Category Archives: Around the Communities

4 Reasons to Join a Senior Book Club

Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” And we agree! Reading is a way of experiencing the world; it’s a great opportunity to learn about new cultures, new countries and even new planets. Reading also supports mental and emotional growth, memory recognition, imagination, and the ability to make new friends. 

Joining a book club is one of the best activities to do in the winter, especially with the icy weather keeping you indoors. With that said, here are the top reasons to join a book club that also shed a light on the importance of reading.

  1. It’s great exercise for the memory – It’s so unbelievably important to exercise our brains and support memory functions as we age. Reading is one effective way to do this. It also helps fight Alzheimer’s and dementia conditions, not to mention help us remember where we put things (hint – it’s never in the first 10 places you looked). A really great book has the power to activate and exercise short-term memory, the neural network, and your receptiveness to learning.

  2. It relieves stress – Stress is one of the biggest issues facing modern society, and it can take a hefty toll on seniors. Feeling stressed and anxious releases cortisol, a hormone that activates our fight-or-flight reflexes. Even low levels of cortisol can increase sugar levels in the bloodstream, cause sleep problems, induce weight gain, trigger headaches and depression, and wreak havoc on digestive systems. So, it really does pay to unwind and escape with a good book often. 

  3. It’s social – Although it’s the holiday season, it can feel like a lonely time of year for many seniors. Winter makes travel more difficult due to the weather and COVID-19 restrictions. For seniors whose families are far away, this time traditionally spent together can make the distance even harder to deal with, which makes room for depression to creep in. A stimulating social activity, like a book club, can help prevent this by bringing people together. Whether virtually or socially distant, book clubs can give seniors a consistent opportunity to talk, laugh, connect with one another, and spend quality time together.

  4. It opens your world – Seniors have a tendency to feel like their world is getting a little smaller as they grow older. Especially since travel can be expensive, a challenge or simply not possible any longer. For these reasons, seniors tend to stay close to their community of friends and family. Further, current  COVID-19 restrictions add another barrier. But books have the ability to take you anywhere – to Italy in the spring, to a rugged camping adventure across the Appalachian trail, to a period in the past, and even to new worlds that only exist in someone else’s imagination.


Let the senior book club at UMC take you places

Our community book club is one of the most popular activities for seniors in Cape May County, NJ, and it’s easy to see why. The book club is designed to match the vibrant energy of our residents, with fantastic picks, socially distant gatherings and discussions on all genres of novels.

The senior book club at UMC at The Shores is just one, out of a range of regularly scheduled activities for our residents. Other activities include Zoom fitness classes, community talks and prayer services which help our residents interact with one another. If you are looking to join a book club or move into a senior community that is all about abundant living, contact UMC at The Shores today at:

The Jersey Shore in November – Still Active!

One of the best-kept secrets about Ocean City, New Jersey is that it has so much to offer even in the coldest and quietest months of the year. Year-round activity makes it such a great place for seniors and families, and also for residents at  The Shores,  one of the best assisted living communities in Cape May County! Here’s some ideas for what to do at the Jersey Shore in November.

Midcentury New Jersey: The Garden State in the 1950s

Ready for a real blast from the past? Come and explore what the Garden State was like in the Atomic age! This trip down memory lane is a perfect event for families to share with senior loved ones, exploring what the USA looked like back in the day. It’s hosted at the Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the state, and admission is free!

Ask a Geologist: Geologic Wonders of Iceland

Are your parents fans of the natural world and adventurous travel? Get to know the wonders of Iceland’s unique and stunning geology with a one-on-one presentation from a leading specialist, Dr. Tamie Jovanelly, Associate Professor of Geology at Berry College. This is an online event, so you don’t have to go far, and there’s a Live Q&A after the talk, too. You can tune in on a smart TV, laptop or tablet by visiting this website on November 6th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm.

Apple Picking

In Cape May County, you can still go apple picking in November at some wonderful local farms. You’ll support the community, have a great day out together and enjoy delicious treats like hot apple cider, home baked goods and, of course, apple pies! You can also pick up loads of fresh local produce and eat out, as most of the farms have restaurants and stalls. Stiles Farm and Nursery and the Allen Family Farm are some of the best spots to visit, offering fun for all ages. 

Fall Crafts and Collectables

This event is a must for anyone who loves local crafts and collectables. It is due to be held on November 13th at the Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave., from 10am-4pm. Spend a day with your family finding Thanksgiving and Christmas décor, gifts and goodies, as well as beautiful items for your home. If you’re looking for even more seasonal crafts, then check out the holiday crafts and collectables event on November 26th and 27th at the same venue.

Plan Carefully Due to COVID-19

Before you plan your day trip out with your family and loved ones, it is essential to confirm that the event is currently taking place. Due to COVID-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty whether or not public events can be held, so they may be cancelled at short notice. In addition, remember to follow important social distancing and hygiene procedures while you are out around Cape May County, and wear a mask! 

At The Shores, we know just how lucky we are to be in beautiful Cape May County. With the many activities the area offers for seniors and families, and our own unique geographic access to the beach, bay, boardwalk, and recreational areas, our assisted living community really does offer residents great quality of life, even in November. Just remember to wrap up well and treat yourself to a nice, hot cocoa, and you’ll have the time of your life!

To find out more about our assisted living community in Cape May County, please give us a call or visit our website today.  

How to Say Goodbye to Your Senior Loved One

Life is full of challenges, and one of the most difficult things to do is to say goodbye to a loved one. Here is some advice from the team at our hospice in South Jersey to help support you and your loved one during this emotional time.

  • Feel grateful for the opportunity: Many people don’t get the opportunity to properly say goodbye to a loved one, so it’s important to remember this and make the most of this opportunity to share time together, even though it’s difficult. No one wants to say goodbye and it’s hard to know what to say, but it’s an opportunity to say the important things to each other to give you both peace.
  • Be honest and open: Often, terminal patients feel the additional strain of having to be strong for their family and friends. Instead, be honest and open with your loved one and acknowledge the truth of what they are going through. Don’t feel pressured to bring up the subject directly but be open to listening if they want to talk about it – and don’t tell them they’ll get better soon.
  • Laugh together: Saying goodbye is a chance not only to tell someone you love them and will miss them, it’s also a good chance to relive your best memories together. Don’t feel like you have to stay somber and sad – if you heard a funny story that morning you know your loved one would laugh at, tell them all about it. Remind them of all the good times you had together, and it will lift your hearts and spirits.
  • Reassure your loved one: Your loved one may express concerns about everyone they are leaving behind, whether it’s about a family argument that they would like to see resolved, or difficulties other loved ones are going through. Even if you have doubts, now is the right time to reassure them. You don’t have to lie, but it’s important to tell your loved one that everyone will be okay, that you’ll do what you can to help, and that you’ll all support each other.
  • Talk to your hospice team: It’s normal to feel unprepared for a loved one’s final days and hours, but our hospice team is there to answer your questions and support you as well as your loved one. We can help you prepare for this time emotionally and spiritually as well as practically, helping you to plan a peaceful and comforting farewell for your loved one.

Compassionate End-Of-Life Care Services and Support from 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 compassionate, professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore are called Bridges. In this program, we focus 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 in Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.