Monthly Archives: December 2019

How is Medicare Changing in 2020?

How is Medicare Changing in 2020

December is the last month of the open enrollment period for Medicare, allowing beneficiaries to review and make changes to their coverage. To help you to make an informed decision, the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County offers some important information on how Medicare is changing in 2020:

Major Changes to Medicare in 2020 

The biggest change that will be implemented in the New Year is that there will be no more first-dollar coverage plans available to beneficiaries. These are also known as Medicare Supplement Plans, and they were designed to leave you with zero out-of-pocket costs. These plans included Plan C, Plan F, and High Deductible Plan F. This will only affect beneficiaries who apply for Medicare from January 2020 and who are considered eligible for Medicare. If you turned 65 before this date, you can still enroll in these discontinued plans.

The other significant change is that premiums for Medicare Part B will be increasing. Part B covers outpatient hospital care, doctor’s bills, and physical therapy among other services. As an optional extra that costs a monthly premium, the premium will go up for everyone by an amount dependent on your income.

Alternatives to First-Dollar Coverage Plans 

If you only turn 65 after January 31, 2020, you cannot enroll in the first-dollar coverage plans. However, alternative options will keep your out-of-pocket costs low. In fact, the only difference between the new plans and the old ones is the Part B deductible ($195 as of 2019).

Alternatives to Plan C 

Plan N – Plan N is a cost-sharing plan in which you have a co-pay of up to $20 for each doctor’s appointment and up to $50 per emergency room visit. If you are on Plan N and go to urgent care rather than your doctor or the emergency room, there is no co-pay.

Plan D – This offers the same protection as Plan C, with the exception of covering the Part B deductible. It has no co-pays.

Alternatives to Plan F 

Plan G – This is the same as Plan F but does not cover the Part B deductible. It offers the best coverage for medical and hospitalization costs, including excess charges. It also offers a lower premium than Plan F. It’s ideal for seniors who want the fullest coverage.

Alternatives to High-Deductible Plan F 

High-Deductible Plan G – This plan is now available for anyone who wants to sign up for an effective alternative to the High-Deductible Plan F. These services will only come into effect on January 1, 2020.

Medicare Premiums for 2020 

Projected approximate Medicare premiums for 2020 are as follows:

Medicare Part B – $144 (an increase of about $8)

Part B deductible –  $197 (an increase of $12)

Part A deductible – $1,420 (an increase of $56)

Looking for a Wonderful Assisted Living Community? Choose Assisted Living at Pitman, 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, compassionate hospice care, respite care, as well as 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 or contact us today or book a personal tour.

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5 Festive Events All Around Town for Seniors and Families!

assisted living Sussex County New Jersey

The Skylands Christmas Light Show & Christmas Village – Sussex County is host to one of the best Christmas villages and light shows in the state! Admission to the outdoor village is free and the light show costs $20 per car. This event features more than 2 million lights along a mile-long drive, Santa’s workshop, an ice rink, s’mores and hot chocolate, and high-quality Christmas vendors.

The Polar Express – If you’d like to take a trip into neighboring Warren County, the Polar Express is a wonderful experience for the whole family. It runs over the weekend from Lehigh Junction in the historic district of Phillipsburg, NJ, and lets everyone relive the wonderful Christmas story of the little boy in The Polar Express. Bring along your cuddliest PJs and get ready for some real magic!

Morris County First Night – Another great short trip away is Morris County First Night in Morristown, NJ. It takes place from 4:45pm to 12midnight. So, it might be a good idea to book an Airbnb for the night – this trip is worth it! This non-alcoholic event has something for everyone, featuring over 400 artists and 80 performers along with two fireworks displays! Events are designed for all ages, from little kids right up to seniors, and there is a complimentary bus and shuttle service.

Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market – This traditional German Christmas Market held at Lake Mohawk in Sparta, is one of the most-loved events in the state of New Jersey. It features beautifully crafted, unique gifts and food from over 100 vendors, along with festive entertainment for the whole family. Everyone involved is a volunteer and all proceeds go to charity!

Annual Holiday Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable) – This annual event in Basking Ridge, NJ, in nearby Somerset County is much-loved by kids and adults alike. Held at the Lord Stirling Stable, it features hayrides to visit Santa, games and craft projects, food, and drink. It also offers a silent auction for charity and the winter horse shows presented by the students.

Celebrate the Festive Season Together with Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community 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 aging in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model and can continue to live in their residential apartments to access additional services as their needs change.

Please contact us to find out more about our CCRC and assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey or assisted living costs. You can also visit our website at and book your visit today.

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5 Must-Try Activities for Visiting Assisted Living this Festive Season

Assisted living Camden County NJ

If you’re visiting a loved one in assisted living this festive season, it’s a good idea to bring along a few ideas and activities to add to the Christmas cheer! Here are five inspirations from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

Make Festive Decorations – If you and your loved one enjoy crafts, then this is the perfect activity! Visit your local craft shop and stock up on material, then check out some interesting craft projects like these cute Christmas hats or make your own Christmas wreaths. Then you can decorate their room or apartment with a festive tree, twinkling lights, and all your newly made decorations!

Get Baking – There are few things as festive as the smell of baked Christmas treats. If your loved one is in an assisted living apartment with a kitchen, it’s a great idea to bring along a few bags of ingredients and bake together. If they don’t have their own kitchen, you can bake Christmas cookies beforehand and spend the day decorating them together.

Relive the Fun of the 40s and 50s – Download classic Christmas movies as well as Christmas radio shows and tunes from your loved one’s youth and settle down with some popcorn and treats to enjoy an evening together around the Christmas tree. There are plenty of options from different streaming services, both paid and free, like YouTube, Apple music store, Spotify, and many others. Good seasonal movies include Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Gift Wrapping Party – Put on some carols, bring along your loved one’s favorite festive season treats, along with gifts and paper, and spend the day drinking hot chocolate, chatting, and wrapping gifts. Remember that giftwrapping doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be fun! You can also spend time together sorting out Christmas stockings for loved ones.

Events at the Assisted Living Community – Get in touch with your loved one’s assisted living community and find out what they have planned for the holidays. Usually, there’s a full roster of events that range from creating crafts and carols to music evenings, movie nights, and more, so chat with your loved one about what they’d like to attend and join in! It’s a great opportunity to show an interest in their friends and companions, getting to know the associates, and having a good time.

Celebrate the Festive Season with Collingswood Assisted Living in Camden County NJ 

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 (especially in the festive season!), we provide the essential resources that promote independence and quality of life. We offer spiritual services for interested seniors and welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

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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Why Do Doctors Recommend Hospice Care?

Hospice Care Jersey Shore

When you go to a doctor, you mainly focus on getting treatment or a cure for your illness. Therefore, when a doctor recommends hospice, it can be difficult to understand. The reality is that doctors want their patients to get the best care possible, and that sometimes means recommending hospice care. Here are some insights from our Bridges hospice in South Jersey.

When Do Doctors Recommend Hospice? 

If curative treatment options are exhausted and no longer work or if a patient no longer wants these treatments, the doctor will recommend hospice care. In order to qualify for this care, they should be evaluated to have six months or less to live. This is not a firm rule however, as it is based on the typical progression of the disease.

How is Hospice Care Different? 

Curative treatments are designed to either slow down or halt the progress of a disease, or to cure a person completely. Hospice care, on the other hand, is about effectively managing the symptoms of the health condition to ensure maximum comfort during the end stage of life. The types of residents we care for include the following two categories:

Residents with Terminal Health Conditions – The unfortunate reality is that some health conditions cannot be cured and, while curative treatments are important for extending the quality and duration of a resident’s life, they will be terminal in the end. Curative treatments can also be very demanding on a patient’s body and well being, and in the event that disease progresses beyond likely recovery, some patients choose to live their last months in comfort rather than attempting further treatments.

Advanced Age Residents – It is natural for the body to slowly stop working effectively as a result of old age. And, therefore, many hospice residents are older. This care program is invaluable to senior health at the end stages of life and helps to significantly reduce hospitalizations. Expert daily care allows loved ones to spend quality time together and ensures every comfort is met in a peaceful and welcoming environment.

Hospice care isn’t simply about changes in a patient’s medical treatment. It is about treating the last stages of life with kindness, respect, and dignity. It focuses on comprehensive assistance and care that ranges from managing daily tasks and ensuring end-of-life wishes are met to helpful therapies, spiritual support, family support, and even companionship and entertainment. In this way, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are prioritized.

Choose Bridges – Our Supportive, Compassionate Hospice Care Program

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. In this program, we focus 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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