Louisiana Direct Service Worker Caregiver Training

Louisiana caregivers are called "Direct Service Workers" and receive this designation when working for senior care companies or as caregivers for the disabled. 

The definition by the state of Louisiana of a Direct Service Worker is:

An unlicensed person who provides personal care or other services and supports to persons with disabilities or to the elderly to enhance their well-being. The caregiver is involved in face-to-face direct contact with the person and is compensated through state or federal funds. Functions performed may include, but are not limited to, assistance and training activities of daily living, personal care services and job-related supports. from LAC 48:1 Chapter 92 Sub-Chapter A 9201.

Louisiana private pay senior home care agencies will also hire caregivers who are trained as Direct Service Workers.

Senior caregivers may take an online caregiver training course to obtain the Louisiana DSW training.

Direct Service Worker training includes these topics:

  • Abuse, Neglect, Misappropriation of Property
  • Staff Ethics for Direct Service Workers
  • Human and Civil Rights
  • Confidentiality and HIPAA
  • Person-Centered Planning, Personal Outcomes and Self-Determination Philosophy
  • Incident Documentation and Reporting
  • Documentation of Services
  • Environmental Emergency Procedures
  • Infection Control and Universal Precautions

Louisiana caregivers may take this online DSW Caregiver training and apply for a caregiving job in their area on Caregiverlist.

Caregiver Jobs Available Nationwide and Increasing: Apply and Refer-a-Friend to Assist Seniors Near You

Caregivers for seniors are needed.  While 10,000 seniors turn age 65 every day, this is not the only reason more professional senior caregivers are need for part-time and full-time job openings.  Social demographics have changed in the U.S.A. and couples are having children later in life and pursuing activities and careers which allow them to relocate from the town where they grew up.

Seniors are living longer.  A child born in the U.S.A. today can plan to live to age 100.  This also means many people will choose to relocate when they reach retirement age.  When our lifespan was just 75 years old (when Medicare was created 50 years ago, the age of 65 was chosen because most people would only live another 10 years).  Now that we have another 35 years to live after we retire, seniors are moving to new locations to enjoy their retirement years.

Caregivers are needed part-time when a senior may be recovering from a major surgery or rehabilitating from a hip replacement or a fall.  Sadly, Alzheimer's disease has become a growing diagnosis and will continue to grow as the population of older Americans grows.

Another reason more caregivers are needed can be understood by reviewing just the care needs for those seniors with Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Disease in the U.S.A.

  • 1 in 9 Americans age 65 and older (11%) has Alzheimer's disease
  • About 1/3rd of people age 85 and older (32%) have Alzheimer's disease
  • 81% of people who have Alzheimer's disease are age 75 or older
Remember, our former President Reagan needed caregiving services for 10 years while living with Alzheimer's disease.
Caregiverlist advocates for quality senior care with caregiver training tools (online) and an interactive caregiver hiring platform for senior care companies. 

Senior caregivers or anyone with a caring personality who would like to become a senior caregiver may apply for a caregiving job on Caregiverlist's Career Center and be considered for part-time and full-time caregiver jobs and C.N.A. jobs in their area. If you know someone who would enjoy working as a caregiver, you may refer them to Caregiverlist's Refer-a-Friend program and be entered to win free caregiver training.

Retirees who are looking for a part-time income along with doing work that can be very fulfilling, can also apply for a senior caregiving job as a companion caregiver.  Read about the caregiver job description and think about people who may be a good fit as all senior care companies are constantly seeking trustworthy individuals to train and hire as caregivers. These caregivers do not do hands-on care assistance (such as assisting with bathing, toileting, dressing, and assisting bed-ridden patients). Instead, they are companions for seniors who may be experiencing memory loss or loneliness. These caregivers keep the senior's day on track and sometimes escort them to appointments and activities.

The labor department has targeted senior care as the top industry for employment growth in the next decade and when you see all of the different senior care options, this prediction makes sense.


Meditation Can Change Your Genes (for the Better)

Caregiving exposes all of us to a constant flow of new information on the latest medical discoveries.  But when the discoveries lead to a free way to make a change for the better, it is worth taking a moment to learn more. 

Deepak Chopra has shared a new year's resolution idea for making a few changes that can change our genetic makeup for the better.  New research in a growing field called epigenetics studies how gene activity changes according to one's lifestyle and environment.  And guess what?  Identical twins have a similar read-out of genetics at birth, as we would guess, but by the time they become seniors, their gene maps have become very different.  Our genetic materials are not a one-time ticket we receive, it turns out.  We change the look of the ticket according to the movie of our lifestyle.

Thoughts, feelings and stress levels affect gene activity.  And some behavioral changes can be passed on to the next generation through "soft' inheritance.  Ouch!

Positive and negative events can potentially be passed on.

Research shows that meditation specifically alters genetic activity almost immediately.  Meditation increases the levels of a protein called telomerase, which has been linked to slowing down the aging process in cells.

Turns out the connection between mind and body truly is deeper than what we see. 

Caregiver stress is one of the top issues seniors and their families must deal with as a senior begins the need for more care.  Find a way to meditate for both good health and relaxation!

Remember, too, that more senior caregivers are needed as senior's are living longer while needing caregiving services.  Apply to a senior caregiver job or refer-a-friend.

Background Checks: How to Perform Your Own Background Check to Protect Your Identity

Senior caregivers working for professional senior care companies must pass a criminal background check in order to be hired.  Individuals seeking to become professional caregivers or a certified nursing aide may enjoy a guarantee of employment as long as they can pass a criminal background check. This means proper identity information is crucial for a senior caregiver’s background check to return accurate information in order to obtain employment. Caregivers need to understand how to protect their identity and understand the information included on a criminal background check.   Senior care companies conducting criminal background checks on employees include:

  • Licensed Senior Home Care Agencies
  • Long-term Care Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Communities
  • Hospitals

How do you protect your identity as a professional caregiver?  Especially knowing you will change care companies multiple times throughout your career?  We live in a digital information age making it even more important to protect your personal identity information both offline and online. 5 Background Check Identity Protection Tips:

1) Purchase Your Own Background Check Annually:  once a year buy a background check on yourself to see the information that is on your criminal record and to confirm the names and addresses attached to your Social Security number.  Research to be sure you understand the right type of quality criminal background check to purchase.

2) Maintain and update online passwords: pick passwords that are unique. Be sure you have anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and a firewall on your computer. Use encryption software to safeguard your online transactions.  Never respond to an email requesting a password reset unless you asked for this yourself on the company’s website. Look for the “lock” on your browser’s status bar which you will see when you are using an online bank’s website.  

3) Review your mailbox, even the junk mail:  if you begin receiving mail in another name at your address, call the sender to investigate.  Be mindful if you stop receiving monthly bills or if your name should change in anyway on your usual subscriptions.

4) Monitor credit card statements:  even if a small amount appears that may not have the exact name of a company you are familiar with purchasing from, call to investigate the transaction.  Some credit card number thiefs will first do a small $10 transaction before making additional charges.

5) Limit credit cards used:  try to limit the number of credit cards you make purchases with to also limit the number of companies that have your information and who are running credit reports on you.  When the friendly department store clerk asks if you would like an additional discount on your purchase by opening up a charge card, just say “no”.

Act quickly if you do discover improper names and addresses associated with your name.  The background check companies do have formal dispute investigation systems in place (you will need to fill out a form to start the ball rolling) and the credit reporting bureaus also will work with you to clear up misinformation.  However, it is a time-consuming process.  The best way to insure a proper criminal background check is to make sure you do not engage in criminal behavior (don’t break the law).  Then be mindful of your spending behaviors to protect your identity.  Check your own background once a year in order to be able to immediately correct mistaken identity information. Review the by-state background check laws to see if employers can review your criminal history beyond just 7 years and purchase a quality background check. Then apply for a professional caregiving job or refer-a-friend to a caregiving job as more caregivers are needed to keep up with the care needs for America's growing senior population.

More Than 1/3rd of Parkinson's Disease Patients Suffer From Dementia.

Parkinson's disease impacts many seniors in their later years, although some people are diagnosed with the disease when they are younger, such as actor Michael J. Fox.  This week, as 3,000 experts in neurology gathered for the annual European Neurological Society (ENS) meeting in Barcelona, Dr. Heinz Reichmann shared study results involving 1,331 German Parkinson's disease patients.

The Neurology Study Found:

  • 15% of Parkson's pateints suffer collaterally from dementia
  • 11% suffer from both dementia and depression
  • 9% suffer from dementia and psychosis
  • 40% to 50% suffer from depression

Nearly all Parkinson's sufferers are affected by dementia if they live long enough.  Research reveals that cognitive decline and depression often worsen the quality of life more than the movement disorder itself and may inhibit the positive results of other therapies.

Depression is mainly caused by the dismantling of those systems which release the monoamine neurotransmitters and the malfunctioning of the frontal lobe and the cerebral cortex.  

Motor impairments in Parkinson's are often associated with an incorrect concentration of dopamine in the blood plasma.

The neurology doctors are continuing to explore and research effective treatments which include psychosocial support, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, drug therapy as well as electroconvulsive therapy.

Senior caregivers assisting seniors with Parkinson's disease may consider continued caregiver training to keep up with the age-related illnesses.  

The European Societies for Neurology also announced a merger this week during the Barcelona meeting. Going forward the European Neurological Society and the European Federation of Neurological Societies are merging to be called the European Academy of Neurology.

 

 

 

 

Caregiver Job Interviews: Study Shows 81% of People Lie in Job Interviews

Interviewing job candidates for any position is never easy.  Job candidates perhaps don't mean to lie, but the fact is that most do embellish something about themselves to appear more qualified for the job.  In some cases the lies may be acceptable - saying you have 2 years of experience instead of 1 year but other lies can be dangerous, especially in senior care.

Have you used a gait belt before?  If you say you have when you have not (or if you do not even know what a gait belt is) then you could be putting both yourself and the senior in danger if you are trying to wing-it when using a gait belt for the first time. Same thing with assisting with toileting, bathing and feeding.

Have you had training in dealing with seniors who have memory loss?  Senior caregivers who have not had memory loss senior care training will not know some of the simple strategies to use to keep the day going smoothly and to respond correctly to the senior.

Finding the right caregivers for senior care takes talent and experience.  This is why senior home care agencies are vital as providers of senior care and this is also why senior care is nothing at all like babysitting. Proper training for senior caregiving is required in order for the caregiving to be both safe and effective to assist in healthy aging.

Those of us who hire people regularly already know that people lie a bit in job interviews.  But we have systems in place to flesh out the facts.

Senior caregiving agencies also have systems in place to properly qualify a caregiver's skill level and then provide training which the caregiver is tested on for retention.  Care Managers also introduce and train each caregiver for their new client assignments and provide ongoing management.  What does the caregiver do when Sue won't take her medications?  Call the office and a Care Manager will assist.  Very often a third-party person to help manage the care makes all the difference as the senior just wants and needs confirmation from a couple of people to keep their tasks moving throughout their day.

And just to confirm that the system used by licensed senior home care agencies is vital which includes an interview, a follow-up interview, reference checks, training and then a quiz to confirm the training was absorbed.......Brent Weiss and Robert S. Feldman of the University of Massachusetts are profiled in the Harvard Business Review, explaining their study which found 81% of people lied about themselves in a job interview.  When the job requirement is more technical, deception increased.  Participants in the study told an average of 2.19 lies per 15-minute interview.

Seniors deserve quality caregivers who can show they have been trained and can perform the necessary skills.  As more and more states pass new legislation (California currently has 2 bills pending which would both require mandatory training requirements for senior caregivers), the quality of care will only improve.  Caregivers should all have basic caregiver training which can be obtained online, meeting industry standards.

Caregivers may learn more about developing the right caregiver interview skills in Caregiverlist's Career Center.

Memorial Day Adds Emotions to Caregiving

Memorial Day, like so many American holidays, has evolved to become a 3-day weekend and a time to connect with family and friends.  Older Americans, however, very often do feel the true meaning of Memorial Day as they are reminded of all the friends and family members who have passed away.  Caregivers will experience the added challenges of caring for the emotional aspects of aging which includes dealing with the loss of loved ones.

The healing process of grieving takes time and even though professional therapists counsel that grieving a loved one takes 2 years, there will always be triggers that can spur more emotional memories.  In addition, some seniors are grieving the "long goodbye" of a loved one who may be living but no longer be emotionally available because of Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.

Losing loved ones when we know they are diagnosed as terminal is actually the healthiest way to say goodbye.  But how do we help someone who is recovering from the death of a friend, spouse or family member?  

Listen and let them talk about their memories and what they miss about the person.  Allow them to cry and to laugh and to share.  Encourage them to find a way to celebrate the memories.  The ritual of visiting the cemetery to place fresh flowers on the grave markers on Memorial Day is a healthy way to celebrate the memories of a loved one.  Asian cultures make a shrine to their loved one which they keep in their homes.  They will light candles and celebrate the birthdays and holidays while remembering and honoring their deceased loved ones.

Senior caregivers can also share their own memories of loved ones who have passed on.  One caregiver who recently won a scholarship from the California Association for Health Services at Home shared the story of how caring for her grandparents who both died while in hospice care, inspired her to become a professional senior caregiver and go on to nursing school.

Everyone has a story of a loved one they have lost and still hold the memories in their hearts.  Let Memorial Day be a day to share the memories. And if you meet anyone who may be considering a career as a senior caregiver or who would like to just assist others and work part-time, refer them to a senior caregiving job.

 

 

 

Eli Lilly and Co. Study Results: 1 in 5 Patients Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease Don't Have It

National Dementia Week this week sparks conversation about memory loss and the impact this is having on America's seniors.  The longer you live, the greater your chances for developing some form of memory loss.  The two go together.  But now a new survey by Eli Lilly and Company, released today, shows that not everyone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease actually has this form of memory loss.

Eli Lilly did the survey as a way to help promote their imaging agent, called Amyvid, and to receive Medicare approval for reimbursement of this new product.  Amyvid received U.S. market approval last year and would assist in identifying the deposits of a protein called amyloid which is one of two telltale signs of Alzheimer's disease.  The imaging test is called PET, or positron emission tomography.

Performing an autopsy has been the only way to 100% for sure identify these plaques.  The thinking is that by properly diagnosing all Alzheimer's patients, Medicare may actually save money by properly treating everyone for the right type of memory loss.  Estimates are that 7.1 million people will have Alzheimer's disease by 2025.

Someday, there could also be the possibility for everyone to be tested for Alzheimer's disease at a certain age.  The Harvard School of Public Health found that two-thirds of adults would take a predictive Alzheimer's test.

With Angelina Jolie's New York Time's editorial last week, about her decision to proactively choose to have a double mastectomy because of testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation, being able to identify Alzheimer's disease accurately could lead to more preventive treatments.

Senior caregivers working with senior's with memory loss must have special training to understand all of the dynamics of the disease.  One of the biggest challenges of Alzheimer's disease is that it progresses at a different rate in each person.  However, because of the growth in the number of individuals living longer with memory loss, the demand for caregivers continues as senior care companies hire part-time and full-time caregivers each day.  Apply for a senior caregiving job near you or refer-a-friend and be entered to win prizes weekly on Caregiverlist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

24-Hour Home Care's Jessica Parel wins CAHSAH Nursing Scholarship

Congratulations to senior caregiver Jessica Parel, the 2013 CAHSAH (California Association for Health Services at Home) Joan Baier Garland Home Care Nursing Scholarship Winner!

Jessica shared with CAHSAH conference attendees that she at first had diffculty finding her path in life.  However, she then experienced the loss of both of her grandparents who passed away while in hospice care.  This gave her the inspiration to become a senior caregiver and then to begin studies to pursue a degree as a registered nurse.

"I believe I need my clients more than they need me," says Ms. Parel.  Her experience as a senior caregiver has fueled her passion and drive, she says.

Caring for seniors definitely delivers value beyond a paycheck, as senior caregivers enjoy the wisdom seniors are able to share from a lifetime of experiences.

As the senior care industry continues to expand, in order to meet the care needs of our growing senior population (10,000 seniors turn age 65 each day), senior care companies hire new caregivers each week.

Become a professional senior caregiver by taking an online caregiver training course and apply for a part-time or full-time senior caregiving job near your home on Caregiverlist.com.  You may also want to pursue advanced training, just as Jessica Parel is doing, to continue to grow your career in the senior healthcare industry.  Many senior care companies will assist with tuition reimbursement for becoming a certified nursing aide, or you may have an opportunity to win a scholarship, just as Jessica Parel did at this year's California home care conference.

Congratulations and gratitude to Jessica for advancing the benefits that come with working as a professional senior caregiver.

 

 

Dementia Week 2013: Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms and How to Seek Care

National Dementia Week, from May 19th through May 25th, highlights senior care needs for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.  There are many ways of getting involved and being aware such as knowing the signs and symptoms of dementia and knowing how to find care for your family member or friend in need.

Dementia occurs when the brain slowly loses its ability to process thoughts and is a decline in the cognitive function.  There are many diseases that cause dementia-- Alzheimer’s being the most well-known.  Other diseases that cause dementia include Lewy body disease, fronto-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, and many more.

The neurological symptoms associated with dementia can unfortunately affect our loved ones. What can you do when dementia affects your mother, father, aunt or grandfather?  One should be aware of the signs and symptoms.  Your family member or friend may experience memory loss, moodiness and/or communication difficulties.  As the dementia progresses, all of these symptoms may lead to a serious struggle for your family member or friend to get through the day on their own. 

What can you do when your loved one can no longer take care of themselves? 

Are you able to take care of them yourself? Or, will you need outside and additional help?

Caregiverlist  provides information on quality senior care companies and the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide.  Anyone seeking senior care options may submit a request to “find senior care” to be connected with quality companies in their area.  You can specify type of care—such as home care, assisted living, nursing home, etc.— and additional information such as the monthly budget and unique needs.

Anyone who may have gained experience as a caregiver while caring for a loved one with memory loss, may consider becoming a professional senior caregiver and submit a job application to be connected with hiring companies in their area.   

This Dementia Awareness Week, take some time to get acquainted with dementia and what Caregiverlist can do to help out your family or friend! 

-Kristin Kruk

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