Serenity in Switzerland: Caregiver Stress Relief Photo

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. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy this week's stress relief photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. This week's photo of a beautiful winter scene was taken near Zurich, Switzerland. Have a great week.

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, 

for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home."

-Edith Sitwell

Tax Assistance for Caregivers Using IRS App

It's the time of year again when tax forms begin to flood mailboxes. For senior caregivers in particular who may be self employed, doing your taxes might seem overwhelming. Gather all of your tax forms as they come in from employers, banks, insurance companies, etc. and look to the IRS2Go app for resources to help prepare help pay your taxes. 

The IRS app feels rather bare bones, but it contains a lot of useful information for users. The first screen that shows up features the Refund Status tool for people who have already filed their taxes and are expecting a refund. 24 hours after your tax return is accepted by the government, you can enter your Social Security Number, Tax Filing Status and exact Refund Amount into the tool and the app will show you when your refund will be issued. 

The next section of the app gives users who owe money on their tax return the opportunity to pay online via their online bank account, debit card or credit card. Users need to enter the Reason for Payment in addition to the amount and Tax Period for Payment. 

The Free Tax Help section of the app shows users where they can go in their community to get free assistance in completing their taxes. When users enter a zip code, a list of locations and the programs they sponsor for free tax help pop up. Organizations like the Center for Economic Progress and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program operate to file taxes for free for low and moderate income families and individuals. 

Along with the locations, the Free Tax Help area tells users the exact hours of the tax help services, and whether or not an appointment is needed. It also specifies which program that location operates, so caregivers can look up whether or not they meet the qualifications for help before they go in person. Most services offer help to people making below a certain amount of money, so caregivers can look online or call the program to inquire about their personal situation.

The Stay Connected tab of the app offers ways to stay connected with the IRS via social media, Youtube and an e-mail list for tax tips. The Youtube channel offers videos about specific tax topics to improve understanding for tax payers. While the app may not be much to look at design wise, it does its job of presenting the information in a useful format for taxpayers to use. 

The IRS2Go app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers 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

Home Care Training for Senior Caregiving

Home care or senior home caregiving services, require specific training to be given to the caregiver in order to satisfy state requirements. Many states in the U.S.A. do have specific home caregiver training rules.

California recently passed legislation requiring senior caregivers to maintain an initial 10 hours of training for their first year working as a senior caregiver. The training encompasses 5 hours of orientation and safety training followed by 5 hours of training in core competencies. Then each year the caregiver must obtain renewal training by sharpening the saw in any of the core competencies.

Caregiver Training University provides the basic training course with video and audio and an exam to confirm competency. The exam has 3 questions for each skill to meet standards of retention for training.

Senior caregivers may purchase the caregiver training on their own for $59 and receive a certificate and senior home care agencies may also subscribe to a special package to provide the training to all of their caregivers at a discounted rate. In addition, the senior care companies maintain a caregiver training portal that allows them to easily show state auditors the necessary information to confirm their caregivers have been trained.

Caregiver Stress Relief: Pure Beauty

Peacocks are a symbol of beauty, reminding us to take pleasure in life. This week's photo was taken on the grounds of Leeds Castle in Kent, England. Caregiverlist invites 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 and visit our career center for additional career tools. We hope you have a great week. 

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." -Joan Walsh Anglund

How to Become a Certified Caregiver in California as of January 1, 2016

California caregivers have been asking Caregiverlist lots of questions about the new California caregiver training mandate which has become effective as of January 1, 2016.  Here is a quick run down of the new requirements and how to become a certified California caregiver.

What is the new California requirement called?

How many hours of training are required? 5 hours prior to working with a client + 5 hours annually which means a total of 10 hours for new caregivers followed by 5 hours every year of training on any of the core competencies of caregiving.

Can this training be digital? Yes.

How do you verify you have the training? Provide documentation of attending an approved training course covering the required topics and completing an exam showing competencies on the criteria (show that you were taught the info and know it). The Caregiverlist Basic Caregiver Training powered by Caregiver Training University allows you to maintain an account with a log-in and password to always access your training along with other information for caregivers such as popular books and movies to help you learn about all aspects of caregiving and how to "care for the caregiver" which means caring for yourself. Because senior caregiving requires emotional stamina as well as knowledge.

If you are a very experienced caregiver do you still have to take the training? Yes.

What is the ongoing annual training requirement? 5 hours incorporating learning in any core competencies such as age-related diseases, safety, activities of daily living.

How can you show that you have the appropriate training to a new employer? Present the time of training, the name of the training and show verification you completed the course (passing an exam qualifies).

Can your employer provide you with the training? Yes and they are required to do so but you can also present qualifying training upon interviewing.

Does Caregiverlist's digital training meet the requirements? Yes and you may learn more about the Caregiverlist Basic Training, the only training created specifically for senior home care.

How much does the training cost? $59 or $79 if you would like to join the Professional Association of Caregivers at the same time.

Why did California decide to pass a law requiring the training? As more and more seniors are choosing to age-in-place in their own home, the training and licensing requirements present a minimum standard for quality. In addition, the union that pursues caregivers as members through the low-income government caregiving programs, the SEIU, has been an advocate for training requirements (the SEIU won training requirements in the state of Washington which reimburses them for the hours that the caregivers are being trained which is 75 hours - this is too expensive for seniors to afford and because of that senior care companies only hire caregivers who already have the C.N.A. training so that seniors do not have to pay for 75 hours of training for a caregiver prior to having their services begin). The California legislature had dual bills for caregiver licensing and training proposed (one championed by the union) and finally passed AB1217 requiring the 5 hours of annual training and 5 hours prior to a caregiver being staffed with a senior.

Caregiverlist connects the caregiver's training certification from Caregiver Training University to their job application on Caregiverlist.

Learn American Sign Language to Better Communicate Using App

Many seniors grow hard of hearing as they age, while others may have been born deaf. American Sign Language (ASL) makes non-verbal communication easier for seniors who may not hear as well as they used to and offers a way to keep the brain active. Learn sign language for basic daily functions using The ASL App. 

Like learning any language, ASL has a basic alphabet to learn through signs. From the first two boxes on the homepage, users can choose to review the alphabet or basic numbers to form a foundation for understanding sign language. The app lessons are video based, with a person demonstrating each sign along with the words appearing on screen. Users have the option of viewing the video with the person in full screen mouthing the letters along with the signs, or a close up of just their hands. 

Every screen features an icon with a turtle inside of it. When users click on this icon, the video onscreen slows down to about half the original speed. This allows users extra time to form the shapes of the signs with their own hands and ensure that they match specifically with the configuration on screen. The videos are easy to follow and understand. The home screen displays the different category options for signs to learn next. 

After a set of signs plays, a menu will appear with options of how to proceed. Users can replay the previous video, replay it at a slower speed, or move on to the next video. In some cases, a lowercase "i" icon will appear and users can read more information about how to effectively complete the sign. For example, one of the tips reminds users to lower eyebrows when asking a question. 

The app offers a search function for specific words, and also provides the option to add more signs to the app. For $9.99, users can purchase all of the signs available, or select specific packages for lower amounts.  Some of the additional signs are free as well. 

Caregivers can use this app as a way to learn to better communicate with a senior client who may already know sign language, or as a tool to learn sign language along with their senior client. Keeping the brain active as seniors age is important for preventing the onset of dementia, and this provides a new way to communicate for seniors who have some hearing loss. 

The ASL App is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers 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

Sailing at Sunset: Caregiver Stress Relief

As we are deep in winter's chill, this week's photo should bring warm thoughts to mind. 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. This week's stress relief photo was taken from a ship, sailing away from Miami, Florida. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. We hope you have a great week.

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."  -African Proverb

California Caregiver Training Registry to be Certified Caregiver for Senior CareTraining

California's legislature passed a new requirement for professional senior caregivers in California to now have orientation training and safety training prior to working with a senior client, followed by 5 hours of annual training on core competencies. This training mandate is covered in Article 8 of the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act. Once caregivers have completed this online course powered by Caregiver Training University, they receive a certificate and their name is added to the Certified Caregiver Training Registry.

California senior caregivers also must renew their training each year with 5 hours focusing on any of the core competencies, defined as training on: 

  • Clients' Rights and Safety
  • How to provide for and respond to a client's daily living needs
  • How to report, prevent and detect abuse and neglect
  • How to assist a client with personal hygiene and other home care services
  • If involved in transportation services, how to safely transport a client
  • Review of any job-related topics
The California caregiver training mandate also accepts online training programs for this initial 10-hour training and annual 5-hour training requirement which senior caregivers may take through Caregiver Training University (and their company may also provide them with this online caregiver training through the company' caregiver training portal subscription).

Use Yoga App to Keep Fitness Resolutions

At the start of every year, gyms are flooded for a few months with new members and the number of diet commercials on TV seem to quadruple. If you made a New Year's Resolution to be a healthier you, try the Daily Yoga app for an easy way to get some exercise at home. 

Yoga provides increased flexibility and muscle strength when practiced on a regular basis. It's also a low-impact exercise, making it ideal to do at the end of a tough day or with your senior client if they have the range of motion needed. 

Users need to create a free account with the app when they first download it, and then they're able to see all of the workout options on the home screen. The default screen shows an option to filter between Featured workouts or All Sessions. Under all sessions, users will see Beginners sessions such as Standing Poses, Lying Poses, Seating Poses, etc. 

Once users select one of these categories, they will see a menu of different poses such as Supine Torso Twist, Dynamic Half Little Boat, or Prone Neck Stretch. The names sound foreign to someone who is new to yoga, but the thumbnail pictures next to the name make it easier to understand what the pose will look like. 

After picking a specific group of poses, caregivers can view a preview of the video for that pose or download the video to complete their workout. The videos per pose last for about 45 seconds and shows a person on a mat completing the moves slowly while a narrator explains each part. All of the poses in a Session last for a set amount of time, i.e. 15 minutes. The videos are easy to follow, stop and rewind as necessary to ensure users complete the moves completely and accurately. 

Users can also read about the poses offered and get more background in yoga by clicking View Details under a session. A biography for the instructor leading that session also appears so users can learn more about the person they're learning from. 

Yoga offers stress relief for caregivers, and often includes a meditative state. Try completing a session when you first wake up before your hectic day, or at night before you go to bed. The app also provides a Community section for users new to yoga to talk about why they started yoga and ask questions about the practice. 

The Daily Yoga app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers 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

Caregiver Stress Relief: Calm in the Cotswolds

Caregivers provide companionship and caregiving to seniors, and must remember to "care for the caregiver." Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. This week's stress relief photo was taken in the village of Bibury, in the picturesque Cotswolds region of England. Please enjoy the photo and the inspirational quote and feel free to share them with loved ones. Have a great week. 

"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes....including you."  -Anne Lamott

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