Wednesday, 23 May 2018

4 Caregiving Tips for Celebrating Spring




Spring is all about the promise of life, from the lengthening warmer days to the new growth all around us. It’s a time when we start getting outdoors more to enjoy nature and time with friends and family — and seniors are no exception!
Here are some tips from our senior home healthcare services team on making your springtime more senior-friendly:

  1. Get outdoors. An overwhelming number of studies show that physical activity is invaluable in combating health conditions and frailty, and even plays a vital role in staying mentally fit. Spring is the perfect time to resume an old hobby or pick up a new one like birdwatching or nature walking. Just remember to wear some sturdy shoes and start off slow.
  2. Prepare for changing weather. Warmer days are ideal for outdoor excursions before the heat of summer sets in, but the weather is very unpredictable this time of year. For senior caregivers, this means checking the weather in detail and planning for every variation by dressing in layers and keeping an umbrella and a sun hat nearby.
  3. Bring spring indoors. The sights and smells of spring stimulate and uplift the senses, especially for seniors who may be less mobile. Spring flowers are a great way to do this! Bringing these into the home is a great way to lift spirits. You’ll find a variety available in shops and even fresh from the garden.
  4. Take care of allergies. If the senior in your care suffers from allergies, it’s a good idea to stock up on over-the-counter medications in advance, as allergens become very concentrated in the spring. Check with your loved one’s doctor to confirm these medications won’t cause averse interactions with others in use. Another approach is to tackle the spring cleaning to clear out dust and other allergens that tend to gather in the winter. Have HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filters cleaned out and check for mold growth in cupboards and other damp areas of the home.

At Home Care for the Elderly to Support Seniors, Caregivers and Families in NJ 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a nonprofit organization, we offer at home care for older adults through trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. As one of the leading home health aide agencies in New Jersey, our respite care and senior homecare services cover everything 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 respite care and our home health services offering, 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-caregiving-tips-for-celebrating-spring/


Monday, 21 May 2018

Parkinson’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment



Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative condition of the nervous system affecting 10 million people around the world. With 60,000 Americans — most of whom are seniors — diagnosed with this disease each year, it’s important to know how to recognize the symptoms to ensure quality treatment as soon as possible. Here is a quick guide from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County in New Jersey.

9 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease 

Symptoms of this condition vary from person to person and may be almost unnoticeable during its very early stages. They include:

  1. Tremors or shaking in a limb, often in the hand or fingers, even when it is at rest.
  2. A pill-rolling tremor, rubbing between the thumb and forefinger.
  3. Slowed movement, including shorter steps, dragging feet, and tasks becoming more time-consuming.
  4. Posture becoming stooped.
  5. Development of balance issues.
  6. Muscle stiffness in any part of the body, reducing range-of-motion and causing pain.
  7. Slurred speech, speaking in monotone, loss of speech inflections, or speaking softly.
  8. Difficulty writing and writing smaller than usual.
  9. Reduced automatic movements like blinking or smiling.

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or in a loved one or neighbor, it’s important to speak to a medical professional. While it may not result in a Parkinson’s diagnosis, these can indicate other underlying conditions that may require treatment.

4 Causes of Parkinson’s Disease 

There are several risk factors linked to this condition, including:

  1. Certain genetic mutations and gene variations. A family history of Parkinson’s is important to note.
  2. While some cases of the disease have been diagnosed in young adults, it is more common in people over age 50.
  3. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s than women.
  4. The presence of Lewy bodies. These are clumps of specific substances found within brain cells and researchers believe that these hold an important clue to the cause of this condition.


Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease 

As there is no known cause for the disease, there is no cure for the condition, however, there are medications and lifestyle changes which have proven effective at helping control symptoms. Physical therapy, aerobic exercise and speech therapy are also recommended.

Live Life to the Fullest with Supportive, Scalable Services at our Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is an independent senior living community in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable living choices that free up time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and assisted living facilities, 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/parkinsons-disease-symptoms-causes-and-treatment/


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

May is Arthritis Awareness Month!



This month, our home healthcare services team is looking at a health condition that affects so many seniors — arthritis. This includes over 100 conditions that cause joint disease and joint pain, affecting over 50 million adults in the United States. Here is some helpful information about arthritis and its treatment.

Do I Have Arthritis? 

As this name is given to such a large group of conditions, there’s no definitive single set of symptoms for diagnosis. However, these four most common symptoms can indicate an issue:

  1. Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints
  2. Decreased range of motion
  3. Physical changes to the joints, for example, knobby finger joints
  4. Difficulty with daily activities like walking, typing and climbing stairs

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Osteoarthritis, the most common condition in this category, generally affects the elderly. It is caused when the cartilage (the hard but smooth cushioning surface on the ends of bones) wears away, leaving bone to rub against bone. This causes pain, swelling and stiffness, which often worsen over time, resulting in a lack of strength in the joint.

Inflammatory arthritis conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are immune conditions which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints of the body, resulting in painful inflammation and even damage to internal organs and other parts of the body. It can result from genetic and environmental risk factors, including smoking.

Treatment for Arthritis 

For osteoarthritis, symptoms are treated by not overworking joints, engaging in therapeutic activity and strengthening the muscles around the joints, healthy weight management, hot and cold therapies, assistive devices, mild pain medications and avoiding repetitive movements.

For inflammatory arthritis, early diagnosis is very important, as patients can get medical treatment in the form of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent permanent damage.

Compassionate, Quality Care from Our Home Health Aide Services Team in New Jersey 

Whether you need permanent senior homecare services or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a respite care or temporary basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. As one of the leading home health agencies in NJ, our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience. Please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information about HomeWorks’ home health aide services, 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/may-is-arthritis-awareness-month/


Monday, 14 May 2018

Leave the Old Age Home Stereotype Behind




If you grew up in the 70s, your perception of senior living is probably tainted with ideas of very old, fragile men and women with serious end-of-life issues. A tour through many of that period’s facilities may have done little to dispel your image of these “homes” as places to be avoided at all costs.

But like everything else, the world for older adults has changed and evolved. People are living longer and a greying population makes up more of the overall population in the USA than ever before.
People are savvier about the care options available for them or their loved ones, and the internet offers a wealth of information on the credibility and capabilities of caregivers.

And so, 50 years later, the senior living and senior care industry has changed dramatically. The current need for care and companionship has as many different levels as the people who need them. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all business, and the level of service, quality of lifestyle, and the diverse options for comfort of living make senior communities a vibrant place-to-be for many — both rewarding for employees and stimulating and safe for residents.

The stereotype of cold, hospital-like facilities has been left behind in favor of diverse, vibrant communities that cater to a wide range of lifestyles, living options and care services. This has made assisted living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities much-desired options for older adults, who desire a high-quality of life, convenience, independence and tailored care from trained professionals, all in a homey, comfortable and modern setting.

These demographic and consumer changes are also creating a boom industry for healthcare workers. Modern senior care aides, an enthusiastic and passionate flock of professionals, feel excited about the industry and the difference they make in the lives of seniors.

From nursing and medical staff to certified caregivers and therapists, all these associates are trained and screened. They genuinely care about delivering real quality of life to seniors. In fact, the attraction to this industry is so strong that in 2015, employment in the healthcare and social assistance sector grew by a significant 3.5%. Between 2000 and 2016, healthcare employment in general grew by a huge 42% —much of it sparked by the increased focus on healthcare services for seniors.

This transformation in the population and thus in the senior living industry creates an important milestone, changing the perception of senior care and creating communities that are a joy to live and work in.

Customized Care with a Focus on Independent Living – Assisted living 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 senior living. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus on essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

If you speak with the team at Collingswood, you will learn about their tremendous sense of satisfaction from caring for, and having relationships with active, vibrant seniors — often a rewarding and life-changing experience. An environment which upholds spirituality and a non-profit mission as the framework for everything they do helps. Our associates also live “the abundant life” 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 http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/leave-the-old-age-home-stereotype-behind/

Monday, 7 May 2018

A Guide to Terminal Restlessness Among Hospice Patients




As much as dying is a fact of life most people prefer to avoid thinking about this topic. While understandable, it does mean that many of us are unprepared when facing the dying process, which makes the passing of a loved one even more difficult.

One common part of this process is known as terminal restlessness. In order to comfort their loved one through this experience, it’s important for the family and friends to understand what this is and how it is managed. Here is a basic guide from the team at our hospice residence in South Jersey.

What is Terminal Restlessness and How Can It Be Managed? 


This term, used to describe a mental state that many terminal patients move through during their final stages of life, is estimated to affect up to 85% of patients. The symptoms include agitation, restlessness, delirium, confusion and impaired consciousness. Many patients also experience myoclonic jerks (involuntary muscle movement) and twitches. Understandably, this is distressing for loved ones.

While the exact cause of these symptoms isn’t linked to one particular condition, caregivers will monitor any changes in mental state to ensure that any underlying conditions are treated. Common causes for terminal restlessness include hypercalcaemia (a metabolic disorder common to cancer patients), fever, organ failure, sepsis, drug interactions, increased pressure on the brain, or opioid toxicity.

Researchers also point to a likely psychological element at work here, in which patients are more aware that they are approaching the end of their lives. Whatever the reason, caregivers play a vital role monitoring mental state, offering spiritual and emotional comfort, ensuring treatment of any underlying conditions whenever possible, and offering sedation if needed. Specialists often recommend that loved ones try playing calming music, talking in a gentle and reassuring manner, and holding your terminal loved one’s hand to help reduce agitation.

Comfort, Compassion and Care at Our Hospice Residence 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.

It 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 https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/a-guide-to-terminal-restlessness-among-hospice-patients/

Monday, 30 April 2018

Don’t Wait Too Long for Hospice Care



Hospice services are a valuable resource for people of all ages, but especially the elderly and their loved ones, providing comfort, care and support through the final stages of life. Despite the value of this service, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that very few elderly people who qualified for this level of care made use of it.

Here are some additional insights into the study and the value of palliative care programs, from the team at our assisted living hospice dedicated neighborhood in South Jersey:

Who is Making Use of Hospice and Palliative Care Services? 

The study looked at 562 individuals over 70 years of age, with an average age of 87-years-old. Of all the participants, only 43% were admitted to hospice care in their last year of life, and half the participants only received 13 days or less of care.

Ideally, candidates who would benefit from this care have six months or less to live, so clearly these services are underutilized.

Why is it Better to Go into Hospice Earlier?

The most common reason for avoiding hospice care may very well be that this is a very difficult, emotional and distressing time for patients and their families. It represents a final part of a loved one’s life, and we’d all prefer focusing on their life rather than their passing.

The study also found that while certain terminal illnesses have a fairly predictable progression, others make it far more difficult to determine when treatment is no longer an option. Afflictions like frailty and dementia also make it more difficult to pinpoint when hospice care is the best choice. This makes it essential to keep in regular contact with physicians and ask questions about treatment plans and hospice programs so that families can make informed decisions that prioritize a loved one’s comfort and care when the time comes.

The reality is that hospice care is a valuable resource. It focusses on expert pain management, physical comfort and spiritual support, as well as social and physical activities tailored to your loved one’s needs.

They also provide support and care to families and loved ones, allowing them to step back as caregivers and spend quality time with their loved ones while compassionate staff makes sure their other needs are met. Hospice care also actively works to reduce hospitalizations for patients, ensuring their care and nursing needs are met in a more welcoming and comfortable community.

Find Out What Quality Care Means 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.

It 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 https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/dont-wait-too-long-for-hospice-care/

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

5 Essential Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Senior Home Healthcare Aide



Finding and interviewing caregivers to care for an elderly loved one can be a challenging experience. Many people are unsure of a what to look for in a home health aide, whether the costs are justified, or even if their loved one will work well with the new caregiver. On top of that, it’s often a very emotional and stressful time.

Here are some qualities to look for in your candidates that will get your hiring process off to a great start, from our senior home health care services team in NJ:

  1. This doesn’t just mean how long they’ve worked in the industry. Different caregivers specialize in varied areas, and you want to make sure that they can handle their new position. They should have knowledge, skills and experience to manage your loved one’s unique situation, whether it’s a health condition, if they need post-operative care, or specific help around the home.
  2. Your candidate should have successfully undergone the training and certifications required for the position under your state guidelines as a minimum requirement for the job. It’s a great sign if your candidate has continued their training above this level to gain additional skills – especially if they are something your loved one may need in future.
  3. The get-along factor. Your loved one and the caregiver will be spending a lot of time together and it’s very important that they are a good fit for each other. Your loved one needs to be able to trust the caregiver and build a healthy relationship. Look out for candidates that are nurturing, as well as professional and show an interest in your loved one not just as a patient, but as a person.
  4. Strong communication skills. You and your family need to rely on the caregiver to keep in touch with you about any changes in condition or care plan, as well as assist with managing doctors’ appointments if needed. Strong communication skills will give you essential peace of mind.
  5. Supportive and encouraging. Great caregivers see their position as more than a job — they really get invested and interested in their assignment. A motivated and compassionate caregiver ensures a high care standard and helps keep your loved one as active and independent as possible.

Qualified, Dedicated Caregivers for the Best At Home Care for the Elderly in NJ 

United Methodist Communities’ HomeWorks, one of the state’s leading home health aide agencies, strives to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey. 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.

For more information on our in-home health care agency or our residential in-home respite care in NJ, 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/5-essential-qualities-to-look-for-when-hiring-a-senior-home-healthcare-aide/