Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Hepatitis and Seniors – A Healthcare Guide

World Hepatitis Day vector card with red yellow ribbon 28 july text

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day and, at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, we’d like to highlight this healthcare condition among seniors. Here’s some information from our team that we hope you find helpful!

What is Hepatitis? 

This disease is characterized by swelling and inflammation of the liver. The inflammation can lead to scarring (cirrhosis) and jaundice, affecting the function of the liver and even leading to liver cancer and liver failure. It can be acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic.

In some cases, hepatitis can be self-healing — but it’s always best to visit the doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Dark urine and pale stools
  • Low fever
  • General itching

Causes of Hepatitis 

Hepatitis A can be transmitted through a virus as well as through a bacterial or parasitic infection. Type B spreads through contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the hepatitis B virus; it can also be transmitted as an STD. It can also be triggered by liver damage from alcoholism, ingestion of toxic substances, and long-term use/overdose of certain medications (especially pain medications and anti-inflammatories).

Seniors are especially vulnerable to hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 75% of adults currently living with the disease were born between 1945 and 1965. Undiagnosed seniors may be unaware that they carry the virus, as it can remain dormant for decades before it starts attacking the liver. Compounding the trend, testing was not as rigorous back then as it is today, making screening essential.

What Happens in a Hepatitis C Test? 

The good news is twofold: First, a simple blood test can detect hepatitis C or any other strain. Second, care and treatment options have come a long way, so once patients are diagnosed, a range of different medications can send the disease into remission and restore healthy living. Some medications can even help reverse liver damage, so early diagnosis is essential!

Life a Full Life at Our Assisted Living Community in New Jersey 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent style 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 providing essential resources that promote independence.

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/hepatitis-and-seniors-a-healthcare-guide/

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4 Ways to Help Seniors Handle Summer Heat

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The heat of summer is here and while these long days offer plenty of fun and enjoyment for all of us, they can be hard on the seniors in your community. As we age, heat affects us differently, increasing the risks of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Certain medications many seniors take, as well as their health conditions themselves, make the heat of a summer day a real health risk.Our senior home care services team offers four ways to help older adults better cope with summer heat:

  1. Air conditioning and fans. Home maintenance is an area that many seniors struggle with, so it’s worthwhile to visit and make sure that their air conditioning system is in good working order. This is especially important for housebound seniors.
  2. For many seniors, it’s more difficult to get out of the house to run errands and, as we age, our body’s ability to signal that we are getting dehydrated tends to decrease. Visiting the seniors in your area with a few bottles of water and fruit juices is a good opportunity to check up on them, ensure that they are hydrating and at the same time, get in a social call.
  3. Help out so they don’t break a sweat. Home maintenance in summer is a sweaty, hot job, and helping out a senior by taking on those tasks is a great opportunity to prevent falls, dehydration and heat-related health issues. Volunteering to mow a lawn, repair an awning, carry heavy goods, or walk their dog will keep older adults off their toes and in cooler environments.
  4. Offer transportation. Many seniors walk or rely on public transport, but this can be unbearable on hot days, even for younger people. If you see an elderly person waiting for public transport or know someone close by who needs to run errands, a trip in your cool, air-conditioned car presents a great alternative.

Homecare for the Elderly – Independence and Assistance with All the Comforts of Home

Whether you need residential in-home respite care or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, our home health aide services in New Jersey are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience. Please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our senior homecare services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-ways-to-help-seniors-handle-summer-heat/

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Cataracts – Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Optometrist with patient

June is Cataracts Awareness Month, so our in home senior care team is helping to raise awareness by sharing important information about this health condition.

What are Cataracts and What Causes Them? 

Cataracts is clouding of the eye’s lens (which is normally clear) that causes vision problems. It is predominantly a result of aging, and by 80-years of age, more than half of all Americans will have experienced a cataract. It can occur in one or both eyes and is not a contagious condition.

The lens of the eye is largely made up of protein and water. The proteins can start clumping up over time, which clouds the lens and prevents the right amount of light from reaching the retina. When this clumping first starts, it only affects a small portion of the eye and may not be easily noticed. As it progresses and grows, the symptoms will worsen, and vision will be increasingly affected.

8 Symptoms of Cataracts 

Symptoms of this condition include:

  1. Clouded or dimmed vision
  2. Sensitivity to bright light/glare
  3. Halos around lights
  4. Difficulty seeing at night
  5. Increasing need for brighter and brighter light for reading and close work
  6. Difficulty distinguishing different tones and colors
  7. Fading or browning/yellowing of the eye
  8. Double vision in the eye

Risk Factors 

Cataracts primarily result from the aging process, but other risk factors can make cataracts more likely, including certain health conditions like diabetes, certain medications like corticosteroids, as well as smoking, high alcohol intake, obesity, high blood pressure, eye injuries and excessive exposure of the eyes to sunlight.

Treatment for Cataracts 

Cataracts can be diagnosed by your physician using a range of eye tests, so annual checkups are important. Fortunately, there are very effective treatment options available to restore your vision once your prescription glasses are no longer effective.

During cataract surgery the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. This is usually done on an outpatient basis and, after a few days of recovery, your vision should be fully restored.

Senior Independent Home Care in NJ – Compassion, Care and Independence! 

At United Methodist Communities, a leading senior homecare services provider in New Jersey, we offer tailored, compassionate care through our advanced HomeWorks program. This program offers in home senior care for the elderly tailored to their specific requirements and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.For more information on our senior independent homecare services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/cataracts-signs-symptoms-and-treatment-options/

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Parkinson’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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May is Arthritis Awareness Month!

This month, our home healthcare services team is looking at a health condition that affects so many seniors — arthritis. This includes over 100 conditions that cause joint disease and joint pain, affecting over 50 million adults in the United States. Here is some helpful information about arthritis and its treatment.

Do I Have Arthritis? 

As this name is given to such a large group of conditions, there’s no definitive single set of symptoms for diagnosis. However, these four most common symptoms can indicate an issue:

  1. Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints
  2. Decreased range of motion
  3. Physical changes to the joints, for example, knobby finger joints
  4. Difficulty with daily activities like walking, typing and climbing stairs

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Osteoarthritis, the most common condition in this category, generally affects the elderly. It is caused when the cartilage (the hard but smooth cushioning surface on the ends of bones) wears away, leaving bone to rub against bone. This causes pain, swelling and stiffness, which often worsen over time, resulting in a lack of strength in the joint.

Inflammatory arthritis conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are immune conditions which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints of the body, resulting in painful inflammation and even damage to internal organs and other parts of the body. It can result from genetic and environmental risk factors, including smoking.

Treatment for Arthritis 

For osteoarthritis, symptoms are treated by not overworking joints, engaging in therapeutic activity and strengthening the muscles around the joints, healthy weight management, hot and cold therapies, assistive devices, mild pain medications and avoiding repetitive movements.

For inflammatory arthritis, early diagnosis is very important, as patients can get medical treatment in the form of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent permanent damage.

Compassionate, Quality Care from Our Home Health Aide Services Team in New Jersey 

Whether you need permanent senior homecare services or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a respite care or temporary basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. As one of the leading home health agencies in NJ, our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience. Please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information about HomeWorks’ home health aide services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/may-is-arthritis-awareness-month/

 

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4 Tips and Advice for Managing Diabetes

old couple prevention of diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that there are around 12 million diagnosed and undiagnosed seniors in the USA with diabetes, and proper disease management is the most effective way of maintaining a high quality of life. With the right medical treatments, care and lifestyle choices, seniors with diabetes can thrive. Here are some tips and advice from our in home respite care team.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes 

First, there are two types of this disease. Type 1 is usually diagnosed when someone is much younger, as an adult or even as a child, and is the result of the body not producing insulin. It’s is rare, with only 5 percent of the population affected.

The more common version of the disease is Type 2, when the body causes glucose (sugar) levels to rise to higher than normal levels because the body is not using insulin properly. At first, the body tries to create more insulin, but it cannot keep up over time which causes blood glucose levels to keep increasing. The exact causes for the condition are unknown, but genetics and family history are thought to play a role, as do risk factors like excess weight, poor diet and lack of exercise.

The seriousness of diabetes should never be underestimated, as it is not only the seventh most common cause of death in the USA, but also places patients at risk of blindness, circulation problems, limb amputation and organ damage.

How Can Seniors with Diabetes Stay Healthy? 

Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge Here are a few things can help seniors stay independent and avoid the serious health complications of this disease, including:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. A diet low in sugar (including sugar from fruit) and saturated fats, and high in lean proteins, wholegrains and vegetables is very important for diabetics. It’s worth it to speak to a registered dietician about developing a meal plan that keeps blood sugar stable and in a healthy range.
  2. Get active. Aerobic exercise is great for managing diabetes, and the ADA recommends 30 minutes a day. Cycling is great for more active seniors, but walking, dancing, aerobics, swimming and yoga are also great options.
  3. Monitor blood sugar. Seniors are more likely to experience unstable blood sugar and often have more trouble eating proper meals. Some medications can also affect blood sugar levels. This makes it essential to check blood sugar regularly and speak to your doctor about any symptoms like confusion, dizziness, and sweating.
  4. Self-examine. For diabetics, a small cut or infection can quickly become a big problem, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on any injuries, especially on the feet where it is difficult to see. Caregivers can also help with this exam, or you can attach a small mirror to a grab-stick so you can check without bending over.

Need In Home Respite Care or Full-Time Care? Our Senior Independent Home Care Team Can Help 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer at home care for elderly through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. Our respite care and seniors home care services cover everything from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care, depending on exactly what you and your loved one requires. Our services are scalable and by-the-hour, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

For more information on respite care and our home health aide services offering, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Heath-Aid-services

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-tips-advice-managing-diabetes/

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Awareness Saves Lives – Colorectal Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so the team from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey is sharing some important information to help spread awareness about this serious disease and save lives. Here is a quick guide to the signs, symptoms and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors 

Several factors can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer, but doctors still aren’t sure exactly what causes this disease. If any of the following risk factors apply to you, it’s a good idea to take note of the warning signs, so the disease can be caught early.

The 7 risk factors include:

  1. Inherited gene mutations. A family history of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP or colon polyps).
  2. Age. You are more at risk if you are over the age of 50.
  3. Race. African Americans are more vulnerable to the disease than other races.
  4. Diet. Low fiber, high fat diets increase your risk.
  5. Diabetes. Insulin resistance can increase your risk.
  6. Overweight and a sedentary lifestyle place you at higher risk than more active people of healthier weight ranges.
  7. Alcohol consumption and smoking.

6 Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For 

Unfortunately, colorectal cancer doesn’t always start off with symptoms, but it is important to note any of the following, as they can be indicators of the disease:

  1. Changes in bowel habits that last more than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of stool).
  2. Rectal bleeding of fresh, bright red blood.
  3. Feeling of fullness in the bowels that is not relieved by a bowel movement.
  4. Abdominal cramps.
  5. Weakness, fatigue and unintended weight loss.
  6. Low red blood cell count.

Early diagnosis is key to preventing and defeating this kind of cancer, and the American Cancer Society recommends that anyone over 50 participate in screening tests, including:

  1. Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  2. CT colonography every 5 years.
  3. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
  4. Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years.

Many of these symptoms can also indicate other health conditions like an infection, hemorrhoids or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so it’s important to see your doctor right away, even if you don’t believe you are at risk of cancer.

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

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

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/awareness-saves-lives-colorectal-cancer-signs-symptoms-treatment/ 

 

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