Tag Archives: Health & Wellness

A Guide to Breast Health and Wellness as We Age

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so our CCRC Sussex County, NJ team decided it’s the ideal time to talk about senior breast health!

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the result of abnormal, malignant cell growth in breast tissue, and is the second most common cancer affecting women after melanoma. The American Cancer Society estimated that over 231,000 women in the USA alone would be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015, with 40,290 of those cases proving to be fatal.

The risk of breast cancer in seniors – What you need to know

Several risk factors make it more likely for someone to contract breast cancer, and many of these are especially relevant to seniors. These factors include:

  • Aging
  • Menopause occurring after the age of 50
  • Long-term use of oral contraceptives
  • Post-menopausal weight gain
  • No pregnancy/Pregnancy after age 30
  • Genetic history of breast cancer

Other risk factors to be aware of include adolescent weight gain, radiation exposure to the chest region as a child, start of menarche before age 12, and increased breast tissue density.

Senior health and wellness tips to reduce the risks of breast cancer

As with most cancers, early detection is key to treating and surviving breast cancer, so the best tip we can give you is to keep up with regular screening with your physician. The U.S. Preventative Services recommends that women aged 50 to 74 attend biennial mammography screenings (one every second year) as these can detect the cancer before symptoms start to show.

Clinical breast exams are also recommended at least every three years, and you can perform a self-exam on your own, carefully feeling the breast for any lumps. If any are found, it’s best to see a doctor for a more thorough checkup as soon as possible.
If you are especially high-risk for breast cancer, speak to your physician about a more detailed detection process, as they may recommend more frequent mammograms or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging).

Other tips for helping to reduce risk factors include:

  • Limit alcohol to recommended intake.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Lose any excess weight.
  • Commit to a healthy diet and exercise plan as recommended by your physician.

Comfortable living for independent seniors at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community based in Sussex County, provides comfortable living arrangements and services that free up seniors’ time to enjoy life.

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

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/guide-breast-health-wellness-age/]

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Food Matters – Maximizing Nutrition Among Seniors

Good nutrition and a healthy diet is an essential for every time of life, but is more of a challenge for seniors. As we age, our bodies can become less effective at getting nutrients from the food we eat, appetites can decrease, chewing certain foods becomes more difficult, and many older adults experience mobility issues that make shopping and food preparation more difficult. Putting the extra effort into getting the right nutrients, however, is very important, as they significantly impact health, wellness and quality of life.

Here are some strategies from our at home health care agency for helping to improve the diet and nutrition of your elderly loved one:

Five steps to take to help ensure good nutrition in your elderly loved one 

  1. This important first step in the process will help you find out the quality of your loved one’s nutrition, what they are missing and where complications are occurring, so that you can develop a plan that suits their need. Ask your physician to recommend a nutritionist to assist you.
  2. Know the basics. The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s guidelines for nutrition in older adults are a good way to get to know the basics. Fruits and vegetables should be central to the diet, along with nuts, legumes and wholegrains, fish and low-fat dairy products. Sugar and refined foods should be limited.
  3. Small, frequent meals. Large portions can be intimidating and result in limited nutritional intake (for example, just eating one type of food on the plate before becoming full). Encourage smaller portions more frequently from a greater variety of foods. Snacks of yogurt and fresh fruit between meals with lean protein and a few different vegetables help create a more varied diet and make eating greater quantities of food easier.
  4. Healthy calories. If maintaining weight or gaining weight needs to occur, choose high-calorie healthy options like health shakes and protein-filled smoothies. These often contain plenty of vitamins and additional nutrients and are easy to eat and digest —just be sure not to choose one that is high in sugar.
  5. Ask for help. For many seniors and their caregivers, mealtimes are a challenge that take up a lot of time and effort. There are many meal services, however, that specialize in nutritionally-balanced home-cooked meals for seniors who can take the strain off you and your loved one. Try a few providers in your area and look for meals that meet the guidelines of your physician and nutritionist.

Professional, affordable at home care for the elderly in NJ 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and offers them, their families and caregivers, personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information about our at home healthcare agency or our home help services for the elderly, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/food-matters-maximizing-nutrition-among-seniors/

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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/

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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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How to Prepare for Hospice Care

Hospice care, appropriate in the event of advanced, life-limiting illness, requires patients and loved ones to make profound changes in their expectations for care and treatment. Our associates from our hospice in South Jersey shares some insights on how to prepare yourself or a loved one for this stage of care, and how to make this difficult transition easier;

Personal beliefs about hospice care. 

As hospice care is synonymous with the end of life, people understandably avoid talking or even thinking about this service. However, this leads to preconceived ideas about what hospice entails, as well as a fear of the unknown.

In reality, hospice care focuses on making sure everything possible is done to keep patients comfortable — from meeting physical, medical and hygiene needs to ensuring pleasant surroundings and support for patients and families. These services will vary according to what the provider can offer. The best course of action is to meet with a hospice representative who can share all the information you need to make the right decision, answer any questions and walk you through all their services and care options.

In addition, the hospice representative should be able to answer questions about health insurance and Medicare options, do a full assessment of you or your loved one’s condition and, if needed, assist with completing necessary forms for admission.

Developing a customized care plan. 

Every patient’s needs are different, so it’s important that your hospice representative meet with you to discuss patient expectations of the hospice program, their services, special requirements and other details. Frequency of visits by medical staff and support staff (including chaplains), services unique to the patient’s needs, medication management and access to specific medical equipment and supplies can also be worked into the care plan.

This information will go into the development of a unique care plan that outlines the hospice experience. Remember, the hospice team is the best source of alleviating anxiety about this process, and can organize meetings, answer questions or conduct an onsite tour of the facilities to help you or your loved one prepare.

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

Originally posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/prepare-hospice-care/

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Medical Marijuana in New Jersey – What You Need to Know

Recently, the State of New Jersey has started implementing and expanding its Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). Here’s some information about what this means for seniors in the state and how this affects them, from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What conditions are treatable with medical marijuana?

Because these are changing all the time as new health conditions are considered and laws are amended, always check with your medical doctor to see if you are eligible. Currently, the following conditions are approved in the program:
• Terminal cancer
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Terminal illness with less than 12 months prognosis
• Seizure disorder
• Glaucoma
• Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
• PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Treatment of severe or chronic pain resulting from HIV, AIDS and cancer

Registering for the Medical Marijuana Program

To register for the MMP, your eligibility must be evaluated by a doctor registered with the MMP. If your own doctor is not registered as a MMP practitioner, they can recommend a physician who can assist. You can also find a registered doctor through the NJ MMP website.

Additional information for people interested in this treatment and their eligibility:

• Only medical marijuana cards registered in the State of New Jersey can be used within New Jersey.
• Patients who cannot easily travel to an Alternative Treatment Center can designate a qualified caregiver to obtain their medicinal marijuana on their behalf. This person will need to be registered with the NJ MMP, but only if they are collecting it on a patient’s behalf.
• Medical marijuana is not currently covered by Medicaid or other health plans in New Jersey.
• Patients’ dosage will be prescribed by their MMP registered physician.

Independent senior living in our Sussex County continuing care retirement community Bristol Glen, an independent senior living community based in Sussex County and part of United Methodist Communities, is dedicated to providing seniors with comfortable, living arrangements and services that free up their time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living facilities, amenities and services.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/medical-marijuana-new-jersey-need-know/

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Tips for Seniors to Sleep Better

May is Better Sleep Month, so our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, is exploring some tips and insights to help seniors fight insomnia and get a good night’s sleep.

Why is sleep important?

Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining our physical and mental health, which is important for every stage of our lives. However, our sleeping patterns change as we age, and we can find ourselves struggling to get a healthy amount of rest. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation says that around 44% of seniors have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis.
When seniors don’t get enough sleep, they can suffer from:
• Depression, memory problems, attention span problems, and tiredness during the daytime.
• Unhealthy weight gain or loss, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and breast cancer in women.

How to improve your night’s rest as a senior:

• Get active. Regular daily exercise is a great way of getting rid of excess energy and tiring out your body for a night’s rest. It’s also healthy for your body, and significantly reduces the risk of diseases that often affect seniors. Outdoor exercise helps you get essential Vitamin D. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regime, and don’t exercise three hours or less before you go to bed, as it could keep you awake.
• Reduce stress. Stress and anxiety lead the causes of sleeplessness at any age, and it can be difficult to deal with worries when you’re lying in bed at night. Whether you need to conquer your worries by making some “To Do” lists or choose to talk to a professional, reducing stress is important for your health. Starting yoga, joining social clubs, participating in your community or getting spiritual companionship and support are also great for reducing stress.
• Look at your medication. Some medications can keep you awake, while others may not be managing your pain effectively. If you are suffering from sleeplessness, speak to your doctor about your current medications and how you are taking them. They may be able to suggest an alternative that won’t keep you up at night.
• Make your room a calm and restful place. You shouldn’t work, read, eat and watch TV in your bed, as this conditions your brain to stay awake while in bed. Rather, keep it a noise- and light-free zone by moving your TV out and not using phones and backlit devices there. Use earplugs or a soothing white noise generator to block out other sounds that may disturb you. It’s also important to keep your bedroom cool, as lower temperatures encourage better sleep.

Visit our beautiful assisted living community in New Jersey

Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of assisted living facilities in New Jersey 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 or our assisted living services, please contact us at https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ and plan your visit today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/tips-for-seniors-to-sleep-better/

 

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