Guided Workouts in Spare Seven Minutes with App

For senior caregivers, finding the time to go to the gym or for a run three times a week can be difficult. However, working out doesn't need to take up a lot of time and energy. Caregivers only need seven minutes for workouts using the Women's Health 7M Fitness app. 

When users first open the app, they are greeted with a basic home screen featuring a large start button and a menu underneath with Workouts, Calendar, Track Weight and More Apps. When users press the Start button, it launches them immediately into their first work out. Workouts consist of individual moves repeated for a certain amount of time, such as a No Rope Jump Rope, Squat Lunge or Mountain Climber.

However, the pictures within the app showing during the workout don't always give the user the best sense of how to fully execute the move. Users ideally should spend time in the Workout button on the menu first to view individual videos demonstrating how to execute each move before they start their workouts. In fact, when users first begin using the app, it would be beneficial to spend the first session or two watching the video clips for each move and practicing them. That way, when caregivers are in the timed exercises they can spend time performing the move instead of trying to figure out how to do it correctly. 

When inside the timed workouts, a ticker counts down how long caregivers should spend on each exercise and a voice guides users through when to rest and which exercise is next. The workouts combine 10 moves to help women burn fat in what little time they have available. After users have begun to exercise on a regular basis, they can view the calendar to see which days the completed a work out and plan ahead for when to incorporate workouts in the upcoming weeks. 

The weight tracker component also allows users to enter their weight and see how it changes over time. The More Apps area offers similar apps for download from the same company, some of which target more specific fitness goals such as Fit Abs, Fat Burn or Arms. 

The Women's Health 7 Minute Workout 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

Chefs Make Housecalls for Seniors

One of the reasons a senior may finally choose to move into assisted living is for the meals. The elderly who live independently may decide that by the time groceries are bought, pots and pans are put on the stove, food is plated and plates are cleaned, it’s just too much trouble to cook for one. Many times seniors will microwave some high-fat, high-sodium, prepared and processed food. Not good for nutrition and certainly not good for the soul.

Chefs for Seniors out of Madison, Wisc. has been getting a lot of press lately, and with good reason. Their mission? They want seniors to stay independent a little longer by offering a service dedicated to improving seniors’ lives through food (emphasis theirs.) They’ve recently been featured on NPR and in Senior Housing News. The family-run company staffs vetted, licensed, professional chefs to come to shop and cook for seniors, right in their own homes.

Whole, healthy, homemade food is of course preferable to industrial, processed, mass-produced food stuffs. But taking a meal is so much more than the simple act of eating. Taking every meal alone, no matter how nutritious, delicious, and convenient it may be, can be a lonely proposition for those who are used to communal meals.

Perhaps with Chefs for Seniors, the community is had in the making. Owners Barrett and Lisa Allman, as well as their son Nathan, seem to understand that the relationship between a seniors and their caregiver (in this case, the person preparing their meals) is important and consistency is an issue. Outside of special circumstances, the company tries to maintain that unique client/chef relationship.

“Routine is important for seniors, so we try to keep the same chef coming to their home every week,” Allman told Home Health Care News’ Jason Oliva.

The chef can visit twice a week, weekly, or bi-weekly, based on the senior’s need and preference. After an initial consultation, a senior-specific menu is prepared, a chef is assigned, and then the culinary friendship is forged.

Like many senior care services, this one was born from family need. Allman told NPR that the inspiration for Chefs for Seniors was his wife's grandmother. She entered assisted living ten years ago, when she could no longer cook for herself. The family knew she could have stayed in her own home longer if she had access to nutritional and tasty meals.

But don’t give up on senior communities. Many assisted living facilities have also discarded the notion of industrial food for their residents. Chefs like Carol Koty at Lockwood Lodge at Masonicare at Newtown are providing restaurant-quality meals to the seniors for whom they cook. Caregiverlist recommends you thoroughly check into all your senior care options, from in-home care, specialty care (like Chefs for Seniors), independent and assisted living, and nursing homes for your specific eldercare needs.

Lemons in Provence: Stress Relief Photo

A market with a bounty of fresh produce is a feast for the senses. This week's photo of sweet lemons in bright sunshine was taken in Nice, France. Matisse spent a lot of time in Nice, and his painting was inspired by the beautiful light. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. At Caregiverliswe know the realities of caregiver stress. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. Senior care training assists caregivers to better manage a senior's care needs and manage caregiver stress. Have a great week. 

Japanese Seniors to Get 5 Million iPads

Apple and IBM are partnering with Japan Post to provide 1,000 seniors with free iPads for six months beginning in October. If successful, the program could increase senior users to five million by the year 2020. iPads will be equipped with IBM-produced apps specifically geared to the elderly such as reminding seniors to take their medication, help them keep in touch with family, and assist them in finding local senior services in an effort to improve the quality of life for Japan’s senior population.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Japan Post CEO Taizo Nishimuro (who is almost 80 years old) announced the program in New York on Thursday. Japan’s elderly make up 25 percent of entire population. That’s about 33 million seniors. That number is projected to grow to 40 percent over the next 4 decades.

Japan Post Group, a government-owned postal service, bank, and insurer will train 400,000 of its employees on the iPads. They in turn will deliver the devices to the elderly. Currently, Japan Post service workers make elderly wellness checks and reports back to the senior’s family. This “Watch Over” program costs families $1,000 yen, or $8, monthly. It is not known if the iPad program will increase those costs.

“This initiative has potential for global impact, as many countries face the challenge of supporting an aging population, and we are honored to be involved in supporting Japan’s senior citizens and helping enrich their lives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group in almost every country. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period.

Mashable gave us a peek at the iPad interface which includes large buttons, an emergency call capability, and other senior-friendly and senior-empowering features.

Image: Mashable, Lance Ulanoff

The proposed iPad program certainly can’t take the place of a one-on-one in-home senior care, but for millions of independent older people, especially with those whose families distance care, I think it will be a great care supplement.

Garden Planning App for Caregiver Stress Relief

Gardening offers a lovely spring and summertime activity for senior caregivers to relieve stress and for their senior clients to get outdoors for an hour or two to get some light physical activity. The process of planning and planting a garden helps keep senior minds active and prevent onset of dementia. Using the Burpee Garden Time app, senior caregivers and their clients can plan out the various plants they'd like to grow in their garden. 

When users first open the app, they are met with a blank white screen with a single button at the bottom reading, "Let's Get Started." The blank screen makes it seem as though something is still loading or missing, but once users hit the button it takes them to the actual homepage to browse plants. The plants are broken into three categories: vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Each plant features its own page with Growing Instructions, Videos and information on Planting Dates. Notably, the Planting Dates information specifies the best way to grow that particular plant, whether it's ideal to begin growing them indoors and transfer them to the garden later or to sow the seeds directly in the garden.

To get the most accurate planting instructions, users should create an account with their location. With a location in place, the app offers a specific range of dates to sow the vegetable based on the needs of the plant. Even caregivers or senior clients who may not have their own designated garden space can grow a few different plants in large pots on balconies, porches or just outside of the door to their house. 

Topics for the in-app videos include information on different types of that plant, caring for that plant, common diseases for that plant and how to sow that particular plant. The My Garden area of the app also offers users the ability to look at all of the plants they've chosen for their garden and the Planner sets upcoming tasks for users to complete. The Weather area also provides the local forecast.

Caregivers can use gardening as a way to get outside, connect with nature and focus on something other than the stressors in their daily life. For their senior clients, gardening provides an opportunity to go outside and flex a few of their muscles in a low intensity way.  

The Burpee Garden Time Planner 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

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