Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Spotting the 5 Signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild Cognitive Impairment

As we age, our brains change just like the rest of our bodies. While it’s natural to notice a little forgetfulness as your loved one ages, it’s important to know the difference between normal signs of aging and something more serious — mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Here’s how to identify signs that indicate your loved one needs a little extra support, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)?

This is the stage between the expected cognitive decline (natural aging) and a more serious cognitive decline (dementia). As a result, many adults with MCI experience a noticeable change in mental abilities like memory, language, or judgment, but nothing severe enough to require assistance with daily living.

However, it is important to be aware of these symptoms, speak to your doctor, and watch for any further decline. They increase the risk for more serious cognitive issues that will make daily assistance necessary in the future.

5 Signs of MCI:

  1. Forgetfulness – Examples include forgetting a word or phrase, a familiar name, the route home, an important social event, appointment, or paying bills on time and other daily routines.
  2. Losing Your Train of Thought – Forgetting what you were talking about or finding it difficult to follow a movie/TV/book plot, or a conversation.
  3. Difficulty Making Decisions – Those with MCI feel overwhelmed and struggle to make decisions or follow a set of instructions or directions.
  4. Poor Judgment – Making decisions that are out-of-character, impulsive, or with poor judgment.
  5. Emotional Issues – MCI residents can experience depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, and aggression.

If friends and family exhibit any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak to a doctor. Seek support if the diagnosis is positive. While it doesn’t mean that you or your senior loved one should consider assisted living or a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), it may be wise to investigate your options and explore memory care and support.

The right assistance and appropriate management allows residents to live to their fullest potential and gives loved ones peace of mind.

Independent Living and Memory Care at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County. It aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living options as well as memory care and support. Our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a full continuum of care on one campus to ensure that care needs can be met.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey, or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/spotting-the-5-signs-of-mild-cognitive-impairment/

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6 Shopping Tips for a Healthy Heart

National heart month concept in flat style

February is Heart Month. We are not just talking about Valentine’s Day! Here are six great grocery shopping tips for seniors that will help keep their hearts both healthy and strong, from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

1. Plan Your Meals – Meal plans make not only healthy eating easier, but they are also great for your budget. If you are looking to create a week’s worth of heart-healthy recipes, look at the American Heart Association, Eating Well, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation for some great meal inspiration. You can also use the menu planner from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help stay organized.

2. Categorize Your Grocery List – To navigate a grocery store and not miss anything, organize your grocery list according to store and aisle. If you like to bulk order or if transport is a challenge, you can also order online from many stores — they deliver everything right to your door.

3. Fresh Is Best – But It’s Not Your Only Option – Fresh fruits and vegetables are always the best choices for a heart-healthy diet, but it can be difficult to get fresh produce easily in the winter or if you bulk buy. In those cases, choose frozen fruits and vegetables. Look for brands that flash-freeze their produce without adding extra salt and sugar.

4. Read Nutrition Labels – Certain foods often look like a healthy choice, but the nutrition labels show a different story! Use the labels on the foods you buy to reach your daily heart health targets. Keep cholesterol to 300 mg per day and limit sodium to 1500 mg.

5. Stay Away From Processed Foods – These are often very high in cholesterol, trans-fats, sodium, sugar, and preservatives. Worse, they are (more often than not) low in nutritional value. Processed foods to avoid include most breakfast cereals, canned meat and vegetables, potato chips, frozen dinners, and flavored snacks.

6. Eat the Rainbow – Aim for meals, fresh foods, and snacks that offer lots of bright colors, as this helps ensure you’re getting enough fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Prioritize dark leafy greens, berries, tomatoes, zucchini, avocados, squash, oranges, bell peppers, raw nuts, and more.

Looking for High-Quality Assisted Living in Camden County, NJ? We Can Help

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high quality, non-profit assisted living communities. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life. We know how important a healthy and delicious diet is, which is why our community offers some of the best dining for seniors in town!

To find out more about living options at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today to organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/6-shopping-tips-for-a-healthy-heart/

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How is Medicare Changing in 2020?

How is Medicare Changing in 2020

December is the last month of the open enrollment period for Medicare, allowing beneficiaries to review and make changes to their coverage. To help you to make an informed decision, the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County offers some important information on how Medicare is changing in 2020:

Major Changes to Medicare in 2020 

The biggest change that will be implemented in the New Year is that there will be no more first-dollar coverage plans available to beneficiaries. These are also known as Medicare Supplement Plans, and they were designed to leave you with zero out-of-pocket costs. These plans included Plan C, Plan F, and High Deductible Plan F. This will only affect beneficiaries who apply for Medicare from January 2020 and who are considered eligible for Medicare. If you turned 65 before this date, you can still enroll in these discontinued plans.

The other significant change is that premiums for Medicare Part B will be increasing. Part B covers outpatient hospital care, doctor’s bills, and physical therapy among other services. As an optional extra that costs a monthly premium, the premium will go up for everyone by an amount dependent on your income.

Alternatives to First-Dollar Coverage Plans 

If you only turn 65 after January 31, 2020, you cannot enroll in the first-dollar coverage plans. However, alternative options will keep your out-of-pocket costs low. In fact, the only difference between the new plans and the old ones is the Part B deductible ($195 as of 2019).

Alternatives to Plan C 

Plan N – Plan N is a cost-sharing plan in which you have a co-pay of up to $20 for each doctor’s appointment and up to $50 per emergency room visit. If you are on Plan N and go to urgent care rather than your doctor or the emergency room, there is no co-pay.

Plan D – This offers the same protection as Plan C, with the exception of covering the Part B deductible. It has no co-pays.

Alternatives to Plan F 

Plan G – This is the same as Plan F but does not cover the Part B deductible. It offers the best coverage for medical and hospitalization costs, including excess charges. It also offers a lower premium than Plan F. It’s ideal for seniors who want the fullest coverage.

Alternatives to High-Deductible Plan F 

High-Deductible Plan G – This plan is now available for anyone who wants to sign up for an effective alternative to the High-Deductible Plan F. These services will only come into effect on January 1, 2020.

Medicare Premiums for 2020 

Projected approximate Medicare premiums for 2020 are as follows:

Medicare Part B – $144 (an increase of about $8)

Part B deductible –  $197 (an increase of $12)

Part A deductible – $1,420 (an increase of $56)

Looking for a Wonderful Assisted Living Community? Choose Assisted Living at Pitman, 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, compassionate hospice care, respite care, as well as 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/ or contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-is-medicare-changing-in-2020/

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Late-Stage MS: Everything You Need to Know

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

This month is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Therefore, the team at our hospice in South Jersey would like to raise awareness about late-stage MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and how hospice teams work to support MS residents during this stage.

What Is MS? 

Multiple sclerosis, more commonly known as MS, is a progressive disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes the immune system to attack the protective layer around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, causing damage that affects the nerves ability to communicate with the rest of the body. Although there is no cure for MS, there are advanced treatments that help to manage symptoms and assist in recovery after attacks.

How Does Hospice Care Help? 

While the progression of the disease and the severity of its symptoms differ from person to person, most live between 25 and 35 years after their diagnosis. While doctors and specialists handle all treatment plans during the earlier stages of MS, hospice becomes a very effective and useful service during the end-stage.
Hospice care is recommended by a physician when a person is determined to have six months of life remaining, and it is at this point where care plans shift to prioritize a patient’s comfort and symptom management as well as their final wishes.
Hospice care for late-stage MS is about ensuring that the resident not only has the best possible care, but also the best possible quality of life during this stage of the disease, just as you desire for the early stages.

Managing End-Stage MS Symptoms 

Multiple sclerosis is a challenging diagnosis to deal with, not only for those residents affected, but also for their families and caregivers. As the condition progresses into the end stages, symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing due to weakened respiratory muscles and fluid build-up;
  • Limited mobility that restricts a patient to a bed or chair where they can get assistance with grooming, hygiene, and daily tasks;
  • Neurological decline due to more pronounced changes in brain function and mental capability;
  • Difficulty eating due to weakened muscles as well as tremors, impacting their ability to hold utensils, which results in poor nutrition;
  • Difficulty communicating and verbalizing their needs;
  • Pain due to muscle spasms, pressure sores from immobility, and nerve pain; and
  • Muscle atrophy and skin ulcers.

These symptoms can be professionally and compassionately managed in a hospice, where teams of trained professionals care for residents around the clock. This not only ensures each one is as comfortable as possible, it also helps to prevent complications. Residents’ families and loved ones also benefit, as they are able to spend quality time together in a relaxing and welcoming setting. In addition, hospice communities offer spiritual support and counseling for residents and their families, which is invaluable during this time.

Discover the Value of Hospice – Visit Our Beautiful 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 in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents 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/late-stage-ms-everything-you-need-to-know/

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Flu Season Is On Its Way – 5 Tips for Helping Seniors Get Prepared

Home healthcare nurse giving injection to senior adult woman.

There are so many things to love about the winter season, from hot chocolate and cozy fires to quality time with friends and loved ones over the holidays. But, it does bring some challenges too, especially when it comes to senior health. Here are five tips to help your senior loved one prepare for winter, from our senior home health care services team in New Jersey:

  • Get Your Flu Vaccine–  As a person gets older, their immune system becomes weaker, especially if they are dealing with other health conditions. For this reason, the flu can be very dangerous to seniors, even resulting in a fatality. While it’s still early, ensure your loved one gets their flu vaccine. It’s a good idea for everyone who socializes with your loved one to get one, too.
  • Prepare for Storms– Snowstorms can leave seniors isolated and bound inside their homes; blackouts may even occur. Make sure they have a well-stocked kitchen (including water and medication), as well as a kit with a flashlight, spare batteries, gloves, and a warm blanket. You can also invest in an emergency response remote that allows your loved one to alert you or emergency services for help. Keep the telephone numbers of your loved ones’ neighbors in your phone. It will enable you to contact them to check in on your loved one if you’re unable to do so.
  • Eat Healthily– Good nutrition can be more difficult to manage during the winter months, but it’s critical for maintaining a healthy body and immune system. Assist your loved one by stocking up on frozen portions of homemade soups rich in vegetables, as well as winter fruit and vegetables (berries, citrus, and root vegetables).
  • Stay Active– Cold weather is no reason to become a couch potato and shouldn’t stop your loved one from getting healthy exercise! If it’s outdoor exercise, make sure your loved one’s shoes have non-slip tread and that they dress in plenty of layers. It’s also a good idea to encourage outdoor group activities in winter for safety. Many community groups offer year-round activities for seniors, including aqua aerobics and dance classes, so check out your local YMCA and community center.
  • Stay Social– In winter, seniors can be especially vulnerable to feelings of depression and isolation, so it’s important to keep an active social calendar. Join up with local seniors in the area who share similar interests in movie nights, a book club, dancing, and musical evenings, be sure to phone or visit more often, and assist with transportation where possible.

Affordable Companionship and Expert Care from Senior Home Health Care Services in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates, starting as low as $23 per hour, through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aides are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our in-home respite care services and senior home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/flu-season-is-on-its-way-5-tips-for-helping-seniors-get-prepared/

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How You Can Help Raise Breast Cancer Awareness This Month

Group of women in pink, breast cancer awareness ribbons

Every year, almost 253,000 women in the USA are diagnosed with breast cancer – one in every eight women. This devastating disease is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among women, affecting women of every age. Raising awareness is key to boosting early diagnosis, reducing deaths, and finding a cure. Here’s how you can participate, from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

Breast Cancer Awareness Events in New Jersey for 2019

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and Run

Join with thousands of people across the USA for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Register with a team in your area and walk or run with family and friends to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, or donate directly to the cause. You can even buy a fabulous branded pink t-shirt for the event!
The event starts at 10am. So, just pick a venue and date near you:

Oct. 12 — MetLife Stadium (1 MetLife Stadium Drive, East Rutherford)

Oct. 13 — Prudential Center (25 Lafayette St., Newark)

Oct. 20 — Lincoln Park (West Side Avenue, Jersey City)

Oct. 20 — Century Office Campus (4 Century Drive, Parsippany)

Oct. 20 — Ocean and Arnold Avenues (Point Pleasant Beach)

Oct. 20 — Cooper River Park (1301 North Park Drive, Pennsauken)

Oct. 27 — Johnson Park (1030 River Road, Piscataway)

The Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation’s 15th Annual Comedy Benefit

Have a laugh for a great cause at this fundraiser to support breast cancer patients! It’s on October 20 at the Stress Factory Comedy Club on 90 Church Street, New Brunswick.

20th Annual Komen CSNJ Golf for the Cure 

Get ready for a full day of activities on October 14 at the Metedeconk National Golf Club on 50 Hannah Hill Road, Jackson. Starting at 9am, there will be breakfast, a putting contest, and a cocktails and dinner program.

The 2019 Komen Central and South Jersey More Than Pink Walk

Hosted at Six Flags, this fun-filled and unique walk that is happening on November 3, is a huge fund-raiser for the community, funding life-saving programs for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment as well as supporting the Susan G. Komen® Research Grants Program in finding a cure.

Real Kids Wear Pink

October 25 is Real Kids Wear Pink Day! This is a fantastic way to get kids involved in this important cause. Get registered on the American Cancer Society events page for your area, start a fundraiser with your child’s sports teams, neighborhood, and school, and have fun! There’s even an app you can download from the site to make raising funds even easier.

Looking for Assisted Living in Camden County, NJ? Speak to Our Friendly Team 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-you-can-help-raise-breast-cancer-awareness-this-month/

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Use Your Diet to Help Manage Arthritis

assisted living gloucester county nj

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects over 50 million Americans, many of them seniors. Although there are treatments for this condition, there is no cure – and the pain and loss of joint flexibility can dramatically affect the quality of life. Along with effective medications, you can help fight osteoarthritis by getting the right nutrients into your diet. Simply follow the advice below from our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ.

5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods 

Diet plays an important role in our everyday health and wellbeing. Keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly is essential. For people with osteoarthritis, certain foods with anti-inflammatory qualities can help keep joints from getting sore and swollen. These foods include the following:

  1. Fatty acids – Foods rich in Omega-3s are not only good for the heart, but they also fight inflammation too. Foods rich in these fatty acids include chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, trout, salmon, eggs, and avocados.
  2. Spices – Ginger and turmeric have great anti-inflammatory properties. The added benefit is that they also make food more flavorful! Add it to muffins, make yourself a nice warm cup of ginger tea, or season chicken to add it into your diet.
  3. Green tea – A refreshing drink, green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help to fight inflammation. It is lovely as a hot or cold drink, mixed with fresh lemon or fruit juice, or even added into marinades and salad dressings.
  4. Vitamin C – This vitamin isn’t just good for fighting off colds, it also helps the body produce collagen – an essential component of the cartilage in our joints. It is most effective when you eat it in foods rather than taking it in tablet form. Try adding cauliflower, guavas, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, strawberries, leafy greens, and oranges to your diet.
  5. Anthocyanins – This is a type of antioxidant that helps keep connective tissue healthy. It is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like beets, cherries, berries, grapes, plums, and pomegranates.

Independence for Seniors – Quality 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- 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 or book a personal tour, or visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/use-your-diet-to-help-manage-arthritis/

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