Category Archives: Blogs

Best Technologies to Monitor Senior Health

Monitor Senior Health

Technology companies are constantly making new products like diagnostic chips, apps, and wearable devices to maintain health and detect issues early in seniors. While some of this technology is made specifically for seniors, others are made for the general population but offer more significant benefits for older adults. As one of New Jersey’s most advanced senior care organizations, we’re pretty familiar with what is out there in terms of technology that helps seniors, and we use much of it ourselves.

Here are a few high-tech devices available to the public for tracking senior health, from our senior care team in Gloucester County.

Digital pill dispensers and medication reminder apps. While the labeled day of the week plastic pillbox dispenser is ubiquitous in many senior homes, in 2021 there is a better way!  Pillboxie is an app that reminds users to take their medications on time to promote a healthier lifestyle. With this app, seniors can enter notes, such as time and dose took, as well as how they felt after taking each medication. App users can also schedule reminders to pop up on their smart device (even if the device is asleep) to ensure each medication is taken promptly. This information can be shared with the user’s primary caregiver in order to keep track of medical history more efficiently.

Better yet, seniors can look into a digital pill dispenser that comes with a medication reminder app, to unlock the best of both worlds! MedMinder looks like a regular 7-day pill dispenser but is programmed to unlock when it’s time for your senior loved one to take their medication. A caregiver can also monitor their activity remotely through the associated app. If your loved one forgets to take their pills, the dispenser will beep. And if the “beep” goes ignored, your loved one will receive a reminder from the pre-recorded voice of their choosing. Most users will choose their child or grandchild for the voice recording. If all else fails, both the user and caregiver will receive a phone call from the MedMinder team. How great is that?

Wearable emergency tech with GPS tracking. If your senior loved one lives alone, it’s important that they have extra safety precautions, like a medical alert button, in place. Luckily, many tech companies make wearable devices, such as pendants or wristbands that can send out an alert in the case of an emergency. One cost-friendly option is called LifeStation. LifeStation is a wearable device that is water-resistant and includes GPS tracking so the user can easily be found by family, friends, medical professionals, and even law enforcement if necessary. There is sometimes a monthly cost associated with this, and your elderly parent has to agree to wear it at all times, but if you consider the peace of mind this can bring, these are overall small accommodations.

Smartwatches that monitor health and senior fall risks. Two of the most common concerns for seniors: falls and heart issues. What if we told you there is a wearable smart device available that can monitor both? VitalTech is a waterproof and sweat-resistant smartwatch integrated with technology that monitors falls, reads the heart and respiratory rate, tracks physical activity, and monitors sleeping patterns. So, how does it work? If the smartwatch detects a fall, an alert will go out automatically to a call center and up to five family members through email or text. Family members and caregivers can track their loved one’s vitals via the associated mobile app, ensuring their health is the top priority at all times.

Senior technology assistance at UMC at Pitman

At United Methodist Communities at Pitman, associates are available to help residents with senior health apps on their smart devices. Our associates have the patience, compassion, and knowledge to connect seniors to these new ways of technology in order to promote the safest, health-conscious and fulfilling lifestyle.

For more information about technology usage at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

Senior Safety Tips: Winterizing Your Home

Senior Safety Tips: Winterizing Your Home

Winter weather is here! While we all love watching the pretty snowfall, winter can be a hazardous time when seniors who are living alone need to venture out. The cold brings with it snow and ice, not to mention temperatures that may tax the pipes and boilers in an older home. Falling is the Achilles heel of every aging senior, and aging bones and muscles just don’t bounce back like they did when we were younger. They don’t bounce at all!

Winter is a time of additional anxiety on the part of the children of elder parents who are living alone. If you haven’t already, take the time to go through mom and dad’s home (inside and out!) and make sure it’s ready and safe for colder temperatures. Here’s a checklist to follow when winterizing your senior loved one’s home, from our assisted living team in Gloucester County.

Make sure the home is heated and well-insulated. First and foremost, mom and dad’s thermostat should be set to at least 68 degrees during the day or even a bit higher, depending on their preference. Seniors perceive the cold differently than younger folks, so it’s not uncommon to find that Mom isn’t comfortable until the temperature is set to 74F! Of course, showing her the heating bill may help her reconcile to a cooler thermostat setting…(-:  It’s also important to have any questionable cracks repaired to ensure proper insulation within the home. If you haven’t yet, you should also have their heating system checked. It’s recommended for furnaces, boilers, and chimneys to be serviced at least once a year to clear any buildup and to keep them running smoothly through the cold season especially.

Prevent falls caused by snow and ice. Most likely, your senior parent should not be shoveling the whole driveway and walkways on their own anymore. Shoveling is hard and strenuous work, especially for a senior who may already have mobility or health issues. The snow and sneaky black ice underneath can cause anyone to fall if they’re not paying close enough attention. Help mom or dad out this winter and keep their driveway and nearby sidewalks clear of ice and snow yourself, or hire a reliable local high school kid to do it. This is also a good time to hire someone if your parents’ steps or handrails need repairing. Fixing any structural issues will further ensure mom or dad’s safety when going outside this winter.

Keep a big bag of melting salt by the front door too. If you can get your parents to remember to throw salt on the walkway after it’s shoveled, that will go a long way to preventing slips and falls. If they are still driving, make sure a clear salted path exists from their door to their car, and/or their mailbox.

Take extra steps to avoid freezing pipes. If the pipes in mom and dad’s home aren’t properly cared for this time of year, they could burst – which in turn causes a domino effect of other costly repairs. Protect against frozen pipes by insulating those that could be susceptible to freezing. When experiencing severe temperature drops, remind your senior parents to keep warm water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting. You could also consider having an emergency pressure release valve installed within their plumbing system. This can add an extra layer of protection against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes.

Keeping seniors safe and warm at our assisted living community in Pitman, NJ

When the health and safety risks of alone outweigh the benefits of owning a home, it may be time for your senior family member to consider moving into an assisted living community. At UMC at Pitman, we understand that many seniors initially resist the idea because they view themselves as capable and independent. However, the preconceived notions they have about living in assisted living are outdated and no longer true! UMC residents can retain their individuality, continue pursuing their hobbies and interests, and are encouraged to live independently, all within a safe, secure and comfortable environment.

For more information about our assisted living services at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

5 Exercises to Improve Senior Mobility

senior exercise programs in Gloucester County

Getting regular exercise helps improve mobility, maintain muscle mass, and increase bone density. These three factors alone help protect you from injuries as you age. Our senior respite care team in Gloucester County has put together 5 exercises to improve senior mobility that can be performed with minimal equipment and even at home (no fancy gym required).

Safety note: Please consult with your physician or physical therapist before performing any new exercises that could impact current health conditions.  

 

#1 – Wall exercises are great for strengthening mobility in the arms, shoulders, and back. This exercise can also help improve your posture and raise your heart and breathing rate if performed more vigorously.

Steps:

  • First, stand with your back to the wall. Your feet should be placed a few inches from the wall, but your head and lower back should lean against the wall.
  • Next, have the back of your hands touch the wall on either side of your body, making sure to maintain contact between your hands and the wall at all times throughout the exercise routine.
  • While keeping your arms straight, raise your hands as high as you can over your head and then lower them back to the starting position at your sides. Similar to a jumping jack or snow angel motion.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 more times.

 

#2 – The Upper Body Clam Shell promotes mobility and flexibility in the shoulders. This exercise is also beneficial to the back, chest, and arms.

Steps:

  • Grab a stable chair and sit in an upright position with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Once you are comfortable, make a “goal post” with your arms (form 90 degree angles with both arms, with your upper arm and elbows parallel to the floor)
  • Close your forearms together in front of you, the motion should be similar to a clamshell closing.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat this motion 10 more times.

 

#3 – Chair Squats are a safe way to strengthen muscles in the knees, allowing more blood to flow around the joints. Like the exercise above, this one also requires a sturdy chair.

Steps:

  • Stand with your back facing the chair. Your feet should be hip-width apart from one another.
  • Flex your core abdominal muscles.
  • Next, slowly bend your knees and lower your body to the chair as if you’re going to sit.
  • Touch the chair slightly and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 more times.

 

#4 – Standing on one foot helps improve your overall balance by strengthening each leg. Keeping your legs strong and stable will in turn promote better mobility.

Steps:

  • Grab a sturdy chair and hold onto the back to steady yourself
  • Raise your right leg forward and try to balance on your left leg without relying on the chair too much
  • Hold this position for as long as you can comfortably (aim for 30-60 seconds if possible).
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the left leg.

 

#5 – The Seated Abdominal Press is an ideal way to strengthen core muscles that are essential for overall stability and mobility.

Steps:

  • Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on your knees, making sure your elbows are locked.
  • Press your palms into your knees and flex your core muscles
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat the exercise 5-10 more times.

Exercising safely at UMC in Pitman, NJ

At Pitman, we offer every assisted living resident the opportunity to exercise safely. With industry-leading health and safety protocols in effect, there’s no reason why we can’t hold fun fitness classes with our senior residents!

Some of our favorite fitness classes include dance and chair yoga. We understand that everyone has different levels of mobility and that they need to find what routine works best for their unique situation. That’s why we make an active effort to offer multiple programs and have trained professionals on-site to support each residents’ exercise goals to the fullest.

For more information about our senior exercise programs in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

Holiday Activities for Seniors with Dementia

Holiday Activities for Seniors

The holidays are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year.” But for those living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers, the holidays can pose unique challenges. How can you ensure that your loved one with dementia still feels included during the holiday season? What are some traditions or activities that they can easily take part in with the rest of the family? If you need a little help, here are some holiday-themed activities your loved one can enjoy this season.

Watch the classics. Classic holiday movies like Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, and Scrooge can bring back past childhood memories for your loved one. Remember that people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often have an easier time recalling long-term memories than short-term. This holiday activity is also ideal if your loved one has mobility issues. Gather your senior loved one and other family members and make a night out of it – complete with movie theater popcorn and signature holiday treats!

Listen to holiday music. Similar to watching old movies, listening to classic, familiar music can engage seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Music is proven to be closely linked to memories and emotions. Seniors who may have trouble remembering what they ate for breakfast that day, may still remember all the words to “Happy Xmas” or “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” perfectly. This may be a great opportunity to host a holiday karaoke party for the whole family to enjoy.

Craft holiday decorations. Artistic projects can help your loved one with dementia get more in touch with their inner self. Giving them an outlet to be creative can also help them to better express their feelings to you. Not to mention, crafting is just plain fun around this time of year! Create decorations like ornaments, wreaths, lanterns, and more with your family this holiday season. After your crafting session, you could go around the house and dress it up with your homemade decorations.

Bake holiday treats. Tis’ the season to be sweet! Cooking and baking are always great ways to reminisce and connect with your loved ones. While you’re baking signature treats like sugar cookies and holiday pies, talk to your loved one with dementia about your favorite childhood memories from Christmas like waking up on Christmas morning, or setting out cookies for Santa the night before. Reliving happy long-term memories can put anyone in the holiday spirit. If you need a little help jogging their memory, pull out some old photo albums or old Christmas decorations for some mental stimulation.

Tapestries memory care services in Pitman, NJ

All of the fun, holiday activities mentioned above can be incorporated or modified for our memory care residents at Pitman. If mom or dad are more comfortable staying put at UMC this holiday season, don’t worry! We have a ton of festive events and activities planned to get them into the holiday spirit. Your senior loved one can enjoy the comforts of home and the security of professional memory care during the holidays with services such as:

  • Fully furnished, dementia-safe apartments
  • Licensed nurses, memory specialists, and caregivers available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Assistance with ADL’s (activities of daily living) including personal care and hygiene, medication management, health monitoring, and more
  • Nutritious home-cooked meals that adhere to dietary preferences
  • Activities to promote cognitive function such as music therapy, word games, and painting classes
  • Seasonal activities like Christmas PJ Parties, Movie Nights, and Door Decorating Contests

For more information about our advanced memory care services for seniors at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

United Methodist Communities at Pitman Rated “High Performing” by U.S. News Best Short-Stay Rehabilitation List

Each year U.S. News and World Report research over 15,000 nursing homes across the country to help people find reliable, high-quality care for themselves or their senior loved ones. United Methodist Communities (UMC) is pleased to share that their Gloucester County location, UMC at Pitman, has been included on U.S. News’s Best Short-Stay Rehabilitation list for the 2021-2022 year.

The publication’s rankings class eligible nursing homes and rehabs as high performing, average, or below average based on a variety of data points. This year, scoring incorporated standards for COVID-19, flu, and pneumonia vaccinations, data surrounding use of antipsychotic medications, and emergency room visits. For example, facilities that had a staff COVID-19 vaccination rate below 75% were removed from consideration in the “high performing” category.

Among the 13,500 facilities to receive a Short-Term Rehabilitation rating, UMC at Pitman was one of only 1,651 nationwide to earn the high performing designation.

David Rayha, UMC’s Vice President of Operations, commented, ““We are thankful that our associates are being recognized for their hard work and dedication to providing quality services to our residents.”

To learn more about UMC at Pitman, visit pitman.umcommunities.org. To schedule a tour, please complete the form on the website or call Michele Sesok at 856-589-7800.

 

Going Away for the Holidays? Consider Respite for Mom and Dad

Respite for Mom and Dad

Although the holidays are usually a time to get together with family, it could also be a prime opportunity to get away and relax, especially if you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one. If you are considering going away for the holidays and are worried about who will watch over Mom or Dad, consider our respite care services in Gloucester County. Here are a few reasons to trust our team of talented caregivers with your senior parent.

Reduce stress related to the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year can sometimes put people over the edge. Full-time caregivers often have their own families to prepare and provide for over the holidays. Some of the biggest stress-inducers of the holiday season include the financial worry of buying gifts, hosting Christmas dinner, or having extended family come and stay with you through New Year’s.

While you may miss seeing your extended family, the holidays are a great time to get away with your immediate family. Taking a vacation is not only encouraged, but necessary for full-time caregivers to do their job to the best of their ability. If you can’t rely on other family members to step up during this time, respite care can be a more viable option for your senior loved one. Respite residents at our senior community in Pitman, NJ have access to all social activities and programs offered to ensure they won’t feel lonely or isolated. We also allow visitation from extended family members during the holiday season.

We’ll care for your loved ones as if they’re our own. While you’re taking a much-needed break, your loved one will be in the best hands possible. Having a complete understanding of your senior parent’s medical needs, abilities, and preferences will help them transition to UMC at Pitman more seamlessly. Whether their needs consist of social interaction, daily exercise, assistance with activities of daily living, or even memory support, our Life Enrichment Team Specialists are on-site 24 hours a day to ensure your loved one’s comfort at all times. All of our associates have a real passion for senior care and are fulfilled by providing your loved ones with the best quality of life possible during their stay.

Advanced respite care services in Pitman, NJ

No matter the reason for staying, all of our respite care residents at Pitman have direct access to our medical professionals, amenities, sponsored activities, social outings, and more. Your senior loved one can enjoy the comforts of home and the security of professional care during the holidays with amenities such as:

  • Fully furnished apartments
  • Licensed nurses, therapists, and caregivers available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Assistance with ADL’s (activities of daily living) including personal care and hygiene, medication management, health monitoring, and more
  • Nutritious home-cooked meals that adhere to dietary preferences
  • 24-hour alert pendants and security personnel on-site

We have found that a significant number of respite care residents choose to stay as full-time residents in our community after making new friends and discovering new hobbies. We invite you and your loved one to come to spend time socializing with our residents and team members before making any long-term commitments, especially before the holidays.

For more information about our respite care services for seniors at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

4 Stress Relievers for Seniors with Dementia

Dementia Stress Relievers

Seniors struggling with dementia will experience stress differently than other older adults. This is because dementia changes the brain’s ability to process everyday occurrences. With that said, it’s very important that seniors with dementia are able to relieve stress effectively on a daily basis. Caregivers should familiarize themselves with effective stress-relievers, since they may differ greatly from what works for seniors without dementia. Our Tapestries Memory Care team has put a list together of the best stress relievers for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. 

The power of music. Never underestimate the power of music, especially for your loved one living with dementia. Many studies have proven that calming or enjoyable, upbeat music releases dopamine in the brain, resulting in those “feel-good” feelings. If your loved one is tech-savvy, download music playlist apps like Spotify and Pandora to their smartphones or tablets so they can listen at their leisure when they’re feeling stressed.

Sensory products. A lot of the time, older adults with dementia just have to keep busy like the Energizer Bunny. Having something sensory to touch, chew, or fidget with like gum, stress balls, or fidget spinners can do wonders for their stress relief. Keeping a small product like this on hand at all times can redirect your loved one’s anxiety and help them to focus on something else.

Going outside. When their current environment becomes too much, it’s time for a reset. Spending time outdoors on a daily basis is a great way to redirect feelings of stress. Fresh air, familiar sights, and comforting sounds like a babbling brook nearby can help your loved one to take their mind off of what’s troubling them. Not to mention, a daily walk outside also holds many health benefits for seniors – keeping their joints strong, balance maintained, and their hearts healthy.  

Removing the stress inducer altogether. Okay, so this stress-reliever requires a bit more observation on the caregiver’s part. After spending a lot of time with your loved ones, you may be able to identify the catalyst of their stress. Maybe their pantry is a mess and they could benefit from a deep clean and reorganization? Or maybe they’re constantly complaining about how cold it is in their house and may need to upgrade or adjust their thermostat? If all else fails and you’re unable to identify the trigger, we recommend taking your loved one to the doctor as stress could sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition.

Dementia support for seniors in Gloucester County

One of the best ways your loved one with dementia can relieve stress is through thoughtful and reliable memory care methods provided by a reputable senior community. At Pitman, our Tapestries® memory care neighborhood has a welcoming, dementia-safe apartments where seniors are safe to enjoy their hobbies, release their tensions and have meaningful experiences every day. Our security personnel, as well as Life Enrichment Team Specialists, are on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure your loved one is well taken care of at all times.

If your loved one is showing early signs of dementia and you are having difficulty caring for them, please call 856-369-3092 to find out whether a move to a dedicated memory care neighborhood is the right option. To learn more about advanced memory care in Gloucester County, please contact United Methodist Communities at Pitman or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

5 Ways for Seniors to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Prioritizing healthy sleeping habits

We all have a routine or ritual we follow before going to bed every night. Some of us wash our faces, brush our teeth, and go straight to bed. Others need more stimulation like light reading, meditation, or settling into a comfortable TV show before drifting off to dreamland. Whatever your routine is, we hope you have found something that works for you as getting a good night’s sleep has many health benefits – especially for older adults. If your bedtime routine could use a little work, our assisted living associates in Pitman, NJ have put together 5 strategies for seniors to get a better night’s sleep.

  1. Make your bedroom a prime sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable. Some tips to make this possible include using earplugs, a sleep mask, and extra blankets, while turning down the thermostat to a cooler temperature. It’s also important to designate your bedroom for sleep only. By not watching Netflix or using an Ereader in bed, your brain will start to associate the bedroom with just sleeping.
  2. Perfect your sleeping schedule. Settle into bed at a reasonable hour. On top of this, try to stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time every day, even on the weekends. We all have a tendency to stay up later on weekends, which can derail any prior progress you made to consistently upgrade your sleep.
  3. Block out electronic and noise distractions. We often become more sensitive to noise, light, and heat as we age. It’s important to eliminate those sensitivities from impeding our beauty sleep by making modifications such as removing nightlights, space heaters, and noisy or bright clocks from view.
  4. Find your new, soothing bedtime ritual. Instead of getting hooked on a TV show that might keep you up and reeling at night, look into an activity that promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation. Some examples are taking a warm bubble bath, listening to calming music, or performing meditative yoga before winding down for bed.
  5. Don’t resort to sleeping medications or aids. Did you know that many sleep aids are not meant for long-term, permanent use due to their side effects? Sleeping medications also only provide temporary relief as they do not directly address and remediate the root cause of insomnia in older adults. Common root causes of insomnia include poor sleep environment, lack of exercise, stress, menopause, and painful medical conditions. Once you are able to figure out the root cause of your sleep issues, you can then take the proper next steps towards improving your sleep habits.

Prioritizing healthy sleeping habits at Pitman

At United Methodist Communities at Pitman, our residents sleep easier knowing our associates are on-site 24 hours a day, every day to assist in every way. UMC at Pitman can also help residents improve their sleeping schedules by helping them address any emotional issues and daily stresses that may be the root causes of insomnia. By identifying these issues, our associates can then help work towards improving residents’ sleep environments and promoting healthier daytime habits. 

For more information about our assisted living services at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

How Seniors Can Recover From a Stroke

seniors can recover from a stroke

During the stroke recovery process, your senior loved one will focus on restoring motor skills and overcoming other side effects to the maximum extent possible. This process is really all about remaining as independent as possible while adapting to the new capabilities of their body. Recovery may also require finding additional emotional, social, and physical means of support for your senior loved one. With that said, here are some helpful ways seniors can recover from a stroke from our short-term rehab team in Pitman, NJ

Set achievable goals. The key to setting recovery goals is to remain realistic. Have your loved one first focus on simple physical tasks like bending down to put on socks or walking 40 ft. without becoming out of breath. If you’re not sure what goals are achievable for your senior parent, work with their primary care physician or physical therapist to narrow down what’s possible after their stroke?

Stick to the prescribed exercise routine. After your senior loved one has experienced a stroke, it is likely that they met with a physical therapist in the hospital or in a short-term rehab setting. The physical therapist is able to evaluate mom or dad’s physical state and prescribe exercises that will help strengthen and recover the afflicted areas. These exercises are crucial for recovery because they will not only help build up muscle but will also help teach the brain new ways to move. Sticking to the prescribed routine will support your loved one’s journey to regaining independence with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Stay positive and prioritize mental health. Mom or dad’s recovery depends not only on regaining physical strength but focusing on mental strength as well. Unfortunately, after a stroke, it’s common for the person to experience discouragement and even depression. If these feelings aren’t addressed and tackled head-on, the road to recovery becomes more difficult. That’s why it’s important to always encourage your loved ones to stay positive and to keep working towards their goals. If you are having trouble addressing their mental health, you should consult a professional for evaluation, treatment options, and added support.

Make lifestyle changes to reduce future stroke risk. While your loved one focuses on their physical therapy and mental health, it’s also important for them to incorporate healthier lifestyle changes to avoid having another stroke in the future. For example, if mom or dad doesn’t have the best diet (along with high blood pressure and cholesterol), now is the time to engage them in a low fat, low cholesterol diet incorporating heart-healthy foods such as leafy green vegetables, wholegrain, and fatty fish instead of processed meats. Your loved one should also cut out unhealthy habits like smoking and avoid succumbing to a sedentary lifestyle. Never underestimate the power of a good diet and exercise program!

Stroke Recovery at UMC at Pitman

Seniors who choose to recover at UMC at Pitman receive 24-hour comprehensive care and supervision. Rehabilitation represents the perfect intersection of healthcare, technology, and human connection. Complemented by our environment and professional associates, we can successfully treat those with complex health conditions like stroke recovery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, surgical recovery, and more.

For more information about short-term rehab in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/

Senior Safety Tips: Medication Management

Senior Safety Tips by UMC at Pitman

Medication management for seniors can become complicated as the list of prescriptions grows. As more prescriptions are added to the mix, that creates potential danger with more side effects and dosages to keep track of. With that said, here are 5 valuable tips from our assisted living team serving Gloucester County. These safe medication management tips will help your loved one overcome common medication mistakes many seniors tend to make:

  1. Create a medication list for your loved one. Making a list of all the medications they take, including the name, dosage, frequency, and why they take it will help keep better track of your senior parent’s health. Also, make sure another loved one or caregiver has a copy in case there’s a medical emergency and hospital physicians need mom or dad’s medication history stat. Attach the list to the refrigerator or in another highly visible place so it can be easily updated and found by others if needed.
  2. Refills come up fast! The best way for your loved one to avoid missing any doses is to keep track of when refills are coming up. It’s also important to remember that their doctor may require a check-up appointment before authorizing more refills. If that’s the case for mom or dad, be sure to plan their check-ups ahead of time.
  3. Take notice of adverse drug reactions. All of your loved one’s doctors and their pharmacists should be aware of every medication prescribed to them before adding any new ones. This is because some medications don’t work well or can cause unfavorable side effects when combined and taken together. When your senior parent starts a new medication, remember to ask their doctor if there’s a specific way they should be taking it. For instance, most medications should be taken with food in order to avoid an upset stomach. If your loved one has an adverse reaction to a medication, report it to their doctor immediately so they can provide a solution or alternative medication that may work better.
  4. Take your medications as prescribed daily. It’s important that mom or dad understands that making changes to the dosage of a prescription without talking to a doctor can be dangerous. Stopping particular medications abruptly or not taking them as frequently as directed can cause serious health risks to developing. That’s why it’s so important to keep medications organized with a helpful tool like a pillbox. A box with multiple clearly labeled sections for each day can be especially helpful if your loved one takes many different medicines in the morning and at night. You could also set alarm reminders for you and your loved one so they take all their medicine on time each day.
  5. Store medicine properly and dispose of old, expired medications to avoid confusion. Most prescriptions are stored in a cool, dry place out of reach of pets or young children that visit the home. Generally, seniors choose to store their medications in a bathroom drawer or cabinet, but it’s important to make sure the steam from the shower does not reach the pills. Another helpful organization tip is to always carefully dispose of prescriptions your loved one no longer needs. The safe and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of is through the prescription drop-off sites located at most pharmacies. You should also weed out expired bottles because the medication is not as effective after the expiration date.

Prioritizing senior safety at UMC at Pitman

At United Methodist Communities at Pitman, our associates are on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist senior residents in any way they require. Whether it’s bathing, dressing for the day, or managing multiple medications, our highly-skilled associates are ready and willing to lend a helping hand.

For more information about our assisted living services and safety precautions for seniors at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at:

https://pitman.umcommunities.org/