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Senior Health and Wellness Tips for Spring

Spring is finally here! Which means it’s time to ditch the lazy winter habits you may have fallen into, like binging Netflix series for days on end and avoiding the cold outdoors. In your defense, snow, ice and freezing temperatures can make it hard for anyone to stay active during the winter, especially seniors. With the arrival of spring, comes a new opportunity to refresh and start over with better lifestyle choices. It’s the perfect time for seniors to get active outside, each and every day.  

In honor of new beginnings, we’d like to take this time to highlight some key health and wellness tips that seniors can take advantage of this spring. 

  • Take up a new physical activity and incorporate it into your daily routine. Whether it’s a daily 30-minute walk or chair yoga class, staying active consistently is so important for seniors both physically and mentally. Exercising on a daily basis has the power to help seniors maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and get a better night’s sleep. Not to mention, learning a new skill can also help improve memory recollection, which is huge for those who may be in the beginning stages of dementia.
  • Preventative care for seasonal allergies and more. We love spring flowers, but hate the pollen it brings. Before allergies really take their toll, seniors should speak with their primary care provider or allergy specialist about which allergy medications to take and how often. Seniors could also use this as an opportunity to schedule all routine check-ups like prostate or breast cancer screenings, dental cleanings and hearing and vision appointments.
  • Prioritize a healthy diet filled with spring fruits and vegetables. Spring is the absolute, ideal time to grow delicious vegetables, fruit and herbs. Asparagus, basil, cucumber, mint, bell pepper, and strawberry are all in season and can be found at the supermarket. Not to mention, gardening is a very rewarding and enjoyable hobby for seniors to take up this time of year. Some of the tasty food items mentioned above can be grown easily indoors in a small container. 

Spring activities for seniors at Lester Senior Living in Morris County, NJ

With the weather getting warmer, all JCHC communities are always looking for new, safe ways to stay active with our residents! With effective health and safety protocols in place, we have been able to restore and maintain avenues for senior socialization during COVID-19.

Some activities included chair yoga, celebrations of jewish holidays, and more. We understand the important role socialization plays in everyone’s life and want to ensure our residents can continue these essential activities both indoors and outdoors starting this spring.

For more information on our senior activities in Morris County, New Jersey, please contact Lester Senior Living today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/activities-for-seniors-nj/


5 Influential Jewish Personalities Born in April

There seem to be two major traits that Jewish people in the entertainment world have: the comedy gene and the music gene. We often don’t realize how true this is, until you start to look at famous TV, film and music personalities. You may come to discover that a majority of your favorite actors, actresses and musicians are of Jewish descent. The team at the Jewish Community Housing Corporation (JCHC) would like to take this time to honor just a few of our favorite, influential Jewish entertainers that were born in the month of April. 

Robert Downey Jr. (April 4th)

It’s only right to start with Marvel legend, Robert Downey Jr. Although he’s been in the acting industry for decades, he really gained critical acclaim after nailing his leading role in 2008 as Iron Man. In the same year, he was also named as one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. Most importantly, he’s one of the best examples of how it’s never too late to turn your life around. Everyone who knows his story really appreciates his transparency about his past drug issues and how he credits multiple avenues for his continued sobriety, including family support, rehabilitation, and even yoga. 

Paul Rudd (April 6th)

Next on our list, one of the most famous New Jersey natives: Paul Rudd – who might I add, doesn’t seem to age? His breakout performance in the 1995 teen movie Clueless really put him on the map. He then went on to star in multiple comedies like Anchorman, This Is 40, I Love You Man and the superhero franchise Ant-Man. I think what we love most about Paul is his sarcastic sense of humor and how down to earth he still is. Although he moved to Kansas City when he was 10, most of his early movies took place in New Jersey or New York to honor his roots.

Sarah Michelle Geller (April 14th)

We can’t forget America’s favorite vampire slayer: Sarah Michelle Geller. She is best known for her roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swans Crossing, Cruel Intentions, the live-action Scooby Doo and All My Children, which won her an Emmy. Her conscious choice to play strong and independent women is definitely her mark on the world. It’s also so sweet that her and Scooby Doo co-star, Freddie Prinze Jr, have been together for over 20 years – one of Hollywood’s most successful love stories!

Barbra Streisand (April 24th)

In short, Barbra Streisand does it all. She’s a successful singer, actress, director, producer, and the only person who’s ever received all of the following prestigious awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, Peabody awards, the Kennedy Center Honor, American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement honor and the Film Society of Lincoln Center Chaplin Award. One major reason why she is so admired is that she comes from modest beginnings. As a child, she was raised by a middle-class family and attended the Beis Yakov Jewish School in Brooklyn. She grew up dreaming of becoming an actress. It’s safe to say, she followed that dream and then some!

Jerry Seinfeld (April 29th)

This list wouldn’t be complete without comedy legend: Jerry Seinfeld. He credits his comedy gene to his father, Kalman Seinfeld who was a commercial sign maker of Jewish descent. Jerry paved his own way with his observational humor, that often draws from real-life experiences. His long-running sitcom, Seinfeld, essentially depicts the hilarities of everyday life, like getting into a petty argument with the barista who makes your coffee in the morning or forgetting your date’s name. The show was (and still is) so popular because it reflects this situational sense of humor that so many people relate to.

Lester Senior Living treats regular folks like celebrities. 

Whether you are retiring from a long career in movies, or you’re a fan and just want to be somewhere safe and fun, the Lester Senior Living Community is a good choice. While we incorporate Jewish traditions at all of our senior living communities in New Jersey, we have residents from many faiths and every walk of life. They come to us for the upscale, active lifestyle that our team works very hard to provide. From active discussion groups and online seminars to kosher meal options and holiday celebrations like Purim, we are honored to represent Judaism in a lot of what we do, while making everyone feel at home.

To learn more about Jewish senior living in New Jersey, contact JCHC today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/independent-living-new-jersey/

Employee Appreciation Day: Meet Our Assisted Living Team!

It’s Employee Appreciation Day and we’d like to give “Ah groisen dank” (a big thanks) to all of our staff members throughout the Jewish Community Housing Corporation. All of our residents are in the right hands, thanks to your hard work, dedication and compassion. A special shoutout is in order for a few outstanding staff members from the Lester Senior Living community. If we had to describe the staff at Lester Senior Living in particular, it would be that they are a team that doesn’t really stick to titles or positions. They aren’t afraid to pitch in with tasks that are outside their comfort zone. Every department provides a helping hand to one another which is truly an incredible thing to see. Without further ado, let us introduce a few (of the many) wonderful staff members from the Lester Senior Living community in Morris County, NJ. 

Nettie Leander – LPN/Medical Secretary

Nettie is dedicated, enthusiastic and truly our ‘go to’ person. Nettie is the true definition of a “Universal Worker.” She dances with the residents, shares health knowledge wherever needed and goes above and beyond for our residents and family members.

Sergio Serrano Perez- Wait Staff

Sergio is loved by everyone. He crosses over in so many departments and never hesitates to jump right in. The residents think the world of him as he not only focuses on exemplary dining service, but also socializing and adding to their day in the most meaningful of ways.

Ann Marie Bass- Concierge Service Manager, Lester Independent Living

What can I say about Ann Marie? She is everything! Why? Because she truly does it all. When it comes to customer service she covers all ends of the spectrum, from returning calls promptly to making sure every resident makes the most out of their assisted living experience with JCHC. 

Keisha McDonald – Community Life Coordinator

Keisha makes all the magic happen for our assisted living residents in Morris County! She really goes the extra mile to keep our residents social, engaged and entertained. We swear she never runs out of ideas for fun! Not to mention, Keisha manages to do this while keeping residents safe from COVID-19. She truly is a rockstar and we’re all so lucky to have her! 

Join the Fun at Lester Senior Living in Morris County, NJ

Lester Senior Living is part of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, a collection of senior living communities in New Jersey that help engage a fun, safe and active lifestyle for seniors.

During COVID-19, we’re not only working hard to keep your loved ones safe and healthy, we’re also doing all we can to keep them social! If you’d like to find out more about our senior activities and care services in Morris County, NJ, give us a call today: (973) 929-2725. Or you could visit our website to learn more about community life at Lester Senior Living: https://jchcorp.org/activities-for-seniors-nj/

American Heart Month: Tips to Avoid Heart Disease

American Heart Month, a federally recognized event, is a great reminder for Americans to focus on their hearts. Heart awareness in a time of  COVID-19 seems particularly important. Simply put, there is no better time to prioritize our health and the health of our senior family members. Simple lifestyle changes can not only prevent heart disease, but can also strengthen the possibility of living longer with a much healthier heart. Our assisted living team in Morris County, NJ has gathered vital information regarding heart disease risk factors and tips to prevent this all too common disease.  

Risk Factors of Heart Disease 

Despite years and even decades of hearing how smoking and being obese can ruin your heart health, too many americans are not getting the message. Yet it turns out that many of the risk factors below can be managed with smart and relatively simple changes to your lifestyle. 

Common risk factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Physical inactivity and obesity
    • Alcohol, caffeine and substance abuse
    • High blood pressure or cholesterol levels
    • High levels of stress and anxiety 
    • Ethnicity and family history 
    • Age and gender 

Heart Disease Prevention: Tips for Healthy Senior Living 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you set out on your journey to live a heart healthy life.

  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. Higher levels of blood pressure and cholesterol mean your heart is being overworked. One of the first steps you can take to maintain a healthy heart is to have healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Make an appointment with your primary physician to determine what levels are considered healthy for you, since your levels depend on your unique risk factors and heart history.

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices and stick to them. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet is key. Cut out smoking and foods that are high in saturated fat content, like processed meats. Here at Lester Senior Living, we have many senior exercise classes available (chair yoga, anyone?) and offer low-cal, low-fat dining options 7 days a week. Visit our website to learn more about what we offer at the Lester Senior Living community.

  • Combat stress head-on. Stress that goes unmanaged is a serious risk factor for heart disease. It’s also something that is often overlooked or confused with another medical condition. If you have significant trouble managing stress and anxiety, we recommend speaking to a medical professional as soon as possible.

  • Have regular check ups. Most people don’t want to visit the doctor without a reason but having yearly checkups and blood work is one of the best things you can do for preventative maintenance on your heart. As we get older, we may accept many of our aches and pains but they may sometimes be the harbinger of something else. If you catch it early, you will be much better off.

Assisted Living Care Services in Morris County, NJ 

At Lester Senior Living, having caregivers on-site around the clock, means your senior family member can get the extra help they need immediately. We have one of the best ratios of staff to residents in the industry, which means we never skimp on care. Our senior living residents also have direct access to certified specialists on-site, such as physicians, therapists and other wellness providers that can manage the medical complications that come with heart disease. 

If you have any questions about our care services, or if you’d like to see if our senior community is the right fit for your loved one, please contact Lester Senior Living today: (973) 929-2725. You could also visit our website for more information on assisted living in Morris County, NJ: https://jchcorp.org/assisted-living-morris-county-nj/


Winter Exercise Tips for Seniors

We all need exercise at any age, and the National Institute of Aging recommends at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity in your routine every day.

Physical activity helps older adults improve and maintain balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. But when the winter comes, it’s not easy to get outside for those brisk walks or a leisurely bike ride. Between the colder temperatures, snow and ice, many seniors take their exercise indoors for safety and comfort. Here are some ways to keep active this season.

Dancing. Whether ballet or foxtrot, dancing keeps minds and bodies healthy. You can dance alone, with a partner or in a group, and enjoy music at the same time. Ballet steps and poses have been shown to improve posture and dancing in general is a great way to enjoy social time with friends. As with any form of exercise—particularly as we get older—it’s important to stretch and warm up beforehand, and be careful not to overdo it.

Yoga. This popular form of exercise, combined with elements of mindfulness, is a wonderful year-round activity. It’s gentle, quiet, and low impact and you can do yoga in a chair. Yoga is said to increase flexibility, help improve balance and strength, and lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Poses can be easily modified to avoid injury or to accommodate physical needs or restrictions, while still providing great benefit. Several JCHC communities offer yoga and balance & mindfulness classes for residents to work on their balance, stretching, and stress reduction.

Gym workouts. Weight-bearing exercise is good for bone health and a light cardio workout is important for young and old alike. Treadmills, stair climbers, recumbent bikes, weight machines, and more provide many options for maintaining muscle tone and cardiac health. Working with a personal trainer or instructor will ensure you are using the equipment properly and are handling the right weights for your level of fitness and ability. Lester Senior Living in Whippany and Village Apartments in South Orange have nicely equipped fitness rooms with a variety of equipment and space for exercise classes.

Swimming. This low-impact form of exercise improves balance, flexibility, endurance, and strength. Senior aquacise is a popular and fun swim class. Moving gently in the water can provide benefit for seniors who have limited mobility, and water exercise may be helpful for those with arthritis or joint pain.

Walking. Walking outdoors gives you fresh air along with the exercise but indoor walking is a fine way to keep moving. Make sure you wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes, that the area is well lit, and that the track or route is free of trip hazards. Mall walking with a small group is popular—many shopping malls have early hours before the stores open for mall walkers. Find out if a local community center or senior center has an indoor walking track or an area suitable to walk. Residents at Jewish Federation Plaza in West Orange enjoy walking the Promenade, which connects the buildings.

Benefits of exercise for seniors
Regular exercise activities such as those noted above are key factors in helping prevent falls. Exercise that strengthens and tones muscles, improves mental state and alertness, and keeps bodies more limber will enhance one’s balance.

Aerobic exercise (such as using a treadmill or bike, or swimming) is good for the heart and lungs, and improves oxygen flow which is good for the brain as well. Incorporating arm movements into walking helps pump up the workout.

Simple stretching—before or during an exercise class—helps combat the loss of elasticity many older adults deal with, which decreases range of motion. Staying limber helps one perform many daily tasks—think of how many times we reach for things every day.

Regardless of what type of exercise you enjoy, make sure it’s comfortable and suited to your abilities, and remember to listen to your body. It’s good to challenge yourself somewhat but don’t push yourself too hard—it’s not a competition!