Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

With about 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer's Disease diagnosed every year, there are still just 4 medications approved for treatment of the disease.  The mental and physical challenges caused by this disease can result in a senior needing assistance with care for many years of their life. 

I had the experience of meeting former President Ronald Reagan after this disease had left him needing around-the-clock assistance (I was in a restaurant in Santa Monica, in the overflow section, and they sat him in this out-of-the-way area with his nurse and two Secret Service agents.  He did not know who anyone was at this point, but his nurses went for a walk with him on the beach each morning).  He had the means to pay for the caregiving services he needed, but. as ongoing care for many years can be expensive, finding a way to prevent the onset and progression of Alzheimer's Disease will make a big difference in the ability for this country to manage for the aging of the large baby boomer generation.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports a team of doctors in California are working on cognitive tools to help prevent the disease, including diet and socializing tips. 

Brain exercises, along with meditation and acupuncture have all shown to improve memory and perhaps slow the onset of memory loss.  Caregivers can do brain exercises with their senior clients  -  it's free, it won't hurt and it might help! 

Find C.N.A. and C.H.H.A Training Schools

Senior caregivers seeking to continue to grow their caregiving skills and to gain training for specific age-related diseases, can take part-time classes at local Certified Nursing Aide and Certified Home Health Aide Training Schools.  This allows caregivers to continue working while taking classes.

As becoming a C.N.A. is part of the training for becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse, caregivers can take the first step to becoming a nursing professional.  This helps to guarantee employment as the senior care industry will be a top employer in the coming decade.

Caregiverlist's C.N.A. school directory provides you with the following information:

  • Cost of Training Programs
  • Length (Weeks/Months)
  • Admission Requirements
  • Physical Exams
  • Immunizations Required
Find a nursing aide or home health aide training school in your area and learn more about admission requirements and financial aide by contacting the school directly.  You may also apply for a job as a companion caregiver in your area to gain experiences in caregiving before you begin a caregiver certification training program.
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Resume Writer for Senior Caregivers, C.N.A.'s, H.H.A.'s

Senior caregivers applying for a job can make their job application stand out by providing an updated resume that highlights their experiences and provides references.  Even though senior care companies will require caregivers to complete a company job application, a resume can be an added advantage.

What are the benefits of providing a professionally written resume as a senior caregiver, nursing and home health assistant?
  • Shows professionalism
  • Demonstrates you are organized and prepared
  • Provides job history and specific experiences
  • Provides names and phone numbers of references
This information lets a hiring manager know right away that you will be able to meet certain staffing requirements, have references who are available to speak with them about your skills and find out about your work history.  By making it easy for them to see how you will fit into their company, you will more likely score an interview and a job.

Caregiverlist
provides a resume writer form for senior caregivers, complete with a sample resume as a guide.  Once you finish inserting your information into the resume, you may preview and then download it to keep and use to submit with your job applications.  Our build-a-resume feature is free, to help you standout from the crowd!

Healthcare for Caregivers

Caregiverlist's mission is to "Care for the Caregiver".

Because of this, we think it is cool that senior caregivers will now have access to health insurance, with passage of the recent healthcare legislation, signed into law by President Obama.

Our recent survey (which was no surprise to us) showed that only 26% of senior caregivers had health insurance through a company health benefit.  This is because caregivers who are part-time may not qualify for benefits and because many small businesses may not provide health insurance, if they do not have 75% participation for a group plan.

Another cool aspect of the healthcare bill is the CLASS Act.  This is long-term care insurance, via paycheck contribution, to the insurance program.  If you don't need it, that is great, if you do need it, you receive around $75 a day, as long as you have signed up and contributed for 5 years.

Other benefits of health insurance:
  • Preventive health care
  • Eliminates the high cost of "free" health care in emergency rooms which has always been passed on in the form of higher costs to the paying patients
  • Insurance companies cannot drop someone because they are sick
  • Insurance companies will need to share the cost of the overhead
As senior care will become one of the top employers in the next decade, it makes sense for senior caregivers to have access to health insurance.

Healthcare Bill Passes: The Positive Benefits for Senior Caregivers

The first step in providing affordable access to healthcare begins with passage of the healthcare bill  yesterday.  I know that most of us are very tired of hearing all the commentary on the healthcare bill.  I heard a senator from Iowa saying that the U.S. has never required Americans to buy anything - he was a very good debater but I guess the guy doesn't know he is required to buy car insurance? 

Usually something is never as bad as we think it will be and never as good as we think it will be.  Remember, when Medicare began providing benefits for prescription medications?  The new plan included a silly donut hole gap in coverage - made no sense, but it pleased the drug companies (shhh!) and allowed the benefit to be passed.  The healthcare bill fixes this silly donut hole gap in prescription medication coverage for seniors.  The same fixes will happen to the new healthcare legislation.

Here is the good news about the healthcare bill for seniors and senior caregivers.

  • Children cannot be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and adults will not be denied beginning in year 2014
  • Small businesses will receive assistance in providing health insurance benefits for employees (50 employees or less) in the form of tax credits covering up to 50% of employee health insurance premiums
  • New insurance plans must include preventive care by 2018 (a very large number of seniors have never had health insurance until they turn age 65 and go onto Medicare/Medicaid)
  • No lifetime caps on health insurance
  • Children can remain on parent's health insurance plan until age 26
  • Insurance companies can non longer kick you out of their plan when you become ill
  • Insurance companies must reveal how much money is spent on overhead
Caregiverlist's survey found that only 26% of Caregivers  have health insurance benefits through their employer.
The reasons why?
  • 18% of Professional Caregivers did not participate in a company plan because the co-pays were too high
  • 55% of Professional Caregivers work for a company that does not provide health insurance benefits
Health insurance benefits in the past have been difficult for small businesses to provide due to costs, lack of participation and high turnover of employees.  Family caregivers who are not employed for a company face the same challenges.  The new legislation cares for the caregiver, in providing access to affordable health insurance for both small businesses and individuals.
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Free Research Studies for Seniors and Caregivers

Seniors and their caregivers may participate in professionally managed research studies to help provide feedback on various medications and care approaches.

Advantages of participating in a research study?
  • Free medical evaluation
  • Free medications (if medications are being studied)
  • Free check-ups with medical doctors, psychologists, social workers and other medical professionals
  • Education about best-practices for your diseases and health conditions
In addition, usually the senior's caregiver may also participate in providing feedback for the study and will receive a free medical physical, which is usually required for most studies.

The medical professionals are usually very experienced in researching specific diseases and health conditions and just having access to these high-quality care practitioners is another benefit of participating in a study.

Remember, every medication we currently take was once part of a drug research study and it only makes sense that more helpful drugs are part of these studies and they just might help with your current medical condition (without the price tag of a pharmacy bill).

Find out about the current research trials needing senior participants at Radiant Research - view the research trials by city and submit your request to participate.  Current studies include Alzheimer's Disease, Osteoarthritis, Heart Disease, Diabetes and more.  You may also find information about caring for various age-related diseases in our Care Briefs.
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Create Your Own Caregiver Resume

Professional caregivers sometimes must apply for a new job after a client passes away or no longer needs caregiving services.  A professional looking resume will highlight your experiences and skills.  In addition, it is always a good idea to update your resume after obtaining training for special caregiving skills, such as memory loss care training.

Caregiverlist's Build-A-Resume tool allows you to highlight your:
  • Education
  • Work History
  • References
Simply plug in your information, following the lead of Sally's Sample Resume (you may also click to view the design of the completed caregiver resume).  Then preview, confirm and download the resume.

Attach the resume to your job application with Caregiverlist or use for any other company you apply for a job with and your application will stand out from the crowd. , , ,

Healthcare Reform: Including Insurance for Senior Caregivers

Everyone agrees the current U.S. healthcare system is broken - including both Republican and Democratic Congressman while sitting at the same table discussing how to fix the problems.  While many special interests are fighting to make sure they keep their sweet deals, it is important to let your voice be heard.

The healthcare bill will not be perfect.  But overhauling anything is a challenge and you must begin by unloading the truck. Some items will eventually be tossed back onto the truck and the same thing will be true for the healthcare bill.  Once it is passed, amendments will come along to modify and change various aspects of it. 

Caregiverlist's survey of professional caregivers resulted in nearly 75% of senior caregivers not being covered by a company health insurance plan.  The reason?  Either small businesses did not offer it or offered a plan that was not affordable.

It is estimated that 66 million family caregivers assist a loved one with senior care needs.  If they must quit their job to assist with care, they also have the challenge of no access to health insurance as an individual, or paying an average of $250 per month for a high-deductible health insurance plan.  Yikes!

As a senior or caregiver, let your voice be heard by contacting your congressmen or senators.  To find out how to reach them, visit: www.congress.org or call the Capitol Switchboard, toll-free, at 1-800-828-0498.

Remember that many Americans never have health insurance until they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare insurance - which also burdens the healthcare system because all of these seniors did not enjoy preventive healthcare.  Imagine how much better Medicare insurance would be if those entering the system had prior healthcare to prevent and manage health problems rather than allowing them to escalate. 

 

 

 

 

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Caregiver Health Insurance Cost Increases: NPDA Report

The National Private Duty Association's annual conference is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this week.

Today's keynote speech, by Dr. John Bowling, the Director of the PRS School of Aging Services and Coordinator of the Management of Aging Services program at Southern Oregon Univesity, outlined the future needs of aging seniors.

What is the future of aging?  No surprise, the majority of seniors plan on a combination of professional and family care to age-in-place.  65% of seniors prefer this solution, while 0% plans on aging in a nursing home.

Dr. Bowling also mentioned that the healthcare system is broken.

Among the issues?

Small companies, which includes senior care agencies, hospices and Medicare agencies, are paying 18% more for employee benefits than large corporations.

This helps explain why only 26% of Caregivers said "yes, as a professionally employed caregiver, I receive health insurance benefits", in Caregiverlist's recent survey

 

Caregiver Health Insurance

As Congress debates the healthcare overhaul legislation, Caregiverlist decided to find out if professional caregivers receive healthcare benefits, as oftentimes companies require caregivers to be full-time employees to qualify.

The results?  Only 26% of Caregivers said "Yes, as a professionally employed senior caregiver, I receive healthcare benefits."

Another 18% of Caregivers said the do not participate in their company health benefit program because the co-pay is too much.

Caregiverlist Survey:
Professionally Employed Caregivers Receiving Health Insurance as a Benefit:  26%
Professionally Employed Caregivers Not Participating in the Company Health Insurance Because it is Too Costly:  18%

However, those Americans who do not have insurance, are not turned away from emergency rooms for care, even if they are unable to pay.

According to Northwestern Memorial Hospital's annual report (Northwestern is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois and is a leading university research hospital), in 2008, $28.6 million was spent on providing "charity care" to these individuals who did not have insurance and could not pay for care.  Another $110.3 million was for the additional costs of unreimbursed Medicare and Medicaid patient care.

Because healthcare is not available to everyone - even co-pays can be too expensive for small businesses and individuals because they do not enjoy the benefit of having risk spread out over a large number of people - health care costs are higher for those who do pay and insurance costs are higher.

Many Americans only receive health insurance for the first time in they go onto Medicare insurance, which everyone receives at age 65.

One wonders what would happen if preventive care were part of our system.  In addition, as the baby boomer population numbers 77+ million people, many more senior caregivers will be needed.  It would be nice to know that individuals who must quit their jobs to care for a relative and caregivers working for small businesses will have access to affordable health insurance.  As we try to find the best ways to provide care for seniors, Caregiverlist hopes we can also pave the way to provide care for the senior caregivers through affordable health insurance benefits. , ,
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