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.

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!

Bite Nite Deux is a Bite to Fight Lou Gehrig's Disease

Bite Nite Deux is the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter’s second annual event featuring superior dining, signature drinks and fine art.

Ten of Chicago’s top chefs come together to offer outstanding cuisine at tasting stations. Tito’s Vodka has created a signature drink called The Sunflower Sipper in a nod to the ALS National Symbol — the sunflower.

The event is hosted by Kim and David DeJesus (of the Chicago Cubs) and Master Artist Jesus Salguiero. It includes a silent auction of artwork donated by artists from around the world. Music is provided by DJ Opio and rat pack crooner, Michael Hutchins, who has lost several family members to ALS.

Bite Nite Deux will be held on Monday, October 21st, from 6:30-10:30 pm at Open Secret Studios. 401 N. Racine, in Chicago's River West neighborhood. Tickets are $75.00 per person or four for $200.00. Cost includes free on-site parking in a gated private lot at the venue.

All proceeds from Bite Nite Deux will support free home visits, a free equipment lending program, free clinic services at University of Illinois and University of Chicago clinics, and advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. For more information about this event contact Maryilene Blondell, Director of Development, 312.932.0000 or Maryilene@alsachicago.org

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that usually attacks both upper and lower motor neurons and causes degeneration throughout the brain and spinal cord. Every 90 Minutes Someone is Diagnosed with ALS and Every 90 Minutes Someone Else Loses His or Her Battle. Support ALS’ mission to fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy. Help them empower people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. Purchase your tickets here.

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."

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.

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 Dominican Republic's tropical sunset. 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 Sunset

"The less you talk, the more you are listened to."

Abigail Van Buren

Illinois State Troopers... The New Fashionistas!

Fashion Flash 2013 raises money for Compass to Care Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Tomorrow, this event in Chicago will bring together everyone from nationwide corporations to local businesses supporting the charity’s cause in a trendy and energetic atmosphere.

The charity fashion show features Illinois state troopers as runway models, named the “Fashion Police.” The state troopers return this year after being showstoppers as models in last year’s runway show. They heard Compass to Care’s story and volunteered to participate after learning about families going through these devastating situations.  

Fashion show tickets may be purchased online.  VIP Tickets include access to the cocktail reception at 6pm, reserved seating for the show and a VIP gift bag. As of today, only 8 VIP tickets are available for $125 each. General admission tickets are available for $85 each.

Fashion Flash 2013

Date: July 27th, 2013

Time: 6:30pm-10:30pm

Place: Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613

The Center on Halsted is located in Chicago just a few blocks from Wrigley Field. Transportation accessible by El train and city buses. While underground parking is unavailable to Center on Halsted patrons, visitors may be able to find metered street parking available on Halsted or Waveland. Daytime visitors may find residential parking on nearby streets. More information on directions can be found online.

For more information on Fashion Flash 2013 and Compass to Care, click here

 

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