Caregivers Use App to Break Spending Habits in Time for 2017

Finding room in a monthly budget for something extra can be difficult, especially for caregivers who may not make as much as they'd like. But, what if you'd like to establish an emergency fund or need some extra cash for a car payment? The Priority app helps caregivers identify spending habits and decide what they can cut out to save cash for a long-term goal. 

When caregivers first download the app, it greets them with a screen asking for three words or less about something they really want. This could be something more general, like an emergency fund, or something very specific, such as a new TV. Users then need to enter the estimated amount of that item. 

The next screen pops up and asks caregivers to consider what they'd be willing to give up to get that item. The example presented by the app is an afternoon cup of coffee, which could run the typical person anywhere from $2 - $4, depending on the location and order. Think about your daily or weekly routine and consider the little purchases you make on a frequent basis. What can be eliminated that you might not miss much in order to save for a larger goal? 

After users decide what they'd be willing to give up, the app asks for an approximate dollar amount and frequency of spending per day or per week. Then the app determines how long it would take for the user to reach their end goal based on the amount saved per week. 

For the sake of example, in this scenario, the user would give up a morning coffee run at $4 a cup five times per week. They are saving for an emergency fund, which they would like to build up to $1,000. According to the app, it would take 250 weeks at $4 per week to reach that goal. 

As caregivers begin to skip their old habit of spending money, they can enter the app and log it on a daily basis. As users log skipped purchases, the app updates their total "Skip amount" as well as the number of skips needed to meet their ultimate goal. Users can update the details of their goal at any time, and see any completed goals or user stats in the main menu. 

The Priority 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

Calm on the Sound: Stress Relief Photo

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 of a sunny early winter view of the Long Island Sound was taken at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut. 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 week.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."  
-Winston Churchill

Diabetes Management App Assists Caregivers in Working With Senior Clients

Diabetes can be difficult to manage, especially upon initial diagnosis. For many people, managing diabetes requires not only following instructions from doctors, but also learning how their own bodies respond to a specific diet or doses of insulin. To help make this learning process easier, the One Drop app gives senior caregivers a place to keep daily records of their diabetes management. 

When users first download the app, they need to create a new profile. After inputting their e-mail and creating a password, the app asks what type of diabetes the user is diagnosed with. Options include Type 1, Type 2, Pre-Diabetes, Gestational and others. After answering this question, profile set-up is complete and users are taken to the home screen. 

The main focus of the app is centered around the button in the center bottom of the screen to log different activities. Users can add a record when they check their blood sugar, take a medication, eat something or exercise. All of these factors affect blood sugar levels, which is key in managing diabetes. 

When users record their blood sugar, they can use a slider on a circle at the top to enter the exact number, and then complete optional fields below such as, "How are you feeling?" Under this topic, caregivers can adjust additional sliders to indicate the level of stress, energy, happiness and confidence that their senior client is experiencing at the time of the reading. Other optional fields include photo, tags, notes or a protip. These fields call for a typed entry, so caregivers can enter whatever information will be most useful and leave the rest blank. 

The other fields to log information follow simple formats to the Glucose level entry. For the field to log foods, caregivers can enter either an amount for carbs in grams, or search for a specific food to log from the in-app library. Caregivers can track the information most pertinent to their senior clients, which could be particularly useful for someone newly diagnosed trying to figure out what affects their blood sugars the most. For example, tracking Carbs for a week and following it up by checking Blood Sugars twenty minutes later could offer insight into how your senior client is affected by certain foods. 

One other area of the app tries to create a sense of community by sharing other user's readings. No identifying information is available beyond initials and location to maintain privacy, but users can check the feed to see what other users are sharing and leave encouragement by liking the record or leaving a sticker on it. 

The One Drop 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 

Stress Relief Photo: Time to Give Thanks

We hope you were able to enjoy a happy and restful Thanksgiving holiday. One of the many things to be thankful for is the amazing natural beauty all around us. This week's stress relief photo was taken at the Greenmarket in Chicago, Illinois. 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.

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." 
 -Mark Twain

Who are Senior Caregivers? Statistics on Caregiving

Caregivers dedicate their time, energy, strength and patience to provide care as paid professional caregivers and as family caregivers.

But what exactly do the demands of the caregiving job entail for the caregiver? To what extent are these tasks affecting their lives? In hopes of spreading awareness on the challenges and struggles that caregivers face, shares 18 enlightening facts about caregivers.

Caregivers may obtain online training to assist them to deliver safe care and to learn how to manage the emotional aspects of caregiving. As more senior caregivers are needed, for both part-time and full-time caregiving positions, anyone interested in working as a professional caregiver may submit a pre-qualification job application to be considered for positions near them.

Washington DC Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Washington, D.C.— our nation’s capital — is a small area. And as such, it is home to the fewest nursing homes in the nation, 18 (tied with Alaska.) The Census Bureau estimates that in 2015,11.5% of the 672,000 D.C. population was over 65. Nursing home space in D.C. is at a premium, a fact that seniors should keep in mind when looking at long-term skilled nursing care.

Washington D.C. seniors and their families should be aware of the cost of nursing homes in their area. Washington, D.C. has the 4th costliest nursing homes in the nation, behind Alaska, New York, and Connecticut. The average daily price of a double room is $317, or $9,642 per month. However, you’ll find many quality nursing homes in Washington, D.C.. Over half of the area’s 18 nursing homes are rated 4 stars or better (out of 5 stars.)

Here’s a snapshot of the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Index for Washington, D.C. for November 2016

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 18

Average Single Price: $340
Average Double Price: $317
Average Rating: 3.3

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 1
4-Star: 12
3-Star: 4
2-Star: 1
1-Star: 0

You can also see Washington, D.C. nursing home costs at-a-glance with our Washington, D.C. Nursing Home Cost infographic.

Which is the Washington, D.C. nursing home with the highest overall star rating? The Washington, D.C. nursing home with the highest Caregiverlist® rating is Knollwood Military Retirement Residence, a Continuing Care Community. What began as a cost-effective retirement community for widows of Army officers, it expanded its eligibility to other female relatives of retired Army officers, not solely wives. According to its website, in 1989, eligibility for residency was extended to couples, retired male and female officers of all branches of the uniformed services and eventually the male family members of retired officers.

Senior care costs, especially those 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 Washington, D.C. 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.

Autumn Gold: Stress Relief Photo

We were lucky to have enjoyed a long and warm autumn here in Chicago. This week's stress relief photo was taken in in the late afternoon in Grant Park, in the heart of the city. 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 a great week, safe travels, and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." 
-Jimi Hendrix

Wisconsin Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

I used to spend my summers in Wisconsin. Those nights were filled with lakefront bonfires, days at the Dells, and evening fish boils. Now, I visit Milwaukee for its world-class (and beautiful) art museum on Lake Michigan and lunch at Lakefront Brewery. And let's not forget about the one and only House on the Rock. There’s a lot to love in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s elderly population—age 65 and over—will have increased from 77,500 in 2010 to 1,535,500 in 2040, nearly doubling in 30 years. The very elderly population—age 85 and over—will have risen steadily from 118,500 in 2010 to 145,500 in 2025, then nearly double to 283,500 in the following fifteen years increasing—140 percent, according to David Egan-Robertson at UW-Madison Applied Population Laboratory. It is estimated that about one in eight people age 85 or older (13 percent) resided in institutions like nursing homes.

Caregiverlist® estimates the average annual price of a semi-private room in a Wisconsin nursing home is $212 per day, which translates to $77,380 per year or about $6,448 per month. The average daily price of a private nursing home in a Wisconsin is $236, or $7,178 per month or $86,140 annually. While Wisconsin’s nursing homes are the 18th costliest in the nation, Wisconsin is home to the most expensive nursing homes in the Midwest. Neighboring states Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan all have lower daily nursing home rates and adjacent Iowa’s average shared nursing home room rate is $142 per day.

Below is a snapshot of Wisconsin nursing home costs and ratings. You can also see our findings on our Wisconsin nursing home cost infographic.

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 417

Average Single Price: $236
Average Double Price: $212
Average Rating: 3.1 (out of 5)

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 29
4-Star: 202
3-Star: 135
2-Star: 25
1-Star: 26

The nursing home talk is a difficult one and most families avoid the discussion until the need is imminent. We believe an informed consumer is in the best position to make those critical long-term care choices. Wisconsin seniors and their families should understand the costs of nursing homes in their chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Hospitals often discharge the senior to a nursing home for post-hospital stay rehabilitation after a stroke or major surgery. If the senior’s stay is longer than the Medicare-covered 100 days, those costs becomes private pay.

In-home caregiving can be an attractive option if 24-hour care is not needed. In home care agency caregivers are also fully vetted, insured, and taxed, per federal requirements.

“The cost (of in-home senior care) is variable, but usually less expensive than an assisted living,” says Jeff Huguet, Caring Partner at Nurse Next Door Home Care Services in Green Bay. “Unlike a nursing home, which can have a ratio of 20-40 patients for each caregiver or a 20/1 or a 40/1 ratio, our home care service is 1 client-1 caregiver. That 1/1 ration allows us to focus all of our energy on the client, in their home. The costs can be as low as $60/week to an average of $1,500-$2,500/month, costs can be higher if the patient needs Skilled Nursing Care, but it will still be generally less than most nursing homes.”

Every family has to determine their own breaking point between cost and level of care. We recommend you consult with a professional who can come up with a financial action plan to anticipate future long-term care costs. They will help assess your future spending needs. 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.

Wisconsin Nursing Home Cost Infographic for November 2016

Caregiverlist® has released the updated daily costs of nursing homes in Wisconsin for November 2016. The 417 nursing homes have an average cost of $212 per day for a shared room and have an average Caregiverlist® Star Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars. Neighboring state nursing homes are less expensive, with Michigan's average daily cost $205 and Iowa's cost $142 per day for a semi-private room.

Healthy Recipes in App in Time for the Holiday Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the one with the most calorie-heavy dishes. With Thanksgiving next week and the following month full of once-a-year treats, abandoning healthy eating for indulgence can be tempting. However, caregivers can use the Kitchen Stories app to find new recipes to make at home or for senior clients to eat in moderation, despite the time of year. 

When caregivers download the Kitchen Stories app and open it to their main feed, they will see a rotating set of featured items as well as several recipes below. When caregivers click on "Filter" in the upper right-hand corner, they can adjust the recipes they see on the home feed by category, difficulty, diet or preparation time. The diet preferences include: vegetarian, vegan, sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten-free or alcohol-free.

Under the Search tool, the app features a variety of recipes sorted into several categories, such as 20 minute dishes, low carb, weeknight dinners, vegetarian and under 400 kcal. While not every category represents a "healthy" recipe, caregivers can sort through the options and find a recipe to meet certain dietary needs. However, for other dietary needs such as low-sodium or low-fat, caregivers might need to make their own adjustments and substitutions to the recipes. 

Once caregivers pick a recipe, they can click on it and see how to make that recipe two different ways. At the top of each recipe page, the app provides a video showing each step of making the recipe, from raw ingredients to cooking methods to the finished product. Underneath that, caregivers will see the traditional recipe format, showing the text list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions for how to cook the item. 

Also included on the recipe page is the basic nutritional information for the dish: calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates. A rating system on the recipe also shows what other users thought of the dish after having made it on a scale of one to five stars. The one-star rating says, "I didn't enjoy this," and the five-star rating says, "Absolutely delicious!"

The How To section of the app features short videos showing different cooking techniques for those who are still learning. The topics range from "How to prepare beets" to "How to knead dough (and why)." On average they range from one to three minutes long, so caregivers can watch them and emulate the techniques in their own kitchen. 

Once users find recipes they like, they can add them to their saved recipes for reference. They can also add ingredients to the shopping tab so they know what they need to buy when they go to the store. 

The KitchenStories 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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