Caregiver's Job to Help Seniors Stay Fit in Winter

Winter storms drive even the most hale and hearty of us to seek the shelter of warmth indoors. While it’s enticing to stay inside by a roaring fire (or space heater) snuggled under a blanket with a favorite book, I think we can all agree, and studies show, exercise is just as important, if not more so, in the winter than other times of the year. So it’s imperative to get up and get moving.

Fitness classes for seniors are a great option, as is a simple walk around the mall. But what about the transport? In inclement weather, even getting in and out of a car can be daunting. How does a senior, with limited mobility on the best of days, keep strong, flexible and fit when snow and ice keeps them housebound?

Caregivers can help with a regiment of at home exercises for seniors. Remember — it’s always important to consult a doctor before starting a home workout plan.

Ideally, a comprehensive workout plan will address endurance, strength, flexibility and balance.

If possible, invest in a low-impact piece of exercise equipment, such as a stationary bike. It’s great aerobic exercise and will strengthen leg muscles. For those who are very limited in their mobility, check out the Sit and Be Fit series, either on YouTube or your local PBS station. Learn about Chair Yoga, which is a great way to increase blood flow and fluidity of movement.

Resistance bands and free weights, if used with caution, can increase muscle mass and promote strength. Building strength can help counteract the weakness and frailty usually associated with aging.

Balance is a special concern for the elderly. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), one in every three adults 65 years and older falls. Many times those falls can cause severe injuries, such as breaks and head traumas. Regular exercise will help a senior bounce back more quickly from an injury or illness, as well as help prevent those falls in the first place.

Exercise is an essential part of aging well. Exercise helps alleviate depression — which can be a problem for the elderly, especially during these dark, cold months. It can also help prevent osteoporosis, keep diabetes at bay, enhance energy, and generally make a person feel better. If you’re not sure where to start, consult a physical therapist or senior fitness expert. If I’m a caregiver, that’s a gift I want to give to the senior for whom I care. That’s a gift I want to give to myself.

If you are a senior caregiver, consider Caregiverlist’s Caregiver Training and Certification. One of the training modules deals specifically with promoting and maintaining good mobility, and that’s a skill that will make you more attractive to future employers.

Makers: Women Who Make America Airs Tonight on PBS

Caregivers for seniors have many varied background but tonight's PBS programming focuses on women who make America and as the majority of senior caregivers are women (both professional and family caregivers).  Usually the oldest daughter in a family takes the role as caregiver and definitely the majority of professional senior caregivers are women.  Men are welcome, definitely, but in honor of the reality, we wanted to promote Makers: Women Who Make America airing on PBS at 7 p.m. tonight.

Lilly Ledbetter paved the way for equal pay for women which all professional senior caregivers can appreciate and Maria Shriver's foundation has highlighted Alzheimer's disease and promoted more research dollars to be devoted to finding a cure for Alzheimer's.  Cancer survivor and entrepreneur Diem Brown is also profiled - she started MedGift to allow those with illnesses to receive what they really need from friends and families.  MedGift works just like a baby or bridal gift registry and makes it a little more seamless to give and receive for those who are struggling with the challenges of illness.

Tune in to PBS tonight for inspiring stories and to learn a little history about female innovators in the U.S.A. You may also view the Maker's videos on the documentary website.

 

 

Caregiver Training: Online Training for Professional Senior Caregivers

Caregiver training requirements vary in each state in the U.S.A. but look for more states to pass legislation requiring specific training and mandating training programs to be passed before working as a professional senior caregiver.  This is because senior care truly does require many skills and this includes understanding how to safely monitor medications, manage nutrition and physical and mental exercise.  As elder abuse can also be an issue, professional caregivers are trained to monitor for signs of abuse (remember, the #1 type of elder abuse is financial).

Illinois caregivers must now complete a training program to learn the basic senior care skills and this training can now be obtained online through a 10-hour training course.  More than 33 states require some type of training with Florida and New Jersey leading the way for home health aide certification training.

Caregiver training courses include the following skills, for basic professional caregiving job duties:

  • Duties of a Caregiver
  • Communication with Others
  • Observation, Reporting and Recording
  • Providing Personal Care
  • Promoting and Maintaining Good Mobility
  • Elimination and Toileting
  • Infection Control
  • Environmental Hazards and Safety
  • Basic First Aid
  • Understanding Elder Abuse

Certified caregiver training can be purchased through an online caregiver training course which caregivers may take at their own pace.  Once caregivers pass the course at 80%, they will be certified and may explore additional training programs for memory loss and consider becoming a Certified Nursing Aide.  C.N.A. programs are administered in all states of the U.S.A. and require working in the field and passing the state C.N.A. exam.  Take a sample C.N.A. test to learn more about certified nursing assistant training in the Caregiverlist C.N.A. School Directory.

 

 

 

Super Bowl Commercial Features Seniors Who "Viva Young"

Super Bowl commercials are as anticipated as the big game itself. This year’s offerings included Taco Bell’s 2013 Game Day commercial, “Viva Young,” part of their Live Más (Live More) campaign.

In the commercial, after being tucked in for the night, some elderly residents of the Glencobrooke Retirement Home go out for some after-hours debauchery to a very literal spanish translation of the apt fun. song, “We Are Young.” The group and their leader, Bernie Goldblatt, go on a shenanigan-spree that includes pool trespassing and setting off firecrackers. Next, they go clubbing (along with the requisite make-out sessions), Goldblatt gets a tattoo and they all finish the night at Taco Bell before returning to the nursing home at dawn.

We first meet the 87-year-old Bernie Goldblatt in the online teaser trailer called, “Grandpa Goes Wild.” In it, Mr. Goldblatt takes to the football field in his motorized scooter — tearing it up, popping wheelies and evading security.

According to the spot’s agency, Deutsch L.A., “the “Super Bowl delivers more than 110 million viewers and that is one of the most-watched broadcasts on TV each year ...it fills nine of the top 10 television program slots in history.”

"Our hope is that our consumers will see themselves in this ad," Brian Niccol, chief marketing and innovation officer at Taco Bell Corp., said of the Super Bowl spot.

It’s a good way to go. As the population ages, target consumer markets are getting older. If 50 is the new 30, this Taco Bell spot pushes the notion that 80 can be the new 20, and that life doesn’t need to stop or even slow down as we age.

So what do you think? Taco Bell is not the first to feature “young” seniors in advertising. I recall Coke and Pepsi using the same tactic, albeit with a slightly tamer seniors. There is evidence that healthier living promotes aging well and a “Cocoon” -like life can be waiting for us as we get older.

Caregiving Jobs and Options for Spanish Speakers

Professional senior caregivers assist seniors with activities of daily living, including companion caregiving for seniors with memory loss and nursing care for seniors who need assistance with bathing and eating.  Many seniors living in the U.S.A. speak Spanish as a first language or second language and this week AARP Viva! Radio invited Caregiverlist's "Caregiver Sherpa" Juan Padilla to host a radio show about senior care options and senior caregiving jobs.

Spanish-speaking senior caregivers may listen to Juan's tips and suggestions on the recorded AARP Viva! Radio program.  

Caregiving jobs are available nationwide and include part-time and full-time positions.  Seniors may research nursing homes in their area and review the daily costs along with ratings or find a licensed senior home care agency as they plan for their senior care.

 

 

AARP VIVA Radio Features Caregiverlist.com Today: 2pm Central Time

Senior care impacts everyone, including Americans who speak Spanish as their first language (or preferred language).   A recent estimates shows more than 50 million Americans enjoy a hispanic heritage and there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico.  This makes people of a Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority.

AARP VIVA, a publication and radio show by the American Association of Retired Persons will highlight Caregiverlist.com's information and services today on their 2:00 p.m. show on VIVA Radio.

Medicare and Medicaid questions and professional senior caregiving options are concerns for all Americans and AARP VIVA Radio will explain Caregiverlist's useful tools for seniors and professional caregivers today.

We hope all those speaking Espanol will be able to listen!  Just turn your dial to or go to AARP VIVA Radio online.

 

Instagram Grandma? Superhero Grandma Reminder of Wisdom (+ Fun) of Aging & Caregiving

Senior caregiving as a profession delivers fulfillment way beyond a paycheck, in addition to paying well above minimum wage.  However, sometimes when dealing with the challenges of caregiving and the reality of changing senior clients and positions because of the reality that aging comes with dying eventually.  But let's move on to the positive side and a recent book profiling a Grandmother as a Superhero highlights the positive sides of aging.

Working as a professional caregiver also means getting to know a senior and as the industry is growing (companies must hire from 3 to 6 caregivers each week just to keep up with caregiver staffing demands), anyone with a caring personality, valid references, clean criminal background check and a willingness to learn can become a professional senior caregiver….and enjoy the wisdom seniors share.

Superhero Grandma dresses up in full costume and is profiled in a photography book by her grandson called:  "Mamika:  My Mighty Little Grandmother".  This is a reminder of the fun that can be had with a senior client and the fearlessness that can come with aging for some seniors.  Aging well, remember, includes maintaining social connections and physical and mental exercise.  Congratulations to Mamika for enjoying her 90's by experiencing new adventures.

Wisdom, something gained only by living life with a willingness to learn from mistakes, can be shared with others to perhaps help them have a smoother path.  The older we live, the more experiences (and mistakes) we have to share.  It is rather enjoyable to cross that line of aging where you have been there and done that and can already read between the lines.  And it is fun for seniors to share these lessons learned with those younger than them, including caregivers. 

Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist and author, profiled in one of his recent books, Outliers, how successful people achieved their success.  One of the sustaining factors for success was being near other key players and having an environment where you would naturally learn more.  The genius from the rural Midwest perhaps does not naturally learn some things about achievement in business that the same genius in downtown New York City learns.  Senior caregivers will provide care for college professors, retired lawyers and doctors and CEO's and mothers and fathers who have raised children and grandchildren.  It is a gift to be able to spend time in the company of these wise seniors.

Senior caregiving as a profession delivers a huge benefit to caregivers in that it allows the caregiver to interact with a senior who has experienced life.  Caregivers who are able to connect with their senior clients share their stories of learning so much about life and how to perhaps avoid having regrets when they reach their retirement years.  Likewise, when caring for a senior who is perhaps grumpy and unhappy, a caregiver may be able to learn just why the senior is this way.

As the owner of a senior home care agency which served hundreds of seniors, I would often develop relationships with certain clients and then end up going the extra mile for them.  I just couldn’t help it – there was something about them which inspired me to do more.

One senior gentleman who lived in an Assisted Living community had 7 children and his one daughter in downtown Chicago managed his care.  I found him to be extremely fun to be around.  He was a retired lawyer and also had a fun sense of humor.  He did have difficulty with mobility and needed full caregiving services.  I would always jump at the chance to fill in as Care Manager to introduce a new caregiver just because I enjoyed seeing him.  I could also ask him one question about a business or life issue and he would always have some fresh wisdom to pour around it.

One day I realized that really none of his children came to visit him or seemed to have much contact with him.  It seemed very odd to me since he was such an interesting person. So I asked his daughter why her brothers and sisters did not seem to check in with their father.

She told me that he was not a nice person all of his life.  He had worked the majority of the time and when he was around his family he was simply not nice.  She said a lot of things happened over the years and if I knew about them that I would understand why none of the family engaged with him anymore.

As this senior gentleman’s memory loss progressed, his personality did change.  This does happen.  Seniors who were outgoing their entire lives may become more withdrawn when memory loss develops and then the opposite will happen and seniors who are quite will then become outgoing and talkative.  The brain’s functionality simply changes when memory loss occurs.

Senior caregivers are hired every week by senior care companies.  There is a need for more professional caregivers in the industry.

Part-time, full-time and weekend and weekday positions are available as seniors may need a variety of schedules to fill-in for when family members cannot be there or when family members live far away or simply are not able to perform the more advanced professional caregiving skills.

Companion caregiving positions only require a caring personality and nursing assistant positions require official certification which can be obtained by attending a C.N.A. program which is usually around 2 to 3 months and then passing the state C.N.A. exam.

Learn more in Caregiverlist’s Career Center and apply to a senior caregiving job near you or Refer-a-Friend and win $50.  And maybe you can even photography your own senior caregiving scrapbook of adventures enjoyed as a senior caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

Miami Florida Caregiving Jobs and Florida Caregiver Background Checks

Caregivers are needed nationwide as the senior home care industry continues to grow (and has experienced a 40% increase in companies since 2008).  Florida caregivers are especially needed as many seniors in northern states will winter in Florida, adding an even higher need for professional senior caregivers during the winter months.  

The state of Florida has been a leader in setting up custom requirements for senior caregiver training and hiring.  This allows seniors and their families to know they will be receiving higher quality care even in their own homes.

Miami, Florida, Orlando, Florida, Sarasota, Florida and Tampa, Florida are all top Florida cities for senior caregiver employment.  Senior care companies in Florida hire both Certified Home Health Aides and Certified Nursing Aides.

Florida law requires a "level 2" background check to be conducted on all professional senior caregivers.  These background checks can take up to 1 week or more to be processed, accessing all criminal records, even from county court houses which do not regularly submit to a national computer database (these require a real person to pull the records which is why the background check can take longer to process).

Background checks come in many different flavors.  It is important to be educated on what information is included in a background check and to understand state laws which govern how many years an employer may review the criminal records (the national law allows a 7-year look-back but state laws may over-ride this if the individual being hired will care for children or a senior).  There is also a science to reading a background check accurately.  Professional senior care companies are experienced in reviewing background check reports and also know the dynamics involved in properly checking references from former employers and personal references.  There have been news media stories about many of the babysitter websites promoting babysitters and nannies but yet having consistent incidents of individuals with prior records presenting themselves as potential trustworthy babysitters.  Simply having a name to social security number match check does not pull criminal records and likewise if you do not pay the county courthouse fee to access the criminal records in those counties charging a fee, you will not receive the information.  Run fast from anyone offering a "free" background check.  

Quality background checks involve going well beyond the results of a criminal record check.  Remember, many times charges are dropped for a first-time offender and this information will not be on the criminal record check.  It is much better to have a skilled employer engage personal and professional references in a conversation and to check work history in order to adequately evaluate a caregiver.

Babysitter websites have had repeated news stories of previous sex offenders and even sitters who were using an alias name being hired from their websites which supposedly had "safe sitters"..............realize that senior home care requires professional care management and professional senior home care agencies are licensed by their state to properly vet caregivers and actively manage them.  You do not want to lose a lifetime's worth of assets to someone who is not qualified and trained to be a professional senior caregiver.  

Caregiverlist also advocates "caring for the caregiver" and as senior care can be very stressful and take an emotional toll, a professional senior home care agency Care Manager supports the caregiver and provides additional trained caregivers to fill-in for the regular caregiver.  In addition, the caregiver receives benefits such as payroll taxes, worker's compensation insurance and unemployment insurance - all necessary payroll taxes required by law.  Caring for the caregiver insures high quality care and makes sure all seniors and their families are receiving a caregiver with proper training with necessary certificates and licenses.

Florida's caregivers have the added bonus of a "level 2" background check to protect the senior.  This is just another reason why you should only hire a professional senior care company caregiver to provide care services.  Caring individuals interested in becoming professional senior caregivers may review requirements and apply for a caregiving job with a professional senior care company in their area.

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