Senior Games are the Olympics of the Older Set

The National Senior Games 2013 presented by Humana come to a close in Cleveland on August 1.

Over 10,000 athletes 50 years and older compete, although most of the competitors are between the ages of 65 and 80.  The athletes represent all 50 states as well as nine countries, including Angola, Germany, Latvia and Russia.

This year, legendary singer, actor and writer Pat Boone rocked the basketball court, helping to lead his team, the Virginia Creepers, to victory over rival team the South Carolina's Darlington Generals, with a final score of 38 to 25 at Saturday’s game.

The “Senior Olympics” are held every two years on a national level. The first games were held in 1987 in St. Louis, MO. At those games, 2,500 seniors competed in front of 100,000 spectators. State games are held throughout the year.

The Games, the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors, are comprised of 19 core events including:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball
  • Shuffleboard
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field and more

and team sports:

  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball


In 2011, Dorothy Fadiman, with her production company Fadiman Social Documentaries, produced SHATTERING the MYTH of AGING: Senior Games Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles, Competition and Community. The 8 minute film follows a 74 year old Louisville, Kentucky man as he and his fellow seniors compete in Olympic-level sports. The documentary celebrates the human spirit and agrees with Dylan Thomas that we “...not go gentle into that good night.




We at Caregiverlist champion Healthy Aging and believe that senior caregivers and their clients can work together to achieve stronger bodies, healthier minds and relieve stress with regular exercise. Who knows? Perhaps Senior Games 2015 is on your horizon.

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 Dominican Republic's tropical 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 Stress Relief Photo Sunset

"The less you talk, the more you are listened to."

Abigail Van Buren

Alzheimer's Research Charity: August 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 August 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 August 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

Illinois State Troopers... The New Fashionistas!

Fashion Flash 2013 raises money for Compass to Care Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Tomorrow, this event in Chicago will bring together everyone from nationwide corporations to local businesses supporting the charity’s cause in a trendy and energetic atmosphere.

The charity fashion show features Illinois state troopers as runway models, named the “Fashion Police.” The state troopers return this year after being showstoppers as models in last year’s runway show. They heard Compass to Care’s story and volunteered to participate after learning about families going through these devastating situations.  

Fashion show tickets may be purchased online.  VIP Tickets include access to the cocktail reception at 6pm, reserved seating for the show and a VIP gift bag. As of today, only 8 VIP tickets are available for $125 each. General admission tickets are available for $85 each.

Fashion Flash 2013

Date: July 27th, 2013

Time: 6:30pm-10:30pm

Place: Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613

The Center on Halsted is located in Chicago just a few blocks from Wrigley Field. Transportation accessible by El train and city buses. While underground parking is unavailable to Center on Halsted patrons, visitors may be able to find metered street parking available on Halsted or Waveland. Daytime visitors may find residential parking on nearby streets. More information on directions can be found online.

For more information on Fashion Flash 2013 and Compass to Care, click here

 

uHear App Evaluates Hearing: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

As we age, our senses and abilities often seem to dull- glasses prescriptions get stronger, canes and walkers become commonplace and hearing aids might be necessary for the first time. Senior caregivers can download the uHear app for their smartphone to help evaluate the level of their senior client's hearing and determine if a doctor's appointment about the matter would be beneficial to maintain a normal level of hearing. 

The app consists of three main sections to test hearing ability and provide education on how humans hear and hearing health. The first section addresses hearing sensitivity, and asks the user to put themselves in a quiet environment, wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds. The app then plays a series of sounds at varying pitches and frequencies and asks the user to tap the screen whenever they hear a sound. At the end of the test, a graph appears showing how the responses fall in terms of mild to severe hearing loss and at what pitches the loss occurs. 

The next section provides testing for speech in noise. It first asks the user to adjust the volume level of a person giving a speech to a comfortable listening level. Then background noise is added to the mix and the user must adjust it to the loudest level acceptable for them to still be able to listen to the speech. Results from this test show how well the user tolerates background noise while still being able to listen to a focused noise. 

A questionnaire makes up the final portion of the testing in the app and it provides a guided self evaluation of hearing ability. It suggest, for example, that if people often ask you to turn down the TV because it's too loud or if you must ask people to repeat themselves often to hear you, you may want to have your hearing professionally checked.  

Currently the app is available for free on Apple platforms for senior caregivers and their senior clients. 

"Hearing Loss Myth: Hearing loss affects only "old people" and is merely a sign of aging.

Actually it is the reverse of what most people think. The majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.

uHear™ is a hearing loss screening test which allows you to test your hearing to determine if it is within normal range, or if you have a potential hearing loss."

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

Senior Caregivers, Share Your Photo!

Senior caregivers, who does't like a little attention? And, who doesn't love some prize money and free T-shirts? The Caregiverlist Summer Photo Contest for Senior Caregivers gives you the recognition you deserve as well as a chance to win $100, $50, $25 Amazon gift cards plus Caregiverlist T-shirts. 

Win money by submitting your senior caregiving photo to the contest, share the contest with your friends and family, and vote daily for your photo through August 31st. Increase your chances of winning by recruiting as many of your friends and family to vote daily for you!

Senior caregiving requires much of your physical and emotional attention, which can be very exhausting. Caregiverlist appreciates the hard work you put into your care, so we want to show our appreciation.

The photo contest can be found on the Caregiverlist Facebook page. Just click on the contest tab, submit your photo on the entry page, and share your photo with your friends and family. Remind them to vote daily-- the top three most voted submissions with receive an Amazon gift card and runner ups will be awarded a Caregiverlist T-shirt.

Good luck, caregivers!

Seniors Warned of Medical Alert Scams

Phone scams targeting the elderly are on the rise, warns the Better Business Bureau. Telemarketers call offering seniors a free medical alert system that was never ordered. The phone calls are a scam intended to get the senior’s personal information and credit card number.

The robocalls claim to represent the well known “Life Alert” medical alert system (they of the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”), and state that a system has been ordered for them and will be sent to them at no charge. The consumer is directed to press a number to speak to a live salesperson who will then request credit or bank account numbers. Life Alert has issued a fraud alert informing consumers that they never employ telemarketers or perform cold calls.

We’ve written about senior scams before, primarily the ever-popular summer Grandparent Scams and holiday scams. Seniors are especially susceptible to frauds because the scammers count on the elderly to be especially fearful, trusting and sympathetic.

The BBB offers these tips when dealing with unsolicited calls:

  • Never provide personal information to an unknown caller.
  • Never respond to a robocall from an unknown company.
  • Don’t press a key to talk to a human. Simply hang up.


In addition, the Better Business Bureau advises seniors and other consumers to look for the following “red flags”:

“Free” Offers – Be wary of “free” offers that require you to pay a handling charge or other fees. In the case of medical alert systems, ask if there are additional monthly charges. If the telemarketer says a friend or family member bought the unit, ask for the name of the person and verify with them before agreeing to anything.

Scare Tactics – Being trapped in your own home with no way to call for help can be a scary situation for anyone, but for many seniors, it can be a realistic scenario.  Don’t fall for scare tactics.

Calls for Immediate Action – Listen for language like “this offer is good for today only!”

Implied Endorsement or Affiliation with Legitimate Entities – If a seller claims its product has been endorsed by another reputable organization, check directly with that organization for verification.

Refuses to Answer Questions Directly, Provide Contact Info, or Complete Offer Details –  Tell the caller you will not provide any information or make any decisions until you get all details in writing.

If you or someone you love has fallen victim to this or any other scam, report it to your bank or credit card company, file a report with the Better Business Bureau and submit a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Also, share any information with the Caregiverlist caregiver community here in the comments.

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 purple violets that are bright and blooming. 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.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the week Violets

"There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes."

William J. Bennett

Fooducate App Offers Nutrition Label Scanning and Tracking: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Planning meals for yourself and your senior clients while adhering to dietary restrictions or simply trying to eat healthy can be tough. Food products that seem healthy may be deceiving, like a low-fat item with additional salt or sugar than the original. 

Senior caregivers can take the mystery out of reading labels at the grocery store with the Fooducate app. Instead of staring at a label and analyzing all of its parts before deciding whether the food inside the box is dinner-worthy, Fooducate offers a label scanning service that provides a brief breakdown of the nutritional value of a product. By holding your smartphone over the barcode of a product, you can see the calories per serving, warnings of high levels of sugar, fat, artificial coloring and a letter grade for the product showing how healthy (or unhealthy) it is. 

This app can be particularly useful when determining between different brands of a similar product. A brand name product might have surprisingly more fat than a generic version, for example. It also provides options for gluten free or other dietary restrictions to help alert you of products you should avoid. Alerts appear with a red exclamation mark next to them, while positives of a product appear with a green check mark. The product below, for example, is 100% whole wheat, which provides more fiber than similar white crackers. 

The app also offers nutrition tracking services through logging what you eat throughout the day. The scanning option may be used to log food as well as simply searching a dish name, such as "scrambled eggs." Foods you can be marked at "liked" or "disliked" for future reference. 

Currently it is available for Apple products and Android. There is a free version as well as a paid version with more features. 

"GET FOODUCATED!

Lose weight by eating REAL food! Fooducate grades your food, explains what's really inside each product, and offers healthier alternatives. We've got the largest database of UPC-based nutrition information - over 200,000 unique products and growing."

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

 

Dementia (Memory Loss) May Show Early Signs

Memory loss actually may be first noticed by the person with the condition - meaning the person who is losing their memory realizes they are forgetting things and that something has changed even before anyone else does.  But as this is a confusing process, most people find it difficult to identify exactly what is happening.  This is why it usually is not until memory loss has escalated that it truly is identified.  Many seniors have needed senior caregivers for ten or more years as their memory loss has progressed.

The Alzheimer's Association conference in Boston this week presented studies which show that some types of cognitive concerns were more likely to have Alzheimer's pathology in the brain although dementia would only fully develop later.  People with more concerns about memory and organizing ability were more likely to have amyloid, a key Alzheimer's-related protein, in their brains.

As millions of dollars are poured into Alzheimer's research, in order to prepare for caring for what will become 5 million seniors with the disease, it still is not known exactly how the amyloid protein escalates in some individuals and causes the "tangles" that seem to be present when Alzheimer's disease is present.

Dr. Rebecca Amariglio, a neuropsychologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, presented the research which shows there are people who have their own sense that their memory and thinking skills are slipping.  This is being called the "subjective cognitive decline".

Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's center presented a similar preliminary study result.  However, the problem remains that even early testing for amyloid in the brain does not necessarily help as we still do not know exactly who will have this condition escalate into Alzheimer's disease and why.

Perhaps as technology advances, all the research along with the caregiving for seniors with memory loss can collide to help move us closer to identifying a cure for this disease.  The federal government's National Alzheimer's Project is a step in this direction.

 

 

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