Category Archives: News

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.

A Tale of Three Households

Ocean City, a barrier island known as America’s Favorite Family Resort, sits six feet above sea level. The permanent/non-summer population of under 12,000 has an average household size of two. Contrast that to United Methodist Communities at The Shores, where, in addition to over 162 private senior apartments, three households of 18 residents live harmoniously side-by-side.

Seniors coping with frailty and chronic illness typically spend significant time in institutional, medically-oriented surroundings. To strategically prevail over this industry-wide issue, United Methodist Communities committed to transform that model, and in 2016, opened one sub-acute and two new healthcare households at The Shores.

Associate, Missie Taylor, with resident, Shirley.

Like private homes, the everyday ebb and flow of life unfolds in the households’ intimate dining rooms, comfortable living rooms and working kitchens. Above all, resident and associate relationships sit at the center and make a significant difference.

Housekeeper, Missie Taylor, makes sure she sees Shirley every day. Although Missie received a temporary assignment to the households, she liked it so much, she requested permanent placement there. Shirley calls Missie her ‘special friend’ and they frequently exchange news about their adult children.

The two playfully indulge in a game of their own invention — ‘imagination shopping.’ Shirley looks at newspaper advertising and circles everything she wants to purchase. They share the fantasy picks and spontaneously burst into laughter.

Missie, an avid volunteer, church goer and mom of four college-educated children says, “Giving is part of who I am. I tell the residents ‘Have a blessed day,’ and ‘I love you,’ which makes them feel valued.”

To foster positive relationships, teamwork and stability, The Shores’ associates are cross-trained and remain consistent for all shifts. According to studies, associates at small homes are more knowledgeable about residents’ likes and dislikes because of the consistency.

Anna Nicosia, community life assistant, exemplifies that finding. She knows that transforming the household and its culture starts in the smallest of ways, especially by knowing the simple pleasures of residents. Concetta, who came to love Ocean City during many family vacations and later became a resident, often busies herself with her favorite pastimes — word search and puzzles.

Knowing this about Concetta and with a personal penchant for keeping seniors’ minds sharp, Anna reflects, “Almost every morning, I lead games, singing, reading and announcements. Beside outcomes like teambuilding, fun and connecting socially, crossword puzzles, trivia, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Family Feud, and jokes, engage residents cognitively.”

Resident, Concetta, with associate, Anna Nicosia.

Because Concetta and Anna share a love of word games and puzzles, the two have bonded, seek out one another and laugh a lot. Concetta looks forward to seeing her every morning and affectionately calls her ‘Annie.’

In the sub-acute household, Mimi Queen, certified nursing aide, sees Albert staring at his plate with concern. Each day she anticipates the same question, “When will Sylvia arrive?”
Mimi puts her arm around him and reassures Albert that his wife will be coming soon. In response, he dips a shrimp into his tartar sauce.

When Sylvia appears a few minutes later, he lights up, chats with her for a few minutes and with renewed energy, finishes his lunch.

Like the pinnacle of an excellent dining experience, Mimi assesses the situation and then brings Albert his favorite chocolate dessert. He beams, picks up his spo on and digs in.

Joanne Cheesman Receives LeadingAge NJ Excellence in Care Award

Ocean City Resident Cited for Timeless Dedication and Stellar Interactions

United Methodist Communities at The Shores’ Administrator, Jessica Stewart, cited, “When the decision was made to establish a hospice residence last year, we started thinking about who would be the perfect associate to care for residents and families coping with end-of-life decisions. Hands down, one individual immediately came to mind. Once she accepted and I shared the operational narrative, she implemented systems to ensure comfortable and nurturing experiences.”

Joanne Cheesman, a certified medication aide at United Methodist Communities at The Shores, and resident of Ocean City, NJ, received an Excellence in Care Award at the LeadingAge New Jersey Annual Awards Ceremony. The statewide association of not-for-Joanne Cheesemanprofit senior care organizations advancing quality aging services, announced eight Excellence in Care Award recipients at the early December event held at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. A second honoree represented The Shores’ sister community, United Methodist Communities at Francis Asbury.

People of all persuasions wrote letters to support Cheesman’s award nomination. “With a 14-year reputation for stellar interactions with The Shores’ residents and their families, I have come to know and appreciate her work ethic and capability. She demonstrates the perfect combination of emotional and direct care support,” exclaimed Pam Garofolo, director of memory support. “Joanne has an understanding of those who are vulnerable and a gift for end-of-life care.”

In 2011, United Methodist Communities committed to a 10-year term sponsoring the LeadingAge New Jersey Excellence in Care Awards. They recognize outstanding nominees from LeadingAge New Jersey member organizations in direct staff positions who have enhanced the lives of residents or staff through acts of kindness, giving and selfless care and support with exceptional quality and passion.

Although directors, nurses or managers usually run with a new program, Joanne set up tasks, personalized laundry services, made recommendations for meals, assistance with eating schedules and best methods for Bridges at The Shores. Additionally, she brainstormed with others to determine activities that matched each residents’ abilities.

Getting Back on Track

Transitions Customized Solution Comes to Ocean City

Were you recently discharged from a hospital or rehab facility and faced a dilemma because you didn’t feel quite ready to return home or did so and found you needed additional support? United Methodist Communities at The Shores now offers Transitions, a Senior man doing exercises using a strapcustomized solution for these instances.

A Transitions stay may last between one and six weeks. Similar to traditional rehabilitation settings, Transitions focuses on people requiring recovery, reconditioning and clinical monitoring.

Typical residents need observation for new clinical situations such as medications, therapies and devices; rehabilitation to regain skills to manage living at home; extra support to gain confidence before returning home; time to allow the implementation of support structures at home; and further stabilization.

Robbie Voloshin, corporate director of marketing, reports, “This short term program works toward getting people back home safely.”

Guests receive services in Transitions’ neighborhood of private, fully-furnished, home-like apartments. While the environment is less restrictive, it continues to support overall recovery and wellness. The care and services include rehabilitation, social engagement, wellness programing, home environment assessments, and transitional care to home follow-up.

Meals, laundry and housekeeping; transportation; community life programming; social work, clinical and aide services; and SeniorFITness are included in the daily rate.

Call Ryan Champion, sales director, at 609-399-8505 or by email at rchampion@umcommunities.org for additional information regarding Transitions or other services at United Methodist Communities at The Shores.

The Gold Standard Shines

United Methodist Communities at The Shores’ Staff Achieves a Deficiency-Free Nursing Survey

While Thursday, October 6 started out like any other day at United Methodist Communities at The Shores in Ocean City, it marked the beginning of an intensive multi-pronged assessment. At the conclusion of five business days, The Shores victoriously achieved a deficiency-free nursing survey conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing.

On day one, a team of four professionally-qualified registered nurses and one life safety inspector began scrutinizing every operational and physical aspect of the bustling 196,000+ square-foot retirement community, where 442 associates and residents cooperatively work and live every day. Representing the division, the survey team ensures that New Jersey citizens receive quality healthcare through inspections, certifications, regulations and other means, in a wide range of healthcare settings. Their goal is to enforce best practices and processes, assure quality and compliance with regulations, policies, law, etc. Therefore, in order to achieve that outcome and to accurately assess organizations, onsite visits, which occur at least annually, are always unannounced.

Surveys rank very high in importance, especially for the protection of the public. In orderthe shores to maintain their licenses as both a Comprehensive Personal Care Home and Long Term Care Facility and to continue to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, The Shores must successfully pass state surveys. Over a two-day period, the survey team’s life safety inspector investigated the physical plant, looking at the building’s systems, safety compliance, exits, fire extinguishers, wander guards, etc.

The five-day clinical portion reviewed medication passes, medication carts, clinical practices, elopement prevention, resident files, compliance with policies, and much more. Their methodical examination of resident charts focused on the proper documentation of fall incidents — they even watched staff nurses perform several wound treatments. The survey nurses interviewed residents, staff and family members. They sat in the dining areas and observed during all three meals, ascertaining resident choice, high food quality and sanitation.

The Shores Executive Director, Jennifer Courlas, reflected, “Achieving a deficiency-free survey involves attention to details, adherence to standards and policies, positive proactive attitudes, and diligence from day-to-day.”

While clinical protections occupied a large part of the overall survey process, they also took steps to assure consumers that the staff are well-qualified and healthy. Therefore, associate files must be up-to-date and contain viable references, successful criminal background checks and performance evaluations based on policy. Associate health mandates current immunizations and passing mandatory health screenings.

Administrator, Jessica Stewart, stated, “As a faith-based organization, it not only reflects our values of compassion, respect, stewardship and service, but also offers consumers vitally important information when choosing a community.”

Baptism at The Shores

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Resident, Margaret Pace, hugs and kisses her grandchild at his baptism.

On Sunday, August 23, during the morning worship service, The Shores had a very special event. This event was the baptism of Andrew Medica, great grandson to our resident, Margaret Medica-Pace. This was the first baptism at the Shores in a very long time.

As wonderful as this was for residents, it didn’t happen by plan. Let me explain. Local pastor of Somers Point UMC, Rev. Tom Starks, was the volunteer Wednesday Chapel speaker on July 29.

During that visit, our Chaplain, Rev. Beth Mallozzi, inquired if there was any assistance she could be to him in his ministry. It happened that he needed coverage during his vacation at Somers Point UMC on August 23.

Beth said, yes. Then, Rev. Tom got a call from the Medica family for a baptism for that week. Trying to get the family to move to a different date was problematic, when Tom realized that the candidate for baptism was the great grandson to our resident. He spoke to the family about Rev. Beth doing the sacrament, and they were delighted … with the connection to the Shores.

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The Medica family with newly baptized, Andrew.

Then, another twist in the story occurred when Rev. Beth realized that Margaret Pace was not going to be able to leave the building for her family’s baptism. In talking with the Medica family, Beth offered to switch the baptism to The Shores  at their regular service, which was often attended by Mrs. Pace. After considering this carefully, the change was made a few days before Sunday.

Rev. Beth was able to get help from residents here in making last minute changes to the worship plan and music. The service was well attended, and Andrew, newly baptized, was introduced face to face with the worshiping residents, family and friends. The Medica family was fully present for this special day, including Margaret Pace who has been the inspiration in the family for their faithful walk with God.

The diverse congregation at The Shores at Wesley Manor represented well the whole of the Christian church into which Andrew was baptized. Margaret Pace has been a lifelong Lutheran. The baby’s family has many Methodists. In baptism, we are adopted by God into the universal or catholic (small ‘c’) church. This adoption is not as a Methodist or Lutheran or Roman Catholic. So, our setting was a uniquely appropriate representation of that church, speaking for God’s church everywhere to welcome Andrew as a brother in Christ.

Ocean City’s Sons of the American Legion Sponsor Big Band Concert for Veterans at Wesley Manor

American LegionThe Buddy Gale Big Band played WWII favorites for the veteran residents at The Shores thanks to Ocean City’s Sons of the American Legion Squadron 524 and their Veterans Appreciation Project.

On Tuesday June 16, Ocean City’s Sons of the American Legion Squadron 524 brought the lively sound of big band music to the town hall room of The Shores. The Buddy Gale Band played hits of the era for residents and veterans, as part of the ongoing Veterans Appreciation Program. “This concert is just one part of a multi-faceted program we present on a regular basis at The Shores,” said Steve Koch, 2nd Vice Commander of the local squadron of the Sons of the American Legion.

“We also honor the service of resident veterans by providing birthday recognition, our Take-A-Vet-To Lunch Program, videotaped personal histories, and other socialization opportunities.” A generous grant from Ocean City’s Foster-Karney Foundation has made many of these activities possible. “Next up on the calendar will be the veterans’ appreciation outdoor barbecue, and then a World War ll lecture for the vets. Later there will be a veterans’ appreciation concert performed by the Cape May County String Band.

Our purpose is to facilitate community socialization opportunities as a way to say ‘Thank you for your service’.”

The Shores Unveils New Senior Fitness Program

Dr. Thomas Sattler, the director of education and program development for the SeniorFITness division of Alliance Rehab was at The Shores to launch their new SeniorFITness program September 10, 2014.

Dr. Sattler is a University of Illinois Chicago associate professor emeritus, chaired the SFGOgraduate specialization in applied exercise physiology and taught and advised undergraduates. He also coordinated the training and conditioning programs for the Chicago Blackhawks professional hockey team (1978-1981) and the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team (1982-1988).

In March of 2007, he was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Dr. Sattler spoke to all levels of care at The Shores whose message stressed that the focus is on your potential, not your limitation. Jessica Martin, the physical therapist overseeing this new dynamic program, commented that the newly outfitted room is a welcome place. The starting point is not important, she said, as long as they continue to move forward. The idea is to slow down aging and who doesn’t want that to happen!

The Shores is excited about this new program and the residents are beginning to embrace it. They are beginning to take part in the large group exercise classes as well as the individual programs after their evaluation.

Family Fun Day at The Shores

We all had a grand time as we celebrated Grandparents Day on September 7, 2014.

Family Fun Day was full of surprises with carnival games, prizes, food and your favorite super heroes.

The weather also cooperated and helped in the celebration spirit of this family filled day!

Family Fun Day TSWM 2Family Fun Day TSWM 1

 

Memory Garden Dedication

memory gardenThe Shores at Wesley Manor dedication of our Memory Garden, is in honor of Dr. Nelson and Mildred Robbins who lived in Ocean City since 1968.

The Robbins were true humanitarians who believed in giving time and money to causes they believed would make a difference in this world.

They were well respected in our community and were known as no-nonsense people and practical thinkers. We thank them, through the Ocean City-Upper Township Rotary Club, for making our Memory Garden a welcome haven for families and residents.