Tag Archives: in-home senior care

A Guide to Thyroid Diseases and Health Issues

Checking the Lymph Nodes

It’s Thyroid Awareness Month, and our in home senior care team is bringing you these insights to help raise awareness of thyroid health conditions and how they affect seniors. By helping people recognize symptoms and receive treatment for these conditions, we hope more seniors can truly enjoy their Golden Years!

What is the Thyroid? 

This is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. Although it’s small, it has a huge role to play in the human body, releasing hormones that control your metabolism – essentially controlling the way each cell and organ uses energy.

It helps regulate hundreds of critical functions, including:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Body weight
  • Muscle strength and control
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Digestive functions
  • Mood
  • Bone maintenance
  • And much more

Because it affects so many different systems, it can be very difficult to link different (seemingly unrelated) symptoms to a thyroid health condition. Other indicators that you may be at risk include a family history of thyroid conditions, certain medical conditions like Graves or Plummer’s disease, and iodine deficiency.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms 

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone, causing many of your body’s systems to speed up. You may only experience some of the following symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including sudden weight loss, anxiety or jitteriness, tremors in hands or fingers, irregular or pounding heartbeat, sweating, increased appetite, increased body heat, and muscle weakness. It can also cause your thyroid gland to become enlarged.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms 

This is when the hormone output of the thyroid drops below ideal levels, often causing the body’s systems to slow. Symptoms can include fatigue, lack of energy, feeling cold, dry skin, high cholesterol, brittle hair and nails, unexplained weight gain, muscle weakness and aches, and depression.

Treatment for Thyroid Conditions 

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication or radioactive iodine to slow hormone production, while hypothyroidism is treated by taking a synthetic version of the hormone produced by your thyroid to bring you up to healthy levels. It’s a fairly simple treatment that can make an incredible difference in your health and quality of life – all it takes is a blood test to diagnose.

Companionship, Skilled Nursing and Respite Care from In Home Senior Care Specialists 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Through this senior home care program, trained staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. Each care plan is designed around the client’s needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

For more information on our seniors home care services, 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/a-guide-to-thyroid-diseases-and-health-issues/

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A Day in the Life of a Home Health Aide

Senior man and female carer enjoying coffee at home

The in-home senior care industry is booming and many people looking for rewarding careers in caregiving are considering becoming home health aides. But what is this role really all about? What could you expect on a typical day? Is it the right fit for you? Our senior independent home care specialists offer some insight that may help you determine the answers.

Typical Duties as a In Home Senior Care Provider 

As a home health aide for seniors, you’ll be assisting older adults with a wide range of daily activities. This type of care is tailored to the specific needs of the individual you’re caring for, so they may cover a wide range of activities, including:

  • Light housekeeping such as washing dishes, doing laundry, etc. Please note, however, that this role does not include performing heavy housework.
  • Organizing a client’s schedule (arranging doctors’ appointments, etc.).
  • Grocery shopping and meal preparation.
  • Arranging transportation for errands and appointments.
  • Personal hygiene (bathing, dressing and toileting, etc.).
  • Assistance with ambulation and feeding.
  • Communicating with family members about care and care requirements.
  • Providing companionship.

The extent to which a client requires these services depends on their health condition and specific needs.

Work Hours and Environment 

Work will primarily take place in the client’s home and the hours are determined by the tailored care they receive, including:

  • Respite care – Assisting family caregivers on a temporary basis, providing post-hospitalization care, etc.
  • Part-time care – Caregiving on a regular basis for a set number of hours per day or days per week.
  • Live-in care – Providing non-medical care on a full-time basis to seniors as an alternative to moving into assisted living communities.

United Methodist Communities Senior Independent Home Care – Where Compassion is Part of the Job 

Whether you need part-time residential in home senior care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, our HomeWorks program is here to help. Our team is dedicated to playing a positive and compassionate role in the lives of seniors and are trained and selected for their ability to enhance the security, wellbeing and state-of-mind. Our staff 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 home health aide services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-health-aide-services/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-home-health-aide/

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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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Cataracts – Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Optometrist with patient

June is Cataracts Awareness Month, so our in home senior care team is helping to raise awareness by sharing important information about this health condition.

What are Cataracts and What Causes Them? 

Cataracts is clouding of the eye’s lens (which is normally clear) that causes vision problems. It is predominantly a result of aging, and by 80-years of age, more than half of all Americans will have experienced a cataract. It can occur in one or both eyes and is not a contagious condition.

The lens of the eye is largely made up of protein and water. The proteins can start clumping up over time, which clouds the lens and prevents the right amount of light from reaching the retina. When this clumping first starts, it only affects a small portion of the eye and may not be easily noticed. As it progresses and grows, the symptoms will worsen, and vision will be increasingly affected.

8 Symptoms of Cataracts 

Symptoms of this condition include:

  1. Clouded or dimmed vision
  2. Sensitivity to bright light/glare
  3. Halos around lights
  4. Difficulty seeing at night
  5. Increasing need for brighter and brighter light for reading and close work
  6. Difficulty distinguishing different tones and colors
  7. Fading or browning/yellowing of the eye
  8. Double vision in the eye

Risk Factors 

Cataracts primarily result from the aging process, but other risk factors can make cataracts more likely, including certain health conditions like diabetes, certain medications like corticosteroids, as well as smoking, high alcohol intake, obesity, high blood pressure, eye injuries and excessive exposure of the eyes to sunlight.

Treatment for Cataracts 

Cataracts can be diagnosed by your physician using a range of eye tests, so annual checkups are important. Fortunately, there are very effective treatment options available to restore your vision once your prescription glasses are no longer effective.

During cataract surgery the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. This is usually done on an outpatient basis and, after a few days of recovery, your vision should be fully restored.

Senior Independent Home Care in NJ – Compassion, Care and Independence! 

At United Methodist Communities, a leading senior homecare services provider in New Jersey, we offer tailored, compassionate care through our advanced HomeWorks program. This program offers in home senior care for the elderly tailored to their specific requirements and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.For more information on our senior independent homecare services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/cataracts-signs-symptoms-and-treatment-options/

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5 Essential Go-Bag Items for In-Home Senior Caregivers

Being a caregiver for a senior loved one often means facing the same routine challenges each day, like preparing meals, getting to and from shops or appointments, dressing and bathing. But caregivers also must plan ahead and be ready to act quickly in the event of an emergency — that’s where your go-bag comes in. Here are some insights from our in home senior care team in NJ.

Pack your go-bag today 

As a caregiver, you know that a lot of preparation, planning and teamwork is needed to care for your loved one. When an emergency happens, there’s not a lot of time to think — only time to act.

Having a go-bag ready in advance keeps you prepared and ensure you both have the essentials you need without causing additional anxiety or confusion for your loved one.

What should be in my senior go-bag? 

While the final items are up to you, our team has the following suggestions:

  1. Patient fact sheet. A brief document for healthcare professionals so they have the basic information needed to manage your loved one’s treatment. Include information like his or her full legal name (to match insurance documents), current health conditions and medications, allergy information, contact information of his/her healthcare providers, special dietary considerations, any communication issues or behavioral issues, and religion. Be sure to also include your own contact details.
  2. Copies of important documents. Including Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance cards; healthcare proxy; Living Will; Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR); etc.
  3. Basic toiletries and supplies. Spare set of eyeglasses, denture storage and cleaning supplies, a change of clothing and/or pajamas, hand lotion, hair brush, facecloth, small bag for jewelry or valuables, reading material, and any comfort items.
  4. Snacks and water. A few of your loved one’s favorite snacks and some bottled water often come in handy and help keep blood sugar stable and prevent dehydration.
  5. Items for you. Keep a few crossword puzzles, a novel or a few magazines in your go-bag, as well as some healthy snacks and water, for the wait. It’s also a good idea to keep a spare phone charger in your bag so you can stay in contact easily.

In-home senior care from trained and experienced home health aides in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Trained and highly experienced staff assist seniors and their families through this comprehensive senior in-home care program. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

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

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-essential-go-bag-items-home-senior-caregivers/

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Family-Friendly Activities for Everyone – Including Seniors!

The holiday season is here and with it comes a month filled with wonderful events for families! Here are some of the top picks from our in-home senior care team in NJ:

  • The 38th Annual Holiday Craft Show at The Hermitage. Stock up on unique, beautifully-crafted décor and holiday gifts for the festive season, all lovingly handmade by artisans from all over the USA. Many are one-of-a-kind, and in addition to Christmas wreaths, Santa Clauses and tree ornaments, they offer décor stands for Chanukah, Thanksgiving and even Halloween. It’s located in the Hermitage Education and Conference Center. Proceeds support the Hermitage Museum, located at 335 Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423.

 

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. These beautifully imaginative stories are brought to life by a troupe of enchanting puppets for a magical 1-hour show. Fun for kids and adults alike, this show is a real treat featuring several stories from this acclaimed series. The production will be held at the DR2 Theatre, 103 East 15 Street, New York, New York.

 

  • DiDonato’s Magical Express. Enjoy a train ride through millions of lights and meet Santa at his workshop! Filled with the Christmas spirit, this holiday village occurs at the DiDonato Family Fun Center, 1151 White Horse Pike in Hammonton, and runs from November 10 to 26 and December 1 to 23. There will also be an after-Christmas special on the 26th for anyone who doesn’t want to miss out. In addition to the Christmas train, there’s also bowling, great restaurants and more.

 

  • The Butterfly Conservatory. Escape the snows of winter and come and see the magnificent butterflies of the tropics at this wonderful exhibit. Celebrating its 20th year, you can expect to mingle with over 500 fluttering butterflies among the flowers and lush vegetation of a tropical paradise. It’s on from October 7 to May 28 at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York.

 

  • Music at the Museum. If you’re a family with older children or are planning an evening out for adults, this is a fantastic event to attend. Featuring classical and jazz performers from the Mason Gross School of the Arts Extension Division and hosted at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, 71 Hamilton St, New Brunswick. Although these performances are free to the public, be sure to get there early as seating is limited. Performances are held on the second Sunday of every month, from October 15 to March 18.

 

Professional senior independent home care for a companionable festive season 

Our senior home care services team knows that the holidays are a time for companionship and family, so we work to ensure that your loved one is cared for throughout the holiday season. Whether you need a permanent in-home senior care specialist or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one with in home respite care while you are on vacation, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our fully certified staff has extensive senior care training and experience, so feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our senior independent home care services NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/family-friendly-activities-everyone-including-seniors/

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Be Aware and Save Lives: Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

When it comes to strokes, every second counts towards preventing permanent damage and saving lives. Here’s what you need to know from our senior home health care services team about this medical condition in order to act quickly.

F-A-S-T – The easy way to recognize stroke symptoms 

The four letters F-A-S-T, spells out the symptoms of a stroke and are key to saving lives. Here’s what they mean:

F = FACE DROOPING. Watch for one side of the face starting to droop or feel numb. Ask the person to smile to check for unevenness.

A = ARM WEAKNESS. One arm feeling weaker or numb. To test, ask the person to raise their arms up in front of them and see if their one arm drifts down or has difficulty responding.

S = SLURRED SPEECH. Difficulty speaking and articulating words. Test the person by asking them to repeat a short sentence like, “The grass is green.”

T = TIME. If someone shows one or more of the above symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1. This is vital even if you are unsure or if the symptoms seem to be going away, as time is absolutely vital for effective medical treatment.

Additional symptoms may include vision trouble, sudden dizziness or trouble walking, severe headache or numbness on one side of the body.

What is a stroke? 

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This prevents vital organs, like the brain, from getting needed oxygen and nutrients and very quickly results in damage to the organ. This is a very serious event, as the affected part of the brain may never fully recover from the damage and, if the stroke is severe enough or not treated quickly enough, the patient may die.

In fact, strokes are the fifth most common cause of death in the USA, killing around 140,000 Americans each year. Because many of these deaths and stroke-related injuries can be prevented if patients are treated as quickly as possible, knowing the FAST checklist is so essential.

Stroke risk factors 

While a stroke can happen to anyone, these risk factors make a stroke more likely:

  • African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to have a first stroke, and have the highest mortality rate.
  • Younger age groups are increasingly at risk of stroke, but the highest age group at risk are people over 65.
  • Women are more likely to have a stroke than men.
  • Health conditions and lifestyle. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, low physical activity, and heart disease all increase stroke risks.

Expert, compassionate at home care for the elderly in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, one of New Jersey’s leading home health aide services organization, we strive to offer the very best quality senior homecare options, from assisted living to in-homecare through our HomeWorks program. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers, personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home health care services or to find a qualified home health aide in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/aware-save-lives-stroke-warning-signs-symptoms/

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