Artificial Hip Device Recalled and Trial Kicks Off in Los Angeles

Hip replacements take place very quickly now, with technology enabling doctors to efficiently perform hip replacement surgery, with many patients even have both hips successfully replaced now.  This is another reason why seniors in America are living longer - we have technology that assists us to do so.  However, one of the makers of a hip replacement device in the U.S.A. now is testifying in court after more than 10,000 lawsuits were filed against them for the device which turned out to be faulty in many instances.  Before the recall in 2010, about 93,000 patients received the Articular Surface Replacement or A.S.R, with about 40% of them proving to be faulty.

The maker of the hip joint replacement device, Johnson & Johnson, is testifying in court this week and some of the testimony seems to expose that an executive at the company was aware the device was faulty.  They continued to sell the product outside of the U.S.A. and did not disclose all internal concerns about the device until they were forced to do so.

Clinical Trials are required to test all new medical devices in the U.S.A.  Many times it can be beneficial to participate in a Clinical Trial as every medication we are now taking was first tested this way.

Clinical Trials add the benefit of receiving medical care by top research doctors and usually include many additional free perks.  Check out Clinical Trials for age-related diseases to learn more.

 

 

 

 

Caregiver Recruitment: Why Senior Care Companies Constantly Hire New Caregivers Weekly

Caregiver recruitment is an ongoing task as the senior care industry presents some unique factors that are not present in other industries.  Marketers like to track the "life-time" value of a client.  How much does it spend to market to a new client and then based on the length of time you will have the client, does the amount of money spent on marketing make sense?  in senior care, life-time value rings with reality.

Senior home care agency owners know that sometimes a client will begin senior care services and tell you that doctors have told them they only have a couple of more years to live and they will then live for many years beyond this.  Likewise, I have seen many hospice patients be discharged from the hospital and have life spans which were exactly opposite of what the doctor had told them.   I once started senior home care services with a senior who had just decided to move to hospice and he looked great and was completely mobile and functional when he went home from the hospital but once he was home he passed away the next day.  I have also provided senior home care services for a hospice client who was only suppose to have a few months to live and she lived for 4 years.  Each summer she would stash her fur in the storage unit for safe keeping and then need to pull it out in the winter again and tell us she was so glad she had not given it away.

As a hospice nurse told me, "people die when they are ready".  She had witnessed the spiritual aspect of leaving this world over and over again and after seeing so many different situations I began quoting her words to families with loved ones going onto hospice care.

This is exactly why senior care companies must hire new caregivers each week - - - to keep up with new clients who suddenly need senior care services (when deciding to leave the  hospital and begin hospice care) and when a family member discovers a senior has developed memory loss and is no longer safe to care for themselves or when a senior falls and breaks their hip - - in all of these instances senior care must start quickly.

Caregiverlist's Employment Index confirms senior care companies hire from 3 to 6 caregivers each week.  In addition to a constant flow of new clients, senior care companies must also keep up with the ever-changing schedules of their current senior clients as adult children may suddenly need to go away for the weekend or have more hours of service certain weeks.  In addition, the senior care companies must be able to plan for days off for C.N.A.'s and professional caregivers.

Refer-a-Friend to be a Caregiver or C.N.A. and be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate and introduce someone to the fulfillment of working as a senior caregiver.  Anyone interested in working as a senior caregiver may apply for a job on Caregiverlist, the nation's only professional senior Caregiver Career Center created by senior care professionals.  You may also take a 10-hour online training course to learn more about the skills taught to professional caregivers.

 

 

Caregiver Recruitment: Caregiverlist Employment Index Profiles 40% Growth

Senior care has become an industry!  This is not news to those of us who have been in the industry for the last decade but it is interesting to actually take a step back and look at the actual growth that has occurred, even during the recession. And as the number of seniors will only continue to grow and as technology will allow for more innovative care solutions, it is interesting to review the industry growth for those growing their careers in senior care.

Senior home care services have grown by more than 40% since 2008.  In addition to the franchise corporations, there are more than 1,000 independently owned senior home care agencies that have launched (entrepreneurs launching businesses on their own or corporations launching a private duty home care division).  Caregiverlist has more than 3,000 of these independently owned companies as subscribers.  Some are smaller than others but these are licensed senior home care agencies providing professional senior home care services.

Caregiverlist's Employment Index highlights the growth of the senior care industry which includes the growth in senior care jobs for certified caregivers.

Senior caregiving services are rarely provided by direct-hire caregivers.  This is because senior care is complicated - customized training is required along with benefits that meet national and state laws such as payroll taxes (a person caring for a senior should also be able to collect Social Security benefits, right? And have the protection of Worker's Compensation Insurance and Unemployment Insurance since eventually a senior will indeed pass away or get better and the caregiver will need to look for a new caregiving job position).

Licensed senior care companies follow all state and federal employment laws and also provide caregiver training which is now mandated in many states such as Illinois (8 hours of training must be provided for professional caregivers each year) and New Jersey which mandates Certified Home Health Aide (C.H.H.A.) training for all caregivers working with seniors in their homes.

Caregivers deserve to be treated well - senior care can be very difficult work as you are managing both the physical care needs and the emotional care needs of the senior.  Many times seniors are dealing with the deaths of their own friends and family members.

Professional senior care companies provide case managers and professional care plans.  One of the reasons senior care has been moving to the home is because seniors realize that one-on-one care delivers higher quality care and Medicare does not pay for long-term care.

Requests senior care services and rates from senior home care agencies (licensed) near you and research the costs of senior care in your area on Caregiverlist, created by experienced senior care professionals. Remember that Medicare only pays for short-term nursing home stays after a major hospitalization and very low-income seniors qualify for Medicaid and you can learn about the Medicaid qualifications in your state in Caregiverlist's By-state section.

 

 

 

Caregiver Pay Average $10 per Hour and $120 per day

Caregiver pay results from the Caregiverlist Employment Index compiled from survey results of more than 18,000 professional caregiver job applicants in 2012 shows $10 per hour and $120 per day as the national average for professional caregiver pay.  

Caregiver pay at this rate is higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and higher than the majority of minimum wages nationwide (states and cities may pass their own minimum wage laws and as long as they are more than the national minimum wage requirement, they will over-ride the national law). You may review minimum wage laws nationwide on Caregiverlist's By-state section.

Ten states passed an increase in minimum wage effective January, 2013, including Arizona raising their minimum wage to $7.80.  Other states raising minimum wages included Missouri increasing to $7.35 per hour, Colorado increasing to $7.78 per hour Ohio increasing to $7.85 per hour.

Meanwhile, two municipal cities in California require a much higher minimum wage, with San Francisco's minimum wage at $10.55 and San Jose's minimum wage at $10 per hour.  Of course, cost of living is higher in these cities which also enjoy being located in Silicon Valley, home of a higher percentage of millionaires due to the luck of the stock options for employees working for the fast-growth technology companies.

Caregivers will continue to be needed in the growing senior care industry which has experienced a 40% increase in the number of senior home care companies since 2008.

Becoming a professional senior caregiver requires a caring personality, successfully passing a criminal background check and basic caregiver training which can be obtained online or from the hiring senior care company.  Apply to be a senior caregiver with a professional senior care company in your area or refer-a-friend to be a senior caregiver and win a $50 gift certificate.

 

 

 

Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit: What Caregivers Need to Know

Veteran's of America's wars definitely deserve to be cared for in their senior years, and one of the benefits of being a veteran is having senior care benefits for care in your home for both the veteran and the veteran's spouse.  This benefit is called:  Veteran's Aid and Attendance or VA Aid and Attendance Benefit.  Never heard of it?  You aren't the only one but here are the details of this benefit program and how a veteran can qualify.

The Department of Veteran's Affairs offers the Aid and Attendance Benefit to help cover the increasing senior care costs for veterans of America's wars and their surviving spouses.

 

V.A. Aid and Attendance Benefit Basic Requirements for Approval


1. The Veteran must have served at least 1 day of active duty during wartime (review approved war dates).

2. The Veteran or surviving spouse must need assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) which must be confirmed and authorized by a physician.

3. Financial requirements must be met which include having under $80,000 in total assets (excluding one home and one car).

This benefit can be approved to provide up to $1703 per month for a Veteran and upt  o $1064 for a Surviving spouse to supplement the cost of senior care needs and medical costs.

The Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit, once approved, can be life changing for those in need bu the application process is lengthy and difficult to complete.  There are resources available to help expedite the application process ot ensure your loved one receives the benefit they or their souses fought so hard for by serving in a war.

Working with a V.A. Accredited Claims Agent is a good way to make sure your application is submitted correctly.  An accredited claims agent is able to contact the V.A. directly regarding the application and it's status.  Only the applicant (the Veteran or their spouse) is able to inquire about their application and even then, reaching the right channels can prove challenging.

Following is a quote from an accredited claim's agent.  She and her team of accredited agents have had hundreds of applications approved in record time.

"Many people are surprised to learn of this great government benefit, which provides a monthly award to war-time veterans and their surviving spouses. This tax-free benefit has given many elders the opportunity to age-in-place and afford the care they require.  Many have benefited from this generous support and avoided unnecessary nursing home placement.  I strongly suggest that all advocates for war-time veterans and their surviving spouses, in need of financial assistance, look into this benefit." says Katrina Spooner, the V.A. Accredited Claims Agent with The Cameron Group.

Once approved for senior care and the V.A. Aid and Attendance benefit, a veteran will receive a Care Plan and payments will be made to a licensed senior home care agency.  You may begin the process for approval by contacting your medical doctor or a licensed senior home care agency in your area and request senior care.

 

Guest Blogger:  Lauren Tyner, Caregiverlist Sherpa and a former senior care case manager for a Geriatric Care Manager in Florida. 

 

Senior-Proofing the Home

Aging in place is an option more in the senior population want to pursue. There’s no place quite so comfortable as one’s own home and community. However, according to AARP, nearly one-third of all Americans over 65 experiences a fall in the home. There are other safety issues that make staying in the home a challenge and the initial accident prevention costs might be off-putting. But in the long run, the costs can be far less to stay home and renovate than to move into Assisted Living.

Senior-proofing the home is much like childproofing the home. Both encourage you to do a room-by-room assessment of potential and hidden hazards. Both take into account the physical limitations their subjects may encounter. And in both instances, safety in independence is key. But do everyone a favor and, for the senior crowd, don’t lock the toilet seat.

Elder home-proofing suggestions abound on the internet, but the most thorough and comprehensive guide to home safety I’ve found comes to us from our friends at AARP. Their AARP Home Fit Guide goes into great depth discussing home livability, home safety and home maintenance to help keep the estimated 83% of seniors who would like to, age at home.

Fall prevention is a huge concern when it comes to seniors living alone. Getting rid of scatter or throw rugs throughout the home, lighting dim passageways, installing shower and toilet grab bars, keeping passageways clear of clutter and wiring, all contribute to fall prevention in the home.  If your home needs renovation, contact your state’s Department on Aging for information on available senior home modification services.

Senior safety is addressed outside the home as well as in. Make sure medication dosages are kept current. Visit the eye doctor to gauge general as well as peripheral vision.

Owning a good Medical Alert System, as we’ve written before, is vital. In addition to providing real help in case of an accident or fall, simply possessing such a device can contribute to peace of mind for older adults who live alone.

Occupational Therapists (OTs) can be brought to the home to conduct a full assessment to help maximize an accessible living environment. Also, look for a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) through the National Association of Home Builders to help with recommending home modifications to help age in place.

Taking preventative steps such as these, along with the help of a family or professional caregiver, can go a long way to help an independent lifestyle a viable senior option.

Experiencing the Sandwich Generation (Part II)

In this second of two blog posts, contributor Renata JL talks about saving your sanity and creating a balance while living in the Sandwich Generation.

My mother is an eighty-something year old widow who is relatively healthy and vital enough to live on her own. I started my family a little later in life, so my two children are still in elementary school. That means that I am, many times, caught in the middle, caring for both ends of my family’s generational spectrum. Most of the time, I like to think that I handle the pressures of care with efficiency and aplomb. But sometimes, especially during a health crisis, I find myself stretched pretty thin. And I know I’m not alone. Welcome to the world of the Sandwich Generation.

The term “Sandwich Generation” was first coined in by journalist Carol Abaya in 2006 to describe the growing segment of society simultaneously caring for both their children and their aging parents.

In a previous post, I wrote about my aging mother’s unexpected trip to the hospital and my subsequent scrambling to make sure all of my responsibilities would be met. It turns out her hospital stay (with its requisite daily visits) was not the ideal situation, but between Medicare and her insurance, the cost of her care was minimal and she had the around-the-clock attention she required. As her release date approached, we were aware that Medicare would pay for the first 20 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility, so with the help of the Caregiverlist’s Nursing Home Star Ratings system, we were able to find her a quality Nursing Home in her area. When those initial days are complete, the real challenges of being a member of the Sandwich Generation begin.

There is, of course, the financial stress involved with caring for my children and my parent, while planning for my own retirement. In this economy, I fully expect that I will need to help support my children for a longer time. Couple that with spiralling living costs, and I’m not sure how much I will have left over to help cover the costs of caring for mom, whether through the costs associated with Assisted Living or Senior Home Care. While the financial costs and responsibilities are fairly cut-and-dried, the emotional stress is the one that can really take its toll. Resentments can easily build between siblings dividing responsibilities, children losing the attentions of a parent to grandparent, and the senior realizing their diminishing independence. There are things that I plan to do to help prevent, or at least alleviate some of the stress involved with generational caring.

Here are some suggestions I found helpful:

Don’t Go It Alone
According to AARP, 29% of adult Americans spend 20 hours per week on caring for their parent(s). This growing demographic means and increased presence on the internet. Web sites catering to the Sandwich Generation abound. Look to them for ideas and support. Sites like sandwichgeneration.org, and AARP have a wealth of information about resources and support.

Talk About It
Gather family together, including children, parents, spouses. If you have siblings (even those living distantly), request that everyone participate in the plan of action. Communication is key and my help minimize or prevent feelings of resentment. Encourage everyone to voice their concerns and work together to find solutions.

Don’t Forget About You
If you are the primary caregiver for both children and parent(s), it may be difficult to carve out time for yourself, especially if you work outside the home as well. Although it may be difficult, you must treat the care you give yourself with as much gravity as the care you give to others. If you are fatigued, depressed or fall ill, you won’t be able to care for those around you. This one rings especially true because, as you know, we here at Caregiverlist are big advocates of “Caring for the Caregiver”.

The future will be demanding, I’m sure. I feel a little like I felt before giving birth, knowing that I would soon be entrusted to care for another human being and not sure if I was up to the task. That worked out somehow — some days are more demanding than others — but with the help of my family, my community and Caregiverlist’s resources, I hope to rise to the challenge of my new caregiver role with as much grace as I’m able to muster.

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We at Caregiverlist, along with the rest of the world, were deeply saddened by the December 14th, 2012 events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. We offer our sincerest condolences to all those affected — family, friends, neighbors. This tragedy reminds us that, in the midst of all the challenges we face as part of the Sandwich Generation, we are truly lucky to have the ongoing opportunity to care for our loved ones.

Becoming a Certified Nursing Aide

Certified Nursing Aides provide the personal care services to seniors in nursing homes, assisted living communities and hospitals nationwide.  There is an ongoing need in the U.S.A. for more Certified Nursing Assistants.  But what is it like to work as a C.N.A. and be the person who provides the critical hands-on care for our nationâ's seniors? 


Guest Blogger Patrick Welch, a C.N.A. since age 16, shares his story about becoming a C.N.A. and working as a C.N.A. during his clinical trials training for all of the caregivers who are becoming certified as a nursing aide (you may apply for C.N.A. and Caregiver positions near you on Caregiverlist, the nation’s only career center for professional senior caregivers created by industry professionals).

Senior care:  everyone has their own story about their beginnings in this industry.  My own story as a C.N.A. began when I turned 16.  My Mom, who was the equivalent of a director of nursing at our local nursing home, decided it was time for me to join the working world.  If I wanted to drive I would need to be able to afford to buy gas for the car so he suggested I become a C.N.A. as she knew I would always be able to find a job.  I enrolled in a program my high school offered in conjunction with the local technical college, North Central, and was off on my two month long class to become a C.N.A.  The first thing I noticed when I walked into the classroom of approximately 20 students, was that I was the only guy.  That was the start of my life working and studying in all female environments, which is another story on its own.  We started off the first week more or less learning what is to be expected of you when working as a nurse aid and slowly progressed into a crash course into the healthcare world.  Seventy-five hours of classroom experience later, it was time for me to start my clinicals at Colonial Nursing Home.  

We all met at the nursing home and waited as our nurse aid instructor gave each student a resident they would be working with through the 45-hour clinical period.  When she came to me, she seemed to have something special in mind for me, I could tell.  As the only male in the group, and as she also knew that I had grown up around healthcare, indeed I was given an extra special case.  My resident was in the late stages of dementia, physically aggressive, incontinent, and enjoyed communicating with an extremely colorful vocabulary.  Luckily, I did not have to work with this individual alone, as this was during my clinical trial training, I had an experienced CNA helping me.  The C.N.A. school’s nurse aid instructor would go from student to student to check on their progress so she was also available for advice and guidance.   

The first few days went as well as they could and as the saying goes, I “milked and fed the cows”, cooked dinner for the family and just kept the house tidy so that my resident was able to finally go to sleep.  She would never be able to sleep if all the chores were not finished.  However, once the chores were finished, everything went downhill from there.  Her language became more extreme and so did her aggression.  When I was halfway through my clinical trials, I had an experience I have never forgotten.  I was helping this wonderful woman get ready for bed, putting on her night gown, helping with her peri-care, brushing her teeth and all that was left was helping her to the restroom so she could relieve herself before bed. It was like any other night, except for the part where she tried to stand up by herself; as she struggled to stand, she wanted to do it by herself, but I wanted her to be safe and started to help her stand up.  With what must have been the rest of her life force, she grumbled a few words to me that went something like “to hell with this,” and coincidentally fell back onto the toilet and fell unconscious – it seemed her time had naturally come.

For anyone considering a career as a C.N.A., just know there will be many unique experiences along the way of helping others that will leave you with many stories to tell but also you will finish each day of work knowing you made a positive difference in someone’s life.

Caregiverlist provides proprietary hiring tools for senior care companies and caregivers seeking work may submit 1 caregiver job application on Caregiverlist to be considered by multiple hiring companies in their area.  You may also research C.N.A. schools on Caregiverlist’s C.N.A. School Directory.

Remember, it is mandatory for senior care companies who are licensed by their state to maintain a minimum staff of Certified Nursing Aides (C.N.A.'s), based on the number of senior patients they are assisting with care, and because of this, there is a constant need for more C.N.A.'s to fill available positions.  The work can be rewarding but also difficult when you are dealing with seniors who may have memory loss or may not really be accepting of their age-related illnesses.  You may want to first take a practice C.N.A. exam to see if this is the type of work you would enjoy doing.

You can share your caregiver stories right in the Caregiverlist caregiver and CNA career center. 

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