Senior Caregiving Jobs: Need for More Caregivers in Growing Industry

Seniors in America are living longer, while needing senior care for at least two of those years.  Caregiverlist assists both caregivers and senior care companies, by providing innovations n the hiring process.  Anyone with a caring personality looking for part-time or full-time work may submit a job application on Caregiverllist to be connected with multiple hiring companies.  Caregivers no longer need to run around and apply at several agencies when a senior client passes away and no longer needs care.  In addition, as senior care companies are constantly hiring, they can very quickly find just the right professional caregiver for their job openings.  Caregivers also may obtain free caregiver training briefs and take an online certified caregiver course.  Caregivers may also create their own resume and apply for a caregiving job  - or, refer-a-friend to Caregiverlist to be entered to win a weekly or monthly prize.

 

Shots for Seniors: Vaccines Recommended for Older Adults

There’s a national debate going on questioning whether vaccines are safe.

Vociferous anti-vaccine activists link vaccines with rising numbers of children with autism, although studies have shown no correlation between the two. Nor has it been proven that vaccinations cause childhood leukemia, as previously thought. Despite scientific findings (or, in the opinion from the other side of the aisle, pharmaceutical company propaganda),  the anti-vaccine movement continues its rally against childhood vaccinations due to their proposed dangerous side effects while public-health experts contend that high rates of non-vaccination are the cause of recent contagious disease outbreaks.

But what about the elderly? Are they in danger of vaccine complications?

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Sponsored by the Center for Disease Control, the purpose of the campaign is to “provide an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the lifespan”.  The CDC recommends that the elderly (those 60 years +) receive the following vaccines to promote good health:

Seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine
The CDC estimates 90 percent of seasonal influenza-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal influenza-related hospitalizations in the U.S. each year occur in people 65 years and older.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Td or Tdap) vaccine
Everyone, including the elderly, should have booster shots for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.

Pneumococcal  (pneumonia) vaccine
Pneumonia, which often starts as a simple viral respiratory disease, and can develop into a severe inflammation of the lungs, often cited as the fifth leading cause of death in the elderly and frail.

Zoster vaccine, to protect against shingles
The risk of getting shingles increases as one ages. Not only that, but shingles can be extremely painful in the elderly. The persistent pain, called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), can last for months or years.

This is not to say that vaccines for seniors have been without their own controversy. Several years ago, “Fluzone High-Dose”, a flu vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur especially for those over 65 years old. And although Sanofi Pasteur reported finding the vaccine 24.2% more effective in preventing influenza in the aged, some believe the vaccine, which contains four times the amount of antigen compared to the regular flu vaccine, brought with it stronger side effects.

You can learn more about the vaccines you or your senior client or loved one may need at vaccines.gov. Their Adult Immunization Scheduler tool offers personalized vaccine suggestions based on your age (and other factors.)

How do you feel about immunization and vaccines? Do you believe them necessary to continued well-being or is it a dangerous scam perpetrated by big pharma? Is it part of your job as a senior caregiver to influence the decision of the elder in your charge whether to get that shot or not? We’d love to hear you opinions in the comment section. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Caregiverlist® continues to believe in utilizing everything in one's health toolkit in order to age well.

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A Relaxing Moment in Chicago for Your Caregiver Stress Relief

Sometimes the most beautiful sights can be found right around us if we take the time to look. 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 was taken in Humboldt Park, a gem of a park here in Chicago. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides 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. Have a great week. 

"Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life."  -Terri Guillemets

Minnesota Leads the Way in Senior Care

Minnesota’s comprehensive senior care programs may well become the nation’s standard. In addition to scoring a first-place position in AARP’s 2014 State Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard (also in 2011), Minnesota’s Department of Human Services announced in a July 1 press release a plan to award $3.5 million to providers of services to older Minnesotans, as well as for people with disabilities. The money is specifically earmarked for innovative projects designed to improve quality for home and community-based services.

The program comes on the heels of the state’s successful 2006 Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) that provides nursing homes with additional funds for proven quality improvement projects. In 2013, an article published in the journal Health Affairs determined that PIPP facilities showed significantly increased quality after PIPP funding and continued to have higher overall quality scores than nursing homes not in the program.

In fact, Good Samaritan Society - Albert Lea (Private), which rates over 4 stars in Caregiverlist's® Nursing Home Star Ratings, used its PIPP money to implement a nursing assistant mentorship program to increase its C.N.A. retention rate with great success.
 
The Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services is hoping to see a similar outcome by funding 27 projects in 39 Minnesota counties. Recipients must put policies in place to improve quality of life or deliver better service more efficiently.

For example, Knute Nelson Home Care will receive funding to implement GrandCare technology, an interactive touchscreen used as a communication portal between the older person and family caregivers. The Lutheran Home Association will use funds to decrease staff turnover in its in-home services, and the grant will help Tealwood Senior Living to develop and apply dementia care culture change in its assisted living facilities.

“Home and community-based service providers are key to helping people with disabilities and olderadults live independently, which is what most people prefer,” Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said in a written statement. “We have found that initiatives like this promote greater, lasting quality and efficiency and a better overall experience for people being served.”

Caregiverlist salutes Minnesota for taking a proactive approach to improving the quality of care for its elderly citizens. Minnesota’s initiatives are proving to set the bar for the best senior care in the U.S.  Now if they could just do something about those winters!

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4Pics 1Word App Useful for Dementia Prevention: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Senior caregivers can work with their senior clients to exercise their brains to prevent onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The app 4Pics 1Word shows users four images and asks them to find the word that links all of the pictures together, then enter the word using the letters in a bank provided at the bottom of the screen. 

Using the brain in ways that force cognitive connects plays a large part in preventing dementia as seniors age. Seniors often don't partake in these activities as part of their daily routine unless they make a point to include them. The 4Pics 1Word app forces a connection between the images seen on screen and the language a senior client knows. The app starts out at an easy, low level, and the image-word relations increase in difficulty the longer you play. 

For example, a lower level includes a picture of a mailbox, a pair of boxing gloves, a cardboard box and a checkbox, so the common word the user needs to enter into the space provided is "box." Caregivers can play this game with their senior clients and help them come up with the answers, or switch turns going back and forth. Or, they can make it into a fun little competition and see who can correctly guess the answer first. Play a few times a week to ensure that senior clients are adequately exercising their minds for the most dementia prevention potential. Caregivers might also enjoy the game as a form of stress relief to take their minds off the events of a particularly long day. 

 

 The 4Pics 1Word app is available for Apple and Android platforms.

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 relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Dawn of the Planet of the Caregiverlist Blogger: My Top 5 Posts

I went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this past weekend and it occurred to me that my maiden Caregiverlist blog post was about the first Planet of the Apes movie (James Franco, not Charlton Heston, thank you very much): Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

In August of 2011, that movie was the subject of my blog post because its premise dealt with the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease (and please don’t let the ensuing movie’s cluster-franchise discourage future Alzheimer’s and dementia research.) This sequel bypassed the whole Alzheimer’s angle but for one sentence in the exposition, so I can’t use this movie for blog fodder. However, I thought I’d look back on my last three years of contributions and highlight my top five posts, out of the hundreds I've written, based on number of eyeballs.

#5 Does Your Power of Attorney Include a HIPAA Release?
15. July 2014 19:17
This is a recent post in which I discuss the importance of legal due-diligence as it applies to medical issues. It all boils down to the fact that information is power. When it comes to the ones we love, we want to make sure no one tells us they can’t give us pertinent medical information because necessary paperwork wasn’t processed. Process that paperwork!

#4 Become a Certified Senior Caregiver
2. July 2014 16:09
Who doesn’t love a good infographic? Caregiverlist provides an at-a-glance look at the growing need for caregivers for an elderly population, caregiver skills and senior caregiver job descriptions, and caregiver salary and benefits. It also outlines the steps to becoming a professional senior caregiver. And it’s pretty.

#3 Caregiver Pay: Are You Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
19. April 2014 11:18
It sure is nice to know you are not alone, especially when you feel like you are living at the end of your rope. C.N.A.s are essential to society in helping the elderly age with comfort and dignity. Unfortunately, those who help others often find themselves on the short end of the recompense stick. HBO’s Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert spoke to many of you who are trying to make a life while making a difference.

#2 Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: What's the Difference?
24. June 2014 08:18
I’m not above admitting it—Bradley Cooper’s face would make me click on any link too. When I wrote about Alzheimer’s and dementia awareness as a cause celebre, the popularity of the post was proof. It just goes to show that these diseases touch all, regardless of wealth or station—no one is immune to memory loss devastation.

BradleyCooper

Bradley Cooper proudly promotes purple to #ENDALZ.


#1 Inspirational Quotes for Caregivers
24. August 2013 06:22
Caregivers, especially caregivers for the infirm and seniors, experience a tremendous amount of stress. It’s why Caregiverlist has made it’s mission to "care for the caregiver" especially. It’s no wonder then that my preeminent blog post was one that gave inspiration to the senior caregiver. Culled from a variety of sources, these inspirational quotes speak to why caregiving is the ultimate humanitarian calling. The takeaway: “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

If there is any topic that you would like to see me tackle in future, feel free to drop me a line at renata@caregiverlist.com. Thanks for reading!

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week: Gateway to the Scottish Highlands

Taking time to reflect and relieve our stress is important for all of us.  This week's photo was taken at Gleneagles golf course in Perthshire, Scotland.  It is beautiful place even if you do not play golf. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. Please enjoy and feel free to share this photo with friends and family.  Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for caring for our seniors.   We can provide resources to help care for the caregiver. Senior care training assists caregivers to better manage a senior's care needs and manage caregiver stress. Have a great week. 
  

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."  -Ovid

Facts About Senior Care

So few of us plan for our long term care, yet the majority of us will need to avail ourselves of professional senior care at some point in our lives. By 2030, the U.S. population aged 65+ will exceed 70 million. According to the American Geriatrics Society, the vast majority of these older persons will have at least one chronic disease, and substantial numbers need assistance in performing basic and more advanced activities of daily living

There are a variety of professional senior care options to choose from, based on need and cost. Most seniors prefer to age-in-place, at home. If there is no family member to care for them, many times professional in-home care, provided by a trusted Home Care Agency is the go-to option. Residential options include Independent and Assisted Living Communities, and nursing homes. Nursing home costs vary widely based upon the state in which you live.

Our good friend, colleague, and elder law expert Ben Neiburger writes about the five key facts of long-term care.

1. Statistics
Nearly 41% of people under 65 and approximately 70% of people who live to age 65 will need some type of long-term care.
2. Medicare
Medicare covers skilled short-term medical care as well as short-term assistance with nursing home costs, but only if the circumstances meet strict requirements. However in most situations, this is simply not a viable long-term care option for most people.
3. Medicaid
Medicaid is a state-based program supplemented by Federal funds that provide health services to the poor and impoverished. Medicaid might cover your loved one, if he or she meets your state’s poverty criteria.
Many people attempt to spend down their assets to state-required levels or transfer their assets to family members to become eligible for Medicaid, but the state has the right to look back into your finances for 5 years before the date you apply for coverage, and may refuse to pay for your long-term care if you don’t handle your money “appropriately” during those 5 years.
4. Nursing Homes and other Long Term Care
Both Medicare and health insurance are intended to cover skilled, short-term medical care as you recover from an illness or injury—NOT long-term care. That means a health insurance policy rarely covers ongoing long-term care, especially if one is over 65.
5. Private Pay
Personal savings are one way to cover long-term care expenses. Keep in mind however, that in 2011, the national average annual cost of long-term care services in a semi-private nursing home room was $75,555. Since the average length of stay in a nursing home is 2.4 years, that would come to approximately $181,000 out of your savings.

We now know that, due to the longevity of our nation’s population, most of us will indeed need long-term care. Seniors once relied upon family members for elder care, and while there are many, many family caregivers (43.5 million of adult family caregivers care for someone 50+ years of age), many seniors will need to look to professional caregivers for their senior care needs.

Ways to pay for care that don’t include Medicare, Medicaid, or private pay includes long-term care insurance and reverse mortgages. Be vigilant in your research, however. Some long-term care insurance pays only for nursing homes and not for in-home senior care.
A reverse mortgage has its own pitfalls, making it an option of last resort.

U.S. veterans may be eligible for Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit. For this benefit, you’ll need to apply and be persistent and patient. Those wheels tend to grind slowly.

Caregiverlist® understands the process involved in finding the right senior care can be arduous. Estate planning can assist you in determining your best options in how to pay for professional senior care for you or your senior family member.  

Ben Neiburger is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and through frequent speaking engagements and ongoing course work both locally and nationally, is in continuous pursuit of knowledge and insight to the laws and finances that affect our families and senior citizens. He brings this wealth of knowledge, his clear and common sense explanations, his patience, gentle humor and sensitivity to each of his legal consultations.To learn more about Elder Law, visit generationlaw.com.

Rosetta Stone App Helps Caregivers: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Senior caregivers may encounter senior clients or relatives of their senior clients whose first language is not English or who solely speak another language. The Spanish speaking population in America in particular continues to grow. To effectively communicate with senior clients or families of their senior clients, caregivers can use the Rosetta Stone app to learn the basics of one of 24 languages presented in the app. 

Learning another language consists of several different types of skills, so the Rosetta Stone app presents sample courses for free to introduce users to the basics of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing, if your device supports a keyboard. Each language also offers a core lesson, which ties the basics of the language together. 

Taking the lessons in a quiet and calm surrounding environment helps users focus solely on the app and particularly for the pronunciation section, be able to repeat the words and phrases through the phone microphone without interference. The free first level previews allow users to try out a language for free before they decide to purchase courses and more levels through Rosetta Stone. The lower level gives users an idea of how well they enjoy taking the language, how easily it comes to them and how long it would take them to go through the courses before they will be able to converse in that language.

The course design also gives caregivers the ability to pick and choose which aspects of the language that they work on the most. Caregivers only looking to communicate with family members of a senior client verbally might focus more heavily on pronunciation and vocabulary, while those who may need to e-mail with family members can narrow in on improving written and reading comprehension skills.

 

The Rosetta Stone app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

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 relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Does Your Power of Attorney Include a HIPAA Release?

Seniors and family caregivers often find it difficult to discuss plans of action for when the elderly family member is incapacitated or no longer able to speak for themselves. It’s a challenging subject, but one worth tackling before it’s needed. If you don’t, the circumstances can be dire.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, was designed to protect a patient’s right to privacy by penalizing doctors and other healthcare providers who disclose "protected health information" about their patients. Whenever you go to the doctor, you’ll be prompted to fill out a federally-mandated form that reads, "HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices." Patient confidentiality is generally a good thing. No one has the right to know my medical prognoses, see my prescriptions, or discuss my medical treatments unless they have my written approval. But what if a person can’t give that approval?

There are plenty of HIPAA horror stories out there. Imagine the story of the woman whose mother wound up in the ER after suffering a stroke. She approaches the nurse’s station, frantic about her mother’s condition and is met with a sympathetic shrug of the shoulders and, "I am sorry, I am not authorized to give you that information." By law, unless the woman and her mother had a Power of Attorney for HIPAA release, no one in that hospital can discuss her medical condition with outside parties—even the woman’s own daughter.

Caregiverlist®, in it’s ongoing mission to care for the caregiver and make life just a little easier for seniors and their families, has worked with Law Depot to provide you access to senior care legal documents to help facilitate elder care.

In the case of Power of Attorney for HIPAA Release, it is imperative to have all legal documents in place as, in most cases, the patient is not a position to give their verbal instructions. Do it in order to lessen the burden on family members during an already stressful time. In addition to the providing all medical professionals the “release of information” paperwork, it’s also important for the senior and their proxy to discuss and fill out a Last Will and Testament and a Living Will for end-of-life medical treatment requests.

Learn more about HIPAA at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa.

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