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 an artist painting a fountain in the park. Thank you caregivers for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on www.Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Painter in the Park

"Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude."

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Words With Friends Encourages Mental Engagement: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Finding new and fun ways to keep your senior clients using their brains can be difficult. Mental engagement in day to day activity is crucial for preventing Alzheimer's disease as well as dementia. The Words With Friends app offers a simple way for caregivers and their senior clients to play a game to exercise their minds. 

Words With Friends reflects the board game Scrabble in that players are provided with letter tiles that they must combine to create words to place on the board. Each word placed on the board must connect with another previously played word by using at least one of the same letters. There are various point values assigned to the letters based on how difficult it is to place them in a word. The player with the most points when the letters run out at the end of the game wins. 

The app features many different play options, which makes it ideal for any situation. Users can find their real life friends on the app and challenge them to a game. The app notifies you of when your opponent has made a move so that you can view the outcome and make your next move. There is also an option to play a random opponent if none of your friends are interested in a game, or the option to "pass and play" which is perfect for senior caregivers and their clients to use and play against one another. The first player makes their move and then hands the device off to the second player to make their move, and this continues back and forth until the conclusion of the game. 

For seniors, unscrambling and rearranging the letters in the game to create the words engages the mind to help keep it sharp as they age. Try playing a game or two with your senior clients, either against one another or as a team coming up with words to play against an outside opponent. 

 

The Words With Friends app is available free for Apple and Android platforms. 

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 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 Home Care Can Take a Village

At Caregiverlist, we believe in “Caring for the Caregiver.” But just who is that senior caregiver?

As seniors choose more to age-in-place, their team of caregivers may grow. It might “take a village” to provide comprehensive care, so here are the possible villagers:

Family Caregivers
These are the unsung (and unpaid) senior caregivers. They provide the bulk of care for elderly family members. According to AARP and the Family Caregiver Alliance, the value of unpaid family caregivers will likely continue to be the largest source of long-term care services in the U.S., and the aging population 65+ will more than double between the years 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million in 2000. Most family caregivers are women. About one-in-seven adults in their 40s and 50s provide financial support to both an aging parent and a child, not to mention emotional and physical support. That may be why the “Sandwich Generation” is helping to make senior home care such a thriving industry.

Professional Caregivers or Home Attendants
Senior home care agencies provide reliable, vetted, professional caregivers to assist seniors with the activities of daily living (ADLs). This can include assisting with light exercise. providing much-needed companionship, and assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming. Many home care agencies prefer certification and many states have minimum training requirements. You can obtain the skills for senior caregiving by taking the 10-hour line Caregiverlist Caregiver Certification training course.

Home Health Aides
Primarily, HHAs assist with bathing, dressing and other hygiene needs, in addition to preparing meals and helping patients eat. In some instances, they might provide some simple medical assistance, such as tracking medication and changing dressings. HHAs do not hold licenses but many employers prefer them to be certified. The certification process requires passing an exam after 75 hours of training and skills testing.

Certified Nursing Aide or Assistant (C.N.A.)
C.N.A.s provide more extensive health and personal support to seniors in the home. Many times they are responsible for “total client care”, which includes physical and emotional care as well as home safety, comfort, and security. A C.N.A.’s duties might include checking vital signs, assist with performing range of motion exercises, with lifting or transferring the patient to a chair or wheelchair. A C.N.A. has to be certified and licensed through the state Department of Health in which they work (sometimes states have reciprocity, or you can sometimes transfer your license to a new state.) Training involves both theory, or classroom work, and clinicals, the hands-on practice. Every state has established guidelines for training requirements and exams in order to become certified.

Occupational and Physical Therapists
Therapists may come to the home, on a doctor’s order, usually after a hospital or nursing home stay. They will work with patients to help them increase strength, balance and coordination. Therapy may help a senior regain the fine motor skills they need to function in day-to-day activities, such as dressing and bathing.

There are, of course, a variety of other home care support services, such as meal delivery and transportation services. Skilled home nursing (RNs and LPNs) who, when prescribed by a physician, can provide more intensive medical services to help a senior stay in their home and independent longer. Comprehensive senior care allowing the elderly to age-in-place is a team effort. If you are interested in becoming part of a family’s senior care village, consider applying for a job as a senior caregiver.

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 morning dew found on the flowerbed of garden lilies. Thank you caregivers for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on www.Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week Lily

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

Theodore Roosevelt

Diana Nyad - 64 - Completes Historic Swim

Yesterday, American long-distance swimmer 64-year-old Diana Nyad became first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, 110 miles, without a shark cage.

With a shout-out of “Courage!” (pronounced in French), Diana Nyad jumped into the water to begin her fifth attempt at the swim from the shore a near Marina Hemingway in Cuba at 8:59:02 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. She was 28 years old the first time she tried to swim the Florida Straits, when winds knocked her far off course.

During this, her epic 53-hour swim, the full bodysuit, mask and gloves she wore at night to protect against jellyfish stings slowed her pace from an average of 50 to 47 strokes per minute. Ms. Nyad stopped only to feed and never left the water. Her flotilla surrounded and monitored her, but never had to intervene. Massive cruise ships moved out of her way.

We first wrote about Diana Nyad in August 2012, during her fourth attempt at the swim. As we wrote then, Ms. Nyad spoke to AARP about her motivation. "When I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of those AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say, 'I'm going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I'm going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I'm going to adopt a child. It's not too late, I can still live my dreams.'"  That attempt was cut short after 40 hours because of life-threatening jellyfish stings.

However, the fifth time appeared to be the charm as her arrival in Florida was announced on her blog, Nyad Extreme Dream on 9/2 at 3:14PM EDT with a simple “She freaking made it.”

Watch as she makes her way onto the Florida shores.

Thanks, Diana, for inspiring us and proving that getting older is not viable excuse to give up, and that tenacity and and wisdom are the gifts of advancing age. As she herself put it, "You're never too old to live your dreams."

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.

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

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