Monday, 13 August 2018

5 Characteristics of the Best Assisted Living Staff

Bricks and mortar may be the building blocks of a great assisted living facility but it’s the dedication, passion and quality of the staff who are the real foundation of the community’s success. They are responsible for the safety, happiness and health of the residents, and add the vibrancy and connection essential to a high quality of life.

This industry is a growing and exciting one, with many opportunities for people to experience the rewards of being a senior caregiver. Here are the most important traits of a great senior caregiver, from our assisted living team in Camden County, NJ:

  1. Dealing with people in such an intimate way — taking care of aspects of their daily lives like dressing, hygiene and medical care — is challenging, and this challenge is even more apparent when residents suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Having patience and the ability to be flexible and calm at all times is essential to caregiving, providing the best outcomes for the residents and taking various hurdles like mood swings, unscheduled events and difficult situations in stride.
  2. Empathy and compassion. Caregiving isn’t just about giving people the support they need to take care of chores, medication and daily needs, it’s about building a connection and relationship with the resident to help them live a full and happy life. Being able to empathize with residents is essential to providing high-quality care because a caregiver understands what the patient is going through, anticipate their needs and deliver care in a way that is positive and effective without being intrusive or overwhelming.
  3. Good communication skills. Communication is a significant part of this role, from communicating with residents and other members of the care team to keeping in touch with family and loved ones. Great communication skills keep everyone up-to-date as well as helping to keep residents calm and comfortable. These skills are also vital for picking up on minor health issues and needs, so that they are addressed early and don’t become more serious.
  4. Caregivers at the assisted living facility should be happy to demonstrate that they are fully trained and certified according to state guidelines to take on their role. Another good sign is that the community encourages associates to engage in continued learning and skill development to keep improving and advancing the services they deliver.
  5. Residents come first. Always putting the needs of the residents first is essential. Little things like knowing the residents by name, taking the time to get to know them and their loved ones, and participating with residents through events, socializing and companionship is important and shows that the associates are actively involved in the community itself.

Become Part of the Senior Care Family at Our Assisted Living Community in Camden County, NJ! 

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood New Jersey is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit, assisted living communities specializing in independent living for seniors. 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.

The team at Collingswood is united by their tremendous sense of satisfaction in caring for, and having relationships with active, vibrant seniors. Our assisted living community offers associates an environment which upholds spirituality and our non-profit mission as the framework for everything they do, creating a supportive and focused environment. Our team also lives “the abundant life” we offer our residents by having a true sense of purpose when they come to work every day.

To find out more about career opportunities at any of the four full-service United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at or contact us today.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

5 Easy Ways to Add Extra Nutrition into a Senior Diet

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

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Monday, 6 August 2018

Palliative Care – Deciding Between In-Home and Hospice Options

Individuals at the end-of-life have several care options available to them, but it can be a challenge deciding which ones will work best. Our hospice in South Jersey recommends looking at three main factors to help you decide – namely, the intensity of care needed, the available budget for care, and the wishes of the person concerned. In this article, we’ll take a look at two high-quality end-of-life care options and what they offer.

Home-Based End-of-Life Care 

This is provided in the home of the individual, which can be more comforting and comfortable than some alternatives like hospitalization. The services and cost vary from provider to provider and depend on the severity of the individual’s condition.

It should involve a team of fully trained caregivers to take care of a wide range of duties from nursing and medication management to nutrition and hygiene, and even household chores if needed. Home-based care has the advantage of not having to move your loved one to new surroundings, which can cause confusion and distress and may make it more difficult for friends and family to visit if the site is far away.

Hospice End-of Life Care

Hospice facilities are not to be confused with hospital facilities, as they don’t offer curative treatments. Instead, hospice focuses solely on providing comfort and care to terminal patients with six months or less to live. Unlike hospitals and institutional facilities, quality hospice facilities go to great lengths to provide a calm, welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for patients, combining the privacy and comforts of a home with expert nursing and therapy services.

At a hospice, your loved one will receive around-the-clock care tailored to his or her exact needs and wishes. Interdisciplinary care teams are on hand at all times to ensure that patients’ physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs are met, and families are also supported throughout this time. Care plans are developed with input from patients and their loved ones as well as doctors, nurses, therapists and other specialists.

The cost of hospice care varies among providers, but eligible patients at providers certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should receive coverage for all care related to the admitting diagnosis through the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefit.

Find Out More About Quality Hospice Care – Speak to the Team at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.

This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and schedule your visit.

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Monday, 30 July 2018

7 Senior Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

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 contact us today or book a personal tour.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Accident Prevention in the Home

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

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Monday, 23 July 2018

The Role of a Registered Nurse in an Assisted Living Facility

The assisted living industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the USA. With the number of Americans over age 65 expected to more than double from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million by 2050, and seniors over 85 expected to account for 4.5% of the total population in the same time period, it’s no surprise that demand for these services is on the rise.

Demand is just one factor, however, with the impressive technological developments in the long-term care field, as well as advancements in medical care helping people not only live longer, but live better, too. The industry has undergone a transformation over the last couple of decades, becoming unrecognizable to the long-term care and assisted living facilities of the past — making them attractive not only to seniors, but as a desirable career option for administrators, doctors, nurses, therapists, care workers and other professionals.

Assisted Living Communities as a Career Option for RNs 

Registered Nurses (RNs) have a particular role in running assisted living facilities often with the title of Head Nurse or Director of Nursing.

Responsibilities can differ among communities, but usually include:

  • Supervision of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) staff members.
  • Designating nursing assignments and setting work schedules.
  • Managing the total care of the residents, including developing and initiating care plans, administering medication, preparing IVs, drawing blood, giving injections, and monitoring vital signs.
  • Monitoring residents to assess the effectiveness of their medication and care plans, possible unintended side effects and negative medicine interactions.
  • Oversight of the residents’ health as a whole through monitoring and ensuring a high standard of care.
  • Completing clinical assessments of residents’ health status.
  • Interacting with residents’ families and loved ones and reporting changes in their health or care plan.
  • Ensuring continuity of care by getting to know each resident, their needs and the best approach to their healthcare as a whole. Through full-time interaction with residents, RNs are able to observe them in detail, catching minor health complications early for a faster recovery.

Want to Find Out More? Speak to the Team at Our CCRC in Sussex County New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC Sussex County New Jersey, dedicated to helping seniors live full, rewarding and independent lives. 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, and welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

Our assisted living community offers staff an environment which upholds spirituality and our non-profit mission as the framework for everything they do, creating a supportive and focused environment. Our team also lives “the abundant life” we offer our residents by having a true sense of purpose when they come to work every day.

To find out more about career opportunities at any of the four full-service United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community, please visit our website at contact us today or book a personal tour.

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Monday, 16 July 2018

Hepatitis and Seniors – A Healthcare Guide

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day and, at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, we’d like to highlight this healthcare condition among seniors. Here’s some information from our team that we hope you find helpful!

What is Hepatitis? 

This disease is characterized by swelling and inflammation of the liver. The inflammation can lead to scarring (cirrhosis) and jaundice, affecting the function of the liver and even leading to liver cancer and liver failure. It can be acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic.
In some cases, hepatitis can be self-healing — but it’s always best to visit the doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Dark urine and pale stools
  • Low fever
  • General itching

Causes of Hepatitis 

Hepatitis A can be transmitted through a virus as well as through a bacterial or parasitic infection. Type B spreads through contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the hepatitis B virus; it can also be transmitted as an STD. It can also be triggered by liver damage from alcoholism, ingestion of toxic substances, and long-term use/overdose of certain medications (especially pain medications and anti-inflammatories).

Seniors are especially vulnerable to hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 75% of adults currently living with the disease were born between 1945 and 1965. Undiagnosed seniors may be unaware that they carry the virus, as it can remain dormant for decades before it starts attacking the liver. Compounding the trend, testing was not as rigorous back then as it is today, making screening essential.

What Happens in a Hepatitis C Test? 

The good news is twofold: First, a simple blood test can detect hepatitis C or any other strain. Second, care and treatment options have come a long way, so once patients are diagnosed, a range of different medications can send the disease into remission and restore healthy living. Some medications can even help reverse liver damage, so early diagnosis is essential!

Life a Full Life at Our Assisted Living Community in New Jersey 

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 on providing essential resources that promote independence.
To find out more about United Methodist Communities or our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at or contact us and book your visit today.

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