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Simple and Effective Health Tips for Seniors

Staying healthy isn’t just about living longer, it’s about living better too. Keeping active as we age is directly linked to maintaining our quality of life, as well as fighting mental and physical conditions that could limit our abilities. Unfortunately, it can become more and more of a challenge as we get older with family responsibilities, mobility issues, stress and lack of motivation. With that being said, our senior living teams at the JCHC communities have put together a list of tips to keep seniors healthy and motivated. 

  1. Find an activity your loved one enjoys: Dad is far more likely to stick with an activity he enjoys, so take some time to explore options with him. Preferably, an option that you both could do together. For example, if he loved hiking back in the day, then regular nature walks with him or other senior friends is a perfect choice. Not to mention, staying active with a family member or friend is a great way to stay accountable and motivated. 
  2. Don’t forget about mental exercise: Staying active isn’t just about physical health – mental fitness is just as important. Have your loved one learn to play bridge, compete in crossword competitions and indulge in Sudoku, as they are ideal games to challenge and strengthen the brain.
  3. Manage your stress levels: Stress is well known for negatively affecting our mental and physical well-being, so finding an effective outlet to release stress is a good way to keep your loved one’s health on track. Many seniors come to find that fast-paced physical exercise helpful, while others prefer something more relaxing and low-impact like meditation or yoga. Occasional social engagements with the people they love and enjoy is also a great way for your senior parent to release stress as well.
  4. Good nutrition: It’s never too late to develop good eating habits! Proper nutrition can help fight a wide range of issues seniors often struggle with, from helping to control weight, osteoporosis, blood pressure and diabetes, to reducing your risk of heart disease.
  5. Annual checkups: Regular checkups are key to senior health. Make sure you stay in control of Mom’s health issues and deal with any emerging conditions effectively. Your top priorities should include her primary care physician, eye doctor and dentist, as well as any specialists she requires.
  6. Take preventative measures: Falls are among the most common reasons for seniors needing medical treatment. As we get older, it often becomes harder to heal and bounce back from injuries. Although staying physically healthy is an ideal way to combat this, removing hazards in your loved one’s home is vital to preventing injuries in the first place. Rugs that can be tripped over, stairs, poor lighting and bathrooms without grab bars are good examples of hazards which should be dealt with head-on.

Lester Assisted Living, for a Healthy Life 

Lester is an assisted living community dedicated to helping older adults live full, happy and healthy lives. With an active community spirit, spacious apartments, great exercise programs and support services designed to maximize independence, we’re a welcoming space for seniors to really feel at home. 

For more information about our assisted living and senior exercise programs in NJ, please contact us today to schedule a tour or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org

 

Dark Chocolate Recipe to Benefit Senior Health

You have probably heard the age-old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but has anyone ever told you that a sweet treat, like dark chocolate, could improve your health as well?

Studies suggest that eating raw unprocessed cocoa, a natural rich source of flavanols, can positively increase energy levels, raise exercise stamina, and improve other measures of heart health in inactive older adults. In fact, numerous studies have demonstrated that cocoa flavanols, found in dark chocolate, can relax the arteries, decreasing blood pressure; increase blood flow to the brain, improving memory and thinking skills; and suppress the production of stress hormones, thus decreasing stress and improving one’s mood.

Now before you go to devour an entire box of chocolates, you need to be aware that most chocolate companies remove the many antioxidants that would provide any health benefit. Since most people find the flavanols very bitter and undesirable, they are removed during processing.

If you are interested in adding chocolate into your healthy lifestyle, look for non-alkalized dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa content or higher. The higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the chocolate contains. And while most dark chocolate contains added sugar, make sure it is not the main ingredient. Lastly, it is recommended to limit your cocoa intake to one ounce a day — just enough to curb your sweet tooth.

If you want to enjoy chocolate without the guilt, how about treating yourself to some dark chocolate dipped apples? Here’s a JCHC signature recipe from our culinary trained chefs in Morris County

Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples
  • 1 bag 70% dark chocolate melting chips
  • 4 cups total of the topping(s) of your choice: crushed peanuts, toasted coconut, almonds, walnuts, sea salt… just to name a few. 

Instructions:

  1. Dry apples completely before beginning. Poke a stick in the bottom of the apple. Make sure to only go a little more than halfway through the apples with the stick.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
  3. Roll the apple in the melted chocolate, making sure to only coat each apple once.
  4. Roll the chocolate covered apple in the topping(s) of your choice. 
  5. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Repeat the process for the remaining 5 apples.
  7. Put the baking sheet with the finished apples in the refrigerator and allow to cool for at least one hour before enjoying! 

For more information about our culinary trained chefs on-site in Morris County, please contact Lester Senior Living today: (973) 929-2725. You could also visit our website to learn more about what it’s like to live in a JCHC senior community: https://jchcorp.org/

 

How to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia which primarily affects the parts of the brain that control memory, resulting in progressive and permanent neurological damage. According to the CDC, the disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans today. While research continues to bring us closer to effective Alzheimer’s treatments, there are additional steps that those affected, their families and caregivers can take to help fight this condition now.

  1. Physical exercise: Engaging in a healthy amount of physical activity has significant health benefits for the brain, as well as the heart, vascular system and body’s physical strength. Studies have shown that exercise can stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain older neural networks and stimulate new connections. It’s recommended that people over 65 years of age do 40 minutes a day of aerobic or non-aerobic exercise to experience the full physical and mental benefits.
  2. Mental exercise: A healthy body is important, but so is an active mind. Just like a muscle, the brain needs to be regularly challenged in order to maintain a healthy level of cognitive function. Stimulation is also vital to maintaining cognitive pathways and building new connections. Some of the best forms of mental stimulation include reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing games, social interaction and social activities such as going to museums or community events.
  3. Diet: Research has shown that certain foods can help keep the brain healthy, while others can be harmful to cognitive health. A diet rich in lots of fruit, fish oil, legumes, vegetables (especially broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) and whole grains is recommended. Foods such as saturated fats and refined carbohydrates (like white sugar) should be avoided, as studies indicate these foods may assist cognitive decline, especially in the areas of the brain focused on learning and memory.
  4. Early diagnosis: Knowing the signs of early onset Alzheimer’s is key to working on mental and physical health. As well as having access to professional and medical assistance will help ensure your loved one is kept comfortable, healthy and independent for as long as possible. An early diagnosis will allow caregivers to start implementing the best measures available.

Memory care and support services at Lester Senior Living 

Housed in our assisted living wing, the memory care suites at Lester are specially designed to support individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. By focusing on customized care plans and activities within our comfortable, apartment-style communities, we maximize your loved one’s dignity, safety and quality of life.

To find out more about our memory care services for Alzheimer’s residents in NJ, contact Lester Senior Living today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/

 

 

The Importance of Social Events in Assisted Living

When researching assisted living communities, most of us prioritize important things such as the size of the residential apartments, services offered, quality of care and costs. However, social interaction plays a crucial role in the quality of life of assisted living residents. Lester Senior Living in Morris County is dedicated to providing residents with the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life and here’s why:

  • Strengthen relationships: Having a social circle that embraces different activities out of your loved one’s comfort zone will help them to build new relationships and strengthen established ones. Your loved one’s friends in assisted living will keep them in touch, busy and enjoying life in a community setting.
  • Mental stimulation: Interacting socially with a range of people through different activities provides essential mental stimulation which is key to a healthy, functional brain. Studies show stimulation has been known to help reduce mental decline, lower the risk of dementia-related conditions and depression.
  • Build confidence and trust: Seniors with active social lives are open to trying new things and learning new skills, which in turn boosts self-confidence and helps seniors to achieve their personal ambitions. By working together with others, relationships are built on a healthy foundation of trust, creating an environment where concerns can be shared and support is readily available if needed.
  • Increased physical health and reduced stress: Social activities can help seniors stay physically active, maintain essential muscle strength and actively reduce harmful stress. Exercising in groups – whether in the form of yoga, nature walking or dancing – also helps keep seniors accountable, motivated to stay active and healthy.

Experience JCHC’s Social Events and Community Life

All JCHC communities place a strong emphasis on social interactions as part of our dedication to providing you or an aging loved one with the highest quality of care. While all activities are optional and seniors can participate as much or as little as they are comfortable with, we aim to deliver a wide range of activity options. Our support services at Lester Senior Living minimize daily tasks and free up time for activities such as:

  • Live entertainment
  • Yoga
  • Physical fitness classes
  • Themed social events
  • University level seminars
  • Torah study classes and synagogue services
  • Game clubs like mahjong, bingo and board games

We encourage residents to take advantage of the many recreational activities and social outings provided by Lester Senior Living in Morris County. For more information about assisted living at Lester, contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/

 

5 Benefits of Independent Living Communities for Aging Seniors

If you are concerned with the safety and security of your elderly loved one, you might want to consider independent living. Independent living is ideal for individuals who can still live without assistance, but enjoy the peace of mind of having access to help with daily tasks when needed. In this article, the team at JCHC will discuss five key benefits of independent living for our senior residents at Lester Senior Living and Village Apartments

Independent Living Benefits at JCHC Communities

  1. Senior-friendly housing – With high-quality, apartment living, seniors are able to downscale from costly, high-maintenance houses with ease. Accommodations at JCHC’s Lester Senior Living and Village Apartments are designed for easy navigation (whether a resident is mobile, using a walker or in a wheelchair), compact and free of potential hazards.
  2. Social Interaction – Independent living encourages residents to participate in the community at a level where they are comfortable. With year-round events, movie nights, clubs, fitness centers, and more on-site, you can easily reach out and connect with the rest of the community and your fellow residents.
  3. Safety and Security –In the basic sense, this means protecting access to the JCHC community in question. It also means ensuring that our residents’ needs are met and emergencies are discovered and responded to in a timely fashion. At Lester and Village, we solve this by taking care of all maintenance, offering residents 24-hour safety pendants and security personnel on-site.
  4. Free Time – The most common reason that seniors transition from their own homes to JCHC independent living is the freedom gained. Downsizing from a large home minimizes personal chores, errands and time spent on home maintenance. Residents find that independent living gives them the time to pursue other long-delayed interests, like mahjong, gardening and yoga – just to name a few!
  5. Independence – Lester Senior Living and Village Apartments have the same goals as their residents – to keep them as independent as possible without infringing on dignity or privacy. This means we only provide the support as you need it, within the community. Additional amenities include social programs, university-level classes, laundry services, housekeeping services, scheduled transportation, and more.

At JCHC, our aim is to ensure that each of our independent living residents at Lester and Village maintain their dignity, quality of life and independence. Our programs ensure residents are encouraged to get involved with the communities at a level they are comfortable with and we tailor our services to ensure that each resident gets the support they require to live a full and happy life. 

For more information about independent living in Morris County, visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/