Congress Passes National Alzheimer's Project Act

Professional senior caregivers know that many times senior's with memory loss often have few if any other health concerns.  They are physically active and fit.  As memory loss progresses, especially Alzheimer's Disease, additional physical problems will develop as the body "forgets" to do the things it should to maintain health.

At the same time, a senior with memory loss, even if they are healthy physically, will require care services, many times for years before they pass away.  Former President Ronald Reagan is an excellent example of how caregiving can take a toll on a spouse and require around-the-clock care services as the disease progresses.

Last week, the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to create a national plan to combat Alzheimer's Disease with the same intensity as the attacks on AIDS and cancer.  The bill will create the National Alzheimer's Project within the Department of Health and Human Services, to coordinate the country's approach to research, treatment and caregiving.

The legislation moves to accelerate the development of treatments that would prevent, halt or reverse the course of Alzheimer's and improve the early diagnosis of the disease along with coordination of care and treatment of citizens with Alzheimer's Disease.

The costs of long-term nursing care are significant and this is a move in the right direction with the addition of the early diagnosis research. 

Solving Caregiving Conflicts Among Family Members

Family caregivers usually consist of spouses and siblings.  As the saying go, when there is more than one person involved in anything, there will always be some disagreement.

The Washington Post reports on how mediators are increasingly used by families to solve conflicts over aging parents.

Learn about caregiving job descriptions to understand the tasks required and  how to find caregiver training.

Senior Caregiver Background Checks

Background checks are required for senior caregivers, as a way to confirm the caregiver has entered the field because of their desire to assist seniors.  Certain industries, such as senior care, attracts some people who think that there will be an easy opportunity to steal.  And, because some seniors live isolated lives and are lonely, they will quickly become friendly with someone new and develop a trusting relationship.  Entire networks have been created by those with criminal intent towards seniors, teaching their team members how to go in, build a friendship and then have access to  a senior's finances and over charge for caregiving.

This is another advantage of hiring a senior home care agency.  Senior home care agencies are professional companies who understand how to hire, how to conduct quality background checks and how to effectively manage employees with quality training and accountability metrics.  The "bad eggs" will stay away from professional agencies ad they know they will be easily discovered.

As a former owner of a senior home care agency in Chicago, I have many stories of situations where families hired a caregiver directly, thinking they would avoid the employee payroll taxes, only later to discover they were paying more, without all of the insurance protections and quality standards.  For instance, the caregiver would charge $20 to go to the grocery store which was just one block away.  Senior care is not at all like child care.  The parent is not there every morning and evening to hold the caregiver accountable and then add in possible memory loss and a senior who may be resistant to do some of their daily activities and you can quickly have a situation where the caregiver is not providing quality care and there are even situations where caregivers have had entire estates signed over to them.

The #1 form of senior abuse is financial.  Both by relatives and other opportunists.

Learn how to conduct a quality background checks and only hire senior home care agencies who meet quality standards and actively manage their employees.

Caregiver Training for Professional Caregiver Jobs

Senior caregivers are needed for a wide variety of companies:  nursing homes, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, hospices and senior home care agencies.

Companion care positions are available as well as positions requiring more skills or certification as a nursing aide.  You may obtain certification for a 10-hour online training course for professional caregivers.  You may read or listen to the training manual and then take the exam for each module to receive a certificate of completion to show current and future employers.

Learn about training programs in your area for certification along with online training solutions. You may also apply for a caregiving job, either part-time or full-time to

Caregiver's earn more than minimum wage and the only experience required for companion caregiving is a caring personality, dependability and trustworthiness (a criminal background check will be performed as added protection).

You can learn about all aspects of senior caregiving along with finding background check laws by state within our Caregiving Careers section.

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