Category Archives: Blog

The 5 Best Books for Seniors and the Benefits of Reading

Best books for seniors

Since Read a Book Day is coming up on September 6th, there’s no better time than the present to highlight the benefits of reading – especially for seniors! Research has repeatedly shown that reading is good for both their physical and mental health. Reading can also help seniors explore a world outside of their everyday lives. To help your senior loved one pick the perfect novel, the team at our CCRC in Sussex County has also put together a list of top books for seniors and why they resonate with our residents. Enjoy!

Reading improves mental and physical wellness

Reading stimulates the somatosensory cortex of the brain, which strengthens connections within the brain even several days after completing a book, helps to maintain and improve memory and cognitive function, and may reduce the overall risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in seniors.

Reading a book also helps to lower blood pressure, stress, and heart rate, which are key risk factors in heart disease, heart attack, and cardiac arrest. It can help improve sleep quality and duration and alleviates the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Seniors who read can ignite their imagination, practice and improve empathy, develop sharper problem-solving skills, and bond with others through book clubs and discussions. Reading is an adventure that’s simply good for the soul!

The top #5 books for seniors

Here are some great books for seniors to try. Remember, if vision, mobility, or focus is an issue, you can find large-text books, increase the text size on a lightweight e-reader, or get an audiobook version.

#1 – The Tuesday Night Club by Agatha Christie

She’s the queen of crime, with mysteries that will send a shiver down your spine! This collection of short stories is perfect for stimulating those problem-solving skills in a way that’s thrilling. From Mrs. Marple, the aging detective that uses her life experiences to explore human nature, to the setting in mid-20th century England, these stories are iconic and engaging from the first word.

#2 – The Body by Bill Bryson

A non-fiction book about the human body and the history of medicine, this author takes complex scientific information and turns it into something a layperson can easily understand. It’s a fascinating journey through the human body and our understanding of it, filled with humor, facts, and incredible stories of discovery. Although this is quite a large volume, it’s clearly divided into chapters and general topics for easy reading.

 #3 – Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Reminisce on times gone by with this witty and delightful novel about a fascinating woman and her incredible life. Once the toast of New York, Ms. Boxfish is a senior with so many stories to tell about the people in her life, the challenges she faced, and the excitement of the advertising industry in the 1930s.

#4 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

A short, light, yet wonderful novel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about a man living in his daydreams. Focused on an imaginary life filled with heroics and adventure, escaping from a life that feels mundane and bound in routine. This novel shows the thrill and value of harnessing a powerful imagination in everyday life.

 #5 – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

A World War 2 novel set in France, this powerful story about love and conflict is focused on a family who must learn to live during an invasion. With a focus on the women left behind when their husbands and sons went to war, this is very different from your typical WW2 tale, and shares the story of two sisters separated by years and life experience trying to survive, find love, and survive.

Bristol Glen is part of United Methodist Communities, a collection of senior living and assisted living communities in New Jersey dedicated to supporting abundant, independent living. We offer many group activities on-site to support the well-being of our residents including fitness classes, movie nights, and of course, avid book clubs.

If you want to find out more about senior living services in Sussex County NJ, then please get in touch today or visit our website at

https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org

How to Observe Senior Citizens Day

Senior Living Communities NJ

Did you know that August 21st is Senior Citizen’s Day? Established in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, this day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for the dedication, accomplishments, and services of senior citizens. The day also serves as a reminder to support senior citizens in living their lives fully and independently. The team from our senior living community in Newton, NJ has put together a few ways to show appreciation to the special senior citizens in your life today and every day.

#1 – Spend quality time together

Spend quality time with the seniors in your life, whether they’re a parent, relative, family friend, or even a neighbor. Let them know that they are appreciated and loved and that you’re there for them, no matter what. If you live far away, you can send cards and gifts, plan a family video call, or a simple phone call.

#2 – Learn a new skill

Seniors have so much experience to share and can become the perfect mentor for you or your child! Spend some time with seniors in your community learning to knit, quilt, make jam, bake, or anything you’d like to learn together. This is a wonderful way of showing seniors that they are valued and have a purpose in our community, and you’ll be preserving useful skills and knowledge to pass onto the next generation.

#3 – Share your skills and passions

Work with senior networks in your community to set up an event for seniors in your area if you have a skill you’d love to share. Get local music students to set up a little concert, teach a fun painting or craft lesson, set up a storytelling session for seniors with dementia, or host a talent show. Sharing your skills is a great way to give back to the seniors in your community and the entertainment and interaction are sure to be appreciated!

#4 – Share your time

You can also volunteer your time for local seniors who need a little extra help, whether you spend time being a companion at local continuing care retirement communities or help out a neighbor. This is a great way to celebrate senior citizens by giving back because anyone can do it – even kids! You can do a grocery run, bake something special, perform handyman tasks, do garden maintenance, play a game of chess, or make nutritious dinners – anything you like!

#5 – Reminisce together about their past

Take the time to find out about the interesting times your senior loved one has lived through – you’ll be amazed at the rich and fascinating stories you’ll hear! Get your family together to learn about your family history, share a lovely meal and settle into the past. You can also watch their favorite movies growing up, recreate favorite treats, or even drive around the neighborhood they grew up in and talk about what’s changed vs. what’s stayed the same.

Abundant living for seniors in New Jersey

UMC at Bristol Glen is one of the leading continuing care retirement communities in NJ. We offer a beautiful and welcoming space for seniors, whether you have just retired or are looking for additional care. We also offer a wonderful program for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia called Tapestries Memory Care. Tapestries provide tailored support to seniors with memory challenges. Our experienced associates work tirelessly to meet the social, medical, and wellness needs of every resident, to promote a happy and abundant life. 

For more information on Bristol Glen, our senior care services, and how we support independent style living for seniors in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

5 Books for Seniors with Dementia

Books for Seniors with Dementia

For some people, the ability to read books may not seem like such a terrible skill to lose. However, for book lovers with dementia, the inability to read robs them of a favorite hobby and a healthy escape from reality. With that said, our memory care team at Bristol Glen has put together a list of books for seniors with varying stages of dementia.

What to look for in books for seniors with dementia

Reading to or with your loved one is a wonderful bonding activity that sparks the imagination, keeps the mind active, and may even help preserve cognitive function. While we’ve suggested several books for dementia residents below, you can always look for a few to add to your library at home. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Pictures – Choose books with plenty of pictures (although nothing too busy and chaotic), for your loved one to look at. Our visual senses are much more stimulated by colors and images than text, so pictures and illustrations make the content more engaging and interesting for them.
  • Simple stories –Stories should be simple sentences and concepts (depending on how advanced your loved one’s dementia is), but not boring. Look for stories that connect with the events of their lives, especially their childhood or early life, as this is the period of their life where memories are the strongest.
  • Audiobooks –Audiobooks can be both soothing and interesting for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Look for content that resonates with their lives and that is easy to consume, or books read by a favorite author.
  • Interaction –Books that have interactive elements can be more engaging for people with advanced dementia. Keep an eye out for coloring books, basic puzzles, and multi-sensory engagement to keep your loved one involved and entertained.

#1 – The Heart Garden by Karla Kale

This is one of the Marlena Books series, where different authors write short stories that are specially formatted for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In this story, a mother and her son explore the wonders of their spring garden. It’s all about nurturing the special bond between mother and child.

#2 – A Love That Waited by Brandon Johnson

Another great story from the Marlena Book series is A Love That Waited, which focuses on a couple separated by war. While Henry serves in the armed forces, Amy waits for him faithfully for years. This story is all about love, patience, and a journey that two souls take towards each other.

#3 – The Sunshine on My Face by Lydia Burdick

This is more than a storybook – it’s a way to help initiate personal conversations between readers and individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s. With its large size and picture content, it’s perfect for reading aloud and bonding between grandparents and kids at storytime! It’s straightforward, full of joy, and evocative of favorite pastimes.

#4 – Blue Sky White Clouds by Eliezer Sobel

This is a wonderful way to spend time with a loved one in the advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s a picture book filled with images of nature, everyday objects, and people accompanied by simple, large-format captions.

#5 – Color Your Mind: A Coloring Book for Those with Alzheimer’s and the People Who Love Them by Maria Shriver

Created by Maria Shriver, a longtime Alzheimer’s advocate, this coloring book is designed to relieve stress and tap into creativity as you work through the story. It’s interactive and ties activities to helpful information, helping to create a balanced life.

Memory care in Newton, NJ, for seniors with dementia

Bristol Glen is part of United Methodist Communities, a collection of senior living and assisted living communities in New Jersey dedicated to supporting abundant, independent living. For residents living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, we offer a wonderful program called Tapestries Memory Care, designed to benefit both residents and their families through life-enriching care and advanced cognitive therapies.

To find out more about our community or dementia care in Sussex County, NJ, call us today or visit our website at: https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

vitamin D for seniors

Since it’s summer and the sun is shining, there’s no better time to talk about the health benefits of vitamin D! The “sunshine vitamin” is particularly beneficial for seniors, and has been shown to enhance bone health, oral health and even mental health. In this article, our assisted living team in Sussex County, New Jersey, will go over Vitamin D benefits in depth, and teach you how to spot a Vitamin D deficiency in your senior loved one.

Reasons why seniors need Vitamin D

#1 – Helps boost bone health

Vitamin D helps to prevent and manage osteoporosis, a health condition that makes bones brittle and weak. This is especially relevant to seniors, as falls can cause serious damage and require intensive hospitalization.

A study in 2019 by the American Medical Association found that seniors who had sufficient Vitamin D and calcium in their diet reduced their risk of hip fractures alone by 16%. To achieve the best results, all adults over 60 should combine the recommended dose of 1000 IU per day with 1,200 mg of calcium.

#2 – Helps prevent infection and cancers

Vitamin D is a great nutrient for disease prevention, helping to reduce risks for everything from cancers to the flu. That’s because it works to strengthen the immune system, helping to fight against everyday diseases, as well as targeting specific health conditions like colon cancer. In fact, a global study from 25 different clinical trials showed natural, antibiotic-like responses in the body being promoted by Vitamin D intake!

#3 – Great for oral health

Dental care can be a challenge for seniors, but getting the right amount of Vitamin D each day can help make this a little easier. Vitamin D helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and lowers your risk of oral health diseases. That’s because it works to help your body absorb calcium, the critical building block for strong, healthy, decay-resistant teeth.

#4 – Enhances your mental wellbeing

In countries with little sunlight for months on end, Vitamin D is prescribed to help lift your mood and prevent SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. For seniors, Vitamin D is especially effective for combatting depression and depressive symptoms, improving mental health, sleep quality, and overall happiness.

Signs of a Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiencies are quite common in older adults. Especially if they have a small appetite or spend little time outside. Common signs for this deficiency include:

  1. Muscle weakness and bone breaks/frailty.
  2. Changes in mood and cognitive function, as well as depressive symptoms.
  3. Weight gain, as lower amounts of Vitamin D can cause poor regulation of appetite and body weight.
  4. Fatigue and pain in the shoulders, pelvis, lower back and ribcage.
  5. Digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

How seniors can get enough Vitamin D

Ideally, adults should get around 1000 IU per day, and the earlier this begins, the better. You can make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D by:

  • Taking supplements – Preferably a high-quality Vitamin D supplement that contains calcium.
  • Spending time outdoors – Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, so spending time outside is a great way to get your daily dose. You can gently expose your skin while still protecting it from harmful UV rays. Early morning sunshine is the most gentle on the skin. It’s also good to sit in dappled sunlight, wear a hat and use sunscreen daily.
  • Change your diet – There are certain foods that are rich in Vitamin D and can help supplement your intake. Try to include fresh milk, salmon, tuna, mushrooms, egg yolks and cheeses like fontina, muenster and monterey into your diet.

At Bristol Glen, an assisted living community in Sussex County, New Jersey, we offer spacious apartments that incorporate fall prevention measures, and that are just a short walk from beautiful outdoor spaces like our community garden. We also offer full catering, with nutritious meals prepared by our chefs that meet all dietary requirements. With ample opportunities to get outdoors and change your diet at Bristol Glen, there’s no reason why our senior residents can’t get enough Vitamin D!

If you want to find out more about our assisted living community in NJ, you can view our community virtual tours, read about our services and much more on our website at: https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

Summer Fun in Sussex County

CCRC Sussex County NJ

We hope you’ve been out and about enjoying the beautiful summer weather with family and friends! If you’re looking to get mom or dad out more this summer, or if you’re looking for a fun event that the whole family can enjoy  – we have options for you! Without further ado, here are some great options for sharing the summer fun with your senior loved ones, from our Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Sussex County, New Jersey.

  1. 6th Annual NJ Taco Festival. This taco festival is a fantastic day out for anyone who loves the spice of life! Enjoy the best taco trucks in town, meet celebrity chefs and food writers, stock up on artisanal sauces and treats, enjoy live music, watch a beauty pageant, and see contestants go head-to-head in the Reaper Pepper Eating Challenge – if you’re brave enough to watch!

  2. 2021 Annual Charity Golf Outing. If your mom or dad loves to get out and spend a day on the green, there’s no better day to do it than the Annual Charity Golf Outing in support of the Sarala Bathena Foundation. Hosted at Crystal Springs in Hamburg, you get to enjoy a day at one of the top-rated public courses in the state. Donations will go towards supporting restaurant workers in New Jersey and New York, bringing a little sunshine into people’s lives after a tough year!

  3. Support the Sussex County Minors. Nothing says “summer” quite like baseball, so  pack up the kids, grandparents, and cousins for a fun day out at the ballpark supporting the Sussex County Minors! The season runs until September 12th with home games at the EDT Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ, so it’s easy to find a weekend that suits everyone. Remember, on Saturdays there are usually fireworks too!

  4. Lake Hopatcong Historical Cruise. Learn about the history of Lake Hopatcong with historian Marty Kane as you gently cruise along the lake on a beautiful summer’s day. This 2-hour cruise is a great opportunity to dive into local history as you enjoy the sunset. There’s a bar and snacks available on board, and this year you can reserve an appetizer with your ticket purchase, so you won’t go hungry!

  5. Lots of Strings Festival at Morris Museum. This outdoor event transforms the museum’s parking lot into a theatre for an exceptional musical performance. Featuring the most acclaimed ensembles from members of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as Imani Winds and Ethel, this live music event is a must-see for anyone who loves classical string music. Bring your loved ones, a picnic basket filled with summer goodies and enjoy the sunset along with some of the best string music in the world.

  6. A New View—Camden. If your senior parent is up for a weekend away or a longer day trip, you can enjoy an outdoor art extravaganza at “A New View – Camden.” Launched on Earth Day and funded by a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant to bring awareness to the environmental issue of illegal dumping, this striking, outdoor art exhibit is in the area for 6 months over the summer. Along with the exhibit, there are a series of family-friendly events offered, including movie nights, the Trenton Circus Squad, biking and walking events.

  7. The New Jersey State Fair. Who doesn’t love a state fair? Open rain or shine this August (and with free parking too), this is the ultimate summer event for all ages. Enjoy petting zoos, carnival rides, art exhibits, the Sussex County horse show, and – of course – the best food in the state from dawn until dusk. Pack your sunscreen, walking shoes and remember to stay hydrated!

Our CCRC in Newton, NJ, is a beautiful and welcoming space for seniors. Whether you have just retired or are looking for additional care, our community allows you to retain your independence and scale care services according to your needs. Bristol Glen also has many opportunities for socialization with a pre scheduled monthly calendar filled with fun activities on campus and in the nearby community.

For more information on Bristol Glen, our services, and how we support independent style living for seniors in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

What is Respite? How Does it Work at Bristol Glen?

Respite Care Sussex County NJ

Are you a dedicated family caregiver who needs a break from caregiving in order to recharge, travel for work, or to take a family vacation? Or is your senior loved one interested in trying out a senior living community before committing to making the move OR before making this important commitment?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, respite care is the ideal solution for your senior loved one. Here is how respite care works at our assisted living community in Sussex County, NJ.

Why opt for respite care?

Respite care is a senior care service where a qualified and experienced caregiver takes over the care of your loved one temporarily. At Bristol Glen, this means moving into our beautiful assisted living community as a temporary resident, whether it’s for a week or a month.

 Respite is a useful support service for family caregivers, and is often used in situations where:

  • Your loved one temporarily needs a higher level of skilled nursing care or assistance (bathing, medication management, or wound care) after an illness or surgery
  • You are going on holiday and need a professional caregiver to take over temporarily
  • You need to take a break from caregiving in order to regroup and recharge
  • Because you are ill/unable to care for your loved one temporarily

It’s also a great way to explore the option of moving into assisted living permanently. As a respite care resident, your loved one gets to experience exactly what it’s like to live full-time in an assisted living community – to try out the food, see the apartments and community areas, and get to know associates and other residents.

A respite stay is commitment-free, so it eliminates a lot of the worry and concern that can come with considering a move to a senior living community. It’s one of the best ways to give seniors and their families a clear idea of what these communities are really like.

Here’s how respite care works at Bristol Glen

Located in a beautiful natural setting, Bristol Glen consistently works to create a vibrant community that is both safe and full of activity. We encourage independent and abundant senior living, with spacious apartments, communal areas, and active event calendars. Our dining room is even catered by award-winning chefs!

As a respite resident, your senior loved one will experience the community to its fullest. Whether they need skilled nursing care 24 hours a day, or they are looking for a way to meet people and have a full social life, Bristol Glen can tailor care accordingly to the respite resident.

Residents have plenty of choices in terms of what activities they prefer, how much assistance they want with daily tasks, and how they want to participate in our community. It’s all about creating the most independent lifestyle possible, with options that adhere to each personality type, medical need, and social interest.

We’re as dedicated to supporting the loved ones of our residents as we are to our residents themselves. Focusing on our goal of providing family members with excellent communication and peace of mind, we have introduced the latest technology (iPads, tablets) to each resident for easy contact with their families, no matter where they are in the world.

Want to find out more about respite care at UMC at Bristol Glen?

If you’d like to find out more about how respite care works and how it can benefit both you and your loved one, please contact United Methodist Communities today or visit our website at: https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

5 Senior Dance Routines to Try Out

Senior Dance Routine NJ

Let’s dance! Not only is it fun, but dance is also a great way for seniors to burn calories, increase heart rate, lower stress levels, and stay active. If in-person classes aren’t currently being offered in your community, remember that you can still dance the night away in the comfort of your living room! Our senior caregivers in Sussex County have put together 5 low-impact dance exercises for seniors to try out. These exercises can be easily modified to every fitness level and require little to no equipment.

Safety note: seniors should consult a primary care doctor or professional trainer before performing any new exercise routines.

#1 – Ballroom dancing

The classics are a great place to start when you’re just learning how to dance, and the foxtrot and waltz aren’t just elegant – they’re fun too! With simple steps that you can practice easily at home, ballroom lessons can be an escape to a more romantic time. So, put on your best dress or suit and get ready to get swept away. Here is a great beginners dance video tutorial that you can play on your Smart TV, computer or tablet if classes aren’t available in your area.

#2 – Square dancing

If you haven’t got a lot of space but still want to boogie, square dancing is the way to go! There are plenty of outdoor spaces where classes can be held in the beautiful summer weather, but you’ll also have plenty of room on a patio, in an activity room, or even in your own living room. The best thing about square dancing is that a caller tells you what to do and when to do it, so learning the steps is easy for anyone. Here are a series of square dancing video tutorials that teach you all the beginner moves. Cowboy boots are optional.

#3 – Latin dancing

Latin dancing is often included in ballroom dancing, but we think it deserves its own spot. While the foxtrot and waltz are very elegant and refined, Latin dances like the cha-cha, jive, paso doble, salsa, rumba and samba are all about expressing yourself through the rhythm. Fun, joyful and perfect for the summer, these dances are easy to learn and the perfect way to reignite your spirit! Here’s a quick video tutorial for beginner’s salsa.

#4 – Zumba

Zumba is for seniors who have a good level of fitness and love to get their cardio exercise in with as much energy as possible. Rather than running on a treadmill, spinning or swimming, Zumba helps you work up a sweat through dancing. There are lots of different classes, so be sure to pick one that features the music you like and a pace that works for your fitness level. You can also give Zumba a try at home. There are many instructors who offer classes virtually, as well as some great prerecorded video classes on YouTube.

#5 – Jazzercise

Did you know that jazzercise has been going strong since 1969? It’s now a worldwide exercise trend, with classes for different levels of ability. Like Zumba and other dance classes, jazzercise is all about having a bit of a party while you work out. It combines moves from yoga, hip hop, pilates and even kickboxing for a high-intensity workout that keeps muscles fit, bodies flexible, and faces smiling. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to look for classes that are specifically for seniors or are labeled low-impact or low-intensity. This will give you a chance to explore this fun fitness movement without putting yourself at risk for injury.

At Bristol Glen, we’re all about independent senior living, and that includes staying fit and having fun. We know that senior dancing improves health at our Newton CCRC, and we have a schedule full of events and classes designed to keep you fit, stress-free, and enjoying life. All classes are planned with a close eye on hygiene and safety in accordance with CDC guidelines, so please contact us to get the most up-to-date schedule for senior dance classes in NJ.

If you’d like to find out more about Bristol Glen and the other senior living experiences and amenities we offer, please visit our website at: https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Signs & Treatments

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Spring is here and although we all like to have fun in the sun, it’s important to take the proper precautions to prevent skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the USA, with more people being treated for skin cancer than all the other types of cancer combined!

It most often develops on skin that has been exposed to the sun, although it can occur on other parts of the skin. Although it can be quite minor, it’s important not to dismiss how serious skin cancer can be. That’s why our care team in Sussex County has put together a useful guide for Skin Cancer Awareness Month to help raise awareness about preventing and treating skin cancer in seniors.

Symptoms of skin cancer

Like many cancers, early detection is critical to treating skin cancer, so it’s very important to be aware of all the signs and symptoms.

Skin cancer can appear to be:

  • Waxy-looking or pearly-looking bumps
  • Flat, brown lesions that look like scars
  • Sores that keep bleeding, scabbing and returning
  • Firm red nodules
  • Flat lesions that have a crusty surface
  • Lesions that itch, burn and feel painful
  • Lesions with an irregular border, with red, pink, white or blue portions
  • Moles that change size, color, texture or bleed

You are at an increased risk of skin cancer if you spend a lot of time in the sun (especially without sun protection), have had sunburns in the past, have fair skin, if you have moles, or if you have a family history of skin cancer.

Treatments for skin cancer

Skin cancer starts on the surface layer of the skin – the epidermis. This is the thin, protective layer of your skin that gets burned if you’re out in the sun too long. It’s made up of three types of cells — the squamous cells, basal cells and melanocytes — and treatment depends on which cells are affected and how far the cancer has progressed. In many early cases, the cancer can be cut out, burned off or otherwise removed. In later stages, patients may need radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, especially if it has moved into the lymph nodes or other organs.

Skin cancer prevention tips for seniors

Of course, prevention is always better than a cure. Fortunately, many cases of skin cancer are preventable! Here are some effective ways to prevent skin cancer:

  • Sunscreen – Use a high SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen every day, all year round. When applying sunscreen, make sure to focus on your face, neck, hands, arms and legs since you can even burn in cloudy weather!
  • Sun protection – To increase your sun protection, always wear a wide-brimmed hat outdoors. It’s also a good idea to wear a light covering over your arms and legs.
  • Shade – Don’t go outside during the periods of the day when UV (ultra violet) rays are the strongest. Between 11am and 3pm, stay indoors or in the shade.
  • Medications – Some medications, including antibiotics, can make you more sensitive to the sun. Research side-effects carefully and take extra precautions when taking new medications.
  • Self-screen – The most important thing to remember is that if you have a sore or mole on your skin that looks irregular, or is painful or bleeding – it’s best to have a doctor check it out as soon as possible.

Short-term rehab and recovery at our CCRC in Newton, NJ

Is your loved one recovering from skin cancer treatment? Bristol Glen is part of the United Methodist Communities network of independent senior living communities offering safe, professional short-term rehab services in New Jersey.

We’re proud to say that we’ve recently earned a place on the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes and Short-Stay Rehabilitation Lists, reflecting our dedication to exceptional COVID-19 protocols, the quality of our nursing and therapy associates onsite, our fall prevention initiatives, our discharge rates and much more.

If you are looking for post-operative or post-hospitalization care for your loved one, then please contact United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

6 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in a CCRC

Mother's Day in a CCRC

Mother’s Day is coming up quick on May 9th! If your mother is in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or retirement community, this is a great opportunity to treat her to something special, enjoy the warm spring weather and just spend quality time together.

Depending on COVID-19 protocols, here are some ideas on how to celebrate with your mother this year, from United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, our CCRC in Newton, NJ. Check with Bristol Glen for the latest information.

1.  Bring Mother’s Day to her. If you are concerned about COVID-19 or your mother has a medical condition that makes it difficult for her to leave the CCRC, then bring the celebrations to her! Order take out from her favorite restaurant, pack gifts and family members into the car and you’re all set for a special day together. It’s also a good idea to bring some entertainment too, like cards, board games, or movies, especially if you’re bringing the grandkids along.

2.  A nice family meal. Over the last year or so, none of us have been able to celebrate with our families the way we’d like to. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to get everyone together for a home cooked family meal. It’s a chance to make something really special, so plan a menu of her favorite foods, dress the table up with beautiful centerpieces and décor, and celebrate together in style.

3.  A relaxing day at the nail salon or spa. Who doesn’t enjoy being pampered? As we all get older, it becomes a little bit more challenging to keep up with manicures and pedicures, so why not treat your mom to a little bit of luxury? Remember to look around at local spas to see if they have senior specials or Mother’s Day packages, and you can even get a specialist to do a home visit if you feel more comfortable not going out.

4.  Visit a local farm, park or garden. We’re all very happy to see spring has finally arrived, and what better way to enjoy it than outdoors among the flowers? Take a day trip out to botanical gardens, like the New Jersey Botanical Garden, or the Van Vleck House and Gardens to enjoy the blossoms, fresh air and sunshine together. Another good idea is to visit a local park or farm like Windy Brow Farms to get out into the countryside and pick up some farm-fresh produce and goodies for a picnic.

5.  Go “hunting for treasure.” If you and your mother love to browse antiques and look for hidden treasures, then Mother’s Day is the perfect day for a little shopping trip! Plan a route through some of the best antique stores near Newton, complete with stops for lunch and snacks, and enjoy a day of bargain hunting together. You’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for her along the way!

6.  Plan a remote celebration. If you don’t live nearby and can’t get to your mother to celebrate together, you can still make the day very special for her. Send a care package full of all her favorite goodies, including chocolates, flowers, favorite treats, a soft robe and slippers. Set up a Skype or Zoom session with her and have the whole family join in. Near or far, there is always a safe way to connect with Mom.

Independent living at our continuing care retirement community in Newton, NJ

Bristol Glen is part of the United Methodist Community network, a collection of senior living and assisted living communities in New Jersey dedicated to supporting abundant, independent living.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not only working hard to keep your loved ones safe and healthy, but we’re also doing our best to keep families connected. If you would like to treat your loved one this Mother’s Day or would like to inquire further about our care services, just give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to help! You can also find out more about UMC at Bristol Glen by visiting our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/

5 Ways Seniors Can Manage Stress

Whether we like it or not, stress happens at every stage of life. Stress even affects older adults who are entering their retirement years. For instance, some seniors worry about a possible decline in their health, mobility, and independence. It is also a common source of stress to worry about who will take care of them. This is made more challenging because as we age, the way our bodies handle stress can change, impacting concentration, sleep quality, physical health and illnesses. As a result, good stress management is important for anyone, especially seniors. Here are some ways that seniors can effectively manage stress levels, from the team at our Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in New Jersey.

How stress affects health and quality of life

Stress isn’t an emotional state or mood, it’s a safety mechanism. When something happens that is negative or upsetting, our brain reacts as if threatened. It releases cortisol, the stress hormone, that floods through the body’s nervous system, muscles and organs to ready you to fight off the threat. This hormone increases heart rhythm and blood pressure, releases glucose into the bloodstream, and shuts down your digestive system so that the body can make muscles ready for fight or flight, and reduce the immune response.

This reaction is all well and good when you’re facing a potential threat, like coming across a grizzly on a nature trail – but it’s a lot less helpful when the source of your stress is concern for a loved one, health condition, or financial burden. Our bodies and brains just can’t tell the difference.

As a result of the many pressures and concerns of daily life, many people are living with constant stress. Such an intense reaction that is supposed to help us survive in dangerous situations and only last a few minutes is something we live with for days, weeks, and months instead.

This has a big impact on our health and quality of life. Consistently elevated cortisol levels can trigger anxiety, depression, mood swings, problems with digestion, weight gain, insomnia and more. So, what can seniors do?

How to manage stress as a senior

  1. Know your stress triggers.  First, identify what is stressing you out. It may not be what you think – your anxiety over bills, for example, may disguise itself as frustration with others. The only way to deal with stress is to understand the root cause.

  2. Speak up. Different types of therapies work for different people, so try to find one that works for you. Talking to a therapist about what is causing your stress is the first step in managing it, and releasing it.

  3. Get moving.  Physical exercise cannot resolve the issue that is causing your stress, but it can be very effective at alleviating negative emotions. Getting your heart rate up for about 30 minutes a day by walking, doing yoga, swimming, or dancing is a real mood booster.

  4. Lean on someone.  Stress doesn’t have to be something you deal with alone. Talking to a friend or loved one can help a lot – whether you are talking about your stress directly or not. Closely knit social bonds help make us feel stronger, more purposeful and less lonely.

  5. Have a laugh.  Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it sure comes pretty close! Laughing with a friend, or at a TV show/novel has immediate and impressive effects on our physical and mental health. It stimulates good oxygen circulation through the body, relieves the stress response, soothes tension and even helps with pain relief and immune system function.

Safe and easygoing community for seniors in Newton, NJ

Bristol Glen is a CCRC in Newton, NJ, with beautiful grounds, apartments and plenty of amenities that support independent living for seniors. It’s a great place for seniors to stay healthy, active and stress-free, and the COVID-19 protocols ensure that everyone gets the assistance they need in their daily life while staying safe. If you are looking for a welcoming, safe community for yourself or a senior loved one, contact us today or visit our website at: https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/