Reading App Helps Caregivers Form New Habits in the New Year

In this digital age, with the internet and endless numbers of shows to watch on TV, sitting down and reading a book may seem like an old-fashioned hobby. But reading provides a way for caregivers to relieve stress, and a way for senior clients to keep their minds active to prevent the onset of dementia. Using the Bookout app, caregivers can set goals for how often they'd like to read, track actual minutes spent reading and unlock various achievements. 

To get started with the app, caregivers first should pick a book they're currently reading or are ready to begin reading. For those with digital readers, many libraries offer free access to e-books the same way you can check out a physical book. Users can then search for the specific title of the book they select within the app and it's added to their library with the number of pages. As users read the book, they can log the number of pages read, length of time reading and date. 

These minutes can be logged towards specific monthly goals set within the Goals section of the app. Caregivers can pick either a monthly or a yearly goal for number of hours read. The goals section of the app also offers an alarm setting to remind caregivers to read every day. This feature could be particularly useful for senior clients, who might want to read daily for an hour or two each day to keep their minds active. 

The Stats section of the app provides a look at pages read and time spent reading over time with a line chart. It also shows the number of consecutive days users have logged time reading. Caregivers can easily see their own progress on this tab, with more statistics available if they'd like to upgrade to the paid version of the app. 

The Achievements area of the app offers some fun "badges" associated with reading different categories of books or for different lengths of time. For example, the Fledging badge is earned after completing your first book. Others require more in-depth accomplishments, such as the Worshiper app with requires users to add five quotes they enjoyed from a book to the notes on that book's page. 

The Bookout 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

Ready to Fly: Stress Relief Photo

We hope this new year is off to a good start for all of you. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. 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. Have a great week.

"No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again."  -Buddha

Caregivers Make Resolution to Organize Finances Using App

The beginning of a new year marks the perfect time to re-examine your personal finances and monthly budget. Especially for senior caregivers who might be on a tight budget to begin with, even finding small spending habits to eliminate can add up to big savings over time. The Clarity Money app offers a free tool for caregivers to examine their spending habits and recognize monthly subscriptions that could potentially be canceled to save more money. 

When users first open the Clarity Money app, they need to create a profile and then log into online banking for any accounts they'd like to track. The app can pull in information from multiple banks to track on one profile. Then users will be taken to the home screen of the app, which displays most of the different features as you scroll down. 

At the top, users simply see a breakdown of their Cash and Debt in the connected account, as the app pulls in checking, savings and credit card information. Then, the app shows how much money the user spent yesterday with an optional drop down menu to review all transactions on the accounts, or only the most recent. 

Below that, a chart breaks down all of the user's spending for the month into specific categories. In addition to establishing monthly patterns, this also helps caregivers see where they might unexpectedly be spending more money than they realize, such as on shopping. If a number seems oddly high on shopping, ask yourself where you can save money at the grocery store, or if you can do without that new sweater. 

The next section of the app offers to create a savings account with Clarity Money to meet goals, such as establishing a Rainy Day Fund or saving for an upcoming trip. The app offers several options for how to set it up, with varying dollar amounts to choose from and customizable frequency. Caregivers can set it up to pull a certain amount of money from the linked account of their choosing weekly on a certain day of the week, or monthly on a specific date, i.e. the 2nd of every month. 

The app also identifies recurring charges to your account for monthly subscriptions for services such as Netflix and displays them all in one area to help caregivers see what they're paying total on a monthly basis. Perhaps you realize that you pay for a Netflix subscription, but you haven't been using it. That makes for an easy decision to cancel it and save $10 per month. 

The app also features ways to check your account balances, credit card activity and your credit score. The app does an excellent job of presenting a snapshot of your overall financial picture from several angles to make planning and budgeting easy. 

The Clarity 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

Bright New Horizons: Stress Relief Photo

Happy 2017! It is time for the hopes and resolutions that come with each January. 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 on North Avenue Beach in Chicago as a new day dawns. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. We wish you a joyous and healthy new year! 

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, 
and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."  -Helen Keller

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Stress Relief Photo

We hope you have enjoyed a joyful holiday weekend and are able to cherish precious time with family and friends. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy our stress relief photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. This week's photo was taken in London, England. 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 hope you have a great last week of 2016. Happy New Year! 

"Do small things with great love."  -Mother Teresa

Stress Relief Photo: Shining in the Winter Sun

The first official day of winter has yet to happen, but for many of us December has already been very cold and frosty. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. 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. We hope you have pleasant journeys if you are traveling this week. We also wish you happy holidays and some laughs with family and friends. 

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."  -Victor Hugo

App Teaches Meditation for Caregivers in Time for New Year's Resolutions

Meditation offers a great way to relieve stress and take some time alone to decompress from the trials of daily life. Especially for caregivers, whose work often involves high levels of stress, finding a way to effectively relieve stress is crucial to long-term health and well-being. The Calm app offers caregivers a way to relax, focus and sleep better through guided meditation. 

When users first download the app, they need to create an account and then the app takes them to a home screen. Caregivers will see that a "Daily Calm" meditation is featured prominently on this screen, but when they click on it, they will find that portion of the app requires a paid subscription. Fret not, for the other areas of the app are free and available to use. 

The three options at the bottom of the screen are Beathe, Meditate and Sleep. Caregivers who have never tried meditation before should probably start by clicking Meditate, and then selecting 7 Days of Calm from the menu that appears. The first program in this set is the Basics of Meditation, so those new to the practice can get a complete overview. 

Once users begin a program, a peaceful nature scene will appear on your phone screen with some background nature noises while a woman's voice comes on to explain meditation and the practice. The woman on the app takes users through how to effectively breathe for meditation. Once caregivers understand how to do this, they can take advantage of the Breathe function within the app at any time. 

The Breathe function offers a visual tool to assist caregivers when breathing for meditation purposes. As users breathe, a small dot moves around a circle indicating when to breathe in, hold the breath and then breathe out. The circle also expands upon inhale and skrinks back to the initial size upon exhale. Caregivers can use this function whenever they have a few minutes of downtime and would like to calm themselves. 

The other main area of the app offers assistance falling into a natural sleep. Users can click the Sleep button from the home screen and then choose a sleep story. Remember when you were a kid and you loved having a someone read to you before bed? These stories offer meditation and a story read aloud to help adults fall asleep. Caregivers might also find this useful for senior clients who have difficulty sleeping through the night. 

The Calm 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

Illinois Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Illinois is known as the Prairie State, Land of Lincoln and home to Chicago, the Windy City (also home to Caregiverlist® headquarters.) If you are a senior, you can expect to pay an average of $5,050 per month for a share room in an Illinois nursing home, while the average monthly private room cost is $6,326. Illinois is the 15th least expensive state in Caregiverlist’s® national nursing home cost database, with a shared room rate of $166 per day and has an average star rating of 2.6 out of 5.

Senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes, along with their overall ratings. 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 Illinois nursing home costs and ratings: December, 2016

Caregiverlist® Illinois Nursing Home Rating and Cost Index
Total Number of Nursing Homes: 823
Average Cost of Private Room for Illinois: $208
Average Cost of Shared Room for Illinois: $166
Average Star-Rating: 2.6

Illinois Nursing Home Star-Rating Results
5-Star: 29
4-Star: 202
3-Star: 378
2-Star: 146
1-Star: 68

You can also see how Illinois rates compare to neighboring states in our Illinois Nursing Home Cost Infographic for December 2016.

Which is the highest rated nursing home in Illinois? The Illinois nursing home with the highest Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Rating for which we have a daily cost is Tabor Hills Health Care in Naperville, Illinois. While its shared room daily price of $258 is higher than the average price of $166 for a semi-private nursing home room in Illinois, it’s 4.8 star rating is significantly higher than the state average of 2.6.

Most people don’t know how much nursing home care costs and few people think of the cost of care until it’s too late to plan. Caregiverlist® can provide a care plan to find senior care options in Illinois and help you learn about the costs for senior care.

Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information. I

Illinois Nursing Home Cost Infographic for December 2016

Caregiverlist® has released the updated daily costs of nursing homes in Illinois for December 2016. The 823 nursing homes have an average cost of $166 per day for a semi-private room and have an average Caregiverlist® Star Rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars. Illinois' neighboring state of Wisconsin is the most expensive in the area, with an average daily nursing home cost of $212, while Missouri's nursing homes have the least expensive nursing homes in the area at $126 per day for a shared room.

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