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5 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

Assisted living Camden County NJ

Being a little forgetful is a normal part of our busy, everyday lives. But, if an elderly loved one seems to be getting more forgetful than normal, then it could be a sign of early cognitive decline. As with many diseases, it is important to detect Alzheimer’s early to supply the best possible level of care and support. Here are some essential early warning signs of this condition that everyone can watch for, from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  • Getting Lost Easily – If your loved one suddenly can’t find their way around a place that’s very familiar to them, such as their local mall, doctor’s offices or even their neighborhood, it may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. People with this condition are often confused about where they are or how to get to and from a place they should know well.
  • Memory Issues – Alzheimer’s affects memory – especially short-term memories. Patients often forget information they have just learned, like appointments, messages or recent conversations. Keep an eye out for your loved one asking you the same questions over and over again, like the name of a new friend, whether you ran an errand for them, and so on. They may also constantly misplace items and forget where they are, or struggle to retrace their steps or the events of the day.
  • Money Mistakes – Because this condition affects short-term memory, it’s easy for seniors with Alzheimer’s to make mistakes with their money, for instance, like paying bills multiple times. This can leave them vulnerable to unethical people, so it’s important to help your loved one keep an eye on their finances and budget. This way you can spot issues like questionable financial decisions, giving away money, trouble balancing their household budget if they were always good at it before, and overbuying items (duplicate groceries, and the like).
  • Social Withdrawal – A change in social habits (hobbies, visiting friends and family, and so on) can be an early sign of a range of concerning issues including depression and Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to watch for. Your loved one may be worried that they are unwell or realize that they are being forgetful and, as a result, they can withdraw, either out of embarrassment or not wanting to concern others.
  • Problems Communicating – Information on Alzheimer’s disease often focuses on memory loss, but the condition can also affect written and spoken communication skills. Problems with forming a clear sentence, struggling to remember words and names, or incorrectly identifying objects can all point to this health condition.

It’s not easy to think about a loved one having Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s so important to recognize these symptoms early. A diagnosis can be frightening, but it gives your loved one the best possible support and care from the start. And if your loved one doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, a doctor’s examination can give you peace of mind.

Memory Support and Care for Alzheimer’s Patients Through Our Beautiful Assisted Living Community 

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, New Jersey, is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit, assisted living communities specializing in an independent lifestyle for seniors. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite- and memory care, and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about career opportunities at any of the four full-service United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-early-warning-signs-of-alzheimers/

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Why are Immunizations Essential for Seniors?

independent living for seniors

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ wants to raise awareness of why immunizations for seniors really matter!

Immunizations and Seniors 

Each year, thousands of adults are hospitalized with diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations, leading to costly medical bills, possible long-term damage to health, and even  risk of death.

Seniors are especially vulnerable as the immune system becomes less effective with age, making it more difficult to fight off infections, and the protection from vaccines you received as a child can wear off. Seniors also often have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, which can be further compromised by contracting additional viruses and infections. Because of these high risk factors, seniors are more likely to require extended hospitalization, when there is a risk of picking up a hospital-acquired infection.

What Vaccines are Recommended for Adults 65 and Older? 

  • Your annual flu vaccine (IIV or RIV)
  • Your tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine (Tdap or Td) every 10 years
  • Zoster recombinant (RZV) vaccine
  • Zoster live vaccine (ZVL)
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23)

Hepatitis (A and B), meningococcal (A, B, C, W and Y) and hemophilus influenza type B, depending on your medical history of vaccines and other risk factors as recommended by your physician. Other vaccines may be recommended if you travel a lot to certain countries or if have a particular pre-existing health condition such as liver disease, heart disease or diabetes.

Medicare Vaccine Coverage

Medicare Part B covers certain immunizations including the seasonal flu shot, seasonal H1N1 flu vaccine, pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine, and hepatitis B shots for high-risk beneficiaries. It will also cover certain vaccines if required as a result of treatment, for example, if you need a tetanus shot after stepping on rusty metal.

Visit Our Assisted living Camden County NJ and See What Senior Independence is All About 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent 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 our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/why-are-immunizations-essential-for-seniors/

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4 Tips for Regaining Self-Confidence After a Fall

Senior woman walking being helped by female nurse

When we’re younger, a fall is often a minor incident that’s quickly forgotten – but for seniors, it can be a devastating shock. In fact, falls are the leading cause of disability and serious injuries in seniors, often leading to emergency room visits, surgery and lengthy healing times.

It’s easy to see how a fall can lead to a loss of self-confidence, but this fear can hold back their full recovery and lead to a long-term loss of independence. Here are four tips for helping seniors regain their all-important self-confidence from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  • Acknowledge their fears. After a fall, don’t be surprised or dismissive if your loved one is fearful —  it’s important to understand fear from their perspective if you want to help them move forward. From the pain of the fall itself, to the struggle to get assistance, time in a hospital and a painful recovery, there’s a lot of legitimate concerns that your loved one will have to overcome.
  • Get professional assistance. Physical rehabilitation has come a long way in recent years, with new techniques for a faster, more effective recovery specifically designed with seniors in mind. With the right physical therapy, your loved one will be able to recover at a good pace and regain their strength, flexibility and stamina, keys to feeling more confident and independent.
  • Remove fall risks. Living spaces can become hazardous as we grow older and our reflexes decline, so it’s essential to do a full audit of your senior loved one’s home to ensure risks for future falls are reduced as much as possible. Good ideas include increasing lighting, removing clutter (especially around stairs and walkways) and loose rugs, and installing grab bars in the bathrooms.
    It’s also a good idea to set up some kind of emergency response system such as an app or device that your loved one can keep with them that will send an alert in an emergency situation.
  • Keep fit. It is easy to adopt a sedentary lifestyle as a senior — especially after a fall,  but this can actually increase your loved one’s fall risk. Without regular physical exercise, the body experiences muscle loss, balance issues and even cognitive decline.
    With a stronger, fitter body, future fall risks are greatly reduced, so ask your physical therapist about exercises your loved one can do after therapy has been completed and help them choose something they’ll enjoy, like nature walks, water aerobics, dancing or yoga.

Assisted living Camden County NJ – A Community That Cares About Senior Independence 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent 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 our community to provide 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/4-tips-for-regaining-self-confidence-after-a-fall/

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Enjoying the Summer Sunlight – Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D and calcium are vital for healthy bones, but older adults are likely to suffer from a deficiency in these two important nutrients. This is because our ability to absorb nutrients decreases as our bodies get older. Here are some insights from our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ, on why this happens and what you can do about it.

Why Seniors are at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

As we age, certain changes take place that make it more difficult to supply the body with a healthy amount of calories and other nutrients. This includes:

  • Loss of appetite, which is very common amongst seniors.
  • Decreased absorption of nutrients by the small intestine and inability of the cells to adapt to lower levels of nutrients.
  • Less frequent exposure to sunlight, which is needed for the body to synthesize Vitamin D, and the skin’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D also decreases with age.
  • The kidney’s ability to convert Vitamin D into its most active form decreases with age.
  • Seniors spend more time indoors, especially when living in an assisted living facility or if they have mobility issues. The lack of sunshine over the winter months makes it even more of a challenge to getting the recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D is important at every stage of life, keeping muscles, tendons and bones healthy and strong. It also performs an important function in regulating the growth and development of different tissues in the body, keeping muscles functional and carrying messages through the nervous system.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that seniors between the ages of 65 and 88 who have a Vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have a physical limitation than similarly aged seniors with healthy Vitamin D levels. 70% of the seniors with the deficiency were also more likely to develop further physical limitations.

Vitamin D therefore plays an important role in keeping seniors active, healthy and independent, and it’s important that these nutrient levels are monitored and supplemented as needed. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that the average senior requires 800 – 100 IU/day, increasing to as much as 2000 IU/day for seniors with limited sun exposure or suffer from obesity, osteoporosis or malabsorption.

Visit Our Assisted living Camden County NJ – A Community that Promotes Senior Independence

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent 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 our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/enjoying-the-summer-sunlight-why-vitamin-d-is-important-for-seniors/

 

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Anxiety Disorders and the Elderly

Wife Comforting Senior Husband Suffering With Dementia

It’s normal to feel pangs of anxiety from time to time, especially when in stressful or uncertain situations. However, when this anxiety starts to affect wellbeing and quality of life, it’s serious health issue —– and one that affects many seniors. The assisted living team in Camden County, NJ shares some insight.

Why Does Anxiety Affect More Seniors? 

Anxiety disorders (that is, medically diagnosed psychiatric disorders) appear to be similar for all age groups, but studies show these disorders may likely be underdiagnosed among seniors. While there is credible evidence of strong effects among seniors, these issues may not be quite severe enough to qualify as a psychiatric disorder. Unfortunately, they still have a significant toll on wellbeing.

This is understandable —– older adults suffer more pain through injuries and disease, are more socially isolated, experience more losses, and are more likely to be on medications that make anxiety worse.

Types of Anxiety Disorders in Seniors :

  • Panic attacks – A sudden and unpredictable episode of fear, sometimes with physical manifestations.
  • Phobias – Irrational fears of heights, snakes or animals, falling, or other situations.
  • Acute Stress Disorder – Anxiety and behavioral issues that develops in the first month or so after a traumatic event.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Long-term anxiety and behavioral issues that last beyond a month after a traumatic event.
  • Social Anxiety – Fear of being around others, what others think of them, and not wanting to go out or meet others.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Excessive worrying about everyday events and situations that are not usually of concern.

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Seniors 

If you notice that your loved one is exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety, which often manifests in excessive worry, the first step is to make an appointment with their physician. Depending on the diagnosis, medication (often temporary) and therapy are usually recommended and are often very effective.

On occasion, anxiety can also be corrected by changing a medication that is causing this issue as a side effect. Symptoms of worry and fear can also be the result of a health decline in your loved one. For example, they may be developing mobility issues, so they become afraid to walk or visit friends, so it’s important to get to the root cause of the issue.

Visit Our Assisted living Camden County NJ 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in senior living and care. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.
To find out more about our assisted living in South Jersey, please visit our website at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/anxiety-disorders-and-the-elderly/

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Over 60? These 6 Eye Care Tips are For You!

Senior woman visiting optician.

It’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month and Eye Care Month, so the team at our assisted living community is sharing their best eye health tips for people over 60!

  1. Eye tests, eye tests, eye tests. We’re sure you’ve heard it countless times, but your annual eye examination is one of the most important and effective things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. It’s not just about spotting deteriorating vision, it’s about early detection of different eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  2. Wear the right lenses for your vision. Vision deteriorates as we age and most people over 60 have several pairs of eyeglasses lying around the house. Wearing the right lenses for your vision is essential however, so don’t let yours get out-of-date. This can result in eye strain, headaches and increase the risk of falls.
  3. Know the risks. Did you know that women are more likely than men to have glaucoma — and that they are 24% less likely to get treatment? And that genetics play a role in the development of eye health conditions? Knowing your eye health risks and family history are important — this way, you can take action quickly if you notice any warning signs.
  4. Sun protection. Always wear quality sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays when you’re outdoors, as this will reduce your risks of cataracts, pterygium and macular degeneration. Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines your eyelids and covers your eyeball.
  5. Eat well. A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins is important for eye health, and studies have shown that fish and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce macular degeneration. A balanced diet also helps keep blood sugar and blood pressure regular.
  6. Get medical attention for any eye injuries. Any form of trauma to the eye, whether it’s from a fall, a foreign object or anything else, should be attended to as soon as possible by a medical professional. This will ensure the issue is treated properly and that risk of eye diseases or infections is reduced.

A Full and Abundant Life – Assisted Living Camden County, NJ 

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 our community to provide 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/over-60-these-6-eye-care-tips-are-for-you/

 

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How is Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosed?

 

Female doctor showing geometric shapes to elderly patient

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA, with 5.7 million Americans living with the condition according to the latest Alzheimer’s Association research. Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is critical to managing the health of a patient and could save up to $7.9 trillion in medical care and costs.

So, how is this disease diagnosed? Here are some insights from the experts at Tapestries Memory Care, UMC’s dedicated center of excellence for individuals suffering from all stages of Alzheimers and Dementia.

6 Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease 

The first step in reaching an accurate diagnosis is for seniors and their families to be aware of the early symptoms of the condition, and to approach their medical practitioner with their concerns if the following is noticed:

  1. Difficulty remembering events.
  2. Social withdrawal, changes in mood and depression.
  3. Visual or spatial difficulties, misplacing items, and difficulty driving.
  4. Confusion regarding where they are, why they are in a specific location, or the passage of time.
  5. Difficulty finding the correct word or phrase to express themselves.
  6. Inability or difficulty in finishing daily tasks, solving problems, or making plans.

How Doctors Reach a Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s Disease 

This is a fairly complex process, as the doctor has to work through various tests and data to ensure an accurate diagnosis. This is because these symptoms may be the result of other medical conditions.

A doctor, neurologist or geriatrician will evaluate the patient’s:

  • Medical history, medication history and the symptoms being experienced. This is especially important if there is a family history of Alzheimer’s or dementia conditions.
  • Mood and personality changes, if any.
  • Memory and thinking abilities.
  • Difficulties in daily life and routines, if any.
  • Causes of the symptoms to see if they are linked to other conditions, medication interactions and other issues.

The doctor may then order tests to rule out other conditions or health issues, brain-imaging tests or even memory testing. A physical health examination will also be performed.

It’s understandable that people are reluctant to see their doctor if they experience worrying symptoms, but in reality, an early diagnosis gives you the best chance to manage your condition. It is also important to rule out other health conditions with similar symptoms, many of which are very treatable (including vitamin B-12 deficiencies and thyroid disorders) to ensure you get the right treatment.

Tapestries-Memory Care at The Jersey Shore

United Methodist Communities is no stranger to the care and treatment for adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia diagnoses. In fact, in November of 2018, United Methodist Communities opened Tapestries-Memory Care at the Shores in Ocean City New Jersey. This specialized facility is designed for the unique concerns  and caregiving of those with all stages of dementia.

In October 2018, Tapestries became Comfort Matters® accredited. Internationally recognized, Comfort Matters® is a philosophy, care practice and an evidence-based program which offers holistic and integrated approaches to improve the quality of care and quality of life for persons experiencing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. United Methodist Communities at The Shores is one of the few facilities in the state of New Jersey to acheive the prestigious Comfort Matters® Accreditation.

To find out more about our Tapestries-Memory Care at The Shores, please visit our website athttps://theshores.umcommunities.org and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-is-alzheimers-disease-diagnosed/

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