Tag Archives: Assisted Living

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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The Different Stages of Dementia and How They’re Treated

Dementia is a name given to a group of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that cause the deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions. Here is some insight into how these diseases generally progress and how care needs increase over time, from Alzheimer’s care specialists in South Jersey.

Symptoms of mild dementia 

People with mild dementia can often  function fairly independently and care for themselves, as they generally experience less severe symptoms of the disease. They may suffer memory loss around recent events (long-term memory is often unaffected), get lost or lose items, experience trouble organizing or expressing thoughts, forget words or struggle with complex problems like managing their bills.

In some cases, personality changes may also occur and the person may become withdrawn or isolated. Although symptoms may be mild, it’s important for families to start considering additional support for their loved ones, either through family caregiving or assisted living communities that offer Alzheimer’s and dementia support.

Symptoms of moderate dementia

In the next stage of the disease, moderate dementia,, people require more help to manage their symptoms and daily lives. They typically experience increased confusion and poor judgement, more significant memory loss (including loss of long-term memory) and changes in their sleeping pattern. This stage of dementia affects the ability to cope with personal daily activities like dressing and bathing, as well as household chores, cooking and maintenance.

Often, significant personality changes occur at this stage, and sufferers often feel agitated, suspicious and even aggressive. Caregivers need to understand how to minimize these symptoms, as well as deliver the necessary support and compassionate care to ensure a high quality of life.

Symptoms of severe dementia 

As the most advanced stage of dementia, severe declines occur in mental and physical health. This stage commonly results in the loss of communication abilities and physical capabilities like walking, sitting, and bladder and bowel control. Patients at this stage require constant, specialist assistance 24 hours a day for all their physical and medical needs, especially as they often become more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.

Compassion, care and community in our beautiful assisted living facility in South Jersey 

The Shores, part of United Methodist Communities, offers memory care support services andassisted living communities specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia,  providingan environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Professional staff assesses each resident and designs a program that is unique to their needs and level of independence, focusing on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and living a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness like fitness, music and other sensory activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and home-like, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/different-stages-dementia-theyre-treated/ 

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Medication Management Tips For Seniors

Proper medication management is essential for seniors and their caregivers in order to prevent complications, adverse interactions and incorrect doses. This especially applies to  seniors because they often take multiple medications for a range of conditions at the same time, an issue known as polypharmacy. Here are some tips and insights from short term rehab specialists at our assisted living facility in Gloucester County, NJ.

  • What is the medication treating? Every pharmacy label should explain what the medication is for and how to take it properly. This information outlines the specifics of each medication (some to be taken with food, others shouldn’t be taken at night, etc.) and helps prevent cases in which certain symptoms are being treated with multiple medications when one will do.
  • Stay organized. Whether you are managing medication for yourself or for a loved one, organization is key. Keep all medications in a secure, designated cupboard in a cool room and out of the sun. Regularly check medications for their expiration date and sort them each week into a pill organizer to ensure the correct daily doses of each medication. Remember that antibiotic courses must be completed in order to be effective.
  • Bring medications to the physician. Seniors often have specialist physicians as well as their own general practitioners which can complicate medical treatments. By bringing currently prescribed medications or a current, detailed list of medications to the doctor, they can easily see the patient’s taking and the prescribed dosage, allowing them to treat the patient more effectively.
  • Know the side effects: Knowing the possible side effects of your medications makes it easier to recognize new symptoms and conditions, as opposed to symptoms that may be a reaction to medication.
  • Special medication management for cognitively impaired While many seniors can manage their medication with minimal assistance, caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairments including Alzheimer’s and dementia, should take full control of their medication, even in earlier stages. Since these patients are at high risk of forgetting their medication entirely or accidentally overdosing, proper precautions can help prevent adverse consequences.

Short term rehabilitation services from our assisted living community in New Jersey

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality short term rehabilitation services to seniors in our rehab center and our Transitions program. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we offer these services in addition to assisted living services, hospice care, respite care and memory support services.

Ideal for seniors wanting professional assistance while recovering from illness or surgery, as well as those wanting to try out and get to know our assisted living community.  We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our short term rehab services or assisted living community, please contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/medication-management-tips-seniors/

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Physical therapy benefits for the elderly

Seniors often suffer from physical issues that make it difficult to move comfortably and easily, either as a result of age-related conditions or illness. Fortunately, physical therapists can assist with this – here are some insights from our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ.

  • Gain better balance and a greater range of motion: Falls, a serious risk for seniors, can result in trips to the emergency room, surgeries and long recoveries. One of the best ways of preventing falls is to help strengthen and support your body, so that you can balance more easily, move more confidently and react more quickly.
  • Recover from illness or surgery more rapidly: After a hospital stay or an injury, it often seems like the best way to recover is to relax and take it easy in bed – but this only works if it is balanced with a proper physical therapy program. In fact, with the help of  experienced therapists, patients heal significantly faster and with better results than with simple bed rest.
  • Manage the symptoms of health conditions: Arthritis is a health condition that affects many seniors, resulting in painful joints and difficulty managing daily tasks. With physical therapy, however, patients can help preserve the strength and use of their joints, as well as useful methods for relieving pain. Physical therapy can assist other health conditions , including osteoporosis, diabetes, strokes and multiple sclerosis.
  • Improve fitness and general health: Exercise is one of the best ways to stay mobile, strong and healthy, but this needs to be carefully managed to prevent injuries or overstraining. A physical therapist can work with you, address health conditions or concerns, help develop an exercise plan that works for you, as well as  ensure your health needs are properly managed.

It’s important to remember that when you are looking for a physical therapist, always speak to a certified, experienced professional who has worked with seniors before. Speak to your doctor to recommend a specialist if you are uncertain, and always ensure that specialists are notified of your health conditions and medical needs at all times.

Health, wellness and happiness at our beautiful assisted living community in NJ

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality services to seniors. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we offer these services in addition to short term rehabilitation, hospice care, respite care and memory support services.

In addition to our professional services, we pride ourselves on creating a compassionate and social community through caring professionals, a year-round social events calendar, outings and social clubs. We also offer spiritual companionship and support to residents upon request.

For more information on our assisted living community, please contact us today and plan your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/physical-therapy-benefits-elderly/

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