Tag Archives: health and wellness

Family History of Colorectal Cancer? Don’t Skip Your Screening!

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ is raising awareness about this dangerous health condition. Spotting this condition early is critical to early treatment, especially if you have a family history of the disease, ensuring the best chance for a full recovery, which makes regular screenings so important.

Who Should Be Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

  • Everyone over the age of 50 (both men and women) or if you are African American and over the age of 45
  • People with a family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease or polyps
  • People experiencing any high-risk symptoms, including persistent stomach pains/cramps, blood in their stool or unexplained weight loss

What is the Screening Process? 

Screening allows doctors to pick up on early signs of colorectal cancer, allowing an effective treatment plan to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. This is critical to preventing polyps from becoming cancer and ensuring that treatment is as effective as possible, saving lives.

Your doctor can recommend several types of screening processes, including:

  • Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT or iFBOT). An inexpensive annual test that can be done at home. If blood is detected in the stool, a colonoscopy will be required for further evaluation.
  • Guaiac Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).This is similar to the above and will also require a colonoscopy if the test comes back positive for blood.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. This test is done in a doctor’s office every five years to check for polyps. It is often combined with a stool test. It doesn’t require sedation, but a colonoscopy is required if any warning symptoms are detected.
  • Virtual colonoscopy. Using x-rays and computer technology, doctors can create 2D and 3D colon scans to look for polyps. Although non-invasive and done every three years, it can be more expensive than a colonoscopy and is not covered by all healthcare insurers. A colonoscopy is required if any warning symptoms are detected.
  • Double Contrast Barium Enema. In this procedure, air and barium are pumped into the rectum, causing polyps to show up on x-rays. It is recommended every 5 to 10 years and a colonoscopy is required if any polyps are detected.

Quality Care in an Independent Community with Assisted living in Gloucester County 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality, scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, Bridges hospice care, respite care and Tapestries® memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/family-history-of-colorectal-cancer-dont-skip-your-screening/

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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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Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Loss

Asian old woman having her ears checked

Hearing loss typically begins around age 40 and slowly progresses — in fact, most people don’t even realize they’re not hearing things as clearly as they used to. For the elderly, hearing loss often progresses to the point where quality of life can be affected, and verbal communication is difficult, so it’s important recognize the symptoms of hearing loss early and get professional treatment. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team in New Jersey.

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed? 

An audiologist will be able to run a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your hearing and measure the extent of its deterioration. These aren’t painful tests and don’t require a hospital stay — most require you to answer questions about your health and hearing issues, and to listen to differently pitched tones through headphones.

It’s important to get a diagnosis on your hearing problem, as there are many conditions that can affect your hearing. These include:

  • Age-related hearing loss;
  • Build-up of earwax;
  • Infection;
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
  • Nerve damage; and
  • Medication (including cancer chemotherapies).

How is Hearing Loss Treated? 

Most of these conditions are very treatable, so early diagnosis is key to getting your hearing back and preventing more serious issues. Treatments can range from a course of antibiotics in the case of infection, to a high-tech hearing aid in the case of age-related hearing loss.

Managing your diet and lifestyle can also help preserve your hearing, and following doctors’ orders to manage conditions like hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, kidney disease, cholesterol, and thyroid disease are especially important. Even simple lifestyle changes can have an impressive effect – for some people, cutting down on their caffeine intake can prevent inner ear issues like tinnitus, ear pressure problems, dizziness and hearing loss.

Compassionate, Professional Care from Senior Home Care Specialists in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior home care options, including in-home respite care through our HomeWorks program. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to medical care and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and in home respite care, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/diagnosing-and-treating-hearing-loss/

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Inside the Medicare 5-Star Rating System

5-star rating system

If you’re in the process of trying to select a skilled nursing provider to meet your loved one’s senior care needs, then you may have come across the Medicare 5-star rating system, also known as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings. In this article, the team from our assisted living community in Gloucester County explains what this is all about.

What is the 5-Star Rating System? 

Over 10 years ago, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon posed the following question to congress: Why is it easier for people to choose a new appliance than to choose a skilled nursing community? The result was the development of the 5-star rating system.

In this system, skilled nursing providers are awarded a rating of between one and five stars, with five stars being the best rating. This rating is based on several key factors, such as:

Health inspections. How the provider has performed in health inspections over the last three years.

Staff. How many hours of nursing care each resident or patient receives per day as well as the ratio of staff per resident or patient. Facilities with high care needs like hospice or nursing homes would be expected to have more skilled nursing staff than assisted living communities with lower intensity care needs.

Quality of care. Eleven different criteria covering the level of medical and physical care are evaluated. The ratings also take into account how timely the agency is in starting care, how patients and residents improve under care, and how well the provider performs in terms of minimizing patient and resident trips to hospitals and emergency rooms.

This system is fairly comprehensive and — because there are so many different providers and care plans available to seniors — this makes it a useful tool for evaluating different care options and plans. However, it shouldn’t be your only resource in making this important decision, and you should ensure that you visit different providers in person and get quality references.

Looking for Independence and Quality of Life? Visit Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester County, New Jersey 

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

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/inside-the-medicare-5-star-rating-system/

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5 Easy Ways to Add Extra Nutrition into a Senior Diet

Senior couple preparing salad

Digestive issues and lack of appetite are common concerns among seniors and can make getting proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight a challenge. Here are some tips from our in home respite care team in New Jersey on how to assist seniors in this important area:

  1. Easily digested protein. Some forms of protein are more difficult to chew and digest than others, so it can help to include different sources that offer alternatives for seniors with poor digestion or dental challenges. Eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese and ground beef are high-protein, versatile options to suit any taste.
  2. Smoothies are a great way to add a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as protein into a diet — and they’re tasty and easy to swallow and digest, too. Green smoothies of leafy greens like spinach and kale blended with mango, pineapple and banana are a favorite, but you can also experiment with all kinds of seasonal fruits, vegetables and yogurts for variety.
  3. Whey protein powder. This is easy to add into oatmeal, porridge and fruit smoothies and is a fantastic source of protein that requires no chewing at all. There are quite a few varieties on the market and neutral options don’t impact flavor significantly, so they’re great for fussy eaters. Since some have added sugar, seniors who have diabetes or are trying to manage their weight, should be aware of the ingredients.
  4. Versatile healthy fats. Creamy peanut butter, mashed avocado, olive oil and butter can all be easily added into everyday meals such as soups, pureed vegetables, mashed potatoes and casseroles to increase calorie intake (if needed) and add healthy fats essential to regulating blood sugar levels and healthy brain function.
  5. Homemade ‘ice cream.’ If your senior has a sweet tooth and loves deserts, this type of ice cream is a healthy and delicious alternative. Simply freeze slices of ripe banana and when it’s time for desert, put them in the blender with some drops of vanilla or frozen berries. It’s sweet and delicious — and rich in potassium and vitamins — and you can’t even tell it isn’t regular ice cream!

Professional, Affordable In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aides are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our in-home respite care services and senior home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-easy-ways-to-add-extra-nutrition-into-a-senior-diet/

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7 Senior Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Senior woman applying sunscreen to mans nose

Spending time outdoors in the summer is a favorite activity for many people in New Jersey! While it’s important to get enough Vitamin D to keep bones, teeth and the immune system healthy, it’s still important to avoid damage from UV (ultra-violet) rays that can lead to skin cancer.

Although much of this damage is done in our earlier years of life, healthy precautions proactively protect seniors — just look at these seven tips from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Use high quality sunblock. Always choose a waterproof sunblock of at least SPF30 (sun protection factor) if not higher, even on cloudy days.
  2. Cover up. Pretty cotton shawls, wide-brim sun hats and loose cotton pants are great for keeping cool and keeping UV rays from coming into direct skin contact.
  3. Protect those eyes. Sunglasses with large polarized lenses and a UV400 rating (blocking 100% of UVA and UVB rays) are a must-have, making it more comfortable to see on bright days and protecting the eyes and delicate skin around them.
  4. Stay indoors during peak UV times. Sunshine becomes particularly dangerous around midday, so it’s a good idea for anyone — senior or otherwise — to stay indoors between 11am and 2pm and reserve the morning and afternoon for outdoor activities.
  5. Take Vitamin D. As we mentioned above, Vitamin D is very important, and many seniors simply aren’t getting enough. Your doctor will be able to tell you just how much of the supplement you should take to stay healthy, as it’s important not to have too much in your diet.
  6. Check your medications. Some medications, including some antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s effects, causing you to burn more easily. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that none of your prescriptions put you at higher risk. If they do, try to stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible and be extra diligent with reapplying sunblock.
  7. Perform a skin exam. Self-examinations are a good way to spot any indications of early skin cancer. Look for spots, changes in skin color, burns, new spots or growths on moles or itchy/bleeding moles or skin growths. If you have any concerns, visit your doctor — it never hurts to have skin cancer ruled out.


Assisted Living in Gloucester County – A True Community for Independent Seniors 

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

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/7-senior-skin-cancer-prevention-tips/


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Accident Prevention in the Home

Elderly woman holding on handrail for safety walk steps

Falling at home is the leading cause of injuries and hospitalizations for the elderly, so it’s no surprise that it’s a serious concern for seniors as well as their family members. Here are some tips from our in home senior care team in New Jersey that will help make home a safer place for seniors.

Accident Prevention Tips for Outside the Home 

If there are stairs outside your loved one’s home, add rails on both sides of them. Each step can be marked with non-slip contrasting colour strips for easier navigation by seniors with poorer vision, and outdoor areas with stairs should be kept well-lit – preferably with motion or light-sensors so that they turn on automatically.

Accident Prevention Tips for Inside the Home 

In the bedroom, make sure the bed is at a height where it is easy to get into and out of, remove clutter to keep pathways free of trip hazards, and install nightlights so that your loved one doesn’t have to get out of bed and move around in the dark. If their bedroom is upstairs, make sure the stair railings are secure or suggest that they move downstairs to avoid the stairs completely.

Safety rails in the bathroom are a must, especially in the bath and shower. Make sure the towel rail is securely fitted to the wall and that there is a grab bar by the toilet if your loved one has trouble getting up from a sitting position. If possible, modify the bath to a low-rise bath and the shower to a walk-in shower to make access easier. Place bath mats on non-slip material and fix down if necessary with double-sided tape. It’s also a good idea to make it a habit to leave a light on in the bathroom at night.

In the rest of the house, check all light bulbs to make sure they are working and that they are bright enough. Remove any pieces of furniture and belongings to make clear, wide pathways through the home, and fix down any carpets or rugs so that they can’t trip your loved one.

In Home Senior Care – The Perfect Balance between Independence and Safety! 

As a leading senior independent home care provider in New Jersey, our team offers at home care for older adults through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff. We have a wide range of services from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care, depending on exactly what you and your loved one requires. Our services are scalable and by-the-hour, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

For more information on our seniors home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Heath-Aid-services

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/accident-prevention-in-the-home/

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