Category Archives: News

United Methodist Communities at Pitman Named on U.S. News Best Nursing Homes

Ratings assure public of quality, staffing and compliance

How do you select the best long-term care providers for chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, frailty, or others?

U.S. News and World Report rated over 15,000 nursing homes nationally to help people find appropriate, reliable providers with the highest standards of care. They named United Methodist Communities at Pitman in Pitman, NJ, on their Best Nursing Homes 2020 – 2021 list.

U.S. News rated UMC at Pitman as high performing for Long-Term Care. Rankings define each eligible nursing home as high performing, average, or below average. This year, U.S. News added a patient safety summary that reflects COVID-19 data to their nursing home profile pages.

Out of 13,433 nursing homes that received a Long-Term Care Rating, 1,139 were designated as High-Performing. Some of the measures included in Pitman’s rating include nurse staffing, pneumonia vaccination rates, registered nurse staffing ratios, prevention of pressure ulcers, ability of residents to self-care, emergency-room visits, hospitalizations, rate of substantiated complaints, and more.

UMC at Pitman Administrator, Sharon Schwarzkopf, remarks, “The combination of innovative approaches, onsite expertise, technology, and human touch, help maximize our seniors’ wellness potential. This recognition affirms that approach.”

5 Sleeping Tips for Older Adults from UMC at Pitman

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential at any age. Strong focus, better memory recollection and a healthier immune system are just a few benefits that result from great sleep patterns. Top experts recommend getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every single night. This especially reigns true for older adults who are light sleepers or whose sleep patterns may have altered over the years. It can be difficult to maintain good sleeping patterns as we age, but it is never impossible. 

Here are 5 highly recommended sleeping tips that can make sleep easier and longer for older adults:

Tip #1 Stick to a scheduled bedtime  

Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. If you stick to a routine consistently, your body will adjust and become tired at an appropriate time. You could also train yourself to use your bedroom strictly for sleeping. If you are not asleep 20 minutes after your head hits the pillow, get up and leave the bedroom until you are tired enough to “hit the hay.”

Tip #2 Combat external stresses before bed 

Stress is a major underlying cause of sleep disruption, so it’s important to combat any anxieties you may have before getting a good night’s sleep. Listening to calming music, playing your favorite puzzle app on your smartphone, reading a book, or talking to a loved one can ease you into adequate relaxation before bed.  May adults fall asleep in front of the TV but this can actually be a bad sleep habit as you have to wake yourself up to physically go to bed. Instead, grab your favorite book and read yourself to sleep while you’re in bed already!

Tip #3 Work out regularly

Wear yourself out! Not getting enough exercise during the day can cause restless and inefficient sleep. You don’t have to stick to a strict workout regimen either. Taking a walk outside, trying out chair yoga or engaging in light morning stretches can significantly contribute to better sleeping patterns. It’s also important to avoid daytime naps to ensure you’re more tired once bedtime rolls around. 

Tip #4 Drink less fluids at night

Trips to the bathroom become more frequent when consuming beverages right before bed,  especially  alcoholic beverages. Initially, alcohol may help get you to sleep, but once the hazy effect wears off, you will wake up in the middle of the night more alert. The solution: stop all beverage consumption at least one hour before bedtime.   

Tip #5 Avoid certain foods before bed 

Similar to limiting beverages before bed, we should also limit the portions and intake of certain foods. Avoiding large portions, spices, and caffeinated foods and beverages will not only improve your overall diet, but also decrease irritable conditions like indigestion and acid reflux, that could keep you up at night. 

Want to Sleep Soundly? Come to UMC at Pitman!

As the infamous Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” At UMC at Pitman, we reflect this mantra by ensuring each resident’s day is filled with activities that nourish their mind, body, and spirit. 

For more information about abundant senior living at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, or any of our other senior communities across New Jersey, please contact United Methodist Communities and book your visit today.

 

The Challenge of Downsizing: Making the Move into Assisted Living

Leaving a home of many years and opting for apartment style living in a senior community is a difficult decision for seniors and their family members. In addition to the emotions attached to memories of a life lived with a family in a familiar place, there are the sheer logistics of going from a large home to a one or two bedroom apartment. What will I do with all my belongings? But when an older adult is living alone in a big house with few opportunities for socialization, and the responsibility to clean, repair and upkeep the property – the transition into assisted living can be the best decision for everyone. 

Families will find that loved ones residing in an assisted living community have the chance to maintain their independence while relieving themselves of the stresses of homeownership. While it takes time for older adults to come to this realization, having the support of family members before, during, and after this big transition will be extremely helpful. 

If you are contemplating moving mom and/or dad into assisted living, the right mindset will help you be more empathetic while tackling the challenges ahead. Read on for strategies to assist your senior family member when you know it’s time to move.

Honest Communication Throughout the Transition

One big internal dilemma seniors face is the feeling of losing their independence. Seniors who are new to assisted living commonly feel like they are no longer in the driver’s seat of their life, but rather the passenger. Although this feeling is completely valid, it is not true in the slightest. 

Organizations like United Methodist Communities are passionate about providing an abundant and active lifestyle for all older adults. It’s important to have a meaningful conversation with your loved one to reiterate that the transition to assisted living will only improve their quality of life.

Seniors will be able to engage in activities they love and socialize with friends and family safely while living in a retirement community. The biggest difference between an assisted living community and their past home life is a safe environment. Your loved one will gain more time and opportunity for socialization, and have all medical needs taken care of immediately.

5 Strategies to Tackle the Logistics of Downsizing

Now pangs the question, “How does one begin the downsizing process?” It definitely can be overwhelming to sort through a huge family home filled with years of heirlooms and knick-knacks. Mom and/or dad will want to be a part of this process because of the irreplaceable memories associated with most items. With that said, we have compiled tips to make the downsizing process easier for all involved.

  1. Get an early start on sorting through the house. Rushing makes any task (big or small) even more stressful. Do not attempt to sort through in one day or weekend – mistakes will be made and tensions will run high, which is not good for anyone’s health. Give yourself and your senior family member at least a month to go through the house top to bottom.
  2. Begin with the smallest room, then work your way up. Usually, the smallest rooms, like the laundry room or bathroom, hold items with the least emotional attachment. This is a great place to start in order to feel a sense of accomplishment early on.
  3. “Yes” or “no” piles ONLY. “Maybe” piles delay the downsizing process even more. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid – the quicker you pull the trigger, the easier the aftermath will be. Also, make sure not to hang onto duplicate items – nobody needs five spatulas.
  4.  Don’t downsize alone. This is a great chance to bond with the entire family. Mom and/or dad can reminisce about each belonging, and you may learn a thing or two about your family history. Your loved one could also use this process as an opportunity to pass on special heirlooms to family members.   
  5. Figure out a packing plan. Will family members take turns packing and driving the moving truck back and forth from point A to point B? Or is it easier to hire a full-service moving company to pack and unpack your loved one’s belongings? This is definitely something to discuss with your senior family member and other members of the family before moving day.

Have Patience After the Move

While adjusting to their new life, some older adults may experience outbursts and audibly refuse to accept this major change. This reaction is normal and should be viewed as a prime opportunity to exercise patience and reassurance. Your family member must be assured that this is absolutely the right move and that they are now a part of a community of individuals who feel (or have felt) the same way.

Encourage them to make connections with other residents. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who already experienced what they are going through. Changes in surroundings, meal preparation, and other activities take time to adjust to, but your family member will overcome the challenges ahead with flying colors. 

Safe and Compassionate Assisted Living at UMC Pitman

Concerns over COVID-19 have factored into the decision to downsize. Families need to understand that reputable assisted living communities like UMC, have responded aggressively to COVID-19 with top-of-the-line health and safety procedures for residents, associates, vendors, and visitors. These scientific-based procedures, some might argue, make assisted living  safer for older adults than residing in a home with multiple unscreened family members and others coming in and out.  

On top of this, UMC practices an individualized approach with each resident. This means that our associates take the time to really get to know residents and their families, to then create a unique plan that suits all their needs. Making the decision to move into assisted living may not be easy, but the highly-trained onsite associates will help mom and/or dad transition to community living successfully. 

For more information about community life at UMC Pitman in Gloucester County, or any of our other senior communities across New Jersey, please contact United Methodist Communities and book your visit today.

 

United Methodist Communities at Pitman to host its 14th Annual Car and Cycle Show on June 17

“Honk if you love cars.” The public is invited to attend United Methodist Communities at Pitman’s 14th Annual Car (and now Cycle) Show on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 11am to 3pm. The “stars” of this much anticipated community relations event will be the approximately 150 vintage automobiles and motorcycles from throughout the region that will be on display.

During the free event, visitors young and old will be able to enjoy the cars, musical entertainment, judging as well as an award ceremony at approximately 2:15pm. Hoagies, chips and beverages will be available for purchase to visitors and car owners.

New this year, motorcycles will be introduced in the event with a separate award allocated to the most impressive cycle. Proceeds from this year’s Annual Car and Cycle Show will benefit the Fellowship Fund. The car show will take place in the back parking lot of the community which is located at 535 North Oak Avenue in downtown Pitman. The show will take place rain or shine.

“Our goal once again in hosting this event is to give our residents and their families an opportunity to spend time together. The car owners enjoy showing off their vehicles and nothing brings people together quicker than swapping car stories and memories. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with Dad or Granddad,” said UMC at Pitman’s Director of Operations, Ebby Majd, who is the chairman of this year’s Car Show Planning Committee.

For more information about the upcoming car show or to register a vehicle please e-mail Ebby Majd at Ibrahim.majd@sodexo.com.

 

Bridges Comes to Pitman

What’s Your End-of-Life Plan?

Death in the American mind is something in the very distant future. Despite the fact that about half of adults say they have a friend or relative who has had a terminal illness or who has been in a coma within the last five years, only 30 percent have conversations with loved ones about their end-of-life wishes.

As a leading assisted living and nursing community in Gloucester County, United Methodist Communities at Pitman now offers another supportive option to people who cannot or prefer neither to receive hospice at home nor in the hospital. The newly-established Bridges at Pitman assists people to live out their last days with dignity and comfort.

Bridges has seven new hospice-dedicated studio apartments located in a private assisted living neighborhood. The environment has been designed for individuals facing terminal illness that no longer responds to curative treatment. Welcoming gathering spaces for families and friends and meaningful amenities such as customized dining, Wi-Fi, salon, gym, bistro, and elegant furnishings, enhance comfort.

A skilled, compassionate, multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals focus on bringing much-needed care and support to Bridges’ residents, as well as to their loved ones. The expertise of the hospice team includes advanced, traditional and alternative therapies; 24-hour nursing oversight; medication management; certified caregivers; emotional and spiritual support; personal services; and palliative care for symptom management and pain control.

Pitman Executive Director, James Scalese, reflects, “We are very pleased to announce the inclusion of a hospice-dedicated program within our assisted living community. The apartments are designed to provide end-of-life care in a warm and supportive non-institutional environment.”

Getting Back on Track

Transitions Customized Solution Comes to Pitman

Were you recently discharged from a hospital or rehab facility and faced a dilemma because you didn’t feel quite ready to return home or did so and found you needed additional support? United Methodist Communities at Pitman now offers Transitions, a customized solution for these instances.

Senior man doing exercises

A Transitions stay may last between one and six weeks. Similar to traditional rehabilitation settings, Transitions focuses on people requiring recovery, reconditioning and clinical monitoring.

Typical residents need observation for new clinical situations such as medications, therapies and devices; rehabilitation to regain skills to manage living at home; extra support to gain confidence before returning home; time to allow the implementation of support structures at home; and further stabilization.

Robbie Voloshin, corporate director of marketing, reports, “This short term program works toward getting people back home safely.”

Guests receive services in Transitions’ neighborhood of private, fully-furnished, home-like apartments. While the environment is less restrictive, it continues to support overall recovery and wellness. The care and services include rehabilitation, social engagement, wellness programming, home environment assessments, and transitional care to home follow-up.

Meals, laundry and housekeeping; transportation; community life programming; social work, clinical and aide services; and SeniorFITness are included in the daily rate. Call 856-589-7800 for information regarding Transitions or other services at United Methodist Communities at Pitman.

Soldiers Without Guns: Women Defense Workers of WWII

In recognition of National Humanities Month, United Methodist Communities at Pitman will welcome living history interpreter, Stacy F. Roth of History on the Hoof (Burlington, NJ) who will present Soldiers Without Guns: Women Defense Workers of World War II.   During her hour-long program, Roth will speak as Rose Helen Niemiec, a 1940’s home maker, who decides to show her support for the war by taking a job as a welder in a shipyard.rosie

According to Roth, “Rose Helen Niemiec was not an actual person. She is a composite of many women who entered defense production positions. My presentation is based on histories and interviews of many women who did just that when their country asked it of them.”

This unique presentation features a character monologue, a display of period artifacts and ephemera, a discussion of women’s participation on the Homefront, and an invitation to the audience to share memories, memorabilia, and personal and family stories of World War II. 

The program, which is being offered for FREE to the community, will take place on Wednesday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m. in the United Methodist Communities of Pitman auditorium. This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information about this event, contact Alice M. Coghill at 856-589-7800, ext.7417 or acoghill@umcommunities.org.  For more information about the Horizons Speakers Bureau please visit https://njch.org/programs/hsb/.

UMC at Pitman CARES

IMG_0632 On Tuesday, August 30, building services associates at United Methodist Communities at Pitman were awarded certificates of completion for the CARES training.  For six months, associates participated in different training modules concentrating on the five CARES behaviors: Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm, and Service.

Ray Bates, building services director, made arrangements to celebrate the associates’ hard work and dedication to the program.  The CARES training is designed to create a strong patient-focused foundation.  “It’s the right thing to do,” explained Ray as he addressed residents and associates. “At our weekly huddles associates would share their CARES stories with the team,” said Ray. He then read a few of the stories to the audience.

In addition to the presentation, Ray invited “Carey the CARES Bear” to tour the building and greet the residents and associates.

It’s the little things our community does every day that makes for a better quality of life for our residents, visitors, and fellow associates.

Carey Bear 048 Carey Bear 012

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Pint sized Chef cooks up a few surprises.

Nine year old Corrine Godlewski of Washington Township combined her love of volunteering and cooking into one awesome demonstration for residents, staff and guests. Here she and UMC at Pitman Executive Chef, Rich Schleeter prepare and serve taco dip and chicken quesadillas during his weekly cooking demonstration.
Nine year old Corrine Godlewski of Washington Township combined her love of volunteering and cooking into one awesome demonstration for residents, staff and guests. Here she and UMC at Pitman Executive Chef, Rich Schleeter prepare and serve taco dip and chicken quesadillas during his weekly cooking demonstration.

Recently United Methodist Communities at Pitman (UMCP) welcomed a very special “guest executive chef” who proved that the old adage “good things come in small packages.” Nine year old Corrine Godlewski of Washington Township combined her love of volunteering and cooking into one awesome demonstration for residents, staff and guests.

“A few months back Corrine told her mom Cyndi that she wanted to volunteer at a local retirement community. Cyndi contacted me and learned that all volunteers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent so she agreed to accompany Corrine to orientation and whenever she volunteers at our community,” said Sharon Yesner, Director of Volunteer Services.

“I am proud of her for how giving she is. We have always done “easy” charity such as donating canned goods or Toys for Tots but never this level of volunteering. Corrine wants to be a chef and welcomes every opportunity to learn about cooking,” said her mother Cyndi Godlewski.

Yesner added that the first big project Corrine volunteered for was the 13th Annual Classic Car Show and Picnic in June. “It was love at first sight. The residents and staff fell in love with Corrine’s enthusiastic zest of life and upbeat personality. One of her biggest fans was our Executive Chef, Rich Schleeter. He struck up a conversation with the active nine year old and found that in addition to loving sports and school – she had a real passion for cooking.

Corrine Godlewski and Executive Chef Rich Schleeter use their smart phones to research the next recipe they are going to cook for residents at UMC at Pitman.
Corrine Godlewski and Executive Chef Rich Schleeter use their smart phones to research the next recipe they are going to cook for residents at UMC at Pitman.

A few weeks later at the end of a busy day – Chef Rich learned he had unexpected guests who wanted to tour his kitchen. “Little did I know that my supervisor, Dining Services Director, Norm Engel, had set up the visit with Corrine and Cyndi but forgot to mention it to me,” laughed Schleeter. “When I stuck my head out of the office and saw who was touring…. I suddenly forgot how tired my feet were and we had an awesome visit.”

Corrine repaid Chef Rich’s hospitality a short time later by bringing him some of her home made guacamole dip and chips for him a few lucky co-workers to sample. Chef Rich was so impressed with the pint-sized chef that he and Norm Engel “cooked up an idea” to get her in to join him during his weekly cooking demonstration.

Without telling anyone not even Chef Rich, Norm Engel ordered Corrine her very own custom made chef’s jacket. After a few emails to work out logistics – a date was set for Corrine to come in and cook along-side Chef Rich.

“What can I say – the kid’s a natural and she didn’t even let an injured ankle slow her down. Her recipe for taco dip was a big hit and we accompanied it with some chicken quesadillas for a lunch with a South of the Border flavor. I don’t know who enjoyed watching Corrine cook more – me, her mom or the crowds gathered around the action station. I cannot thank her mom Cyndi, Sharon, as well as Norm for working behind the scenes to make her visit possible. The only questions I kept hearing was when is she coming back and what is she cooking next,” concluded Schleeter.

Corrine Godlewski serves her taco dip to United Methodist Communities at Pitman resident Doris Costill.
Corrine Godlewski serves her taco dip to United Methodist Communities at Pitman resident Doris Costill.

 

8th Annual Just Peachy Festival

United Methodist Communities at Pitman 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival was one sweet time for residents and community

Residents, invited guests and associates had an opportunity to sample nearly 20 home-made peach desserts at UMC at Pitman’s 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival.
Residents, invited guests and associates had an opportunity to sample nearly 20 home-made peach desserts at UMC at Pitman’s 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival.

Despite the warmer than usual August weather and the ever present threat of rain – UMC at Pitman was able to host its 8th Just Peachy Festival in the courtyard much to the delight of the 100 residents, guests and volunteers who took part in what has become the tastiest community relations event of the year.

A joint Community Life and Sales event, the Festival was a salute to one of South Jersey’s favorite summertime fruits – the peach. Summit City Orchards, Mood’s, Duffield’s and Rowand’s provided Jersey fresh peaches for the event. Not to be outdone Heritage Vineyards donated peach pies and breads while the Mantua Chick-Fil-A donated certificates for free cookies and ice cream cones.

Among the highlights of the evening included music from the duo, Nothin’ But Gina and a Little Bit of Steve, who had the residents up on their feet dancing to country classics from Willie Nelson, Barbara Mandrel and Brooks and Dunn among others. Residents, invited guests and associates also had an opportunity to sample nearly 20 home-made peach desserts, along with peach yogurt and peach tea as well as some freshly picked peaches to take home.

“We like to hold evening activities for residents and community members and this one was a lot of fun. I brainstormed with my colleagues to come up with an event that was sure to appeal to everyone’s tastes and I think is safe to say we all had a sweet time,” said Pam Mezis, Director of Sales.

Volunteers Saige and Chloe Simcox baked five delicious desserts in addition to manning the peach distribution table during UMC at Pitman’s 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival.  Here UMC at Pitman resident John Lorenz helps himself to a fresh peach.
Volunteers Saige and Chloe Simcox baked five delicious desserts in addition to manning the peach distribution table during UMC at Pitman’s 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival. Here UMC at Pitman resident John Lorenz helps himself to a fresh peach.

Who adds, “I am always so impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm of my co-workers and volunteer bakers. When we asked for peach desserts I thought we would get a lot of the same items but we didn’t get two of the same. Our residents and staff loved tasting all the cobblers, cakes, tarts, crisps, salsa and peach-inspired treats that were donated.”

New this year: were several guest judges including Benita Cooper founder of the Best Day program; Mary Ann Sullivan, CAVS Director, Volunteer and Guest Services Inspira Health Network; Michele Epifani Executive Director SJVolunteers.org; and Beth Daddario Director Volunteers, Retail, and Guest Services Inspira Medical Center Vineland who is also the President of NJAHVRP. “These ladies certainly had a difficult time picking the winning entries since everything was just so delicious,” added Mezis.

 

Pictured here are our judges.  Sitting from left to right are: Beth Daddario, Mary Ann Sullivan and Benita Cooper.  Standing is Michele Epifani.
Pictured here are our judges. Sitting from left to right are: Beth Daddario, Mary Ann Sullivan and Benita Cooper. Standing is Michele Epifani.
UMC at Pitman Employees Melissa and Don Jenkins show off the peach dessert they and residents of the Memory Support Residence made for the 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival.
UMC at Pitman Employees Melissa and Don Jenkins show off the peach dessert they and residents of the Memory Support Residence made for the 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival.