Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Making the Most of Summer – Safety Tips for Seniors

Long summer days are almost here and New Jersey residents will soon be swimming, barbecuing and exploring the outdoors! Although long anticipated, this weather does carry some risks for seniors, as they are more vulnerable to the effects of the heat and sun. Here are some tips from our in-home senior care specialists in NJ on how to stay safe and healthy in the heat:

  • Drink lots of liquids. Dehydration is a serious risk for seniors, as they are often less aware of their bodies’ signals for liquid. This is a common part of the aging process, but is especially problematic in seniors with dementia. The recommended allowance of 8 ounces per day can include water, fruit juices, herbal tea or electrolyte drinks.
  • Dress for the weather. Light, natural fabrics that allow the skin to breathe will help regulate body temperature. Dark fabrics attract heat, while lighter colors reflect it, helping to cool the body.
  • Be sun safe. As we age our skin becomes more vulnerable to sun damage. Use a high SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more to protect skin. While outdoors wear a hat and sunglasses to block harmful UVA and UVB rays that can damage eyesight. It’s also important to stay indoors during the peak heat of the day, from around 11am to 3pm when the sun is at its strongest and the risks of burning and dehydration are highest.
  • Air conditioning. Keeping the air in your home cool is the best way to stay healthy in the heat. It’s recommended that homes don’t exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit for a significant amount of time. If there is no air conditioning, visita mall, the movies or a friend’s house to get some relief. A cool bath or shower will also help regulate body temperature.
  • Check in. If you have elderly loved ones or neighbors, give them a quick call on hot days to make sure they are coping with the heat. You can use the opportunity to catch up, see if their air conditioning is on and working properly or even plan an outing to somewhere cooler.
  • Know the signs of heatstroke. Heatstroke can affect anyone, but seniors are especially vulnerable because they have a difficult time regulating body temperature — with potentially deadly consequences. Symptoms  include confusion and disorientation, headaches, nausea, exhaustion and a rapidly beating pulse. If you recognize these signs, call for medical attention immediately and get the affected person out of the heat and into a cool environment. Have them lie down and place ice packs or cold wet towels on their body until help arrives.

Compassionate, Skilled Senior Homecare Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior independent homecare options, from assisted living to in-homecare through our HomeWorks program. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to daily homecare we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services for the elderly, please contact us today at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/making-summer-safety-tips-seniors/

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May 31st is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!

National Senior Health and Fitness Day encourages seniors across 50 states to get out, get moving, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. This is a great annual day filled with events all across local towns and senior living communities – here’s what it’s all about and how to join in, from our assisted living team in Gloucester County.

Who is it organized by? This national day is organized by a public-private partnership led by the Mature Market Resource Center, which focuses on senior issues. In order to participate, groups and local organizations pay a small fee that helps plan and advertise the event.
What events will be featured? A range of events are offered in many towns and communities, all geared to the needs, abilities and interests of seniors — but at the same time, they’re plenty of fun for any age. These include yoga, water aerobics, dancing, fitness checks, nature walks, and even healthy food options.

Senior fitness tips from our assisted living community:

  • Make a personal plan. Seniors have a broad range of health and physical needs and abilities. Getting fit in a safe and healthy way means talking to your doctor about developing a practical and workable plan.
  • Choose something you enjoy. Exercise should be fun, not a burden. If you choose an activity you love, then you’re more likely to stick with it and get the desired results. Don’t just think about gym or running – dancing, gardening, walking and swimming are all count too!
  • Go with a friend. Staying motivated to exercise is easier when you’re doing it with a friend. Joining a local club, forming your own or bringing a friend will help make it more enjoyable and more rewarding. It’s also a great way to make new friends and get out of the house.
  • Enjoy the rewards. Exercise and fitness are about valuing your body, including your mental and physical health. As you get stronger and healthier, you should celebrate your achievements and use your newfound abilities to get out and enjoy more things in life. For example, you might be fit enough to play ball with your grandchildren, try more adventurous nature walks or even join new activities you’ve never tried before.

Independent assisted living for an exceptional quality of life

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, 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 contact us today at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/may-31st-national-senior-health-fitness-day/

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Medical Marijuana in New Jersey – What You Need to Know

Recently, the State of New Jersey has started implementing and expanding its Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). Here’s some information about what this means for seniors in the state and how this affects them, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What conditions are treatable with medical marijuana?

Because these are changing all the time as new health conditions are considered and laws are amended, always check with your medical doctor to see if you are eligible. Currently, the following conditions are approved in the program:
• Terminal cancer
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Terminal illness with less than 12 months prognosis
• Seizure disorder
• Glaucoma
• Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
• PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Treatment of severe or chronic pain resulting from HIV, AIDS and cancer

Registering for the Medical Marijuana Program

To register for the MMP, your eligibility must be evaluated by a doctor registered with the MMP. If your own doctor is not registered as a MMP practitioner, they can recommend a physician who can assist. You can also find a registered doctor through the NJ MMP website.

Additional information for people interested in this treatment and their eligibility:

• Only medical marijuana cards registered in the State of New Jersey can be used within New Jersey.
• Patients who cannot easily travel to an Alternative Treatment Center can designate a qualified caregiver to obtain their medicinal marijuana on their behalf. This person will need to be registered with the NJ MMP, but only if they are collecting it on a patient’s behalf.
• Medical marijuana is not currently covered by Medicaid or other health plans in New Jersey.
• Patients’ dosage will be prescribed by their MMP registered physician.

Independent senior living in our Sussex County continuing care retirement community Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community based in Sussex County and part of United Methodist Communities, is dedicated to providing seniors with comfortable, living arrangements and services that free up their time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities, amenities and services.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/medical-marijuana-new-jersey-need-know/

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Tips for Seniors to Sleep Better

May is Better Sleep Month, so our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, is exploring some tips and insights to help seniors fight insomnia and get a good night’s sleep.

Why is sleep important?

Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining our physical and mental health, which is important for every stage of our lives. However, our sleeping patterns change as we age, and we can find ourselves struggling to get a healthy amount of rest. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation says that around 44% of seniors have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis.
When seniors don’t get enough sleep, they can suffer from:
• Depression, memory problems, attention span problems, and tiredness during the daytime.
• Unhealthy weight gain or loss, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and breast cancer in women.

How to improve your night’s rest as a senior:

• Get active. Regular daily exercise is a great way of getting rid of excess energy and tiring out your body for a night’s rest. It’s also healthy for your body, and significantly reduces the risk of diseases that often affect seniors. Outdoor exercise helps you get essential Vitamin D. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regime, and don’t exercise three hours or less before you go to bed, as it could keep you awake.
• Reduce stress. Stress and anxiety lead the causes of sleeplessness at any age, and it can be difficult to deal with worries when you’re lying in bed at night. Whether you need to conquer your worries by making some “To Do” lists or choose to talk to a professional, reducing stress is important for your health. Starting yoga, joining social clubs, participating in your community or getting spiritual companionship and support are also great for reducing stress.
• Look at your medication. Some medications can keep you awake, while others may not be managing your pain effectively. If you are suffering from sleeplessness, speak to your doctor about your current medications and how you are taking them. They may be able to suggest an alternative that won’t keep you up at night.
• Make your room a calm and restful place. You shouldn’t work, read, eat and watch TV in your bed, as this conditions your brain to stay awake while in bed. Rather, keep it a noise- and light-free zone by moving your TV out and not using phones and backlit devices there. Use earplugs or a soothing white noise generator to block out other sounds that may disturb you. It’s also important to keep your bedroom cool, as lower temperatures encourage better sleep.

Visit our beautiful assisted living community in New Jersey

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of assisted living facilities in New Jersey specializing in high quality care and support. Our communities are known for their beautiful settings, spacious residential apartments and wide range of resident services. With qualified and experienced nursing, therapy and management staff on hand to provide expert assistance, residents enjoy all the benefits of independent living for seniors.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/tips-for-seniors-to-sleep-better/

 

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What to Do When Cancer Moves into the End-Stage

hopsice care South Jersey

While aggressive treatment is recommended in most stages of fighting cancer, treatment is usually stopped during the end-stage of the disease. Rather than focusing on eliminating and reducing the cancer, medical treatment changes to providing comfort and the best possible quality of life. Here are some insights into care at this stage, from our compassionate care hospice in South Jersey:

  • Discuss options with medical professionals.


    Research from the National Cancer Institute has shown that communication about treatment options and end-of-life care plays an important role in reducing stress and anxiety. Do as much research as you need on your own, even if you think it is very early in your condition. Make time to discuss and evaluate your options in-depth with your doctor. This will help you decide on what care options you are most comfortable with, and what to expect – helping patients cope with their illness and make informed decisions about their preferred care.

  • Discuss legal options with an estate attorney.


    If they have not already done so, it is strongly advised that end-stage patients complete certain estate planning documents well in advance, as well as a Last Will and Testament. These documents should also include an Advanced Medical Directive that outlines which of the advanced life-saving measures you want to receive or not (including being on a respirator, feeding tube, etc.). A Financial Power of Attorney is also advised, as this allows a patient to name a person of their choice to make financial decisions on their behalf if they are no longer able.

  • Consider end-of-life care options in the Jersey Shore area.


    During this time, a patient’s comfort, quality of life and care are a priority. Two of the most effective ways of ensuring this are through in-home care or through hospice care. The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers compassionate, professional hospice care in Cape May County called Bridges.

With an emphasis on creating a nurturing and comforting environment, we offer customized services that not only support your loved one, but you and your family as well. This includes  personalized care plans, custom dining programs, and family support, as well as private rooms, luxury linens, WiFi access, music room and outdoor courtyards.

To find out more about Bridges, our hospice or our assisted living community in South Jersey, please contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/ and arrange your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/cancer-moves-end-stage/

 

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Seniors and Cataracts

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As we age, we can experience certain health and wellness changes that affect our senses, including our ability to see clearly. Cataracts is a common vision problem often associated with getting older. Here’s some insight from specialists in assisted living in Gloucester County, NJ.

What are cataracts? 

Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy due to blockages of protein and hardening, distorting the light that enters the eye and causing vision loss. As the condition progresses, the lens of the eye changes from clear to a yellow/brown color, which starts to add a brown tint to eyesight along with vision loss. They can occur in either or both eyes, but cannot be transmitted from one eye to the other.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts 

Although not painful, it does cause gradual vision loss that, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. People with cataracts may experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare
  • Faded colors or difficulty telling colors apart
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Double vision
  • Halo effect around objects

What can cause cataracts? 

Cataracts are generally a result of the aging process, but the risks of developing them can be significantly increased in smokers, diabetics and steroid users. People who have suffered chemical burns or a direct injury to the eye, or electric shock can also develop cataracts as a result.

How can cataracts be treated?

Fortunately, there are ways to treat cataracts, the most effective being surgery. With modern surgical technology, treatment can take place soon after diagnosis, and the damaged lens can be removed and replaced with a permanent plastic lens. The results of this surgery are impressive, restoring clear vision almost immediately with a quick recovery time.

Experience true quality of life care – Choose assisted living at Pitman, 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 hospice, rehabilitation, respite care and memory support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/seniors-and-cataracts/

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What is Sitting Disease?

Unlike its name, Sitting Disease isn’t an actual disease – it’s a term used to cover the more than 30 chronic health conditions associated with sedentary behavior, like sitting.

Statistics from the Mayo Clinic show that Americans are spending more and more time indulging these behaviors, with 50% to 70% of people spending more than 6 hours a day in a sitting position and 20% to 35% of people spending more than 4 hours a day in front of the television. The study found direct links between a sedentary lifestyle and a shortened lifespan – in fact, by reducing your TV time to less than two hours a day, you can add 1.4 years onto your lifespan!

These concerns are even more serious for sedentary elderly people, as they are more at risk than ever before of developing serious health conditions, including diabetes, physical disabilities, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, heart disease and even certain cancers.

Staying active through your senior years 

Senior Chinese Couple Walking In Park During Summer
Walking is great for your health and by far the most popular low-impact exercise for older adults.

While the best way to prevent Sitting Disease is to live a more active life throughout your adult years, there is still much that you can do to reduce your risks as a senior. With the help of a specialist, you can determine how much exercise you need and how vigorously you need to exercise in order to gain a good fitness level. It’s also important to remember that ‘exercise’ doesn’t only mean going for a run – there are plenty of alternative physical activities for seniors that are safe and fun, for example:

  • Dance classes
  • Gardening
  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Nature walks

When it comes to fighting Sitting Disease, it’s also the little things that matter, from taking the stairs instead of waiting for the lift to choosing a walk to the shops over an hour in front of the television.

By getting into a routine of regular exercise, seniors also benefit from healthy weight loss, muscle development, and even stress reduction, all bringing a better quality of life.

Affordable and compassionate help for seniors at home

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home senior care through our HomeWorks program. This program is about assisting seniors in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness, and independence. For more information on our at home care for seniors, contact us today.

This post originally appeared on https://umcommunities.org/blog/what-is-sitting-disease/

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