Category Archives: Bristol Glen

Blog posts related to United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen.

Support for Seniors Living with Hepatitis C

July 28th is World Hepatitis Day, a great opportunity to raise awareness about seniors and hepatitis, as well as where to find professional support and assistance for your loved one. Here’s some insight and advice from our assisted living team in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Seniors and Hepatitis C

Did you know that people born between 1945 and 1965 have a much higher chance of contracting hepatitis C? That’s because this disease wasn’t well understood during that time, and people didn’t know how it was transmitted or how to test for it properly in the blood. In fact, many seniors are unaware they have this disease, as it can remain dormant in the body for many years.

Unfortunately, this makes seniors especially vulnerable to the condition, and many people die from hepatitis before getting the life-saving treatment they need.

What is Hepatitis C and What are the Symptoms?

Hepatitis is a disease that attacks the liver causing inflammation that can lead to serious – and even fatal – damage to the organ. It is caused by a virus that lives in the blood of infected people, and spreads when contaminated blood enters a person’s bloodstream. There are five types of hepatitis, each caused by a different virus, but it is Hepatitis C that is most common in seniors.

As a result of poor testing methods and a lack of awareness around this virus, people could contract the disease in a number of ways. Those who are especially at risk are people who:

  • Have HIV
  • Received tattoos or piercings from unclean instruments
  • Received blood transfusions, clotting factor or organ transplants before the early 1990s
  • Received hemodialysis for a long period of time
  • Were born to a mother with the disease
  • Used illegal, injected drugs

 

In order to get treatment as early as possible, it is important to watch for the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Non-specific itching of the skin
  • Jaundice (yellowing) of the eyes and skin
  • Dark yellow urine and pale stools
  • Low fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Muscle aches
  • Breast tissue development in men

 

If one or more of these symptoms appear, it is important to talk to your loved one’s physician about Hepatitis C, especially if they are considered high risk for the virus. The damage the disease can cause to the liver can be fatal, and the virus can cause cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure.

Screening and Hepatitis C Treatments for Seniors

The Good news is that there are Hepatitis C treatments for seniors, including anti-viral medications that can push the disease into remission, and you can even be vaccinated against other strains of the virus (A and B). If you are concerned that your senior loved one is high-risk for Hepatitis C, you can also request a screening test from their physician, which consists of a simple blood test to check liver enzyme levels.

As with all health conditions, it is better to know your status as early as possible so that the treatment has the best possible chance for success. Even seniors who feel healthy should get screened.

Senior Communities Help Residents with All Kinds Of Health Screenings

Screening for hepatitis C is critically important for seniors, yet it can be difficult to get mom in front of a doctor for this kind of screening (or if she’s like my mother, any kind of screening!) One of the advantages of living in a senior community like Bristol Glen is that common testing and monitoring is absolutely a part of what we do every day. Should a resident need or want such testing, it can often happen right inside our community by trained nurses or aides. Indeed, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking additional precautions to monitor and protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, and tests like this are still going forward.

For more information on who we are and how we can support the health and well-being of our residents call the team at Bristol Glen today.

Avoiding Scams During COVID-19

As the world works to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, people are trying to find trustworthy information about the spread of the disease, how they can protect themselves, how they can get tested, and more. The spammers and scammers of the world, of course, are using the current situation to take advantage of people, including many seniors who are less familiar with technology and the ways of these internet tricksters.

Here at Bristol Glen in Sussex County New Jersey, we’ve seen a few different types of scams making their rounds and our associates remain on the alert to help our residents stay cyber safe.

Phishing without a Fishing Pole?

One of the most common types of scams is called a “phishing” scam (like “fishing”; get it?) In this type of scam, someone sends an unsolicited email, text message to you. The message tries to scare you into clicking on a link and then give away your personal information.

There are many variations of this basic scam, that leverage the general fear around COVID-19:

  • Fabricated notices from health organizations (e.g., the CDC or local/state health departments)
  • Fake updates from an employer about policies or procedures to address the risk
  • Phony websites containing maps and dashboards
  • Information about protecting yourself, your children or your community that contains malicious links or attachments
  • Charitable appeals to help victims of the virus which are not legitimate
  • Special deals on hand sanitizer or masks or even drugs that prevent the virus

Coronavirus offers a particular opportunity for fraudsters and scammers because there’s so much information flying around at the moment, and it’s hard to know what’s correct. Scammers capitalize on that uncertainty, the information overload, and the general anxiety we’re all feeling.

Recognizing COVID-19 Scams

You don’t have to be a computer expert to stay cyber safe during COVID-19. With a little know-how and a little common sense, 99% of the phishing scams you encounter can be avoided. Here’s a mental checklist you should go through whenever you read any kind of an email with a link in it:

  1. Look at the sender’s email address, not just the name. It is easy to fake a name but not easy to face a domain. For instance, a message from sales@apple.com is probably legit but a message from apple.423952934820390J.com IS NOT VALID. Below is an example of a spammer trying to pretend to be Apple. Both the sender email address and the recipient address are suspect.
  2. Never open attachments in strange emails. This is how spammers can get malicious software to load on your computer.
  3. Spam emails are often composed by people who aren’t native English speakers. You should be wary if you pick up some of the following mistakes:
  • Poor spelling
  • Clumsy phrasing
  • Bad grammar
  • Incorrect spacing on emails
  1. Examine the URL of any link you click on carefully. Never click on a link in an email that says “Click here”. Make sure the domain of any link you click on is trusted. You can usually see the link behind the text by hovering your mouse pointer over it.
  2. Make sure your computer and your phone are all up-to-date. A lot of scams will also try to get malware onto your phone, laptop or desktop computer. Make sure you perform regular updates. If your device needs anti-virus software – and that’s Windows, Macs, and Android devices – make sure that’s up-to-date as well.

Most importantly, If you think you have been scammed, report it to the police immediately. Most companies have a place you can also report scams that occur in their name. If your financial information or your bank’s have been involved, let your bank or credit card provider know immediately.

Senior Communities Like UMC are on the Front Lines, Preventing Scams

Because senior citizens are more susceptible to internet and technology scams, our associates remain on the alert to help residents avoid and catch any attempts that would make them victims of online scammers. It’s part of keeping them safe.

For more information on our senior assisted living Sussex County New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org

How to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Enjoy Summer Outings

One of the most important things to do when a friend or loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is to make an active effort to keep them a part of your social circle. Socializing and engaging with others helps fight depression and anxiety and is thought to be beneficial. Here is some advice to help make summer outings easier for your loved one to attend from the team at our assisted living and CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Develop New Traditions

The activities you used to do together may be difficult or impossible for someone with Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to come up with new traditions that align with their capabilities. If you always participated in the Bridge Club together, you may have to stop when memory loss becomes too advanced. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to start new traditions that don’t rely on memory abilities. For example, you could start bird watching, join a walking club or start a supper club together.

Bring the Past to Life

When you speak to your loved one, pay attention to the old memories of the past they talk about. These memories often remain very strong for people with Alzheimer’s, even as short-term memories fade. This could be a source of great inspiration for activities to do together – revisiting a favorite park, seeing a musical performance together or having a classic movie night are all great opportunities to bond.

Learn When They’re at Their Best

Many Alzheimer’s residents experience times of the day when they feel fresh, energized and active, and others when their symptoms seem more pronounced. You can observe these by spending time with your loved one or by chatting with their caregiver. Generally speaking, the best times of the day for an activity are mid-morning to early afternoon. Anxiety and agitation frequently peak in the late afternoon or evening, when fatigue sets in. Routines are very important, so work with a caregiver to determine the best time to get together with your loved one on a regular basis.

Compassionate Care for Independent Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of resident-directed living, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model in which they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

4 Tips for Celebrating Aging!

We live in a culture that’s so focused on youth that we often forget to celebrate something that’s equally impressive and wonderful – getting older! Reaching our senior years is an accomplishment that we should all do more to appreciate. Here are some tips from the experts at Bristol Glen, our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

  1. Be proud of your loved one’s age (and your own!): In Native American, Greek, Indian and African-American cultures (as well as many more) people are respected for reaching their senior years – but the positive attitude starts with you! Encourage your senior loved ones to celebrate their birthdays with friends and family and treat it like the accomplishment it is. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be filled with love and laughter.
  2. Follow a passion: For many seniors, one of their biggest challenges is finding a reason to get up in the morning. Not having a purpose can make a person feel lonely and compromises their sense of worth. But being a senior means you have so much to give, from both your work and life experience! Celebrate by sharing it with others by joining a mentoring program or making use of your skills by volunteering your time for a cause close to your heart.
  3. Start a new hobby: The saying that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick is wrong – as a senior, you can learn to do anything you want! It’s healthy too, as the act of learning provides the mental stimulation that every brain needs to stay fit and help fight off cognitive disorders. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either – there are plenty of organizations that offer courses that are free for seniors or offer a discount. Learn the piano, start dancing lessons, get involved with board games or learn computer skills and show off your new skills!
  4. Have fun: Too often, seniors are criticized for not acting their age, but life is all about having fun. Dress up, look your best, play with the grandkids, make a mess, sing along to your favorite music, go to the movies or a concert – whatever you love best. Being a senior isn’t about always staying home and living a quiet life – after all, every day is worth celebrating your own way.

Full, Independent Living for Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of ageing in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model where they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

 

Heart Healthy Activities for Seniors!

The heart is the single most hardworking muscle in the human body, so it’s no surprise that keeping it fit and healthy is key to living a long and full life! Here are some tips, interesting facts and insights from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey on staying heart healthy.

Did You Know…?

A human heart beats around 115,000 times a day, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood through its chambers. In an average lifetime, this means it beats 2.5 billion times.

  • Your heart is as big as your clenched fist, but certain health conditions can make it bigger, like congestive heart failure.
  • The first pacemaker actually plugged into a wall socket.
  • Your heart has its own electrical pulse, which is why it can keep beating when separated from the body as long as it has an oxygen supply.
  • Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the USA, with more women dying of heart disease than from the top cancers combined.
  • Your level of physical activity is the most important factor in determining your risk of heart disease, and physicians recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to be in good shape.

4 Best Exercises for Seniors 

  1. Water aerobics. Thanks to heated pools, you can continue this activity throughout the year. It’s not only good for the heart, the buoyancy of the water protects joints and prevents falls. Most pools have safe entry options like shallow stairs or even lifts.
  2. Get outdoors into the fresh air and explore nature! Walking engages the body and mind, ensuring that your muscles —– including your heart —– get a good workout. Join a senior walking or birdwatching group to get more active.
  3. Yoga is very versatile, so it can be easily adapted for seniors at all fitness levels, including seniors with mobility issues. Look for a local yoga class for seniors or work one-on-one with an experienced instructor. Benefits include a healthier heart, better posture, improved strength and mobility, and even improved mood.
  4. Dance classes are ideal at any age, teaching a great skill while having plenty of fun! In addition to being good for your heart, it’s a great way to socialize, too.

Independent Living at its Best at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.