On the Beach in Germany: Caregiver Stress Relief

It is so pleasant sometimes to have a beach practically all to yourself. This week's stress relief photo was taken on the island of Sylt, in the North Sea off the coast of Germany. The "baskets" are comfortable places to sit while being protected from sun, rain, wind, and sand. We invite you to take a moment to enjoy the photo and the inspirational quote and feel free to share them with loved ones. 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.  Have a great week.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

-Albert Einstein

Alaska Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Where are the most expensive nursing homes in the U.S.? Not surprisingly, Alaska takes the title of state with costliest nursing homes in America once again, according to the updated Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Index. And again, Alaska wins by a landslide, with an average daily room cost of $573.90 (based on both private and semi-private rooms.) The next most expensive nursing homes can be found in Hawaii, whose average daily nursing home costs are $376.66.

Why are nursing home costs so high in Alaska? Many factors contribute to costs, especially in rural areas where even gas and electricity are costlier. Then there’s the law of supply and demand — there are simply more people vying for fewer resources. In addition to Native Alaskans living longer, non-natives who migrated to the state during the oil and construction boom of past years have decided to stay and age there, creating what experts are calling a “silver tsunami.” Who knows if Alaska’s nursing home infrastructure will be able to support its future elderly population? Right now, however, Caregiverlist data shows that the 18 nursing homes in Alaska have an average star rating of 3.5 (out of 5.)

Here’s a snapshot of Alaska nursing home data:
Total Number of Nursing Homes: 18
Average Single Price: $621.38
Average Double Price: $526.43
Average Rating: 3.5

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 6
4-Star: 6
3-Star: 4
2-Star: 2
1-Star: 0

Senior care costs, especially the costs incurred by long-term nursing home stay, is something most people don’t think about until it’s too late, usually after the Medicare-paid first 100 days of post-hospital rehabilitation. A good place for families to begin anticipating future costs is by talking to a professional and coming up with a financial action plan. Caregiverlist can provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Tennessee and help you learn about the costs for senior care. Seniors and their family caregivers can also research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

Alarm App Gives Caregivers Easier Wake Up Options

Waking up can be hard to do, especially if sleeping through the night proves to be difficult. With the MyAlarmClock App, senior caregivers can set specific alarms for the morning and use sleep timers to help them fall asleep at night. 

Every part of the alarm clock in the MyAlarmClock app can be customized to meet the needs of the user. The app offers several different clock display options, ranging from digital displays in several colors to a mock antique clock face. 

To set an alarm, caregivers can go to the Alarm List and enter the time they would like to wake up. The Repeat option allows users to select which day(s) of the week they would like the alarm to go off. If caregivers see one client only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they can set a specific, repeating alarm just for those days. 

The alarm has a few different options for sounds. Users can choose between various in-app noises, such as Bells, Mellow or Electro, for the alarm noise. Or, they can elect to play music from their iTunes by picking a specific song or shuffling through the entire library. 

Caregivers should take care to ensure the volume level is where they'd like it on this screen. Users also have the option to have the noise fade in for a less jarring wake up. When the alarm goes off in the morning, caregivers can tap their hand over their phone to activate the "Snooze" button aspect. Or, they can set the snooze settings ahead of time to automatically have the alarm play for 30 seconds and then snooze for a set amount of time, i.e. five minutes. 

The Sleep Timer area of the app offers assistance to fall asleep at night. Users can select either White Noise or songs from their iTunes library to listen to as they drift off. The timer allows caregivers to set exactly how long the noise should play as they fall asleep. 

Other app functions include a flashlight that can be activated by double tapping on the screen and a weather area. The weather summary automatically shows in the upper left corner of the home screen, but users can also click on it for a more detailed view. This way, caregivers can know how to dress for the day before even leaving bed. 

The My Alarm Clock 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

How do you become a California Certified Caregiver for Senior Care?

California passed a state law that went into effect this year (as of January 1, 2016) which requires all senior caregivers to be consistently trained in basic caregiving skills and to take ongoing training each year.

What is the name of the new California Caregiver Training law?

Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act 

AB 1217 was the Assembly Bill number for this caregiver licensing legislation and is also commonly referred to when the state's caregiver training requirements are discussed. You will hear professionals in the California senior care industry say "we have AB1217 training requirements".

What does the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act require for caregiver training?

California senior caregivers must show they have been trained on 5 hours of orientation and safety skills and 5 hours of core competency caregiving skills each year, for a total of 10 hours of training in 2016, the first year for the California caregiver training law to be in effect. Each following year the law requires 5 hours of annual training. Think of the home care services law as requiring 5 + 5 hours of training in 2016. 

Where can you find California Caregiver Training meeting the California Training Law Requirements for 10 Hours of Training?

Caregiver Training University's 10-Hour Course fulfills the law's requirement for the initial California caregiver training in 2016. Created by experienced senior home care professionals and trainers, the course was written for senior caregivers to be able to easily understand the necessary skills and includes:

  • Video Tutorials
  • Audio
  • Tip Sheets
  • 36 Questions to Confirm Competency
  • Certificate (Print as Wallet Card or Full Size)
  • Suggested Books and Movies to Build Caregiving Skills
Meets State Requirements for 10-Hour Course

Caregiving for seniors involves emotional and physical care and requires also caring for yourself. Subscribe to the Caregiverlist newsletter to receive tips for caregiver stress relief and become part of professional caregiver community. Join the Professional Association of Caregivers to show your industry knowledge and to maintain your annual training certification. Apply for a caregiving job to be considered by employers in your area as most companies hire from 5 to 6 new caregivers each week.

Refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and be entered to win free California Caregiver Training as more caregivers are needed!

Buy Online Caregiver Training

How to Become a Licensed Caregiver in California

California caregivers must now complete caregiver training matching the state's new criteria as outlined in the new Home Care Services Consumer Protection law. The new law requiring California caregiver training went into effect on January 1, 2016.

What are the California caregiver training requirements now? 

Caregivers must be trained on the policies and procedures required for caregiving in the home, understand safety skills for being a home caregiver and then be trained in core competencies.

How do you become a home caregiver in California?

  • Be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Be legal to work in the U.S.A.
  • Verify completion of 5 hours of orientation and safety training prior to being able to work with a client and 5 hours of core competency training to be completed annually (must have 5 years of training each year)
  • Apply for a caregiving job with a senior home care agency, assisted living community or community care service
Where can you find California Caregiver Certification Training?

Caregiverlist Basic California Caregiver Training by Caregiver Training University provides online training meeting the law's requirements.

View Video

Senior Caregiving Activities: Check out Live Bald Eagle Cam of Baby Eagles

Caregivers may check out this live eagle camera monitoring the daily activities of two newborn eaglets in a nest in our nation's capital. If you are looking for a new activity to add to the Activities of Daily Living you assist a senior with each day, this could be a nice new addition. You will witness the eagle parents, appropriately named Mr. President and First Lady, caring for their little eagles with all the excitement living in a nest in a Tulip Poplar tree among the azalea bushes at the U.S. National Arboretum brings. "Anything can happen" the American Eagle Foundation warns.

Engaging in daily activities delivers healthy mental stimulation and socialization for seniors, including for senior's with Alzheimer's disease. By watching the eagles caregivers may engage in many topics of conversation about eagles, including how the bird became the national symbol for the U.S.A., what they like to eat (yes, you will see Mr. President and First Lady fly in freshly killed fish), how eagles were an endangered species and siblicide.

Siblicide means the killing of an infant by its close relative (and you though adult children had challenges when deciding on the best senior care plan for a parent)! Many times baby eagles will perform siblicide in the early weeks of their birth as a survival defense, with the older sibling usually killing the younger sibling. But now these eaglets are out of the woods on this, so to speak. Human siblings also can stay out of the woods with arguments on senior care by researching to create a senior care plan and by working with a Care Manager to assist with planning and implementing the senior care. Transamerica offers a complimentary financial planning consultation to understand senior care costs and a free caregiving guide.

Displaying Screenshot 2016-04-06 at 1.10.17 PM.png

Displaying Screenshot 2016-04-06 at 1.10.17 PM.png

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

Visit the DC Eagle Nest Cam

Caregiverlist® provides adult siblings with resources to find the best senior care options for their loved ones, including the

daily rates of nursing homes nationwide and ratings on the most important criteria to help siblings find the best place for their parents.

Accepting Aging Brings Healthy Aging says New Longevity Book by Cameron Diaz

Aging naturally comes along with living a long life as our human biology stays in motion. Accepting this fact of life seems to be one of the biggest secrets revealed in actress Cameron Diaz's new book, titled The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time. Just 50 years ago, when Medicare was created, life expectancy was only age 75. Now we are living past age 100, bringing new meaning to how we will live these additional 25 years.

My family will celebrate my grandmother's 100th birthday this month. As the oldest child of five, she has outlived all of her siblings. While she survived the Great Depression by skipping a year in school (then finishing high school at the top of her class) and worked daily doing physical labor by managing a dairy farm (yes, she milked cows twice a day, every day, for 40 years, and also home-cooked all the meals for the family and the farm workers). And now at age 99, all of her friends and family from her generation are passed away and she has the usual challenges associated with old age including loss of vision and hearing.

My family has always thought that in addition to genetics, you must possess some kind of mental ability to be resilient and to accept life's challenges in order to live a long life. That is the only way, it seems, to go through your later years when you are losing your loved ones to death each week and losing many of your physical abilities.  "Take it on the chin" is what my grandmother teaches us, then move on and have a laugh about it. 

It turns out Cameron Diaz shares this advice as the secret to longevity that she discovered while researching her book. Having an accepting attitude about aging and life will deliver a side kick of happiness to get you through your older years.......looking and feeling better than those who are battling the aging process.

Ms. Diaz's 5 Longevity Lessons are:

  1. Good Nutrition
  2. Good Movement (Exercise)
  3. Good Sleep
  4. Stress Relief
  5. Staying Connected to Loving Friends and Family

In addition, planning for how you want to be cared for when caregiving services may be needed for medical issues and aging issues, also brings a peace of mind to the aging process. Few seniors have planned ahead for their caregiving needs. Research the senior care options and costs in your area now and create a plan. Talk to a financial planner (Transamerica provides free consultations on the costs of care and savings options) to enable you and your family to eliminate the stress of knowing what your caregiving plan will be should a medical issue arise in your older years. You may also receive a Caregiving Guide to assist with this part of the aging journey and take an online caregiving training course to learn basic caregiver skills if you are caring for a loved one.

The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time

Cameron Diaz's new book

My Grandma Martha at Age 100 (Birthday is April 24, 2016)

Caregiver Stress Relief: Pretty and Peaceful

This week's photo was taken in Santorini, Greece, and features vibrant, colorful flowers to brighten what is here a cold and gray day. 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 Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools. We hope you have a great week. 

"Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness resides in the soul." -Democritus

Tennessee Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Tennessee is full of attractions, both natural and man-(and woman-)made. When I went, I loved visiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Grand Ole Opry, Graceland, and my favorite, Dollywood. It also has a low adjusted cost of living and no state income tax (unless you count the highly contested Hall tax on interest and dividend income from investments.) There are only about 10 states that have lower daily nursing home costs than Tennessee, according to Caregiverlist’s updated national nursing home cost database, with a daily room rate of $173.22 (the state average of single and shared rooms,) or $63,225 per year. Tennessee nursing homes carry average star rating of 2.6 out of 5.

How much do nursing homes in Tennessee cost? Senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes, along with their overall ratings. It’s a fact that most people don’t even think about nursing home costs until long-term care is needed—like after the first 100 days of Medicare-covered care. Caregiverlist updates our nursing home cost database so seniors and their families can get an idea of long-term care costs in their area.

Below is a snapshot of Tennessee nursing home costs and ratings:

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 354
Average Single Price: $185.95
Average Double Price: $160.50
Average Rating: 2.6

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 6
4-Star: 85
3-Star: 169
2-Star: 60
1-Star: 34

Which is the highest rated nursing home in Tennessee? The Tennessee nursing home with the highest Caregiverlist Nursing Home Rating for which we have a daily cost is Somerfield At The Heritage in Brentwood, Tennessee. However, it is also one of the most expensive, with a single room daily price of $288.00—54.88% higher than the average single price of $185.95.

The number of elderly and adults with physical disabilities receiving care in a nursing home setting has dropped by over 30% since 2005 according to TennCare, Tennessee’s Long-Term Services & Supports website. Those seniors for whom 24-hour care is not needed, may choose to avail themselves of home and community based services, who have seen a substantial growth in as many years.

How can families begin anticipating for future long-term care costs? A good place to start is consulting with a professional who can come up with a financial action plan, something that includes an assessment of your family’s assets and future spending needs. Caregiverlist can provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Tennessee and help you learn about the costs for senior care. Seniors and their family caregivers can also research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

Save Money and Reward Yourself in Tipping App

Too tired to tie the laces on your shoes and go to the gym? Easier to grab coffee from a shop than to make it at home? Trying to break a bad habit? Using the Tip Yourself app, caregivers can identify acts they'd like to be rewarded for and give themselves tips for completing those acts. 

The tips come directly from the caregiver's bank account and are deposited into the "Tip Jar" within the app. For caregivers, maintaining a regular savings account might be challenging due to tight budgets, so the "Tip Jar" makes for an easy way to stash some extra cash away for a fun fund or a rainy day. Plus, it helps motivate users to break bad habits or form new good habits. 

When users first set up the app, they need to create a profile by either importing data from Facebook or filling in the fields manually. Then, users can link their bank account to the app by signing in with their bank's online log in and entering a verification code. This enables users to move funds back and forth from their account to their "Tip Jar." Funds can be withdrawn from the "Tip Jar" at any point and at no fee to the user. 

To create a tip, users simply need to go through two basic screens. The first asks for the tip amount, ranging from $2.00 to $10.00 or another amount specified by the user. One way caregivers might decide how much to tip lies in saving money on purchases. For example, if a caregiver decides to make a sandwich at home instead of getting food from a restaurant, they might save $5.00. That $5.00 could be designated as the self tip amount. 

Another place caregivers might find tip amounts is at the grocery store. If you buy a box of cereal on sale for $2.00 off and purchase that instead of a full priced brand, then reward yourself by putting that amount in your "Tip Jar." Two dollars may not seem like much, but those small amounts will add up over time. 

The second screen asks users to designate why they are giving themselves tips. Suggested reasons are listed at the bottom of the screen, but caregivers also have the option to type in their own reason. Specifically, if users are trying to break a bad habit such as smoking or establish a new habit such as going to the gym, this would be an ideal place to keep track of that. The lock or unlock button at the bottom establishes if the post will be public or private. 

For inspiration and to see what other users are giving themselves tips for, caregivers can look through an activity feed on the left side of the home screen. The statistics area of the app provides information on total tips this month, highest tip amount, average tip amount, etc. Caregivers can easily view the current balance of their "Tip Jar" on this screen or by clicking on an icon at the bottom of the app. 

The Tip Yourself 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

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