California Colors: Stress Relief Photo

The colors of a beautiful sunset will makes most people stop and admire them. This week's photo was taken in Santa Monica, California. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy the photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and the care you provide for our seniors. More caregivers are always needed as seniors in America are living longer. You can learn more about becoming a senior caregiver and apply for a job near you. Have a great week, and an enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  
 

"Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal." -Elbert Hubbard

Summer in Spain: Stress Relief Photo

Summer, and the longest days of the year are here. It is time to enjoy the flowers and other joys of the season. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Alicante, Spain. Please enjoy the photo and the quote and feel free to share them with loved ones. Caregivers provide companionship to seniors, as well as caregiving and caregivers must remember to "care for the caregiver." Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. Have a great week.

"Tomorrow is always fresh. Make no mistakes in it yet."  -Anne Shirley

Golf Fans Follow U.S. Open Play Using Official App

Senior caregivers and their clients alike may find an enjoyable pastime in watching or playing golf. The U.S. Open golf tournament is taking place at the Chambers Bay golf course this week through Sunday and senior caregivers can follow along with the games and learn more about the course using the USGA U.S. Open app. 

When users first open the U.S. Open app, a homepage greets them with a list of the overall tournament leaderboard. Each hole on the golf course is assigned a number of hits the player should take to successfully move the ball from the tee to the hole in that round. This is referred to as the par for the hole. The player with the least number of hits overall wins. The Leaderboard shows the players and their score based on if they are over or under par. 

The Leaderboard also features individual player profiles with information on their home country, age and statistics on their playing abilities such as average driving distance and no. of putts. The leaderboard automatically updates every 30 seconds to keep users up to date on the proceedings of the game. 

Users also have the option to watch a livestream of the tournament itself or video highlights and recaps. If users would prefer to read about previous plays, another section called "The Latest" features articles such as "Round 1: Notable and Quotable" to keep users who may not have been able to watch live a recap of previous events. 

Another fun interactive feature of the app gives users the opportunity to learn the specifications of the course through hole by hole maps and flyover videos. The description of the each hole shares the challenges that golfers may face there and the expected strategic shots they will take. The locator portion of the app givers users the ability to keep up with players' movements on each hole in real time by identifying which player is at the hole and their specific location within the course. 

Senior caregivers and their senior clients may find that watching golf a relaxing way to spend a few hours in the afternoon. Since it's a relatively low stress and slower moving game than other sports like basketball or football, it's easy for senior caregivers or their clients to quickly pick up the rules as they watch.

Even if caregivers are watching the game live on TV, the app provides information to enhance their understanding of the players and the course. The U.S. Open started on June 15 and continues through Sunday, June 21. 

The U.S. Open 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

The Senior Caregiver Turnover Problem

Ask anyone who has anything to do with senior care about the biggest challenge facing the industry right now and you’ll get this answer: caregiver turnover.

Why is it such a problem? Have you ever dealt with the elderly? Let’s say you don’t like change — your favorite grocer goes out of business, your dry cleaner moves — annoying as hell but not exactly life-changing. Now imagine it’s the person who helps you with your activities of daily living — the person who bathes you, who feeds you, who wipes your bum — that kind of personnel change can be terribly, well, personal. Now imagine you are elderly, frail, and extremely vulnerable. That kind of change can shake you to your core.

As a senior care employer, caregiver turnover affects the bottom line. It costs to hire new caregivers, to recruit and interview them, run background checks, and train them to care for their senior clients. It costs home care agencies approximately $3,500 to replace one hourly employee.

Turnover rates for private duty in-home caregivers have been steadily increasing, from 39.4% in 2009 to 61.5% in 2014, according to Home Care Pulse’s 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study. Annual turnover rate can vary between 60% to 100% from state to state, according to research from the Institute for the Future of Aging Services.

Increasing caregiver shortages for long-term care demands we find out why caregiver turnover is so high and seek remedies to keep quality in-home caregivers happy and on the job. 

There are many theories as to why caregiver turnover is so high. Of course, most studies show that low wages, lack of benefits, and no overtime pay contributes greatly to senior caregiver discontent. Since 2000, there has been a 23% increase in home health care employment, while salaries have remained the same at about $21,000 a year, according to research conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.

The National Private Duty Association has said that requiring employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime could mean that some seniors will have to have more than one caretaker because they require more than 40 hours of care a week, or costs for the family would be so high, seniors would not receive all the help they need.

What would help with in-home caregiver retention, besides higher pay?

We at Caregiverlist hear from a lot of caregivers. Of course, caregivers cite better pay as a big contributor to better care, other factors are also important. Here are some suggestions in-home caregivers have for senior care agencies that would entice caregiver retention:

Offer Ongoing Training
No one wants to feel stuck in a rut. By receiving ongoing training, caregivers feel supported and know that they are developing their professional skills. The majority of caregiver turnover occurs in the first 60 days of employment, most likely due to lack of confidence in being able to provide competent care. Training increases that confidence.

Give Recognition
No one goes into senior care to become rich. Caregivers are interested in helping people and most go into the job because they had experience with family caregiving. A simple “Thank You” and acknowledgement of a job well done can increase caregiver satisfaction.

Provide Mentorship and Community
In-home caregiving can be a solitary endeavor. Of course relationships are built between caregiver and client, but it’s nice to know that one is not alone in the challenges and successes experienced as a caregiver. Providing opportunities to share caregiving stories, brainstorm solutions to common problems, and find professional camaraderie may help agencies retain quality senior caregivers.

If you are a senior caregiver, what would help keep you on the job? Share your ideas in the comments section.

La Dolce Vita: Italy for Stress Relief

Water and mountains combined for a relaxing view, even with a few clouds. This week's photo was taken from a boat on Lake Como, Italy, a wonderful place. Caregiverlisinvites you to enjoy the photo and share it with loved ones. At Caregiverlist we know the realities of caregiver stress. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. 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.  We hope you have a great week.  

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."  -Italian Proverb

Bathroom Finder and Review App Offers Help in a Pinch

For senior caregivers who may be out with their senior clients running errands or going to/from an appointment, the need to use the restroom can strike unexpectedly. When those moments strike, trying to find the nearest bathroom can be stressful. Some places you would expect to have bathrooms might not, and others might not be accessible or incredibly dirty. Luckily, the Sit or Squat app offers a location based bathroom finder map along with user reviews to help caregivers find and available restroom easily. 

When users first download the app, they need to give permission for it to use their location and then it brings up the map showing the area they're in. On the map, restrooms are indicated with toilet paper roll icons. Clean or recommended restrooms are displayed in green while dirtier or poorly reviewed restrooms are shown in green. The green icons accompany a message that the toilet is clean enough to sit on, while the red icons warn users it's better to squat when using that restroom. 

Previous users who visited the bathrooms can leave comments and attach pictures to the bathroom detail on the app. A filters setting on the lower right side of the app brings up options to sort by certain specifications, such as For Free, Handicap Accessible, Baby Changing Table or Sits Only. The Sits Only option only displays the green toilet paper rolls, or bathrooms with good user ratings. Caregivers who have senior clients who need a handicap accessible bathroom in particular will find this feature useful so they don't need to go to several locations before they find a bathroom that meets their client's needs. 

When a caregiver decides on which bathroom they'd like to visit, the app also offers the option to transport the address information into a maps app such as Google Maps for easy step by step navigation. Once caregivers visit a bathroom, they also have the option to rate the bathroom, leave a comment, or flag it if there was misinformation or the restroom has closed, etc. 

The Sit or Squat 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

Honoring CNAs During National Nursing Assistants Week

We know the value of the professional nursing assistant. These are the men and women who work tirelessly to assist the elderly and frail under the supervision of RNs and LPNs. For many seniors (especially for those seniors who are aging in place, at home), the best CNAs provide care that greatly increases the quality of life for the most vulnerable of our population.

The 38th annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week runs from June 11-18, 2015 and  kicks off on June 11 with National Career Nursing Assistants’ Day, a day to recognize the dedicated nursing assistants who have committed 5 to as many as 58 years of their lives to the care and well-being of others. This year’s theme is “Nursing Assistants @ the Heart of Care,” Celebrating 38 years as a professional organization for nursing assistants and other direct care workers in long term care.

Now more than ever, direct care workers need to advocate for themselves and their vital importance in the lives of the fastest growing demographic in America — seniors.

William Painter, past president of the board of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, urges all professional caregivers to be proactive in making others aware of the indispensable contributions made by those in professional long term care. Here are his suggestions:

  • Use the Language of  Respect and Cooperation on a daily basis when working with clients, coworkers, families and the community
  • Make sure that you and your co-workers are registered to vote.
  • Educate yourself and co-workers about the political issues that affect your jobs and the care you give. (Check news stories. Pay special attention to articles about wages and benefits, overtime pay, parity, staffing ratios, safety on the job, and  job-training.
  • Get to know your lawmakers! Call your legislators. Write letters. Find out who the influential people are in long term care and contact them. Get a small group together and make an appointment to visit.
  • Practice your message and avoid complaining – be assertive and professional. It is your government and your money being spent! Don’t be chicken! They hear from the other “experts”, but if they are ever going to understand how it really is, they have got to hear directly from you!
  • Look for and create opportunities to speak to churches, civic organizations, seniors groups, etc.

The employment opportunities for certified nursing aides and assistants are plentiful. CNAs work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living communities, adult day care centers, and in the home through senior home care agencies. Over 2.5 million women and men are currently employed as CNAs.

If you are contemplating a career as a certified nursing assistant, be aware that you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, you’ll have to pass a background check and medical exam, and various vaccinations are required, depending on the requirements in your state.
 
Certified Nursing Assistant training requirements vary from state to state, and there are many CNA schools that will help prepare you to pass your state’s Department of Health certification and licensing exam. Program costs vary widely but some financial aid may be available.

Is a CNA career right for you? Visit Caregiverlist’s Caregiver Training Center to learn more about CNA job duties, take a look at some free senior care training briefs, and take some CNA sample and practice tests.

And if there’s a special Career Nursing Assistant in your life, take this opportunity to thank them for all they do and, moreover, help advocate for respect for their role in quality long term care.

Ready for Lunch in Paradise

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. There is not much nicer than sitting outside on a beautiful day in an amazing place. This week's photo invites us to imagine that. It was taken on the island of Santorini in Greece, a place with stunning scenery. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. Have a great week. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  -Mark Twain

 

 

Improve Mental Health and Get Support Using App

Depression affects almost 15 million American adults annually, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Depression and mental health issues can emerge at any age. Caregivers and senior clients alike who experience depressing stretches or suicidal thoughts will benefit from ReliefLink, an app specifically designed to help prevent suicide and improve mental health. 

When user first visit the ReliefLink app, the menu offers options to track how they're feeling that day. Users select an option on a mood scale from Very Good to Very Low. They also can select an option on a scale from No Suicidal Thoughts to Strong Urge to Act on Plan Immediately. This tracking serves as a resource between therapy sessions or to share with a mental health professional when visiting for the first time. 

The Reminders area of the app allows users to set a reminder for an appointment, to take a medication, or for another event. Users can make a note and attach it to the reminder for specific instructions regarding an appointment or medication instructions and select the time for notification as well as if the reminder is one time or should be repeated. 

 

The Safety Planning area allows users to note their own warning signs, such as feeling trapped, sleep problems or threatening to hurt or kill oneself. Next, users select self coping strategies such as physical activity, listening to relaxing music or relaxation exercises. For every warning sign, caregivers or their senior clients should develop a self coping strategy. Other areas in safety planning ask users to list places for distraction, friends I can ask for help, professionals I can contact, and maintaining a safe environment. For caregivers using the app with their senior clients who may be feeling depressed, it may help to reassure them that you're a friend they can ask for help. 

The Resources and Emergency areas of the app provide caregivers information on therapists and support groups in the area as well as options for course of action during an emergency. The app overall provides users the ability to track their daily feelings and notice trends or disruption of patterns in thinking to understand and overcome their depression better.

The ReliefLink app is available for Apple 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

Seniors Behind $300M Heist

They’re calling it Ocean’s 64, the Old Man Heist, and dubbing them “Dad’s Army.”

On Easter weekend this year, a three-day banking holiday, nine thieves made off with one of the largest heists in Britain’s history. In a scene some are comparing to the movie The Italian Job, 73 empty safe deposit boxes were found in the vault at London’s Hatton Garden Safe Deposit. Their missing contents were jewels, gold, and diamonds worth about £200 million ($300 million).

Eight out of the 10 men arrested on suspicion of robbery were in court on May 19 and much was made of their ages — which combined is just shy of 500 years. The oldest of the defendants complained that they had trouble hearing what the judge was saying. Another, it’s been reported, limped so badly that prison guards had to help him to his seat.

I always said 80 is the perfect age to conduct a heist, but these men were no beginners. In fact, in the case of oldest suspect, 76-year-old Brian Reader of Dartmoor, Kent, it was a chance to make the heist into a family business, as son and fellow suspect , 50-year-old Paul Reader was supposedly part of the crew.

DAD'S ARMY': THE CHARGED MEN, AGED BETWEEN 48 TO 76

  • Hugh Doyle, 48
  • Paul Reader, 50
  • Daniel Jones, 58
  • Carl Wood, 58
  • William Lincoln, 59
  • Terry Perkins, 67
  • John Collins, 74
  • Brian Reader, 76

There’s no doubt it was a professional job, and The Mirror aptly nicknamed the thieves suitably cinematic names — Mr Ginger, Mr Strong, Mr Montana, The Gent, The Tall Man, Moped Man and The Old Man. The job was incredibly intricate and physically challenging. London's metropolitan police released pictures of the scene.

After the thieves entered a side door dressed as workers, disabled an elevator and rappelled down the shaft, while carrying an incredibly heavy and powerful Hilti DD-350 diamond coring drill to get through the vault and at the safety deposit boxes.

While we at Caregiverlist certainly don’t condone unlawful behavior at any age, after reading about so many senior scams and the variety of frauds perpetrated against the elderly, it sure is interesting to see the tables turn and read about some older gentlemen who continue to “work” beyond retirement.

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