Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. 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 features vibrant, yet calming sunset from a tropical place. Thank you 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.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Vibrant Sunset

"Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening."

Mohandus K. Ghandi

Look Up Symptoms, Diseases and Medications Using the iTriage App: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Sometimes when seniors have a cough or other symptoms of a common cold, we fear that it may be an underlying factor of something more serious. Using the iTriage app, senior caregivers can search symptoms to figure out potential issues in health and schedule doctor's appointments appropriately. While searching symptoms and self-diagnosing doesn't replace the opinion of a healthcare professional, iTriage can help caregivers and their senior clients get an idea of what may be causing their symptoms so that they can approach their doctor's appointment with some background knowledge and have an informed conversation with their doctor. 

The app itself features a keyword search as well as a figure of the human body, allowing users to click on a problem area such as the stomach or the leg to search symptoms in that particular body part. Caregivers can click on "ankle pain," for example, and see common causes, such a "arthritis (joint swelling)." Once a cause is selected, the user sees a description of the condition, further symptoms, treatment options and the option to find medical help nearby. Medications are searchable in the same way, with lists of conditions that they treat and instructions on what to do in case of an overdose or a missed dose. 

The doctor search based on nearby locations allows caregivers to find medical attention most convenient for their senior clients and in the speciality area that they may need. 

The app is available for free for Android and Apple platforms.  

"Do you have symptom questions? Search for health answers with iTriage Health, Doctor, Symptom & Healthcare Search app. Find medications, diseases, and medical locations and instantly get answers to your questions on your iOS device. Created by two ER medical doctors, iTriage gives you quick access to a huge healthcare & medical database in your pocket."

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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

 

Living and Aging Well at Home

Caregiverlist welcomes Dr. Doris Bersing, PhD. as our new Home Care Expert. Dr. Bersing is the founder and president of Living Well Assisted Living at Home, Dr. Bersing discusses how to successfully age in place at home. If you have any questions regarding the elderly aging at home, especially those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, feel free to post your questions here.

How to Have More Choices to Age Well at Home?

We all hope to age in a healthy way and most of us avoid thinking about frailty or problems before they arise. However, If we force ourselves to plan, we can make informed choices.

90% of people want to live in their own homes. This has been true for all of our history. Moving out of home to an “age segregated community” is a modern phenomenon. Maximize your choices by planning your estate, your home, your health, and your wellness.

To Maximize your Choices:

Do some planning: financial and legal

It’s no surprise that with age, seniors often experience increased limitations, the loss of certain abilities and require more assistance with the activities of daily living. It is equally unsurprising that one’s finances largely influence the types of services and long-term care available to that individual. An experienced financial planner and long term care specialist can provide you with invaluable advice on money issues and more, to help you find the appropriate solution to your particular situation.

Aging well at home usually involves not just healthcare but money and legal matters, as well. That might include estate planning, getting legal forms such as advance health care directives and power of attorney for finances in place, and understanding the coverage and policies -such as Medicare and Social Security benefits – available to you of the person in your care.

Look at your home

Is it safe? Can you make it more safe? Can you use new techologies to enhance your wellbeing. These technologies are improving everyday and offer real benefits. Look into Universal Design options. Can your home be made more suitable for your changing needs? Does it make sense to move to smaller home and use the extra money to pay for your support?

Be active

It matters less what you do, but that you do something that is meaningful to you and that uses your mind, spirit and body. No need to commit to one thing – change your mind as often as you want, and give any challenge a try!

Take charge of your health

Your Doctor may know best, but does she know and hear you. Do you have a system for understanding what you need to do to care for yourself and for learning about recommended procedures? Are your medical records and Powers of Attorney in a safe place? NOBODY should face serious medical decisions alone. We all need advocates. Medications are potent (that’s why they work). Learn about them and find ways to take them as prescribed.

Tackle your fears about memory changes

Learn about what things you need to worry about and what you can adapt to. Don’t panic! Don’t let others around you panic! – But don’t deny and pretend you are OK, if you are having problems. Changes to your environment and social support can make all the difference. Talk to your friends, doctors and family. Dementia is not a new problem – humans have been having memory loss for centuries – let’s learn from our predecessors.

Be open to smart technology

There are numerous studies, projects, and research aiming to use integrated information technology systems to support and enhance the health, safety and social connectedness of older people living in their own homes. Currently, there are many exciting technologies being developed to help seniors to stay independent and aging in place are many, some of these are: home-monitoring systems, telemedicine devices, tracking systems like GPS shoes and GPS watches, electronic walking aids, intelligent phones, and even robotic nurses.

Never give up your home without weighing all the choices

Is this the right time? Be curious about why you are making life changing decisions, weigh the consequences, think about your motivations, get input from trusted people. It’s rarely a good idea to make a life transition when grieving, adapting to a change in health status, or because you are appeasing anybody. It somebody tries to persuade you to make big changes during these times, question their motivation. The old choices of struggling alone at home or moving to an institution are being replaced by new ones. Stay on the cutting edge. Learn what the options are, participate in creating those options. Make your voice heard. 

Senior Games are the Olympics of the Older Set

The National Senior Games 2013 presented by Humana come to a close in Cleveland on August 1.

Over 10,000 athletes 50 years and older compete, although most of the competitors are between the ages of 65 and 80.  The athletes represent all 50 states as well as nine countries, including Angola, Germany, Latvia and Russia.

This year, legendary singer, actor and writer Pat Boone rocked the basketball court, helping to lead his team, the Virginia Creepers, to victory over rival team the South Carolina's Darlington Generals, with a final score of 38 to 25 at Saturday’s game.

The “Senior Olympics” are held every two years on a national level. The first games were held in 1987 in St. Louis, MO. At those games, 2,500 seniors competed in front of 100,000 spectators. State games are held throughout the year.

The Games, the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors, are comprised of 19 core events including:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball
  • Shuffleboard
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field and more

and team sports:

  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball


In 2011, Dorothy Fadiman, with her production company Fadiman Social Documentaries, produced SHATTERING the MYTH of AGING: Senior Games Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles, Competition and Community. The 8 minute film follows a 74 year old Louisville, Kentucky man as he and his fellow seniors compete in Olympic-level sports. The documentary celebrates the human spirit and agrees with Dylan Thomas that we “...not go gentle into that good night.




We at Caregiverlist champion Healthy Aging and believe that senior caregivers and their clients can work together to achieve stronger bodies, healthier minds and relieve stress with regular exercise. Who knows? Perhaps Senior Games 2015 is on your horizon.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. 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 features Dominican Republic's tropical sunset. Thank you 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.

Caregiverlist Stress Relief Photo Sunset

"The less you talk, the more you are listened to."

Abigail Van Buren

uHear App Evaluates Hearing: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

As we age, our senses and abilities often seem to dull- glasses prescriptions get stronger, canes and walkers become commonplace and hearing aids might be necessary for the first time. Senior caregivers can download the uHear app for their smartphone to help evaluate the level of their senior client's hearing and determine if a doctor's appointment about the matter would be beneficial to maintain a normal level of hearing. 

The app consists of three main sections to test hearing ability and provide education on how humans hear and hearing health. The first section addresses hearing sensitivity, and asks the user to put themselves in a quiet environment, wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds. The app then plays a series of sounds at varying pitches and frequencies and asks the user to tap the screen whenever they hear a sound. At the end of the test, a graph appears showing how the responses fall in terms of mild to severe hearing loss and at what pitches the loss occurs. 

The next section provides testing for speech in noise. It first asks the user to adjust the volume level of a person giving a speech to a comfortable listening level. Then background noise is added to the mix and the user must adjust it to the loudest level acceptable for them to still be able to listen to the speech. Results from this test show how well the user tolerates background noise while still being able to listen to a focused noise. 

A questionnaire makes up the final portion of the testing in the app and it provides a guided self evaluation of hearing ability. It suggest, for example, that if people often ask you to turn down the TV because it's too loud or if you must ask people to repeat themselves often to hear you, you may want to have your hearing professionally checked.  

Currently the app is available for free on Apple platforms for senior caregivers and their senior clients. 

"Hearing Loss Myth: Hearing loss affects only "old people" and is merely a sign of aging.

Actually it is the reverse of what most people think. The majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.

uHear™ is a hearing loss screening test which allows you to test your hearing to determine if it is within normal range, or if you have a potential hearing loss."

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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. 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 features purple violets that are bright and blooming. Thank you 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.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the week Violets

"There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes."

William J. Bennett

Fooducate App Offers Nutrition Label Scanning and Tracking: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Planning meals for yourself and your senior clients while adhering to dietary restrictions or simply trying to eat healthy can be tough. Food products that seem healthy may be deceiving, like a low-fat item with additional salt or sugar than the original. 

Senior caregivers can take the mystery out of reading labels at the grocery store with the Fooducate app. Instead of staring at a label and analyzing all of its parts before deciding whether the food inside the box is dinner-worthy, Fooducate offers a label scanning service that provides a brief breakdown of the nutritional value of a product. By holding your smartphone over the barcode of a product, you can see the calories per serving, warnings of high levels of sugar, fat, artificial coloring and a letter grade for the product showing how healthy (or unhealthy) it is. 

This app can be particularly useful when determining between different brands of a similar product. A brand name product might have surprisingly more fat than a generic version, for example. It also provides options for gluten free or other dietary restrictions to help alert you of products you should avoid. Alerts appear with a red exclamation mark next to them, while positives of a product appear with a green check mark. The product below, for example, is 100% whole wheat, which provides more fiber than similar white crackers. 

The app also offers nutrition tracking services through logging what you eat throughout the day. The scanning option may be used to log food as well as simply searching a dish name, such as "scrambled eggs." Foods you can be marked at "liked" or "disliked" for future reference. 

Currently it is available for Apple products and Android. There is a free version as well as a paid version with more features. 

"GET FOODUCATED!

Lose weight by eating REAL food! Fooducate grades your food, explains what's really inside each product, and offers healthier alternatives. We've got the largest database of UPC-based nutrition information - over 200,000 unique products and growing."

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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.

-Paige Krzysko

 

Senior Health's New Song

Senior health. Is this something you think about everyday?  Depending on your age, it may or may not cross your mind regularly. However, it will naturally become you will seriously need to think about. As everyone knows, age wears down physical and mental capabilities-- sometimes a lot quicker for others. Just maintaining a proper healthy lifestyle sometimes isn't enough. Thus, people explore other avenues of treatment and therapy. Would music ever cross your mind? It will now. As Bob Marley once said, "One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." But, can music really relieve pain?

Music may infuse physical and social benefits for seniors. The University of California, San Francisco examines this by implementing choirs in senior centers in the area. Choirs invite those 60 years and wiser to join, with and without singing experience. During the course of the year, the project will assess cognition, mobility and the wellbeing of the seniors.

Therapy through music continues its history.  Friedrich Nietzsche, a musical philosopher of the 19th century, said, "We listen to music with our muscles." This could have been the inspiration to begin studying music and human health. Oliver Sacks, a British-American Neurologist, studies the power of music.  He mentions that music can be therapeutic especially for patients with a form of motor or impulse disorder. Sacks findings that support music's beneficial effects impacted patients with Tourrette's and Parkinson's.   

Nursing homes can provide care for seniors with unique needs.  Find nursing homes near you on Caregiverlist.com. Those looking for nursing homes can search locally and find daily costs and Caregiverlist's Star Rating. Selecting the right nursing home means providing the proper care based on your senior's needs to live comfortably.

The University of California, San Francisco hopes that this program will improve senior's mental retention as well as getting them out of their homes and socializing. A music program for seniors still needs to be assessed based on the results after this year. However, it could potentially become one outlet for those who enjoy the gift of music. "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” -Plato

Sequester's Effect: Senior Hunger in America

On March 1, 2013, sequestration-fueled across-the-board federal budget cuts have had a profound impact on on the most vulnerable of our society, American seniors.

Nearly one in every 12 seniors over the age of 60 is “food insecure”, according to new research released this week in partnership with the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). That number represents 4.8million seniors, double the number of elderly going hungry in 2001.

Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, estimates that the number of food insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50% when the youngest of the Baby Boom Generation reaches age 60 in 2025.

But even in the face of these staggering numbers, budget cuts have caused the vital programs for seniors in need, like Meals on Wheels, to cut back their assistance. In a new survey released by MOWAA, here’s how the budget cuts are affecting Meals on Wheels programs around the country:

  • Programs have been forced to cut, on average, 364 meals per week;
  • Over 70% are establishing or adding to existing waiting lists;
  • Programs have increased their waiting lists on average by 58 seniors;
  • 40% of programs responding have eliminated staff positions; and
  • One in six are closing congregate meals sites or home-delivered meal programs.


Credit: Meals on Wheels Association of America

Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of the Meals On Wheels Association of America, testified on June 19, 2013 at a U.S. Senate hearing on senior hunger and poverty. At that hearing Ms. Hollander explained that for every $1 invested in Meals on Wheels programs, Medicaid sees a $50 savings because seniors are able to remain healthy and independent in their homes as opposed to needing nursing home care.

Caregiverlist has long championed Meals on Wheels, the national organization dedicated to eradicating senior hunger in America through community-based programs. In addition to providing what could be a senior’s only hot meal for the day, Meals on Wheels, in many instances, provides the only opportunity for human interaction to many elderly shut-ins. To learn more about MOWAA or to locate a local Meals on Wheels program, visit the MOWAA website.

Senior caregivers are on the front lines of helping the elderly to eat right as a component of healthy aging. You can learn additional crucial caregiving skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course.

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