Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Healthy Heart Tips from HomeWorks

Hearts are the strongest muscles in our bodies, beating over 3.3 billion times over 80 years while we sleep, eat, laugh, and enjoy life. Like any muscle, it needs certain nutrients and exercise to keep healthy and fit — this becomes more essential as we age. Here are some of the best tips for senior heart health, from our home health aide services team:

  • Exercise. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week is required to keep hearts in great shape, but you need not worry about running a marathon to get results. Walking, hiking, dancing, aqua aerobics, and even gardening benefit the heart and are gentle on joints, too.
  • Eat the right diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for the heart, as are lean proteins and essential oils. Try to avoid or omit red meat, fatty meats, saturated fats, and salt.
  • Control cholesterol and high blood pressure. High numbers here put your heart under considerable stress and force it to work harder to get blood and oxygen to the brain and body, as well as leading to increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. To reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, speak to your physician about keeping these numbers in a healthy range and take the required medication as prescribed.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is just as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. This unhealthy habit causes serious health problems for the heart, including increased risks of heart disease and heart attacks. However, it is important to remember that it is never too late to quit and quitting will have an almost immediate benefit. In fact, within a few months, you will be breathing easier and in just one year, reduce your risk of heart disease by half.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Managing a healthy weight is key. Like smoking, excess weight increases risks of heart disease and heart attacks. Your physician can advise you on a health and wellness plan that will help you lose weight in a safe and manageable way.
  • Stop the stress. Stress, anxiety and worry can have very real effects on your physical health, including your heart. Speaking to a therapist or pastor, taking up a new hobby, socializing more or joining yoga and meditation classes for seniors, all form therapeutic outlets.

Maintain a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body with In-Home Care for the Elderly in NJ

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

For more information on our home health aide services in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/healthy-heart-tips-homeworks/

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Medication Safety Tips for Seniors

Medication can be a lifesaver as we grow older and may have to deal with more health problems, but only correctly taken as prescribed by a physician. When multiple medications are in use, it’s easy to get distracted and forget to take one or forget you’ve taken one already and accidentally double dose — and that can be very dangerous. Here are some tips for taking medications safely from our assisted living community in Camden County, New Jersey:

  • Only take prescribed medication. There are plenty of over-the-counter medications and supplements available, but you should avoid taking them unless you have spoken to your doctor or healthcare practitioner. While it may be safe to take them, your doctor will know if you are already on a treatment plan for that health issue, as well as whether or not the over-the-counter medication could interact badly with another medication you are already on.
  • Take medication as prescribed. Taking the correct dosage is just the first step in safely managing your medications. In addition, it’s important to take them at the right time of day, as some medications make you drowsy, and some medications should also only be taken with a meal. These recommendations are in place not only for your safety and health, but to ensure that the medication works as it should.
  • Keep a medication list. Keeping an up-to-date list of your medications is useful when consulting with a healthcare practitioner and during a medical emergency. Keep it somewhere easily seen, like on your fridge, and give a copy to a close friend or family member.
  • Be aware of medication interactions. Medications can interact with many things such as other drugs, herbal supplements, food, or drink.  It’s important to know the possible side effects of a bad medication interaction and carefully read all instructions that come with your medication in order to take them properly. If you are struggling with keeping track, ask a friend or family member to help create an information sheet you can refer to when needed, or organize your medication into a weekly pillbox.

Professional, comfortable assisted living for seniors in Camden County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of 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 provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, 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/medication-safety-tips-seniors/

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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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