April Showers Brought May Flowers!

You may have noticed that spring came early this year. In fact, this is the earliest spring in the last fourteen years! Not that we are complaining one bit – seeing the new buds pop up out of the cold ground was a welcome sight. At our UMC at Bristol Glen campus especially, we are surrounded by lush greenery and wooded areas. Some of our plants are natural to the area, while others are actually planted and maintained by our senior residents and team members! That being said, our assisted living coordinators in Sussex County would like to show you what makes Bristol a truly unique and natural setting, and why it is the perfect location for the avid senior gardener.

A Natural and Unique Senior Living Location

UMC at Bristol Glen is located in Sussex County, in the town of Newton. If you’re familiar with northwestern New Jersey, you probably immediately thought of farmland, and you couldn’t be more right! Sussex County has vast farmlands as far as the eye can see, but it also has some interesting industrial history. Our historic county is famous for the Andover Mines, for example, which date back as far as the early 1700s and are just a short ten-minute drive from UMC at Bristol Glen. While located in this quaint, rural setting surrounded by nature, hiking trails, and farmlands, Bristol Glen is just a short five-minute drive to downtown Newton’s hustle and bustle. Here you can find many shops, restaurants, local events, and even live entertainment! So, whether you enjoy busy city life or sitting on a quiet county porch, seniors can have the best of both worlds at Bristol Glen.

UMC at Bristol Glen is A Gardener’s Dream

While many seniors give up gardening when moving into a senior living community, our residents at Bristol Glen can keep up with their hobby as long as they wish. Because of our unique location, we have ample garden space that residents are welcome to care for. As we briefly touched on before, our residents with green thumbs plant marigolds, impatiens, and whatever is blooming. Independent and assisted living seniors have also carefully tended to a vegetable patch. They’ve been especially successful with beans, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, and zucchini this year! If a senior needs additional care and support and transitions to one of Bristol Glen’s dedicated healthcare neighborhoods, they are still able to reap the bountiful benefits of gardening by working with potted plants or the flowers and veggies on the healthcare patio. Bristol Glen occasionally hosts guest speakers and lecturers from nearby community colleges and universities, and gardening is a favorite topic.

The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

While gardening is often thought of just as an outdoor hobby, it’s so much more!  Because the upkeep of a garden requires active engagement and physical activity, it can help prevent osteoporosis and even reduce some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Improved immune systems are just another benefit of playing in the soil, as the “good” bacteria found in the soil can alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. While the health benefits of gardening are extensive, one of the most profound benefits is that it may lower the risk of dementia by as much as 36 percent![1]

In addition to the physical benefits of gardening, it also has mental and social benefits. Gardening is known to reduce depression and enhance overall well-being. In some cases, like at UMC at Bristol Glen, gardening is a social activity that is a great way for seniors to connect with each other and with nature. Gardening reduces stress and anxiety by lowering the cortisol levels in your brain. While cortisol is necessary to function, too much can actually increase anxiety, blood pressure, and glucose levels.

Seniors Live An Abundant Life in Sussex County NJ

While many people think you have to give up things you love after moving to assisted living, that is quite the opposite here at Bristol Glen. Our priority is for every resident to live the most abundant life possible. The only things you have to give up are responsibilities like keeping up with a clean house, laundry, and preparing multiple meals a day. Living abundantly looks different for every resident, so if laundry is your passion, by all means, enjoy it! If that’s not the case, now you have the time, and place to explore all your passions. Give us a call or visit our website to schedule a tour of our beautiful blooming campus, we promise you won’t be disappointed. https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen/

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16411871/

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