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 SundayDinnerPledge.com. 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

Quick and Healthy Recipes Featured in App

Healthy eating sounds like an easy task at first, but sometimes can seem more time consuming and expensive than we expected. But healthy cooking doesn't have to complicated or break the bank. Using basic ingredients from your local store and the Healthy in a Hurry recipe app, caregivers and their senior clients can enjoy healthy meals on a regular basis. 

The Healthy in a Hurry app exists as a part of EatingWell.com. When users first open the app, they are greeted with a Recipe of the Day on the homepage. If that dish sounds good, users can click to view the recipe, or they can browse through the other recipes on the app by category. The Recipe of the Day today is Maple-Walnut Tapioca Pudding, a dessert. Their recipe uses low-fat milk, pure maple syrup, one egg, tapioca, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. All ingredients that caregivers likely either already have in their pantry or could easily locate in the store. Right at the top of each recipe, the app notes how much active time a recipe requires for the caregiver to spend preparing it as well as the total time spent preparing and cooking. This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes total to prepare and cook.  

The bottom of each recipe also displays the number of servings and the nutritional information for each serving. The Tapioca Pudding makes two servings and has 301 calories per serving and 9 grams of fat, as well as 9 grams of protein. Other recipe categories in the app include breakfast/brunch, dinner, snack/drinks, appetizer, etc. Users can browse through recipes ahead of time and save favorites as they come across them. Icons designate recipes that are High Fiber, Heart Healthy, or Healthy Weight for seniors and caregivers who might be on a specific diet. The app homepage also offers users the chance to browse new collections, implying that new recipes are being added on a regular basis. The only feature missing from the app is the ability to save ingredients to a shopping list. Users might like to download a companion app to keep track of what they need to buy. 

The Healthy in a Hurry 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

You Are What You Eat: Senior Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month and an ideal opportunity for senior caregivers to make sure seniors are getting all the proper nutrition they need. It’s easier said than done. As we age, our bodies have a more difficult time absorbing key nutrients. Certain foods can lose their appeal — medications especially can affect appetite or change the way food tastes.

A nutrient-rich diet is more than essential for health maintenance, its a form of preventative medicine. A good diet can help keep common ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and high cholesterol at bay. Key nutrients are essential to keep physically and mentally fit.

Unfortunately, according to a report released by AARP, more than 10 million seniors go hungry every day, and it’s likely that “proper nutrient intake suffers when individuals are food insecure.”  What money is available for food should go to the most nutritious foods available — whole, unprocessed foods that are nutrient-dense (and generally low in calories)  are key to senior health.

You can follow the Food Pyramid for Older Adults (Tufts University) or any balanced diet in order to get the proper nutrition. I think it’s key to get your nutrients from whole foods as opposed to relying on supplements. The elderly usually already take so much medication, who wants to take more pills?

The National Institute on Aging has recommendations for eating well as you age. They suggest you plan meals and snacks to include:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • dairy products, especially low-fat or fat-free
  • protein in the form of lean meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, and unsalted nuts
  • limited amounts of solid fats. Keep trans fats to a minimum
  • limited amounts of cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars

Don’t forget to keep hydrated with water or water-rich food such as melons, cucumbers, radishes (!), even if you don’t feel thirsty.



The NIA also suggests any seniors with high blood pressure or hypertension consider the DASH diet, which I previously wrote about here.

Caregiverlist knows senior caregivers are integral to helping the elderly to eat right and age well. You can learn basic caregiving skills by taking our 8-hour online Caregiver Certification training course provided by Caregiverlist Training University.

Learn First Aid for Various Situations with Red Cross App

When unforeseen health situations that arise, senior caregivers may not know exactly what the issue is or the appropriate first aid response. The most important response in a health emergency is to remain calm, call 911 and follow the instructions of the operator. To help identify health issues and emergencies, The Red Cross First Aid app offers descriptions of the symptoms of common health issues, first aid guidelines and prevention tips. 

When users open the app, they find a menu displaying a list of topics to learn first aid for, ranging from minor to severe, such as Asthma Attack, Heart Attack and Stings / Bites. Before looking through every topic, caregivers with new senior clients can spend some time learning about the specific health issues that could arise by talking with him/her about any previous health related treatments, pertinent family health history and concerns their doctor may have regarding his/her health. Once a caregiver selects a specific topic, the next screen shows a list of steps for first aid. The steps include a list of symptoms to verify the situation and then a list of actions to take.

Within the app along the bottom bar, a center button indicates "Emergency" and includes a list of only emergency first aid for situations such as chocking, diabetic emergency and unconsciousness. Once caregivers familiarize themselves with the appropriate first aid response steps for various situations, they can visit the Tests area of the app on the bottom bar to quiz themselves on what they've learned. If caregivers spend ten minutes learning about the correct response for two different situations a day, it would take less than a month to cover all of the situations presented by the app. A hospital tab on the bottom bar also shows users the hospitals closest to them in case they need to visit an emergency room and are unsure of the nearest location. The Red Cross First Aid app is also available in Spanish as an additional resource. 

The Red Cross First Aid 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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