Tag Archives: Senior independent home care

A Guide to Thyroid Conditions and Senior Health

Checking the Lymph Nodes

As we age our risk of developing certain health conditions increases and thyroid conditions are among these. Knowing what these conditions are and how to detect them early on is the best way of staying independent and in good health. That is why our in-home respite care team is raising awareness about this condition – what it is, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated.

What is the Thyroid? 

The thyroid is a very small but very important gland that is located at the front of the neck, just below the larynx. It produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, heart and digestive functions, brain development, muscle control, mood regulation, and bone health. Because it controls so many important bodily functions, thyroid health conditions can lead to a wide range of symptoms and health problems.

Common Thyroid Conditions in Adults 

Hypothyroidism. This is known as an under-active thyroid, where the gland isn’t producing enough hormones to support the body’s functions. Symptoms often include weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin, weakness, and constipation. Treatment for this condition involves taking a synthetic thyroid hormone in medication form to supplement the gland’s low production.

Hyperthyroidism. This is an overactive thyroid, where the thyroid is flooding the body with excess hormones. Symptoms can include sweating, sudden weight loss, racing heartbeat, an enlarged thyroid gland, and difficulty sleeping. Treatment can include taking medication that slows thyroid hormone production, followed by treatment with radioactive iodine. Grave’s Disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism.

6 Risk Factors for Thyroid Health Conditions in Seniors 

Anyone of any age can develop a thyroid health condition, but it’s important to be aware of the following risk factors that may make you more likely to develop these health problems:

  1. If you have a close family member with a thyroid disorder
  2. If you have Grave’s or Plummer’s disease
  3. If you have swelling or nodules on the thyroid gland
  4. If you or close family members have an autoimmune disease
  5. If you have an iodine deficiency
  6. If you are a woman over the age of 50 (more women suffer from hypothyroidism than men)

Professional In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options, including in-home respite care through HomeWorks. This program is about assisting older adults in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with 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 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/a-guide-to-thyroid-conditions-and-senior-health/

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Many Seniors Suffer from Loss of Appetite – Here’s How to Help

Senior couple preparing salad

Loss of appetite is common among seniors, and is a natural result of being less active, burning fewer calories and requiring less food as we age. However, a complete or severe loss of appetite is something to be concerned about and it’s important that caregivers watch out for this health issue. Here are some insights from our in home respite care team in New Jersey.

What Can Cause Loss of Appetite in Seniors? 

There are a few risk factors that make seniors especially vulnerable to loss of appetite, including these four:

  • Loneliness or depression – According to the AARP, recent surveys show the extent of loneliness and social isolation in seniors, with one third of seniors reporting a lack of companionship and feelings of isolation. This can lead to depression as well as declines in mental and physical health.
  • Medication – Some medications can cause loss of appetite as a side effect.
  • Changes in the senses – As we age, our sensory perception changes, which can make certain foods smell or taste off-putting or different than they once did.
  • Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions can affect appetite, including thyroid disorders, dementia, chronic liver disease, kidney failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A sudden unexplained loss of appetite should be investigated by a doctor.

Four Ways to Help a Senior Regain Their Appetite 

Once any serious issues are ruled out or identified, caregivers can help seniors regain their appetite by:

  1. Having set meal times – While it’s great to get input for when meals should be served and what they should be, it’s a good idea to stick to particular meal times once they have been set. This helps people mentally prepare for mealtimes.
  2. Choose quality over quantity – Because seniors naturally eat less, it’s important that what they do eat is high quality. Choose fresh, high-nutrient foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins rather than processed snack foods or sandwiches. Present them in small meal portions.
  3. Eat together – Meals are social occasions and eating together is a bonding, companionable experience. Bringing some social elements to meal times and making it a more enjoyable experience often has the effect of all parties eating more.
  4. Stick to what they love – Get input on favorite meals and ingredients you can work with through the week, as most people are likely to eat more of the foods they love! Keep it simple, don’t try anything too adventurous, and make sure it’s easy to chew and swallow.

Affordable, Quality Support from In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates, starting as low as $23 per hour, 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 seniors 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/many-seniors-suffer-from-loss-of-appetite-heres-how-to-help/

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4 Benefits of In Home Senior Care

Happy senior man with carer reading a novel together

When you or a loved one start to need some extra help around the house or in daily life, there are two main solutions – moving into a CCRC or assisted living community, or hiring in home senior care. Here we take a look at how seniors benefit from home care services.

  • The comfort of home: For many people who use these services, this is by far the most important benefit. Moving can be a big disruption in life, removing you from familiar surroundings, your community and your social circle. By staying at home, a good level of independence and routine is maintained, which is something most people love – and is especially beneficial to seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Control over your care: When you choose senior home care, you get to control what services are provided, when they are provided and who provides them. This means customized care that fits the patient’s needs as well as personal preferences. You can choose from live-in care to part-time or respite care as the costs are usually determined on an hourly basis, and services can include anything from light housework, transport and companionship to assistance with bathing and grooming.
  • Affordability: By being able to customize care services and work within hourly rates, assistance for seniors is often more affordable than making the move into an assisted living facility. You can choose whatever care option best suits your budget rather than having to pay monthly fees.
  • Greater flexibility: By choosing in home care, you get greater flexibility in your services because they’re provided for just one person rather than a whole community. This means that if you want to go grocery shopping, your home health aide can take you. If you want meals at a certain time, that can be arranged. It’s all about working within your requirements.

Tailored, Expert Senior Home Care in NJ 

As a leading senior home care provider in New Jersey, our team offers in-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 senior 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/4-benefits-of-in-home-senior-care/


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6 Easy Ways to Make a Senior’s Home Fall-Proof

Elderly woman holding on handrail for safety walk steps

Falls are a serious health concern for seniors, causing broken bones, severe bruising and injuries that can have a lasting effect on the quality of life. If you’re worried about your senior parent or loved one falling at home, here are some easy ways to make their home a safer, more fall-free space, from our in-home senior care team:

  • Secure rugs. Seniors tend to shuffle their feet rather than lifting each foot cleanly off the ground, which makes it more likely for them to trip over uneven floors. Anchor down rugs with non-slip rug pads to prevent them from sliding, folding, curling, or wrinkling, or put them in storage. Any high pile rugs should be removed.
  • Create wide, clear walking paths. Stairways should be completely clear of items and all walkways should be kept as wide as possible. This allows seniors to move easily through the home even with a walker, cane or wheelchair.
  • Increase the lighting. As eyesight diminishes with age it becomes more difficult to see hazards before falling over them. Increased lighting can be a big help, especially in frequently used rooms, entrances and around stairs. Install bulbs with the highest wattage recommended for the fixture and add bedside lighting so your loved one doesn’t have to get up and move in the dark to turn on lights.
  • Non-slip stairs. Unless the stairs are carpeted, they don’t provide much traction, and this can lead to a bad fall. If you don’t want to carpet the stairs, apply non-slip adhesive strips to each stair tread to ensure good grip. It’s also important that the handrail is in good condition and properly secured.
  • Clear out. It’s easy for our homes to become crowded with stuff, but this can quickly become a serious hazard to the elderly. Now is a good time to do a thorough home clear out of furniture, old magazines and books, and other items that create clutter. Re-arrange furniture so that it is easier to navigate around a room. Hosting a garage sale can create a budget for aesthetic or safety upgrades!
  • Install grab-bars. Bathrooms are not generally designed for seniors or the disabled. The combination of water and slippery surfaces makes daily bathing and grooming activities high fall-risk situations. Grab bars are ideal for supporting older adults getting in and out of the bath and shower and are easy to install — just make sure they are properly secured.

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

At United Methodist Communities, a leading seniors homecare services provider in New Jersey, we offer tailored, compassionate care through our HomeWorks program. In this program, we focus on offering in home senior care for the elderly tailored to their specific requirements to provide them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information on our senior independent 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/6-easy-ways-to-make-a-seniors-home-fall-proof/

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4 Ways to Show Some Love to Your Heart this Valentine’s Day!

Nurse Visiting Senior Male Patient At Home

February is American Heart Month and our in home respite care team is raising awareness of what this month is all about, what you can do to participate, and why it’s so important!

Why American Heart Month Matters 

Heart disease is the leading cause of all deaths in the USA, accounting for one in every four fatalities. It can strike at any age, whether you are a young adult or a senior citizen. Although this sounds scary, there is good news — heart disease is preventable! By making healthier choices and managing health conditions properly, you can significantly reduce risk, saving and extending your lifespan.

What Causes Heart Disease? 

Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, lack of physical activity and high alcohol intake are all lifestyle factors that increase your risk of heart disease. It is also important to take action if you are diabetic, have a family history of heart disease, or are older, as these also put you at risk.

What Can I Do to Support American Heart Month and My Heart Health?

Have an annual health check-up that includes blood pressure and cholesterol level screenings.

  1. If you have any of the above risk factors, speak to your doctor about developing a health strategy, including quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, starting a healthy diet and including exercise in your daily routine.
  2. Take up an exercise you love. While you do not have to run a marathon, there are plenty of great ways to get your heart pumping. Dancing, walking, water aerobics, and yoga are exercises you can enjoy at any age.
  3. Relax more. Stress and anxiety have a negative impact on your heart health, so find something that promotes calm and relaxation, like meditation, birdwatching, nature walks, or crafts.

Wellbeing Comes First with Expert In Home Respite Care 

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

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

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-ways-to-show-some-love-to-your-heart-this-valentines-day/

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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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