Category Archives: HomeWorks

Food Matters – Maximizing Nutrition Among Seniors

Good nutrition and a healthy diet is an essential for every time of life, but is more of a challenge for seniors. As we age, our bodies can become less effective at getting nutrients from the food we eat, appetites can decrease, chewing certain foods becomes more difficult, and many older adults experience mobility issues that make shopping and food preparation more difficult. Putting the extra effort into getting the right nutrients, however, is very important, as they significantly impact health, wellness and quality of life.

Here are some strategies from our at home health care agency for helping to improve the diet and nutrition of your elderly loved one:

Five steps to take to help ensure good nutrition in your elderly loved one 

  1. This important first step in the process will help you find out the quality of your loved one’s nutrition, what they are missing and where complications are occurring, so that you can develop a plan that suits their need. Ask your physician to recommend a nutritionist to assist you.
  2. Know the basics. The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s guidelines for nutrition in older adults are a good way to get to know the basics. Fruits and vegetables should be central to the diet, along with nuts, legumes and wholegrains, fish and low-fat dairy products. Sugar and refined foods should be limited.
  3. Small, frequent meals. Large portions can be intimidating and result in limited nutritional intake (for example, just eating one type of food on the plate before becoming full). Encourage smaller portions more frequently from a greater variety of foods. Snacks of yogurt and fresh fruit between meals with lean protein and a few different vegetables help create a more varied diet and make eating greater quantities of food easier.
  4. Healthy calories. If maintaining weight or gaining weight needs to occur, choose high-calorie healthy options like health shakes and protein-filled smoothies. These often contain plenty of vitamins and additional nutrients and are easy to eat and digest —just be sure not to choose one that is high in sugar.
  5. Ask for help. For many seniors and their caregivers, mealtimes are a challenge that take up a lot of time and effort. There are many meal services, however, that specialize in nutritionally-balanced home-cooked meals for seniors who can take the strain off you and your loved one. Try a few providers in your area and look for meals that meet the guidelines of your physician and nutritionist.

Professional, affordable at home care for the elderly in NJ 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and offers them, their families and caregivers, personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information about our at home healthcare agency or our home help services for the elderly, 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/food-matters-maximizing-nutrition-among-seniors/

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The Differences Between Home Care and Assisted Living

When an elderly parent or loved one starts requiring additional assistance to manage their daily lives, two of the most popular solutions include assisted living and in-home senior care services. So, how can you evaluate the two?

It is important to remember that one service is not ‘better’ than the other in a fundamental sense. Rather, one is a more suitable choice for you and your loved one than another, based on certain factors including your budget, the services required and hospice considerations. Here are some insights from our senior independent home care team:

  • Budget. The costs of assisted living and in-home senior care are on the rise, but there is no set cost for either option — it will vary between service providers. While most assisted living services have a set living expense to which additional costs will apply only when your loved one needs care, in-home care offers more flexibility through hourly costs. Here, you can employ a home health aide for anything from a few hours a day for daily assistance and companionship to 24-hour care, making in-home care a very flexible option, especially for family caregivers needing respite care. When making a budget, remember to include your loved one’s home and monthly costs (meals, cleaning service, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, taxes, etc.) to get a true comparison.
  • Services offered. Assisted living facilities may offer a wide range of services, from simple residential living services for independent seniors to skilled nursing care. They also offer the benefit of living in a community of like-minded people, with activities, social events, clubs and connections all aimed at keeping residents happy and healthy. Private home care, however, focuses more on keeping your loved one in their established home and community — a great feature if they are active in their community and have lots of friends and family nearby. In-home services focus more on daily assistance, such as grooming, bathing, mobility, light housework, shopping, medication management and so forth. For more serious conditions, skilled 24-hour care can be provided.
  • Hospice services. In contrast to regular assistance, hospice services focus on palliative, end-of-life care. Assisted living communities often partner with hospice agencies, offering this level of care. Some in-home senior care providers also offer  hospice programs, but it’s important to check to ensure they can accommodate this if needed, and that the costs suit your budget. In-home end-of-life care can be easier on patients who are able and prefer to stay in familiar surroundings close to family and loved ones.

Senior independent home care from trained and experienced health aides 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality holistic at home care for the elderly through HomeWorks. This program assists older adults 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 in-home care, we also offer pastoral care, lending spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our home health aide services in New Jersey, please contact us today at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/ .

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/differences-home-care-assisted-living/

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A Guide to Arthritis

In the USA, over 50 million adults suffer from some degree of arthritis, , making this health condition  the leading cause of disability. Here’s a quick guide from our in-home respite care services team.

What is Arthritis?

This is the collective name given to more than 100 different rheumatic diseases which cause joint pain and disease. The term refers to inflammation of the joints; symptoms can be mild, moderate, severe or  even come and go over time. These symptoms can include:

  • Isolated pain or pain throughout the body.
  • Skin around the joint becomes red and swollen, and feels warm to the touch.
  • Stiffness often flares up after a period of immobility, such as sleeping or sitting at a desk. This may also occur after exercise, or in some cases, persists throughout the day.
  • Experience problems with mobility such as getting up from a sitting position or bed, doing fine motor work (knitting, writing, etc.), and walking.

Common Types of Arthritis and their Treatments 

Rheumatoid Arthritis. This systemic disease typically affects wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles on both sides of the body. Symptoms commonly include morning stiffness for over an hour, equal joint pain on both sides of the body, loss of joint  range-of-motion and joint malformation over time. These symptoms can also be accompanied by sleep difficulties, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, nodules under the skin, chest pain and eye discomfort.

While not curable, treatments for the symptoms, include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and biologic agents. Doctors may also recommend occupational therapy, and dietary supplements rich in healthy fatty acids and oils, and in severe cases, surgery.

Osteoarthritis. This is usually the result of wear-and-tear on the joints, often seen in older adults. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in certain joints, worse pain after exercise, grating sounds when the joint is used, and morning stiffness. This health condition cannot be cured or reversed, but there are treatment options to help manage symptoms. These can include pain medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chronic pain medication, injections of cortisone and lubrication, and occupational therapy. Doctors may also suggest certain exercises and nutritional supplements that are rich in healthy fatty acids and oils.

Care from our NJ in-home respite care and health aide services 

United Methodist Communities, strives to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options through HomeWorks. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes, providing 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 in-home respite care services.

For more information on our in-home care services and residential in-home respite care in NJ, please contact us today at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/ .

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/a-guide-to-arthritis/

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The Value of In-Home Spiritual and Emotional Support

For many senior home healthcare providers, the focus of their services is medical care and physical assistance. While these are important offerings, specialists have become increasingly aware of the health and quality of life benefits that come from combining this high-quality care with compassionate companionship and pastoral care.

Health benefits of a holistic approach to wellness 

Spiritual and emotional support in the form of companionship and pastoral care serve to balance the technological and scientific breakthroughs that benefit the physical health of seniors. This holistic approach assists and supports your loved ones in every facet of their lives, bringing significant benefits that include:

  • Developing and maintaining helpful coping mechanisms to deal with the aging process, frailty, illness, and the loss of loved ones.
  • Developing a sense of peace and acceptance of mortality that relieves anxiety and helps focus on enjoying what life has to offer.
  • Strengthening social and community relationships that help combat loneliness, depression and stress. These bonds also help keep seniors motivated and active, and bounce back from illness or injury more rapidly.
  • Providing a confidant outside of the family or social circles who can offer counselling, listen to fears and worries without judgement or personal involvement as an impartial support mechanism.
  • Helping to develop and foster a sense of purpose and belonging, enriching relationships, building positive social behaviors and contributing towards happiness.
  • An increased ability to manage the psychological effects of loss, illness, disability or health issues effectively.

Skilled medical support, physical assistance and pastoral senior home care services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality holistic at home care for older adults, from assisted living to in-home care through our HomeWorks program. 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. In addition to daily homecare 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 at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/ .

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/value-home-spiritual-emotional-support/

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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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When to Consider In-Home Care Services

In-home care services  provide seniors with compassionate, skilled assistance on a temporary or permanent basis. Here are some tips from senior home care specialists in New Jersey on evaluating if your loved one will benefit from these services.

Evaluate your loved one’s care needs 

It’s always difficult for families to accept that an elderly loved one is starting to struggle with their health and day-to-day living, but at the same time it’s important to put their quality of life first. Here are some signs to look for that indicate the senior in your life may need a helping hand:

  • More regular or more severe falls.
  • Unusual weight loss.
  • Unwillingness to prepare meals, old or expired food in their home, burned pots and pans, etc.
  • Increased car accidents or unwillingness to drive.
  • Home becoming much more cluttered and unclean.
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be eagerly anticipated
  • Withdrawal from socializing with friends and family.
  • Bills, paperwork, etc. piling up and being neglected.
  • Increasing forgetfulness and confusion, including forgetting to take medication, appointments and social engagements.

Home health agencies offer flexible, affordable care 

The main advantage of senior home care services like HomeWorks, which is offered by United Methodist Communities of New Jersey, is that you can get your loved one exactly the amount of care they require without having to move. You can even set the hours that your caregiver will work, making it easier for family caregivers to manage their own lives and careers while still supporting their elderly loved ones.

Caregivers are assigned according to your loved one’s needs and can take care of housekeeping and meal preparation, in addition to skilled nursing assistance and Alzheimer’s care. In addition to medical care and in-home respite services, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

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

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/consider-home-care-services/

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5 Ways Home Health Aides Can Help Make Family Caregiving Easier

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With many people taking on the role of family caregiver to keep their loved one in the comfort of their home, it’s important to provide family caregivers with support. Life is demanding for family caregivers, and here are just some of the ways that home care can provide essential assistance.

  1. Professional support without the cost of assisted living: Home care services bridge the gap between family caregiving and assisted living, helping caregivers and loved ones access care when needed without the commitment and expense of assisted living.
  2. Home comforts: This brings one of the biggest benefits to seniors and their families. Assistance by a home health aide helps you to keep your loved one at home in their own comfortable and familiar surroundings and in the community they love, which is ideal for seniors with nearby friends and relatives.
  3. Scalable services: Among their biggest worries, family caregivers fear that one day they will be faced with a challenge they cannot handle, whether it requires special training or a clash of important commitments. When family caregiving becomes too much to handle, a home health aide offers an easy, compassionate transition into professional care.
  4. Daily help: An important role of a family caregiver is to provide emotional support and companionship, but this can easily be lost under a mountain of daily chores and mundane, but essential tasks. A home health aide can take on this side of caregiving with ease, letting you focus on quality time with your loved one.
  5. Spotting wellness issues early: Home health aides are trained to monitor the wellbeing of their client, keeping track of medications and current health issues, as well as spotting new developments and report any changes to the registered nurse in charge of your loved ones’ care. This expertise ensures that your loved one gets the right treatment early on, helping to reduce and prevent costly treatments and hospital visits.
  6. Professional home care in New Jersey – The affordable, high-quality wellness option 

At United Methodist Communities HomeWorks, we’re proud to offer home health aide services to assist family caregivers and their senior loved ones. Whether your loved one needs round-the-clock care, companionship or assistance with daily chores and grooming, we can  help with professional support. Our home health aides are trained, certified and experienced in senior care, and we offer our services at affordable rates scaled to your requirements. 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 the elderly, please contact us todayat https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-ways-home-health-aides-can-help-make-family-caregiving-easier/

 

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