Tag Archives: 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/

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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/

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Assisted Living Facilities for Senior Veterans – Insights into PTSD

June is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month. Our assisted living community in Camden County is promoting awareness of this serious condition and helping people find compassionate long-term care for veterans..

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition in which people who have been through a traumatic event experience symptoms of reliving the event, avoid situations that recall the event, feel guilt and shame, or hyperarousal (feel jittery, unable to sleep or concentrate, easily startled, etc.). While it is normal to feel stress after a traumatic event, PTSD sufferers usually experience them far beyond the usual parameters, both in terms of the intensity of the symptoms and the duration over months, years or even decades of their lives.

It’s important to realize that this mental health condition does not affect each patient equally or in the same ways. This serious disorder deserves specialist treatment and is not a sign of weakness.

How is PTSD treated?

There are two main types of treatment for PTSD, psychotherapy (counselling) and medication. Patients may be prescribed either one or both depending on their needs.

The psychotherapy treatment can include any single or combination of the following treatments:

  • Cognitive behavioral treatment – This is about learning skills to help understand the trauma and how patients think about the event.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy – This can include repeating the story of the trauma until it loses its power to trigger traumatic symptoms and patients gain control over their feelings.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – This therapy teaches patients to focus on sounds and hand movements while talking about the trauma to help the brain move through the memories and gain control.

Medications for PTSD may include SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) which are also effective for treating depression, and Prazosin to help decrease nightmares. Medications are only available through qualified medical professionals.

Treatment and assisted living benefits for veterans

Veterans who have completed active military service, been honorably discharged or completed federal deployments as a National Guard or a Reservist are able to access benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help treat PTSD and provide assisted living services. Programs are available that offer medical assessment, medication, psychotherapy, group therapy and more. Benefits may also include financial assistance and access to assisted living care, depending on the qualification criteria.

Expert, compassionate assisted living in Camden County

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood is an assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, it also offers rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, and respite care. Collingswood welcomes seniors from all faith backgrounds.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/assisted-living-facilities-senior-veterans-insights-ptsd/

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Join the Fight Against Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak, making people vulnerable to serious bone breaks and damage from minor falls, bumps and everyday impact that do not affect healthy skeletons. Unfortunately, no cure exists for this condition, which affects around 54 million Americans and up to one in every two women. However, we can adapt behaviors to help prevent this condition in ourselves and our loved ones:

  • Diet. Having a healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet is one of the main ways to fight osteoporosis. Calcium and Vitamin D are the main nutrients that help build and preserve bone mass, so include foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, oily fish, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, bananas, kale, tomatoes, peppers, oranges, papaya, and fortified whole grain cereals in your meals.
  • Limit certain foods. Too much red meat, caffeine, salty foods and beans can create a diet that limits your body’s absorption of calcium, so speak to a nutrition professional about ensuring that your portion sizes and frequency of certain foods is healthy.
  • Smoking and alcohol. Smoking and alcohol increase the risks of developing osteoporosis, so kicking the habit and decreasing your alcohol intake to a minimum will go a long way toward protecting your bones.
  • Exercise. Bone health responds to weight-baring and muscle-strengthening exercises, so incorporating these into your lifestyle helps keep bones healthy and strong. Dancing, hiking, climbing stairs, aerobics, lifting weights, yoga, and Pilates are all great examples. If you are a senior or unsure of how to safely perform these exercises, it’s best to speak to your doctor or a trained professional to ensure you exercise safely.
  • Know the warning signs. Being alert to the early signs of osteoporosis helps ensure that you will get the best possible treatment to slow progression. These symptoms include a bone break that occurred more easily than it should have, back pain due to collapsed or damaged vertebra, loss of height over time and stooped posture. Talk to your doctor about other risk factors including a generic history of osteoporosis, early menopause, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal surgery, and a history of eating disorders.

Live a full and healthy life at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ

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

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/join-fight-osteoporosis/

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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/

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Legal and Financial Tips When Considering Assisted Living

So, you’ve decided that moving into an assisted living community is the right choice for you or your loved one — now you have to start getting ready for the transition. While everyone thinks of what furniture they should take, how to sell their house or how to decorate and plan their new space, many people forget to consider their financial and legal wellbeing. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  • Create a medical directive. Also known as a Medical Power of Attorney, this  legal document allows you to give a person of your choosing, the power to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself. You can record your preferences for treatment, end-of-life care, and whether you want certain advanced lifesaving measures. This is a helpful document at any age, but becomes increasingly important as we get older. It helps avoid disputes on care between family members and ensures that your wishes are met, even if you are unable to advocate for yourself.
  • Create a financial power of attorney. This legal document allows you to empower a person of your choosing to carry out your financial wishes, if or when you are no longer able to do so yourself. You can expand or limit the control the person will have and you can include access to bank accounts, the ability to buy and sell shares, sign income tax returns and manage real estate – essentially any financial transaction. This is helpful for many seniors who struggle to manage their financial affairs properly, and is a useful tool for ensuring that your wishes will be carried out regardless of your state of health.
  • Update your estate plan. Ideally, you should have a will (or bequest) as soon as you start to accumulate assets, and it should be updated through the years, as your life changes. For many seniors, however, their last will was likely made decades ago. If this is the case, then you should make an appointment to update your estate plan.
    You may want to exclude or include beneficiaries, set up trusts for your grandchildren’s educations or even make gifts to loved ones. Having an accurate, updated estate plan ensures that your wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones are cared for, providing essential peace-of-mind.

At Collingswood, assisted living is all about quality of life! 

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of senior living communities NJ specializing in high quality care and support. Our communities are known for their beautiful settings, spacious residential apartments and wide range of resident services. With qualified and experienced nursing, therapy and management staff on hand to provide expert assistance, residents enjoy all the benefits of independent living for seniors.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities, our senior living community or our assisted living services, please contact us and book your visit today at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/legal-financial-tips-considering-assisted-living/

So, you’ve decided that moving into an assisted living community is the right choice for you or your loved one — now you have to start getting ready for the transition. While everyone thinks of what furniture they should take, how to sell their house or how to decorate and plan their new space, many people forget to consider their financial and legal wellbeing. Here are some tips from our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

  • Create a medical directive. Also known as a Medical Power of Attorney, this  legal document allows you to give a person of your choosing, the power to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself. You can record your preferences for treatment, end-of-life care, and whether you want certain advanced lifesaving measures. This is a helpful document at any age, but becomes increasingly important as we get older. It helps avoid disputes on care between family members and ensures that your wishes are met, even if you are unable to advocate for yourself.
  • Create a financial power of attorney. This legal document allows you to empower a person of your choosing to carry out your financial wishes, if or when you are no longer able to do so yourself. You can expand or limit the control the person will have and you can include access to bank accounts, the ability to buy and sell shares, sign income tax returns and manage real estate – essentially any financial transaction. This is helpful for many seniors who struggle to manage their financial affairs properly, and is a useful tool for ensuring that your wishes will be carried out regardless of your state of health.
  • Update your estate plan. Ideally, you should have a will (or bequest) as soon as you start to accumulate assets, and it should be updated through the years, as your life changes. For many seniors, however, their last will was likely made decades ago. If this is the case, then you should make an appointment to update your estate plan.
    You may want to exclude or include beneficiaries, set up trusts for your grandchildren’s educations or even make gifts to loved ones. Having an accurate, updated estate plan ensures that your wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones are cared for, providing essential peace-of-mind.

At Collingswood, assisted living is all about quality of life! 

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of senior living communities NJ specializing in high quality care and support. Our communities are known for their beautiful settings, spacious residential apartments and wide range of resident services. With qualified and experienced nursing, therapy and management staff on hand to provide expert assistance, residents enjoy all the benefits of independent living for seniors.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities, our senior living community or our assisted living services, please contact us and book your visit today at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/legal-financial-tips-considering-assisted-living/

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Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Although moving to an assisted living community can be very stressful for seniors as well as their families, the great care, amenities and socialization result in real improvements in care and quality of life. However, positive outcomes rely upon finding the right fit.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when on this search, from our assisted living community in Gloucester County.

  • Deciding too quickly: Even if your need for an assisted living community is urgent, it’s best not to go with the first one you see. Rather, narrow down your choices to a few that meet your criteria and then visit them all in person. This allows you to get a feel for the place and speak to staff, as well as observe what it’s like to live there first-hand.
  • Not considering future needs: Your loved one may not require much assistance selective focus image of hands holding magnifying glass over contractAll information on contract is fakeright now, but what about in 5 years or 10 years’ time? What if he or she develops Alzheimer’s or dementia, or requires long term care? A move a few years in the future could be even more stressful and financially difficult than  right now.Therefore, only consider  communities that can scale their services up or down to keep it affordable as well as meet your loved one’s care needs.
  • Putting your needs over your loved ones: Because families often provide the financial support, it can be difficult to take a step back and accommodate your loved ones’ desires. The answer is to listen and compromise on things that are realistic, like having a separate apartment-style home rather than a room, or the location and amenities of the communities under consideration.
  • Not reviewing the contract: In order for your loved one to live in an assisted living community, you’ll have to sign a binding legal contract. While many of these are straightforward, they are detailed legal documents that carry essential information about care and costs. It’s important to know exactly how the contract works to make a fully informed decision, so you should take the time to read through it carefully or consult a lawyer.
  • Prioritizing location over services: At first glance, location seems like a natural priority — but in reality, care comes first. If choosing between a facility just a few minutes away offering more limited services or a less pleasant living arrangement, and one across town or even in the next city which offers better services, the services should come first. After all, this decision will determine your loved one’s daily quality of life, so travelling a little further is a smaller price to pay.

Scalable services, expert care and a high quality of life at our assisted living community 

Pitman is an independent senior living and assisted living community operated by United Methodist Communities and serving the greater Gloucester County New Jersey area. With our services ranging from independent living to assisted living, respite, short term rehabilitation and hospice care, we offer our residents dignified, comfortable and enjoyable senior years.

Our fully scalable services  ensure that residents receive assistance when and where they require it at each stage of their lives. Our dedicated and experienced staff are passionate about giving our residents the highest level of care available.

To find out more about our individualized long term care services, please contact us today and plan a visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/avoid-mistakes-choosing-assisted-living-facility/

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