Senior Care in Summer: Hydration

Seniors can easily fall victim to dehydration when their bodies don’t get the fluids they need. It is one of the top ten causes of hospitalization among the elderly and one of the most easily preventable. Now that the heat of summer is finally upon us, it’s important to realize just how vital the intake of pure water is on the health and well-being of those over 65 years of age.

As people age, their ability to detect thirst lessens. Therefore, if liquids are only taken when a person feels thirsty, they might not be getting the amount of water they need. And things only get worse in advanced age.

The European Hydration Institute reports that people aged between 85-99 years are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for dehydration than those aged 65-69 years.

High-risk seniors tend to be those who live on their own in the community. As such, they rely on their caregivers to recognize the symptoms of dehydration and take appropriate steps to combat it.

Signs of dehydration are:

  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Low or no urine output; concentrated urine appears dark yellow
  • Lack of tear drops
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lack of skin elasticity
  • Lethargy


Here are some tips from the EHI to help keep elderly people well-hydrated:

  • Fluids should be taken at mealtime and in between meals. Fluids should be readily available and physically accessible both day and night.
  • Caregivers should be familiar with dietary changes so that appropriate hydration recommendations can be made.
  • Alcoholic beverages may provoke dehydration and are not recommended.
  • Many types of foods contain a substantial amount of water. If an older person finds it difficult to increase the amount of fluid drunk, increasing the intake of foods, such as soups or fruit and vegetables, which typically contain 80-90 percent water, can help to maintain an adequate water intake as well as being good sources of essential nutrients.
  • Varying flavors and even colors can improve palatability of beverages offered and can help facilitate adequate hydration.


Caregivers should also keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and is essential to healthy aging.  During the dog days of summer, watermelon, popsicles and ices are also delicious means of keeping your senior well-hydrated and out of the hospital.

Senior caregivers can gain additional crucial caregiving skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course.

 

Illinois CPR Classes: Certify with Windy City CPR

Emergency situations require first instinct action. Almost 383,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur every year and 88% of those occur in the home, according to the American Heart Association. How prepared will you be in this situation when it can happen be your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or the senior you care for?

Senior caregivers in Illinois—Indiana and Kentucky, too—can sign up for CPR classes through Windy City CPR to be prepared for life threatening situations. Classes can be taught at your location or at Windy City CPR.  Read more on this Chicago training center.  

BLS for Healthcare Providers (Basic Life Support)

$50.00 per person.

4 hour class.

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic Eternal Defibrillator (AED)
    • Use of the Bag-Valve-Mask (BVM)
    • Differences between 1 and 2 rescuer CPR
    • Infant portion is optional

 Heartsaver CPR/AED  

$45.00 per person.

2.5 hour class. 

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
    • The Infant portion is optional.

Heartsaver First Aid & CPR/AED

$85.00 per person.

4.5-5 hour class.

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
    • The Infant portion is optional.
    • First Aid Objectives: Epi-pen training, bandaging, bleeding, wound, choking, shock, seizure, fainting, burns, bites, stings, poison, temperature related conditions and more.

American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid (No CPR)

$45.00 Per person.

2.5 hour class but may vary depending on participants.

First Aid Objectives: Epi-pen training, bandaging, bleeding, wound, choking, shock, seizure, fainting, burns, bites, stings, poison, temperature related conditions and more.

American Heart Association Bloodborne Pathogens

$40.00 per person

AHA’s course uses the PACT acronym (Protect, Act, Clean, Tell) and slogan, “Make a PACT, Know How to Act,” to help students learn and easily recall bloodborne pathogens training.  

    • Protect themselves from exposure to bloodborne pathogens 
    • Act when exposed to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace
    • Clean themselves and the area when exposed to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace 
    • Tell or report any exposure to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace

The caregiving job description may be limited on paper. But, when life calls for your immediate attention, will you be prepared?

Caregiver training and certification may be purchased through Caregiverlist.comThe 10-hour online course meets orientation training requirements for most states and was created by members of the senior care industry's national association.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo features blue skies and interesting landscape. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiverlist Stress Relief Photo of the Week

"Well done is better than well said."

Benjamin Franklin

Calorie Tracking App Helps Monitor Nutrition: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Counting calories and monitoring nutrients for daily food intake often seems to be much easier said than done. For senior caregivers looking to monitor their own nutrition or that of a senior client, the My Fitness Pal app offers an ideal platform to track foods and their nutritional content right on their smartphone.

 

The My Fitness Pal application matches up with the My Fitness Pal website, and foods and exercise can be logged on either platform. When you first set up your My Fitness Pal account, it will ask for basic information about yourself- or your senior client, if that is who you will be using the application for. The target daily calorie intake will be factored off of the weight, height, age, activity level and weight goal (lose weight, maintain weight, etc.) entered for the account.

 

Once an account is established, you can log food for that particular day. Your target number of calories will appear on your home screen, and as you log food, it will subtract from that number and tell you how many calories you have left for that day. It also measures fat, sugar and sodium intake, making it easy to recognize and correct excess. The database of foods includes many popular restaurants as well as the option to search a generic food item or create your own entry if you know the calories in your meal. 

 

Users also have the ability to log exercise with the application, which in turn adjusts the number of calories allotted for that day to account for calories burned during activity.  

 

The application is available for iPhone and Android and is described below:

 

“Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest-to-use calorie counter for Android/iPhone. With the largest food database of any Android/iPhone calorie counter (over 3,000,000 foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better diet app – period.”

 

App Name: My Fitness Pal

 

Cost: Free


Download the application for Apple or Android products.
 

 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.

 

-Paige Krzysko

  

 

 

 

Adult Caregivers: The Sandwich Generation on the Rise

Adulthood continues to change from generation to generation. Expectations and reality differ from what our grandparents and parents experienced. And now, 39% of middle aged American population find themselves as a part of the Sandwich Generation—adults in their 40s or 50s who either take care of their parent 65 years and older and/or take care of their grown child.  This population increased 9% since 2010.

Caregivers who find themselves in this situation have more interest in seeking health information.  According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, caregivers, as opposed to non-caregivers, have more concern for consulting online reviews of drugs, getting information or support from others with the same condition, going online for a diagnosis, participating in online social activity related to health in the past year, getting information or support from friends and family and gathering health information online.

Technology proves to be a helpful tool in caregiving and managing juggling lives of the Sandwich Generation.  According to the Pew study, 59% of caregivers who use Internet access found the online resources to help them in caregiving.  Additionally, with technology advancing, Internet access becomes available virtually on almost all devices.  37% of the caregivers who own a cellphone report that they use their phone to look up health information online.  Having Internet on demand via cell phone helps seek out medical information whenever the caregiver needs it.  

The Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals caregivers, as opposed to other Internet users, as the majority of information seekers on all health topics in the study.  For example, 71% of online caregivers look online for information about a specific disease or medical problem, as opposed to 44%. Not surprisingly, 25% of online caregivers seek out information on caring of an again relative or friend as opposed to 7% of other Internet users. Caregivers using the Internet search for information on certain medical treatments or procedures, health insurance, food and drug safety and recalls, advertised drugs, medical test results and more.

Young caregivers find more value in Internet use than adult caregivers, naturally.  70% of young caregivers find online resources more helpful, compared to only 51% of older caregivers. Again, with technology evolving, caregiving will become easier, especially for those caring for their children and parents.

Caregiving demands time, emotional and physical strength and motivation.  The Sandwich Generation may find caregiving very difficult to manage in their lifestyle since most of these people are still in the workforce.  Finding Mom and Dad care can help alleviate the struggles of supporting two generations.  

Find senior care at Caregiverlist.  Seniors will be matched to their needs depending on what type of care they need, monthly budget, and, if applicable, special and unique needs.    

 

Alzheimer's Research Charity: July Quilts

 

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative auctions 27 quilts online each month. Quilts range in size-- 9' x 12' and smaller. Please take some time to view the July quilts for auction the 1st through the 10th. All proceeds from the auction fund Alzheimer's research.

Read more on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Please look at a few of the quilts for auction below.

Review all July 2013 quilts here.

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative® is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's. The AAQI has raised more than $916,000 since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

National Nursing Assistant's Week—Caregiverlist Celebrates with T-Shirt Giveaway

Certified nursing aids—everyone likes free stuff, right? How about a free t-shirt? Celebrate National Nursing Assistants Week with Caregiverlist.  The Refer-a-Friend program provides an opportunity to get a caregiving job and their friend a chance to win a t-shirt!

Refer-a-Friend to a caregiving job will enter one for a chance to win a free t-shirt with additional prizes.  To honor the last day of National Nursing Assistants Week, Caregiverlist will give away 10 t-shirts to the Refer-a-Friend winners on Thursday, June 20th. Caregiverlist has weekly and monthly winners through the Refer-a-Friend program. Each week, Caregiverlist gives away a t-shirt and a monthly winner receives a $50 gift card.

C.N.A.’s and caregivers can stay active in the caregiving community with Caregiverlist.com. Stories share times of struggle and satisfaction.  C.N.A.’s and caregivers get involved by sharing their stories on Caregiverlist.  Those who post submissions inspire others who face physical, mental and emotional demands of caregiving. Read past stories that have been submitted by caregivers for motivation.

Caregivers, C.N.A.s and C.H.H.A.s looking for employment can apply for jobs online. Senior care companies hire on a weekly basis in all areas nationally. Those interested in a caregiving job can fill out an application online through Caregiverlist.

National Nursing Assistant Week in its 36th Year

I’m not sure where my family would be without the help of our Certified Nursing Aide. The CNA provided by our Home Care Agency comes in twice a week to help care for my aging mother. She allows me to continue working outside the home and provides respite for the other family caregivers. She is a wonderful companion, making mom’s day brighter with her gentleness and humor. It gives me great peace of mind knowing that while I’m away, my mother is in the hands of a professional caregiver.

June 13 - 20 is National Nursing Assistants Week and a great opportunity to show your admiration, respect and appreciation for direct care worker in your life. Sponsored by the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants,  this week "provides a timely opportunity to foster and showcase the wonderful things that can happen for residents and workers when we join together."

Because of the aging of our population, qualified nursing assistants are in high demand. In 2010, there were more than 1.5 million people working as Certified Nursing Assistants nationwide. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

In honor of my mother’s CNA, I’m going to do a little more than just give her a Starbuck’s gift card (although I’ll do that as well.) I’m going to try to affect some real change by advocating for in-home care on a legislative level. Today, I’m signing the petition on Change.org , and entreat President Obama to finish what he started on December 15, 2011 — to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers.



At Caregiverlist, we applaud those who give so tirelessly of themselves by caring for some of the most vulnerable of our society. CNAs are the backbone of the senior caregiving community.

If you are now or are considering becoming a CNA, visit our Caregiving Career Center to build a resume, apply for a job or get the training you need to start you on a career path that really makes a difference in peoples’ lives.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week take a trip to Naples, Florida to see one of a kind sunset. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiverlist Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Sunset

"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

Robert H. Schuller

Log in