Staying Social and Stimulated in Retirement

If you’re looking at retiring soon, you’re probably excited and nervous—and with good reason.

While some of you might be planning dream vacations, others might be planning to downsize to

a smaller home. When you retire, you have more time for hobbies, but it can also bring on more

solitude. That’s why it’s so important that you make an effort to stay social and stimulated during

retirement. Fortunately, there are some fun, exciting ways that you can do both at the same


Earn Extra Income

While in retirement, you can still bring in a certain amount of income. There are several great

ways to meet new people, stay social, and even earn some pocket change for your next big

vacation, but none quite as exciting and successful as working part-time as a real estate agent.

In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, real estate is one of the most profitable and

popular second careers for seniors. You can meet new people while showing houses and enjoy

part-time work that keeps you energized. For more information, check out this informative guide

from Redfin.

Stay Active

Yes, there are going to be days where visiting with friends over coffee or tea is an ideal way to

spend a relaxing afternoon. However, be sure to balance that by getting active with your friends.

Taking fitness classes with your friends who are also enjoying their golden years is a double

win. You can catch up with your nearest and dearest, while also getting in exercise. Many

seniors’ health insurance plans come with access to senior-only classes, like Silver Sneakers,

where you can explore classes like water aerobics, yoga, and pilates. Taking fitness classes

with other seniors helps to ensure your golden years are filled with health, happiness, and good


College Bound

Many colleges and universities offer special discounts or programs for retirees who want to

broaden their horizons. Community colleges in particular can be a treasure trove of classes that

build new and exciting skills for seniors. Many of these courses are free or low-cost, which

means it’s easy to convince a friend to join you. Will you and a friend be going on an

international adventure? Take a class together that teaches the language you’ll be reading and

hearing (and maybe even speaking!) abroad.

Get Cooking

If your doctor frowns every time he takes your blood pressure, gather your friends to hone your

culinary skills together in a cooking class. You can sign up for a series, learning new dishes

designed to lower cholesterol or developing the skills it takes to transition to a vegan diet. You

can also take one course at time, learning a new and exotic cuisine with your friends, like

making sushi or paella. Often spending time with your friends, and sampling their handiwork, is

even more fun than learning new recipes and skills.

Master the Internet

Want to learn how to chat with your grandchildren on social media? Maybe you struggle with the

website that lets you communicate with your doctor or view medical bills online. You’re definitely

not alone. Many seniors feel uneasy with computers and the internet, especially when it comes

to safety. Taking a course with your friends not only teaches you basic computer skills, but it

also allows you time to bond with your friends over internet challenges and victories.

You’ve worked hard and long all these years and are starting to think about what you can do

with your extra free time. However, having that newfound free time is something you may have

to adjust to. With less structure, stimulation, and responsibilities, retirement as been shown to

hasten declines in mental health, as well as physical well-being. Taking classes with old friends,

while also making some new ones, is an exciting, enthralling way to enjoy this special, well-

deserved time in your life.

If you need to find care visit you can also find resources for seniors here

Blood Glucose App Helps Caregivers Track Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 9.3% of the population had Diabetes. For senior caregivers with senior clients who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, managing blood sugar levels may seem like a difficult task. The iGluco app allows senior caregivers to easily track their senior clients' blood sugar levels over time.

When users first download the app, they need to create an account. This includes basic informationc such as name and email address. Then, users need to complete their profile with more detailed information, such as gender, age, height and weight. Then, users need to set up their glucometer to work with the app if they want it to automatically sync with the app. Alternatively, caregivers can manually input the information from readings as they happen or they can upload offline measurements from the device.

To add a new measurement. caregivers first need to enter the blood glucose reading as ml/dL. Then, users need to enter the time of day with detail, such as before or after breakfast, whether or not they took medication or insulin, if they exercised, how many carbs they ate, etc. All of these factors affect blood glucose levels, so more accurate information will help caregivers and health care professionals recognize patterns over time.

Over time, caregivers can view the average results from all of the readings entered. This information includes an average number for blood glucose, the highest and lowest blood glucose readings, and a breakdown of the number of readings considered high, normal and low. This information can be useful for caregivers to share with their senior clients' doctors during regular visits to check in on the daily management of their diabetes.

The Learn area of the app also includes resources to help senior caregivers delve deeper into diabetes management. It includes articles from Diabetes Forecast Magazine, which range from active lifestyle tips and recipes to advice for traveling with diabetes and tricks for remembering to take medication. 

The iGluco 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

App Allows Caregivers to Track Calories By Taking Pictures of Food

When it comes to tracking calories and watching what you eat, it seems fairly reasonable when you're eating products with a nutrition label. But what about when you go out to dinner, or over to a friend's house and you eat something that they cooked? It can be tricky to know how many calories are really in your lunch. Luckily, the Calorie Mama AI app makes tracking estimated calories as easy as snapping a photo on your phone and letting the app analyze it. 

When caregivers first download the app, they need to create a profile using either their Facebook profile or their e-mail address. Then, caregivers need to enter their weight information and indicate if they have a weight loss goal. The app seems like it would be useful for those not looking to lose weight, but simply seeking to better understand the caloric makeup of their meals, too. The app provides a recommended calorie intake based on the information provided and then takes caregivers to the home screen to start entering foods. 

For caregivers to enter foods, they can take a photo of an item or they can scan a barcode of a packaged product. For example, if you're out to dinner at a restaurant, you can take a picture of your plate and the app will use its Artifical Intelligence to recognize that you're eating a burger and french fries and log generic nutrition information for such an item accordingly. For a packaged item, the app can analyze the front of the package and figure out what it is, or it can scan the barcode on the item for accurate information. Upon testing the app by taking a photo of the front of an energy bar, it correctly identified on the first try. 

Once a food item has been logged, the app adds it to the user's nutrition log for the day. It provides a recommended intake of calories for each meal, and upon logging foods, it shows you whether you're above or below your calories for that meal. An overall ticker at the top of the page shows how many calories you have remaining for the whole day. 

Caregivers can also log any exercise they do in a day to earn additional calories, and they can record how many glasses of water they drink. As time goes by, caregivers also can log their body weight to track weight loss, if that's one of their goals in using the app. One of the icons at the bottom even brings up a page showing a graph to track body weight over time. 

The Calorie Mama AI 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

Fun Brain Game App Helps Prevent Onset of Dementia in Senior Clients

The task of keeping a senior's brain active to prevent the onset of dementia may seem daunting, but it breaks down to finding small tasks they can do on a regular basis. Many activities will do the trick, such as crossword puzzles, yoga, or reading a book, one option is to pick a brain game. The Six app offers a simple but fun game to activate senior clients' brains and prevent dementia. 

The concept behind Six will be easy for a senior client to pick up in its simplicity. There is a hexagon on top of a tower of blocks of different shapes and sizes. The goal of the game is to eliminate the blocks one at a time from underneath the hexagon without letting it roll off the side of the tower. It sounds easy, but as the blocks fall the hexagon shifts on its five sides.

The challenge lies in determining which blocks will throw off the balance of the whole tower and send the hexagon teetering off the edge. Senior clients will need to examine the way the different shapes underneath the hexagon fit together, and how the weight will shift as they choose which block to eliminate next. For example, in the above scenario, senior clients would need to decide whether or not getting rid of the block on the far right would cause the hexagon to shift and come falling off the right side of the tower. 

As caregivers and their senior clients continue playing the game, they rack up more and more points for eliminating blocks while keeping the hexagon balanced. Once a certain score is reached, the app unlocks the next level for play. Caregivers could easily create a little tournament between themselves and their senior clients to see who can get the high score on the game, or instead play together and strategize about which blocks to get rid of next. 

Another version of the game available is based entirely on speed, and how quickly players can get rid of blocks while keeping the hexagon balanced. Senior clients can give this a try, but many may prefer to take their time on the classic version of the game. Both offer ample opportunity for brain exercise, so whichever they prefer is fine. 

The Six! 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

Yoga for Beginners App Offers Caregivers, Clients Easy Way to Exercise

Relieving stress and staying active play a big part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but most of the time that seems easier said than done. For senior caregivers whose work is particularly demanding, setting aside time a couple of times a week to exercise and de-stress can make a big difference in mental and physical health. The Yoga For Beginners app offers a way for caregivers and their senior clients to stretch and exercise wherever is most convenient for them. 

The home screen of the app is divided into four different sections: Yoga Plans, Yoga Poses, Health Tips and Instruction. Under Yoga Plans, caregivers will find the different options for yoga programs that they can complete through the guided instructions in the app. The Yoga for Beginners plan is free, while the others such as Yoga to Relieve Stress or Yoga for Better Sleep must be paid for. Starting with Yoga for Beginners will give you and your senior clients a feel for the basic poses and will help with the aforementioned issues. Simply doing any yoga helps bring calm to the mind and stretch the body. 

Once users select a program, they can click start to begin the countdown and launch into their exercise routine. The screen shows the specific pose that caregivers should use, and if a demonstration is needed then caregivers can click on the play button in the upper right-hand corner. This will pull up a video explaining and demonstrating the pose for someone who has never done it before. The videos are embedded directly into the app from YouTube, so they aren't all the same style or instructor. But given the free nature of the app, they do a sufficient job of educating the viewer on how to complete the exercise. 

Under the Yoga Poses area of the app, caregivers will find a list of poses that serve different purposes and instructions on how to complete them. The categories include Yoga Poses, Abs Exercises, Stretch Exercises, etc. Every category includes some free poses and some locked for a paid subscription. These all include a written description of the activity and what it helps with, and then a YouTube video showing the exercise. These YouTube videos appear to be specifically put together for the app, as opposed to the videos in the other portion that differ in instructor and style video-to-video. 

Under Health Tips, caregivers will find several categories sharing tips on everything from Women's Health and Weight Loss Tips to Healthy Eating and Aging & Health. When users read these tips, even in the prose they are reminded to consult with their doctors for expert opinions before changing their habits drastically. Especially when it comes to senior clients, medical professionals will offer a more sound opinion than general tips in an app. However, this section can offer some food for thought, and options to discuss at future doctor's appointments. 

The Yoga for Beginners 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

Keep Healthy Living Goals Using Nutrition App

There's a saying that the hardest part of working out is tying your shoes. Getting into an exercise routine requires motivation to persist until it becomes a habit, as does healthy eating. The Lifesum app enables caregivers to set realistic healthily living goals and see them through. 

When caregivers first download the app, they need to create a profile with specific details about their current health, such as height, weight and age. Then, the app determines what type of plan they would like to create: be healthier, lose weight or gain weight (build muscle strength). Based on these selections, the app determines how many calories the user should consume in a day. 

This app further breaks down calorie recommendations per day by recommended number of carbs, amount of protein and amount of fat. Additionally, suggests about how many calories the caregiver should consume for each meal to balance throughout the day. A water tracker at the bottom allows users to tap a glass icon each time they drink 8 oz of water to record it. The app offers rotating tips about how much water to drink, such as drinking some prior to meals to prevent overeating and ensuring rehydration after exercise. 

Caregivers also have the option to search for and record the type and amount of exercise they complete. Everything from sit-ups and weight lifting to zumba and yoga are available in the search, with estimated calories burned based on how long users exercise. Caregivers can fit exercise into their day before or after work, and it can be as simple as going for a quick 20 minute walk. The calories burned are factored into the daily calorie allowance, meaning in exchange for a 30 minute run, caregivers might be able to eat a little more that day. 

The paid version of the app offers additional features, such as meal recommendations and food ratings meant to educate the user and provide suggestions for healthier eating. When users first download the free version of the app, the meal recommendations are available on a trial basis. They consist of recipes suggested for breakfast, lunch or dinner with nutrition information upfront to make informed decisions. Should users decide they like this feature, the paid subscription is available starting at $3.91 per month. 

The Lifesum app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers 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

Prevent Onset of Dementia Through Brain Games

The onset of dementia can come quickly and be incredibly scary for a senior client and their families. Luckily, frequent exercise of the brain helps keep the mind sharp and prevent onset of dementia, or at least lengthen the time before onset. The Wordbrain app provides caregivers with a game for their senior clients to exercise their minds on a regular basis. 

The premix of the Wordbrain app is for users to find scrambled letters on a game board to create a word below. For example, if a board has the letters S, O, P and T on a board, users need to swipe across the letters in the correct order to spell a word. However, these four letters spell out several words, such as STOP, TOPS, POTS and SPOT.

Users must swipe through the various combinations until they find the specific word the app is looking for. At first this may seem frustrating because the first word you swipe may not register as the answer. But this truly forces senior clients to work through all the possibilities and keeps their brains engaged as they move the letters around to find various combinations instead of simply the first one that pops into their head. 

If users get stuck, there's an option to ask for a hint which will help by displaying the first letter of the word in the box below. Users also have the option to hit the button with two arrows in a circle below, which will shuffle the letters in the boxes above to give a new order and help visualize them in a different way. 

As users play, their "Brain Size" within the app grows and accordingly the puzzles get more difficult. The app offers different levels names after types of insects. Users begin in the Ant level and work their way up to unlock the Spider level. Users also have the ability to use their own creativity and create a puzzle to stump their family and friends.

Senior caregivers and their clients could play on this app together and create puzzles for one another to try and beat. Once a user creates a puzzle, they are given a unique code that corresponds with it. When they share that code, all their senior caregiver needs to do is type it in the designated area on the home screen and they're given the puzzle their senior client created for them to solve. 

The Wordbrain 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

Diabetes Management App For Caregivers and Clients

Monitoring sugars and insulin on a regular basis to manage diabetes can seem like a daunting task. The mySugr LogBook app provides caregivers the ability to track their carbohydrate intake, blood glucose levels and insulin therapy for customized diabetes management. 

When users first create an account in the app, it asks that they complete a detailed profile regarding their individual experience with diabetes. Basic fields include type of Diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, etc.), year of diagnosis, insulin therapy and body weight. It also verifies measurement units for carbohydrates and insulin for accurate tracking. 

The universal functionality of this app comes in the ability to customize your experience to best meet your personal health needs. If you have Type 2 diabetes and simply need to watch your carb intake but have no insulin therapy in place, you don't have to use the insulin fields. If you have Type 1 diabetes, there's a field to track your blood glucose levels several times a day.  

In addition to simply entering your numbers, the log also offers a multitude of other factors to attach to each entry, such as time of day, whether a reading was taken before or after a meal, if you've been exercising, or overall mood. This will help caregivers notice trends over time in their data, such as consistently low readings after exercising. This data can be shared with medical professionals if needed, too, using the data export to PDF option. 

A chart on the home screen shows blood glucose levels over time in a nice visual so users can see if their readings have dramatically risen or dropped at any point during the day. Other log options include noting when a user is feeling particularly high or low, regardless of their readings. A challenges area also provides activities for users to join, such as the Walk for a Cure or Endurance. Both activities are designed to support research for diabetes to help establish a cure. 

The mySugr LogBook 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

Sunday Dinner Pledge Encourages Family Meals with Seniors

We all know that good nutrition is one of the cornerstones of healthy aging. But for seniors living independently, it can be tedious (and lonely) to cook and eat healthy meals for one. Those who live in assisted living or nursing homes may take their meals with others, but have little choice in their mealtime companions.

In an effort to help promote meals with elderly family members, Home Instead Senior Care, a quality in-home senior care agency, is promoting the idea of establishing a regularly scheduled monthly sit-down dinner with family loved ones.

The Sunday Dinner Pledge is free and all it requires is that you pledge to bring back Sunday dinner with your senior loved ones at least once per month and discover how to make the most of being together. Sharing meals has been shown to help improve seniors’ quality of life.

Make that pledge by July 31 and the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation® will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $25,000 total) for each person that commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at Meals on Wheels can then help ensure other seniors will enjoy quality meals through their program.

Food Network celebrity Chef Melissa d’Arabian along with a dietitian for the Home Instead Senior Care network present easy, nutritious recipes, healthy food plans, and detailed shopping lists for those who may need meal inspiration.

The website also features 10 conversation starters to help eliminate those awkward dinner table silences. Topics include family name origins and what’s on your bucket list. Along with topics, the website includes Action Items to help prep for the next dinner.

“It’s not about making the pledge, it’s more about just spending time with your family,” Sheryl Brown, community resource coordinator of Home Instead Senior Care in Fremont, Nebraska told the Fremont Tribune. “It’s also a great way from an intergenerational standpoint for the younger kids to learn about the experiences and the lives of older Americans and family members we have living close to us. It helps bring family together when you can have those conversations.”

Caregiverlist agrees. Bring back the Sunday family dinner!

Physical Therapy Exercise Guide Through App

Caregivers may have senior clients who need a knee or hip replacement as they age to maintain mobility and reduce pain. Recovery from a joint replacement surgery requires physical therapy as mandated by the overseeing doctor. While not meant to replace exercises provided by a physical therapist, the Pocket Physio app provides a library of images, descriptions and videos to help seniors accurately perform their exercises at home. 

The Pocket Physio app offers four types of exercises: knee, hip, hand and foot. Once a user selects a category, the app provides a choice of exercises based on how long ago the surgery occurred. The first page will explain the type of surgery the exercise corresponds with and the end goal of the exercise.

For example, one of the end goals of hand surgery is to be able to move from a complete extension of the hand to a full fist. A diagram on the main exercise page shows a progression of the movement using a set of four pictures and the videos below show the stages users go through to work towards the full fist. 

Detailed instructions accompany the videos within the app so that users of all learning types can accurately perform the exercises. Additional features of the app include the ability to set Reminders for when it's time to exercise or for a doctor's appointment. An additional Information tab in the app provides other basic tips for the recovery stage of surgery, such as how to walk with crutches up and down stairs, improve circulation, or get in and out of a car. 

The Information tab also contains tips for Pain Management. Senior caregivers should always advise their senior clients to closely follow instructions from their doctor regarding pain management and recovery from surgery, but in addition to pain killers, the app offers breathing relaxation exercises. Caregivers and their senior clients might find the exercises to be soothing when trying to fall asleep. 

The Pocket Physio 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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