Should Caregivers Wear Scrubs?

Caregiver scrubs as uniforms are clear indications of professionals on the job. Your elderly client can more easily identify you as a caregiver if you present yourself in a caregiver uniform. We think scrubs are ideal for the senior caregiver because they are comfortable, allow for a range of motion and are easily cleaned. And scrubs are a universal symbol identifying the wearer as a member of the healthcare profession.

CNAs and healthcare professionals are in the business of providing care. A set of stylish scrubs can also provide comfort for your senior client by distracting them from any unpleasantness by giving them something else to focus on.

Caregiverlist has partnered with Scrubs Magazine, the nurse’s guide to good living, to offer a Scrub of the Month as a Grand Prize in our Refer-A-Friend program. If you know someone who has what it takes to be a great caregiver (you know the type — good work ethic, reliable, and above all, empathetic), fill out the form and we'll be happy to set them on a career path that offers the ability to make a huge difference in someone's life.

This month’s scrubs are from Cherokee Uniforms. As you can see, they are smart, chic, comfortable, professional and FUN! They are easy to clean and they let the world know that you are skilled and ready to work. You could win the whole outfit — top, bottoms and shoes, when you refer a friend to Caregiverlist.

What do you think? Do you wear scrubs in your daily work as a senior caregiver? If you don’t, what is stopping you?

Nursing Home Dental Care May Be Lacking Report Shows

Nursing homes care for senior residents who have a wide variety of care needs.  However, the level of staffing of Certified Nursing Aides to the number of senior residents they are caring for directly impacts the quality of care. You can review the C.N.A. to resident staffing levels in Caregiverlist's easy-to-use Nursing Home Star-Ratings directory.

Dental care for nursing home residents can impact their overall health.  This sort of makes sense, because everything needs more attention as we age and our new cells stop regenerating quickly to replace the old cells. And now we have a little research to back this up.

This means a new question to ask nursing homes when you are considering moving a senior into one for rehabilitation, should be:  "how often do you assist residents to brush their teeth?  And, "what do you do if they are resistance to dental care?"

A survey by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors says seven states have evaluated nursing home residents since 2011.  The findings show that there may be a growing epidemic in cavities, cracked teeth and gum disease in nursing home residents due to a lack of oral hygiene.

The association report gives the example of Kansas state, where nearly 30% of 540 older residents in 20 long-term-care facilities (that means nursing homes), had substantial oral debris on at least 2/3rds of their teeth and that regular oral care had become scarce.  

In Wisconsin, the report shows that about 31% of 1,100 nursing home residents from 24 different homes had teeth broken to the gums with visible roots, while about 35% had substantial oral debris.

Nursing home care includes dental care and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 requires brushing the teeth of nursing home residents who cannot do it themselves.  However, this is easier said than done.  As Certified Nursing Aides, or C.N.A.'s, know, if a senior is resistant to assistance, it can be very difficult to brush their teeth for them.  C.N.A.'s are required by law to be staffed at nursing homes to assist with the daily hands-on care.  

Seniors who have neglected their dental care for years prior to be admitted to a nursing home present an additional challenge.  Medicare does not pay for routine dental care.  Perhaps new technology can assist with finding a better way to assist C.N.A.'s to perform dental care in nursing homes.  The family members of seniors should be aware that they may have to step in to assist if the senior does not want to cooperate with the brushing of teeth and oral hygiene.

As assisting senior can be a challenging job, although always fulfilling, there is an ongoing demand for more Certified Nursing Aides - apply for a companion caregiving job in your area (Part-time and Full-time positions are available) and learn about becoming a C.N.A.

 

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

Dementia (Memory Loss) May Show Early Signs

Memory loss actually may be first noticed by the person with the condition - meaning the person who is losing their memory realizes they are forgetting things and that something has changed even before anyone else does.  But as this is a confusing process, most people find it difficult to identify exactly what is happening.  This is why it usually is not until memory loss has escalated that it truly is identified.  Many seniors have needed senior caregivers for ten or more years as their memory loss has progressed.

The Alzheimer's Association conference in Boston this week presented studies which show that some types of cognitive concerns were more likely to have Alzheimer's pathology in the brain although dementia would only fully develop later.  People with more concerns about memory and organizing ability were more likely to have amyloid, a key Alzheimer's-related protein, in their brains.

As millions of dollars are poured into Alzheimer's research, in order to prepare for caring for what will become 5 million seniors with the disease, it still is not known exactly how the amyloid protein escalates in some individuals and causes the "tangles" that seem to be present when Alzheimer's disease is present.

Dr. Rebecca Amariglio, a neuropsychologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, presented the research which shows there are people who have their own sense that their memory and thinking skills are slipping.  This is being called the "subjective cognitive decline".

Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's center presented a similar preliminary study result.  However, the problem remains that even early testing for amyloid in the brain does not necessarily help as we still do not know exactly who will have this condition escalate into Alzheimer's disease and why.

Perhaps as technology advances, all the research along with the caregiving for seniors with memory loss can collide to help move us closer to identifying a cure for this disease.  The federal government's National Alzheimer's Project is a step in this direction.

 

 

Senior Caregiver Training

Senior caregivers assist seniors to remain independent in their own homes and sometimes also assist seniors living in assisted living communities and nursing homes.  This is because often nursing homes staff 1 Certified Nursing Aide to care for as many as 10 to 15 residents. Because of this, most seniors prefer to have one-to-one caregiving services in their own home while needing rehabilitation care or on-going senior care services.

Senior care services cannot always be administered quickly - senior caregiving, as experienced caregivers know, requires all the extra attention to detail you receive when enjoying a meal at a fine dining restaurant.  It cannot be done in fast-food style. Senior care also requires a wide variety of skills in order to understand how to cope with the aging process and promote dignity while providing caregiving services.

Caregiver training enables senior caregivers to provide quality care to seniors while maintaining a safe environment for themselves and for the senior.  By following consistent systems for the care routine, each caregiver can know what to expect and also quickly document when a care condition changes.

Certified Caregiver training verifies a caregiver has been taught the basic caregiver training skills.

Understanding how to take proper Care Plan notes, how to make objective observations and how to safely assist with bathing, meals, maintaining a clean and safe environment and making sure germs and infections are not spread.  Even tasks such as hand-washing, which is the #1 way to stop infections, must be done correctly.  

Caregivers can learn the basic senior caregiver training skills (which includes how to safely wash your hands - did you know properly drying your hands is very important, for instance?), and be confident they will deliver quality care with an online training course meeting industry standards.

Begin a career in senior care by purchasing an online certified training course and apply for a part-time or full-time caregiving job position to receive additional job training by a professional senior care company. Review the caregiver training requirements in your state as many states now do require basic training for professional senior caregivers and purchase the industry's approved certified caregiver training.

Senior Caregivers Win $$ -- Contest Extended

Senior caregivers are unsung heroes. Professional caregivers allow the elderly to age in place longer, they make life in assisted living and nursing homes possible, and they provide the support and attention that's vital to a growing older population.

Caregiverlist wants to "show the love" to the professional senior caregiver. That's why we've decided to extend our summer photo contest to honor professional caregivers. Caregivers, Certified Nursing Aides, and Certified Home Health Aides may submit a photo of themselves with a senior client to the Caregiverlist Summer Photo Contest for Senior Caregivers.

Submit a photo of you and your senior client. Show us the special bond that makes caregiving so much more than just a job. Then invite friends and family to vote for you and your senior. Contest winners will be chosen based on popularity via voting. Caregiverlist will award $100, $50 and $25 Amazon gift cards to the top 3 voted pictures and free t-shirts to the runners-up The contest runs through Monday, August 31, 2013. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Our Caregiverlist Facebook page hosts the contest.

Caregivers may submit their photo on Facebook and vote for caregiver and senior photo submissions here.

You can vote for your favorite caregiver and senior photo here.

Good luck!


Julie and the Grandmas.

Caregivers also may always submit a job application on Caregiverlist to be considered for part-time, full-time and live-in caregiving jobs and find online caregiver training.

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.

 

Illinois CPR Classes: Certify with Windy City CPR

Emergency situations require first instinct action. Almost 383,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur every year and 88% of those occur in the home, according to the American Heart Association. How prepared will you be in this situation when it can happen be your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or the senior you care for?

Senior caregivers in Illinois—Indiana and Kentucky, too—can sign up for CPR classes through Windy City CPR to be prepared for life threatening situations. Classes can be taught at your location or at Windy City CPR.  Read more on this Chicago training center.  

BLS for Healthcare Providers (Basic Life Support)

$50.00 per person.

4 hour class.

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic Eternal Defibrillator (AED)
    • Use of the Bag-Valve-Mask (BVM)
    • Differences between 1 and 2 rescuer CPR
    • Infant portion is optional

 Heartsaver CPR/AED  

$45.00 per person.

2.5 hour class. 

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
    • The Infant portion is optional.

Heartsaver First Aid & CPR/AED

$85.00 per person.

4.5-5 hour class.

Objective:

    • CPR for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Choking for the Adult, Child and Infant
    • Use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
    • The Infant portion is optional.
    • First Aid Objectives: Epi-pen training, bandaging, bleeding, wound, choking, shock, seizure, fainting, burns, bites, stings, poison, temperature related conditions and more.

American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid (No CPR)

$45.00 Per person.

2.5 hour class but may vary depending on participants.

First Aid Objectives: Epi-pen training, bandaging, bleeding, wound, choking, shock, seizure, fainting, burns, bites, stings, poison, temperature related conditions and more.

American Heart Association Bloodborne Pathogens

$40.00 per person

AHA’s course uses the PACT acronym (Protect, Act, Clean, Tell) and slogan, “Make a PACT, Know How to Act,” to help students learn and easily recall bloodborne pathogens training.  

    • Protect themselves from exposure to bloodborne pathogens 
    • Act when exposed to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace
    • Clean themselves and the area when exposed to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace 
    • Tell or report any exposure to blood or blood-containing materials in the workplace

The caregiving job description may be limited on paper. But, when life calls for your immediate attention, will you be prepared?

Caregiver training and certification may be purchased through Caregiverlist.comThe 10-hour online course meets orientation training requirements for most states and was created by members of the senior care industry's national association.

More Than 1/3rd of Parkinson's Disease Patients Suffer From Dementia.

Parkinson's disease impacts many seniors in their later years, although some people are diagnosed with the disease when they are younger, such as actor Michael J. Fox.  This week, as 3,000 experts in neurology gathered for the annual European Neurological Society (ENS) meeting in Barcelona, Dr. Heinz Reichmann shared study results involving 1,331 German Parkinson's disease patients.

The Neurology Study Found:

  • 15% of Parkson's pateints suffer collaterally from dementia
  • 11% suffer from both dementia and depression
  • 9% suffer from dementia and psychosis
  • 40% to 50% suffer from depression

Nearly all Parkinson's sufferers are affected by dementia if they live long enough.  Research reveals that cognitive decline and depression often worsen the quality of life more than the movement disorder itself and may inhibit the positive results of other therapies.

Depression is mainly caused by the dismantling of those systems which release the monoamine neurotransmitters and the malfunctioning of the frontal lobe and the cerebral cortex.  

Motor impairments in Parkinson's are often associated with an incorrect concentration of dopamine in the blood plasma.

The neurology doctors are continuing to explore and research effective treatments which include psychosocial support, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, drug therapy as well as electroconvulsive therapy.

Senior caregivers assisting seniors with Parkinson's disease may consider continued caregiver training to keep up with the age-related illnesses.  

The European Societies for Neurology also announced a merger this week during the Barcelona meeting. Going forward the European Neurological Society and the European Federation of Neurological Societies are merging to be called the European Academy of Neurology.

 

 

 

 

Senior Fall Prevention in a Video Game

How many seniors fall each year? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency rooms in 2010, and the direct medical costs of falls was more than $28.0 billion. The death rates from falls among elderly men and women continue to rise.

Blue Marble Game Company’s Zoezi Park is a game developed by the Los Angeles company that uses cameras and sensors to create an onscreen avatar that mimics the player’s movements. The game then provides exercises and activities that improve balance, coordination and physical strength. The data can be accessed by a healthcare professional online. Zoezi Park can be used anywhere there is an internet connection — senior centers, rehab facilities or in the privacy and comfort of a senior’s own home.

Blue Marble’s goal is to merge cutting-edge technology with the fun of gesture-based video gaming to positively impact the health and wellbeing of those older adults at risk of or rehabilitating from a fall.

The Zoezi Park project was previously supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, but since budget cuts, that funding is no longer available. The company, in conjunction with the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Three Two One Productions is using crowdfunding to raise their goal of $30,000 by July 13, 2013.

The following statistics are from the Zoezi Park Crowdfunding page at When You Wish:

  • 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day with 1 in 3 of them experiencing a fall each year.
  • Each fall costs $48,000 on average.
  • The leading cause of injury related death in people over 65 is falls.
  • Falls are a public health problem.

Senior caregivers can gain more caregiving safety skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course. Professional caregivers are taught the basic safety skills for transferring a senior and assisting with walking when they begin working for a senior care company. Those who would like to work as a professional caregiver should remember that Companion Caregivers only require personal experience (as often seniors with memory loss may require ongoing caregiving just to keep medications and daily activities on track). Caregivers and C.N.A.'s may apply for a caregiving job in their area to begin a career in senior care.

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