • Decreased absorption of nutrients by the small intestine and inability of the cells to adapt to lower levels of nutrients.
  • Less frequent exposure to sunlight, which is needed for the body to synthesize Vitamin D, and the skin’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D also decreases with age.
  • The kidney’s ability to convert Vitamin D into its most active form decreases with age.
  • Seniors spend more time indoors, especially when living in an assisted living facility or if they have mobility issues. The lack of sunshine over the winter months makes it even more of a challenge to getting the recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D is important at every stage of life, keeping muscles, tendons and bones healthy and strong. It also performs an important function in regulating the growth and development of different tissues in the body, keeping muscles functional and carrying messages through the nervous system.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that seniors between the ages of 65 and 88 who have a Vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have a physical limitation than similarly aged seniors with healthy Vitamin D levels. 70% of the seniors with the deficiency were also more likely to develop further physical limitations.

Vitamin D therefore plays an important role in keeping seniors active, healthy and independent, and it’s important that these nutrient levels are monitored and supplemented as needed. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that the average senior requires 800 – 100 IU/day, increasing to as much as 2000 IU/day for seniors with limited sun exposure or suffer from obesity, osteoporosis or malabsorption.

Visit Our Assisted living Camden County NJ – A Community that Promotes Senior Independence

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.

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How to Say Goodbye to Your Senior Loved One


Life is full of challenges, and one of the most difficult things to do is to say goodbye to a loved one. Here is some advice from the team at our hospice in South Jersey to help support you and your loved one during this emotional time.

  • Feel grateful for the opportunity: Many people don’t get the opportunity to properly say goodbye to a loved one, so it’s important to remember this and make the most of this opportunity to share time together, even though it’s difficult. No one wants to say goodbye and it’s hard to know what to say, but it’s an opportunity to say the important things to each other to give you both peace.
  • Be honest and open: Often, terminal patients feel the additional strain of having to be strong for their family and friends. Instead, be honest and open with your loved one and acknowledge the truth of what they are going through. Don’t feel pressured to bring up the subject directly but be open to listening if they want to talk about it – and don’t tell them they’ll get better soon.
  • Laugh together: Saying goodbye is a chance not only to tell someone you love them and will miss them, it’s also a good chance to relive your best memories together. Don’t feel like you have to stay somber and sad – if you heard a funny story that morning you know your loved one would laugh at, tell them all about it. Remind them of all the good times you had together, and it will lift your hearts and spirits.
  • Reassure your loved one:Your loved one may express concerns about everyone they are leaving behind, whether it’s about a family argument that they would like to see resolved, or difficulties other loved ones are going through. Even if you have doubts, now is the right time to reassure them. You don’t have to lie, but it’s important to tell your loved one that everyone will be okay, that you’ll do what you can to help, and that you’ll all support each other.
  • Talk to your hospice team:It’s normal to feel unprepared for a loved one’s final days and hours, but our hospice team is there to answer your questions and support you as well as your loved one. We can help you prepare for this time emotionally and spiritually as well as practically, helping you to plan a peaceful and comforting farewell for your loved one.

Compassionate End-Of-Life Care Services and Support from Our Hospice in South Jersey

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 are called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients 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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