Maspeth, New York Caregiver Wins Refer-a-Friend Monthly Grand Prize

Congratulations to the December monthly winner of Caregiverlist Refer-a-Friend and Win program - caregiver Stephanie Zhang from Maspeth, NY.

 

Stephanie referred her classmates, friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on Caregiverlist.com, and she won a free stylish scrubs outfit and a pair of shoes, courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. Part-time, full-time and live-in senior care jobs are available as more seniors continue to live longer.

 

Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A.’s, & C.H.H.A.’s weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your professional caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.

 

Refer-a-friend to Caregiverlist and get entered to win a free t-shirt, lapel pin and 10-hour online caregiver training program as a member of the Professional Association of Caregivers. A new winner is drawn weekly. One monthly GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (top, bottoms and pair of shoes), courtesy of Scrubs Magazine.

 

Alzheimer's and Dementia Responsible for 1 in 3 Senior Deaths, Report Shows

A new Alzheimer’s Association report, 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures, released yesterday, indicates that the disease is now the sixth leading cause of death, taking the lives of 1 in 3 seniors.

And while death from other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke decline, Alzheimer's deaths continue to rise, increasing 68% from 2000-2010. The reason? According to the report, it is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression.

The mortality rate for Alzheimer’s and dementia, while certainly increasing as the population ages, isn’t a new phenomenon. However, the reporting of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s may have been previously under-reported, according to  Susan Mitchell, a professor of medicine at Harvard and a scientist at Hebrew Senior Life Institute for Aging Research.

Alzheimer's patients tend to have other health problems as well, she says. Alzheimer’s and dementia lead to the death of nerve cells. In the beginning stages of the disease, the cells damaged mostly affect memory and behavior. As the disease progresses, the brain cells damaged control body functions. For example, a person suffering from dementia may lose their ability to swallow correctly. Food goes down the wrong way, resulting in lung damage and finally pneumonia. And it is that pneumonia which has been listed as the cause of death, and not the underlying dementia from which it stemmed.

From a caregiving standpoint, almost 15% of those caregiving for loved ones are doing it long-distance — living an hour or more away and they pay nearly twice as much out-of-pocket for care as their onsite counterparts. However, the emotional toll is understandably greater for those who must deal with caregiving on their own. “More than 60 percent of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; more than one-third report symptoms of depression.” These are the family caregivers who desperately need help in the form of respite caregivers.

Caregiving for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires a special skill set and the need for skilled caregivers is only going to increase. State training requirements vary, but Caregiverlist, along with Terra Nova Films, presents training videos to assist you with understanding how to care for special needs of older adults suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

If you are a certified nursing aide, home health aide, companion caregiver or family caregiver, these videos will help you improve upon your current skills and learn about the latest approaches for successful caregiving.

And read Norm McNamara’s Caregiverlist Diary to gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by those living with Alzheimer’s.

Tina Turner, 73, Vogue Cover Girl

Senior caregiving is made so much easier when that senior is committed to aging well. Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. As I look around the style and fashion landscape, I am heartened to find that the world is beginning to realize that beauty is not the sole domain of prepubescent youth.

Tina Turner, arguably the poster child woman for surviving with style, is the cover model on Vogue Germany’s April issue, wearing blue silk Armani and looking smoking hot. It's her first Vogue cover and the title of the piece says it all: Simply the Best. Shot by photography duo Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer and styled by Nicola Knels, Ms. Turner shows off her legendary gams in the fashion spread and doesn’t shy away from an extreme close up.


According to style blog Fashionista , a spokesperson for Conde Nast Germany confirmed that Turner is the oldest person ever to grace the cover of Vogue in the magazine’s 120+ year history (followed by 62-year-old Meryl Streep’s January 2012 cover.)

“My life circumstances are absolutely perfect, the condition of my soul is spiritually and mentally good. My physical condition is also very good, which is not really a surprise, since I never took drugs or smoked cigarettes. Thus, I’m physically healthy, and I’m happy!”

However, in the accompanying interview she adds, “I completed my last tour at the age of 69. I really saw it as my farewell tour. What I did on that tour was on the edge of what I physically was able to, and wanted to, do. And these short outfits, they are not how I see myself anymore at this time. So, I won’t do that anymore, I have ended it.”

Healthy aging is at the forefront of Ms. Turner’s continued success. But rather than rest on past achievements,the icon is looking forward to reinventing herself and staying very much in the cultural zeitgeist. She is just waiting for the right material — modern, but “rooted in her own musical tradition.”

What is apparent is that at 73 years of age, Tina Turner is not looking back, but looking forward, studying German and enjoying her life, in which she says she is “happier now, than she ever was”.


All images are taken by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer. Copyright by Vogue Germany.

 

Quartet is Latest Nursing Home Movie

Maggie Smith, our favorite dowager countess on PBS’ Downton Abbey, is on the big screen this month in Quartet, a film set in a home for retired performers, musicians, and especially opera singers.

Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut is the movie version of a British play of the same name that follows the residents of Beecham House as they prepare for their annual gala concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Ms. Smith plays a diva (what else?) with a caustic tongue and oversized ego, whose arrival at the home reunites her with her former colleagues.



Retirement home movies, if not trending, are proving to be very fashionable at present. Quartet comes on the heels of the wildly popular The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, an ensemble piece starring the aforementioned Dame Maggie Smith, along with Dame Judi Dench and Bill Nighy. That movie took place in an Indian retirement home and followed its residents and their (misguided) hopes and visions of an exciting and luxurious future. And while not finding quite what they expected, they find joy with each other in their less-than five-star accommodations.

Elderly actors in film are nothing new. Christopher Plummer is the oldest Academy Award recipient who, at 82, won a Best Supporting Actor award for his role in the 2010 film Beginners. What is a relatively new phenomenon is the advent of the elderly ensemble cast, where most, if not all, major characters are seniors — seniors who lead a rich and valuable lives. These ensemble pieces are very attractive to a movie-going population who is getting older as well. The movement is being called the “greying of the silver screen” and turn Hollywood’s obsession with youth on its head.

According to Nielsen’s National Research Group, the proportion of oldest moviegoers (65-74) has been steadily growing over the last few years. Great actors are no longer fading into retirement and are bringing their audience into the theaters with them.

Dustin Hoffman, himself now 75, discussed choosing the material, exploring aging and life’s “third act” in the February/March Issue of AARP The Magazine.

“During filming I was saying to everybody in the cast, ‘We’re all in the same act together.’ I always think it’s a three-act play and we’re in the second act—the third act being something that alters you, some infirmity or whatever. And somebody responded, ‘Maybe it’s a Shakespearean play with five acts.’ I liked that. Maybe I’ve got three more acts.”

Super Bowl Commercial Features Seniors Who "Viva Young"

Super Bowl commercials are as anticipated as the big game itself. This year’s offerings included Taco Bell’s 2013 Game Day commercial, “Viva Young,” part of their Live Más (Live More) campaign.

In the commercial, after being tucked in for the night, some elderly residents of the Glencobrooke Retirement Home go out for some after-hours debauchery to a very literal spanish translation of the apt fun. song, “We Are Young.” The group and their leader, Bernie Goldblatt, go on a shenanigan-spree that includes pool trespassing and setting off firecrackers. Next, they go clubbing (along with the requisite make-out sessions), Goldblatt gets a tattoo and they all finish the night at Taco Bell before returning to the nursing home at dawn.

We first meet the 87-year-old Bernie Goldblatt in the online teaser trailer called, “Grandpa Goes Wild.” In it, Mr. Goldblatt takes to the football field in his motorized scooter — tearing it up, popping wheelies and evading security.

According to the spot’s agency, Deutsch L.A., “the “Super Bowl delivers more than 110 million viewers and that is one of the most-watched broadcasts on TV each year ...it fills nine of the top 10 television program slots in history.”

"Our hope is that our consumers will see themselves in this ad," Brian Niccol, chief marketing and innovation officer at Taco Bell Corp., said of the Super Bowl spot.

It’s a good way to go. As the population ages, target consumer markets are getting older. If 50 is the new 30, this Taco Bell spot pushes the notion that 80 can be the new 20, and that life doesn’t need to stop or even slow down as we age.

So what do you think? Taco Bell is not the first to feature “young” seniors in advertising. I recall Coke and Pepsi using the same tactic, albeit with a slightly tamer seniors. There is evidence that healthier living promotes aging well and a “Cocoon” -like life can be waiting for us as we get older.

Experiencing the Sandwich Generation (Part II)

In this second of two blog posts, contributor Renata JL talks about saving your sanity and creating a balance while living in the Sandwich Generation.

My mother is an eighty-something year old widow who is relatively healthy and vital enough to live on her own. I started my family a little later in life, so my two children are still in elementary school. That means that I am, many times, caught in the middle, caring for both ends of my family’s generational spectrum. Most of the time, I like to think that I handle the pressures of care with efficiency and aplomb. But sometimes, especially during a health crisis, I find myself stretched pretty thin. And I know I’m not alone. Welcome to the world of the Sandwich Generation.

The term “Sandwich Generation” was first coined in by journalist Carol Abaya in 2006 to describe the growing segment of society simultaneously caring for both their children and their aging parents.

In a previous post, I wrote about my aging mother’s unexpected trip to the hospital and my subsequent scrambling to make sure all of my responsibilities would be met. It turns out her hospital stay (with its requisite daily visits) was not the ideal situation, but between Medicare and her insurance, the cost of her care was minimal and she had the around-the-clock attention she required. As her release date approached, we were aware that Medicare would pay for the first 20 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility, so with the help of the Caregiverlist’s Nursing Home Star Ratings system, we were able to find her a quality Nursing Home in her area. When those initial days are complete, the real challenges of being a member of the Sandwich Generation begin.

There is, of course, the financial stress involved with caring for my children and my parent, while planning for my own retirement. In this economy, I fully expect that I will need to help support my children for a longer time. Couple that with spiralling living costs, and I’m not sure how much I will have left over to help cover the costs of caring for mom, whether through the costs associated with Assisted Living or Senior Home Care. While the financial costs and responsibilities are fairly cut-and-dried, the emotional stress is the one that can really take its toll. Resentments can easily build between siblings dividing responsibilities, children losing the attentions of a parent to grandparent, and the senior realizing their diminishing independence. There are things that I plan to do to help prevent, or at least alleviate some of the stress involved with generational caring.

Here are some suggestions I found helpful:

Don’t Go It Alone
According to AARP, 29% of adult Americans spend 20 hours per week on caring for their parent(s). This growing demographic means and increased presence on the internet. Web sites catering to the Sandwich Generation abound. Look to them for ideas and support. Sites like sandwichgeneration.org, and AARP have a wealth of information about resources and support.

Talk About It
Gather family together, including children, parents, spouses. If you have siblings (even those living distantly), request that everyone participate in the plan of action. Communication is key and my help minimize or prevent feelings of resentment. Encourage everyone to voice their concerns and work together to find solutions.

Don’t Forget About You
If you are the primary caregiver for both children and parent(s), it may be difficult to carve out time for yourself, especially if you work outside the home as well. Although it may be difficult, you must treat the care you give yourself with as much gravity as the care you give to others. If you are fatigued, depressed or fall ill, you won’t be able to care for those around you. This one rings especially true because, as you know, we here at Caregiverlist are big advocates of “Caring for the Caregiver”.

The future will be demanding, I’m sure. I feel a little like I felt before giving birth, knowing that I would soon be entrusted to care for another human being and not sure if I was up to the task. That worked out somehow — some days are more demanding than others — but with the help of my family, my community and Caregiverlist’s resources, I hope to rise to the challenge of my new caregiver role with as much grace as I’m able to muster.

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We at Caregiverlist, along with the rest of the world, were deeply saddened by the December 14th, 2012 events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. We offer our sincerest condolences to all those affected — family, friends, neighbors. This tragedy reminds us that, in the midst of all the challenges we face as part of the Sandwich Generation, we are truly lucky to have the ongoing opportunity to care for our loved ones.

Geriatric Care Management Can Deliver Quality Care

Geriatric Care Managers are trained professionals who help families plan and manage senior care services. At some point in your lifetime, either you or one of your family members or friends may need extra assistance from a trustworthy, knowledgeable person to help them with their health care needs and household management.

Geriatric Care Managers assist seniors through the sometimes rough waters of senior care and map out a plan for the later years in life. Geriatric Care Managers are certified individuals who meet with seniors and their families and assess and then advise as they determine the best path or care or treatments needed. They then organize your life, and bring family members together to form a unit and prepare a plan for the good and bad times to come. This is especially valuable when there are complicated care needs, memory loss or adult children do not live near their parents.

Aging is never easy and many people are not well versed in how to handle this new phase in life. What does Medicare cover? What about Medicaid if you run out of private funds to pay for senior care needs? What if you are diagnosed with memory loss or another age-related illness? Where do you receive the best care and how do you plan for end-of-life care?

A good Geriatric Care Manager can help navigate the way to aging gracefully and enjoying the later years in life which we all work so hard to be able to enjoy. I had the opportunity to work as an aspiring Care Manager with some of the best professionals in senior care as part of a Florida geriatric care management service. I was taken under the wing of a true compassionate real-life miracle worker. She showed me how to work with families and not judge or change what each person wants.

One of the main things I learned is that people have different ideas or what their lives should be and the best way to help them is to ensure they have the proper structures in place to live safely. Last year I was given my very first case with a lovely little woman who had just suffered the loss of her husband of 60 years when he passed away on New Year’s Eve. He had been her caregiver who she had relied on fully as her adult children were living more than one thousand miles away. Her husband’s death was devastating for her but she did not show it on the outside.

The first time I met her she was cheerful and a gracious hostess, offering me frozen chocolate from her freezer and offering me her best wine. It wasn’t until spending the next few weeks with her that I realized just how life-changing losing her husband was for her. While she lived in Florida, her daughter lived a few states north and hired our service to be her Care Manager to help her in this major life transition. Her daughter’s work and family responsibilities prevented her from being able to be present full time and this is another example of when a geriatric care manager can be a valuable service to smooth out transitions as we age and lessen further disruptions to our families.

My sweet little senior lady had secretly stopped showering, was barely eating, and would try to give away everything in her home. This was her way of coping with the loss of her husband. The daughter thought it would be best to move her up north to live with her. So my new task was to help sort out her personal belongings in a non-invasive way, help her pack, organize the travel arrangements for her move, organize medications, set-up insurance and…..facilitate the sale of her husband’s belongings (he was a painter, body builder, wrestler,salesman, and magician!). They had many interesting possessions. In helping with this project I learned all about their life together and had the opportunity to help a family in need. We moved her up north with her daughter after 1 month of working with her and she currently lives there safely with her family.

Geriatric Care Managers are one way to receive assistance from those who have vast experience in senior care and understand both the emotional and physical challenges of aging. They know what works, what doesn’t work, and which course is the best to take. In a way--- hey get you there faster. Senior care options include nursing homes (Medicare only pays for up to 100 days in a nursing home after a major medical event), senior home care and moving to an Assisted Living community. Geriatric Care Managers can assist with all aspects of senior care and also inform families about the financial requirements of each senior care option as well as connect you with the top medical providers in your area.

Guest Blogger: Caregiverlist Sherpa Lauren Tyner.  Caregiverlist’s Job Applicant service connects senior care companies with the highest quality professional caregivers, Certified Nursing Aides and Certified Home Health Aides using proprietary technology to deliver efficiencies to the recruitment and hiring process. Caregiverlist’s Sherpas guide senior care companies on the best way to use the interactive hiring tools.

Lauren Tyner is in the photo below next to the Caregiverlist office, just under the real bridge to nowhere with Caregiverlist Sherpas Patrick Welch and Samantha Franklin on each side of her.

 

Caregiver Sherpas - Happy Holidays from Caregiverlist

 

Happy Holidays from Caregiverlist's Caregiver Sherpas!  Stop by and visit us if you are ever in downtown Chicago - we are right on the Chicago river (or wave at us if you pass by in a tour boat - you'll see our banner on the window).

Caregiverlist pioneered proprietary technology for the senior care industry - created by senior care professionals - all of our Caregiver Sherpas have experience in the senior care industry and enjoy making senior care more efficient for senior care companies and senior caregivers.

 

Medicare Open Enrollment: Going on Now til December 7th

Medicare, the health insurance benefit for all Americans once we turn age 65, offers an annual "open enrollment" period, the same as employer-based health insurance plans.  The open enrollment for Medicare just opened in October and will stay open through December 7, 2012.

Medicare does not pay for all the care needs a senior may require.  For instance, Medicare does not pay for ongoing care in a nursing home for seniors.  However, if a senior on Medicare has experienced a major medical event such as a stroke, hip replacement or heart attack and has been hospitalized, they will most likely receive approval from a medical doctor for rehabilitation in a nursing home.

As nursing homes have become an extension of a hospital stay, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a nursing home but the benefit may not cover all the daily costs.  Caregiverlist provides the only resource with the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide, to assist seniors and their families to determine the best nursing home for their rehabilitation needs.

Long-term care insurance is an additional option seniors may want to consider, to have a way to pay for the additional nursing home care, should the need arise.  Medicaid, which very low-income seniors will switch to, from Medicare, does pay for ongoing care in a nursing home.  As nursing homes may costs as much as $300 to $400 per day, sometimes seniors will exhaust their personal finances and will "spend down" to qualify for Medicaid.  This is never something we want to think about but Americans can know that they will always be cared for in a nursing home, even if they do not have their own personal funds.  Review the Medicaid financial qualifications in your state to understand the income limit for qualifications.  There is the anti-spousal poverty law which allows one spouse to maintain certain assets while the other spouse spends-down to qualify for Medicaid.  This can unfortunately be a need if one spouse has memory loss which requires around-the-clock care.

Caregivers should remind seniors to check their Medicare options during the Open Enrollment period.  Seniors with the Medicare Advantage plans which provide the private H.M.O.'s or P.P.O.'s, should just check in to make sure their plan is still the best option.  Remember, just as with health insurance plans provided for those who are not yet seniors, benefits may change from year to year.

Visit the Medicare.gov website to access a tool that will help in comparing options for Part D drug coverage plans and Medicare Advantage plans, based on where the senior resides.  Seniors may also call, toll-free:  800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227.  You may also want to access Consumer Reports' review of Medicare plans.  Seniors may also request senior care services in their area to understand the costs of care and plan ahead.

 

  

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Senior Caregiver and C.N.A. Pay

 

Senior care has been identified as a top employer for the coming decade, as the large Baby Boomer generation moves into their retirement years and will live longer lives while needing more care.

Part-time and full-time senior caregiving positions are available as senior care companies hire new caregivers and Certified Nursing Aides each week in order to keep up with their staffing needs.  Seniors may quickly be discharged from a hospital or nursing home after a stroke or hip replacement and require more care.

Senior caregiving delivers fulfillment beyond a paycheck but at the same time, a paycheck is important.

Caregiverlist provides a detailed overview of caregiver and C.N.A. pay rates in their C.N.A. and Caregiver Pay Guide.

This comprehensive guide allows you to review caregiver and nursing assistant pay rates in each state.  You may apply for a caregiver job in your area in our Career Center and also create a customized caregiver resume.  Certified Nursing Assistants can apply for a Certified Nursing Aide job near them.

Seniors who are still active and are looking to earn some extra income may also consider becoming a companion caregiver.  Many times seniors with memory loss just require companion caregivers to keep their daily activities on track.

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