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 and Patient Needs Survey: Receive $50 for Your Support Communtiy

Sudden life-changing situations, like a serious illness, not only affect the individual, but the family, too.  People want to be independent and fend for themselves, but what can they do when the medical bills start to add up? Who can they turn to when they need someone to talk to? MediGift steps in as a support community outlet to sort tasks, research new treatments, discover and source needed services, and organize monetary needs. Caregivers may participate in a survey to help MediGift find the best ways to engage the support of the friends and community members who want to help a caregiver or a patient facing a serious illness or health crisis. The survey can be accessed here and will take just five minutes.

Survey results will be used to help MediGift develop tools and provide relevant services to it's current and future users. MediGift may also publish aggregate, anonymous results of the survey to promote better understanding of caregiver and patient needs for others serving this population.

MediGift will say "thanks" to the participants by rewarding $50 toward an active support community created by anyone who completes the survey and meets the basic qualifications describes in the Caregiver and Patient Needs Survey section on the FAQ page

About MediGift 

MediGift was created to harness the energy and resources of friends and the expertise of service providers to help caregivers and patients dealing with a serious illness or health crisis.

No one wants to ask for help, though when friends or loved ones are ill, we all want to provide it. In addition, caregivers often don't have the time or the expertise to make the right decisions. Resources- time and money- are always in short supply.  MediGift provides a single place where friends, family and colleagues can come together in order to effectively organize those resources-- as well as enabling monetary gifts to help fund them.

In addition to providing important support to caregivers, private online MediGift communities can offer higher levels of social support to patients. Social support has been shown in more than 25 studies to provide tangible health benefits.

 

Calorie Tracking App Helps Monitor Nutrition: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Counting calories and monitoring nutrients for daily food intake often seems to be much easier said than done. For senior caregivers looking to monitor their own nutrition or that of a senior client, the My Fitness Pal app offers an ideal platform to track foods and their nutritional content right on their smartphone.

 

The My Fitness Pal application matches up with the My Fitness Pal website, and foods and exercise can be logged on either platform. When you first set up your My Fitness Pal account, it will ask for basic information about yourself- or your senior client, if that is who you will be using the application for. The target daily calorie intake will be factored off of the weight, height, age, activity level and weight goal (lose weight, maintain weight, etc.) entered for the account.

 

Once an account is established, you can log food for that particular day. Your target number of calories will appear on your home screen, and as you log food, it will subtract from that number and tell you how many calories you have left for that day. It also measures fat, sugar and sodium intake, making it easy to recognize and correct excess. The database of foods includes many popular restaurants as well as the option to search a generic food item or create your own entry if you know the calories in your meal. 

 

Users also have the ability to log exercise with the application, which in turn adjusts the number of calories allotted for that day to account for calories burned during activity.  

 

The application is available for iPhone and Android and is described below:

 

“Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest-to-use calorie counter for Android/iPhone. With the largest food database of any Android/iPhone calorie counter (over 3,000,000 foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better diet app – period.”

 

App Name: My Fitness Pal

 

Cost: Free


Download the application for Apple or Android products.
 

 

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 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.

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 take a trip to botanical gardens full of colorful butterflies, to relax and  to breath in fresh air. 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 Pretty Butterfly

"A habit is a shirt made of iron."

Harold Helfer

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse happens—about 2.1 million seniors are victims.  Additionally, for every case reported, an estimated 5 elder abuse cases go unreported.

The senior population continues to grow, with seniors living longer lives while needing senior caregiving services for some of those years.  By 2050, this age demographic will be the largest. With this in mind, we should acknowledge World Elder Abuse Awareness Day approaching on June 15th

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day recognizes seniors going through abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This day serves as a time for people to understand the cultural, social, economic and demographic process that lead to ill treatment, negligence and manipulation.

The Administration on Aging provides helpful information on warning signs of elder abuse, how one can protect themselves from abuse, and other information to create awareness.  Building an understanding of this problem purposes this day.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day has been an annually recognized since 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the WHO and the UN. The United Nations recognizes elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.

The caregiving job has never been a light one. There are many responsibilities—planning and preparing meals, providing medication reminders, assisting with hygiene, running errands, and so many more—that make up the job description. Even though much accountability comes with this job, caregivers gain companionship.

Caregiver companion stories help other caregivers get through their day.  Caregiverlist.com builds a community for caregivers through one of their many resources, such as the Caregiver Experience Sharing. The submissions share caregiver’s stories of their senior companion—a small, but thoughtful token of appreciation.

With the growing senior population, the need for caregivers grows in the job market.  People seeking to become caregivers can apply for a job on Caregiverlist.com. Refer-a-Friend provides and opportunity for people to refer their friends to a caregiving job and a chance to enter to win $50 or a free t-shirt!

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers that care for the elderly know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers, professional caregivers and certified nursing assistants to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo features sunny hills of small Mexican town called Taxco, famous for its silver mines. We would like to thank you for caring for our loved seniors. Remember senior caregivers are needed, please refer-a-friend to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our Caregiver Career Center for additional career tools. 

 

Caregiverlist Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Mountains

"Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind."

Robert G. Ingersoll

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