Category Archives: Health & Wellness

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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Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Gives Seniors Their Lives Back

Physical therapy is one of the most beneficial options for seniors who have been ill, had a hospital stay or surgery. Rather than recuperating in bed with a good book or your favorite show, medical professionals recommend that you get up and get moving — under the supervision of our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ.

What’s the benefit of physical therapy? 

Physical therapy is designed to help:

  • Restore and improve functionality;
  • Restore and improve balance;
  • Restore and improve strength;
  • Reduce pain (for example, for arthritis patients);
  • Speed up the healing process; and
  • Increase mobility.

Why is it important for seniors? 

Everyone should undergo rehabilitation and physical therapy after a physical setback or surgery. But, it’s even more important for seniors. As we age, our bodies find it more and more of a challenge to bounce back after an illness or injury. It can be a challenge to achieve the same levels of physical wellness, even years after. Unfortunately, this can lead to risks of further complications down the line, including:

  • Increased fragility;
  • Infections;
  • Balance issues; and
  • Increased fall risks that can result in serious injury.

Physical therapy is incredibly important to give your body the support and assistance it needs to ensure that you can get back that level of confidence and independence you need to live a quality life.

What happens in physical therapy?

Everyone’s physical therapy plan is unique and tailored to what their body needs and can manage, so that it brings the greatest benefit without causing injury. Therefore, it is very important to follow your medical professional’s advice and visit recommended therapists who understand how to work with seniors.

You will work one-on-one with your therapist to ensure that you are doing exercises correctly. They will likely recommend some exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Getting the best results from physical therapy means committing to following any regime properly — the success stories speak for themselves!

Professional, Compassionate Assisted Living and Respite Care in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman, an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offers high-quality assisted living services in a well-supported, comfortable and beautiful 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/rehabilitation-physical-therapy-gives-seniors-lives-back/ 

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The Best Tips for Healthy Aging

Although it sometimes feels like it, getting old isn’t all about dealing with different health issues – it’s about enjoying your life. Here are the best tips from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey on how to stay in the best shape:

  • It’s never too late to get healthy. Whether you’re a smoker, never participated in a sport or hate your vegetables, getting older doesn’t mean the time to make these changes is past. Even in your 60s and 70s, you can reduce the risks of chronic disease significantly, and that means more time with friends, family and loved ones.
  • Start slow with exercise. Exercise has a massive impact on your health, happiness, and well being, by controlling your body weight, reducing risk of dementia, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening muscles, thereby reducing your risk of falling. It’s advisable to speak first to your doctor about the best exercise for your body, so that you get fit in a healthy way. Exercise can also be a great excuse for socializing and working together with friends to keep you all motivated!
  • Stretch. Stretching is important for preventing stiffness, preventing injuries from exercise, and improving flexibility.  It also helps relieve discomfort resulting from health conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. Try a yoga class for seniors at your local wellness center or gym, and get in sync with your body.
  • Eat healthier. Changing your diet is a simple way to boost your health, but it does not mean you have to avoid the food you love – providing your doctor approves. Speak to your doctor about ways you can improve your diet, like adding more leafy greens and fresh fruit, and cutting out fatty foods in favor of healthy foods rich in essential fatty acids. This will help lower blood pressure, lower risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, and give your body a better immune response.
  • Prevention is better than a cure. Preventative measures  keep your body healthy and help stop issues from getting worse, much like servicing a vehicle every year instead of waiting for it to break down. Having your yearly flu shot, cancer screening, and eye examination as well as paying attention to warning signals from your body, are important ways to prevent bigger medical issues.

Live life to the full at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community based in Sussex County, provides seniors comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of aging in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model aims to keep residents in their residential apartments for as long as possible, with access additional services as their needs change.

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/best-tips-healthy-aging/

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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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