Tag Archives: assisted living communities

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/

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Wellness

Fun Mental Exercises to Keep Our Brains Healthy and Sharp

An active and healthy brain plays an important role in our happiness and wellness as we age, helping to fight dementia and other degenerative conditions which affect cognition and memory. Here are some useful mental exercises from our assisted living community in Gloucester County that help keep brains sharp:

  • Long-term learning. Fascinated by history or literature? Always wanted to play a musical instrument? Studies have shown that learning new things has a lasting long-term effect on mental abilities, and free time in retirement allows us to indulge a passion or interest.
  • Crosswords and Sudoku.: Affordable, easily available and catering to different strengths, crossword puzzles and other word games and Sudoku provide quick, and enjoyable mental challenges. While newspapers always offer a few options, there are many dedicated books available as well as online resources, so you can make the most of this challenge.
  • Take up gardening. Gardening isn’t just about physical labor, which increases oxygen flow to the brain, it’s also about learning new skills and information and putting them into practice. Discovering and understanding new information about different plants, soils, pest control, cultivation, tools, and climates, then putting it all into practice, stimulates the brain. Being outdoors in the sunshine also helps seniors get their dose of Vitamin D, which helps balance hormones in the brain and strengthen bones— just don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear sun protection.
  • Getting creative. Drawing, painting and other crafting activities help to stimulate fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and focus/concentration skills. As social activities, they help stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, language and more.
  • Learning a new sport. Sports aren’t just for the young they benefit seniors, too. Great sports like hiking, walking, yoga, swimming, dancing, golf, and tennis utilize mind and body to help strengthen memory and cognitive ability, as well as muscles, bones and other vital systems.

Independent living at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ 

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; physical, occupational and speech therapists; hospice and palliative care; respite care; and memory support services for seniors of all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please contact us today at https://pitman.umcommunities.org to book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fun-mental-exercises-keep-brains-healthy-sharp/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Fascinating Facts About Aging

Consistent with a rapidly aging population, research about what happens and what we can do about it continues to increase each year. In contrast to  negative perceptions, recent findings have unearthed some very interesting facts about aging that may change the way we think about this process:

  • We get happier as we age. Several recent studies by research bodies and universities have shown that humans tend to get happier as they age, and our happiest times of life are during our youth and then again through our 70s and 80s.
  • Your brain keeps developing. Contrary to popular belief, your brain continues to make neurons as you get older, making it possible to keep learning new things. In fact, studies demonstrate that the brain simply changes the way it takes in information as we age, and learning new skills and even studying new subjects keep your brain young and active, helping it fight off degenerative conditions like dementia.
  • Negative thoughts become more powerful. A study by the University of New South Wales found that being anxious about falling, even when  physically sound and healthy, can make you more likely to experience a fall than someone who is physically more likely to fall, but unconcerned. As  a serious issue for the elderly, falls are the single biggest reason for injury and hospitalization. So, a positive, anxiety-free mindset is important!
  • Life expectancy is still increasing. From 1900 to 1960, life expectancy increased by just 2.4 years, however, since 1960 it has increased by 3.5 years and is likely to keep doing so. Many factors account for the change, including better nutrition, lifestyle choices and medical advances.
  • Your votes count the most. Did you know that 70% of citizens 65 and older voted in the election, making them the largest voting demographic in the country?
  • Stress decreases as we age. While many seniors report anxiety over medical conditions, work, money and family, these numbers are far lower than people aged 35-49, who are the most stressed, and people aged 25-34.
  • Marriages get stronger. Studies have shown that marriage gets better as we age— a result of learning to properly express affection. Also, the more difficult years of middle age and stress over children, work and so forth, actually bring couples closer together as they age. This is great news because other studies have shown that happy marriages positively impact our health, quality of life and happiness as we age.

Put the happiness back into aging at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ 

Bristol Glen, a senior community in Sussex County, aims to provide seniors with comfortable,serviced living arrangements that free up time to enjoy life.

Contact us at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living campus in Sussex County, amenities and services, and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fascinating-facts-aging/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

How to Start the Talk About Assisted Living

Assisted living falls among the  conversations dreaded by parents and their children alike. Starting the conversation about these types of long-term plans, even when they come from good intentions, can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone involved. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, for making it a positive and constructive conversation:

  • Don’t wait until for a crisis. For many of us, it’s easier to ignore this issue while our parents are healthy and independent, but this can mean trouble when serious issues do arise. Instead, keep it a casual but meaningful ongoing conversation in which everyone is involved — especially your parents — and there are no urgent and serious decisions to be made.
    Sit down with your parents at home on a quiet day.While acknowledging that this isn’t an easy topic to talk about, it’s important to you that they are cared for properly. Ask them what they envision for themselves and start planning so that you and your family can work together to achieve it.
  • Be honest. Many families have trouble communicating their fears and concerns, and parents often feel uncomfortable talking about their loss of independence making them a burden on their families. By bringing up the subject in a non-confrontational way, you may be surprised at their response.
    Talking honestly will also help you get a better idea of how they are really coping — if managing the house is becoming too difficult, looking after a spouse too demanding, or if they are becoming lonely or isolated as friends move into away, for example. This will better help you find an option that offers the right level of support.
  • Don’t gang up and let the issue escalate. As a potentially very emotional and stressful conversation, it’s important it doesn’t escalate into an argument. Use a calm, relaxed tone of voice. Listen to what your parent or parents want, rather than giving ultimatums or talking over them. Highlight the positives of each option, whether the communities you’re suggesting  have a lively social spirit; have lovely, maintenance–free living options; or are close to friends, family and loved ones, for example.
  • Don’t put on the pressure. One of the biggest barriers to entering assisted living is that many people don’t really know what modern senior communities   offer. This fear of the unknown mixes with fear of losing independence, making many people actively dismiss an potentially beneficial option. Take your time to look at recommended assisted living communities and places where family friends may reside, and do your research online. Then, visit these communities and see for yourself what would suit your parents. This will give the peace-of-mind you need to properly communicate the choices to your parents, and help convince them to come along for their own tour.

Assisted living community in NJ for independent seniors 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities’ network of high-quality, non-profit, faith-based, assisted living communities specializing in assisted 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 to promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, please contact us at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/start-talk-assisted-living/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

When Is the Right Time for Family Caregivers to Consider Hospice Care?

Being a caregiver to a family member or friend is a choice that many people make because it helps avoid costly care and allows you to spend precious time with a loved one. However, many caregivers find this challenging role can become overwhelming in later stages of care and when illnesses become terminal. At this point, hospice care may become the right choice for you and your loved one. Here are some insights from our hospice care provider in Ocean City on making this decision:

Hospice is about comfort and care at the end of life

Firstly, it is important to know that hospice is a level of care that is reserved only for patients nearing their end-of-life, or who have terminal conditions that can no longer be effectively treated by doctors. In order to qualify for hospice, patients or their families have to be certified by a physician to have six months or less of their life remaining, however, they will continue to qualify for hospice after six months, as long as the physician is able to continue to document the patient’s eligibility.

This qualification process remains in place because the focus of hospice is not about treating a disease — rather, it is about providing patients and their loved ones a high level of comfort, compassion and care as they go through this transition. Medical teams and care workers assist with pain and symptom management and wellness, as well as to provide bereavement support and pastoral care (if needed).

Can family caregivers and loved ones benefit from hospice care?

The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. Providing end-of-life-care as a family caregiver is an overwhelming task, not only because it requires such a significant shift in care as well as increased care demands, but because this can be a difficult and emotionally stressful time for you as well as your loved one.

Hospice offers an entire team and range of services dedicated to assisting you and your loved one. Not only does their experience, access to medical equipment and skilled services help ensure the highest level of care and comfort for your loved one, they also free your time from daily caregiving tasks so you can actually spend quality time together.

The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers a compassionate, professional hospice dedicated neighborhood in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey, please contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/right-time-family-caregivers-consider-hospice-care/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Helpful Communication Strategies for Dementia

Alzheimer’s and other dementia conditions progressively diminish mental capacity as they worsen, including a patient’s ability to communicate with and understand the people around them. Here are some insights from our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ on developing an effective way to communicate with your loved one.

Common communication problems for dementia patients: 

  • Struggling to find the right word
  • Describing an object rather than calling it by its name
  • Mixing up word order while speaking
  • Finding it difficult to complete a sentence or express a train of thought in full
  • Using gestures rather than words
  • Repeating familiar words too often

How to get the most out of your communication with your loved one: 

  • Create a distraction-free zone. To encourage your loved one to focus on you and what you are saying, pick a time and a quiet and calm place where no one is likely to interrupt. This allows them to focus their effort on you and the conversation.
  • Steady your tone. Communicating can be frustrating. While you may be stressed or worried, if you want to communicate effectively with your loved one, you have to leave that all at the door. Relax, use a warm, calm tone and speak naturally without condescension or baby talk.
  • Use names. Following a conversation takes a lot of energy and effort for many dementia patients.Using names rather than “he,” “she” or “they” helps your loved one stay on track and avoids confusion and unnecessary repetition.
  • Stick to one topic at a time. It’s natural for us to jump from topic to topic and go off on a tangent, but this can be difficult for your loved one to follow. Rather, stick to one thread of conversation and only move on after you are both fully finished on that topic.
  • Patience. The more progressive your loved one’s condition, the more patience you will need to have a productive conversation with them. Give them time to express what they are trying to say, actively listen to and consider their answer, and breathe deeply and let the moment pass if you start feeling frustrated.

Above all else, it’s important to remember that there will be good days and bad days with your loved one. Some days will bring good conversation while other days it will be better to simply sit quietly with your loved one and let them take comfort from your presence.

Alzheimer’s and dementia care and support at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities’ network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in residential and assisted living for seniors. In addition to our wide range of customized services for seniors, we also offer expert memory care and support services for patients with dementia conditions.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living services, please contact us at https://pitman.umcommunities.org and book your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/helpful-communication-strategies-dementia/

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Living

Seniors and Cataracts

Corporate-Blog-4-604x704.jpg

As we age, we can experience certain health and wellness changes that affect our senses, including our ability to see clearly. Cataracts is a common vision problem often associated with getting older. Here’s some insight from specialists in assisted living in Gloucester County, NJ.

What are cataracts? 

Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy due to blockages of protein and hardening, distorting the light that enters the eye and causing vision loss. As the condition progresses, the lens of the eye changes from clear to a yellow/brown color, which starts to add a brown tint to eyesight along with vision loss. They can occur in either or both eyes, but cannot be transmitted from one eye to the other.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts 

Although not painful, it does cause gradual vision loss that, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. People with cataracts may experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare
  • Faded colors or difficulty telling colors apart
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Double vision
  • Halo effect around objects

What can cause cataracts? 

Cataracts are generally a result of the aging process, but the risks of developing them can be significantly increased in smokers, diabetics and steroid users. People who have suffered chemical burns or a direct injury to the eye, or electric shock can also develop cataracts as a result.

How can cataracts be treated?

Fortunately, there are ways to treat cataracts, the most effective being surgery. With modern surgical technology, treatment can take place soon after diagnosis, and the damaged lens can be removed and replaced with a permanent plastic lens. The results of this surgery are impressive, restoring clear vision almost immediately with a quick recovery time.

Experience true quality of life care – Choose assisted living at Pitman, NJ 

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 hospice, rehabilitation, respite care and memory support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please contact us today or book a personal tour on https://pitman.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/seniors-and-cataracts/

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Wellness