Caregivers Should be Paid More and Better Trained to Lower Senior Care Costs MIT Professor Reports

Senior caregivers should have more training and better pay in order to deliver higher quality care to seniors, according to MIT Sloan School of Management professor Paul Osterman. who has authored "Who Will Care for Us? Long-Term Care and the Long-Term Workforce".

Long-term care support services cost Americans $310 billion a year, accounting for both Medicaid care and private payments. As Medicare does not pay for long-term senior care services (only for short-term nursing home stays for rehabilitation), all Americans must pay privately unless they spend down their assets and qualify for Medicaid, for low-income seniors with few assets.

More numbers:

  • 14 million Americans needed long-term care in 2015
  • 22 million Americans will need long-term care by 2030

As home care aides are limited regarding some of the services they can administer, with eye-drops used as the example in Mr. Osterman's recent Wall Street Journal opinion article, services must pay for the additional cost for a Registered Nurse to drop in and perform these regulated tasks.

However home caregivers spend the most time with the senior and can easily be trained to do some of the tasks they are now limited from doing. The improved training could also include learning more about chronic diseases. As technology now allows us to use Apps to monitor many conditions, there are many opportunities available to develop more hands-on training skills for home caregivers. And if this lowers the cost of home care and delivers higher quality care, then why not? 

Caregiver training skills which we call "basic caregiver training' encompass the minimum standards for quality care delivery, such as learning how to safely transfer a senior from bed to wheelchair, understanding how to record proper care plan notes and follow the HIPAA privacy law and understand how to communicate with different generations. Training for stroke survivor care, Alzheimer's disease care and more are part of ongoing annual training renewals. Caregiver training varies in each state, based on health department regulations, but most licensed senior home care agencies are required to provide basic caregiver training. Medicaid home health aides are required to take initial training and annual training and this also varies depending on the state's requirements.

As seniors will be living longer than previous generations ever imagined, it makes sense to modernize the training for senior care.

Free caregiver training briefs are available to all caregivers on Caregiverlist as an introduction to the training required for caregiver certification.


Blue Plates Deliver Better Appetites for Senior’s with Memory Loss

Senior caregivers can now use an easy method to assist the seniors they are caring for to eat more. Just switch to a blue plate. Remember the Blue Plate Special? This was a term used by restaurants to showcase a discounted meal special that would change each day. Research conducted by multiple studies, as well as at nursing homes, have resulted in the discovery that seniors will eat anywhere from 20% to 35% more food when their meal is served on a blue plate.


What do you think? Which plate for this meal appeals to your appetite more? We have to say the blue plate wins for us - just don't tell our Grandma her china didn't win!

             Or         

Caregiverlist's Caregiver Training courses include this type of information with real tips and tools, keeping up with the latest research, to assist caregivers and senior care companies to deliver the highest possible quality of care. Senior Care Companies needing to train their staff can enroll caregivers in Caregiver Training University courses and know they will receive modern and up-to-date training.

This month (August, 2017) Le Creuset is offering their 12-inch blue plates at 50% off. Just a bit brighter perhaps than French blue and perfect for showcasing food effectively. You can start testing out the blue plate concept with a senior you care for by purchasing the nice plastic-ware plates from Amazon or a discount store near you ($3 to $5 for several plates).

Besides blue being a pleasing color, here are some of the facts behind why this concept seems to work for increasing calorie consumption at meal time for seniors.

  • Visual Understanding Increases (No Design Competition)
  • Seeing Food Clearly Stimulates Appetite
  • Simplicity of Colors Makes Food Served Standout Better
  • As There is No Blue Food, Makes it Easy to See Food Separate from Plate
  • Blue Serves as Relaxing and Familiar Color 
Weight loss impacts nearly half of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Any efforts a caregiver can make to assist the senior to increase consumption of healthy food will help with their overall health and happiness, even as they are losing their memory capabilities. The comfort of  consuming a delicious and nutritious meal always brings joy, even for those with memory loss. The blue plates help them to realize it is meal time.

Blue, yellow, lime and red are also colors researches have experimented with and because food groups will contrast with the plate, it helps the senior to focus on the food and eating. Perhaps think about testing out brightly colored tablecloths as another option.


Remember, too, that this follows with drinking liquids. White milk in a white cup is hard to see and so is black coffee in a dark colored mug such as navy or dark brown or black. Remember that making the food and drink visually stimulating will continue to be important throughout the aging process.


Proper nutrition is important at all ages, but especially for seniors who are challenged by medical issues.


Bring in the blue plate and see if it helps at meal time.


Caregivers may obtain online caregiver training which will include these ready-to-implement tips and more at CaregiverTrainingUniversity.com or give us a call at 312-669-8820.




Gait Belt Transfers for Safe Senior Care

How to safely transfer using a gait belt? Senior caregivers must be sure their senior clients are able to move from standing to sitting and bed to chair and back safely and the gait belt makes transfers safe for both the caregiver and the senior.

Caregiver Training University courses teach safe transfer skills. Watch this video to learn how to use a gait belt from Certified Nursing Aides and professional caregivers.


Become a Certified Caregiver by taking online caregiver training meeting your state's requirements and apply for a caregiver job near you.

Become Professional Senior Caregiver with State Caregiver Training

Professional senior caregivers now may take formal training curated to meet state licensing requirements for senior care. As Americans are living longer, while needing care for some of those years and end-of-life care, both professional and family caregivers may join the Professional Association of Caregivers to keep up with industry news and research. The online caregiver training delivers skills for safety for both the senior and caregiver. Learn how to communicate with seniors, understand age-related illnesses, medications, infection control, environmental safety, transfer skills from bed to wheelchair to walker and more.


Join the P.A.C. Professional Association of Caregivers to receive t-shirt, lapel pin and online caregiver training certification.
JOIN NOW Created by Senior Home Care Industry Professionals for the Industry - Built for Caregivers

Modern Caregiver Training for Senior Caregivers

Caring for seniors includes understanding age-related illnesses and the techniques proving successful in providing for care in each situation. Senior care companies can easily train all of their caregivers by enrolling them in just 2-clicks and caregivers keep their log-in to easily revisit the training and obtain renewal training for annual state certification requirements.

Caregivers may now enjoy digital caregiver training showcasing real-life skills to incorporate into their senior caregiving services, such as this scene from the movie Still Alice where the nursing home uses baby-dolls to keep the seniors with Alzheimer's disease comforted and engaged. Purchase individual Caregiver Training or Contact Caregiverlist for COMPANY CAREGIVER EMPLOYEE TRAINING in Bundles of training passes that do not expire and are smart-phone and tablet-friendly.

Online caregiver training by Caregiver Training University incorporates modern tools to provide skills you can implement to provide quality senior care for age-related illnesses, such as baby-doll therapy showcased in the movie Still Alice. Caregivers stay engaged in training incorporating audio + photos + videos.

Senior care companies may call 312-669-8821 for a demo of the digital caregiver training sold in cost-effective bundles which do not expire and are current with digital technology. Or email: susan@caregiverlist.com

Staying Alive vs. Living Life

My 100-year-old Grandma Martha may be nearing the end of her life. While she has lived a long life we are reminded that she is from a generation that really does not talk about death. Her generation had a life expectancy of age 75. 

Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter wrote an article for The New York Times this month titled "First, Sex Ed. Then Death Ed". She shares the statistic that 80% of Americans would prefer to die at home, but only 20% actually do. She notes that often people in intensive care units may be restrained and have no idea they are dying. You can read more of Dr. Zitter's articles on her website.

Grandma has a pacemaker which has extended her life. But she also has macular degeneration which has caused her to lose most of her vision. Losing your eyesight dramatically impacts your quality of life. Which lead her to tell her doctor to only give her a "2-year battery" for her pacemaker last year. How do we better plan for death?

How do we decide to say "no" to medical procedures which may extend our life but not improve a diminished quality of life caused by a health condition which cannot be cured? 

My father, at age 79, is also living life right now by volunteering in Ecuador. He just shared his whitewater rafting photos.


That's Dad in the back seat of the raft, hanging with the 20-year-old's.

My Dad is still living life, for sure. He has mentioned more than a few times that the adventure travel company assigned him a 26-year old lady from Argentina to accompany him to be sure he could manage. See, not everything about aging is negative! There are no right answers to some questions. We have to find the best possible answer for ourselves. The spirit of life pulls us forward. My Grandma still has the fight in her and we can see that and are assisting her to keep on going in all ways possible. 

She is still living life. With a whole lot of help from family members and doctors and nurses and nursing aides and caregivers and friends. She still has a very sharp mind and memory. But she also is living with pain each day, which we cannot take away.

Starting the conversation about how we would like to experience aging and what we would not want done to extend our life if the quality of life will not be there should become a part of our care plan for senior care. Medical technology has allowed us to do what could not be done before for physical care and we need to become modern enough to discuss the emotional components of aging and caregiving as well.

Senior care companies and senior caregivers can begin the conversation about death with adult children by sharing stories of scenarios of aging that are positive and negative. By talking about death we can spark new ideas and solutions to learn how to age in a way that truly allows someone to not only be alive but to be living life.

Who are Senior Caregivers? Statistics on Caregiving

Caregivers dedicate their time, energy, strength and patience to provide care as paid professional caregivers and as family caregivers.

But what exactly do the demands of the caregiving job entail for the caregiver? To what extent are these tasks affecting their lives? In hopes of spreading awareness on the challenges and struggles that caregivers face, ALTCP.org shares 18 enlightening facts about caregivers.

Caregivers may obtain online training to assist them to deliver safe care and to learn how to manage the emotional aspects of caregiving. As more senior caregivers are needed, for both part-time and full-time caregiving positions, anyone interested in working as a professional caregiver may submit a pre-qualification job application to be considered for positions near them.


Caregiver Training Facts to Become a Professional Senior Caregiver

Caregivers now must have certified training meeting state guidelines in many states, to enable the caregiver to provide high quality care and to protect both the senior and the caregiver. Caregiver training will include basic caregiving skills along with how to manage for emergencies and understand signs of elder abuse (and how to report....because elder abuse very frequently involves a family member as the abuser and caregivers are in a unique position to recognize and report).

Watch this Caregiver Training Video to Learn More




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