Community Corner

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family is affected. Immediately after a cancer diagnosis, family members, spouses, and close friends mobilize and figure out how to be caregivers and provide emotional support to their loved one. It can be a trying time for everyone involved. You’ll cycle through many emotions and we want to assure you - this is a completely normal response. While it may feel overwhelming at times, you are now your loved one’s caregiver, advocate, and support system. It’s important to look out for your own mental health and your own feelings while still acting as a caregiver, so our long term care teams put together this guide to help you through some of the stages of caring for a family member with cancer. Face the cancer head-on A cancer diagnosis means you’ll be faced with new terminology, new medical processes, and essentially an entirely new world. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the language and the latest information, and sites like the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society are excellent places to start. A big part of facing the problem is ensuring you and your loved one feel comfortable with their medical team. Unfortunately, many people feel they can’t advocate for themselves when dealing with their doctors, but it’s important to speak up if you don’t feel comfortable. Your loved one deserves a doctor and a medical team they feel comfortable with at all times. Facing the problem also includes the financial aspect, which can add a lot of stress to the situation. If you need financial assistance for treatment, discuss it with your loved one’s insurance provider and speak with organizations like CancerCare to see if they can provide support. Consider viable cancer treatment options Once your loved one’s doctor has decided on a treatment plan, we recommend doing your research and ensuring you're comfortable with what has been proposed. Never hesitate to get a second opinion or ask other specialists what they think, and if you are uncomfortable with or have questions about any part of the treatment process, please speak up. Once their treatment plan has been decided upon, you can support your loved one by helping them prepare for doctor’s appointments, helping them manage their medications, and helping them understand what they can expect during all stages of their treatment. Simply being by your loved one’s side will give them comfort through this difficult time. Prepare for common conflicts A cancer diagnosis can change everything. Whether it’s a parent, a sibling, a child or a spouse, your relationship with your loved one may change and it may feel strained at times. Remind yourself that they are going through an incredibly difficult time, and reassure them that you’re there to support and care for them - no matter what. If you find you and your loved one disagreeing over the best treatment option, you might find it helpful to have your loved one talk with a nurse instead. Sometimes people with cancer are reluctant to go through chemotherapy and resist it even when their doctor recommends it, but speaking with other medical professionals may give them some perspective and reassurance. There’s no official guide for how to care for a family member with cancer, so figuring out your role in their life is something you’ll learn as you go. Honest communication is essential between you and your loved one, and so is empathy. It’s an incredibly difficult time for them and it’s important to remain compassionate throughout every stage. If you’d like to speak to someone from our long-term care team or learn more about the services we provide at United Methodist Communities, please visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org

Caring for a family member with cancer

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family is affected. Immediately after a cancer diagnosis, family members, spouses, and close friends mobilize and figure out how to be caregivers and provide emotional support to their loved one. It can be a trying time for everyone involved. You’ll cycle through many emotions and we want to assure …

mood, quality of life, anxiety, family member, seniors, routine, dominos, pet therapy, photo album, self-expression, jigsaw puzzles, stages of dementia, sensory stimulation, simple recipes, physical activity, board game, tai chi, emotional connections, enjoyment, new activities, bingo, social interaction, outdoor activities, simple puzzle, fresh flowers, hand massage, baking, cookies, reminiscence, stir memories, taste, collage, youtube videos

Mood boosting activities for people with dementia

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia , you may feel overwhelmed and confused about how best to move forward. You’ll undoubtedly have many questions about providing the best care, how to keep them engaged and interested in mental and physical activities, and how to keep them comfortable and safe.  Staying mentally and physically active …

Tips to help your loved one manage arthritis

How to help your loved one manage arthritis

If someone you love has been diagnosed with arthritis, you’re probably wondering how to offer support and help them manage this common condition. First, it’s important to know that there are many different types of arthritis. Some of the most common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.  Most forms of arthritis …

United Methodist Communities Earns Silver in McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards

United Methodist Communities earned a Silver Award from McKnight’s 2021 Excellence in Technology Awards program. The New Jersey-based nonprofit senior care provider was recognized in the Skilled Nursing division, Innovator of the Year category, for successfully implementing VirtuSense remote resident monitoring devices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When infection control protocols and safety …

Learning-experiences-for-new-dementia-caregivers

Learning experiences for new dementia caregivers

Have you recently become a caregiver for someone with dementia? As we get older, most of us will likely need assistance from family and friends, but providing memory care for seniors comes with a specific set of challenges. In this article, we’ll discuss several common learning experiences you’ll probably go through while caring for someone …

Festive-fall-activities-for-older-adults-in-NJ

Festive fall activities for older adults in NJ

The hot summer days are now behind us. As we enjoy cooler temperatures, crisp fall air, and the beautiful changing foliage, it’s a great time to get out and get active with the older adults in your life. If you’re looking for festive fall activities for seniors in NJ, we’ve got several great suggestions that …

The Many Hats of Mr. George Shomo

By Pamela Joyce, Director of Social Services Even with his mask on, you can tell George Shomo is smiling. He is always, without a doubt, donning his New York Yankee baseball cap. This was not always the case. Mr. Shomo has worn many different hats throughout his life. Mr. Shomo attended elementary school in Sea …

3-Things-Every-Family-Should-Know-About-Hospice-Care

3 Things Every Family Should Know About Hospice Care

If someone you love is about to enter hospice care, you and your family may have questions about what will happen, what hospice care includes, and how the process works. Hospice care is a type of palliative care for people with terminal illnesses, and the aim is to provide the person with the highest levels of comfort …

Staying active in assisted living

5 Activities to Keep Independent Seniors Engaged

Helping the older adults in your life stay active and engaged is vital for their wellbeing, and it’s also a great way to strengthen your relationship and special bond with them. You can discover new interests together, engage in new hobbies that will help them maintain key critical thinking and motor skills, and establish more …

Understanding-Dementia-Behaviors.jpg

Understanding Dementia Behaviors

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, the diagnosis affects the person’s entire family. As the caregiver for someone with dementia, you’ve likely experienced the frustration and difficulty that so commonly accompanies this condition. You may have also found yourself feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you’re doing the right thing.  The team at our …

Celebrating-National-Grandparents-Day.jpg

Celebrating National Grandparents Day

September 12th is National Grandparents Day! If you’re looking for some fun ways to celebrate these special people in your life, our assisted living team has put together some ideas that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you see your grandparents on a regular basis or only a few times a year, September 12th is a special …

What-is-Palliative-Care-How-Does-it-Work.jpg

What is Palliative Care? How Does it Work?

If you’ve been advised that your loved one needs palliative care , you may be wondering what exactly palliative care is, and how it will benefit your loved one. Our hospice care team in South Jersey has put together this helpful guide to answer some basic questions about palliative care, and we hope it will help you …

United Methodist Communities Requiring Associates to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

United Methodist Communities announced today that all associates will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15, 2021.   President & CEO Larry Carlson shared, “United Methodist Communities has a high ethical and moral obligation to provide the safest living and working environment possible and believes that the best path forward is a fully …

Easy Steps to Talk to a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, knowing what to do next and how to best take care of their changing needs can easily become overwhelming. Alzheimer’s is a diagnosis that affects the whole family, including the person’s close friends, and although there are many movies depicting the memory loss experience, nothing can …

How Occupational Therapy Can Benefit Your Loved One

One of the toughest parts of getting older is losing the ability to do things that we once considered easy. When you’re younger and mobile, you don’t even think twice about things like walking, climbing stairs, bending over to pick things up, and other similar ranges of motion. Many factors contribute to a lack of …

Celebrating Purple Heart Day

On August 7th our nation celebrates Purple Heart Day, honoring all those who have been wounded or killed during enemy combat while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Purple Heart is considered the highest distinction, reserved for those who have made a huge sacrifice for our country. Here at UMC , we want to recognize …

Reasons to look forward to assisted living

Why You Should Look Forward to Retirement Living

When you hear the phrase “assisted living,” what comes to mind? For families with loved ones who can no longer safely live alone, or for older adults who have certain medical needs, assisted living communities can be a wonderful option. Unfortunately, some people still have very outdated notions of senior living communities. They picture strict …