Staying active as we age is incredibly important for both our physical and mental health. With aging comes changes in mobility, however, and we often find that we can’t move around as easily as we did in our younger days. If you’re looking for a fun way for your senior loved ones to exercise, but need to keep their mobility level in mind, we recommend trying chair yoga.
Yoga has a huge range of health benefits for people of all ages, but some of the poses and movements in traditional yoga can be difficult for people with limited mobility and other physical restrictions. Chair yoga is a great alternative to traditional yoga, and it offers many of the same benefits while being safer and more inclusive for older adults or those with limited mobility.
The Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
You may hear the word “yoga” and conjure up images of people doing headstands or full splits, but there are yoga classes for all ability levels. There are even yoga classes specially designed for senior beginners. Yoga has many benefits for seniors, including:
If your senior loved one isn’t able to participate in a traditional yoga class, don’t worry! Chair yoga can be customized to their mobility level and still provides many amazing benefits. Here are some of our favorite poses and movements you’ll find in a chair yoga class for seniors:
Warm up with gentle arm circles: While sitting upright in a chair, keep the arms straight and move them slowly in full circles, both forwards and backwards, for a minute or two. This warms up the shoulder joints and gets the blood flowing.
Cat-cow stretch: While seated, place the feet flat on the floor and your hands on your knees. Inhale, arch your spine, and roll your shoulders down and back – this is called cow position. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale while rounding your spine, drop your chin down to your chest, allowing the head to fall forward freely – this is cat position. Move between cat and cow several times and be mindful of your breathing.
Forward bend: Sit upright and keep your spine straight. When you exhale, bend at the waist, keeping your back straight, and hinge forward towards the floor as far as you can. Put your hands out in front of you towards the floor, and let your head hang freely.
Hamstring stretch: Using a towel or a strap, wrap it around the bottom of the foot and hold onto it while you straighten your leg as much as possible. You’ll feel a deep stretch in your hamstring, hold it for a few seconds before slowly releasing it.
If you have any questions about chair yoga for seniors, or if you have any other questions regarding our senior communities in NJ, please contact our team at United Methodist Communities today: https://umcommunities.org
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/blog/why-chair-yoga-is-a-great-idea-for-seniors/
You know what they say, “All good things must come to an end.” Which is unfortunately the case about summer. It always comes and goes so quickly, but you shouldn’t let that happen without a proper send off. And hey, who says the fun has to end too? If you’re looking to make the most out of the last summer month with your loved one, check out our list of fun ends of summer activities for seniors – compiled by our senior living team at UMC Collingswood, in Camden County.
Roberts Pool Luau. A party is by far one of the best ways to say goodbye to summer, especially a themed party like a luau! Roberts Pool is a short drive from UMC at Collingswood and is hosting a community luau party on the 13th that will include a special lei greeting upon entry, Polynesian entertainment and hula dancers, shaved ice, fun games and prizes! This party is open to all public pool members and day guests at no extra charge – so there’s really no reason not to take part in all the end of summer swimming fun!
Read and Craft at the Library. By the end of summer, it’s safe to say most people have gotten their fair share of the sun. Seniors especially have to take extra precautions in the sun for they’re at a greater risk for sun damage and heat exhaustion. Visiting your local library to take part in special events is a great indoor summer activity. The Collingswood Public Library, less than 5 minutes away from our senior living community, holds book club meetings on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday of each month. They also have a fun coastal arts and crafts event planned on the 10th of this month, where seniors can make a keychain or pendant made out of pretty sea glass and wire.
Movies in Knight Park. This is another great alternative summer activity that doesn’t involve roasting in the sun. Beautiful Knight Park is only a 5-minute walk from our senior community and is the perfect place to gather with the whole family for a fun night out! Pack a big blanket, some lawn chairs, and a picnic basket with snacks, and enjoy hits like Disney’s Brave, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Space Jam under the stars. Movies in Knight Park are free and begin at dusk on Tuesdays and Thursdays in August. The big screen is located by the Browning and Collings intersection, near the gazebo.
End of summer activities for seniors at UMC
At our independent senior community in Collingswood, seniors are free to choose the lifestyle that makes the most sense for them – and are free to participate in all activities on-site. We always have a jam-packed social calendar each month, however, we have many special events scheduled for the end of summer in particular. Give one of our advisors a call today to learn more about how we are saying farewell to summer at UMC at Collingswood. If you are worried about mom or dad’s mobility and how it will interfere with group activities, our experienced associates are available 24/7 to assist if necessary and ensure the safety of all activities.
To find out more about independent lifestyles with support for seniors in Camden County NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/blog/farewell-summer-activities-for-seniors-in-collingswood-nj/
Bristol Glen is continuing care retirement community offering older adults independent senior living, assisted living, memory care, and more just minutes from vibrant downtown Newton, NJ. Many people don’t realize what a rich history our town has, with a vibrant mix of cultures, businesses, shops, and entertainment. Despite being a smaller town, it gives you everything you’d want in life without the traffic and hustle that comes with living near a big city. Here’s a little bit of Newton’s history and what makes it the perfect balance between small-town hospitality and city living.
Introducing Newton, NJ!
Just 60 miles from New York City lies Newton, NJ, sitting at the source of the Paulinskill river in the Kittatinny Valley. The town lies on a gentle slope near the base of the Grate Slate Mountain with views towards the Big Spring, Paulinskill meadows, and Blue Mountains.
The history of the area dates back long before the town’s incorporation in 1864, with clay shards and neolithic tools dating back several thousand years. These have been attributed to the original inhabitants – the Tockhockonetcong, likely a Lenne Lenape tribe – who have since vanished.
During the revolution, this small town grew dramatically. Thanks to its position as a hub where turnpikes and post roads met, Newton became a regional center for banks, newspapers, mail, freight, commerce, and education. This growth was accelerated by the completion of the Sussex Railroad in 1854, which brought in hotels, brick emporiums, and premier locations for trade and commerce. The town’s expansion also drove architectural advancements in the area, and today we can still see incredible craftsmanship in the killed masonry, decorative scrollwork, and turned balustrades in existing Historic Newton structures, such as neoclassical homes and commercial buildings. Some of our most beautiful buildings include the Victorian Merriam Casa Bella, Christ Episcopal Church, Sussex County Courthouse, Cortelyou House, Newton Firehouse Museum, and The Newton Academy.
Despite being in a county that boasted more cows than people between 1850 and 1950, Newton became a town beloved by newly returned veterans, young couples, and families looking for a nurturing and safe place to live.
Newton attractions – Why we love our big, little town
Today, Newton is a thriving town with diverse cultures, industries, and amenities set in beautiful natural splendour. With such a vibrant mix of people who reside in the area, Newton can’t help but be a town where everyone enjoys the sunny weather, somewhat warmer New Jersey winters, and beautiful autumn colors.
There is a ton to see and do in Newton, NJ, including:
Are you interested in senior living near Newton, NJ? Bristol Glen is one of the leading long-term care communities in Sussex County, located right near the action of Newton, NJ. Our community space is designed to be beautiful and spacious, as well as making the town of Newton easily accessible to our residents. We offer a welcoming space for seniors who need additional care, as well as specialized memory care services. Our skilled nursing team is compassionate, experienced, and ready to assist with dementia support for seniors, as well as managing strokes, diabetes, and other complex medical conditions.
For more information on Bristol Glen and how we are different from other long-term care communities in Sussex County NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen/blog/a-brief-history-of-newton-new-jersey/
It’s tough to be the new “kid” on the block, but making friends can be just like riding a bike – if you have the right tools. What your loved one may be missing in their toolbox is opportunity. Do they have access to activities that will help them meet people with similar life experiences? And are these activities easy for them to take part in? If your loved one is new to senior living and is looking to meet new people, here are some refreshers to share with them, so they can make and keep friendships more easily.
Participate in Group Activities. At most thriving senior communities, there are a ton of group activities that residents can do on a weekly (or even daily) basis. At UMC at Pitman, some of our crowd favorites include group meditation, morning yoga, art classes, and themed days like “Root Beer Float Day” and “Pajama Day.” Even if the group activity isn’t your loved one’s cup of tea, encourage them to go anyways. For one, they could laugh with another resident over their mutual dislike of the activity, or they might be surprised at how much they actually like it after giving it a fair shot. Either way, reiterate to your loved one that the opportunity to meet new people in the community is more important than the actual group activity itself.
Join a Club. Once your loved one finds a hobby offered at the community that they enjoy, tell them to join a club. For example, if mom loves to garden, have her join the gardening club. If dad enjoys playing poker, but there is no poker club available at their assisted living community, ask an activities director on site if they can set one up. Since activity directors cultivate great relationships with each resident, they should be able to gather a group of like-minded individuals to join the club more easily.
Make Mealtimes More Social. Food has a way of bringing people together. It’s one of the best ways to bond and connect with someone new – that’s why most first dates take place at a restaurant or coffee shop. Luckily, most senior living communities, like UMC at Pitman, have a spacious shared dining area right on-site where residents can eat together. Next time you talk to your senior parent and see they’re about ready to have lunch, encourage them to share a meal with another resident in the community dining room.
Accompany Them. If your loved one is the shy type, go with them to their next group activity or event. Having you there with them will give them more confidence to talk to new people. You can also break the ice between them and a resident who you think they may have a lot in common with.
Have Patience. Remind mom or dad that it takes time to make friends, and it may take just a little bit longer to make a good friend. While they are still adjusting to their new life in a senior community, it’s important that they don’t put too much pressure on themselves to fit in. There is plenty of time to get involved with group activities, dine with residents and just to stop and have a small chat with someone they pass by in the hallway. Before they know it, those small pleasantries will turn into longer and more meaningful talks with people they truly consider friends.
Socializing at UMC at Pitman
UMC at Pitman, our assisted living community in Gloucester County, provides many opportunities for seniors to make new friends and socialize while receiving the support they need. Our caring associates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support with daily tasks, including getting dressed for the day, cleaning up the apartment, and managing medications for your loved one. They could also recommend the best spots on-site to meet new people, as well as fun activities to participate in!
For more information on our assisted living services and senior events in Pitman, NJ, please give us a call or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/pitman/
This blog was originally published https://umcommunities.org/pitman/blog/how-to-make-and-keep-friends-as-a-senior/
Okay, so maybe we’re biased – but honestly who wouldn’t want to be living out their best years in a beautiful senior community only a few blocks from the ocean?! There’s something relaxing and calming about the water, and that’s true all year around. Not to mention, the many activities you can take part in by the boardwalk and ocean. If you’re originally from Jersey you know there is always something going on “down the shore.”
With that being said, here’s a bit of info about where UMC at The Shores is located, our beautiful natural surroundings, and just a few of the many beaches, boardwalk, and water-related activities our team at The Shores organizes for our senior living residents.
UMC at The Shores is an assisted living community offering specialized memory care, along with many additional senior care services, in southern New Jersey. We’re fortunate enough to be in a prime location opposite the Ocean City Golf Course, overlooking the residential marinas and out to the ocean towards Shooting Island. Ocean City is well-known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, but it has wonderful amenities for all ages!
Stimulating for body and mind – Memory care in Cape May County
The Shores offers an ideal retirement home and community in South Jersey, and our programs include specialized services for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s conditions. Our memory care team is dedicated to ensuring all residents have access to onsite and offsite activities and events that are safe, appropriate, and fun, including regular outings, social gatherings, and much more. We work to help support seniors with cognitive health issues to stay active and engaged – and our wonderful position near the ocean helps us do just that!
For more information on our memory care services in South Jersey, or to find out more about how our assisted living community works, contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/theshores/
This blog was originally published https://umcommunities.org/theshores/blog/retire-at-the-beach/
Have you noticed that your senior loved one has swollen ankles? This is a common problem that older adults encounter, and it can have a negative impact on their safety and their comfort. However, the good news is that you can help your loved one manage their swollen ankles, and in this article, we’ll share some of our most helpful tips and tricks. It’s always recommended to speak with your loved one’s physician if their swelling is persistent, or if it’s causing them a lot of discomfort.
Causes of Swollen Ankles in Seniors
As we spend the majority of our day upright standing or sitting, fluid within the body can gather in the legs and feet, causing swollen ankles. A common term for this swelling is edema, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
As mentioned above, always check with your loved one’s doctor before making any lifestyle changes. There are several adjustments that can reduce and help prevent ankle swelling, including:
By repeating a few basic movements on a daily basis, from the comfort of home, your senior loved one can help reduce the swelling in their ankles. We understand that everyone’s abilities are different, so if your family member struggles with these exercises, ask their doctor for alternate recommendations.
Knee to chest: While lying down flat on the back, keep one leg flat and bend the other leg at the knee, bringing it up towards the chest. Only bend as far as it’s comfortable, and alternate legs for three sets of 10 knee bends.
Butt squeezes: These can be done either sitting or lying down. Squeeze the glute muscles as tight as possible and hold it for three to five seconds. Relax and repeat for three sets of 10 squeezes, and remember don’t hold your breath.
Ankle flex and point: While lying down on the back, move only the feet and flex the toes up towards your head, then point them down in the opposite direction. You’ll feel the ankle joints activating during this exercise, and we recommend three sets of 10.
If you have any questions about alleviating ankle swelling in seniors, or if you have any other questions regarding our senior care services in New Jersey, please contact our team at UMC today: https://umcommunities.org
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/swollen-ankles-in-elderly/
Dementia can be a difficult condition because you want to take care of your loved one and keep them as comfortable as possible, but symptoms can become increasingly difficult to manage as the condition progresses. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, sensory therapy might be something you want to consider for them.
Sensory therapy is a helpful way to help calm and soothe people with dementia, without the use of medication. It’s common for people with dementia to feel agitated and restless, and this is where sensory therapy comes in. Here are some of our favorite sensory activities you can do with your loved ones to help them feel calmer.
Scented sensory cards
Certain smells can trigger powerful and pleasant memories, like the smell of your favorite flower, the smell of your mother’s cooking, or the smell of your favorite food. Making scented sensory cards is a great seasonal activity, and as we’re in the middle of enjoying a beautiful summer, you and your loved one can create a handful of cards that reflect their favorite summer scents: the beach, fresh flowers, lemonade, and many more.
Allow your loved one to keep these scented cards nearby so they can smell them when the mood strikes.
Homemade non-toxic finger paint
Seniors with dementia often enjoy arts and crafts projects, and painting is a great way for them to express themselves. Rather than messing with an array of paint brushes, which can be difficult to hold and can easily frustrate your loved one if it’s not the right brush stroke, we recommend using non-toxic finger paints. Buy some large white poster boards or blank canvases and let the freestyle painting begin!
You know those stacks of coins you’ve had sitting around your house forever? The ones you keep saying you’ll sort and take to the bank soon? While it may seem like an annoying task to you, seniors with dementia often find comfort in manual, repetitive tasks like coin sorting. Give your loved one several small glass bowls and ask them to help you sort your loose change. They’ll also feel a sense of purpose from helping you, which is especially important to the self esteem and self worth of those with dementia.
The best part of sensory activities is that your whole family can participate in them together. People with dementia often feel isolated and alone, especially as their symptoms progress, and having the whole family join in certainly helps alleviate the feelings of isolation. Not to mention, it’s a great way for your family to spend quality time together and bond.
Sensory therapy and other memory care techniques at UMC
At UMC, our dedicated Tapestries Memory Care neighborhoods are designed specifically for people with dementia. We employ a range of therapies, including sensory therapy, to help our memory care residents feel calm, safe, and secure at all times. If your loved one is still living at home under your care, we recommend incorporating sensory activities into their daily routine, and we recommend participating in these activities alongside them.
If you have any questions about sensory activities that can help calm seniors with dementia, or if you have any other questions regarding our senior care services in general, please contact our team at UMC today: https://umcommunities.org
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/sensory-activities-to-calm-seniors-with-dementia/
Sandy, Danny, and the rest of the gang had it right – but summer fun isn’t just for teenagers! With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year for seniors to unwind, relax, and make memories with each other and their loved ones. Here are some ideas for summer fun for the seniors in your life provided by our assisted living team in South Jersey.
#1 – Sunday Sundaes
Who doesn’t love a cold, sweet treat on a hot summer Sunday? Set up a sundae bar at home or in your assisted living community with a range of ice cream flavors, toppings, and sauces. You can also add a float station for classic soda floats! Whether you love a classic vanilla sundae with a cherry on top of chocolate ice cream covered in hot fudge, there will be something everyone will love.
#2 – Backyard baseball or softball
This can be as simple as making the time for grandpa and the grandkids to play catch on a lazy afternoon or organizing a community event at a park where local seniors can come and watch. It’s a great idea for local clubs who want to create a social event where kids can join in, less mobile seniors can watch and cheer on loved ones, and where everyone can have some classic summer fun. Remember to have lots of refreshments and shade for your supporters.
#3 – Stargazing
Cool summer evenings are best enjoyed outside under the stars. Set up chairs on your patio or even in the park and watch the stars come out. You can also arrange to have a cookout or make s’mores and tell spooky stories, especially if the kids are involved! Another fun idea is to have a local astronomy club set up telescopes so you can see the stars and planets up close while you learn a little about our beautiful galaxy.
#4 – A bake-off
For aspiring young bakers to experienced home cooks and fans of The Great British Baking Show, everyone will love a competitive but fun bake-off! Invite local baking clubs and host it at your assisted living community (and make sure residents can participate). Have team events for kids and grandparents, competitions for best pies and cakes, and fun trophies to hand out to the winners.
#5 – Music in the gardens
At your local park or even assisted living community, you can set up chairs in the gardens and entertain seniors and their families with a little music festival. Invite singers, bands, and music clubs to perform and hand out picnic baskets for everyone to enjoy an afternoon of music outdoors. Remember to have plenty of shade and keep everyone hydrated, especially on hot days.
A warm, sunny, 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 https://umcommunities.org/theshores/
Original blog posted on https://umcommunities.org/theshores/blog/summer-fun-had-me-a-blast/
If your loved one is in need of memory care, but they don’t want to, or need to leave home yet, memory care at home through UMC HomeWorks is a great option for you to consider. UMC HomeWorks provides specialized memory care at home tailored to the individual’s current needs and modifies care as their needs may change.
What is memory care at home?At home care allows seniors to stay in the comfort of their own home and communities, which can be beneficial to their mental and physical wellbeing. Professional services are provided to ensure that they receive expert care from trained caregivers, who are knowledgeable in handling day to day care as well as managing cognitive conditions with compassion and patience.
Memory care is a specialized form of caregiving specifically designed for seniors with cognitive challenges, whether they have age-related memory loss, or are in any stage of dementia conditions like Alzheimer’s. For seniors with memory issues, this type of caregiving plays a very important role in their wellbeing, creating a stable routine and managing the symptoms of their condition as it progresses. With at-home memory care, you know that there is always a capable and compassionate person on hand to monitor their health, manage the challenges of their condition or any other health issues, and keep them safe.
Memory care also goes a step further by using a customized program to support cognitive health, providing mental and physical stimulation that enriches their day and attempts to slow the progression of memory loss.
How do I know if my loved one needs at home memory care?If you are trying to decide if your parent needs specialized memory care or if they just need general assistance from an at home care provider, here are some important questions to ask yourself to make an informed decision.
UMC HomeWorks memory care at homeUMC HomeWorks is a leading senior care program specializing in at home care for older adults in New Jersey. In addition to assisting with daily tasks, errands and light housekeeping, our home health aide services team is also qualified to provide specialized assistance and skilled nursing care, including at home memory care for seniors with cognitive health challenges like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If you would like to access our respite care services or find out more about full-time memory care at home, contact us today and let one of the leading home health aide services in New Jersey deliver the exceptional care and companionship that your loved one deserves. You can also visit our website at
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/in-home-senior-care/is-memory-care-at-home-an-option/
Independence is a top priority for many seniors. This is especially true when it comes to deciding where to reside. Even though some may argue that moving into a senior living community means relinquishing independence, we’re here to tell you why the opposite is true! The beauty of a modern senior living community is letting go of chores and other responsibilities and making more time for the active, independent retirement lifestyle you deserve. If you’ve been bouncing the idea of senior living back and forth, here are the top 3 signs that you are ready for the move.
#1. The idea of giving up cooking excites you. Have you ever realized that a meal is so much more enjoyable when it’s cooked by someone else? There’s a reason for that. When someone else cooks, the stress of going to the store, finding the right ingredients, and following the specifics of a recipe is alleviated off your plate (literally and figuratively). And let’s not stop there, you know what would make every meal even better? Having someone else do the dishes after! You’ve paid your dues and probably washed enough dishes to feed an army – it’s time to give it up and make more time for yourself. At a senior living community like UMC at Collingswood, associates on-site can cook, create meal plans, and clean up after meals on a daily basis. UMC at Collingswood also offers community dining in an elegant and spacious dining room where other residents and your family and friends can accompany you for a meal. The on-site executive chef is culinary trained and ready to accept requests or adhere to any dietary restrictions residents may need.
#2. Home maintenance is becoming too much. Now, this may be a tough one to come to terms with, especially if this is the home you’ve raised a family in and loved for many years. With your kids all grown up and moving on with their own families, you now have less help with maintaining your sizable home. Homeownership is a lot of work to do on your own. There are recurring tasks like dusting, wiping down kitchen counters, cutting the lawn, keeping the bathrooms clean, and doing loads of laundry – just to name a few. And then there are always unexpected issues that pop up from time to time like shoveling snow, unclogging a toilet, and repairing HVAC units or leaky pipes. Not to mention, all those monthly bills for utilities, electricity, cable, and more. The complexity of home maintenance is just another reason why living independently in a senior community has become so appealing. You can say goodbye to chores and having to keep track of the multiple utility bills coming in. All senior living apartments at Collingswood are maintained and cleaned daily, and if an unexpected problem arises – you can make a quick call to one of our associates who will handle it ASAP. With home maintenance removed from your roster, you now have the time – more importantly, the energy – to take part in the activities you truly enjoy doing.
#3. You’re looking for more opportunities to learn, enjoy activities, and connect with others. This is hands down the most important sign we’ve been leading up to. Many seniors are under the impression that living in a community is equivalent to a loss of independence, but this couldn’t be more untrue. Relinquishing control of home maintenance issues, cooking, and cleaning frees up your time significantly so you actually have more independence to do what you actually want to do. Have you ever wanted to take painting lessons? Zumba classes? Or for the more ambitious, learn a new language? With all the mundane daily tasks taken care of by our reliable associates, you can now do all of the above! Not to mention, you’ll make some new friends along the way who enjoy the same interests – what could be better than that?
Independent senior lifestyles in Camden County NJ
At our senior living community in Camden County, seniors are free to choose the independent lifestyle that makes the most sense for their interests and mobility level. We have many activities and events scheduled every month that all residents are welcome to join. Some of our crowd favorites include group meditation, dance classes, movie nights, and much more. Not to mention, our professional associates are available 24/7 to assist if necessary and ensure the safety of all activities performed on-site.
To find out more about independent lifestyles for seniors in Collingswood, NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/
Original blog posted on https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/blog/3-signs-youre-ready-for-independent-senior-living/
United Methodist Communities provides high quality senior care. Our communities embrace diversity, are interfaith oriented, and reflect people from all faith backgrounds.