Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week: Misty English Morning

Hopefully you were able to enjoy a fun and festive holiday with your friends and family.  Caregivers can take time to relax and we invite you to take a moment to yourself with this week's photo.  It was taken in Oxfordshire, England on a morning walk, just as the mist was starting to lift and signaling the beginning of a beautiful day. Thank you, caregivers and certified nursing aides for all that you do for your our seniors. More caregivers are always needed as seniors in America are living longer. You can learn more about becoming a senior caregiver and apply for a job near you. Have a great week. 

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter."   -Rachel Carson 

Honoring All Veterans this Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is typically filled with picnics, barbecues, and other events that signify the beginning of summer. But truly it is a day to remember those who died and honor those who remain, regardless of the wars in which they fought.

Frank Woodruff Buckles, Pershing’s Last Patriot, was the last surviving American veteran of World World I when he died in February, 2011. He was 110 years old.

America’s Wars, released by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs using some data from the Department of the Defense, provides the statistics for these eleven wars in the history of the United States:

  • American Revolution (1775-1783)
  • War of 1812 (1812-1815)
  • Indian Wars (approximately 1817-1898)
  • Mexican War (1846-1848)
  • Civil War (1861-1865)
  • Spanish-American War (1898-1902)
  • World War I (1917-1918)
  • World War II (1941-1945)
  • Korean War (1950-1953)
  • Vietnam War (1964-1975)
  • Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991)
    *the statistics don’t yet include numbers from the ongoing Global War on Terror (Oct 2001).

We are now standing witness to the passing of “the Greatest Generation,” those men and women who fought in World War II. In fact, they are the parents of the largest generation, the Baby Boomer Generation, spawned when those soldiers returned stateside and prospered. Those children are now planning for their own retirement and reviewing their own senior care options.

An enlisted man (or woman) 20-years-old in 1945, the last year of the Second World War, will turn 90 years old next year. Many are already in their nineties. Out of the 16 million who served their country during WWII, just over 1.7 million U.S. service members are alive today. According to the Veteran’s Administration, by 2036, it is estimated there will be no living veterans of World War II left to recount their experiences.

I heard about Honor Flight Network on NPR last week and was impressed by the group's committed to making sure the remaining WWII veterans get to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor at no cost.

If you are providing senior care to a WWII vet who would like to travel to Washington DC, time is of the essence, so be sure to contact Honor Flight Network. According to their website, subsequent to the World War II veterans, their efforts will then focus on our Korean War and then Vietnam War veterans, honoring them similarly. Contact your local hub for applications.

Here are some of the rough numbers to think about this Memorial Day:
Total number of U.S. Military Service during Wartime, from 1775 to 1991 (and remember, still counting): 41,892,128
Recorded Battle Deaths: 651,031

Caregiverlist® would like to take this space and remember all veterans. If you know of anyone who may be considering a career as a senior caregiver or who would like to just assist others, especially those who served in World War II, refer them to a senior caregiving job.

“We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”
— Will Rogers

IMPORTANT NOTE From Honor Flight Network: Honorflight.com and Honorflights.com are NOT associated with Honor Flight Network. (honorflight.org). The aforementioned sites and any other sites of companies that charge any fee to veterans are not affiliated in any way to Honor Flight Network. The flights and tours that Honor Flight Network provides World War II and terminally ill veterans are absolutely FREE.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for the Senior Mom

The day my daughter was born — my firstborn — I held her in my arms, looked into her eyes and fell deeply and unbelievable in love. Then I picked up the phone, called my mother, and apologized for every rotten thing I had ever done to her (especially during my teenage years.)

You certainly don’t need to be a mother to celebrate your mother. If you are lucky enough to have mom or a grandmother around to honor, we have a few suggestions that go beyond Chanel No. 5 (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Peace of Mind
If you mother lives alone (over 80% of American women outlive their male spouses), making sure she’s safe can be a great gift. Senior-proof the home to help prevent falls. Buy her a Medical Alert system. Technology is a beautiful thing and some systems come equipped with GPS tracking if your mother is a senior on the go.

Stay in Touch
The best cell phones for seniors have have large buttons that are easy to read and a high contrast LED screen. Look for amplified sound and, in some cases, urgent care monitoring, similar to the response she’d receive through an alert system. Two of the most popular cell phones especially made for seniors are Snapfon and Jitterbug with 5Star Urgent Response (which is running a Mother’s Day promotion for $20 off.)

I’ve recently set my mother up to Skype her family halfway around the world. At 83, she believes her flying days are over, but she is always delighted to speak with her brother in Poland face-to-face.

Preserve Memories
Remember when photos were printed on paper? Most seniors have boxes and albums full of memories, but they may be difficult to get to. Scan those photos and present them to her on a digital photo frame. She can watch her favorite memories play on a continuous loop.

A Little Help Here?
Many times we find our schedules so hectic, we forget that the elderly mom might need a little help with day-to-day activities. Perhaps she could use help with shopping, light housekeeping, or simple companionship. You can hire a fully vetted and bonded companion caregiver for just a few hour per week through a quality home care agency.

Time
Let’s face it — the best present you can give is your presence. Stuff is just stuff. If you can, spend a little time with your mother this holiday and show her what she means to you.

Cargiverlist® wishes all the mothers and grandmothers out there a happy Mothers Day. If you have some special gift suggestions, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

5 Tips to Ease Caregiver Stress During the Holidays

Senior care can be stressful at the best of times. While the holidays are certainly a joyful time, the hustle and bustle may be disconcerting to caregiver and senior alike. The need to finish tasks, such as cooking, baking and shopping, can create an incredible level of stress in the senior’s home.

Family caregivers and professional caregivers (C.N.A.s and C.H.H.A.s) alike can succumb to holiday caregiver stress. Here are some tips to help yourself so you can better care for your senior client or loved one during this magical albeit overwhelming time of year.

Keep it Simple
Trying to do too much (or even as much as last year) can put undue stress on both caregiver and senior. Maybe paring back is not such a bad thing. Learn to let go of self-imposed holiday quota. Be prepared to scale back — from the amount of cookies to bake to the number greeting cards to send.

Enlist Help
Family caregivers tend to want to do it all themselves. If a sibling or other family member can’t provide respite care themselves, turn to a trusted Home Care Agency to provide a few hours of relief for you, the family caregiver. Family caregiver burnout is a real problem, no matter what time of year. Suggest to family and friends who ask that help could be the most valuable gift.

Look To Technology
Find apps that help you take a break and guide meditation. We found one that features a basic concept — a voiceover with a guided stress relief mental exercise. The app allows the user to choose from two basic guided meditation categories — a work break or for stress relief. There’s certainly a lot more available out there.

Stay Healthy
Your body is a machine. If it begins to break down, you won’t have the ability to care for your senior or yourself. Keeping up with the needs of the holidays requires stamina. Exercise, rest, and proper nutrition are the keys to keeping you working at peak performance.

Take a Moment
Every week, we at Caregiverlist post a calming photo dedicated to caregiver stress relief. The idea is a simple but important one — stop for just a moment and focus on a “happy place.” Sometimes that’s just enough to help you reset and recharge for better caregiving.

Take care of yourself as well as your senior this season. Holiday depression is a common byproduct of caregiver stress. Take steps to maximize the opportunity to have a happy and healthy holiday.

1 Week Left—Scrubs' Happy Nursemas! Pop-Up Shop

Nurses, Certified Nursing Aides and professional caregivers are vital to quality senior care. Scrubs Magazine is showing the love by featuring 50 gifts under $50 dollars in their Holiday Pop-Up Shop. They are also offering the Caregiverlist community 15% off any and all items with the promo code: HOLIDAY1. At that price, you should be able to find a gift for everyone on your list.

Here’s some of our favorite finds:

Outback Purse Organizer

This Outback Pouchee purse organizer has everything you need to straighten up your purse and keep things exactly where you can find them. Made of high quality faux leather, the compact organizer features credit card pockets on the outside for easy access, inside dividers, an expander for additional space, inside zippered pockets for change, handy rings for ease of changing bags, outside pockets for pens and sunglasses, inside pockets for lipsticks or keys and a light-colored liner so that you can easily see all of its contents.
Pouchee,  $27.99 

Eden Heavy Winter Scarf



These 100% Ethiopian cotton scarves are perfect to throw on to stay stylish and warm. Simple and chic, the handwoven scarf has complimentary colored threads woven together to create beautiful shades that will gain weekend mileage in your wardrobe. Named after the women weavers in Ethiopia, each scarf purchase helps create sustainable business in Africa, and has a handwritten thank-you card attached.
fashionAble ,$49.99

Sweet Mango Body Butter



There's nothing nicer than going home after a long, cold shift, taking a hot shower and lathering up in body butter before slipping on your PJs and parking it on the sofa. We love this 4-ounce Sweet Leaf Bath cream that has a gentle mango scent and nourishes and moisturizes even the driest skin. Packaged in a 100% compostable jar, the butter is made from natural ingredients including real mango butter, macadamia nut oil, vitamin E and essential oils. 
Sweet Leaf Bath, $21.99

The Holidays are the perfect time to show your appreciation for the senior caregiver in your life. And if you are a caregiver, it’s also the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to something special. Do it now—the pop-up shop, along with its great deals—goes away December 13.

Happy Shopping!

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