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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


How Assisted Living Enhances Your Quality of Life

Quality of life is one of the leading concerns for all of us as we age. While Desiderata may tell us to “Surrender gracefully, the things of youth…” frankly, we’d really rather not!

Still, when mom or dad’s health needs are changing, medical issues become more complicated, and day-to-day tasks are becoming more challenging, you’ll likely start to look into an assisted living community as an option for them. But is that really a better option for their quality of life than taking care of your loved one in their own home? What about your quality of life if you are an adult child doing the caregiving?  Even hiring, managing and checking in on a part time or live-in caregiver can be stressful. In this article, our assisted living caregivers will discuss the ways in which assisted living actually enhances the quality of life for your loved one and their entire family.

  • Independence: The ability to live your life as you’d like – a priority in each of our lives — is also a priority in assisted living. At Lester Senior Living, we give our residents the perfect balance between support services and gentle encouragement toward an active lifestyle filled with independence, privacy and many opportunities for social activities and engagement.
  • Physical safety: Modern assisted living communities like the JCHC at Lester, are designed especially for seniors, providing easy access for those with mobility limitations, while also reducing the risks of falls and injuries. In addition, there are caregivers and security personnel on duty 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide rapid, professional assistance if needed. Gone are worries over mom leaving the oven on, or falling when she is alone, or forgetting to take her medication. This is a huge relief to both residents and their families.
  • Mental and physical stimulation: Our communities offer specialized programs which provide a wonderful level of mental and physical stimulation, including fitness classes, JCHC University classes, off-site trips, synagogue services and activity clubs like knitting, mahjong and gardening. These activities help build  strong community relationships and a sense of purpose, and are organized in a way that allows each person to choose their level of participation.
  • Day-to-day assistance: Often, household chores can become more challenging and time-consuming as we age. In order to free up your loved one’s time for more important and enjoyable activities, our staff can assist them daily. This includes assistance with personal care, apartment cleaning services and several dining options.
  • Transportation: Outings to shops, social events and more are all organized and taken care of by our fully-trained and friendly staff. This gives residents a little adventure and a change of scenery. We provide the freedom to carry out social and other appointments easily and safely, without having to worry about driving or getting someone to drive you..

Enjoy life to the fullest in assisted living 

There is a good argument to be made that moving your loved one to an assisted living community is an elevation of quality of life for the entire family. But it has to be a community that everyone can trust and believe in.

We encourage you to consider visiting Lester Senior Living in Whippany, New Jersey to see for yourself what a modern, active assisted living community can be. We’re confident that you’ll find Lester is dedicated to maintaining the independence and dignity of your family members  for as long as possible. Our assisted living care philosophy and social programs ensure residents receive the support and stimulation they need and they can be involved with the community at any level they are comfortable with. 

For more information about JCHC’s senior living options in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.og

4 Reasons Seniors Choose an Independent Living Lifestyle

There are many reasons behind the choice to move to an independent living community. Most of them depend on mom or dad’s current health status and lifestyle requirements. This type of lifestyle is typically desired by aging adults who are relatively healthy and need minimal to no support in order to complete daily activities. What makes this option so attractive? Here are the reasons we most often hear at Lester Independent Living in Whippany, NJ:

  • Maintaining independence – Independent living communities are designed to keep seniors as independent as possible for as long as possible, allowing your loved one to maintain the lifestyle they prefer. In these communities, most of the support is aimed at reducing stress (maintenance, housekeeping and meals, among others) in order to give mom or dad more time to spend on the pursuits they love.

  • Staying active – Most seniors really value having a physically active life and would like to stay mobile for as long as possible. Independent living offers the ideal support for this, firstly through housing which minimizes the risk of falls and injury and secondly, through amenities such as clubs, social gatherings, and fitness centers which allow seniors to get active within their community and with peers their own age.

  • Safety – For many seniors, personal and medical security is understandably important. An independent living community offers both in a way that is highly efficient and unobtrusive. From easy-to-navigate apartments, with smoke detectors and medical alert systems to 24-hour security and on-site home health services, seniors can relax knowing that support is right there when they need it.

  • Scalable services – Moving can be difficult. This is why leading independent living communities offer scalable services which change to accommodate your needs, as required. In some cases, this allows seniors to stay independent and in the comfort of their own apartment throughout their stay in the community. If higher levels of care are required, they can be accessed under the same roof.

How to Find High-Quality Independent Living for Seniors 

At the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, our aim is to ensure each of our residents maintain their quality of life and independence. Our programs encourage residents to get involved with the community at a level they are comfortable with. We tailor our services to make sure each resident gets the help and support they require to live a full and happy life as they age. 

For more information about our independent living apartments in Essex or Morris County, please contact the JCHC 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/