Monthly Archives: August 2019

How Moving into Assisted Living Helps Prevent Emergency Hospitalizations

Assisted Living in Gloucester County

Hospitalizations are common for seniors, especially trips to the emergency room as a result of falls, upper respiratory tract infections, medication mismanagement and complications with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But, according to specialists, researchers, and our assisted living team in Gloucester County, it shouldn’t be this way.

According to a congressional report on this issue, up to 60% of Medicare beneficiary visits to emergency rooms and 25% of hospital admissions in the study were preventable. These unnecessary trips to the hospital take a toll not only on hospital resources, but on the seniors themselves. Although Medicare Part A and B provide some coverage, seniors are still often subject to a copay and 20% of the bill.

Seniors often take longer to recover from falls and illness, and are at high-risk of developing secondary infections in a hospital setting because immune systems become far less effective as we age. This means that these hospitalizations can rapidly become very expensive and result in the need for additional care.

Assisted Living Reduces Unnecessary Hospitalization 

A key finding of the above report is that better care in non-hospital settings are a critical component in reducing hospitalizations — and assisted living communities are perfectly positioned to do so.

  • Communities are designed around fall prevention —  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four seniors fall each year. It is the leading cause of injury in seniors, with 3 million visiting the ER each year as a result of a fall. Fall risks can be drastically reduced by changing a senior’s environment — installing handrails, entrance ramps, grab bars in bathrooms, and good lighting. Unlike homes, assisted living apartments are designed with fall prevention in mind.
  • Early detection of illness – Often, hospitalization can be avoided if a health complication is detected early and treated effectively. Assisted living communities have nurses and trained caregivers onsite who seniors interact with daily, so a respiratory illness can be recognized in the very early stages and can usually be treated by a doctor before it gets to a level requiring hospitalization. This means minimal severe symptoms, no emergency treatment costs, and no risk of a hospital-acquired infection.

Visit Pitman, An Assisted Living Community in New Jersey That Cares 

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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4 Tips for Making Your Visit to a CCRC or Assisted Living Community a Success

Assisted Living Bristol Glen

Choosing an assisted living community or CCRC for a loved one is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Once you’ve developed your shortlist through your own research and word-of-mouth recommendations, it’s time to take a tour of each community. This is the best way to get a feel of the place and the people running it, ask any questions you may have, and see if it’s the right fit for your loved one. Here are some tips for your visit, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  1. Hygiene and Cleanliness. Use all your senses when you visit an assisted living community – does it look fresh and clean? Are the buildings well-maintained? What are the housekeeping and laundry services for the apartments? Bad odors throughout the community along with poor maintenance can be a serious warning sign.
  2. Staff Approachability. The quality of the staff — both in terms of their training and their character — are very important as it influences care and quality of life in the community. Observe members of staff as they interact with residents — are they cheerful and helpful? Do they focus on the resident and engage with them?
    It’s a good chance to also ask questions about staffing, so you can find out how many people are involved in caring for the residents and how they are vetted for these positions. You should also meet with the management team as part of your tour.
  3. Meal Times and Activities . Ask if you can have your tour during a meal time or an activity, so you can see what daily life is all about. Find out if you can join your loved one for meals, the quality of the meals and if meals can be prepared in the apartment or only in the dining hall. Get to know the types of activities offered and observe one or two to see how they are managed, if the participants are having fun, and if your loved one would enjoy these social occasions.
  4. Personal Care. Talk to your tour guide about personal care for residents and focus on possible future needs as well as your loved one’s current care needs, as they need to be able to scale services as required. While on your tour, observe other residents to see how they are being cared for they should be well-groomed (hair and nails too) and dressed appropriately for the weather/activity.

Get to Know the Community at 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 free up your time to enjoy life. Our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy independence and privacy on a campus with various care options should 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 to Do When Your Senior Parent Refuses Help They Need

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult man

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they may need a little extra help and care to live life to the fullest – but not everyone sees a helping hand as a positive thing. Many seniors struggle to accept that they need assistance, and this stubbornness can be a big concern for loved ones. Here are some tips from our home health aide services team in New Jersey on what to do when your senior loved one isn’t interested in talking about assistance.

You Can’t Force Someone to Accept Help 

The first thing to realize is that you can’t make your parent accept help – or even accept your advice. Unless they are suffering from a mental or physical health condition that legally allows you to make healthcare decisions on their behalf (Power of Attorney or a legal guardianship), they are legally entitled to make their own decisions.

Don’t Make Ultimatums 

An aggressive approach, even if it’s rational and logical, is going to look like an attack, putting your parent on the defensive. Most older adults who refuse to consider assistance or at home care are rejecting the idea out of fear – fear of getting older, fear of being removed from friends and family, and so forth. Instead, speak to your parent as someone who respects their input and their point of view, and explain your concerns.

Try Meet Them Halfway 

Try to understand where they are coming from and consider their concerns too. If they don’t want to move out of their home or away from their social circle, consider home health aide services rather than assisted living. If they are worried about having to invite someone into their house that they don’t know, then talk with your local service providers about making introductions with different caregivers so your parent can get to know them.

Don’t put any pressure on – your parent needs to come around to the idea of assistance by themselves. Often, they have just as many misconceptions about these services as younger people do, so it is often just a matter of showing how useful and rewarding a little senior care can really be.

Home Health Aide Services New Jersey – Compassionate At Home Care for the Elderly 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we strive to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care through our HomeWorks program. This program is about assisting the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. We can assist you with respite care, overnight care, hourly or live-in care, as well as provide experienced care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

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Many Seniors Suffer from Loss of Appetite – Here’s How to Help

Senior couple preparing salad

Loss of appetite is common among seniors, and is a natural result of being less active, burning fewer calories and requiring less food as we age. However, a complete or severe loss of appetite is something to be concerned about and it’s important that caregivers watch out for this health issue. Here are some insights from our in home respite care team in New Jersey.

What Can Cause Loss of Appetite in Seniors? 

There are a few risk factors that make seniors especially vulnerable to loss of appetite, including these four:

  • Loneliness or depression – According to the AARP, recent surveys show the extent of loneliness and social isolation in seniors, with one third of seniors reporting a lack of companionship and feelings of isolation. This can lead to depression as well as declines in mental and physical health.
  • Medication – Some medications can cause loss of appetite as a side effect.
  • Changes in the senses – As we age, our sensory perception changes, which can make certain foods smell or taste off-putting or different than they once did.
  • Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions can affect appetite, including thyroid disorders, dementia, chronic liver disease, kidney failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A sudden unexplained loss of appetite should be investigated by a doctor.

Four Ways to Help a Senior Regain Their Appetite 

Once any serious issues are ruled out or identified, caregivers can help seniors regain their appetite by:

  1. Having set meal times – While it’s great to get input for when meals should be served and what they should be, it’s a good idea to stick to particular meal times once they have been set. This helps people mentally prepare for mealtimes.
  2. Choose quality over quantity – Because seniors naturally eat less, it’s important that what they do eat is high quality. Choose fresh, high-nutrient foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins rather than processed snack foods or sandwiches. Present them in small meal portions.
  3. Eat together – Meals are social occasions and eating together is a bonding, companionable experience. Bringing some social elements to meal times and making it a more enjoyable experience often has the effect of all parties eating more.
  4. Stick to what they love – Get input on favorite meals and ingredients you can work with through the week, as most people are likely to eat more of the foods they love! Keep it simple, don’t try anything too adventurous, and make sure it’s easy to chew and swallow.

Affordable, Quality Support from In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates, starting as low as $23 per hour, through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aides 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 our in-home respite care services and seniors home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at

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Why are Immunizations Essential for Seniors?

independent living for seniors

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ wants to raise awareness of why immunizations for seniors really matter!

Immunizations and Seniors 

Each year, thousands of adults are hospitalized with diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations, leading to costly medical bills, possible long-term damage to health, and even  risk of death.

Seniors are especially vulnerable as the immune system becomes less effective with age, making it more difficult to fight off infections, and the protection from vaccines you received as a child can wear off. Seniors also often have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, which can be further compromised by contracting additional viruses and infections. Because of these high risk factors, seniors are more likely to require extended hospitalization, when there is a risk of picking up a hospital-acquired infection.

What Vaccines are Recommended for Adults 65 and Older? 

  • Your annual flu vaccine (IIV or RIV)
  • Your tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine (Tdap or Td) every 10 years
  • Zoster recombinant (RZV) vaccine
  • Zoster live vaccine (ZVL)
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23)

Hepatitis (A and B), meningococcal (A, B, C, W and Y) and hemophilus influenza type B, depending on your medical history of vaccines and other risk factors as recommended by your physician. Other vaccines may be recommended if you travel a lot to certain countries or if have a particular pre-existing health condition such as liver disease, heart disease or diabetes.

Medicare Vaccine Coverage

Medicare Part B covers certain immunizations including the seasonal flu shot, seasonal H1N1 flu vaccine, pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine, and hepatitis B shots for high-risk beneficiaries. It will also cover certain vaccines if required as a result of treatment, for example, if you need a tetanus shot after stepping on rusty metal.

Visit Our Assisted living Camden County NJ and See What Senior Independence is All About 

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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What Are the Latest Advancements in Hospice Care?

Hospice Care Jersey Shore

New technologies are transforming every industry, and hospice care is no exception. Here are some exciting new advancements that are entering the industry to improve care for terminal patients.

Predictive Analytics in Hospice Care 

These data systems collect and analyze patient data from medical teams and support systems to help chart and predict changes in a patient’s condition. The more information that registered nurses, social workers and doctors have, the better they can anticipate and respond to changing health conditions in order to provide the best possible care and comfort. This is especially important for patients who are unable to reliably communicate their condition or information about their symptoms, such as dementia patients.

It is also an important training resource for hospice teams who are constantly focused on improving patient care. By having access to this data, doctors, nurses and caregivers can better perceive patterns in patient health deterioration and therefore act faster when these patterns occur.

This has considerable benefit for patient families too, as the hospice team can provide better care coordination and communicate more effectively with family members about their loved one’s condition.

Community-Based Hospice Care 

United Methodist Communities offers community-based hospice care at some of our full service campuses and this trend is becoming more common across the industry due to the considerable benefits of this model. By integrating hospice care with assisted living communities, it’s easier to recognize when residents need to make this transition – and it’s an easier and less traumatic process for the patient because it involves no major move and ensures a seamless transition to a new care team, which is desirable for families, too. Importantly, it has been shown to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and incurring the high costs involved with them, and keeps patient comfort, dignity and security a priority.

Compassionate End-Of-Life Care Services 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 a compassionate, professional hospice care neighborhood at the Jersey Shore 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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