Using Senior-Friendly Tech to Stay in Touch With Loved Ones

This is a continuation of THIS ARTICLE we published back in 2020.

This topic is more relevant in a post-pandemic world than ever before.

Staying in touch with friends and family is difficult when you are stuck at home, yet that is a situation that an increasing number of older adults find themselves in. Prolonged isolation can result in severe consequences for emotional and physical health, particularly for seniors. Fortunately, even when you cannot physically engage with loved ones, modern technology makes it possible to stay connected.

Take a look at our website at Regency Nursing Centers for authoritative content on this and other related  healthcare topics.

Explore Senior-Friendly Hardware Options

The right hardware choice depends on how (and how much) you plan to use your new device. Occasional users may be fine merely sticking with a smartphone and downloading a specific app, say for a favorite game, for social media or for video chatting. However, if you are planning to engage in lifelong learning classes in addition to occasional interaction with your friends and family, then you may want to invest in a more robust product. Familiarizing yourself with current hardware options will facilitate a decision.

Desktop computers are an excellent solution for anyone who uses their device in a set location. If you add a webcam and microphone, you can easily use a traditional desktop or all-in-one system for everything from email to video calls. They tend to offer more features for a lower price than more portable options, making them a reliable choice if you want a robust system that won’t break the bank.

A laptop can be slightly more expensive than a comparably equipped desktop but offers the advantage of portability. Shopping online opens the door to many great deals on laptops, especially if you are willing to forgo the newest advances for a more basic machine.

You don’t need to have a traditional computer to stay connected through technology. Tablets are incredibly lightweight and portable, and they offer a simple, intuitive user experience. Prices and features can vary. Thinking about how you will use it (for gaming, video chat, email, e-reading, etc.) will help you find the right model for your needs. Some models can be added to a cellular data plan, so you don’t have to worry about a separate internet connection if you don’t already have one.

Seniors who aren’t tech savvy and aren’t interested in learning have other options, too; there are monitor-type devices that are exclusively for video calls, or they can verbally command their automated assistant to place audio calls.

Play Games

The internet makes it possible to play games with your loved ones, even if they live far away. For instance, if you’re a wordsmith, why not invite a family member to hop online and play a round of online Scrabble? Or you could jump on the bandwagon of senior gamers and play a console game that’s designed to play with friends. Whether you play on the computer, your smartphone, or a device like a PlayStation or Xbox, make sure your internet connection is up to par so you have a smooth experience and play without interruption. 5G has become the standard for game play, so check with your local provider to find out if it’s available.

Try New Software Choices

As there are numerous programs offering video conferencing and video calls, a few software upgrades may be all you need to enjoy this no-longer-futuristic option. In fact, if you already have a smartphone, you might be surprised to learn that you also already have video calling capabilities. Downloading a video call app like Skype or Portal to your phone makes communication feel more personal. Business Insider notes video calls can be made between iPhones and Androids, too, thanks to several apps that cross the brand divide.

Seek Out Accessibility Features

Aging brings about physical changes that, while perfectly normal, can make using some technology difficult. While there is no denying that barriers keeping seniors from embracing technology do exist, you are probably already overcoming them in other aspects of daily life. For example, you may have adapted to presbyopia with reading glasses or a magnifier or rely on a jar opener to overcome arthritis-weakened hands. The same adaptability can help you find technology that accommodates any physical limitations while helping you meet emotional and social needs.

Manufacturers and developers have increased accessibility features in recent years, and you should look for them as you search for the right device. Choosing a senior-friendly font in a size, style, and color that is easy to read improves the user experience—Fonts.com suggests at least 12 point text—and voice recognition makes accessing programs and information virtually effortless.

Technology can help you stay in touch with family and friends, even when you are confined to home. Choosing the right hardware for what you want to do and then looking for compatible software that accommodates any barriers you face will help you stay connected and minimize some of the complications of isolation.

Regency Nursing Centers NJ Leads The Way During COVID-19

Dear Friends,

With the Regency vaccinations now (successfully) in the rearview mirror (we were in fact, from the first skilled nursing organizations in the state of NJ to vaccinate our residents) it is tough to believe that we are finally starting to turn the corner with the pandemic – and we are so very grateful!

From the very beginning of the pandemic, Regency was at the forefront of the effort to keep our residents safe. Our heroic caregivers stepped up to the plate in a big way to heal our patients amidst this global crisis.

We succeeded.

And we were recognized.

Our Founder and President, David Gross, demonstrated tremendous leadership with his constant email outreach and updates to keep our families informed and empowered.

The grateful letters we received were well received and resonate even 1 year later.

I’d like to remind you of this positively stunning letter we received last year on June 23, 2020.

I actually have it bookmarked because it is a source of constant inspiration for me and for my colleagues.

TAKE A LOOK

What inspires you?

Have a great weekend!

Judah

Tips For a Safe Discharge from The Hospital to The Rehab Facility

3/23/2021

There is exciting news out today from the halls of NJ government!

Nursing Homes in NJ are being allowed to open up (officially) to visitors with relaxed guidelines, in large part due to the amazing progress nursing homes have made with inoculating their residents against COVID-19.

In short, it is completely safe once again to be admitted to a nursing and rehab facility for post-acute rehabilitation, just as it is safe to visit.

With this in mind, I wanted to put together this helpful guide to empower you with pertinent information related to a proper discharge from the hospital to the rehab facility for post-acute care.

What happens when your loved one is ready to leave the hospital? Until now you’ve been juggling your career and home responsibilities, visits to your loved one, and meetings with doctors. You haven’t really given any thought to what comes after.

But experts say you need to start planning your loved one’s discharge almost as soon as they enter the hospital.

When your elderly mom or dad has a strokeheart attack, or other emergency event, they’re rushed to the hospital for acute care. Once the patient has been stabilized and no longer needs hospital-level care, it’s time for discharge—even though they haven’t fully recovered yet.

A medical crisis and hospitalization throws the spouse or adult children of the patient into a whirlwind of decisions, confusing medical jargon, and labyrinth insurance rules.

What You Need to Know

In most cases, a stroke or fall victim will need rehabilitation at a sub-acute rehab facility. The first thing you will need to do is decide which facility is best for Mom or Dad. How to choose a rehab facility is beyond the scope of this article, but here’s a good place to start: Selecting Long Term Senior Care.

The hospital should give you a written discharge plan with instructions for post-hospital care. This is especially important if you’re bringing Mom or Dad home. The plan should include:

  • Overall care instructions
  • Where the patient is going—i.e. skilled nursing care, sub-acute rehab, home
  • Medication instructions, along with possible side effects
  • Symptoms to watch out for
  • What to do if these symptoms occur
  • Any necessary follow-up appointments

Make sure to go over the discharge plan with the patient’s doctor or nurse. If you don’t understand something, speak up and ask for clarification. The day before discharge can be a frenzied experience, especially if the hospital only informed you about the discharge that day. Take a few deep breaths to keep calm, and don’t worry about being assertive in making sure you understand the doctor’s instructions.

For more information about planning your discharge, check out this article from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

When discharge day comes, make sure you are well-rested and have eaten well. Bring along nutritious snacks and an extra drink or two for you and the patient. Getting discharged from the hospital can be a long process with a lot of waiting, so make sure you’re prepared.

With some advance planning, you can help your parent or loved one have a seamless transition from the hospital to a rehab facility.

Wishing you complete health and recovery!

Yours,

Judah @ RegencyNursingCenters

Regency Nursing Centers NJ: COVID-19 Vaccination Message

On behalf of our Founder and President, David Gross, the extended Gross family, and the entire Regency family, we are excited to have commenced with vaccinating our residents at each of our Regency facilities this month!

To our local politicians and dignitaries who were in attendance at each event:

We were especially privileged to share our vaccination launch with all of you.

With all our heart, we thank you for celebrating this milestone with us. We have always cherished our friendship and remain deeply grateful for your continued partnership and support of our work and our efforts.

It is through your own local leadership and efforts that events like these are made possible.

We are ready for a new year!

We find ourselves at the dawn of a new year; a year that is already full of hope and promise for brighter days ahead.

2020 has been a year like no other in recent memory.

The worldwide pandemic known as the coronavirus, has tested our planet to the extreme. Collectively, we have lost hundreds of thousands to this deadly disease. Personally, we all know somebody close to us who succumbed to Covid-19.

The pain of such loss is indescribable, especially when too many have perished alone and afraid, without the comfort of their loved ones to surround them in their final moments.

But nowhere has the pandemic been more impactful and more acutely felt than in the skilled nursing industry where we care for the most vulnerable of our population, our senior citizens.

From the very onset of the pandemic, nursing homes and their residents suffered the full brunt of an unforgiving disease, misguided directives from top levels of government and an unrelenting media more invested in salacious soundbites than truth and fairness in reporting.

Our healthcare heroes step up!

Through it all, our heroic healthcare workers stepped up to the challenge to care for their patients and residents with singular dedication and compassion. When everyone else was self-isolating, these ‘heroes in hazmats’ were placing themselves in the eye of the storm to do God’s work.

When fingers were being unfairly pointed in their direction to castigate and scapegoat, they remained focused and driven to heal the sick without regard for themselves.

At Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we stand in awe of our own heroic staff for their incredible acts of self-sacrifice.

You all embody the spirit and resilience of the human spirit. Your selflessness, compassion and dedication to our residents is a source of endless inspiration to us and to our grateful families.

It is through your efforts that we remain the only 5-star healthcare system in the entire state, even during a global pandemic!

To our partner pharmacies:

We would like to take this moment to thank our local designated partner pharmacies, for working with us in the days and weeks ahead to vaccinate our residents and the members of our community.

We look forward to collaborating with you on this ‘miracle’ project!

To our local communities:

We would like to thank the members of our communities, beginning with our local enforcement agencies right on down to each of our friends and neighbors.

The late Coretta Scott King once famously said; “the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

Indeed, truer words were never spoken.

We are truly proud to be part of the Dover, Somerset and Wayne NJ communities.

The members of our communities contributed to our efforts in the most creative and heartfelt ways.

From your homemade masks, to face-shields rendered on 3-d printers, to your food contributions for our staff and local agencies, to custom ski-masks for our staff, you all stepped up to show tremendous compassion and friendship.

Each gift was, and is, incredibly meaningful and deeply touching.

We are humbled by your generosity and thank you for your friendship.

May God bless you all and here is to a fantastic 2021!

Warmest,

Your Regency Nursing Family

2021 Winter Safety For Seniors

Well my friends, it is snowing today in the tri-state area and it truly is beginning to feel like the holiday season is upon us!

SO LET’S TALK ABOUTR WINTER SAFETY FOR THE ELDERLY!

The Regency Alliance on Senior Healthcare previously published an incredible pamphlet regarding winter safety for seniors, which we hand out gratis (and we’ve given away thousands of these pamphlets to various libraries, hospitals, Dr. offices and other healthcare institutions).

I encourage you all to read this!

Click on this link

My friend and a superb and true healthcare professional, Denise Graab of Caring.com, also wrote an incredible and empowering article on this topic back in 2017 and it is as relevant today as it was then.

I encourage you to read her piece as well.

Click on this link to be directed to her article.

Stay Safe!

Congrats To Our President On A Groundbreaking Achievement (Literally)!

On October 18th, a long pursued dream came true for our President, David Gross, as he broke ground on what will be a beautiful new Jewish Congregation in Clifton, NJ.

The celebration was well attended by the entire Jewish community of Passaic-Clifton and many local politicians. The ceremony marked the culmination of a 15-year long legal process which set a new precedent in the City for all future houses of worship catering to all faiths and denominations.

This years long struggle spearheaded and funded entirely by Mr. Gross, is a demonstration of his iron will and fortitude and will long resonate and be remembered by future generations. Indeed, every faith and every denomination will benefit from his single-minded vision and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Regency Jewish Heritage is proud to pay homage to our beloved Founder and President upon this milestone achievement.

Rendering of the new Sanctuary!

Regency Nursing Founder, David Gross Helps Secure Increased Yeshiva Funding

Regency Nursing Centers Founder and President, David Gross, has long spearheaded and championed many charitable initiatives for Jewish causes. This has always been a source of tremendous pride for us at Regency Jewish Heritage!

His latest successful initiative with the venerable Jewish institution, Agudath Israel of America, is no exception.

This article was recently published by Harry Glazer writing for the Jewish Voice.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY

Senior Fitness and Rehab Near The Wilf Campus for Senior Living

“A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”
-Sir Isaac Newton-

At the Regency Jewish Heritage Nursing and Post-acute Rehabilitation Center in Somerset, NJ, we place great emphasis on honoring the aforementioned quote.

There is nothing more counter to a healthy lifestyle than inactivity and turning into a sedentary ‘couch potato.’

A proper fitness and exercise and regimen, knows no distinction of age or gender. Male and female, both young and old, need to stay active in order to stay healthy.

I find there is a misconception promulgated by some that fitness is about honing ones physique or developing an obsession with your local gym and your personal trainer.

That’s a most myopic view of what staying fit is all about.

Staying fit is about improving your immune system and increasing your lifespan, period.

It really is that profound, yet that simple.

To this end, seniors have much to gain by working on increasing their stamina and energy, including spending more years enjoying their children and grandchildren.

The problem during this unprecedented pandemic, is that we no longer have the luxury of going to the gym to workout and stay healthy.

However, that doesn’t mean all is lost. In fact, the helpful tips I’ve put together below don’t require a gym membership!

Here are several suggestions that we practice here with our residents at Regency Heritage to great success:

  1. Proper sleeping habits is crucial. Our bodies crave a set rhythm and structure when it comes to sleep. Without the proper amount of sleep, the body becomes lethargic and weak. Seniors are especially prone to lethargy when their sleeping pattern is off kilter and inadequate.
  2. Eat healthy. It isn’t just young folks who like to nosh. Seniors enjoy candy too. Some candy in moderation (and when it doesn’t conflict with ones dietary restrictions and protocol) is ok, but junk food should never replace healthy, wholesome and nutritious meals. At Regency, we ensure that our residents eat healthy.
  3. Walk, don’t ride. Most senior living centers will have multiple elevators in house. Elevators are convenient, but not conducive to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t absolutely need the elevator, take the stairs to help with your metabolism and increase your vitality.
  4. Get outdoors. We have beautiful outdoor spaces at Regency and encourage our residents to avail themselves of our lush greenery and idyllic waterfalls and ponds. Staying cooped up all day inside (and certainly during the warmer months) will adversely impact your mood and energy level.
  5. Stay social. On first glance, this seems like more of an emotional tip than a tip for maintain a healthy body. The truth is, there is a direct synergy and correlation between emotional and physical wellbeing. Someone who is thriving emotionally will be better equipped to stay healthy. That’s why at Regency, we encourage and foster an active social lifestyle for our residents.

In the final analysis, a healthy individual is a happy person, so stay happy and stay healthy!

Visit us next door to the Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for senior living!

We are the marquee skilled nursing and rehab facility located next door in the the same sprawling complex.

About Regency Jewish Heritage

Regency prides itself on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here.