Nutrition Quiz App Dispels Common Food Myths: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

When it comes to eating healthy, knowing what exactly constitutes a healthy diet and which food products truly provide nutritional benefits can be tricky. Sometimes it seems like no matter where you look, a new food item is being declared healthy or unhealthy. Senior caregivers can use the Nutrition Quiz app to learn hidden truths and identify the myths of eating a nutritionally sound diet. 

The app features various tips categories, where users can learn new facts about nutrition and how various foods affect the body. The tips categories include Men & Women, which focuses on health differences between genders; Sugar & Spices, which shares lesser known facts about components added to your food; and Functional Food, which shows how various foods can be used for other health benefits. Other categories can be unlocked in the paid version of the app.

Once users finish brushing up on their facts, they can enter the quiz mode of the app. The quiz will present a statement and users must choose whether it's a myth or a truth. Once an answer is selected, the app will display a brief explanation of why the user's answer was wrong or correct. Caregivers can play the quiz mode with their senior clients as a collaborative effort to learn more about nutrition and how various food affect mental and physical health. A sample fact learned from the app is that sugar masquerades under several different names on nutrition labels, such as sucrose. Just because the word sugar isn't explicitly listed doesn't mean that there's no sugar in the food- it may just have a different name. 

 

The Nutrition Quiz app is available for free 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

Value of Vitamins Questioned in Recent Studies

Senior care shifts can be long and arduous. Taking care of others is hard work and sometimes comes at the expense of taking care of ourselves. Everyone would like to think that there is an easy path — a magic bullet — to self-care. I know I’ve said, “I don’t need to go to the gym, I move mom from her bed to her chair five times a day. I go up and down the stairs all day doing laundry.” But really, that’s no replacement for a good workout with weights and the elliptical.

It’s the same with nutrition. We assume that a good vitamin or supplement can take the place of a healthy diet. Our friends at Scrubs Magazine take a look at recent studies to see if relying on vitamins and supplements is a good idea.

With life and work always seeming to get more and more hectic, it can seem like an easy fix us to turn to multivitamins and supplements to help maintain proper nutrition. But a few new studies suggest that these may not be the best way to go.

In fact, the debate on the usefulness of multivitamins and other supplements has been ongoing for years, and there’s never been a definitive answer. One new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine makes its opinion clear:

“The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided,” said an editorial that accompanied the study, according to USA Today. This statement was signed by two researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a British researcher and one of the journal’s senior editors.

An unrelated study that was published in the same medical journal found that multivitamins taken by heart attack survivors had no effect on the progression of heart disease.

However, studies have also found no harm in standard multivitamins, either directly or indirectly (through causing those who take them to eat worse or otherwise neglect their health).

On a related note, an editorial in The New York Times warns of the risks of giving vitamins and supplements to children. The piece is written by Paul A. Offit, chief of the division of infectious disease at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Sarah Erush, clinical manager in the pharmacy department at the same hospital.

The two point out that dietary supplements are not regulated as drugs by the FDA, and therefore not all of the reactions of specific drugs may be known. Additionally, the authors of the editorial point out that this presents even more of a problem when parents don’t reveal all the supplements their children are taking when they bring them to the hospital.

Of course, there are many on the other side who still endorse the use of vitamins and supplements, and it is unclear if the real benefit and/or risks of every supplement will ever be known.

Caregiverlist wants to know: do you take vitamins and supplements? Do you believe they can take the place of, or at least work in conjunction with healthy eating? Do you sometimes rely too much upon them for your daily nutrition?

Do you eat the same healthy meal you might serve to your senior charge? Let us know in the comments. Do you want to learn more about eldercare nutrition and exercise? Consider purchasing Caregiverlist’s online caregiver training and certification to give you the tools you need to be the best senior caregiver you can be.

Look Up Symptoms, Diseases and Medications Using the iTriage App: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Sometimes when seniors have a cough or other symptoms of a common cold, we fear that it may be an underlying factor of something more serious. Using the iTriage app, senior caregivers can search symptoms to figure out potential issues in health and schedule doctor's appointments appropriately. While searching symptoms and self-diagnosing doesn't replace the opinion of a healthcare professional, iTriage can help caregivers and their senior clients get an idea of what may be causing their symptoms so that they can approach their doctor's appointment with some background knowledge and have an informed conversation with their doctor. 

The app itself features a keyword search as well as a figure of the human body, allowing users to click on a problem area such as the stomach or the leg to search symptoms in that particular body part. Caregivers can click on "ankle pain," for example, and see common causes, such a "arthritis (joint swelling)." Once a cause is selected, the user sees a description of the condition, further symptoms, treatment options and the option to find medical help nearby. Medications are searchable in the same way, with lists of conditions that they treat and instructions on what to do in case of an overdose or a missed dose. 

The doctor search based on nearby locations allows caregivers to find medical attention most convenient for their senior clients and in the speciality area that they may need. 

The app is available for free for Android and Apple platforms.  

"Do you have symptom questions? Search for health answers with iTriage Health, Doctor, Symptom & Healthcare Search app. Find medications, diseases, and medical locations and instantly get answers to your questions on your iOS device. Created by two ER medical doctors, iTriage gives you quick access to a huge healthcare & medical database in your pocket."

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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

 

uHear App Evaluates Hearing: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

As we age, our senses and abilities often seem to dull- glasses prescriptions get stronger, canes and walkers become commonplace and hearing aids might be necessary for the first time. Senior caregivers can download the uHear app for their smartphone to help evaluate the level of their senior client's hearing and determine if a doctor's appointment about the matter would be beneficial to maintain a normal level of hearing. 

The app consists of three main sections to test hearing ability and provide education on how humans hear and hearing health. The first section addresses hearing sensitivity, and asks the user to put themselves in a quiet environment, wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds. The app then plays a series of sounds at varying pitches and frequencies and asks the user to tap the screen whenever they hear a sound. At the end of the test, a graph appears showing how the responses fall in terms of mild to severe hearing loss and at what pitches the loss occurs. 

The next section provides testing for speech in noise. It first asks the user to adjust the volume level of a person giving a speech to a comfortable listening level. Then background noise is added to the mix and the user must adjust it to the loudest level acceptable for them to still be able to listen to the speech. Results from this test show how well the user tolerates background noise while still being able to listen to a focused noise. 

A questionnaire makes up the final portion of the testing in the app and it provides a guided self evaluation of hearing ability. It suggest, for example, that if people often ask you to turn down the TV because it's too loud or if you must ask people to repeat themselves often to hear you, you may want to have your hearing professionally checked.  

Currently the app is available for free on Apple platforms for senior caregivers and their senior clients. 

"Hearing Loss Myth: Hearing loss affects only "old people" and is merely a sign of aging.

Actually it is the reverse of what most people think. The majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.

uHear™ is a hearing loss screening test which allows you to test your hearing to determine if it is within normal range, or if you have a potential hearing loss."

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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Senior Care in Summer: Heat

The intense heat that grips the Southwest, interior Northwest and the Great Basin shows signs of easing somewhat, however, temperatures will continue to be higher than normal for the rest of the week.

Earlier this week, triple-digit heat struck Southern California and the record-breaking heat in Las Vegas may have led to the death man in his 80s, CNN reports. Paramedics found the man dead in his home, which did not have air conditioning.

In an recent blog, I wrote about the dangers of dehydration in seniors. But older adults are vulnerable to a variety of heat-related illnesses. The elderly are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat stress especially affects the elderly for a variety of reasons: they don’t adjust to sudden temperature changes as well as their younger counterparts. Prescription medications could hinder the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia can make someone particularly susceptible to hot weather health problems.

Heat stroke symptoms include hallucinations, chills, confusion and dizziness, along with slurred speech. The CDC reports that common heat related symptoms can also include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Fast and weak pulse rate
  • Fast and shallow breathing


The American Geriatrics Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHIA) reports that most of the 200 Americans who die each summer of heat-related complications are over 50. They’ve prepared a handy tip sheet, "Hot Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults", available for download. Caregivers can help seniors stay safe with these recommendations:

Stay inside in air-conditioning. If there’s no air-conditioning in the home, go somewhere that is air-conditioned, like a movie theater, library or senior center. Fans DO NOT provide adequate cooling when temperatures hit 90 degrees.

  • Stay out of the sun. If they must go out, have them wear light, loose-fitting clothing and a  lightweight brimmed hat for shade. Also, apply a “broad spectrum” sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Go out early in the morning or after the sun sets, when it’s cooler.
  • Have your senior drink cool water, juices or other liquids. Stay away from alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate.
  • Give tepid (not too cold or too hot) showers, baths, or sponge baths. Or wet washcloths or towels with cool water and put them on wrists, ankles, armpits, and neck. This will also cool them down.

Keep yourself and your seniors safe and healthy this summer by taking these precautions. Senior caregivers can gain additional crucial caregiving skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course.

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