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Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for Assisted Living

Selecting an assisted living community for your loved one is a challenging process. After all, it’s an important decision which places the care of mom or dad in the hands of people you do not know. Understandably, this is a major concern for a lot of children of senior parents. How do you know if you can trust an assisted living facility with your loved one? And more importantly, how do you know if you’re making the right choice for everyone involved? In this article, our care team at Lester Senior Living discusses four common mistakes that can easily be made while searching for an assisted living community, and how to avoid them:

  1. Prioritizing your preferences above those of your elderly loved one. It’s easy to get caught up in your own tastes when looking at a community and become enthusiastic about amenities your senior parent may not actually care for. Since this is where your loved one will be living, it’s important to keep them involved in the scouting process as much as possible. Especially if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Try and keep in mind what they used to enjoy the most before their memory issues developed. For example, if your mom loved gardening, try finding a community with lovely gardens that she can enjoy. This is essentially a more important aspect to consider than the state-of-the-art fitness center from a competitor community.

  2. Forgetting about future needs. The independent living community you’re looking at may offer the lively social life and apartment-style living your loved one would enjoy, but what about when he or she grows older? Is the apartment easy to navigate with a wheelchair? Can they provide meals? What programs are available to Alzheimer’s or dementia residents? Try to choose a community which offers both independent and assisted living services, so that your loved one isn’t faced with a second, stressful move in the years to come.

  3. Not realizing how much care is actually needed. Here, it’s important to honestly and accurately evaluate your loved one’s care needs in order to find a community that can provide the right level of services. Take note of mobility limitations and other health issues, as well as their level of independence. Will your loved one need bathing assistance? Is he or she able to cook meals? Are they suffering from memory loss? Answering questions like these will help make sure your loved one’s comfort, safety and health will be properly managed within the community.

  4. Deciding under pressure. This is a stressful time for any family, but rushing into a decision can easily leave mom or dad worse off than before, so it’s worth it to take as much time as you need. First, work out your loved one’s priorities and do some research into the areas which suit your family. Then, book visits with 3 to 5 different communities to help get a better idea of what they offer and how they differ from one another. Don’t forget to keep your loved one involved wherever possible, and go back to any community for a second look or to ask any unanswered questions.

Assisted living communities that prioritize independence

At JCHC’s Lester Senior Living, we’re all about keeping seniors as independent as possible, while supporting them with personal care services to make their lives easier. Additionally, we are able to scale these services at any point if they require a higher level of care, including professional memory support for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in our specialized memory care suites. We also offer social programs to encourage residents to get more involved with  community life and make new friends along the way. The top priority at all JCHC communities is to ensure each resident gets the help and support they require to live a full and happy life with us. 

For more information about our senior living communities across New Jersey, please give us a call today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org


Core Strength Exercises for Seniors

Core strength exercises improve the fitness of the stomach, back, hips and pelvis. These muscles are important for improving balance and stability, as well as posture. For seniors, these exercises are a good way to help reduce risk of falls and make walking and other daily tasks much easier. Which, might we add, is key to retaining independence in your golden years. With that said, here are some easy core exercises for seniors from our independent living coordinators at JCHC.

Safety note: If you are unsure of how to do the exercises or require assistance in performing them correctly and safely, please speak to your doctor or physical therapist before attempting any new movements. 

  • The Bridge: This exercise focuses on the muscles in your buttocks, lower back and stomach. Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your torso to create a straight line between your knees and your chest. Be careful not to arch your back. Hold for three seconds and slowly go back to the start position. Repeat five times.
  • Leg Lifts: In this exercise, your pelvic muscles and lower stomach muscles are strengthened. Start flat on your back on a yoga mat. Contract your stomach muscles as you lift one leg about five inches off the floor, without bending at the knee. Hold for three seconds and slowly go back to the start position. Then, do the same with your other leg. Repeat five times.
  • Seated Side Bends: This will focus on the muscles that run down your torso. Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Put one of your hands behind your head and stretch the other out parallel to the ground. Now bend down to the side as if using that hand to pick something up, hold for three seconds and return to your start position. Do the same with your other arm and repeat five times.
  • The Superman: Named because it resembles Superman flying through the air, this exercise strengthens your lower back. Lie face down on the floor on a yoga mat, keeping your arms stretched out in front of you. Now raise your head, right arm and left leg at the same time to about two inches off the ground. Hold this position for three seconds and return to the start position. Do the same thing with your left arm and right leg. Repeat five times.

Fitness programs for independent seniors in New Jersey

If your loved one in independent living would like to improve their quality of health and wellbeing through fitness, our dedicated team at Lester Senior Living is here to assist them. We have a community calendar filled each month with different fitness classes to satisfy every resident’s mobility, such as “Stretch & Flex,” “Sit and Be Fit” and “Cha Cha Chair Dancing” – just to name a few. Our trained instructors are ready to assist or modify each exercise for your loved one to ensure their safety is the top priority at all times. 

In addition to our fitness programs, our communities also offer more advanced senior care services like assisted living and memory support for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. To learn more about our senior health and wellness programs in New Jersey, contact JCHC today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org


What to do when being a caregiver becomes too much

When your parents first start showing signs that they need support managing their day-to-day lives, family members sometimes choose to help out – becoming knowledgeable and competent caregivers. However, there often comes a point at which you can no longer keep up with the duties of a full-time caregiver, especially when managing your own family, career and other extracurricular activities.

One of the best ways to ensure uncompromised quality of care for your loved one, is to make the move to an assisted living community. While this is a difficult choice for everyone involved, it can be made easier by finding an assisted living community which offers the following:

  • Around the clock care: It’s important the community takes a close look at the individual needs of each resident in order to build a support program that provides the proper level of assistance. These services should also change as your loved one’s needs change, ensuring that his or her quality of life remains as high as possible and that they don’t need to be moved to another community at a later stage.
  • Independence: A community which encourages and supports the independence of its residents is important. This is key to mental and physical health, as well as having an enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle. Many communities offer a calendar of social events throughout the year in addition to live entertainment, fitness classes, book clubs, gardening clubs, spiritual services, and much more.
  • Apartment living: The community you choose for your loved one should offer open-plan, apartment-style living that is adapted to their safety. Apartments should be equipped with everything from grab bars in the bathroom to 24-hour alert pendants and smoke alarms. The rooms should be free of tripping hazards, easy to navigate with a walker, fully serviced and properly maintained by the staff.
  • Memory care: It’s important to know the community you choose can handle any future requirements your loved one may have. Memory care services like cognitive exercises, therapies and emotional support are imperative to have on-site, 24/7. 

Visit Our Beautiful Assisted Living Community in New Jersey 

Lester Senior Living is a JCHC senior community dedicated to helping older adults live full, happy lives as they age. With an active community spirit, great amenities, spacious residential apartments, and personal care services designed for assisted living, we’re a welcoming space for seniors to really feel at home. All our support services are available on an “as-needed” basis, allowing your loved one to continue living as independently as possible even as his or her needs change. We are also able to provide care for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents through our designated memory care suites. 

For more information about our assisted living facility in Morris County, please contact us today to schedule a tour or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org

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


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/