Home Care Clean-up Kit for Senior Caregivers

Senior caregiving comes with many challenges, including the need to maintain a clean and healthy environment.  Keeping a clean living area is not as easy at it sounds when you must also consider health issues.  Especially if you are caring for a senior who may be confined to their bed or wheelchair, you have the added challenge of bathing them and assisting them with bathroom visits when they are not fully able to be mobile on their own.

One time, I assisted a senior with a transfer from their bed to their bedside bed-pan in order for them to have a successful toilet visit.  While I was very nervous about the transfer because the senior was a tall man, everything went smoothly.  All the lessons learned in nursing aide training paid off.  However, when I went to dump the bed pan, well, I missed the toilet some and had a bigger mess to clean-up.   

Now, Clorox has come to the rescue, marrying together multiple products needed for caregiving in a "Home Care Clean Up Kit".  Another challenge for caregivers is finding all of the right products in one place, which usually cannot be done.  Clorox has done the research and understands caregivers must protect themselves along with protecting the senior.  Remember, one of the positive aspects of the new healthcare law, which rarely is mentioned, is the fact that hospital readmissions were rather out of control because so many times a senior goes into the hospital only to come home with a new infection.  The new healthcare law will decrease the Medicare payments to hospitals who have poor performance for readmissions.  Maintaining a clean caregiving environment impacts the quality of the senior care.

Clorox's new caregiver product offering, called Care Concepts, offers non-latex exam gloves, hand sanitizer, stain remover, germicidal non-bleach spray, disinfecting and deodorizing spray.  And, the best part of the offering is that Clorox has packaged all of these much-needed items together in one package to allow seniors and their caregivers to easily have all the necessary tools for a clean caregiving environment.

"We've participated in numerous studies of caregivers, buy we are exceptionally pleased with this report because it re-enforces the hardships we often hear caregivers endure and it helps us to better understand the unique challenges and rewards of being a caregiver," said John Schnall, CEO of the Caregiver Action Network.

Resources for senior caregivers are always appreciated and these new cleaning products (without bleach) will help caregivers more easily do their jobs.  Proper cleaning of the caregiver's environment is part of the caregiver training for basic caregiver skills.

Clorox Clean-up Home Care Kit

California Caregivers: Must Know Risks Court Rules

Caregivers for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease must know the risks that come with the job, based on a ruling this month by the California Supreme Court. And knowing there are risks when caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, seniors no longer need to worry about being liable for injuries they may cause their paid in-home caregivers. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the senior in the Carolyn Gregory, plaintiff and appellant, vs. Lorraine Cott, defendants and respondents, lawsuit. The decision ruled in favor of the senior, 5 - 2, verifying that the caregiver could not be compensated for damages.

 

This case and ruling provides all of us an opportunity to realize the advantages of working with a professionally licensed senior care company for senior care services.  And to understand the limitations for compensation for events we cannot control when this disease claims someone’s mind and body. Professional senior care companies maintain certain quality standards and provide benefits for caregivers legally hired as employees.

Here is the story:

In September, 2008, Carolyn Gregory, age 54, provided caregiving services for Lorraine Cott, age 88.  She was hired to assist Ms. Cott who had advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Now for the tough part of this story - just want to warn you - while the caregiver was washing dishes, which included a knife, the elder Ms. Cott came up behind her and began reaching toward the sink.  The caregiver tried to restrain her and in the process, the large knife she was washing fell and sliced into her left hand.  This caused the caregiver, Ms. Gregory, to lose sensation in her thumb and two fingers and to experience considerable pain.

The caregiver, Ms. Gregory, sued the senior for compensation for the damages to her hand, even though she did have coverage for the injury through her employer’s worker’s compensation insurance.  She sued for additional money for negligence.  The good news is that the caregiver did work for a senior care agency and had worker’s compensation benefits.  She wanted more compensation and the California Supreme Court denied this because of a legal doctrine referred to as the “primary assumption of risk.” From the California Supreme Court, when announcing their decision:

 

We have noted that the duty to avoid injuring others ―normally extends to 

those engaged in hazardous work.‖ (Neighbarger, supra, 8 Cal.4th at p. 536.) 

―We have never held that the doctrine of assumption of risk relieves all persons of 

a duty of care to workers engaged in a hazardous occupation.‖ (Id. at p. 538.) 

However, the doctrine does apply in favor of those who hire workers to handle a 

dangerous situation, in both the public and the private sectors. Such a worker, ―as 

a matter of fairness, should not be heard to complain of the negligence that is the 

cause of his or her employment. 

Caring for a senior home care agency client who formerly worked in a bank, we discovered that sometimes, with no prior warning, she apparently thought she was back at the bank counter.  She would swing her arms out from side to side in front of her and we realized, after talking with her family, that this was her way of pretending to count out money.  We found a way to bring her some peace when these moments presented themselves - we gave her a large magazine and guided her to flip through the pages one-by-one until the urge fled away from her.

None of us know what path old age will lead us down.  The road may be smooth, with a sudden end, or bumpy with sharp curves and steep inclines. We just don’t know how our road ends.  But now we know if our mind becomes something we cannot control, we will not be responsible if our actions might hurt a caregiver.

In Alzheimer’s care, caregivers must know what they are confronting.  They must understand that this is a different type of memory loss which progresses at a different speed for each senior. Senior home care agencies, licensed by their state to provide senior care, do provide quality caregiver training and worker’s compensation insurance for caregivers.  This means if a caregiver should have an on-the-job injury, the worker’s compensation insurance provides for the medical care and recovery needs.  This is yet another reason why many states are requiring specific licensing and training requirements for senior home care agencies.

Caregivers working as employees for senior home care agencies receive active care management, training and support when caring for difficult clients.  Sometimes just having someone to vent to enables the caregiver to go back the next day with a fresh attitude and new tools to successfully assist the senior. Alzheimer’s disease delivers so many “moments’ for caregivers  - and remember, family members and professional caregivers often provide care for those with Alzheimer’s disease as it truly is the long goodbye.

I have shared previously that I had the gift of meeting former President Ronald Reagan, after he had Alzheimer’s disease.  He thought he knew me and I played along and winked at him.  I was having brunch at the “leftover tables off the breezeway” at a Santa Monica restaurant because I didn’t make reservations and had a former co-worker who was kind enough to give me a lift to the airport. However, she drove an old convertible car that didn’t have a big enough trunk for my suitcases.  Since we had already convinced the valet guy to just leave the car in the circle driveway, to keep an eye on it, we begged for a table and they told us they didn't normally seat people in this area but if we really wanted a table we could have it.

Funny how coincidences work out sometimes……..and then the former President came in and was seated with his nurse and two Secret Service agents, at the table next to us. I was so busy talking with my friend that I honestly did not notice them come in and sit down.  It was only after the waitress came in and served them a platter of fruit and said, in a really loud voice, while talking slowly, “here you go, enjoy your fruit”, that my friend said, she is talking to them like they are in an old folk’s home.

That is when I looked up and realized who he was, and apparently because of the surprise on my face, he thought he knew me.  He waved at me and then leaned over and told the nurse something and pointed at me.  That is when I winked to let them know I knew what was going on and everything was cool.  And I also held back tears.

We are all the same when it comes to old age.  A president was seated in the leftover area, with Ishtar and I, because we had no reservations, and an old car without a real trunk. His road to the end was 10 years long!  He was going for a walk on the beach each morning with his nurse and two Secret Service agents. And when it was time to go, just like my own grandfather, he did not want to get up and leave.  The agents (kind of cool to say that) told us that they never knew how long it would take before he would be ready. Even a former president would misbehave when it came to Alzheimer's disease and now in California, families and caregivers must be aware of the risks. President Reagan had senior caregivers for 10 years........a reminder for all of us to plan ahead for senior care.

 

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Former President Ronald Reagan  

Care.com Lawsuits: Hiring Licensed Senior Home Care Agency Protects Both Seniors and Caregivers

Care.com lawsuits recently have surrounded the direct-hire website's offering of babysitters who did not demonstrate quality care while on the job.  You can read about the care.com lawsuits by parents in Nebraska and Wisconsin and there are additional incidents of hire-direct situations gone wrong.  Every company can have a bad employee and everyone can experience something in their personal life which impacts their job performance.  Good reporting involves just stating the facts but these care.com lawsuits provide an opportunity for us to highlight the advantages of only hiring a licensed senior home care agency.  

Remember, senior care is not at all like babysitting and you should make sure certain quality standards are always in place for senior care.  There are many advantages to only working with experienced senior caregiving companies and many states have even passed laws to make sure professionals only refer seniors to licensed senior home care agencies for senior care.  Let's discuss why senior care professionals advise to only hire a licensed senior caregiving professional agency. Unless you have a unique situation where the senior is living with their family members who are actively there each morning and night and actively trained to manage the caregiver, you should make sure you are only hiring a senior caregiver working for a professionally licensed senior care company.  I would question the advice and motivations of any person or website who pretends there is no difference in the two - there is a huge difference. And a huge difference in your ability to protect the senior, the caregiver and your family's assets.

First, remember that in senior care a parent is not there at the beginning and end of each day. Senior care can also be very emotional and caregivers require support and training in order to provide quality care.  As an employee, a senior caregiver receives benefits, required by law, which protect the caregiver and the senior.  There are grumpy old men (and women) and sometimes these situations can make a good caregiver go bad when they do not have the proper benefits and support. A professional senior home care agency will have an involved Care Manager to manage the family and the caregiver and restaff when necessary (and even train the family members).

Senior Home Care Agency benefits:

  • Caregivers Must Meet "Employee" Hiring Guidelines:  Be Legal to work in the U.S.A. (I-9 Form)
  • Caregivers Must Pass Criminal Background Check (Many States Require Finger-printing and Healthcare Worker Registry of the Caregiver)
  • Worker's Compensation Insurance (If the Caregiver hurts their back - it does happen - the insurance pays and the senior and their family are protected)
  • Fidelity Bond Insurance (Protects against theft which with active care management can be prevented with necessary systems put in place)
  • Professional Liability Insurance (Protects in the event a mistake is made)
  • Unemployment Insurance (Caregiver has security of knowing they can collect unemployment benefits while looking for their next job if senior dies or gets better)
  • Health Insurance
  • Performance Bonuses and Incentives
  • Ongoing Training
  • Company social events: picnics, holiday parties, open houses, etc.
  • Social Security (Caregiver pays payroll taxes and can collect social security benefits when they retire)

Note: Healthcare Worker Registries will also show if there is a negative report on the person or if they have been removed from the Registry according to each states' criteria. Registries were created to add an extra layer of accountability, identity validation and protection.  You can also see an example of basic caregiver training required in many states.

We know that grocery stores now try to sell us more than just food and Amazon went from books to becoming a toy store, electronics store and grocery store.  Be aware that especially in senior care there is much knowledge to be learned in order to do it properly.  The number one type of elder abuse, unfortunately, is financial.  Hire a quality licensed senior care agency to provide senior care for your relatives and loved ones.  And to make sure the professional caregiver is receiving benefits and support and back-ups when they need a day off.

Research your senior care options before you need them.  There is a reason large corporations and hospital groups are starting senior home care agencies - they too, know that quality senior care must include a custom care plan created by experienced and trained care professionals.  Medicare does not pay for long-term care in the home nor in a nursing home and Medicaid does pay for nursing home care in all states and usually has a Medicaid community home care benefit in most states. 

 

Healthy Summer Slushy for Seniors (and Caregivers)

Senior caregivers know that seniors often have their specific food preferences. At the same time, making sure a senior's eating habits are delivering proper nutrition can be an ongoing challenge.  Now that it is summertime, you can have fun with nutrition by making cooling slushies, especially if a senior's diet includes the purchased nutrition shakes - what a nice change of pace to have a homemade smoothie or slushy to enjoy a new flavor.

Myfamilydish.com shares an easy recipe with us on how to make a delicious peach slush and you can even toss in some of your summer herbs that perhaps you are growing in your yard or on your kitchen shelf.  Farmer's markets offer a fun outing for seniors, too, and a way to engage in conversation about their gardening past if they no longer are gardening.  And everyone likes an excuse to share a favorite recipe.

Nutrition tips for seniors: add some of the following to give your Peach Basil Slush a boost:

 

  • Protein Powder
  • Flax Seed
  • Wheat Germ 

 

This recipe uses peaches, basil and a fun drink you can buy at the store called Cascade Ice.  As always, you can make substitutions.  Check out the Peach Basil Slushy recipe and if you don't decide to make it, you can definitely enjoy the photos (but I think you'll be craving one, too, when you see these pictures).  Happy summertime! Don't forget that senior care companies are still hiring and send anyone looking for a senior caregiving job to Caregiverlist to apply.  Online caregiver training also helps anyone begin to develop senior care skills by taking this online training course.

Peach Basil Slushy from Myfamilydish.com

Senior Caregiver Pay Rates July 2014

Senior caregiver employees report their pay rates to Caregiverlist each month through their caregiver job application. The following results reflect July 2014. Caregiverlist advocates for caregivers to be paid as employees with full benefits and incentives. Anyone interested in becoming a senior caregiver can apply on Caregiverlist's Job Application.

 

 

A Relaxing Moment in Chicago for Your Caregiver Stress Relief

Sometimes the most beautiful sights can be found right around us if we take the time to look. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote.  This week's photo was taken in Humboldt Park, a gem of a park here in Chicago. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools. Have a great week. 

"Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life."  -Terri Guillemets

Caregiver Pay Rates April 2014

Professional caregivers continue to earn more than minimum wage, thank goodness, for providing senior caregiving and nursing aide services. As senior care needs will continue to increase, As the senior care industry continues to grow, so does the rate of pay for senior caregivers, along with the need for quality caregivers.  In April, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 6.7% to 6.3%.  However, there continues to be a high demand for professional senior caregivers who can work both part-time and full-time to fill senior caregiver jobs.

 

 

Caregiver Pay Rates for 2013 Above Minimum Wage

Senior caregivers assist seniors as companion caregivers and nursing aides working in nursing homes, assisted living communities and senior home care agencies.  Hospitals also hire certified nursing aides.  The pay rate for companion caregivers and nursing aides for 2013 have continued to rise and remain above minimum wage for all professional senior caregivers.

The Caregiverlist® pay survey results records the pay rates of 34,959 professional senior caregivers.  Senior caregivers who work for a senior home care agency provide one-on-one caregiving services while nursing aides working for nursing homes and hospitals usually care for anywhere from 10 to 15 residents or patients.  C.N.A. staffing ratios of nursing homes are reported in the health inspection reports conducted every 15 months and can be found in the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory.  More senior caregivers are needed and anyone with a caring personality may apply to a senior care job in their area on the Caregiverlist® Career Center.

 

Caregiver Pay: Minimum Wage Catching Up as Connecticut Increases to $10.10

Connecticut is leading the way with more than basketball for the U.S.A., as UConn wins the March Madness Final Four Basketball Tournament and legislators increase the minimum wage to be above $10.00 per hour.  They are a state that is showing us how to move things forward in more ways than one this year.

Caregivers working as professionals for senior care companies already earn more than minimum wage, with the average companion caregiver hourly rate at $10.00 per hour.  As the national conversation around minimum wage has continued to engage our country, Connecticut becomes the first state to step forward and pass legislation requiring minimum wage in their state to be $10.10 per hour by January 2017.  They gave plenty of time for this to go into action - maybe enough time for the current law makers to be out of office - but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Senior caregivers are in demand as the country's Baby Boomer population ages.  Anyone with a caring personality, clean background check and desire to connect with a senior may begin a career as a senior caregiver by applying to a part-time or full-time caregiver job in their area.  While professional senior care companies will provide training for each client, and provide training to meet any licensing requirements in their state, they may also prefer that you have some personal caregiving experience.  You may take an online course to learn the basic caregiver skills.  You may also refer-a-friend to be a senior caregiver as right now there are not enough caregivers in many areas of the country.

West Virginia Caregiver Wins Caregiver Job Refer-A-Friend Weekly Prize

Congratulations to this weeks winner of the Caregiverlist Refer-A-Friend and Win Program- Caregiver Sydney Stone from West Virginia

Sydney referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on Caregiverlist.com, and she won a free 8-hour Training from Caregiverlist Training University. Every weekly winner will receive a free training. Read Sydney's story to find out what lead her to her caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family, and coworkers to professional caregiving jobs near you.
 
Meet Sydney to learn more about the benefits of becoming a professional senior caregiver.
 
 
-What led you to begin a career in caregiving?
I love helping people no matter what their age is.
 
-What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?
Dinner time was always fun and I was constantly laughing.
 
-How many years have you been a caregiver?
Two years.
 
What has being a caregiver taught you?
Be PATIENT.
 
How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?
I take a break and call my mom
 
Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A's and C.H.H.A's weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your profession caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.
 
Refer-A-Friend to Caregiverlist and get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One month GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (tops, bottoms, and shoes) courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. 
 
 

 

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