Brain Game App Keeps Mind Active for Alzheimer's Prevention: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Exercising the mind contributes to healthy aging just as much as regular physical activity. Senior caregivers can help their clients keep their minds sharp by picking up a new habit or hobby that engages the mind. Something as simple as doing a crossword puzzle or playing a basic game helps keep the brain active. The smartphone app Binaural Brain Game combines brain exercise for Alzheimer's prevention with the need to relieve stress and relax. 

The games feature an icon that the user moves around the surface of the screen to collect crystals whilst avoiding spinning colored wheels. The motions in the game help keep the mind sharp whilst doing something seemingly almost mindless.  Once the user collects their first 1,000 crystals in the first game, they can unlock the second game in the app. There are five different games total that the user can unlock by gathering more crystals in a lower level. Mental stimulation is key in Alzheimer's prevention, along with physical diet, exercise and social connections, as outlined by the Alzheimer's Association

Senior caregivers can benefit from the app as well as it plays tranquil music during games to help calm and soothe the user. After a long day as a caregiver, come home and play the game for a few minutes to clear your head from the day and put you in a good headspace to relax for the rest of the night. 

 

The app is available for free for Apple users. There is also a paid version free of advertisements. 

Name: Binaural Brain Game: Relaxation Therapy for Stress, Insomnia & Alzheimer's 

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

Caregiverlist Summer Photo Contest Ends August 31

Caregivers, Certified Nursing Aides and Certified Home Health Aides are invited to submit a photo of themselves with the senior clients to the Caregiverlist Summer Photo Contest for Senior Caregivers. Here's an opportunity to showcase your valuable service you provide and show the world just how special the bond is between a caregiver and their senior client or family member. The contest is offered on the Caregiverlist Facebook page and ends on August 31

Submit your photo then share and ask friends and family to vote. Be creative -- have fun! Contest winners will be chosen based on number of votes.

We know that caregiving is a demanding but rewarding job. We want to show the love and award $100, $50 and $25 Amazon gift cards to the top 3 voted photos and free t-shirts to the runners-up. 

So if you haven't yet entered, what are you waiting for? And if you entered or not, go ahead and vote!

Good luck, caregivers!

 

Senior Caregivers: Is a Comprehensive Fair Labor Standard Act Still Just a Dream?

As we approach the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther’s historical speech on August 28, we celebrate how far we’ve come as a nation and acknowledge how far we have left to go.

The protest’s full name was “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The demand for the civil and economic rights of people of color was the cornerstone of the march. However, the organizers of the march advocated to expand the Fair Labor Standards Act to “include all areas of employment which are presently excluded.”

As Bryce Covert discusses in The Nation, many domestic workers (including homecare workers) are still fighting for minimum wage and overtime protection. Left out of the covered domestic workers class, many of these workers are excluded because their jobs fall under the “companionship exemption,” which limits their protection.

President Obama promised in 2011 to champion a new rule that would extend the Fair Labor Standards Act to include all domestic workers, including those in homecare. However, that change has yet to occur, despite all calls for revision. Surely, as a nation, it’s time we not only honor the spirit of that important march 50 years ago, but strive to fulfill all of its demands.

Before he takes the stage on the National Mall on Wednesday, let President Obama know how you feel about the rights of the senior homecare worker. The Nation offers an open letter to let President Obama know he needs to “fulfill his promise and extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers now.

Senior caregivers are paid more than minimum wage along with benefits by senior home care agencies nationwide. Senior caregivers are usually paid from $9.00 to $14.00 per hour. with protected overtime. If you are a senior caregiver and want to make sure your rights are protected, you can apply for a senior caregiving job in your area on Caregiverlist and also find the details on minimum wage laws in your state.

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 reflections dancing in the calm waters of the lake Michigan. 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 Calm Waters

"Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is ready cash, use it."

Kay Lyons

Inspirational Quotes for Caregivers

Certified nursing assistants, home health aides, senior caregivers, — they make a difference in peoples’ lives. Sometimes, the job is tough and thankless and the money isn’t always great, but the CNA is the backbone that makes everyone else’s job a little easier. All senior caregivers make it possible for the elderly to age in place with dignity. They are invaluable in the nursing home. In honor of CNAs, CHHAs and all senior caregivers, here are some inspirational quotes that speak to the job they do, complied by Lynda Lampert of Scrubs Magazine.

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” —Mother Theresa

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” —Homer

“They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (The Bible)

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.” —Washington Irving

“Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy.” —Chogyam Trungpa

“Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” —Mason Cooley
“Compassion is a call, a demand of nature, to relieve the unhappy as hunger is a natural call for food.” —Joseph Butler

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.” —Florence Nightingale

“A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love.” —Saint Basil

“Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.” —William Thackeray

“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —T.H. Thompson and John Watson

“…[A]lthough the days are busy and the workload is always growing, there are still those special moments when someone says or does something and you know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. That’s why I became a nurse.” —Diane McKenty

“To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through, is to be a nurse.” —Rawsi Williams

If you know someone who has what it takes to become a professional senior caregiver, you can enter to win a FREE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CAREGIVERS Membership: Includes 10-Hour Online Caregiver Training, T-shirt, Membership Lapel Pin or our Monthly Grand Prize” — Cherokee Uniforms SCRUB OF THE MONTH (tops, bottoms and shoes) courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. Winners are Profiled Each Week on Caregiverlist. 

 

References:
“100 Entertaining & Inspiring Quotes for Nurses,” nursingschools.net, June 2010
http://www.nursingschools.net/blog/2010/06/100-entertaining-inspiring-quotes-for-nurses/
“Inspirational Quotes Every Nurse Should Read,” monster.com, July 2009
http://nursinglink.monster.com/nurse-supervisor-jobs/articles/8714-inspirational-quotes-every-nurse-should-read?page=1
“Great Inspirational Nursing Quotes & Motivational Sayings,” Motivation Empire
http://motivationempire.com/inspirational_nursing_quotes.php
“Inspirational Quotes & Quotations on Nursing,” successdegrees.com
http://www.successdegrees.com/inspirationalquotesaboutnursesandnursing.html

App Charts Day to Day Blood Pressure Readings: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Blood pressure often indicates an individual's level of heart health and can be vital to monitor for all adults, especially as they age. Senior caregivers can help keep track of their own or their senior clients' blood pressure using the BP Monitor app. The top number in a blood pressure reading indicates the pressure in the arteries with each heart beat. The bottom number represents the pressure in the arteries between heart beats. This chart from the American Heart Association shows the various levels for normal readings and readings that may be cause for concern. 

The BP Monitor app allows caregivers to record blood pressure readings on a daily basis and then view detailed charts which make it easier to spot drastic changes or trends in the numbers. It also provides an average reading for all of the readings entered in a week or a month. Blood pressure cuffs are available for purchase at most stores with a pharmacy section for easy at home readings. If the charts show trends of high numbers for caregivers or their senior clients, then they should be sure to visit a doctor to get a professional opinion. The app features an option to export or e-mail data to share the information with outside sources easily. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be treated if discovered to have continually high readings. 

The app is free for Apple platforms. 

"Blood Pressure Monitor - Family Lite turns your device into a personal blood pressure and weight health monitor. It comes with lifetime data visualization, statistics reporting, medication correlation, email import/export, built-in reminders and much more. This is an app with a lot of features. "

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

Caregivers: Get Ready for Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Senior caregivers — especially CNAs and Home Health Aides, are certainly considered members of the healthcare industry. Ironically, many don’t have adequate health insurance. If you are a Certified Nursing Aide or other professional caregiver and work through a quality senior home care agency or nursing home, chances are you have some medical insurance coverage through your employer. However, if you work as an independent contractor, come 2014, you will need to enroll in a health insurance plan per the Affordable Care Act.

If this affects you, our friends at eHealthInsurance.com have recently released answers to frequently asked questions regarding health insurance open enrollment for 2014.

Open Enrollment for 2014 Health Plans: Frequently Asked Questions

When is the new open enrollment period?

The first-ever open enrollment period for individual and family health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act begins October 1, 2013 and continues through March 31, 2014. Open enrollment periods in succeeding years will be shorter than this one-time six-month period.

What is an open enrollment period?

The Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period is when individuals and families can purchase health insurance plans that meet the requirements of the health reform law. Coverage under these new plans will begin no earlier than January 1, 2014. New health plans will provide coverage for essential health benefits defined by the ACA. Consumers who qualify will be able to apply for government subsidies and enroll without fear of being denied for pre-existing medical conditions.

Who needs to apply for coverage during open enrollment?

The new open enrollment period is for individuals and families who do not have employer-sponsored major medical health insurance meeting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. If you already have employer-based major medical health benefits, you do not necessarily need to enroll in a new plan during the open enrollment period, but rather through your employer’s own open enrollment period for group coverage. If your share of your employer-sponsored health insurance monthly premium is deemed too costly under the law, you may choose to opt out of that plan and purchase a qualified health plan with subsidy assistance, depending on your income level.

Will I be required to purchase a health insurance plan during this period?

If you are currently uninsured and wish to enroll in a health reform-compliant plan for 2014, you will need to enroll during this open enrollment period. If you don’t purchase a health reform-compliant plan, you may be subject to a tax penalty and it may be difficult to find and qualify for health insurance later in the year. If you are currently enrolled in an individually purchased health insurance plan, you may be able to retain your current coverage into 2014. Ask your health insurance company for more details.

What happens if I don’t purchase during the open enrollment period?

Outside of open enrollment, your ability to apply for health insurance may vary from state to state. It may be limited to the occurrence of a qualifying event, such as the loss of a job, a marriage or divorce, a move, or the birth of a child. 

What if I miss open enrollment and don’t have a qualifying event?

You may be able to purchase a health plan that is not in compliance with the health reform law, like a short-term health insurance plan. However, these plans may not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act and you may be subject to a tax penalty on your 2014 federal tax return.

If you need to shop for affordable insurance, we’ve made it easy for you to compare the rates of healthcare insurance providers.

Caregivers, let us know — how do you feel about mandatory healthcare insurance and the Affordable Care Act? Are you covered through your Senior Home Care Agency?

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 unique orchids, as a reminder for caregivers to take a moment to relief their daily stress and to celebrate who they are. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on www.Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Orchids

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."

Joseph Addison

 

 

Tips for Deciding When 24-Hour Home Care is Necessary

This week we invited guest blogger Linda Bright to discuss the signs that a parent might need more help than you alone can provide.

When I was in my 20’s, the idea of nursing homes and assisted living centers for my parents was nowhere on my radar. Mom and dad were busy enjoying their retirement years, traveling and playing golf every chance they got. Unfortunately within a few years, fate decided to step in and change things up a bit. It started with a devastating diagnosis for our mother; early onset Alzheimer’s which quickly claimed mom’s razor-sharp memory and her quirky personality, leaving us lost and grieving for the mother who raised us.

Her prognosis was as grim as expected and within months, my father had to step in as full-time caregiver. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse; it did and one night I got a phone call from distraught father that my mother had suffered a catastrophic stroke. Within weeks, I watched as the mother (who used to knit my winter mittens, cook ten course meals and go skydiving with my brothers) fade into someone I hardly recognized. Gone was her mischievous smile, her biting humor and her commanding soprano voice. Like a wilted rose, she had lost her blush and bloom, holding on to life by the most tenuous of threads. We had hoped she would have made it until the next Christmas, but we lost her after celebrating what would be her very last Thanksgiving.

So years later when my father started showing signs of dementia, my heart sunk into my stomach. Our experience with our mother was traumatic enough, and the thought of now watching my father slip into some similar decline was too awful to contemplate. Yet, when I noticed some worrisome traits, I began my own criteria for determining if dad needed home-care as well.

If you too might be worried about an elderly person’s welfare, then here a few tips that we have implemented to determine our needs within our own family.

  • Unexplained Bruising: If you notice that either parent has significant injuries and yet, can’t recall how they occurred, this might be a red flag. Slips and falls are among the most dangerous threats facing the elderly, it has been cited that among those the elderly population, 70% of accidental deaths are caused by falls.
  • Unpaid Bills: Another sign you might notice that an elderly parent might be struggling are piles of unopened mail, past-due accounts and collection notices. If your once-organized parent doesn’t seem to have a handle on their finances, this should be taken with grave concern.
  • Clutter in home/unkempt appearance: Is your once-fastidiously groomed parent suddenly wearing the same clothes, day after day. Do they seem unconcerned with the piles of clutter that normally would have been organized, sorted and put away? A messy home or a house that is in disrepair can also indicate underlying care issues that might need further investigation.

We were fortunate to hire a caregiver who has been able to stop by my father’s house and check his blood sugar levels, in addition to his well-being. At the moment, my father is still living on his own, and that is important for him, but my brothers and I have a rotating weekly schedule to stop in and make sure he is doing well.

Removing dad from his home would truly be a worst-case scenario, so we are being extra-vigilant to make sure he is cared for and can remain independent.

After all, my parents tended to our every needs growing up, providing a warm and loving environment, security and protection. Wouldn’t any of us want to do the same?

Linda Bright is a staff writer and a public relations coordinator for MyNursingDegree.com.Given her experience as a former hospital administrator, she writes primarily about healthcare reform, patient rights and other issues related to the healthcare industry. In her free time, she enjoys Sudoku, spending time with her family, and playing with her poodle, Max.

App Developed by Florida Hospitals Promotes "Healthy 100 Habits" for Aging: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Senior caregivers often work with clients to allow them to age in place with some outside support. Florida Hospitals developed a website and an accompanying smartphone app to support healthy aging among seniors by encouraging living to a "Healthy 100" years old. The website boasts 8 secrets to healthy aging, starting with making a choice to improve your health and including looking at how your environment, activity, nutrition, relationships, etc. affect health. A longevity calculator section asks basic questions about your health and family health history, nutritional habits, stress, etc. along with age, activity level and stress level to estimate how old you will live to be with your current habits. It provides personal recommendations to improve quality of life for healthy aging. 

The app is intended to be used in conjunction with the website to track new habits you decide to create based on the results of your longevity calculator test. Taking into consideration how stressful caregiving can be as a profession, one new habit for caregivers might be to "use stress relieving techniques 3 times per week." Stress relief takes various forms for different people, but some suggestions include stretching, going for a casual walk or focusing on relaxing images. The app contains 100 suggestions for new habits, but users can easily make up their own custom habits as well.

Caregivers can create new goals and log when they actively work towards completing existing goals in the app. As an added bonus, the Healthy 100 website offers the chance for Florida residents to get a free rewards card for special deals with local businesses to help support their health goals. 

 

The app is free for Apple and Android platforms. 

"Over 40% of the decisions we make each day are based on habit. Without a plan, it is difficult to create lasting change to live to a Healthy 100 years of age. The Healthy 100 Habits app provides the structure to hold yourself accountable so you can create the life you desire."

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

 
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