Online Caregiver Training Tools for Senior Caregivers

Digital caregiver training tools are now available for anyone desiring to become a professional senior caregiver.  The caregiver training can also be taken by family caregivers who want to deliver safe care to a loved one and also gain knowledge about a senior's care needs.

Online caregiver training allows a caregiver to learn the subject matter from anywhere.  In senior care, where work shifts can be day or night, this is a valuable benefit.

Caregiver Training University's Basic Caregiver Training course provides an understanding of the 12 content areas most needed in senior care and originally created by a senior home care industry association.  

Online senior caregiver course manuals provide the overview of each concept along with tip sheets, study sheets, a practice quiz and then a final exam which contains 3 questions for each concept to meet testing guidelines to confirm retention of the information learned.

How doe a caregiver take an online training course?

Simply sign-up online with a credit card, receive a log-in and password, review the course materials and take the exam.

What are the basic skills taught in a professional senior caregiver training course?

  • Caregiver Job Responsibilities
  • Communication Skills
  • Care Plan Notes
  • Personal Care and Toileting
  • Adaptive Equipment for Transfers
  • Basic Hygiene and Infection Control
  • Maintaining Clean and Safe Environments
  • Basic Personal and Environmental Safety Precautions 
  • Basic First Aid and Emergency Procedures
  • Client Personal, Financial and Health Information: HIPPA
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect: Identify and Understand

An online training course allows anyone who may be considering a career in senior care to understand the skills that will be involved.  Senior care involves both physical and emotional care.  Unlike many careers, a professional caregiver must take into consideration the need to manage a close relationship with their senior client.  Just as with any personal relationship, there can be happy and sad moments in caregiving and this means caregivers must have the necessary skills to handle situations in a professional manner.

Communicating with seniors effectively makes a difference in the quality of the caregiving.  Many times a senior may be experiencing loneliness because of a spouse or friend's death.  Imagine what it would be like if every month someone you know passes away - this begins to happen to everyone as we age.  Caregivers must learn how to connect with a senior and can do so better if they understand the generational differences.

Elder abuse actually occurs most frequently by a close loved one or relative and often is in the form of financial or emotional abuse.  Some states also hold accountable anyone who witnesses the abuse and does not report it.  This is just one more reason why professional caregiver training can be useful for any caregiver.

Become a certified caregiver by taking an online caregiver training course, at your own pace, and you will be able to deliver quality senior care to both friends, families and clients when working as a professional caregiver.  

To help get you started, here is a sample Caregiver Basic Training question:

Key situations when hand hygiene should be performed include:

A) Before touching a patient

B) After contact with blood, body fluids or excretions

C) After glove removal

D) All of the Above

Review the caregiver training course sections and sign-up for caregiver training to learn this answer and more.


Online Caregiver Training Delivers Caregiver Certification

How to Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Assistant)

Senior caregiving has become an industry segment, with professional in-home senior care service companies growing by more than 40% since 2008.  This comes as no surprise because the number of seniors continues to grow with the post-World War II Baby Boomers aging and living longer than any generation before them.  This leads to one job description within the senior care industry which has exceptional career growth and high demand for more workers: C.N.A. or Certified Nursing Assistant.

What is a C.N.A.?

A Certified Nursing Assistant has professional training to provide hands-on assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) and to monitor and record health care issues, such as vital signs and meals eaten.  A C.N.A. may also be called a nursing aide.  Many people consider them nurses and just use the term nurse to also mean a C.N.A.  This is an important reminder that C.N.A.'s works as part of the care team.  All Registered Nurses actually receive C.N.A. training during nursing school and many R.N.'s work as C.N.A.'s while they are in nursing school or during summer and winter breaks from nursing school.

What are the C.N.A. School Admission Requirements?

High-School Diploma or G.E.D.

C.N.A. Training:  The First Step in Becoming a C.N.A.

Certified Nursing Assistant training was created more than 35 years ago when Genevieve Gipson, a Registered Nurse working in Ohio, decided care would be better of nursing assistants had consistent training.  As patient care needs can vary in a hospital and nursing home, she found it extra difficult to not know what type of training a nursing assistant already had when care began.  She pulled together a team and eventually Congress passed legislation for C.N.A. training to be required in every state nationwide.  In addition, each state would need to manage the certification process by having nursing assistants pass a state exam to be certified as a nursing assistant after attending a state-approved C.N.A. training program.  Many states require a minimum of 120 hours of training but some states, such as California, require 150 hours of training to become a C.N.A.

Find a C.N.A. school in your state and review their costs and requirements in Caregiverlist's C.N.A. School Directory.

Here are some examples of C.N.A. School costs, length of programs to give you a quick snapshot:

       Name of C.N.A. School                           Cost        Length

Malcolm-X College in Chicago, IL:                                        $900.00        8 Weeks   

Florida Educational Institute in Miami, FL:                           $500              8 Weeks

Premier Choice Health Service in Columbus, OH:               $400              2 Weeks

Sterling Health Careers in Houston, TX:                              $800              4 Weeks

Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ:                                          $1,069           10 Weeks

Healthcare Academy of California, San Diego, CA:          $1,700          3 Weeks

Pasadena College of Health, Pasadena, CA:                       $1,200             4 Weeks

SacMed Training, Sacramento, CA:                                     $1,000             4 Weeks

Apollo, Portland, OR:                                                           $1,000             4 Weeks

Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville, WI:                   $947                4 Weeks

As you can see, most C.N.A. Schools cost around $1,000 and provide training for one month, with additional 'In-service" training which means you'll work side-by-side another experienced C.N.A. at a hospital or nursing home.  Financial aide in the form of scholarships and grants are often available and sometimes employers will also pay for the nursing aide training.  Remember, the length of the nursing aide training program depends on if classes are offered part-time or full-time and the costs will vary slightly, too, depending on if the school is public or private.  Community college programs usually cost less if they receive state funding to offer the nursing assistant training program.  Always talk to a school admissions counselor for guidance and assistance with financial aide options.

Learn more about the certified nursing aide job description, take a practice C.N.A. test and apply for a companion caregiving job to gain experience working in the senior care industry - an industry predicted to be the top industry for jobs in the next decade.  Caregiverlist's job application allows you to reach multiple employers in your area, as hiring continues to be on-going since seniors may need immediate care upon hospital discharge after a stroke or hip-replacement or diagnosis with memory loss.  You may also obtain professional caregiver training through an online training course to learn basic caregiving skills before you start your C.N.A. training program.



Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Aide) by attending a C.N.A. School

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan: Take Action by March 7th, 5pm ET

Seniors in America receive Medicare health insurance upon turning age 65 and transfer to Medicaid instead of Medicare if they qualify as a very low-income senior.  Medicare does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home nor at home but it does provide for some prescription drug benefits.  Prescription medications are the 2nd highest financial obligation of senior care, after caregiving services.  Caregiverlist provides the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide to help Americans plan for senior care needs.  You may also view Caregiverlist's By-state Medicaid financial qualifications.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule to change the Part D prescription drug coverage available to seniors under the Medicare program.  The rule would remove the "protected class" status of anti-depresseants and immunosuppressant drug classes and potentially remove protection for antipsychotic drugs after year 2015.

Seniors with lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, psoriasis and other immune disorders may lose access to prescriptions that are needed to treat their conditions.  Likewise, patients and caregivers over the age of 65 facing major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions will have less access to the drugs they need and less flexibility to change drugs if their medication is not working.  

The National Alliance for Caregiving has joined other organizations in asking CMS to reject the proposed rule.  In partnership with the Healthcare Leadership Council, the National Alliance for Caregiving has created a letter to present lawmakers showing support of the current drug benefits for seniors and requesting no changes in this area for the Medicare drug benefit.  Review the letter, indicating no changes should be made based on a 90% approval rating of the Medicare Part D program and other positive benefits.

You may also post your note requesting Part D coverage remains the same by writing directly to Medicare here.

Last Day to Nominate a Senior for Home Instead's Salute to Senior Service Contest

Senior care home care agency Home Instead Senior Care, one of the largest senior home care companies, will close nominations today for their "Salute to Senior Service Contest".  The contest allows anyone to nominate someone who volunteers with senior programs to win a $5,000 donation for their designated non-profit charity as the national winner and local winners receive a $500 donation.

Senior home care agencies offer caregiving services to seniors in their homes and in assisted living communities and often coordinate all of the senior's care services, from food delivery to transportation to medical equipment.  Home Instead offices are located nationwide.

How to Nominate a Volunteer to Win the Home Instead "Salute to Senior Service Contest":

Entry and Voting Deadline Extended to March 2, 2014

National Winner's charity receives $5,000 donation

Local Winner's charity receives $500 donation

All Winners receive a Certificate and a Spot in the Contest's Wall of Fame

Submit Nominations - You May Include Up to 3 Organizations Where the Nominee Volunteered

Remember, anyone interested in working as a senior caregiver may apply for a part-time or full-time caregiving position in their area on, as there continues to be a demand for more professional caregivers.  Caregiver employment delivers both a paycheck and fulfillment by assisting a senior to enjoy a better life as they age-in-place.  Caregiver basic training starts the process of learning the skills used by professional caregivers.



Meditation Can Change Your Genes (for the Better)

Caregiving exposes all of us to a constant flow of new information on the latest medical discoveries.  But when the discoveries lead to a free way to make a change for the better, it is worth taking a moment to learn more. 

Deepak Chopra has shared a new year's resolution idea for making a few changes that can change our genetic makeup for the better.  New research in a growing field called epigenetics studies how gene activity changes according to one's lifestyle and environment.  And guess what?  Identical twins have a similar read-out of genetics at birth, as we would guess, but by the time they become seniors, their gene maps have become very different.  Our genetic materials are not a one-time ticket we receive, it turns out.  We change the look of the ticket according to the movie of our lifestyle.

Thoughts, feelings and stress levels affect gene activity.  And some behavioral changes can be passed on to the next generation through "soft' inheritance.  Ouch!

Positive and negative events can potentially be passed on.

Research shows that meditation specifically alters genetic activity almost immediately.  Meditation increases the levels of a protein called telomerase, which has been linked to slowing down the aging process in cells.

Turns out the connection between mind and body truly is deeper than what we see. 

Caregiver stress is one of the top issues seniors and their families must deal with as a senior begins the need for more care.  Find a way to meditate for both good health and relaxation!

Remember, too, that more senior caregivers are needed as senior's are living longer while needing caregiving services.  Apply to a senior caregiver job or refer-a-friend.

Senior Health Care Costs Decrease Centers for Medicare Announces

The Affordable Care Act (also called Obama Care) has reduced the costs of prescription drugs and expanded access to preventative care for seniors across the country.  While the politicians have made hay, as they say, with arguing about all the downsides of the new healthcare law, the reality is that I have yet to meet a healthcare professional who will not say off the record that the new law is a step in the right direction and a must.  Certainly as with anything that was sorely broken, it will take time to heal and patch up our healthcare system.  Some things will need to be massaged and changed. But a geriatric doctor also told said to me once, "imagine if every senior had health insurance their entire life".  He told me that he was astonished at the number of seniors who had never had any healthcare until they turned age 65 and went onto Medicare or Medicaid.  After he finished medical school and began his practice he realized that the majority of seniors with acute health issues simply had the issue because there had never been preventive care for them.

As we move into year 2014, Caregiverlist with be highlighting the good news about healthcare for seniors to make sure everyone can take advantage of innovations in health care, medications and lifestyle guidelines that can make for a happier and healthier life.

Affordable prescription drugs are vital for seniors and the new healthcare law delivers this in addition to more preventive care screenings.

FREE Preventive Care Screenings for Seniors Under Affordable Care Act Include:

  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Flu Shots
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Blood Pressure Screening

These preventive care tests can save lives - and over time will save money for the Medicare budget.  As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans remain stable and strong.  The Center for Medicare Services announced that the average Medicare Advantage premium in 2014 is projected to be $32.60 and the average prescription drug plan premium in 2014 is projected to be $31 per month, keeping with the same rate for the past four years.

The deductible for standard Part D plans will decline by $15 in 2014, to $310 and since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, average premiums for seniors are down by 9.8%.  All good news for seniors.

Speaking of good news, apparently the happiest people on earth live in Denmark.  And guess what they have that may lead to this happiness?  Free healthcare and education, both provided for by their government.  If you don't have to worry about how to pay for healthcare or your college education, that takes away a couple of the largest issues we have in the U.S.A. Maybe once the new healthcare law becomes old news, we can give America's politicians something new to argue about and ask them to find a way to pay for everyone's college education but we'll stick to focusing on senior care.

Plan ahead for your senior care needs and understand the costs of senior care by visiting the Caregiverilst Nursing Home Directory which includes the daily costs of a single or shared room in a nursing home along with the Medicare and Medicaid acceptance.  Remember, too, as you celebrate the new year, that there continues to be a need for more senior caregivers and nursing aides so refer anyone who may be looking for a new job to the Caregiverlist Career Center.

Happy New Year!

Senior Care Costs: Shop Early Says Senior Living Expert Lisa Sneddon in Forbes Magazine

Senior care needs can arise suddenly.  In fact, I bet if you asked your friends what their retirement plans are, they would share with you some places they plan on traveling, where they want to live and talk about hobbies they would like to develop.  But mentioning the type of senior care they have in mind will probably be last on the list, if it even makes the list.

American seniors should plan on a 30-year retirement, says Senior Living Expert's Lisa Sneddon in Forbes Magazine's Planning to Make The Right Move in Retirement article.  Lisa is a Caregiverlist advisor and owner of Senior Living Experts which assists seniors, at no charge, to evaluate and choose the right Assisted Living Community. 

Assisted living can be an enjoyable option for active seniors, especially now that builders are offering more innovative communities which include spas, gardens and regular activity excursions along with a continuum of care needs.  Some seniors may cringe when they hear that monthly rent for an assisted living community usually requires at least $4,000 to cover all the necessary extra items.  Supportive living communities may only require $2,500 or more.  However, Sneddon points out that maintaining a house that may have become too large for the senior, and paying for the property taxes, may already eat up this amount of money each month.

Remember, nursing homes really are for acute care needs and cost as much as $8,000 or more per month.  This gives some perspective to assisted living costs.

Learn more about assisted living communities in your area by submitting a request for a senior care plan and learn more about assisted living at Senior Living Experts.

Cartoonist Scott Adams: I Hope My Father Dies Soon

Dilbert cartoon followers know the humor the cartoon strip writer Scott Adams uses to entertain us with the happenings of daily office life.  The cartoon can always spark a life for those of us who show up for work at an office each day.  Now Mr. Adams has opened up to share the challenges of caring for an aging parent with his blog post titled:  "I Hope My Father Dies Soon".  

Mr. Adam's father, age 86, is bed-ridden and as Mr. Adams says, if his father were a cat, he would have been put to sleep long ago and nobody would have ever looked back.  It would have been the right answer for someone who has lost 98% of their mind and has lost their physical capabilities.  Instead, he pays $8,000 a month to stay in a state of perpetual suffering.  Mr Adams has a way with words and I encourage you to read his blog post on why he hopes his father will die soon.  

Senior care services can easily cost $8,000 a month for round-the-clock care.  And right now, Medicare and Medicaid really provide all or nothing senior care services when it comes to long-term care.  Medicaid, a service provided in conjunction with state and federal funds, provides ongoing nursing home care until someone dies but unfortunately that care usually must be provided only in a nursing home.  And a senior must qualify for this level of total care.  

Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care.  This means most of us will be in the same situation as the Dilbert cartoonist's father - we will have to privately pay for the senior care services and if we have not invested in long-term care insurance, these costs could become as high as $8,000 per month and burn through our life-savings.

The hope is that most seniors will only need part-time senior care to maintain their daily activities of living.  But insurance analysts suggest that everyone plan for 2 years of senior care services.

As the nation's baby boomer population continues to live longer and will increase by as much as 70% in the coming decade, the ethical issues around keeping seniors alive when there is no longer any quality of life will become one of the areas of concern for everyone.  Especially as we must tackle how to pay for senior care for both those who can privately pay and through our tax dollars for those who cannot privately pay for senior care and are on Medicaid care.

Mr. Adams shares that he feels doctor-assisted suicide should be an option, as none of us should be forced to die a long, slow painful death when it has already been confirmed we are at the end of our road.

How much does senior care cost?:

Nursing home care gives the best view into the real costs of full nursing care for seniors.  Here are some of the costs of nursing homes:

  • Alden Estates of Barrington in Barrington, Illinois costs $263 to $362 per day for nursing home care
  • Brighton Place in Spring Valley, California costs $165 per day for nursing home care
  • Mount Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria, Virginia costs $236 to $270 per day for nursing home care

Learn about nursing home care costs in the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory and share with us your comments on end-of-life care.








Caring for the Caregiver: Doughnuts Anyone?

 Senior caregivers must always take a moment to be sure they are taking care of themselves because senior caregiving brings many stressful components.  Even healthy seniors face emotional issues as they see their friends and loved ones pass away and confront the loss of physical capabilities as part of the aging process.  Caregiver employment remains a growing segment of the job market as family caregivers need to hire professional caregiving services in order to take a break and many seniors require professional senior home care services.

Doughnuts to the rescue!  Here in Chicago we have many new doughnut shops which seem to be popping up on every corner.  For just a few dollars, a caregiver can treat themselves to a smile and a taste of sweetness.  

And, for the more ambitious, or for those who don't have a cute doughnut shop around the corner, you can try making your own.  We found these yummy and healthy recipes at which include one for Mint-Mint Chocolate Donuts.......we Americans can spell it "donut", My Family Dish shares, while the British call it "doughnut".  Take a break from caregiving each day to care for yourself!



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