Category Archives: Health & Wellness

5 Things Seniors Need to do to Prepare for Winter

Winter car upkeeping: Antifreeze

Winter is approaching quickly and along with all the celebrations and festivities, the season also brings a few challenges like snow, ice and cold weather. Here are five tips for seniors to prepare for the winter ahead from our specialists in home help services for the elderly:

  1. Home maintenance. Start early with home maintenance before the rush sets in. Have your home’s heating system checked and serviced, make sure the gutters are cleared out and schedule small home maintenance repairs before they become bigger problems. It’s also a good idea to have smoke and CO(carbon monoxide) detectors checked to ensure they’re in good working order.
  2. Wardrobe. Go through your winter wardrobe thoroughly to ensure that your warm weather items are in good condition and within easy reach when the cold sets in. Make sure you have enough warm clothing, scarves and blankets, as well as weather-proof gear, for when you go outdoors. Check your shoes to make sure they are still weather-tight and can grip well to avoid slipping on ice. Walking sticks must also be checked to ensure that worn cane tips are replaced.
  3. Car maintenance. Driving in the winter can be dangerous, so make sure your vehicle is fully serviced before the icy weather arrives — check oil, wiper blades, tires and the battery. Ensure that your roadside assistance service is up-to-date and pack an emergency kit to leave inside your vehicle (not in the trunk). This kit should include a blanket, snacks with a long expiration date, hat/socks/gloves, booster cables, emergency flare, flashlight with additional batteries, cellphone adapter to charge your phone from inside the car, basic first aid kit and bottled water.
  4. Home provisions. Stock up with non-perishable foods and bottled water to eliminate trips during bad weather. Frozen meals can also be stockpiled in your freezer. Aim for as much variety as possible and ensure that you have Vitamin-D-rich foods like tuna, salmon, milk and grains. Also, stock up on common over-the-counter medications.
  5. Assistance. If needed, don’t hesitate to ask for help from neighbors, family, and friends. They can take on bigger jobs like clearing away snow and ice, home maintenance or fetching winter goods out of hard-to-reach places. Lifts to and from the shops, appointments or social events can also make daily life a lot easier. Some communities even have shuttle services specifically to help seniors.

Winter or Summer, Choose the Best Home Help Services for the Elderly in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through HomeWorks. This program is about assisting the elderly 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 health care agency or our residential in home respite care in NJ, 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/5-things-seniors-need-to-do-to-prepare-for-winter/

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Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Loss

Asian old woman having her ears checked

Hearing loss typically begins around age 40 and slowly progresses — in fact, most people don’t even realize they’re not hearing things as clearly as they used to. For the elderly, hearing loss often progresses to the point where quality of life can be affected, and verbal communication is difficult, so it’s important recognize the symptoms of hearing loss early and get professional treatment. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team in New Jersey.

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed? 

An audiologist will be able to run a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your hearing and measure the extent of its deterioration. These aren’t painful tests and don’t require a hospital stay — most require you to answer questions about your health and hearing issues, and to listen to differently pitched tones through headphones.

It’s important to get a diagnosis on your hearing problem, as there are many conditions that can affect your hearing. These include:

  • Age-related hearing loss;
  • Build-up of earwax;
  • Infection;
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
  • Nerve damage; and
  • Medication (including cancer chemotherapies).

How is Hearing Loss Treated? 

Most of these conditions are very treatable, so early diagnosis is key to getting your hearing back and preventing more serious issues. Treatments can range from a course of antibiotics in the case of infection, to a high-tech hearing aid in the case of age-related hearing loss.

Managing your diet and lifestyle can also help preserve your hearing, and following doctors’ orders to manage conditions like hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, kidney disease, cholesterol, and thyroid disease are especially important. Even simple lifestyle changes can have an impressive effect – for some people, cutting down on their caffeine intake can prevent inner ear issues like tinnitus, ear pressure problems, dizziness and hearing loss.

Compassionate, Professional Care from Senior Home Care Specialists in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior home care options, including in-home respite care through our HomeWorks program. This program assists the elderly 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 medical care and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and in home respite care, 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/diagnosing-and-treating-hearing-loss/

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Prostate Cancer and Seniors – What You Need to Know

Men health man prostate cancer November awareness month vector blue ribbon

This month is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so the team from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ is sharing essential information to raise awareness and help fight this serious health condition.

What is Prostate Cancer? 

This is the third most common type of cancer, affecting over 3 million men in the USA. Almost all cases — over 90% — occur in men over the age of 55, making it essential that seniors take active measures to be aware of this condition.

Symptoms of the disease can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Trouble maintaining bladder control
  • Erectile dysfunction

It is important to note that these symptoms may only show up years after a tumor begins to grow, so it is important to have regular screenings to ensure an early diagnosis. Most doctors recommend that men should go for an annual screening every year from their 40s or if concerning symptoms appear.

5 Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer:

  1. Active surveillance. This treatment program focuses on a combination of frequent check-ups (monitoring of the tumor) and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) bloodwork, and is only recommended for mild cases.
  2. Another treatment for milder cases, this involves a process whereby cancer cells are frozen in order to kill them. It can also be used along with radiation if there are still remaining cancer cells after treatment.
  3. In advanced stages of the disease, the prostate can be removed surgically along with the tumor. This does involve a hospital stay and rehabilitative therapy to combat the urinary incontinence and erectile disfunction that 80% of men experience post-surgery.
  4. Radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-energy rays focused on the treatment area to kill cancerous cells. It has a number of unpleasant side effects, although these disappear over time after a successful treatment is over.
  5. High-intensity focused ultrasound. HIFU is a newer treatment option that is less invasive and has fewer side effects than many others. It uses high-intensity sound waves to kill the cancer cells and has the advantage of being repeatable in the event that the treatment doesn’t eradicate the cancer the first time around.

As with all cancers and medical conditions, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment — so annual screenings are essential to saving lives.

Independent Style Living for Seniors – Assisted Living New Jersey 

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 delivering essential resources that promote independence for seniors.

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/prostate-cancer-and-seniors-what-you-need-to-know/

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Inside the Medicare 5-Star Rating System

5-star rating system

If you’re in the process of trying to select a skilled nursing provider to meet your loved one’s senior care needs, then you may have come across the Medicare 5-star rating system, also known as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings. In this article, the team from our assisted living community in Gloucester County explains what this is all about.

What is the 5-Star Rating System? 

Over 10 years ago, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon posed the following question to congress: Why is it easier for people to choose a new appliance than to choose a skilled nursing community? The result was the development of the 5-star rating system.

In this system, skilled nursing providers are awarded a rating of between one and five stars, with five stars being the best rating. This rating is based on several key factors, such as:

Health inspections. How the provider has performed in health inspections over the last three years.

Staff. How many hours of nursing care each resident or patient receives per day as well as the ratio of staff per resident or patient. Facilities with high care needs like hospice or nursing homes would be expected to have more skilled nursing staff than assisted living communities with lower intensity care needs.

Quality of care. Eleven different criteria covering the level of medical and physical care are evaluated. The ratings also take into account how timely the agency is in starting care, how patients and residents improve under care, and how well the provider performs in terms of minimizing patient and resident trips to hospitals and emergency rooms.

This system is fairly comprehensive and — because there are so many different providers and care plans available to seniors — this makes it a useful tool for evaluating different care options and plans. However, it shouldn’t be your only resource in making this important decision, and you should ensure that you visit different providers in person and get quality references.

Looking for Independence and Quality of Life? Visit Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester County, New Jersey 

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, 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/inside-the-medicare-5-star-rating-system/

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5 Healthy Vision Tips for Seniors

Examining patient vision

The eyes are often called the window to the soul — and they’re certainly an important window out into the world. As we age, vision can deteriorate, and we can become increasingly at risk for health conditions that affect eyesight. Here are five tips for seniors from our home health aide services team to help protect and preserve eyesight:

  1. Be aware of changes in eyesight/discomfort. In the case of most eye health conditions, early detection is critical to restoring eyesight and minimizing damage. If you notice changes in your vision and eyes — blurriness, yellowing, pain, loss of night vision, etc. — make an appointment to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
  2. Stay informed about systemic health problems. Certain health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can worsen as we age and affect vision. It’s important to keep your ophthalmologist informed about your health conditions and the medication you’re taking to ensure that they can spot issues easily, give advice on how to recognize eye problems and assist in keeping your eyes healthy.
  3. Regular exercise. For eyes to be healthy, they need good blood circulation and a constant flow of oxygen, and exercise provides this stimulation. It also helps with keeping health conditions that affect the eyes under control. This doesn’t mean training for a marathon, however — yoga, stretching, walking, water aerobics and other gentle exercises are also effective.
  4. Invest in quality eye protection. Always wear protective eyewear when outdoors, especially in bright sunlight. Make sure that your sunglasses have larger lenses with an ultraviolet (UV) filter that blocks 100% of harmful rays.
  5. Have regular eye exams. Eye tests are not just for making sure that your prescription is up-to-date, it’s about monitoring and assessing the health of your eyes. Eye exams are designed to pick up early signs of health conditions that can affect your vision, including glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. One exam per year is recommended, but don’t hesitate to go more often if you are concerned about your vision.

 

Home Health Aide Services New Jersey – Convenient, Scalable At Home Care for the Elderly 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we strive to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care 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. We can assist you with respite care, overnight care, hourly or live in care, as well as provide experienced care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

For more information on our home health aide services for older adults, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-health-aide-services/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-healthy-vision-tips-for-seniors/

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5 Easy Ways to Add Extra Nutrition into a Senior Diet

Senior couple preparing salad

Digestive issues and lack of appetite are common concerns among seniors and can make getting proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight a challenge. Here are some tips from our in home respite care team in New Jersey on how to assist seniors in this important area:

  1. Easily digested protein. Some forms of protein are more difficult to chew and digest than others, so it can help to include different sources that offer alternatives for seniors with poor digestion or dental challenges. Eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese and ground beef are high-protein, versatile options to suit any taste.
  2. Smoothies are a great way to add a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as protein into a diet — and they’re tasty and easy to swallow and digest, too. Green smoothies of leafy greens like spinach and kale blended with mango, pineapple and banana are a favorite, but you can also experiment with all kinds of seasonal fruits, vegetables and yogurts for variety.
  3. Whey protein powder. This is easy to add into oatmeal, porridge and fruit smoothies and is a fantastic source of protein that requires no chewing at all. There are quite a few varieties on the market and neutral options don’t impact flavor significantly, so they’re great for fussy eaters. Since some have added sugar, seniors who have diabetes or are trying to manage their weight, should be aware of the ingredients.
  4. Versatile healthy fats. Creamy peanut butter, mashed avocado, olive oil and butter can all be easily added into everyday meals such as soups, pureed vegetables, mashed potatoes and casseroles to increase calorie intake (if needed) and add healthy fats essential to regulating blood sugar levels and healthy brain function.
  5. Homemade ‘ice cream.’ If your senior has a sweet tooth and loves deserts, this type of ice cream is a healthy and delicious alternative. Simply freeze slices of ripe banana and when it’s time for desert, put them in the blender with some drops of vanilla or frozen berries. It’s sweet and delicious — and rich in potassium and vitamins — and you can’t even tell it isn’t regular ice cream!

Professional, Affordable In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates 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/5-easy-ways-to-add-extra-nutrition-into-a-senior-diet/

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7 Senior Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Senior woman applying sunscreen to mans nose

Spending time outdoors in the summer is a favorite activity for many people in New Jersey! While it’s important to get enough Vitamin D to keep bones, teeth and the immune system healthy, it’s still important to avoid damage from UV (ultra-violet) rays that can lead to skin cancer.

Although much of this damage is done in our earlier years of life, healthy precautions proactively protect seniors — just look at these seven tips from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Use high quality sunblock. Always choose a waterproof sunblock of at least SPF30 (sun protection factor) if not higher, even on cloudy days.
  2. Cover up. Pretty cotton shawls, wide-brim sun hats and loose cotton pants are great for keeping cool and keeping UV rays from coming into direct skin contact.
  3. Protect those eyes. Sunglasses with large polarized lenses and a UV400 rating (blocking 100% of UVA and UVB rays) are a must-have, making it more comfortable to see on bright days and protecting the eyes and delicate skin around them.
  4. Stay indoors during peak UV times. Sunshine becomes particularly dangerous around midday, so it’s a good idea for anyone — senior or otherwise — to stay indoors between 11am and 2pm and reserve the morning and afternoon for outdoor activities.
  5. Take Vitamin D. As we mentioned above, Vitamin D is very important, and many seniors simply aren’t getting enough. Your doctor will be able to tell you just how much of the supplement you should take to stay healthy, as it’s important not to have too much in your diet.
  6. Check your medications. Some medications, including some antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s effects, causing you to burn more easily. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that none of your prescriptions put you at higher risk. If they do, try to stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible and be extra diligent with reapplying sunblock.
  7. Perform a skin exam. Self-examinations are a good way to spot any indications of early skin cancer. Look for spots, changes in skin color, burns, new spots or growths on moles or itchy/bleeding moles or skin growths. If you have any concerns, visit your doctor — it never hurts to have skin cancer ruled out.

 

Assisted Living in Gloucester County – A True Community for Independent Seniors 

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, 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/7-senior-skin-cancer-prevention-tips/

 

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