Senior Veteran Aid Organization Champions Patriot Flag Tour

As July 4 approaches, it is time to remember our senior veterans and those who gave (and continue to give) so much of themselves for our freedoms.

Caregiverlist friend and founder Debbie Burak is a great senior veteran advocate and part of the group sponsoring the Patriot Flag Tour. The massive 30 foot by 55 foot American Flag is dedicated to and honors those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks and those who responded. The nationwide tour will end this Sept. 11, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks when the flag will be flown in New York City at Ground Zero, at the Pentagon and in the field where United flight 93 went down near Shanksville, Pa.

You can learn more about the tour and watch Debbie speak at the opening ceremony here.

Because senior programs and resources vary state to state, make sure you know your eligibility and entitlements by checking the resources available to you in your state.

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Find Caregiver Training Certification

Senior caregivers may find non-medical caregiver certification, preapproved to meet the training requirements by the department of health in the state of Illinois (which is very standard and customized by senior home care agency professionals) through aQuire training Caregiverlist Certified training.

The test modules include:

Duties of a Caregiver

Communicating with Others

Observation, Reporting and Recording Activities

Providing Personal Care

Promoting and Maintaining Good Mobility

Elimination and Toileting

Infection Control

Environmental Hazards and Safety

Basic First Aid

Understanding Elder Abuse 

Caregivers may review the test modules and purchase the test and receive a certificate of completion and t-shirt and lape pin.

TSA Defends Asking 95-Year Old Senior to Remove Adult Diaper

Seniors who are traveling should be aware of the security scrutiny when wearing adult diapers.  The  majority of women who have gone through child birth will become incontinent eventually doctor's say.  Another one of the benefits of living a long life!

CNN reports the airport security branch of the government, known as TSA, did ask a senior lady to remove her diaper.  Here is the story of the airport security experience of this senior lady to help you be aware it is advised to pack a spare pair when traveling.


Professional Caregiver Training

Senior caregiver training is an ongoing process.  Just as senior's conditions may change from day to day, new training techniques are also introduced each year as technology offers new solutions.

However, the basics of caregiving will remain the same:  how to transfer safely, how to interact with senior's experiencing memory loss, how to respond with first aid care and balance the activities of daily living with safe personal care, adequate nutrition and emotional care.

10-hours of online training for non-medical caregivers provides certification and the ability to learn the skills by reading and listening to educational modules for each skill and then once passed at 80% pass rate, the certificate of completion is granted.

Learn about non-medical caregiver training and keep up with the skills necesarry to perform quality care.

Caregiver Private Nurse Inherits $38 Million from Client

Senior caregiving pays more in fulfillment than in cash, but it seems there are exceptions.

Private duty nurse Hadassah Peri receives $38 million, left to her in the will of her client, 104-year-old Huguette Clark who was the daughter of a Montana senator who was once the second wealthiest man in the U.S.A.

The New York Post reported that Clark chose to leave money which was left over from her donation to a charity for the arts only to her accountant, lawyer, physician, goddaughter and caregiver.  She said her private duty nurse was a loyal companion and friend to her and she saw her more in 20 years than any other person.  She had a total of about $400 million and alos a Claude Monet Water Lillies series painting that will be donated to the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Experience the fulifillment of caregiving by working as a professional caregiver - and just remember these instances are exteremely rare but the better inheritance is knowing you assisted someone to have a better day (you know, lots of money causes lots of problems anyway).

Caregiverlist also provides job descriptions for caregivers and a directory of nursing aide schools.


Employment Background Checks

Background checks performed on caregivers before employment with a professional senior care company are part of the employment process.  As senior caregiving comes with many challenges, only trustworthy individuals who can be depended upon for honesty and commitment to their duties can be hired.  Unfortunately, background checks are also gatekeepers to prevent unsavory characters from applying.  There are experienced criminals who specifically seek out the opportunity to work as a caregiver in order to take advantage of a senior.

Background checks keep these types of individuals away and are another reason why you should only work for a professional senior care company and only hire caregivers working for professional senior care companies.

What information will be shown in a criminal background check?

  • Criminal charges and convictions going back 7 years*
  • Social Security Number to Name Match
  • Addresses to Name Match

This information allows an employer to confirm that the social security number you have provided matches your name to determine that you are who you say you are in your application.  The address match allows the employer to verify the addresses you have lived at previously in order to conduct criminal checks in all of those locations.  Some courthouses charge a fee for a crminal check which is current and they may need to do an in-person check at these courthouses because the national database information cannot be guaranteed as up-to-the-minute current for courthouses who do not submit criminal reports daily.

In today's digital age, it is somewhat easy for bad guys to secure information and falsely represent who they are and even steal social security numbers and backgrounds.  The movie "Catch Me if You Can" shows how one man did this many years ago.  The man in the moview, Frank Abagnale, now works for the FBI and has written a few books, including "Stealing Your Life" which provides tips on how to protect your identity.

Many professionals suggest purchasing your own background check at least once a year to make sure the data is accurate and that nobody else has your information.  Review more information about background checks and purchase your own background check.  Caregiverlist  is an advocate for quality background checks and makes sure you understand the difference in levels of background checks.

*Some state laws allow for criminal background checks for more than 7 years for individuals working with children or seniors.  You may review the "by state" background check laws in Caregiverlist's state directory.



Mercy Killings of Seniors: Roy Charles Laird Update

Mercy killings, when a loved one's life is ended for them, to eliminate prolonged pain and suffering when they are terminal, leave many unanswered questions.  Sometimes our medical technology can extend lives perhaps longer than they are wanted - feeding tubes, for instance, were created for infants and now are used sometimes for seniors in nursing homes, which is another controversial topic.

Last year, in California, Roy Charles Laird pleaded not guilty to killing his wife, after he was caught with a gun in the nursing home where his wife was a resident and she had been shot in the head.  She had terminal pancreatic cancer and late-stage dementia.

Read the update on Mr. Laird's mercy killing case.  While Mr. Laird had mentioned he knew of others who had killed a spouse and then committed suicide, there are not many cases documented as mercy killings.  Do you know of other mercy killings?  Share any of your stories and solutions to this problem.



Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Many seniors do not realize, until a medical emergency occurs, that Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care in a nursing home nor at home.

Medicaid, the senior health insurance plan in the U.S.A. for very low-income seniors, does pay for long-term care in a nursing home only.  A few states with small populations, such as Vermont, have been experimenting with offering senior home care at home but right now, nationwide, Medicaid will provide for ongoing care in a nursing home.

Medicaid qualifications mean you must have next to no assets.  There is an anti-poverty provision for spouses to allow a husband or wife who needs around-the-clock care to go onto Medicaid while the healthy spouse maintains home ownership.

As nursing home care can easily cost $80,000 per year, a senior can be forced to sell their home in order to pay for nursing home care.  They may purchase long-term care insurance to help avoid this or a reverse mortgage if their home has greatly increased in value since they purchased it and use the proceeds from the reverse mortage to pay for home care.  Caregiverlist's Nursing Home Star-Rating Directory provides the daily cost of nursing homes nationwide.

Now, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March, 2010, will include long-term care insurance which is basically another payroll deduction option, just as social security and unemployment insurance are deducted from your paycheck.  The good news is that the daily cash benefit will be about $75 and can be used for any type of senior care, including senior care in the home and any home renovations required for physcial limitations.



Senior Care Costs

Understanding the costs of senior care are important when planning your retirement.  Senior caregivers know the very real challenges that come with maintaining just the basic activities of the day when you are dealing with memory loss or a physical ailment.  Many age-related diseases develop for even the healthiest individuals.  Very often seniors with Alzheimer's disease or another form of memory loss enjoy good physical health, yet are unable to care for themselves because of the memory loss.

Senior care costs depend upon the type of care:

  • Home Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Nursing Home Care

Senior home care will range from $16 to $26 per day, depending on the geographic area of the care (metropolitan cities have a higher cost of living than rural areas).  Nursing home costs range from $150 to $350 or more per day, depending on the level of care and if it is a private or semi-private room.  You can find the costs of nursing homes nationwide in Caregiverlist's nursing home ratings section.

Learn about quality standards for senior care an all options before you need senior care, in order to effectively plan ahead.


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