Category Archives: The Shores

Blog posts related to United Methodist Communities at The Shores.

UMC MVP: Margaret “Pegi” Platt

United Methodist Communities at The Shores is proud to introduce UMC MVP, a new way to recognize our amazing associates! Each month, we will pick associates who go above and beyond in the community.

This month, in honor of National Nurses Week, we have chosen Margaret “Pegi” Platt. She brings much joy to the community! Congratulations Pegi!

Click here to learn more about Pegi.

Stimulating Activities for Seniors with Memory Loss

Our brains are a lot like our muscles, in that if we don’t keep using them, they will lose their capacity and abilities. While memory loss can still result from trauma, illnesses like dementia, and advancing age, there’s a lot we can do to help stimulate and exercise the brain to reduce these risks or even slow down memory loss. Here’s some insight into why stimulation works, and some fun activities that give brains a boost to share with seniors in your life.

How do stimulating activities help the brain?

Think of stimulating activities such as learning a new skill, playing strategic games, or learning a new language as a way of exercising your brain. Each time you do something new and challenging, your brain gets stronger because it must work hard, engaging different areas of gray matter.

Learning and practicing something new is both a physical and mental challenge, and that means your body builds new neural networks making the brain stronger and healthier. It actively builds the brain much like we build muscle, so we need to keep doing mentally stimulating activities if we want to keep our brain strong and healthy.

This is the same principle that occupational and physiotherapists use to help people recover their mental abilities and motor skills after an illness, operation, or trauma. By stimulating the brain, people can create new nerve connections that bypass damaged areas of the brain and recover skills that have been lost to them. In the same way, we can help keep cognitive functions like memory strong as we age by keeping our brains actively learning through mentally and physically stimulating activities.

Activities that help combat memory loss

  1. Listening to music – Enjoyment of music and musical ability are one of the most persistent cognitive features, and it can also be a great way to stimulate a loved one to talk about days gone by. Make a playlist of their favorite music, get them talking about what they love about it or even singing along. You can even try introducing a musical instrument if they know how to play. Learning a new dance is also a great way to make listening to music a mental and physical activity.
  2. Creating a memory bag – Familiar and favorite objects are a source of memory, comfort, and interest, and taking these out of a bag one at a time can create a wonderful experience with your loved one. Add their favorite perfume or scent, different textures, and items from their childhood to trigger memories and share stories together.
  3. Creating a family album – A family photo album is another useful source of memories and remembrance that is ideal for seniors with memory loss. Have photos from their past as well as current photos of loved ones, their home, and much more. Write each person’s name next to the photographs and decorate it together as a family craft project.
  4. Working on puzzles or coloring in an adult coloring book – Puzzles stimulate the problem-solving areas of the brain, encouraging spatial reasoning skills and logic, but remember to keep these appropriate to your loved one’s level of cognition. Coloring books have a more meditative effect, helping to calm and soothe the mind while promoting focus and creative thinking.
  5. Giving support so they can do activities they once loved, like gardening, reading, or knitting – Memory loss impacts short term memory first and leaves older memories intact for much longer, so it’s a good idea to try activities they enjoyed years ago. You’ll probably have to adapt them for their current ability, but there are some great resources available to make this happen. This includes books for people with dementia conditions, and classes at assisted living communities that include many different crafts and hobbies.

Professional, compassionate memory care in Cape May County

In an experienced memory care program like The Shores’ Tapestries neighborhood, we offer special services specifically designed to support cognitive function and health for seniors. As part of United Methodist Communities’ expert team, trained memory care experts use best practice techniques and activities to stimulate brain function and help slow dementia and age-related cognitive loss. While there is no cure for these conditions, we aim to slow their progression down as much as possible. To find out more about our memory care in South Jersey, contact us today or visit our website at:

Senior Communities and Family – Stay Connected

making friends in assisted living

Staying connected to friends and family outside of assisted living is very important for the mental health of seniors. Today that means using the internet, but with one-third of Americans over the age of 65 not confident in using the internet, communication can be a struggle for many families. Here are some tips on keeping in touch and making friends in assisted living, from our community in Cape May County.

  • Teach your seniors – The internet is a fantastic communication tool for seniors, so it’s worth it for younger family members to teach senior loved ones how to use it. Try to teach them one tool at a time, starting with very simple apps and platforms that they can easily utilize. For example, if they already use Facebook, teach them how to send texts and make calls through Facebook messenger. If they are confident with texting, teach them how to use WhatsApp.
  • Play together – Start family gaming groups based on your loved one’s interests and get everyone involved. We have a race to share our Wordle each morning, but it can be much more than just that! There are so many different apps and games that you can play together from wherever you are, so keep trying till you find one you love. Some good ideas include Minecraft, Words with Friends, Mario Kart, Family Feud, and Ticket to Ride. Playing games is also great for making friends in assisted living, especially for seniors with mobility issues.
  • Schedule family calls – Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom aren’t just for work video conferences – they’re great for family catchups too! You can have a set time each week where you all get together on a video chat with your loved one in assisted living. Video calls are especially useful for family and friends who are out of town or living overseas. You can easily schedule them through your email, and an assisted living staff member or nearby family member can help set this up on their computer.
  • Have face-to-face time – Today’s seniors do value the internet, but there’s no substitute for one-on-one time with the people they love! Try to see them in person on a regular basis. Whether it’s popping in for a cup of coffee, bringing them groceries and having a quick lunch together, or scheduling a family dinner once a week, every moment is precious.
  • Create a family project – There is something special in every family, so why not create a project around it and get your senior loved one involved? This might be collecting family recipes and turning them into a family cookbook, exploring your genealogy and family history, or learning a skill from them. It can be helpful to have an activity to do while spending quality time together.  It’s a wonderful way to show them that they have exceptional value to pass on to younger generations, and it also gives people a sense of purpose and something to look forward to doing together.

A warm and welcoming assisted living community in Cape May County                                                           

At UMC at The Shores, an assisted living community in South Jersey, we know how important healthy social connections are to the quality of life. In addition to supporting you in staying in touch with your loved one in-person and through technology, we also have a lively social calendar, a wide range of clubs, and outings throughout the year. To find out more about making friends in assisted living or assisted living in South Jersey, contact us today or visit our website at

How to Respond When Someone with Dementia Keeps Repeating Themselves

techniques for dealing with dementia

Dementia impacts short-term memory and directly causes repetitive behavior like repeated speech. Because this can be frustrating, it’s important to equip yourself with techniques on how to gracefully handle this situation with your senior loved one. Our Tapestries Memory Care team has put together a list of ways to respond when someone with dementia keeps repeating themselves, as well as tips on how to handle other common dementia behaviors.

Dementia behaviors and how to handle them constructively

  • Know they have no control – Although our first instinct is to become annoyed when someone repeats themself, it’s important to remember that seniors with dementia have little or no control over this behavior. This can help ease our frustration and understand the behavior more patiently.


  • Find the reason behind the repetition – Repeating a question can occur for several reasons – and it’s not usually because they have forgotten the answer. Usually, this behavior occurs due to stress, anxiety, fear, or discomfort. It may also be an indication of pain or illness. When repetition occurs, it’s a good idea to provide general reassurance and check that their physical needs are being met, and to run through a quick, basic wellness checklist.


  • Respond to the emotion, not the words – Your loved one may be constantly asking when their husband will visit, or what happened on a particular day, but it’s better to focus on what emotions are causing their behavior rather than the words themselves. Addressing the emotions they are feeling rather than what they are literally asking about is much more likely to soothe them than an actual answer. Try a reassuring hug or hand squeeze while you respond.


  • Be brief – Don’t answer your loved one the way you’d answer anyone without dementia. Instead, be as short and simple as possible, as this saves your energy and helps prevent both of you from getting frustrated. Also, don’t be afraid to lie if it will help resolve their emotional state. This may feel like a betrayal, but a gentle and considerate lie can be much more helpful and caring towards them than the truth, especially if it is a sad or traumatic truth. Nothing good can come from them reliving bad memories.


  • Try a distraction – Try to break the pattern by distracting them with something helpful. For example, if they keep asking when they’ll be leaving their assisted living space to go back home, you can say that it’s soon, but it’s a good idea to have a snack and a rest before the journey. This way, they can refocus their mind on a different task and help support their health at the same time. You can also ask them a basic question to help create a distraction, like asking about the weather.


  • Give yourself breathing room – It’s only human to get frustrated at your loved one and then get even more frustrated at yourself! As a caregiver, it’s important to give yourself space to step away from the situation. Do a quick calming exercise, take a few deep breaths, walk around the garden, or put on your headphones and listen to your favorite song. This will give you space to cool off and might even inspire you on new ways to assist your loved one.


Part-time and full-time dementia care in South Jersey

At UMC at The Shores, a United Methodist Communities assisted living campus, we offer exceptional memory care in beautiful Ocean City, NJ. We aim to create a safe, compassionate, and enjoyable space for seniors with dementia conditions, where quality of life is a priority. Our team is fully trained in techniques for dealing with dementia, for supporting memory health and wellness, and for helping families and loved ones navigate this illness.

To find out more about memory care in Cape May County, contact us today or visit our website at


Sound Advice on Hearing Loss in Older Adults

Sound Advice on Hearing Loss in Older Adults

Hearing loss is a common effect of aging, affecting over 33% of Americans over the age of 65 and over 50% of Americans over the age of 70. Unfortunately, there is some resistance against getting a hearing aid amongst people with moderate to severe deafness. Loss of hearing has a much greater impact on quality of life than many people imagine, so the team behind the exceptional assisted living community at The Shores is raising awareness about how hearing loss can affect seniors’ quality of life.

Why you’re not doing fine if you have hearing loss

Moderate to severe hearing loss has a significant impact on quality of life for seniors, becoming an issue that causes:

  • Safety concerns – A person could fail to hear medication instructions or if there is a knock at the door or an intruder in the house. They also may not hear approaching traffic, another driver honking their horn, or safety alarms and sirens going off outdoors or in their home.
  • Lower quality relationships – Hearing loss negatively impacts personal relationships. Whether an older person withdraws from conversations because they struggle to engage and understand what’s going on, it makes it very difficult to communicate and interact. People with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids can also be easily viewed as confused, disorientated, unwelcoming, arrogant, or inattentive.
  • Mental and physical health conditions – When a person struggles to interact with others or stays home out of safety concerns, their mental and physical health will eventually deteriorate. They can suffer increased anxiety, higher stress levels, depression, and mood disorders. They will also be less likely to get the level of exercise needed to keep their body strong and healthy. This can have a negative impact on common chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Although hearing loss can be gradual and considered a normal part of ageing, it has a huge impact on quality of life. The good news is that modern technology related to helping hearing loss is nothing short of miraculous, restoring this sense and helping seniors live more independently and abundantly. Our senior care professionals recommend having annual hearing tests if you are over the age of 60 and, when the test results indicate it’s time, speaking with your doctor about high-quality hearing aids and how insurance and/or Medicare can help pay for a lot of this worthwhile expense.

Assisted Living at The Shores

The Shores is a beautiful community offering assisted living for independent seniors, as well as specialized memory care, rehab, and skilled nursing in Cape May County. Our team is passionate about helping seniors live full and rewarding lives in a safe and welcoming environment. With a great calendar of events and social activities, some of the best dining in town, and spacious apartment-style living, we’re the best place to be for senior living. To find out more about assisted living at The Shores in Cape May County, give us a call or visit our website at

For St. Patty’s Day, There’s More Than Corned Beef and Cabbage

Irish recipesAre you looking for St. Patrick’s Day foods that are easy to make and not the typical corned beef and cabbage? Here are some of the most classic and delicious Irish recipes to try out when you celebrate your heritage, from memory care specialists in South Jersey.

Irish stew

Unlike corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew is actually Irish! It’s easy to make – especially if you have a slow cooker – utterly delicious, and perfect when the weather’s still a bit nippy outside. You can substitute the lamb for a chuck roast if you prefer, but all the rest of the ingredients are easy to find and seasonal too. Originally a peasant dish, the recipe dates all the way back to 1800 and uses widely available ingredients and cheaper cuts of meat that are ideal for slow cooking. It’s tender, nutritious, and hearty – and you won’t be able to stop yourself from going back for seconds.

Irish Fifteens

For anyone with a sweet tooth, no-bake Irish Fifteens are a favorite! They’re a great option for dessert or with coffee, and the grandkids can help make them too. They’re called fifteens because they need fifteen of each ingredient, which includes graham crackers, marshmallows, glace cherries, condensed milk, and desiccated coconut. You can also add in additional sweets like chocolate chips or Maltesers – British malted milk candies that have recently made their way to the U.S.!

Potato cakes/Potato Farl

It doesn’t get more traditional than this Irish recipe for potato farl, the perfect side dish to any breakfast fry up or toasted for snack time. It’s a common food in any Irish supermarket but it’s also easy to make at home, which makes it perfect for St. Paddy’s celebrations in the USA. This potato bread is cut into triangles and baked, which is where it gets its name – in Irish, farl is any triangular baked product. Using cooked potatoes, salt, butter, and flour, this simple bread is light, fluffy, and tasty, especially when finished off on a griddle or frying pan.

Irish champ

Another wonderful traditional Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day is Irish champ. It’s a great side dish for family dinners and a wonderful crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike. Made with mashed potatoes, milk, cheese, butter, and young green scallions, it’s rich, filling, creamy, and delicious as well as easy to make! Potato dishes are integral to many different Irish recipes, dating back to the English conquest of Ireland. The conquest impoverished the country and made potatoes one of the only food steadily available for common folks to eat. Despite this sobering history, dishes like Irish champ show just how wonderful the humble potato can be.

Irish soda bread

Soda bread is a no-yeast bread that is quick and easy to make, so you can enjoy freshly baked bread every day – even on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s the perfect staple for sandwiches, breakfast fry-ups, and soups, and it has a dense, soft inside with a deliciously crisp and crunchy crust. It’s made with cold butter, buttermilk, flour, egg, baking soda, and a little salt, giving it a crumbly, flaky texture and a uniquely flavorful taste.

Yellow man

Yellow man is another fun Irish recipe that’s great for kids (and adults!) to make and enjoy. This sweet treat is essentially a honeycomb made by mixing butter, syrup, or honey and sugar with baking soda and vinegar. This creates a mix of bubbling sugary foam that sets to a hard candy you then break up with a hammer once it’s completely cooled. A delicious and affordable sweet snack that melts on your tongue, yellow man can be stored in an airtight container away from moisture for up to one month, after which it becomes chewier rather than melt-in-the-mouth.

At The Shores, a United Methodist Communities assisted living community

We offer a beautiful, active residential “neighborhood” for seniors with dementia conditions. Our memory care specialists in South Jersey aim to create a safe, compassionate, and enjoyable space for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, where the quality of life is a priority. To find out more about memory care in Cape May County, contact us today or visit our website at  

Why it’s OK to Lie to Someone with Dementia

Memory care south jersey

Growing up, we’re always told to never lie – but honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to a loved one with dementia. This condition negatively affects how their brain understands and processes information, creating a different version of reality. Forcing your loved one with dementia to choose your reality over their own can cause fear, confusion, sadness, and anger. That’s where therapeutic lying comes in. In this article, our memory care experts in Cape May County explain what therapeutic lying is and why it’s OK to lie to someone with dementia. 

What is therapeutic lying?

Essentially, these are white lies that loved ones, therapists and others can use to help support and care for someone with a dementia condition. Instead of lying to hurt or manipulate a person, which is bad, these are fibs used to validate, reassure, and comfort someone with memory loss.

Telling the truth can be unkind

The first thing to realize is that telling someone with dementia the truth can be cruel and unkind, causing distress and pain rather than helping them. It might feel difficult to understand at first. Especially because we’re taught to tell the truth to those we care for and respect the most. However, the truth is not always the answer for those with dementia.

Lying to dementia patients can be the right way to care for them because:

  • They don’t remember the truth and repeatedly telling them or insisting on facts will only cause them distress and pain, especially when it comes to something emotional. They will be forced to relive something that hurts them deeply, causing confusion and stress – none of which is good for their mental or physical health.
  • They are likely going to forget your version of events all over again. This means that causing this distress and pain has no permanent or helpful outcome, even if what you are telling them is true.

How to use therapeutic lying

Therapeutic lying can be used to help you have more quality time together. For example, imagine that your mother has dementia and while you are sitting with her, she tells you a story about some funny joke that your father told her that morning. However, your father passed away years ago, so the story is untrue and impossible. But telling her that her husband is dead, and she couldn’t have spoken to him that morning can make her experience his death all over again. Thus, making her feel confused and unsure of herself, and may possibly cause an argument between the two of you.

Alternatively, you could tell a white lie or simply omit the truth by laughing along at the story and behaving as if it were true. This way, your mom has a comforting, loving moment with you and feels cared for and supported. That’s what really matters at the end of the day when you have a loved one with dementia.

Therapeutic lying can also be used to help care for your parent. For example, if your dad is agitated because he thinks he’s late for work on his first day at a new job, you can tell him you forgot to set the clock correctly and it’s much earlier than he thinks it is. That will help calm him down and relieve stress. Then you can say that he’ll need a good breakfast to get him through the day, thereby helping motivate him to eat a meal, which can be a challenge for many seniors with dementia.

Compassionate dementia support in Cape May County

At UMC at The Shores, we offer exceptional assisted living and advanced memory care services in South Jersey. We aim to create a safe, compassionate, and enjoyable space for seniors with dementia conditions, where the quality of life is the top priority. 

To find out more about memory care in South Jersey, contact us today or visit our website at:

5 Most Common Chronic Conditions in Seniors & How to Manage Them

Common Chronic Conditions in Seniors

The best way to keep seniors healthy is to understand the most common chronic conditions for their age group and how they develop. After all, 80% of seniors have at least one of these conditions, and 68% have two or more. Our long-term care team in South Jersey put together a list of the 5 most common chronic conditions in older adults and tips on how to successfully manage them, helping your loved one stay as healthy and independent as possible.

 #1 – Hypertension

58% of seniors have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. It’s often called the silent killer because it has no easily noticeable symptoms until it causes a stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure can have a genetic component, and seniors who are overweight, sedentary, smokers, or have a poor diet are most at risk. 

The best ways to manage this condition is to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Get 30 minutes of gentle to moderate exercise per day
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Monitor blood pressure each day
  • Reduce stress

#2 – High cholesterol

47% of seniors suffer from high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that is in our blood. When there’s too much of it, it starts coating the inside of our arteries, narrowing them and making it more difficult for blood to travel to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. This causes heart disease and puts you at risk of heart attack or stroke.

The best ways to manage this condition is to:

  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake
  • Get 30 minutes of gentle to moderate exercise per day
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Reduce intake of salt and trans fats

#3 – Arthritis

Arthritis affects 31% of seniors, with osteoarthritis being the most common form of this health condition. Here, the cartilage that cushions joints wears down, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation that can become debilitating.

The best ways to manage this condition is to:

  • Exercise gently and regularly to improve joint function
  • Maintain a healthy weight to relieve pressure on joints
  • Avoid high-impact activities that can damage joints
  • Use gentle heating or ice pads
  • Gently massage affected joints

#4 – Coronary heart disease

Heart disease, also called ischemic heart disease, affects 29% of seniors and is a leading cause of death in the USA and worldwide. It’s caused by plaque building up in the arteries (due to high cholesterol), causing the arteries to narrow and decreasing blood flow to the heart. It can result in heart attack, blood clots, angina, and sudden cardiac arrest.

The best ways to manage this condition is to:

  • Limit intake of trans fats, salt, and sugar
  • Improve sleep quality and duration
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise gently and regularly
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure

#5 – Diabetes

Around 27% of seniors have type 2 diabetes. Here, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, so it can’t move the sugar in the blood into the cells where it is used for fuel or to create fat. When the blood has high sugar levels, it damages the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, gums, and blood vessels. This increases the risks of heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and limb amputation.

The best ways to manage this condition is to:

  • Eat a nutritious, balanced diet to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Monitor blood sugar levels regularly

Community living and long-term care in Cape May County

The Shores is a beautiful community offering long-term care in New Jersey. Our team is passionate about helping seniors live full and rewarding lives in a safe and welcoming environment. With a great calendar of events and social activities, some of the best dining in town, and advanced long-term care facilities, we’re the best place to be for senior living

To find out more about skilled nursing care in New Jersey, give us a call or visit our website at:

5 Tips for Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s

tips for visiting someone with alzheimers

Just because your loved one with Alzheimer’s is now in a memory care community doesn’t mean that they can’t have or won’t enjoy visitors. However, it takes patience, skill and a positive mindset for both sides to have a good visit. Did we mention patience… because that is the most important thing! It takes plenty of patience to change how you used to interact, but remember this change is crucial to maintaining a positive and strong bond with your loved one now. With that said, our team of memory care specialists in South Jersey have put together 5 essential tips to follow when visiting someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

  1. Be positive and uplifting. It’s important to have the right mindset when visiting a loved one with a dementia condition to avoid upsetting or agitating them. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn your cheerfulness up to 11, but it is a good idea to frame your visit as an opportunity to spend some quality time together. Be calm and mindful of your own feelings and focus on the little things that make your time together worthwhile – not how things may have changed. Find ways that you can make your loved one smile and laugh, relax and breathe deeply, and don’t focus on the negative.
  2. Be short and sweet. When talking to your loved one, keep sentences short and sweet. Remember, they’ll have trouble following a longer story, so try to keep your conversation at one idea per sentence, giving your loved one time to digest it. Focus on what’s here and now, or what’s in the past, as this tends to trigger long-term memories and conversation more easily. Talk slowly, softly, and clearly – and be prepared to repeat yourself. You can also use short, simple prompts like “Tell me about your craft project,” or “Are you enjoying your meal?” but be prepared to wait for an answer or not receive the answer you are looking for.
  3. Sit in silence. We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to interact with the loved one we’re visiting, but it’s not necessary to make your visit busy in any way. You can sit in comfortable silence together, take a quiet walk around the garden, look through a photo album, or even watch TV together – your company and being there is what truly matters. Some visitors like to bring their loved one’s favorite music so they can listen together, or they read a book out loud to their loved ones. Sometimes questions, conversation, and activities can be stressful to people with dementia, and sitting quietly together can be very comforting and soothing.
  4. Validate their feelings and reality. In some ways, it can feel like a loved one with dementia is in another world. They can be happy about something they never used to like or upset about something they used to enjoy. Whatever their reaction, it’s better to enter their reality rather than trying to make them see yours. Just go with the flow and allow them to express the feelings and thoughts they have regardless of if they make sense or are appropriate. If they say a loved one who has passed on had coffee with them yesterday, ask them how it was and what they chatted about. If an activity upsets them, move on to something else. Let them take the lead and show you, their world.
  5. Don’t add frustration or stress. Having a loved one with a dementia condition is very stressful, upsetting, and sad for you, as well as for them. And certain things we say and do can make this worse for all involved. Don’t say “Do you remember?” point out mistakes, or start an argument, as this can cause severe agitation and bad feelings. Not to mention, they may not even understand what the problem is, causing them to feel embarrassed and react harshly out of fear. At the same time, don’t assume that your loved one has no recall whatsoever. On good days, people with dementia can have very clear memory recollection. Assuming the worst, like your loved one is not capable of remembering anything at all, can cause them to feel belittled or talked down to. To help prevent this, follow their lead to see how they are doing on that particular day. Appreciating the good days and having a little extra patience on the bad ones can do wonders for both of you.

Alzheimer’s support at UMC in Cape May County

UMC at The Shores is a part of the United Methodist Communities network, specializing in memory care in South Jersey. We understand that dementia conditions are difficult to deal with, which is why we offer 24/7 comprehensive care for our residents, as well as support for their loved ones.

To find out more about our community and Tapestries memory care in Cape May County, contact us today or visit our website at

New Year, New Exercises for Seniors!

New Year, New Exercises for Seniors!

It’s a new year, which means it’s a new opportunity to get in (and more importantly, stay in) shape! Working out has many physical and mental health benefits – especially for older adults who want to maintain independence and full, abundant life in their senior years. So, what are you waiting for? If you or a loved one is looking for a new workout routine, here are 5 easy exercises for seniors or beginners.

1. Walking – Walking is one of the best physical activities for beginners because it can be modified to your fitness level and ability. Less able seniors can enjoy shorter walks on level paths through a nearby park, and fitter seniors can go on nature walks or walk at a much brisker pace for a longer amount of time. Seniors can walk even if they have a cane or walker, and it can be a fantastic social activity if a friend joins in too.

2. Dancing – Dancing is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps improve bone density, posture, and balance. It’s important to choose a dance genre that’s enjoyable so that it’s an activity you or a loved one can look forward to. Whether it’s line dancing, tango, ballroom, or even Zumba – choosing the right form of dance is sure to keep seniors motivated! Dance is a great way to lift spirits, meet new people, and get the heart pumping.

3. Swimming – It may be cold outside, but swimming indoors is possible all year round! From doing laps to water aerobics, swimming is a healthy aerobic exercise that also improves muscle tone, lung health, and strength. It’s especially good for seniors with aching joints, back pain, or weight issues, as the natural buoyancy of the water takes the strain off your joints.

4. Pilates – Did you know that Pilates was originally invented to help physically rehabilitate soldiers returning from World War I? It’s a series of exercises that are all about strengthening the core muscles in your hips, back, and buttocks. Building muscle strength improves balance, posture, strength, and flexibility, all without putting too much strain on your joints. Today’s Pilates classes also focus on shoulder and arm strength as well as hip, ankle, and wrist flexibility too. Pilates has an impressive impact on physical health and can be adjusted to suit all fitness levels too.

5. Yoga – Yoga can also be modified for all abilities and ages, even for those who are chair-bound. These exercises are slower and gentler than Pilates, and they work to build flexibility, balance, and strength. Besides the physical benefits, the aim of yoga is to soothe and calm the mind, especially if it involves meditation and breathing exercises. Both the physical and mental health benefits of yoga combine to help improve outcomes of seniors with high blood pressure, anxiety, stress, and pain.

Whether you’re interested in setting healthy New Year’s Resolutions or simply want to find a new way to stay fit and meet new people, these exercises for seniors are a great way to do it!

If you’d like to find out more about assisted living in South Jersey, then our team at UMC at The Shores is ready to help you or a loved one. We are a leading provider of assisted living in Cape May County, with an emphasis on aging in place and living a full, independent life. You can find out more about our services by contacting us today or you can visit our website at: