Spring in Notting Hill: Stress Relief Photo

One of my favorite weeks of the year is when spring transforms the world with fresh new leaves, blossoms, and flowers. 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 the Notting Hill neighborhood in London, England. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and the care you provide for our seniorsMore 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. 

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
-Mother Teresa

Blossoms and Blue Sky for Caregiver Stress Relief

Caregivers provide companionship and caregiving to seniors, and must remember to "care for the caregiver." We 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 Chicago, Illinois. After a long wait, spring is finally blooming here. We invite you to take a moment to enjoy the photo and the inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. We hope you have a great week.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 
-Audrey Hepburn

Caregiver Stress Relief: Chicago Blossoms

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 Chicago Women's Park in the South Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. The time to savor these delicate blossoms is fleeting, so I love to admire them as much as I can. We invite you to take a moment to enjoy the photo and the inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. We hope you have a great week. 

"It's the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Stress Relief Photo: Springtime Stroll

This is one of my favorite times of year, when the world is bursting with the colors of new life. 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 in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. We hope you have a great week.

"Dream without fear, love without limits, and let your life sing its song." -Dilip Bathjia

Gardening App Provides Caregiver Stress Relief in Time for Earth Day

With spring upon us and Earth Day this weekend, caregivers and their senior clients might be wondering what they can do to be environmentally friendly and get outdoors a little more. As a hobby, gardening offers a way to help the earth, grow your own healthy foods and relieve some stress. The Garden Compass app provides gardening assistance to caregivers and their senior clients.

Caregivers and their senior clients can spend some time discussing what they'd like to plant in their garden before purchasing seeds. Seeds can be purchased online or at a retailer such as Home Depot. Once caregivers and their senior clients have decided what they'd like to plant and selected a location for their garden, then they can begin using the app. 

Users need to create an account upon initially opening the app. This can be done using a Facebook profile or email address. Then, caregivers can begin building their garden virtually. The app allows users to quickly scan the barcode on a plant to accurately add it to their garden. Alternatively, caregivers can search by the exact scientific name of their plant to add it to the list, or they can add a more generic category to the garden list. The generic categories include Annuals, Bulbs, Citrus and Avocado, Vegetables and Herbs, etc.

In the free version of the app, users can add up to three different plants to their garden. This gives caregivers a chance to try the app and see if they like it, and then if they do they can upgrade to the paid version. The different garden selections are then used to populate the Care Calendar on a month-by-month basis.

The Care Calendar gives caregivers specific advice on how to take care of each plant during that month. For example, during April it indicates which garden items can be planted during cold weather, and then it May it will detail which vegetables can be harvested. This will be particularly useful for senior caregivers and their clients who are new to gardening. 

If caregivers run into unexpected issues while tending to their garden, such as bugs eating their plants or the plants not growing as expected, the app also offers a pest identification service. Using this section of the app requires a credit, which users are given a few of for free upon signing up or can purchase. They then can snap a photo of their garden and upload it to the app. They can also include a comment, and then the experts will examine the photo and offer specific identification of the pest. 

The Garden Compass 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

Springtime Senior Caregiving

Spring is finally in the air — mild temperatures and a little sun are a welcome respite from a long and brutal winter. Seniors and caregivers who have been cooped up for so many months can finally step outside for some much-needed fresh air and a little vitamin D. It’s the perfect time to have some fun outdoors (before turning your attention to caring for the elderly during summer.)

Outdoor activities for seniors can range from a simple walk in the neighborhood to some more interesting and challenging recreation. Fresh air and physical activity have been shown to have positive effects on both physical and mental well-being. Some seniors can play tennis or ride bikes; others may need slightly more sedate activities. As always, senior safety and welfare should be the guiding factor.

Here are some ideas for excursions for both seniors and their caregivers:

Start with a visit to a garden center and confer with experts. Perhaps a full-blown vegetable garden is a little more daunting an undertaking than some seniors want to take on, but there are many fruits, vegetables and flowers that do very well in containers if space and activity level is limited. In addition to tending to growing plants, seniors (and their caregivers) can look forward to enjoying a nutritious bounty at harvestime!

Flea Markets and Craft Fairs
Flea markets and craft fairs are ideal places for seniors to buy gifts (for themselves or others) on a budget. It’s also a great way to connect with people — vendors love to talk about their goods. Go early to avoid crowds.

Walks in Nature
In Chicago, we’re lucky enough to have a beautiful preserved lakefront ideal for walking. But almost all towns have parks or nature centers. Even strictly urban walks can be restorative. Just remember to take care and apply sunscreen, wear a hat and bring water. And comfortable shoes are a must.

Hobbies and Games
Bird Watching, fishing, kite flying are all low stress outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by those of any age. Not sure where to start? Visit your local library and check out how-to guides. Many communities offer clubs for seniors to get together and enjoy outdoor activities.

Take the Indoors Outdoors
Almost anything you enjoy indoors can be taken outside. Reading a book on a bench in the park or on a patio in sunshine can be preferable to reading by lamplight in a stuffy room. Chess, backgammon, and card games work just as well on a picnic table as a kitchen table. And speaking of picnics, enjoy a meal al fresco. Chances are you won’t be alone, and the people-watching will provide seniors and caregivers much to talk about.

Getting outside and enjoying activities can foster closer connections between seniors and their caregivers. Remember to ask what your senior client or loved one might like to do, but make suggestions for activities outside the box. You’re never too old to try new things!

Photo by: Betty Roggenkamp

Senior caregivers are a vital to enabling the elderly age more enjoyably. If you are a certified companion caregiver, consider becoming the next career step in your caregiving career. Become a Certified Nursing Aide by taking a local C.N.A. course. Visit the Caregiverlist Career Center for more information.

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