Category Archives: Health & Wellness

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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5 Common Balance Disorders That Can Lead to Falls

Falls present one of the biggest threats to senior health and wellness, and are a leading cause of injury and death in American seniors. Therefore, fall prevention is a priority for families with elderly loved ones, as well as the senior healthcare industry. Balance disorders can make falls far more likely, resulting in trips to the emergency room, expensive operations and long recoveries. Here’s a guide to common balance disorders from our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ:

 

  1. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo. This is a form of vertigo triggered by a specific change in the position of your head. It can be very intense, but brief, and you may feel like you are spinning. This can occur when you bend down to look under something, roll over in bed or look up and behind you. It can result from head trauma or simply age.
  2.  Ménière’s disease. This is a condition characterized by episodes of hearing loss, vertigo, buzzing in the ear, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. The cause is unknown, but may have something to do with the change of fluid volume in the ear. There are some treatment options available, from pressure pulse treatment to surgery.
  3.  Labyrinthitis. This infection of the inner ear can cause dizziness and loss of balance. It can occur as the result of an upper respiratory infection, like the flu, so it is especially important to watch for in seniors who have or are recovering from these conditions.
  4. Vestibular neuronitus. This is caused by a viral infection that causes the vestibular nerve to become inflamed.
  5.  Perilymph fistula. This condition occurs when fluid leaks from the inner ear into the middle ear, causing unsteadiness that usually increases with increased activity, as well as dizziness and nausea. It can be caused in seniors after being exposed to dramatic changes in air pressure, head trauma, ear infections of even as a surgical complication.

 

If you are noticing increased dizziness, ringing in the ears or balance issues with yourself or an elderly loved one, it is important to visit your doctor. The condition itself may not be serious, but a fall that results from a balance problem can be severe. It’s always better to be safe!

 

Comfortable, Professional Assisted Living in NJ with a Community Spirit 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, 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 visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-common-balance-disorders-can-lead-falls/

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Don’t Miss Out on These 7 Essential Health Screenings

Doctor Checking Blood Pressure

Early diagnosis of health conditions is essential for fast and effective treatment, especially when you’re in your senior years. Comprehensive medical check-ups can help keep you fit, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Here are the most important screenings for seniors, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey:

  • Blood pressure and cholesterol. Your blood pressure should be checked once a year by your physician, or more often if you suffer from high blood pressure. It’s recommended that your cholesterol be checked with a test for lipids every three years as a senior, or more often if you suffer from high cholesterol.
  • Colorectal cancer exams. After the age of 50, you should have this exam once every 10 years, or more frequently if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or if polyps have been found during a previous exam. Because colorectal cancer is highly treatable, it is important to detect early.
  • Vaccinations. Seniors should have a tetanus booster shot every 10 years, as well as an annual flu vaccine. At age 65, get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against infections like pneumonia, sinusitis, meningitis, endocarditis, pericarditis and inner ear infections.
  • Eye exams. As your vision can quickly deteriorate as you age, it’s important to schedule an annual eye test. This will pick up any deterioration in your eyesight as well as check for age-related eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts. Early diagnosis is key to safeguarding your eyesight.
  • Hearing tests. It’s recommended that you get your hearing tested every two to three years.
  • Bone density scans. Osteoporosis, a serious and incurable disease, affects millions of Americans, especially women. A bone density scan, which is recommended at age 65, measures bone mass and records any bone loss, as well as give you access to crucial early treatment.
  • Diabetes test. A quick and easy blood sugar test is the best way to screen for diabetes, a disease that affects millions of Americans. Catching this disease early will make treatment easier, and will help prevent much of the damage this disease can cause if left untreated.

Community Living for Seniors 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. With an experienced team and a lively social calendar, we focus on providing essential resources that promote independence and quality of 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/dont-miss-7-essential-health-screenings/

 

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Keep Your Heart in Shape This Valentine’s Day

February is the month of love, so it’s no surprise that it’s also American Heart Month! Though heart disease risks increase with age, there are many things seniors can do to lower these and keep hearts in great shape. Here are some tips for a healthier, happier heart through your senior years, from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ.

Know the 8 Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Attack 

For many people, the first sign of a heart problem may be a heart attack. Therefore, it’s vital to stay alert for signs of a heart attack to assist yourself and others in emergency situations. These warning signs or symptoms include:

  1. Feeling faint, weak or light-headed;
  2. Breathlessness;
  3. Nausea and/or vomiting;
  4. The sensation of being very full or having indigestion/stomach pain;
  5. Pain or pressure in the chest;
  6. Pain in the arms, especially down the left arm;
  7. Sweating; and
  8. Irregular heartbeat.

6 Ways to Reduce Heart Disease Risks 

A healthier lifestyle is the foundation of heart health, and specialists recommend the following steps to make your heart stronger and reduce the risk of disease:

  1. Get enough exercise – 30 minutes a day is ideal, but you don’t have to start running! Aqua-aerobics, dancing, gardening, walking, yoga and other activities count. Always include weights, activities and exercises appropriate for your level of physical health. If you’re new to exercise or worried about overdoing it, speak to your doctor and a senior fitness specialist.
  2. Quit smoking.
  3. Reduce alcohol intake – Recommended consumption is no more than 7 drinks a week, and no more than 3 on any day.
  4. Eat healthy – Good diets for heart health include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, water, and lean protein, as well as limiting saturated fats, salt and fatty meat. This also promotes weight loss, as maintaining a healthy weight also reduces risk of heart disease.
  5. De-stress – Because stress is bad for the heart, it’s important to find healthy outlets for stress and remove unnecessary stressors from your life.
  6. Have regular check-ups – Commit to regular check-ups with your physician to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Any high levels can be checked and managed before they become a problem for your heart.

Relax, Unwind and Enjoy Your Golden Years – Independent-Style Living for Seniors 

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 and quality of life.

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/keep-heart-shape-valentines-day/

 

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Be Aware and Save Lives: Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

When it comes to strokes, every second counts towards preventing permanent damage and saving lives. Here’s what you need to know from our senior home health care services team about this medical condition in order to act quickly.

F-A-S-T – The easy way to recognize stroke symptoms 

The four letters F-A-S-T, spells out the symptoms of a stroke and are key to saving lives. Here’s what they mean:

F = FACE DROOPING. Watch for one side of the face starting to droop or feel numb. Ask the person to smile to check for unevenness.

A = ARM WEAKNESS. One arm feeling weaker or numb. To test, ask the person to raise their arms up in front of them and see if their one arm drifts down or has difficulty responding.

S = SLURRED SPEECH. Difficulty speaking and articulating words. Test the person by asking them to repeat a short sentence like, “The grass is green.”

T = TIME. If someone shows one or more of the above symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1. This is vital even if you are unsure or if the symptoms seem to be going away, as time is absolutely vital for effective medical treatment.

Additional symptoms may include vision trouble, sudden dizziness or trouble walking, severe headache or numbness on one side of the body.

What is a stroke? 

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This prevents vital organs, like the brain, from getting needed oxygen and nutrients and very quickly results in damage to the organ. This is a very serious event, as the affected part of the brain may never fully recover from the damage and, if the stroke is severe enough or not treated quickly enough, the patient may die.

In fact, strokes are the fifth most common cause of death in the USA, killing around 140,000 Americans each year. Because many of these deaths and stroke-related injuries can be prevented if patients are treated as quickly as possible, knowing the FAST checklist is so essential.

Stroke risk factors 

While a stroke can happen to anyone, these risk factors make a stroke more likely:

  • African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to have a first stroke, and have the highest mortality rate.
  • Younger age groups are increasingly at risk of stroke, but the highest age group at risk are people over 65.
  • Women are more likely to have a stroke than men.
  • Health conditions and lifestyle. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, low physical activity, and heart disease all increase stroke risks.

Expert, compassionate at home care for the elderly in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, one of New Jersey’s leading home health aide services organization, we strive to offer the very best quality senior homecare options, from assisted living to in-homecare through our HomeWorks program. 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 daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home health care services or to find a qualified home health aide in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/aware-save-lives-stroke-warning-signs-symptoms/

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A Guide to Breast Health and Wellness as We Age

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so our CCRC Sussex County, NJ team decided it’s the ideal time to talk about senior breast health!

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the result of abnormal, malignant cell growth in breast tissue, and is the second most common cancer affecting women after melanoma. The American Cancer Society estimated that over 231,000 women in the USA alone would be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015, with 40,290 of those cases proving to be fatal.

The risk of breast cancer in seniors – What you need to know

Several risk factors make it more likely for someone to contract breast cancer, and many of these are especially relevant to seniors. These factors include:

  • Aging
  • Menopause occurring after the age of 50
  • Long-term use of oral contraceptives
  • Post-menopausal weight gain
  • No pregnancy/Pregnancy after age 30
  • Genetic history of breast cancer

Other risk factors to be aware of include adolescent weight gain, radiation exposure to the chest region as a child, start of menarche before age 12, and increased breast tissue density.

Senior health and wellness tips to reduce the risks of breast cancer

As with most cancers, early detection is key to treating and surviving breast cancer, so the best tip we can give you is to keep up with regular screening with your physician. The U.S. Preventative Services recommends that women aged 50 to 74 attend biennial mammography screenings (one every second year) as these can detect the cancer before symptoms start to show.

Clinical breast exams are also recommended at least every three years, and you can perform a self-exam on your own, carefully feeling the breast for any lumps. If any are found, it’s best to see a doctor for a more thorough checkup as soon as possible.
If you are especially high-risk for breast cancer, speak to your physician about a more detailed detection process, as they may recommend more frequent mammograms or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging).

Other tips for helping to reduce risk factors include:

  • Limit alcohol to recommended intake.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Lose any excess weight.
  • Commit to a healthy diet and exercise plan as recommended by your physician.

Comfortable living for independent seniors at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

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

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities in Sussex County, NJ, and our 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/guide-breast-health-wellness-age/]

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