Category Archives: Blog

Active Aging is the New Cool Word in Town

Did you know that, based on current trends, 1.5 billion people around the world will be aged 65 or older? That’s one in every six people! However, our world is not just getting older thanks to people living longer, we’re also living better.

Making the most of our retirement years has led to some fantastic movements to help keep people young-at-heart and young-in-health. One of these trends is known as active aging – and yes, seniors are just as good at setting cool trends, too! Here’s some insight into why this is taking off among seniors and within their senior living communities, from the specialists in assisted living in Cape May County, New Jersey.

What is Active Aging?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines active aging as a process of “optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance the quality of life as people age.” It means there are creative, innovative ways that we can make our senior years healthier and more enjoyable – and we should absolutely make the most of these opportunities!

Many senior living communities have jumped on board with this concept, creating spaces that offer a variety of active aging opportunities to suit different interests and aspects of health-focused senior living. Common areas that are prioritized include:

  • Dining – Nutrition plays a very important part in overall health, helping to fight disease as well as mental and physical decline. By creating interesting healthy, creative, and tasty menus, senior and assisted living communities to add to residents’ joy and wellbeing. After all, food is not just sustenance – it’s connected to our best memories, strengthens social connections, and promotes our sense of adventure.
  • Activities – Today, senior living communities have embraced the, making it almost unrecognizable from previous decades. Today, many communities prioritize independence and rich living through active aging, creating vibrant, interesting social calendars full of activities and events.
    Many feature robust, state of the art fitness centers offering yoga and Zumba®, foreign language classes, games nights, barbecues, day trips, theatre events, mentoring, garden and book clubs, and dance classes.
    If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time, your retirement years present the perfect opportunity. Even though COVID-19, these communities are actively implementing restrictions that allow seniors to stay fit, engaged and healthy while keeping safe from infection.
  • Socializing – Thanks to an increased awareness of how important social connections are to preventing isolation, illness, depression and anxiety, senior living communities actively support community spirit. Clubs, group activities and classes may have been temporarily suspended for COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean seniors are prevented from keeping these essential connections alive. Thanks to digital technology, when face-to-face contact is not possible, virtual meetups, increase safe interactions and companionship among family, friends, caregivers and others. These connections promote mental health and happiness.

Make Your Retirement Years Some of Your Best Years with Assisted Living in Cape May, County New Jersey

At The Shores, United Methodist Communities’ assisted living facility in South Jersey, we take a holistic approach to caregiving that supports a full, healthy and independent life in a professional yet compassionate and fun community.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented strict protocols that, as always, but the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff first, ensuring that our frontline teams and patients are properly supported. We care deeply about each person in our care, balancing the need for strict protocols with our focus on active aging, helping families and friends stay in touch and engaged, and helping seniors stay active, healthy and enjoying life – all while distancing.

For more information on our protocols during COVID-19 and the active aging opportunities we offer at our assisted living community in South Jersey, please contact us today.

Dementia Care Practice Recommendations

Professional caregivers are essential for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, ensuring that their condition, safety and health are monitored while providing the stability and daily care needed to live a dignified and full life. In emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers face additional challenges to the delivery of these essential services.

Preventing Illness

Currently, there is no connection between dementia conditions and an increased risk of COVID-19. However, many residents with dementia have other high-risk health conditions like diabetes and hypertension and may struggle with the routines that help prevent transmission of COVID-19. Here are some tips and advice on managing this crisis effectively as a dementia caregiver, from our team specializing in memory care at the Jersey Shore:

  • Increase reminders and assistance with hand washing, including implementing a handwashing schedule.
  • Remind residents to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Stay at home whenever possible and limit physical contact with other people.
  • Follow social distancing recommendations when out of the home.
  • Exercise and do other activities outdoors away from other people.
  • Avoid group activities.
  • Don’t share items like toiletries, food, etc.
  • Take medications properly at all times.
  • Choose telemedicine consultations over in-person doctor’s visits when needed.

Advanced Planning

Planning for the future is especially important during emergency situations like COVID-19 in order to ensure that treatment wishes are clear, legally documented, and well-known by all members of the care team as well as family members.

This is a good time to clarify a resident’s advanced directives with the whole medical team (if they’re in a memory care community) as well as by communicating with family members and caregivers. If a resident does not have a legal advanced directive, it is beneficial to have the resident and family put one in place.

All POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment), health care proxy and other important legal documents should be up-to-date with current wishes and physician orders should comply with these.

Personal Caregiving

Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents require a uniquely advanced skillset that professional aides and interdisciplinary teams can provide. Central to its success is putting the resident before the task and understanding them on a personal level. During the current situation, caregivers need to put additional effort into:

  • Providing a consistent routine.
  • Understanding the possible personal underlying causes behind the dementia-related behaviors: pain, hunger, fear, overstimulation, changes in environment or routine, frustration, confusion (especially due to the presence of PPE like masks, gowns, visors, etc.).
  • Validating the resident’s emotions, focusing on the feeling they are expressing rather than their behavior.
  • Helping to reduce stress and overstimulation by bringing in a sense of calm, reassurance, and reliability rather than communicating the stress and fear of the pandemic.
  • Being aware of past traumas, especially for veterans, survivors of abuse and survivors of trauma.
  • Following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19 to seniors. Good resources include the CDC Older Persons Checklist and guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in assisted living.

Higher quality treatment and more effective care result when caregivers know their residents’ habits, preferences, personal history and current condition.

Personalized, Professional Care – Memory Care at the Jersey Shore

The Shores is a United Methodist Community assisted living community offering dementia care and hospice care in the Jersey Shore area. Our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is to protect the wellbeing and health of our residents and staff by delivering exceptional frontline care based on expert health care guidelines, as well as compassion, dedication and personalized care.

Our community specializes in memory care at the Jersey Shore, providing tailored care for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents. From monitoring and intervention, our memory care residence is designed for the cognitive needs of these seniors.

To find out more about how we are working to support and safeguard the seniors in our care through this pandemic, contact us today.

Active Aging is the New Cool Word in Town

Did you know that, based on current trends, 1.5 billion people around the world will be aged 65 or older? That’s one in every six people! However, our world is not just getting older thanks to people living longer, we’re also living better.

Making the most of our retirement years has led to some fantastic movements to help keep people young-at-heart and young-in-health. One of these trends is known as active aging – and yes, seniors are just as good at setting cool trends, too! Here’s some insight into why this is taking off among seniors and within their senior living communities, from the specialists in assisted living in Cape May County, New Jersey.

What is Active Aging?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines active aging as a process of “optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance the quality of life as people age.” It means there are creative, innovative ways that we can make our senior years healthier and more enjoyable – and we should absolutely make the most of these opportunities!

Many senior living communities have jumped on board with this concept, creating spaces that offer a variety of active aging opportunities to suit different interests and aspects of health-focused senior living. Common areas that are prioritized include:

  • Dining – Nutrition plays a very important part in overall health, helping to fight disease as well as mental and physical decline. By creating interesting healthy, creative, and tasty menus, senior and assisted living communities add to residents’ joy and wellbeing. After all, food is not just sustenance – it’s connected to our best memories, strengthens social connections, and promotes our sense of adventure.

 

  • Activities – Today, senior living communities have embraced the, making it almost unrecognizable from previous decades. Today, many communities prioritize independence and rich living through active aging, creating vibrant, interesting social calendars full of activities and events. Many feature robust, state of the art fitness centers offering yoga and Zumba®, foreign language classes, games nights, barbecues, day trips, theatre events, mentoring, garden and book clubs, and dance classes. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time, your retirement years present the perfect opportunity. Even though COVID-19, these communities are actively implementing restrictions that allow seniors to stay fit, engaged and healthy while keeping safe from infection.

 

  • Socializing – Thanks to an increased awareness of how important social connections are to preventing isolation, illness, depression and anxiety, senior living communities actively support community spirit. Clubs, group activities and classes may have been temporarily suspended for COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean seniors are prevented from keeping these essential connections alive. Thanks to digital technology, when face-to-face contact is not possible, virtual meetups, increase safe interactions and companionship among family, friends, caregivers and others. These connections promote mental health and happiness.

 

Make Your Retirement Years Some of Your Best Years with Assisted Living in Cape May, County New Jersey

At The Shores, United Methodist Communities’ assisted living facility in South Jersey, we take a holistic approach to caregiving that supports a full, healthy and independent life in a professional yet compassionate and fun community.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented strict protocols that, as always, put the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff first, ensuring that our frontline teams and patients are properly supported. We care deeply about each person in our care, balancing the need for strict protocols with our focus on active aging, helping families and friends stay in touch and engaged, and helping seniors stay active, healthy and enjoying life – all while distancing.

For more information on our protocols during COVID-19 and the active aging opportunities we offer at our assisted living community in South Jersey, please contact us today.

Dementia Care Practice Recommendations

Senior woman visited by home care specialist

Professional caregivers are essential for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, ensuring that their condition, safety and health are monitored while providing the stability and daily care needed to live a dignified and full life. In emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers face additional challenges to the delivery of these essential services.

Preventing Illness

Currently, there is no connection between dementia conditions and an increased risk of COVID-19. However, many residents with dementia have other high-risk health conditions like diabetes and hypertension and may struggle with the routines that help prevent transmission of COVIDD-19. Here are some tips and advice on managing this crisis effectively as a dementia caregiver, from our team specializing in memory care at the Jersey Shore:

  • Increase reminders and assistance with hand washing, including implementing a handwashing schedule.
  • Remind residents to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Stay at home whenever possible and limit physical contact with other people.
  • Follow social distancing recommendations when out of the home.
  • Exercise and do other activities outdoors away from other people.
  • Avoid group activities.
  • Don’t share items like toiletries, food, etc.
  • Take medications properly at all times.
  • Choose telemedicine consultations over in-person doctor’s visits when needed.

Advanced Planning

Planning for the future is especially important during emergency situations like COVID-19 in order to ensure that treatment wishes are clear, legally documented, and well-known by all members of the care team as well as family members.

This is a good time to clarify a resident’s advanced directives with the whole medical team (if they’re in a memory care community) as well as by communicating with family members and caregivers. If a resident does not have a legal advanced directive, it is beneficial to have the resident and family put one in place.

All POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment), health care proxy and other important legal documents should be up-to-date with current wishes and physician orders should comply with these.

Personal Caregiving

Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents require a uniquely advanced skillset that professional aides and interdisciplinary teams can provide. Central to its success is putting the resident before the task and understanding them on a personal level. During the current situation, caregivers need to put additional effort into:

  • Providing a consistent routine.
  • Understanding the possible personal underlying causes behind the dementia-related behaviors: pain, hunger, fear, overstimulation, changes in environment or routine, frustration, confusion (especially due to the presence of PPE like masks, gowns, visors, etc.).
  • Validating the resident’s emotions, focusing on the feeling they are expressing rather than their behavior.
  • Helping to reduce stress and overstimulation by bringing in a sense of calm, reassurance, and reliability rather than communicating the stress and fear of the pandemic.
  • Being aware of past traumas, especially for veterans, survivors of abuse and survivors of trauma.
  • Following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19 to seniors. Good resources include the CDC Older Persons Checklist and guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in assisted living.

Higher quality treatment and more effective care result when caregivers know their residents’ habits, preferences, personal history and current condition.

Personalized, Professional Care – Memory Care at the Jersey Shore

The Shores is a United Methodist Community assisted living community offering dementia care and hospice care in the Jersey Shore area. Our priority during the to protect the wellbeing and health of our residents and staff by delivering exceptional frontline care based on expert health care guidelines, as well as compassion, dedication and personalized care.

Our community specializes in memory care at the Jersey Shore, providing tailored care for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents. From monitoring and intervention, our memory care residence is a social model.

To find out more about how we are working to support and safeguard the seniors in our care through this pandemic, contact us today.

Differences Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

A heterosexual Caucasian Senior couple supporting one another receiving bad news In Cape Town South Africa

What is dementia?

Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that commonly include problems with memory, thinking, problem-solving, language, and perception. Dementia is not a disease in its own right, and it is not a natural part of aging; instead, dementia symptoms are caused by a variety of diseases that affect the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia is caused by a loss of nerve cells and is a progressive condition that gradually worsens symptoms. When a nerve cell dies, it cannot be replaced, and as more and more cells die, the brain starts to shrink. This can sometimes be seen in a brain scan of someone with dementia.

Dementia or forgetfulness?

The fear of dementia and Alzheimers in older adults is common as some cognitive changes are part and parcel of normal aging. Seniors can easily forget where they put their glasses or misplace their keys. Maybe they even miss an appointment when too busy or distracted. They might forget where they parked and have to go searching the parking lot for their cars. However, forgetting your keys is one thing, but if you pick up the keys and don’t know what they’re for, it could be worrisome.

People experiencing a marked decline in memory that interferes with their everyday functions could justify a workup. However, the reality is that if someone has memory lapses or other kinds of cognitive complaints, there are very robust cognitive function screenings called neuropsychological tests. These tests have been done on seniors for years and are very useful in distinguishing the worried from those truly affected.

The good news on Alzheimer’s and related dementias

Cognitive changes are pretty standard in the population, but they don’t necessarily have to lead to dementia. Before dementia, there’s a stage we call mild cognitive impairment when people have milder difficulties that don’t interfere with daily living.

Before that, there’s a period of at least 15 years when preventive actions are vital. There’s much evidence that lifestyle interventions during this latent phase may be helpful. What you do through midlife in terms of your cognitive lifestyle, including diet, aerobic exercise, and social connectedness, all play into the success of your brain aging.

Senior Communities Like UMC are there to help.

Because senior citizens are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s and related dementia, our aides work closely with our residents to help them recognize and treat this disease. Staff help seniors live a normal life while staying positive and healthy.

For more information on Assisted Living in County New Jersey Community please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org

Why People Choose to Volunteer at Hospice

It’s National Volunteer Week! There are so many critical organizations that simply wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful work of volunteers. And, our hospice in South Jersey is no exception. Here are five of the reasons why people choose to volunteer at a hospice, as well as some insights that may inspire you to join in this worthy cause.

Personal Experience

Many people choose to volunteer at a hospice because of their own personal experience with these services. They have seen first hand how hospice staff and volunteers came together to bring joy and comfort to a terminal loved one as well as support to their family, and would like to repay this with their own compassionate services.

The Good of Giving Back

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things a person can do! Studies have shown that volunteering effectively decreases risks of depression, gives a sense of purpose, teaches valuable life skills, reduces stress, and helps people become part of a community. When someone volunteers, it’s as beneficial to them as the people or organization they’re helping.

Staying Active

Many volunteers are retirees who have a wealth of experience and skills to offer. The work they do allows them to keep using their skills for the benefit of others in a way that is suited to their own needs and lifestyle. It’s a great way to stay mentally and physically active, whether you are a retired nurse, accountant, teacher or business owner.

Wide Range Of Roles

A hospice is a complex facility with roles to suit everyone regardless of age, skillset or interest. Many people want to offer companionship to patients, while others find that fund-raising, organizing events, community outreach or assisting with the administration is where they fit in best. This way, anyone can find a role that they can make their own, to the benefit of the whole team and residents.

Develop Career Skills

On the other side of the coin, young volunteers get a great opportunity to explore a critical industry and develop the skills they need for a career in caregiving. The senior care industry is one of the fastest-growing in the USA, and by volunteering, young adults get a unique insight into what hospice is all about, the value of our services, and how to care for the terminal and elderly.

Our Hospice in South Jersey Needs You

Hospice can feel like an overwhelming place for residents and their loved ones. Volunteers play a critical role in helping patients and families feel at home, connected with their community, and in touch with the rest of the world. If you have a spirit of compassion, respect for all ways of life, and the ability to listen and be comfortable with others, then you may be ideally suited to this important role.

Our hospice, The Shores, is a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offering compassionate and professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area 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. We greatly appreciate our volunteer teams and the value they bring to our residents, their loved ones, the environment of the hospice, and in helping us reach the goals set out in our vision.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer at our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

What is Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specific medical care service offered at our senior residence, The Shores in Cape May County New Jersey. Here is some insight into what this service entails and how it works, from our team.

Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care? 

Palliative care is a set of medical services designed to improve the quality of life for residents with serious illnesses and their families. It identifies, assesses, and treats symptoms. These health conditions may include any stage of cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and more. It is appropriate at any age and can occur alongside curative treatment.

In palliative care, a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and other relevant health practitioners address the needs of residents and their families offering psychosocial and spiritual support, as well as bereavement counselling, if indicated. This focus may also positively influence the course of illness.

The team customizes care plans for residents’ specific needs, which could include loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. The prescribed treatment and therapies aim to prolong life. People also call palliative care, comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management.

In order to deliver the most benefit, the team takes time getting to know each resident’s specific needs and concerns. They communicate often with each other, the resident, and loved ones to ensure thorough monitoring and efficient follow-up.

Palliative care is important because curative treatments for serious illnesses are sometimes taxing on the residents. Professional assistance can make a big difference in managing any side effects. Starting a palliative care program upon diagnosis of a serious illness benefits residents and helps ensure a better quality of life.

What is the Difference Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care?

The Shores in Cape May County provides both palliative and hospice care services. While both palliative and hospice care provides comfort, these services are very different.

Palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and continue at the same time as the treatment designed to cure the disease or health condition. It offers a support system to help people live as actively as possible.

Hospice care begins only after curative treatment brings no further improvement. Hospice starts when a medical professional determines that the person is not going to survive beyond six months.

Customized Palliative Care at the Jersey Shore

The Shores, a part of the United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, provides dedicated palliative and hospice care through Bridges, located in an assisted living neighborhood. Trained and experienced professionals in medical, emotional, and spiritual care bring UMC’s compassionate approach to the treatment of medically challenged seniors. Our program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care programs and support.

If you choose our Bridges neighborhood for your palliative care needs, loved ones are encouraged to bring plenty of home comforts along with them. At The Shores, we offer many amenities for residents and families, including linens, Wi-Fi, 24/7 food availability, dining rooms, café, outdoor courtyards, life enrichment programs, beauty/barber salon, music room, and much more. Most importantly, we recognize that we are caring for families, as much as for the palliative care residents in our community.

To find out more about our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Associate Close-Up: Arthur Vanderpool, Executive Chef

We recently sat down with Art Vanderpool, the Executive Chef at The Shores, to learn more about him and his passion for food and senior care and services. These are his words:

 

What is your name and job title?

I’m Arthur H. Vanderpool III, executive chef of United Methodist Communities at The Shores.

 

Where did you grow up and where else have you lived?

I grew up in Upstate New York (Candor). I’ve lived and cooked in Ithaca, NY, Newport Beach, CA and Atlantic City, NJ.

 

How long have you been a chef?

I’ve been cooking for 39 years. 

 

What kind of culinary training did you receive?

I have learned through experience in multiple culinary venues.

 

Prior to coming to UMC, what was your favorite on-the-job experience?

Doing my job and talking to customers, and at Shore Medical, where I worked 18.5 years, talking to the patients. 

 

What do you like best about working in a senior retirement community?

It is just great getting to know the residents and this whole place is a great community.

 

Describe your philosophy of dining.

Cook great and delicious food and cook what the diners want, not just what I like to cook. I want to make people happy.

 

Tell us about one of your culinary specialties.

I love to make seafood specialties such as crab cakes, seafood chowder, Crab Imperial and others.

 

How does dining/food service at your community relate to Abundant Life?

Every meal is an event for our residents. They love the food and give us positive feedback all the time.

 

Do the residents inspire you? Does one resident in particular stand out?

Yes, all of them inspire me.

 

What makes your community unique?

That we are at the beach and we provide many levels of care for our residents.

 

Tell us about a prominent memory of a grandparent or other older adult who had a strong influence on your life.

My grandfather Clyde Chandler. He raised horses and taught me a lot of things when I was young.

 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to be around my family, exercise and hunt.

 

What are you most grateful for in your life?

My family, friends and health.

 

You can learn more about our dining philosophy and talented culinary associates here.