Category Archives: Around the Communities

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 https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-festive-events-all-around-town-for-seniors-and-families/

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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 http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-must-try-activities-for-visiting-assisted-living-this-festive-season/

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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 https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-tips-for-making-your-visit-to-a-ccrc-or-assisted-living-community-a-success/

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4 Great Reasons to Start a Senior’s Book Club

Lovely elderly women reading books and talking

Our assisted living team in Gloucester County is often asked to recommend safe, interesting and sociable activities for seniors. A book club is a great example that so many seniors can enjoy! Here are some of the benefits and four tips on how to start one:

  • It’s great for cognitive health. Cognitive decline and the development of dementia conditions is one of the greatest concerns for seniors and their families, and studies show, it’s vital to keep the mind active. Reading is fantastic exercise for the brain, activating areas concerned with memory, language, reasoning, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
  • It’s sociable. Sadly, loneliness and depression are common among seniors, especially those who find themselves isolated after the death of a spouse or due to mobility issues. A book club connects people with similar interests, promoting conversation and creating a much-anticipated event to look forward to each week. Social connections enhance overall well being and health, boosting the immune system and creating a sense of purpose and belonging.
  • It promotes quality sleep. Good quality sleep is important for restoring energy levels, boosting cognitive and physical healing, encouraging a good appetite, and increasing mental alertness. Seniors often struggle with sleep, often due to a decrease in melatonin – and television and other electronic stimulation doesn’t help. Reading is a good alternative, as it helps the reader unwind, relax, and go to sleep peacefully.
  • It encourages learning. Seniors benefit as much as anyone else from gaining new knowledge, getting out of their comfort zone and gaining new perspectives. Books are a wonderful source of learning about the world, different cultures, different generations, and events. It’s all about learning in an informal, low-pressure environment where ideas and concepts can be freely discussed, and seniors can learn about the world through the eyes of other people.

Making the Most of the Golden Years at Assisted living 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 https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/4-great-reasons-to-start-a-seniors-book-club/

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5 Great Reasons to Volunteer at Your Local Hospice!

Hospice Care NJ

If you’re looking to give back to your community or take an active role in helping people, then volunteering at a local hospice can be a rewarding experience for you. Here’s why:

  1.   You’ll make a real difference. Volunteers make a meaningful difference in a hospice — they’re someone new to talk to, a positive and smiling face, and a great connection to the world outside. Just by spending time with hospice patients and their families, you’re giving a true gift and blessing during what is often a difficult time.
  2.   There’s a role for everyone. Whether you’re a social butterfly who loves meeting new people, someone who plays a great game of chess or you’re known for your incredible cakes and cookies, there’s something to suit every hospice volunteer. You can even help with administrative work, as every helping hand is appreciated!
  3.   It’s good for you too. Volunteering isn’t just good for the patients you help — studies show that volunteers also benefit. It’s linked to greater levels of happiness and wellbeing, knowing that you have contributed to something truly meaningful.
  4.   You’ll only do work that you’re comfortable with. For many volunteers, it’s common to feel worried that you’ll be asked to deal with tasks that you’re uncomfortable with or that connect with traumatic memories. However, you don’t have to worry! When you volunteer, you’ll work with staff to help you find the tasks that you enjoy — you’ll never be asked to do anything you’re uncomfortable with or that you don’t feel properly prepared to do.
  5.   It looks great on your CV. Few things look as impressive on your CV as volunteering — it shows that you’re a giving, compassionate, a team player and that you like to go the extra mile. Volunteering at a hospice is a great opportunity for anyone, but it’s especially impactful if you are planning a career in the healthcare industry as a nurse, doctor, senior care specialist, or administrator. You’ll make great professional connections, too!

Want to Become Part of Our Vibrant Volunteer Community? Contact 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 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 https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and organize your visit

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-great-reasons-to-volunteer-at-your-local-hospice/

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How to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Enjoy Summer Outings

CCRC Sussex County New Jersey

One of the most important things to do when a friend or loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is to make an active effort to keep them a part of your social circle. Socializing and engaging with others helps fight depression and anxiety and is thought to be beneficial. Here is some advice to help make summer outings easier for your loved one to attend from the team at our assisted living and CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Develop New Traditions

The activities you used to do together may be difficult or impossible for someone with Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to come up with new traditions that align with their capabilities. If you always participated in the Bridge Club together, you may have to stop when memory loss becomes too advanced. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to start new traditions that don’t rely on memory abilities. For example, you could start bird watching, join a walking club or start a supper club together.

Bring the Past to Life

When you speak to your loved one, pay attention to the old memories of the past they talk about. These memories often remain very strong for people with Alzheimer’s, even as short-term memories fade. This could be a source of great inspiration for activities to do together – revisiting a favorite park, seeing a musical performance together or having a classic movie night are all great opportunities to bond.

Learn When They’re at Their Best

Many Alzheimer’s residents experience times of the day when they feel fresh, energized and active, and others when their symptoms seem more pronounced. You can observe these by spending time with your loved one or by chatting with their caregiver. Generally speaking, the best times of the day for an activity are mid-morning to early afternoon. Anxiety and agitation frequently peak in the late afternoon or evening, when fatigue sets in. Routines are very important, so work with a caregiver to determine the best time to get together with your loved one on a regular basis.

Compassionate Care for Independent Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of resident-directed living, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model in which 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 https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-to-help-your-loved-one-with-alzheimers-enjoy-summer-outings/

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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.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-to-finance-senior-care-we-answer-common-questions/

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