Category Archives: Blog

Why Seniors Prefer Short-Term Rehab at an Assisted Living Community

While some seniors move into assisted living on a permanent basis, others move in to recover from an injury, illness or surgery. Otherwise known as short-term rehabilitation. This short-term service is a great opportunity for seniors to experience professional therapy in a safe, welcoming community setting, before returning back home. It can also be a prime opportunity for your senior loved one to experience assisted living firsthand, and see if this is something they would like full-time. With that said, here’s more on what makes short-term rehab offered by leading assisted living communities such a desirable option.

Professional caregivers onsite, 24 hours a day

When recovering from an illness or surgery, seniors need a much higher level of care than they usually would. Often, family members are unable to provide this either because their loved one needs professional nursing care and a high level of assistance or because full time care at home isn’t possible due to work and other commitments.

In an assisted living community, all the care services a senior would need are already onsite and available 24 hours a day. These professionals have the necessary training and experience to properly care for seniors who are recovering from a wide range of health conditions, such as  a serious fall, heart operation, pneumonia, a hip replacement, and more. They can assist with daily tasks of living as well, like bathing, dressing, and feeding, all while ensuring your senior parent’s recovery stays on track.

Onsite rehabilitation and therapy

Similarly, there are also a wide range of therapists onsite and available to meet their rehabilitation needs for physical, speech, respiratory, and occupational therapy. This means that seniors using assisted living for short-term stays get the benefit of trained therapists coming directly to them – no need to source professionals, make appointments, organize transport or perform complex exercises at home.

This is as convenient for patients as it is for their family caregivers, ensuring they get a high quality rehabilitation program that helps to accelerate the healing process, build strength, and recover more effectively from their illness or operation.

Senior-safe living spaces

Unlike assisted living communities, the standard home is not usually designed to prioritize the needs of seniors. While seniors may usually be independent at home, this changes when they are recovering from a surgery or illness. Stairs, bathrooms, and other everyday tasks can become serious obstacles to a recovering senior. The last thing anyone wants is the additional complication of a fall.

Staying at an assisted living community for the recovery period effectively removes this challenge. The entire community – from the communal areas to the apartments – are designed to meet the needs of seniors. Fall risks are reduced as much as possible through the combination of room design, grab bars, 24-hour alert pendants, other equipment like wheelchairs and walkers, and the constant assistance of the care team themselves.

An opportunity to experience assisted living

As anyone with a senior parent knows, there can be a lot of resistance to the idea of moving into an assisted living community. Although your loved one may believe, deep down, that it could be the right choice for them, it’s normal to initially reject the idea. Change is much harder when you’re older, especially when it feels like giving up a part of your life and independence.

Staying in an assisted living facility for short-term rehabilitation is an easier bridge for a senior (as well as their families!) to cross when broaching the subject of moving. Not only will your senior family member receive excellent care, but they will also experience other essential assisted living services firsthand. It’s important to remember that a reputable assisted living community is focused on each resident’s quality of life, and helps them maintain as much independence as possible. A short-term stay gives patients a chance to experience daily life in the community without the pressure of an immediate decision to move permanently. 

Short-term rehab in Sussex County, NJ

UMC at Bristol Glen is 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 the quality of our short-term rehabilitation services, including the expertise of our associates and medical professionals on-site. As a full-service senior community, our aim is to offer everything seniors need to live a full and independent life. From comfortable apartments and beautiful outdoor spaces to qualified, compassionate caregivers, we offer seniors the resources and care they need to meet their recovery goals. 

If you or a loved one is looking for post-operative or post-hospitalization care, please contact a care advisor at Bristol Glen today or visit our website at 

5 Valentine’s Day DIY Crafts for Seniors

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – and it’s not just for teenagers and newlyweds! It’s the perfect opportunity to show your elderly loved ones just how much you appreciate them. 

Loneliness and social isolation are very real issues for seniors, especially during the colder months and the current pandemic. With that said, Valentine’s Day crafts are a great way to connect and have a little fun together, even if you have to send socially-distant hugs and kisses over Zoom.

#1 – Homemade Cards

Nothing says “Valentine’s Day” quite like a card! Gather plenty of goodies from the craft store, including card paper, markers, glue, glitter, ribbons, and heart-shaped stickers, and set up a crafting station at a large table. Set the tone with a playlist of love songs along with plenty of heart-shaped cookies and snacks. 

You can choose to make cards for everyone at the table, for senior neighbors, the local senior living community, or even the troops! 

If your senior loved ones are socially-distancing at a senior living community, you can send them a gift basket of crafting materials, set up a Zoom or Skype call and craft together. When the last heart has been glued on and the glitter settles, you can send your Valentine’s Day cards through to them in a lovely gift basket.

#2 – Heartfelt Picture Frames

Valentine’s Day is all about treasuring those you love and remembering great memories together, which is why this project is perfect. Select some photographs of your loved ones and your family, get a basic photo frame from the store, and spend the day decorating it with your senior loved one. When it’s fully transformed into a love-filled frame, all you have to do is find the perfect spot for this great new memory!

Again, if you have to do this remotely you need to get a little creative. Maybe you can pick your favorite photo memory of your loved one and they can pick theirs, then you can both surprise each other with a gift after a day of crafting together on Zoom or Skype.

#3 – Tasty Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is also a great day for crafting some tasty treats together! Luckily, there are plenty of delicious goodies you can easily make together as a family, including basic sugar cookies that you can paint and decorate, easy chocolate truffles that anyone can make, and the sweetest treat of all – chocolate-covered strawberries. Every time your loved one takes a bite, they’ll think of you and the lovely (and possibly messy!) day you spent together.

Because these recipes are so simple, they are easy to do remotely too. If your senior loved one struggles with baking and lives in a senior living community, try sending some sugar cookies and decorations over beforehand so that you can craft your Valentine’s Day cookies together over a video call. 

#4 – Decorations

The walls are probably looking a bit bland and boring after the Christmas decorations came down last month, but this project will change all that! Valentine’s Day decorations are cheerful, bright and easy to make, creating plenty of joy and love even while it’s so cold out. Here are a few great decorations you can make at home that are suitable for different abilities and ages:

#5 – Write a Poem

If you’d like to get creative in a different way, then it’s time to put pen to paper! Poems are traditional for Valentine’s Day and a fun way to spend time together as a family, even if it is remotely through a video chat.

Get some pens, craft paper and decorations together and get those creative juices flowing. You can have different rounds of poems to write, like funny limericks, Haikus, and even that age-old classic – roses are red. It’s a great way to share your love, make some memories and even share some laughs together. You can put a scrapbook of all your poems together at the end of the day to make a beautiful keepsake for your loved one.

Celebrating your loved one at our senior living community

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

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

5 Ways to Deal with Senior Loneliness

Senior loneliness is a very real and serious issue. Especially over the winter months and during the COVID-19 pandemic when isolating at home is safer than traveling, seeing loved ones, or even going to the grocery store. Here is some helpful advice from the team at our independent living community, Bristol Glen, on how to manage senior loneliness and why it truly matters to us.

How to manage senior loneliness

#1 – Introduce new, social hobbies. Whether they bring back an old hobby or develop a new skill, hobbies bring a sense of purpose and enjoyment into life. They keep people busy and help to form strong social connections that fight off loneliness. There are endless hobbies available to seniors of all abilities, from knitting and crocheting to yoga, tai chi, and dancing.

#2 – Passing on skills. Seniors have rich histories filled with successful careers and useful skills that can be passed onto younger generations. Mentoring programs (even ones online) are a great way to share that knowledge, feel a sense of purpose, and take part in the community. Teaching is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life. It will reinforce a senior’s sense of worth in the community, while passing on skills to people who actually want to learn them.

#3 – Light therapy. The winter months, especially after the holidays, can get anybody down! With dark, short days, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can easily make you feel tired, unmotivated, unenergetic, and sad. It’s an easy disorder to treat – all they need is a little bit of light therapy! Going into the sunlight for as little as 20 minutes a day boosts serotonin (the happiness hormone) and increases Vitamin D production, which is important for bone and general health. It’s a bit cold outside for older adults at the moment, but sitting in a sunny spot indoors has the same effect. You can also get a SAD light that has a special lightbulb that emits the same light as gentle rays.

#4 – Adopting a pet. If your senior loved one is fairly fit and mobile, adopting a pet is a fantastic option. There are so many benefits apart from companionship. Seniors with pets have healthier blood pressure levels and pulse rates, report 21% fewer trips to the doctor, suffer less with depression and are more motivated to live healthier lives for their fur babies. Pets are also a great way to meet people, and to help someone through the loss of a loved one.

#5 – Creating a Support Network. Creating a network of family, friends, and neighbors will help keep your loved one to be an active part of your social group. Everyone has busy lives these days, but having a support network will help everyone stay connected more easily. Great ideas include a daily check-in call or text from a neighbor, nearby family member or friend, and weekly family video meetings to catch up on the latest news in everyone’s life. 

As a senior living community, we know the importance of connection and take steps to manage senior loneliness. It’s one of the reasons why the social aspect of a senior community is every bit as important as the medical aspect. Here at Bristol Glen, we do everything possible for seniors to live a life that enhances them – mind, body, and soul. 

For more information on our senior care services in Bristol Glen, please contact us today or visit our website at:

COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments

In November 2020, exciting news arrived about COVID-19 vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna reported that their vaccines were showing highly effective results. This news was especially good to hear as many parts of the world braced for a strong resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Here is some insight into the current guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on what we all should know about vaccination protocols as we move into 2021.

What every person should know about the COVID-19 vaccines

  • Safety first – Despite the significant pressure to develop an effective vaccine, no vaccination process will be approved for emergency use unless it is considered as safe as possible. We’re all impatient for the pandemic to end, but the last thing anyone wants is to put people at unnecessary risk.

  • Vaccine treatment processes will be flexible – The CDC will work with healthcare associations in each state to develop flexible processes for delivering the vaccine to ensure a steady, efficient rollout. This is about planning for many different possibilities, so be prepared for plans, treatments, and processes to change a bit as new circumstances develop.

  • What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) – Under emergency situations like the current pandemic,  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes vaccines for distribution. You can learn more about EUA here.

  • Supply of vaccines may be limited – At first, the supply of the vaccine will be limited, and demand will be exceptionally high. Fortunately, the federal government continues to work with vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production and get the necessary logistics in place in order to immunize large groups of people. Remember, this is a vaccination process unlike any other in history, so it won’t be immediately available at every local doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.

  • Vaccines will be prioritized – Because it will be impossible to vaccinate everyone at the same time, the most vulnerable groups  will get priority . This includes seniors in congregate living settings, frontline workers, hospital personnel, older adults with serious health conditions, and other high-exposure and at-risk groups. Vaccine treatments will become more widely available after these groups receive the shot first.

  • The vaccine will be free – Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers (such as your local pharmacy) will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shots.  Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the vaccine recipient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured associates, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

Health and safety comes first at United Methodist Communities 

It’s important to be patient during this time and to focus on the fact that a viable, safe vaccine is on its way. The last year has been frightening and frustrating, but we all have it in us to keep going and to stay focused on what really matters. While we wait for our opportunity to get the vaccine, it is important to continue our protective habits – to wear our masks, wash our hands, social distance with those we love, and most importantly, keep checking on the seniors in our local community. 

At Bristol Glen, a senior living community in New Jersey, we understand that this is a concerning time for families with vulnerable loved ones. We’re here to help in any way we can, by providing a safe, supportive environment where the health of our residents and associates come first.

 For more information on who we are and how we’re working to keep our seniors safe, contact us today or visit our website at: 

How We Overcame The Challenges of 2020

After the year we’ve had, it’s safe to say we all deserve an extra special celebration this New Year’s Eve! However, the one good thing we can say about this year is that the challenges have taught us so much. Some of us learned a new trade skill, while others discovered a whole new perspective on life.

Most of all, this year taught us how to bring our community and residents closer together, therefore showing us that we do have the power to bring about positive change. Here’s how we’ve grown, become stronger, and faced new challenges this year at our independent living community in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Togetherness and community through technology

The teams and residents at UMC at Bristol Glen took to technology like ducks to water, and found new ways to keep seniors connected with family and friends throughout the pandemic. We understand how important social activities are to the mental and physical health of older adults, as well as their quality of life. And with the help of technology like Skype, Zoom, and Teams, we were able to keep our residents engaged with one another and connected to their families outside the community.

Technology also played a great role in keeping our residents entertained and up-to-date with the outside world during quarantine. Museums, galleries, tourist sites and theaters opened their virtual doors during the pandemic, allowing viewers to travel the world, tour natural and man-made wonders, and see magnificent productions from the safety and comfort of their homes via smartphones, computers, and tablets. In this way, our community not only stayed in touch with the outside world, but also grew and explored new sights – thus creating treasured memories during this challenging time.

Exceptional frontline workers in an exceptional community

Safety during the coronavirus became top priority at our independent living community due to the risks the virus poses for adults over 60 years old (especially those with preexisting medical conditions). With that said, one of our proudest recollections of 2020 is our industry-leading standard for infection control, cleanliness and hygiene developed to not only combat COVID-19, but also other infectious outbreaks. UNITEDforSAFETY is our continued commitment to keep the health, well-being, and safety of our residents, associates, and volunteers at the forefront of the UMC experience.

We are also very appreciative of the way our associates, residents, their families and the greater community pulled together under these stressful conditions to prioritize the safety of seniors. First, the understanding given by families who adapted to our protocols and visitation policies  to prevent transmission, which  helped keep COVID-19 cases to a minimum. Followed by the exceptional efforts from our frontline workers to care for and protect seniors in quarantine. We truly have seen, and continue to see the power of the Bristol Glen community coming together. 

True courage seen in the residents of Bristol Glen

Although we won’t be sad to say goodbye to 2020, our residents should be proud of the way they have risen to the many challenges brought on by this year. They  showed true strength and dedication amid  the challenges of COVID-19 and social isolation. Our residents inspire us to keep providing an abundant lifestyle for all seniors. 

We wish all our Bristol Glen residents, families and the surrounding community a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Are you looking for a senior community for your parents or loved one? Bristol Glen is a full-service community that provides individualized care for all residents, while also encouraging the most abundant senior lifestyle. If you want to find out more about our independent living community in Sussex County, New Jersey, please contact us today at:

5 DIY Holiday Decorations to Craft with Family

The holiday season is here! While the 2020 holiday season may not be like any other that we’ve experienced (festive face masks and Santa hand sanitizer, anyone?), there’s still plenty of fun to be had. We all deserve something a bit special this year, especially the seniors that are near and dear to us.

With that said, crafting unique Christmas decorations presents an opportunity to bond with the special older adults in your life (socially distant, of course). Here are some affordable holiday crafting ideas from our assisted living team in Sussex County, New Jersey.

DIY Project #1 – Cupcake Wrapper Garlands

Who doesn’t love cupcakes and Christmas trees? Cupcake wrappers are easy to find at almost every grocery store, and there are some festive options. Here’s what to do:

  • Fold your cupcake wrapper in half, then fold in half again to make a triangle shape, keeping the frilly edge at the bottom.
  • Repeat with two more cupcake wrappers.
  • Stack them one on top of the other, arranging and overlapping them to make the shape of a Christmas tree. Glue each wrapper into place as you work up the tree.
  • Glue on a small glittery star or snowflake from your local craft store to make the star on the top of the tree.
  • Glue on some twine so that it can be attached to a Christmas tree. Or secure a bunch of cupcake trees onto a line of twine to create a garland for doorways and hallways.

DIY Project #2 – Candle Jars

Candles make any space feel cozy and special, especially when it’s cold and snowy outside. These candle jars are safe, decorative additions that are perfect for a window ledge, fireplace mantle or the Christmas table.

  • Collect large mason jars and good-size candles (look for holiday-scented candles for an extra seasonal touch).
  • Place small pebbles or beach sand at the base of the jar to help keep the candle stable.
  • Place the candle inside the jar, nestled into the small pebbles or beach sand.
  • Add cinnamon sticks or dried oranges for extra scent, keeping them around the base of the candle (well away from the flame).

DIY Project #3 – A Festive Table Garland

This is a fun project you can do well in advance of Christmas dinner – and is also an opportunity to go outside for some fresh air.

  • Visit your favorite outdoor spots with the kids and grandparents a few days or even a week before Christmas. If you plan on visiting a public tree farm, please call ahead to see if they’re operating under new COVID-19 procedures. 
  • Gather pine cones, soft, green pine boughs, holly, and mistletoe.
  • Pick the cleanest pinecones to paint in gold, silver or white and keep the rest for the fireplace or to make homemade bird feeders at a later time.
  • Get some cheap material to make oversized fabric bows (red and white gingham is a festive option).
  • Assemble your table wreath down the center of the table, then mix together the greenery, painted pinecones, bows, and berries to create a natural-looking holiday centerpiece.

The scent from this craft will fill the home for the whole week, and will continue to look fresh for Christmas day.

DIY Project #4 – Christmas Ribbon Ornaments

This is an easy project tailored to young children, and also a great opportunity for them to spend time crafting with their grandparents (even if it’s done virtually).

  • Get ribbons from your local craft store. Look for the ones that are already assembled into those traditional, star-shaped gift bows. You can match the colors to your holiday décor for the season.
  • Get some Styrofoam balls that are the same size as your other Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Glue the ribbons to the Styrofoam balls to cover the entire surface, mixing and matching colors as you go. 
  • Tie a piece of twine around the ball and it’s ready to hang on the tree!

DIY Project #5 – Salt Dough Ornaments

Kids love to make classic, affordable salt dough decorations! They are an ideal way to keep everyone busy and let those creative minds fly free. It’s easy to prepare, non-toxic and safe for younger children, too.

  • Make your salt dough by mixing 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of water. Mix until it’s properly combined and feels like Play-Doh. 
  • Form a ball of dough and knead for 5 minutes, then roll it out to about a ¼ thickness.
  • Get a range of festive cookie cutters from your local store and cut out shapes.
  • Bake at 200 degrees until the dough is dry and hardened.
  • Then decorate them with paint and press-on rhinestones. 
  • Once dry, hang them up with twine on your Christmas tree.

With these fun projects to inspire you, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, gather supplies, and get your closest loved ones together to make this season as joyful as possible.

At UMC at Bristol Glen, we’re committed to making this holiday season special for our residents and their families. If you’d like to find out what we’re doing for the holidays or to see if we’re the right assisted living option in Sussex County, New Jersey, for your loved one, contact us today at:

Breast Cancer and Older Adults

October is one of the most important months on our awareness calendar – Breast Cancer Awareness Month! After all, all American women have a 12% chance of being diagnosed with this disease, which tragically accounts for over 42,000 deaths each year.

Raising awareness about this disease and screening can help change this. Let’s take a look at how this type of cancer affects senior women, recent breast cancer research and how modern treatment is advancing to help fight this disease.

Does Breast Cancer Affect Senior Women?

Breast cancer can affect women of any age, but your risks get higher as you age. In fact, women who are 60 have a 9% chance of getting breast cancer in the next 20 years of life. Women who enter menopause later, around 55 years old, have a slightly higher risk too. Today, about half of all new diagnoses of breast cancer are women over 60, with another 20% coming from women over 70 years old.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however – in a really interesting study by Harvard Medical School, researchers found that your risks of getting breast cancer start to decrease once you get 80 candles on your birthday cake! That is a good reason to celebrate turning 80.

Early Screening and Diagnosis is Critical

While not particularly enjoyable, mammograms and screening procedures are critical to catching cancer at its most treatable stages when survival rates are highest. For senior women, keeping up with these screening procedures is so important. The Centers for Disease Control recommend annual screening for all women age 50-74 at least every two years. Screening can include:

  • Mammogram – This is an x-ray of the breast and is the most effective way of detecting early signs of breast cancer.
  • Breast MRI – This process uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce an image of the breast, usually recommended if you have a high-risk of getting cancer.
  • Clinical breast exam – Here, the breast is physically examined by a doctor or nurse who use their hands to feel for lumps in the tissue. You can also perform a similar exam at home. After all, you’re most familiar with your own body, so a regular home exam will ensure you spot changes such as lumps, pain or swelling first.

Sadly, women over 65 have lower survival rates than younger women and also have increased risks of recurrence. As a result, it’s important to grit your teeth and get that screening procedure done, even if you’re feeling fine.

Treatment Changes with Age

 Depending on the type of breast cancer and stage of the disease, younger women may require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but treatment can change with age and depends on other factors like general health.

For example, research has found that women over 70 with small, estrogen-sensitive tumors can usually have them surgically removed with no need for radiation or even chemotherapy. This is important because these treatments can take a significant toll on your body.

Whatever Your Age, Take Care of Your Breasts

 Any woman, especially seniors and those with a family history of breast cancer, should practice good breast health, check for lumps and speak to their doctors about any concern. Make October your mammogram month!

Bristol Glen is a CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey, with beautiful grounds, apartments and plenty of amenities that support independent living for seniors. Chat with our team today if you or your loved one are looking for assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, with a difference!

Common Questions About Paying for Senior Living

One of the most important considerations when you or a loved one is thinking about moving into assisted living is how to finance the cost. Quality senior care living is not cheap, but it’s more important to look at what benefits your money will bring rather than just focusing on a single lump sum. This will help you find a place that offers good value in terms of senior care. Here are some frequently asked questions about financing this important decision.

Will Medicare cover assisted living costs?

Currently, Medicare does not pay for assisted living. However, seniors 65 and older can pay for 100 days of skilled nursing/rehabilitation after a hospitalization through the Medicare program.

What is the most popular way to pay for senior living?

Most residents and their families finance assisted living privately through their own funds. This may involve selling a home, getting a reverse mortgage, using life insurance, or funding the costs through their 401k, investments, or retirement funds. Another popular option people choose is to rent their home, helping to keep the property itself as part of their legacy.

What is a reverse mortgage?

If you have been paying off your home for many years and have accumulated capital in this investment, you can use a reverse mortgage to access this money. You can then use this to pay for assisted living or any other senior care expenses. It is vital to research this option to see if it is viable for you or your family, as any unpaid balance owed to the bank through the mortgage will increase as you use the capital. This is a good option for people with a fair amount of capital in their home, who want to leave their home to their loved ones.

Is there additional assistance for senior veterans?

U.S. wartime veterans and their spouses can access additional support through the Aid & Assistance benefit. This is a monthly benefit that can be added to your veteran’s pension to help cover any senior living costs, including assisted living, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care.

What does a good assisted living pricing model look like?

Assisted living facilities offer different pricing models that can make financing these costs easier and help preserve your legacy for your loved ones. A good pricing model has features like:

  • Pay as you use – This means you don’t pay a flat fee for assisted living services. Instead, you only pay for the services you need. This helps cut out a lot of unnecessary expenses – especially for more for healthy, independent residents.


  • Multiple plans – Having several payment plan options helps you, , and the facility to work together to choose one that best suits your budget and needs, allowing you to get the benefits of assisted living with as little financial strain as possible.


  • Tailored amenities – In addition to allowing you to choose which assisted living services according to your needs, a good payment plan will also allow you to choose from different living options to ensure you find something that aligns with  your budget. This also allows you more freedom to live independently or with a spouse, and to move into assisted living without sacrificing your space and lifestyle. At Bristol Glen, there are five different home models, including a variety of different sized one bedroom apartments, providing a range of costs. This is real choice of options ensures finding housing that’s the right fit.

Moving into assisted living is an emotional journey that is often difficult at times, but finding a community that offers real value, gives you options and works with you to find a new space you can call home is invaluable. At our CCRC in Sussex County New Jersey, we find that working with our residents and their families to finance their move not only helps relieve the anxiety around this decision, but also demonstrates that we’re truly a non-profit that puts people first. Contact us today to talk about how we can help or visit us at


8 Warning Signs that a Senior Needs Help During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is both more important and more challenging to keep an eye on how your elderly parents are coping. While for some seniors, the signs that they need help are fairly obvious, it can be more subtle in other cases. Here are some tips for spotting these signs and preventing worst-case scenarios from our independent living team in Sussex County, NJ.

  1. Changes in mood – Take note if your parents start acting differently toward you, family members or friends, or if they exhibit extreme and unusual mood swings. This could be a sign of stress or even illness.
  2. Disorganized, messy home – If you are able to safely visit your parents to check in, take a look at the conditions inside the home. If they are usually fairly neat and clean, but now there’s a lot of mess, chaos and dirt for no specific reason, they may be struggling to cope with everyday housekeeping and chores.
  3. Confusion and uncertainty – Sure, everyone has a senior moment every now and then – even the youngsters – but if you are noticing more frequent confusion and uncertainty, especially around familiar tasks, people or locations, it may be time to get some assistance. It could simply be that there’s too much on their plate to cope with, or it could be a sign of illness.
  4. Depression and isolation – Did your mom used to be a social butterfly who usually loves being active in the community, but now won’t move from her bed or home? Or maybe your dad loved weekly virtual calls with family, but now suddenly doesn’t have the time? Seniors are very vulnerable to depression and isolation, especially during this pandemic, and may need help or medical attention. 
  5. Lack of maintenance – Sure, most of us need a little nudging to go mow the lawn, tend to the garden, or do basic repairs (or even to call the handyman), but a house that is usually cared for that’s now suffering from poor maintenance is an indication that some extra help is needed.
  6. Not taking medications properly – Many seniors are on multiple medications that have specific instructions on how and when to take them, so medication management isn’t always easy. However, if your parent has missed medication, taken too many doses or forgotten if they have taken their medication at all, this is a warning sign that puts their health at risk that you can’t ignore.
  7. Injuries and bruising – As we get older, falls and wounds become more serious and heal more slowly. If you are noticing more injuries, scratches, cuts or even falls, especially if there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for them, then your loved one may be struggling to cope with their daily life. It’s better to get help now rather than risk a serious infection, a broken hip or even a fatal fall.
  8. Poor personal and home hygiene – If you can manage a video or an in-person visit to your parents (or have a friend or neighbor check in), it’s a good opportunity to check on their ability to cope with daily hygiene for themselves and within the home. Warning signs include garbage that has not been taken out, spoilt food in the fridge or pantry, unwashed dishes and dirty bathrooms as well as poor personal hygiene.
    For many seniors, the tasks of daily living such as bathing, grooming and cleaning the home can become a significant and overwhelming challenge, and additional assistance or moving to an assisted living community can effectively relieve this burden.

Bristol Glen specializes in independent living in Sussex County, NJ, with beautiful grounds, apartments and plenty of amenities that support senior living. It is a great place for seniors to stay healthy, active and enjoy life. The COVID-19 protocols in place ensure that they get the assistance they need in their daily life in a way that helps minimize infection risk. If you recognize a number of these warning signs in your elderly parents and want to find out how we can help, contact us today.

12 Ways to Prevent Fall-Related Injuries

September 22 is Fall Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging as an opportunity to learn how to prevent fall-related injuries that affect older adults. Falls remain the greatest danger to seniors as the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency rooms, causing bruising, hip and bone fractures, head injuries, and deaths.

 Fortunately, reducing the risk of potentially fatal falls is simple when you know how! Here are some insights into this important issue from our CCRC independent senior living community in New Jersey.

What are the 7 Most Common Causes of Falls?

There are plenty of reasons why an older adult may fall in a situation that would be no trouble to someone younger. These include:

  1. Poor hearing and poor vision
  2. Illness and physical conditions that affect strength and balance
  3. Side effects of medication, including reduced alertness, sleepiness, slow reaction times, and low blood pressure (dizziness)
  4. Foot and leg pain
  5. Poor footwear and too-long clothing
  6. Clutter in the home (rugs, piles of books, etc.)
  7. Slippery surfaces


Why are Senior Falls So Serious?

Even a minor fall for a senior can have severe results. They are more likely to break a bone because bones tend to become more fragile with age, especially if they suffer from osteoporosis. Cuts and bruises occur more easily because skin and tissue are more delicate, and some medications can increase bleeding. These wounds tend to heal more slowly in the elderly, especially if they suffer from diabetes or venous insufficiency (poor circulation) increasing risk of contracting an infection and making it more difficult to fight that infection off.

Another issue that isn’t often addressed is the fear that comes with a fall. When we’re young, we bounce back quickly and usually are back to feeling invincible again as soon as we’re healed. In the elderly, a fall can be a serious shock to confidence and wellbeing. Many seniors who have a bad fall (especially if it involves a hospital stay or a long recuperation), lose confidence in their body and physical abilities. This can lead to seniors isolating themselves at home and avoiding social or physical activities, which deprives them of an active, healthy and enjoyable life.

Basic Fall Prevention

If you’re clumsy like me, you know there’s no way to 100% guarantee a fall won’t happen! But there is a lot you can do to make a fall less likely. Here are 12tips you can easily and affordably put into practice:

  1. Get some comfortable shoes with non-slip soles to wear indoors and outdoors
  2. Install additional or brighter lighting, especially by bedsides, stairs and frequently used rooms (switching to LEDs gives better light and lowers the electricity bill!)
  3. Remove or secure rugs firmly to the floor, focusing on the edges
  4. Install grab bars for the tub and shower, buy a shower chair and install a handheld shower for easy bathing
  5. If you have to wax floors, use a non-slip wax
  6. Move frequently-used items to lower shelves and avoid step ladders – ask family, handyman or a neighbor for help when needed
  7. Check medication for side effects and negative interactions, and talk to your doctor about how to take all medications through the day to minimize side effects (some may be better to take before bedtime at night, for example)
  8. Check vision and hearing once a year
  9. Treat seniors to regular pedicures to trim nails. keep feet healthy, corn and pain-free, and promote good circulation
  10. Sit before you stand to give blood pressure time to adjust and to prevent dizziness
  11. Stay active with walks, water aerobics, dancing, yoga, and more to help keep bones and muscles strong
  12. Have a medical alert that makes it easy to notify a family member of a fall and get treatment quickly


If you are especially concerned that your elderly parent is at risk of falls (especially if they have already experienced a bad fall), it may be time to consider moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community. At Bristol Glen in Sussex County, New Jersey, we offer beautiful, spacious apartments that are fitted for safety while still looking stylish and welcoming.

If you want to find out more about our community, the amenities we offer and how we’re keeping seniors safe and well through the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us today and chat to our friendly team.