Category Archives: Assisted Living

The Importance of DNRs and Advance Directives

While planning for medical emergencies and health problems is important at any age, this becomes essential as we get older. It isn’t pleasant to think about Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate orders, but the important thing to remember it that it is about ensuring that your wishes are respected in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Here’s some more information about these legal documents, from our hospice in South Jersey.

What is an Advance Directive?

This is a legally binding document that contains instructions according to an individual’s wishes and state law on how healthcare decisions must be made on their behalf in the event that they are too ill to do so themselves. They can contain a wide range of instructions that cover situations in which you are unconscious, terminal or suffering from a disease that will affect your mental abilities, like Alzheimer’s. In this document, you can appoint an individual to act legally on your behalf for medical decisions (a healthcare proxy), specify if you want to refuse certain treatments like blood transfusions, if you would like to have a DNR order, and even if you would like to be an organ donor or not.

This document is important not only because it helps ensure that your care needs are properly met when you can’t speak for yourself, but that there is also a clear, legal guideline for family and loved ones to follow in this situation.

What is a DNR?

This is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, a legally binding document that forms part of your Advance Directive, in which a person can declare that they don’t want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. This is because without this order, medical staff are obligated to try reviving you. This may not sound like a bad thing, but for many patients who are terminal, being revived and put on life support at the very end of their lives presents a traumatic, uncomfortable and expensive treatment that offers a low quality of life and no true recovery. For these patients, a DNR offers a peaceful and compassionate transition instead.

Expert hospice care in Cape May County, founded on principles of compassion and comfort

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 Cape May County 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 South Jersey, please visit our website athttps://theshores.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/importance-dnrs-advance-directives/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living, Senior Living Community NJ

Fun Mental Exercises to Keep Our Brains Healthy and Sharp

An active and healthy brain plays an important role in our happiness and wellness as we age, helping to fight dementia and other degenerative conditions which affect cognition and memory. Here are some useful mental exercises from our assisted living community in Gloucester County that help keep brains sharp:

  • Long-term learning. Fascinated by history or literature? Always wanted to play a musical instrument? Studies have shown that learning new things has a lasting long-term effect on mental abilities, and free time in retirement allows us to indulge a passion or interest.
  • Crosswords and Sudoku.: Affordable, easily available and catering to different strengths, crossword puzzles and other word games and Sudoku provide quick, and enjoyable mental challenges. While newspapers always offer a few options, there are many dedicated books available as well as online resources, so you can make the most of this challenge.
  • Take up gardening. Gardening isn’t just about physical labor, which increases oxygen flow to the brain, it’s also about learning new skills and information and putting them into practice. Discovering and understanding new information about different plants, soils, pest control, cultivation, tools, and climates, then putting it all into practice, stimulates the brain. Being outdoors in the sunshine also helps seniors get their dose of Vitamin D, which helps balance hormones in the brain and strengthen bones— just don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear sun protection.
  • Getting creative. Drawing, painting and other crafting activities help to stimulate fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and focus/concentration skills. As social activities, they help stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, language and more.
  • Learning a new sport. Sports aren’t just for the young they benefit seniors, too. Great sports like hiking, walking, yoga, swimming, dancing, golf, and tennis utilize mind and body to help strengthen memory and cognitive ability, as well as muscles, bones and other vital systems.

Independent living at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities’ network, we also offer rehabilitation; physical, occupational and speech therapists; hospice and palliative care; respite care; and memory support services for seniors of all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please contact us today at https://pitman.umcommunities.org to book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fun-mental-exercises-keep-brains-healthy-sharp/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Fascinating Facts About Aging

Consistent with a rapidly aging population, research about what happens and what we can do about it continues to increase each year. In contrast to  negative perceptions, recent findings have unearthed some very interesting facts about aging that may change the way we think about this process:

  • We get happier as we age. Several recent studies by research bodies and universities have shown that humans tend to get happier as they age, and our happiest times of life are during our youth and then again through our 70s and 80s.
  • Your brain keeps developing. Contrary to popular belief, your brain continues to make neurons as you get older, making it possible to keep learning new things. In fact, studies demonstrate that the brain simply changes the way it takes in information as we age, and learning new skills and even studying new subjects keep your brain young and active, helping it fight off degenerative conditions like dementia.
  • Negative thoughts become more powerful. A study by the University of New South Wales found that being anxious about falling, even when  physically sound and healthy, can make you more likely to experience a fall than someone who is physically more likely to fall, but unconcerned. As  a serious issue for the elderly, falls are the single biggest reason for injury and hospitalization. So, a positive, anxiety-free mindset is important!
  • Life expectancy is still increasing. From 1900 to 1960, life expectancy increased by just 2.4 years, however, since 1960 it has increased by 3.5 years and is likely to keep doing so. Many factors account for the change, including better nutrition, lifestyle choices and medical advances.
  • Your votes count the most. Did you know that 70% of citizens 65 and older voted in the election, making them the largest voting demographic in the country?
  • Stress decreases as we age. While many seniors report anxiety over medical conditions, work, money and family, these numbers are far lower than people aged 35-49, who are the most stressed, and people aged 25-34.
  • Marriages get stronger. Studies have shown that marriage gets better as we age— a result of learning to properly express affection. Also, the more difficult years of middle age and stress over children, work and so forth, actually bring couples closer together as they age. This is great news because other studies have shown that happy marriages positively impact our health, quality of life and happiness as we age.

Put the happiness back into aging at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen, a senior community in Sussex County, aims to provide seniors with comfortable,serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life.

Contact us at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living campus in Sussex County, amenities and services, and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fascinating-facts-aging/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

How to Start the Talk About Assisted Living

Assisted living falls among the  conversations dreaded by parents and their children alike. Starting the conversation about these types of long-term plans, even when they come from good intentions, can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone involved. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, for making it a positive and constructive conversation:

  • Don’t wait until for a crisis. For many of us, it’s easier to ignore this issue while our parents are healthy and independent, but this can mean trouble when serious issues do arise. Instead, keep it a casual but meaningful ongoing conversation in which everyone is involved — especially your parents — and there are no urgent and serious decisions to be made.
    Sit down with your parents at home on a quiet day.While acknowledging that this isn’t an easy topic to talk about, it’s important to you that they are cared for properly. Ask them what they envision for themselves and start planning so that you and your family can work together to achieve it.
  • Be honest. Many families have trouble communicating their fears and concerns, and parents often feel uncomfortable talking about their loss of independence making them a burden on their families. By bringing up the subject in a non-confrontational way, you may be surprised at their response.
    Talking honestly will also help you get a better idea of how they are really coping — if managing the house is becoming too difficult, looking after a spouse too demanding, or if they are becoming lonely or isolated as friends move into away, for example. This will better help you find an option that offers the right level of support.
  • Don’t gang up and let the issue escalate. As a potentially very emotional and stressful conversation, it’s important it doesn’t escalate into an argument. Use a calm, relaxed tone of voice. Listen to what your parent or parents want, rather than giving ultimatums or talking over them. Highlight the positives of each option, whether the communities you’re suggesting  have a lively social spirit; have lovely, maintenance–free living options; or are close to friends, family and loved ones, for example.
  • Don’t put on the pressure. One of the biggest barriers to entering assisted living is that many people don’t really know what modern senior communities   offer. This fear of the unknown mixes with fear of losing independence, making many people actively dismiss an potentially beneficial option. Take your time to look at recommended assisted living communities and places where family friends may reside, and do your research online. Then, visit these communities and see for yourself what would suit your parents. This will give the peace-of-mind you need to properly communicate the choices to your parents, and help convince them to come along for their own tour.

Assisted living community in NJ for independent seniors 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities’ network of high-quality, non-profit, faith-based, assisted living communities specializing in assisted 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 on delivering essential resources to promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, please contact us at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/start-talk-assisted-living/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

When Is the Right Time for Family Caregivers to Consider Hospice Care?

Being a caregiver to a family member or friend is a choice that many people make because it helps avoid costly care and allows you to spend precious time with a loved one. However, many caregivers find this challenging role can become overwhelming in later stages of care and when illnesses become terminal. At this point, hospice care may become the right choice for you and your loved one. Here are some insights from our hospice care provider in Ocean City on making this decision:

Hospice is about comfort and care at the end of life

Firstly, it is important to know that hospice is a level of care that is reserved only for patients nearing their end-of-life, or who have terminal conditions that can no longer be effectively treated by doctors. In order to qualify for hospice, patients or their families have to be certified by a physician to have six months or less of their life remaining, however, they will continue to qualify for hospice after six months, as long as the physician is able to continue to document the patient’s eligibility.

This qualification process remains in place because the focus of hospice is not about treating a disease — rather, it is about providing patients and their loved ones a high level of comfort, compassion and care as they go through this transition. Medical teams and care workers assist with pain and symptom management and wellness, as well as to provide bereavement support and pastoral care (if needed).

Can family caregivers and loved ones benefit from hospice care?

The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. Providing end-of-life-care as a family caregiver is an overwhelming task, not only because it requires such a significant shift in care as well as increased care demands, but because this can be a difficult and emotionally stressful time for you as well as your loved one.

Hospice offers an entire team and range of services dedicated to assisting you and your loved one. Not only does their experience, access to medical equipment and skilled services help ensure the highest level of care and comfort for your loved one, they also free your time from daily caregiving tasks so you can actually spend quality time together.

The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers a compassionate, professional hospice dedicated neighborhood in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey, please contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/right-time-family-caregivers-consider-hospice-care/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Assisted Living Facilities for Senior Veterans – Insights into PTSD

June is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month. Our assisted living community in Camden County is promoting awareness of this serious condition and helping people find compassionate long-term care for veterans..

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition in which people who have been through a traumatic event experience symptoms of reliving the event, avoid situations that recall the event, feel guilt and shame, or hyperarousal (feel jittery, unable to sleep or concentrate, easily startled, etc.). While it is normal to feel stress after a traumatic event, PTSD sufferers usually experience them far beyond the usual parameters, both in terms of the intensity of the symptoms and the duration over months, years or even decades of their lives.

It’s important to realize that this mental health condition does not affect each patient equally or in the same ways. This serious disorder deserves specialist treatment and is not a sign of weakness.

How is PTSD treated?

There are two main types of treatment for PTSD, psychotherapy (counselling) and medication. Patients may be prescribed either one or both depending on their needs.

The psychotherapy treatment can include any single or combination of the following treatments:

  • Cognitive behavioral treatment – This is about learning skills to help understand the trauma and how patients think about the event.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy – This can include repeating the story of the trauma until it loses its power to trigger traumatic symptoms and patients gain control over their feelings.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – This therapy teaches patients to focus on sounds and hand movements while talking about the trauma to help the brain move through the memories and gain control.

Medications for PTSD may include SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) which are also effective for treating depression, and Prazosin to help decrease nightmares. Medications are only available through qualified medical professionals.

Treatment and assisted living benefits for veterans

Veterans who have completed active military service, been honorably discharged or completed federal deployments as a National Guard or a Reservist are able to access benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help treat PTSD and provide assisted living services. Programs are available that offer medical assessment, medication, psychotherapy, group therapy and more. Benefits may also include financial assistance and access to assisted living care, depending on the qualification criteria.

Expert, compassionate assisted living in Camden County

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood is an assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, it also offers rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, and respite care. Collingswood welcomes seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please contact us today at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/assisted-living-facilities-senior-veterans-insights-ptsd/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Join the Fight Against Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak, making people vulnerable to serious bone breaks and damage from minor falls, bumps and everyday impact that do not affect healthy skeletons. Unfortunately, no cure exists for this condition, which affects around 54 million Americans and up to one in every two women. However, we can adapt behaviors to help prevent this condition in ourselves and our loved ones:

  • Diet. Having a healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet is one of the main ways to fight osteoporosis. Calcium and Vitamin D are the main nutrients that help build and preserve bone mass, so include foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, oily fish, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, bananas, kale, tomatoes, peppers, oranges, papaya, and fortified whole grain cereals in your meals.
  • Limit certain foods. Too much red meat, caffeine, salty foods and beans can create a diet that limits your body’s absorption of calcium, so speak to a nutrition professional about ensuring that your portion sizes and frequency of certain foods is healthy.
  • Smoking and alcohol. Smoking and alcohol increase the risks of developing osteoporosis, so kicking the habit and decreasing your alcohol intake to a minimum will go a long way toward protecting your bones.
  • Exercise. Bone health responds to weight-baring and muscle-strengthening exercises, so incorporating these into your lifestyle helps keep bones healthy and strong. Dancing, hiking, climbing stairs, aerobics, lifting weights, yoga, and Pilates are all great examples. If you are a senior or unsure of how to safely perform these exercises, it’s best to speak to your doctor or a trained professional to ensure you exercise safely.
  • Know the warning signs. Being alert to the early signs of osteoporosis helps ensure that you will get the best possible treatment to slow progression. These symptoms include a bone break that occurred more easily than it should have, back pain due to collapsed or damaged vertebra, loss of height over time and stooped posture. Talk to your doctor about other risk factors including a generic history of osteoporosis, early menopause, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal surgery, and a history of eating disorders.

Live a full and healthy life at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life.

Contact us at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities, amenities and services, and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/join-fight-osteoporosis/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living