Monthly Archives: April 2020

3 Unlikely Ways to Catch COVID-19

handmade-masks - COVID-19

As an assisted living community in Gloucester County, we know exactly how much everyone is being inundated with COVID-19 information, tips, and news. While it’s important to stay safe and sanitize, there are also some myths and exaggerations making the rounds that have made folks a bit panicky.

It’s important to know what’s real and what is not when it comes to how this disease is spread and how it is not spread. Here are a few ways that you are unlikely to catch COVID-19, as backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO):

  1. You can NOT contract the virus by sharing a washing machine with a coronavirus-infected person.

It is recommended that when you handle the dirty laundry of someone who is sick or has been exposed to the coronavirus, you wear gloves. Keep the gloves you use for sorting laundry in a separate bag and make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after removing your gloves or if you handled the laundry with your bare hands.

It is okay to wash the laundry of someone who is ill along with the laundry of other members of the household. As long as you take measures to safely handle contaminated items, there’s no need to do a separate load for those linens and clothes, according to the CDC.

  1. Because I used a homemade disinfectant, I’m not getting rid of the virus, I have to buy store disinfectant, or I might catch it.

Brand-name disinfectants are flying off store shelves; shoppers all around the world are looking for effective ways to combat the COVID-19 viruses. If you cannot find disinfectant in your store, homemade disinfectant is just as good as store bought in killing the virus as long as the right ingredients are used for making it. Combining one-third of a cup of non-expired bleach with a gallon of water is a highly effective disinfectant, says the CDC. Bleach is highly reactive, so make sure you have plenty of ventilation while you are cleaning. Improper use or accidental ingestion can cause other health problems.

  1. New coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites. 

Mosquitoes cause over half a million deaths each year and hundreds of millions of cases of severe illness by transmitting diseases. But there is no scientific evidence to suggest mosquitoes are transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19. “To date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes,” says the World Health Organization. The coronavirus is a respiratory virus, which can be transmitted through droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

There is still much more to learn about the coronavirus but based on current research available, it’s highly unlikely a mosquito will pick up the virus by biting an infected person, let alone be able to pass it on.

If you get the Coronavirus or think you have been exposed to it, you cannot kill the virus by drinking, injecting, or ingesting bleach mixtures or antiseptic liquids into your body.

Ingesting these items in any way could make you very ill or even kill you. While this is common sense to most people, misinformation presented in public discourse has led to confusion and misunderstanding on this point. Antiseptics like this that “kill” the virus can only do it on surfaces, not inside your body.

Stay Safe, Stay Home, But Stay Informed

With such a dynamic situation evolving around this disease, it is easy to get confused about what is true and what isn’t. United Methodist Communities has a corporate team that is entirely at the forefront of this pandemic. Our clinical staff meets regularly to discuss management of the pandemic and to ensure that the very latest science informs our decision making and resident management.

Throughout the crisis, we remain in awe of the bravery, can-do-spirit, and sacrifices being made by our associates. We are further humbled by the support and encouragement of our residents and families.

Our communities remain open, well-staffed, and supplied, and focused on the health and emotional needs of our residents and families.

For more information on what United Methodist Communities at Pitman is doing to continue to provide safe assisted living in Gloucester county, please contact us for more information.

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Around the Communities, Assisted Living

How to be Social, During Social Distancing

social distancing

Humans were created as social beings, we all need interaction with people to stay sane! While we know social isolation has a big impact on our well being, many folks have never experienced like this: where our isolation is compelled by forces beyond our control and is likely to continue for some time.

The good news is that even though we are physically isolated we can still be social. We are blessed to live in a time where technology has advanced enough to connect us in ways we never dreamed of as recently as 20 years ago. The opportunity in all this is to get better acquainted with these digital opportunities, embrace them in the spirit of fun, and do not be intimidated by technology.

You are not too old to learn these new tricks, and ironically you may find yourself with more social connections to friends and family than ever before!

Here are some strategies that may help you stay social during these difficult times.  

1.Video Chat one-on-one with Friends, Family or your Therapist. 

Just talking on the phone does not always do the trick, seeing a person’s face while you talk to them will give you a much more intimate connection. Not only will the interaction feel more normal but also it can give you a sense that there is someone in the house with you. Speaking and seeing family and friends regularly is an important part of our wellbeing.

There are several common tools folks are using to see each other. A free ZOOM subscription is one of the easiest ways to go video. Just signup at and schedule a meeting. It’s really that easy. For Facebook folks, live streaming has become popular and it has conferencing features that allow many people to be visible on the call.

2.Don’t Grow a Beard. Keep your Routines.

In these times try to stick to your routine. Psychologists stress that just because you are not visiting anyone or going to work, you shouldn’t forgo your daily shower, grooming, exercise, and dressing routines. If you attended yoga, cooking, or any extracurricular activity classes, try attending them online. Almost every class-based exercise program has an online version now, you can support your local businesses while still keeping fit. Arguably, keeping your mind and your immune system healthy is more important than ever right now, so getting out of bed and making yourself move is a discipline you really have to have. Experts advise that working out while in isolation will have a “tremendously positive effect” on your health and wellbeing. If your capacity to exercise is restricted due to a health condition or disability you should still aim to move more than usual.

3.You Can Still “Go to Church”

You can also connect to a live stream church or religious service. Many churches and Synagogues are using ZOOM or Facebook Live to connect to the flock during COVID-19. Maintaining your spiritual connection to your faith and your community is one of the very best ways to get support, and keep your sanity during forced isolation. If you find that you struggle with the process of downloading and using technological platforms ask someone from your community to assist you. You can also arrange for calls from either a church leader or a community member for weekly check-ins and chats.

Unfortunately, isolation and loneliness are going to be the common experience of many during this pandemic. It may sound like a cliché, but perhaps we can try and look at the cup half full. Ironically the pandemic is actually creating new communities and new opportunities for socialization. A sense that we are all in this together pervades the planet like never before, and as time passes we are coming together to find new ways to be social, and to help each other through this crisis.

  1. You can be safe, social, and still cared for in your home.

The pandemic may be active, but the needs of seniors who are choosing to stay at home have not changed. In-home care agencies like UMC Homeworks, are busier than ever providing aid, companionship, cleaning, and assistance to seniors who are isolated at this time. Our aides are health screened every day, stocked with protective equipment (PPE) and still visit our seniors in their homes all while maintaining social distancing and elevated hygiene protocols.

In addition to daily home care, we are one of the few home health agencies that arrange for pastoral care that provides spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and home-care-safety in the time of COVID-19, please contact us today or visit our website at

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under elderly in home care

Why People Choose to Volunteer at Hospice


It’s National Volunteer Week! There are so many critical organizations that simply wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful work of volunteers. And, our hospice in South Jersey is no exception. Here are five of the reasons why people choose to volunteer at a hospice, as well as some insights that may inspire you to join in this worthy cause.

Personal Experience 

Many people choose to volunteer at a hospice because of their own personal experience with these services. They have seen first hand how hospice staff and volunteers came together to bring joy and comfort to a terminal loved one as well as support to their family, and would like to repay this with their own compassionate services.

The Good of Giving Back

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things a person can do! Studies have shown that volunteering effectively decreases risks of depression, gives a sense of purpose, teaches valuable life skills, reduces stress, and helps people become part of a community. When someone volunteers, it’s as beneficial to them as the people or organization they’re helping.

Staying Active 

Many volunteers are retirees who have a wealth of experience and skills to offer. The work they do allows them to keep using their skills for the benefit of others in a way that is suited to their own needs and lifestyle. It’s a great way to stay mentally and physically active, whether you are a retired nurse, accountant, teacher or business owner.

Wide Range Of Roles 

A hospice is a complex facility with roles to suit everyone regardless of age, skillset or interest. Many people want to offer companionship to patients, while others find that fund-raising, organizing events, community outreach or assisting with the administration is where they fit in best. This way, anyone can find a role that they can make their own, to the benefit of the whole team and residents.

Develop Career Skills

On the other side of the coin, young volunteers get a great opportunity to explore a critical industry and develop the skills they need for a career in caregiving. The senior care industry is one of the fastest-growing in the USA, and by volunteering, young adults get a unique insight into what hospice is all about, the value of our services, and how to care for the terminal and elderly.

Our Hospice in South Jersey Needs You 

Hospice can feel like an overwhelming place for residents and their loved ones. Volunteers play a critical role in helping patients and families feel at home, connected with their community, and in touch with the rest of the world. If you have a spirit of compassion, respect for all ways of life, and the ability to listen and be comfortable with others, then you may be ideally suited to this important role.

Our hospice, The Shores, is a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offering compassionate and professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area 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. We greatly appreciate our volunteer teams and the value they bring to our residents, their loved ones, the environment of the hospice, and in helping us reach the goals set out in our vision.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer at our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Hospice Care

2 Important Tips for Maintaining Healthy Lungs as We Age

Maintaining Healthy Lungs as We Age

Enjoying your Golden Years to the full means taking great care of yourself, from eating a healthy diet and having regular check-ups with your health specialists to getting enough exercise. As we age, our lungs start weakening and becoming less flexible, which can quickly compromise health and daily life. Here are a couple of tips for keeping your lungs healthy and strong, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey, in honor of National Senior Health Fitness Day (May 27).

Why Lung Health Changes as We Age 

From about the age of 35, our lung capacity and health can begin to decline even if we don’t suffer from lung disease. This is because the structures around the lungs, such as the muscles and cardiovascular system can become weaker, rather than the lungs themselves developing issues. Common examples of this include a weakening of the diaphragm, weakening of the ribcage bones and muscles, and even a weakened immune system.

Of course, lung health itself can become compromised by health conditions like asthma and cancer. So, it’s important to take a two-pronged approach to lung health by combining exercise with lifestyle choices that reduce health risks.

Avoid Health Risks to Your Lungs

Lung health conditions are the third leading cause of death in the USA, with conditions like lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease resulting in 235,000 deaths each year. Steps you can take to prevent these conditions and improve your lung health include:

  • Give up smoking. There are many practical and effective programs that your doctor can direct you to for assistance in quitting this dangerous habit.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke and air pollution.
  • Wear a safety mask when dealing with harmful fumes and contaminants like home cleaning chemicals, oven cleaner, weed killers and fungicides, ash, and the like.
  • Prevent infections by ensuring vaccines and flu shots are up-to-date, practice good hygiene (especially the frequent washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizer), and practice social distancing in the flu season.

Boost Your Lung Health Through Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to keep lungs fit and healthy, giving your heart and lungs a good workout. Remember to speak to your doctor to help find an exercise regime that will work for you and that won’t put you at risk of injury. Great exercises to consider include:

  • Walking. Join a local exercise group, rambling group or hiking group,
  • Swimming or water aerobics,
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Gardening

For less mobile seniors, there are still effective ways to promote your lung health through exercise, including seated exercises, yoga, and physical therapy. Many physical therapists and gyms offer programs specifically for less mobile seniors that can be tailored to your needs and ability, helping to slowly and safely build lung strength and capacity. Again, you can ask your doctor and local facilities for guidance before getting started.

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

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community, which is based in Sussex County. It aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living options as well as rehabilitation care for seniors recovering from illness or hospitalization. And, it also offers expert memory care and support. Founded on a philosophy of ‘aging 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, or visit our website at and book your visit today.

Original content posted on

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Wellness