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.

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 lovely blossoms.  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 Blossoms

"He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery."

Samuel Smiles

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 tulips that may bring color into your life as a caregiver. 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 Tulips

"Opportunities are never lost. The other fellow takes those you miss."

Anonymous

 

Senior Care in Summer: Hydration

Seniors can easily fall victim to dehydration when their bodies don’t get the fluids they need. It is one of the top ten causes of hospitalization among the elderly and one of the most easily preventable. Now that the heat of summer is finally upon us, it’s important to realize just how vital the intake of pure water is on the health and well-being of those over 65 years of age.

As people age, their ability to detect thirst lessens. Therefore, if liquids are only taken when a person feels thirsty, they might not be getting the amount of water they need. And things only get worse in advanced age.

The European Hydration Institute reports that people aged between 85-99 years are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for dehydration than those aged 65-69 years.

High-risk seniors tend to be those who live on their own in the community. As such, they rely on their caregivers to recognize the symptoms of dehydration and take appropriate steps to combat it.

Signs of dehydration are:

  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Low or no urine output; concentrated urine appears dark yellow
  • Lack of tear drops
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lack of skin elasticity
  • Lethargy


Here are some tips from the EHI to help keep elderly people well-hydrated:

  • Fluids should be taken at mealtime and in between meals. Fluids should be readily available and physically accessible both day and night.
  • Caregivers should be familiar with dietary changes so that appropriate hydration recommendations can be made.
  • Alcoholic beverages may provoke dehydration and are not recommended.
  • Many types of foods contain a substantial amount of water. If an older person finds it difficult to increase the amount of fluid drunk, increasing the intake of foods, such as soups or fruit and vegetables, which typically contain 80-90 percent water, can help to maintain an adequate water intake as well as being good sources of essential nutrients.
  • Varying flavors and even colors can improve palatability of beverages offered and can help facilitate adequate hydration.


Caregivers should also keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and is essential to healthy aging.  During the dog days of summer, watermelon, popsicles and ices are also delicious means of keeping your senior well-hydrated and out of the hospital.

Senior caregivers can gain additional crucial caregiving skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course.

 

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 blue skies and interesting landscape. 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 of the Week

"Well done is better than well said."

Benjamin Franklin

National Nursing Assistant Week in its 36th Year

I’m not sure where my family would be without the help of our Certified Nursing Aide. The CNA provided by our Home Care Agency comes in twice a week to help care for my aging mother. She allows me to continue working outside the home and provides respite for the other family caregivers. She is a wonderful companion, making mom’s day brighter with her gentleness and humor. It gives me great peace of mind knowing that while I’m away, my mother is in the hands of a professional caregiver.

June 13 - 20 is National Nursing Assistants Week and a great opportunity to show your admiration, respect and appreciation for direct care worker in your life. Sponsored by the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants,  this week "provides a timely opportunity to foster and showcase the wonderful things that can happen for residents and workers when we join together."

Because of the aging of our population, qualified nursing assistants are in high demand. In 2010, there were more than 1.5 million people working as Certified Nursing Assistants nationwide. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

In honor of my mother’s CNA, I’m going to do a little more than just give her a Starbuck’s gift card (although I’ll do that as well.) I’m going to try to affect some real change by advocating for in-home care on a legislative level. Today, I’m signing the petition on Change.org , and entreat President Obama to finish what he started on December 15, 2011 — to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers.



At Caregiverlist, we applaud those who give so tirelessly of themselves by caring for some of the most vulnerable of our society. CNAs are the backbone of the senior caregiving community.

If you are now or are considering becoming a CNA, visit our Caregiving Career Center to build a resume, apply for a job or get the training you need to start you on a career path that really makes a difference in peoples’ lives.

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