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5 Essential Morning Stretches for Seniors

Stretching in the morning can do wonders for arthritis and joint pain. Committing to daily morning stretches along with a warm shower afterwards will help keep muscles more limber for seniors especially. If you’re not sure what stretches to start with, here’s a list of morning stretches that our senior care team in Morris County, NJ has put together.  

Safety note: Seniors should consult a doctor or primary caregiver before performing any new stretches. If you begin to feel any intense pain during the stretch, slowly return to the starting position and call a medical professional immediately.

1. Overhead Side Stretch – Loosens up muscles in your core 

Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, raise both of your arms overhead and interlace your fingers with your palms facing up. Now, slightly lean to the right and hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with the left side.

2. Shoulder Stretch – Targets joint pain in shoulders 

Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, reach your right arm across your body, so that your fingertips are pointing to the left. Make sure to keep your arm as straight as you can. Next, place your left hand on your upper right arm and gently pull your arm towards you. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and then repeat with your left arm. 

3. Triceps Stretch – Strengthens triceps muscles

Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, raise both of your arms overhead and bend your right arm so it rests behind your head. Next, place your left hand above your right elbow and gently pull your right arm closer. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and then repeat with your left arm.

4. Hamstring Stretch – Targets joint pain in legs, lower back

Suggested Repetitions: 5 times per leg. Place your right heel on a bench in front of you, with your right leg straight and toes pointing up. Without slouching over, gently hinge forward from your hips until you feel a comfortable stretch in your right hamstring.  Hold this position for about 15-30 seconds and then repeat with the left leg. Alternate this stretch 5 times with each leg. 

5. Towel Squeeze – Targets arthritis pain in hands

Suggested Repetitions: 10-15 times per hand. Grab a small hand towel that is rolled up. Take the towel in your right hand and squeeze. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then alternate to the left hand, taking a quick rest in between. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each hand.

Senior Stretches at Lester Senior Living, NJ

Here at Lester Senior Living, our fitness instructors are available every morning to guide morning stretches for our senior residents. If you’re a beginner when it comes to stretching and working out, there’s no need to panic! Our instructors can easily modify the stretch to accommodate your fitness level and provide extra support during the stretch if needed. 

For more information on our morning stretches, or to learn more about the fitness services offered at the Lester Senior Living community in Morris County, NJ, please give us a call today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/assisted-living-morris-county-nj/


What Does Memory Care at Lester Look Like?

Each person with dementia will experience its symptoms and progression differently, so it’s important to customize care to the individual person. Patience, flexibility and the support of family and friends will help you tackle the challenges ahead for your loved one. However, it also doesn’t hurt to consider a professional program for memory care like the one offered at Lester Senior Living in Morris County. There are many reasons to consider professional memory care, and in this article, our team at Lester will highlight the major reasons and address any concerns you may have for your senior loved one. 

Why Choose Lester for Memory Care in Whippany, NJ?

  • Specialized caregivers are onsite 24/7. All of our caregivers are extensively trained in the latest science and research-based practices in memory care. Their core goal is to make a positive difference for each memory care resident through cognitive exercises, safe socialization with other residents and assistance with daily tasks like getting dressed.

  • Advanced safety measures in place. In Lester Senior Living’s Memory Care Suite there are security personnel onsite and 24-hour alert fobs to enforce the safety of memory care residents at all times.

  • Dementia-friendly floor plans for each unit. All memory apartments are open floor plans, specifically designed to promote the safety of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This means that memory care apartments include enhanced safety measures like grab bars and emergency call buttons and omit features that could cause harm like a stove or clothing iron.
  • Memory care is tailored to the individual. As mentioned above, we can easily help residents with daily tasks like bathing, cleaning, dressing, managing medications and going to the restroom, to name a few. The level of care provided is dependent on our thorough evaluation of each memory care resident.

  • Many opportunities for safe socialization. It is so important for everyone to socialize, especially our seniors! At Lester Senior Living, this goes for our memory care residents as well. We have multiple options to socialize safely in our communal areas, such as the lounge, dining area, computer center, library, outdoor patio and more, with the supervision of our reliable caregivers. 

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support in Morris County, NJ

At Lester Senior Living in Morris County, our approach is memory care changes with each resident in our care. During the initial evaluation, our caregivers really take the time to get to know your loved one, their wants and needs, and then determine the level of care necessary. By providing meaningful experiences and the necessary support in our Memory Care Suite, your senior loved one with dementia can restore and maintain what matters most – their dignity. 

For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia care in NJ, please call us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/alzheimers-care-morris-county-nj/


How Seniors Can Avoid Heat Exhaustion

We love the sun, but we hate the heat! Being that it’s summer in NJ, we’ll be sure to see our share of heat waves. Exposure to extreme heat can result in heat-related illnesses, especially for seniors. Their bodies are less able to regulate their temperatures and cool themselves. When our bodies heat rapidly or when we lose fluids due to perspiration or dehydration, common conditions are cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In some cases, hyperthermia (absorbing more heat than our bodies can handle) is fatal. 

Warning signs of heat-related illnesses

Heat exhaustion is characterized as dehydration due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. The main symptoms include muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, fatigue and confusion.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related condition. Heat stroke is dehydration coupled with the body physically overheating and unable to bring down its own temperature. The most obvious sign is a body temperature of 104° or higher. Other symptoms include distorted mental state, flushed skin, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, and racing pulse.

NOTE: Did you know that certain chronic conditions and medications increase a senior’s risk of heat stroke? Consult with your senior loved one’s primary care physician about optimal fluid intake and medication management during periods of extreme heat. If they are in an assisted living environment, the nursing staff and caregivers onsite can also help.

How seniors can stay safe in the summer heat

These simple precautions can keep seniors safe during the hottest months of the year.

  • Stay in the shade when possible
  • Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, usually 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing outdoors – hats, sunglasses, light-colored clothing
  • Use sunscreen (SPF 30 with broad spectrum protection)
  • Stay hydrated at all times – drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which dehydrate the body. Don’t rely on feeling thirsty, just drink! Our bodies lose moisture even when we are not sweating heavily.

Tips for seniors to stay cool indoors

Even when indoors during very hot weather, it is important for seniors to stay hydrated, especially if the air conditioning is not working or if it’s kept at a moderate temperature to reduce energy consumption. Fans that circulate the air are somewhat helpful but don’t do enough to help cool down the body. If your senior loved one is out and about on a hot day, tell them to visit a local public place to access air conditioning like public libraries, senior centers, shopping malls, or movie theaters.

Additional indoor cooling tips during periods of extreme heat include:

  • Cool drinks, such as water, iced herbal teas, and lemonade help moderate the body’s temperature and refresh.
  • Wear lightweight layers you can add or take off as needed; cotton and other natural fibers are best because they breathe and won’t trap heat.
  • Eat cool snacks such as frozen ice pops, grapes or berries.
  • Choose light, cold meals over hot, heavy dishes. Think salads—grain or pasta, tuna, egg and tossed salad—over pot roast or lasagna.
  • Place a cool washcloth on the back of your neck; keep a pan of cool water handy to re-cool the towel. Taking a cool shower or bath is also effective.
  • Sit with your feet in a pan of cool (not cold) water.

Seniors stay cool at Lester Senior Living in NJ

If mom or dad is still living in their own home, you should call or check on them often during times of very hot (or cold) weather. It doesn’t take much to feel the effects of heat exhaustion and it may be difficult for them to call for help when they start to need it.

Of course, if mom or dad resides in a senior living community like Lester, they’ll have access to cool spaces, plenty of refreshing beverages, an emergency call system, and helpful staff members to lend assistance if needed. That’s just one reason why so many seniors choose independent or assisted living options at the Lester Senior Living community

To learn more about independent living and assisted living in Morris or Essex County, NJ, contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org

Celebrating Grandpa on Father’s Day in Assisted Living

Father’s Day is just around the corner! Meaning it’s time to celebrate the special father figures in our lives, including grandfathers. Taking the time to acknowledge and honor grandpa for Father’s Day will go a long way. If there’s one thing that all grandfathers have in common, it’s their love for their kids and grandkids. Grandfathers truly value that quality time with their family, so give them a day they’ll treasure for years to come! 

If you’re not sure where to start, our assisted living team at Lester Senior Living in Morris County has put together some great ways to celebrate grandpa on Father’s Day

  • Create a personalized calendar for him. Many websites like Shutterfly, Vistaprint and Zazzle can customize calendars to include pictures of your family. You could also mark special dates within the calendar, like each grandkid’s birthday. Grandpa will not only appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift, but will also appreciate the subtle reminders of special events coming up! Not to mention, this gift is also extremely helpful if grandpa has memory issues. 
  • Take grandpa out for the day. There’s nothing like a change of scenery. Whether grandpa lives at home or in an assisted living community, he deserves a nice change of pace outside of his comfort zone. Take this day out as an opportunity to indulge in the activities he loves to do. For example, visit the local book store together if he’s an avid reader or visit the local bakery if he has a sweet tooth. 
  • Help him with chores, or let him help you. A helping hand can go a long way, especially for Grandpa who may not have the ox-like strength he once had. It will mean the world to him to take care of some of his daily chores like taking out the trash or watering the plants. If grandpa doesn’t have many chores to help with, have him help you with something. Grandfathers hold a wealth of knowledge and will really value spreading some of that knowledge onto their grandkids.
  • Plan a game day/night. Who doesn’t love to play games? They are a fun way to bring your family together for some quality time. Not to mention, most assisted living communities have communal areas you can use for this. Let grandpa teach you how to play mahjong or gin rummy, he will get a kick out of it! 
  • Bring him his favorite food or dessert. Health, mobility and memory issues could prevent some grandfathers from leaving their assisted living community. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the celebration to him! Call grandpa and ask what special treat he would like for Father’s Day, and order enough for the whole family to enjoy at his assisted living community.

Celebrate Fathers Day at Lester Senior Living, NJ

As mentioned above, we understand that some health, memory and mobility concerns may prevent some assisted living residents from leaving the community to celebrate Father’s Day. So, we encourage you to celebrate with grandpa at Lester Senior Living instead! We have fun events planned for our residents on Father’s Day: “Movies and Mimosas” at 1:30pm, “Afternoon Social and Snacks” at 2:30pm and “Fun and Games on the Patio” at 3:30pm, to name a few!

For more information on how Lester Senior Living will be celebrating Father’s Day, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/

Time for a Vacation? Let us Care for Mom in Respite

Everyone deserves a vacation – especially senior caregivers. Juggling multiple responsibilities along with caring for your senior parent can be exhausting without the occasional break. If this sounds like you, now is the time to consider respite care at Lester Senior Living. Not to mention, respite can be an effective way to broach the subject of assisted living to mom. In this article, we’ll cover what respite care entails and how it is provided to our residents at our senior community in Morris County, NJ. 

What is respite care?

Respite care gives you the opportunity to take a temporary break from your senior caregiving duties. It’s completely up to you to determine how long respite care will last for mom. It can be arranged for a week or up to several weeks at our assisted living community. At Lester, you won’t need to worry about mom’s safety, care or socialization while you are away!

When planning for your much-deserved getaway, we recommend keeping mom in the loop about respite care. Giving her details about her short-term stay at Lester and emphasizing the professional care, security, and social interaction that she will receive here, can help her feel more secure with the transition. 

Advantages of Respite Care 

At Lester Senior Living, experienced staff members are onsite 24/7 to help mom transition to respite care more easily. And you can feel confident leaving here in our care knowing that respite guests receive the same support, socialization, and benefits as full-time assisted living residents.

Some of the best advantages of respite care at Lester Senior Living are:

  • Assistance with daily tasks like dressing, bathing and going to the bathroom
  • A fully furnished apartment equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and TV with in-house cable service
  • 3 delicious meals a day in our community dining room
  • An easy-to-use alert pendant in case of emergency
  • On-site wellness services such as medication management or specialized memory care
  • Social programs, events and outings such as chair yoga classes, themed outdoor barbecues, trips to the local shops and more! 

Become a Full-Time Resident after a Respite Stay at Lester Senior Living NJ

Mom will not be the only one to benefit from respite care. You will return from vacation more relaxed and ready to jump back into caregiving.

On the other hand, maybe mom has discovered that she really likes our community in Morris County and made a few friends here while you were gone. As mentioned earlier, respite care is the ideal way for seniors to “try-out” assisted living without making the permanent commitment. Many of our current senior residents chose assisted living as a result of a respite stay. At Lester, seniors find new friends in their age group, many activities that pique their interests, as well as, a very safe and welcoming environment. 

For more information on respite care, or to learn more about the Lester Senior Living community in Morris County, please visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/assisted-living-morris-county-nj/