Attitude of Gratitude: Grateful for Our Caregiver

Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday season and, as we batten down the hatches for yet another whirlwind period of feasting and folly, as part of our mission at Caregiverlist in “Caring for the Caregiver” we’d like to take this opportunity and thank those caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Here are some ways you can show your thanks during this holiday season:

Family Caregiver
The most prevalent of all caregivers, the family caregiver works tirelessly, perhaps at another job as well, to provide loving and caring home care for an elderly family member. Many times, the family caregiver will be overwhelmed, and the sometimes staggering responsibility makes it difficult for them to take time to care for themselves. This season is a good time to relieve some of the pressure and ask what they would like for you to do for them. Don’t just jump in and take over the caregiving — although that might be your first inclination — both the caregiver and the recipient of the care have a special bond and may prefer things handled a certain way. Perhaps the caregiver would appreciate if you could provide a meal or two, or come over to do a load of laundry. You can certainly offer respite time for the family caregiver to take care of personal needs, whether that be holiday shopping or just going out to gaze at the festive lights of the season.

Paid Home Caregiver
The bond between a home caregiver and senior is special because of it’s one-to-one nature. A dedicated in-home caregiver can be more like family to a senior than a paid helper. Give your sincere thanks to this person both verbally and with a thank you note, and maybe include a little holiday bonus cash or gift card. I think any amount would be appreciated. Caregiving is not an especially lucrative profession, many go into it because they enjoy making a difference in a senior’s quality of life.

Care in Assisted Living
The staff at an Assisted Living facility make life so much easier for you and your beloved senior. They might take care of laundry, light housekeeping, transportation, medical reminders and perhaps most importantly, provide access to activities. Many facilities have strict regulations prohibiting employees from accepting individual gifts. You can, however, provide something for the staff in the way of treats (sweet and savory -- think cookies, candy, fruit, bagel platters, coffee and tea for staff lounges ). Check to make sure there is a central area where staff can congregate. And although you must insist that no major individual gifts are given, a senior may say “thanks” with a gift from a candy box in their room or apartment.

Nursing Home Care
Just like an Assisted Living Facility, there are strict rules about giving gifts to Nursing Home employees, so the same rules apply. But because of the nature of round-the-clock and more significant level of care, there may be more staff and more shifts to think about treating. Also, skilled nurses and therapists may have separate breakrooms from those in support. This is where it pays to do a little investigating. Many nursing home facilities may set up a communal holiday fund to distribute equally among staff. Donations are kept anonymous and no one is compelled to contribute. This helps prevent the chance of a resident receiving special treatment due to monetary gifting. Also, if there is a special caregiver or two (or more) that you’d like to acknowledge — in both Nursing Home and Assisted Living facilities, send a note to the facility director or administrator. Many places rely on feedback such as this to administer bonuses, career advancements and special acknowledgements.

None of us are here to go it alone, especially as we grow older. Please join us at Caregiverlist and give special thanks to those who help care for the ones we love.

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Senior Caregiver News Alert: Cholesterol Drug Recall

Seniors taking the cholesterol drug Atorvastatin should check to see if the recall of this medication is taking place in their area.  Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals has announced it is calling back the 10-, 20- and 40-milligram tablets of Atorvastatin at the retail level for select batches that may contain a foreign substance (small glass particles approximately less than 1mm in saize).  The company is proactively recalling the drug product lots out of an abundance of caution, their press release stated.

Review the cholesterol drug recall lots at the Ranbaxy website.

Senior caregivers may review senior care briefs and online caregiver training which includes skills for managing the emotional aspects of senior care - - - there is never a boring moment in the day of a caregiver, from drug recalls to memory loss to new ailments.

Live-in Caregiver Jobs: Popular Questions About Live-in Positions

Live-in senior caregivers are hired to assist seniors with not only their personal care but also their household management.  The term “live-in”, however, is a little misleading as professional senior caregivers do not move in and live with the senior permanently.  Instead, they go to the senior’s house and stay overnight for 2 to 3 nights in a row and then go back to their own home.

Caregiverlist assists senior caregivers to find professional jobs in their area.  While the majority of senior care job positions are for part-time or full-time schedules, some positions do require live-in caregivers.  Seniors who desire to age-in-place in their homes may often

Live-in Caregiver FAQ’s

What is the Live-in Caregiver Job Description?  In addition to assisting the senior with “Activities of Daily Living”, you will assist with household duties such as laundry and maintaining a clean household and managing a shopping list and meal preparation.

What is the Live-in Caregiver Schedule?  A live-in senior caregiver will stay with the senior client for 2 to 3 days at a time and then return to their own home.  The schedule is booked by the day, instead of by the hour.

What is the Live-in Caregiver Pay?  Live-in caregivers are paid a daily stipend rate, which they qualify for as long as they are able to have a few hours of downtime in the evening and sleep at  night.  It is acceptable for the live-in caregiver to need to get up in the night to assist the senior but they are primarily there as extra security for the senior for any nightly needs.  Once a senior has acute care needs and requires a caregiver to be up at night, they will need a night-time caregiver to rotate with a day-time caregiver - this usually only occurs during end-of-life care for seniors who are receiving hospice care.   Live-in care pay ranges from $80 to $180 per day, depending on the level of care needed.  Added benefits are the inclusion of food and any entertainment shared with the client.

What are the advantages of becoming a Live-in Caregiver?  Live-in caregivers have the advantage of earning a week’s pay in a few days of work and not needing to commute back and forth each day to a job location.  In addition, many live-in caregivers enjoy the relationship they build with the client and when matched with the right client, many times the caregiver is paid for companionship as much as for hands-on caregiving duties.

Apply for a Live-in Caregiving job on Caregiverlist and let others know that this can be an attractive job positions for those who no longer have children at home and are looking for a caregiving position that will allow them to manage all the care activities during the day.  As one senior caregiver told me when I owned a senior home care agency, “I wouldn’t be married for 15 years if I weren’t working as a live-in caregiver”.  She had worked as a C.N.A. in her younger years and then became a live-in caregiver as she enjoyed being with the client for a few days in a row and managing the entire show herself as she had years of caregiving experience.

Caring individuals can learn to be a live-in caregiver and be trained by their senior home care agency employer, as long as they are able to pass a criminal background check.  Professional senior caregiver training certification is available in a 10-hour online course.

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Caregiver Jobs: Cyber Monday Refer-a-Friend & Win $50 Gift Certificate

Professional senior caregivers assist seniors in their home, in assisted living communities and in nursing homes.  Some positions require certification and all positions require passing a criminal background check.  However, any caring individual may begin a career in caregiving by working as a companion caregiver for a senior home care agency.

Cyber Monday Celebration for Caregivers at

Refer-a-Friend & Win $50 Gift Certificate to Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze

Giver yourself or a friend a break - 2 Grand Prize winners will win a $50 gift certifiate to one of  these restaurants.  Enjoy a lobster, a pasta dinner or a delicious steak - just refer a friend and you'll be entered to win.

You will also meet the winners on Caregiverlist and review the official rules.

As more than 77 million baby boomers begin to retire and live longer lives, more and more senior caregivers will be needed.  Learn about become a Certified Nursing Assistant by taking a course at one of these C.N.A.schools and apply for a senior caregiver job on Caregiverlist, the nation's only professional caregiver career center.   Senior care companies nationwide hire new part-time and full-time senior caregivers and nursing aides using Caregiverlist's proprietary technology each week.

Visit Caregiverlist's Career Center to learn more about becoming a senior caregiver.

Refera friend to a caregiving job at Caregiverlist at any time as more caregivers are always needed in this growing industry and the fulfillment of working as a caregiver allows you to earn more than just a paycheck.

Many senior caregivers share stories of first assisting a family member with care needs and then discovering senior care can be a career.  You will also have the joy of interacting with seniors who have lived interesting lives - there is never a dull moment in senior care!


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GlaxoSmithKline Pays Settlement for Diabetic Drug Which Increased Heart Attacks

GlaxoSmithKline settled allegations against them by 37 states and the District of Columbia for not fully disclosing side effects of the diabetic drug Avandia.

The Senate Finance Committe issued a report in February, 2010, cliaming the Avandia drug was linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks and that GlaxoSmithKline knew of this risk for years but did not disclose the information.  The U.S. government, through Medicare and Medicaid medical insurance, does pay for medical care and experiences an increase in costs when drugs such as Avandia cause additional medical problems.

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $90 million to be divided among the 37 states and D.C.  The Cleveland Clinic has been one of the harshest critics of the drug and Dr. Steven Nissen, of Cleveland Clinic stated:  "this was a very sad saga in American medical history."  Dr. Nissen published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found a 43% increase in the risk of a heart attack in patients taking this diabetes drug.

State attorney generals hope that this judgement against GlaxoSmithKline will help make drug companies more responsible in the future to be mindful of perhaps promoting all feature of a drug instead of just focusing on profits.  States receiving the $90 million aer:  Arizona, Florida, illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and D.C.

Seniors often take a long list of medications and this is a reminder of the  importance of understanding all of the side effects of a medication along with monitoring how one drug may impact another.  Senior caregivers can organize a senior's list of medications and ask their pharmacist to examine them to make sure they are compatible.

As seniors often go to different specialty doctors for medical care, the pharmacist is the best person for monitoring that all medications go together as many times medical doctors are so busy they do not have time to adequately analyze all of the medications and sometimes are not savvy about the side effects of medications that they do not prescribe.

Caregiver training for senior caregivers includes understanding how to effectively monitor medications and side effects of medications.  The Caregiverlist Certified Caregiver training offers a 10-hour online training coures meeting industry standards for caregiving skills.


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Best Black Friday Deals 2012: Become a Senior Caregiver in Top Growth Career

Black Friday shoppers may be in need of a caregiver after battling the long lines, other shoppers and battling it out for a parking spot.  But this alone is not the reason more caregivers are needed now and more caregivers and nursing aides will continue to be needed in the U.S.A.


Seniors are living longer and there are more older American because the large Baby Boomer generation has entered into their golden years.  And, if you live to be 70-years-old, the odds are in your favor to live another 20 years.  However, you may need some assistance with your daily activities of living for some of those years.  This means anyone who has a caring personality should consider the benefits of becoming a senior caregiver and anyone needing part-time work may want to consider working in the senior care industry.  One huge benefit of working in senior care is receiving appreciation from those you care for along with appreciation from their family members.  Unlike some careers, constant feedback is delivered when you work in senior care.


Senior caregivers may work as a companion caregiver, a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) and in some states, there is a designation for certified caregivers working in homes called a Certified Home Health Aide (New Jersey, Florida and California, to name a few).  In 1987, Congress established guidelines through the Ominbus Reconciliation Act (OBRA) to create standards for training and licensing for C.N.A.'s and requiring a minimum staffing level of C.N.A.'s in nursing homes and all long-term care facilities.


Caregivers may begin their careers as a part-time senior caregiver working for a senior home care agency.  This industry has continued to grow with more than 1,000 new senior home care agencies launching new locations in the last few years.  Professionally managed senior home care delivers many advantages over institutionalized care and provides the benefit of one-on-one care services (one dedicated caregiver assists the senior instead of a rotational staff of many caregivers and nursing aides provided in a care facility).


Anyone looking for part-time employment can consider working as a senior caregiver as most senior care companies provide training for companion care positions.

The large number of Americans aging is very real - take this online test to see how long you will live in this Life Expectancy calculator to see the reality that everyone is living longer.


High school graduates can research Certified Nursing Assistant programs at community colleges in their area (some provide tuition grants and some employers will pay for your C.N.A. school).

Retirees looking for fulfilling work and additional income may also consider becoming a senior caregiver.


Caregiverlist, the nation’s only professional senior caregiver career center, provides online tools for caregiving professionals.  You may submit a job application to join the Caregiverlist in your area and be hired by a professional senior care company.


Caregiverlist Career Center Tools Include:


Become a senior caregiver by submitting your job application on Caregiverlist and taking the 10-hour online caregiver certification training course.  You may purchase this course on Caregiverlist and receive a log-in and password to take the course at your own pace.  Upon passing at 80%, you will receive a Certificate to print out in your name which you may show your future employers.

Caregiverlist's Career Center provides a support community to not only access caregiver career tools but to also keep up on senior care industry news, ask a panel of senior care experts your questions and share your caregiving store - a perfect one-stop shop for anyone considering caregiving as a career.

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Innovations in Caregiving Awards Webinar November 29, 2012

The National Alliance for caregiving, with sponsorship support by the MetLife Foundation, presents the 6th annual Innovations in Caregiving Program, awarding 10 organization $10,000 in seed funds to replicate one of the previous winning caregiver innovations.

Five Caregiver Innovation program winners from previous years will be presenting their creative programs serving caregivers of older adults on this upcoming Webinar.

Sign-up for this webinar by the National Alliance of Caregiving:

Date:  November 29, 2012

Time:  3 p.m. Eastern Time

Registration:  Register Here for the Free Webinar

You may also view the National Family Caregiving Awards Replication Guide which contains descriptions of previous award winners.  This guide can help spark ideas for your own caregiving programs.

Suggestions include developing programs which do not depend on one staff person and include a marketing plan.  Review details from program winners such as the New York University (NYU) Caregiver Intervention Center of Excellence on Brain Aging and a respite caregiver program by Interfaith CarePartners in Houston, Texas.

Applications for next year's Innovations in Caregiving Awards are due by January 15, 2013, and eligible applicants must be a 501c3 non-profit organization.  You may find the award application online to apply.



Become a Caregiver for Seniors

Caregiving has become a career.  This is becuase one-on-one care delivers positive results for both seniors and their family members and an entire industry has been created to effectively license and regulate senior caregiving.  Nursing homes are no longer the primary option for acute care needs.  Instead, hospice services provide in-home care and senior home care agencies provide professionally managed senior care services in the home or in a senior living community.

How do you become a senior caregiver?

1. Create a Caregiver Resume:  provide your work history, references and the reason you are choosing a career in caregiving.  Don't sweat it if you do not possess professional work experience as a caregiver.  Instead, demonstrate your skills in showing compassion for others as a volunteer or through personal caregiving.  Use this FREE SENIOR CAREGIVER RESUME BUILDER tool to help create your professional resume.

2. Check your Background Check: criminal background checks are required by all professional senior care companies (senior home care agencies, hospices, nursing homes, assisted living communities).  The federal law governing background checks, called the FCRA, allows for a 7-year look-back of criminal records.  However, some states allow reviewing criminal records for longer than 7 years if an individual will be working with seniors or children.  Review the Background Check Laws in your state and purchase a copy of your own criminal background check just to make sure there are no identity theft issues (or even typos of an address and name which could cause information for someone else to appear in your criminal check).

3. Become Certified as a Caregiver:  basic caregiver training can be taken online through a 10-hour certification course meeting industry standards for basic caregiver skills.  These traning modules were created by senior care industry professionals as they advocate for consistent training to be observed by all Departments of Health in each state.  Professional caregivers only have training requirements in 18 states and you can view these state training requirements for caregivers here.  The next training levels are:  Certified Nursing Aide (required in all states with some states accepting transfers of C.N.A. certificates), Certified Home Health Aide (offered in a few states such as California, Florida and New Jersey and only for caregivers working in the home).  The next step is L.P.N. and R.N.  You may take a sample C.N.A. test or practice C.N.A. test and find a C.N.A. school near you in the Caregiverlist C.N.A. School Directory.

4. Apply for a Caregiving Job:  apply for a positions as a part-time or full-time senior caregiver with a professional senior care company.  As senior care services may start quickly (caused by a sudden medical condition such as a hip-replacement, stroke or memory loss), senior care companies hire new caregivers each week.  In addition, scheduling needs can vary widely - from full-time days to evenings to weekends to arond-the-clock care.  Apply for a caregiving position near you.

5. Connect with othe Caregivers:  keep up on industry news, find clinical trials and other resources for seniors near you by interacting with a community of caregivers on the Caregiverlist.

Professional senior caregivers receive ongoing training. performance bonuses and benefits via payroll taxes such as Worker's Compensation insurance, Unemployment insurance, and Social Security contributions (so you can collect Social Security when you retire).  As America's seniors are living longer and medical technology is assisting with age-related illnessess.

Caregiving as a career delivers one thing for sure - fulfillment beyond the paycheck.  More than 1,000 new senior care companies have opened their doors in the last few years which means continued employment for professional senior caregivers in order to meet the staffing needs of the industry.



Meals on Wheels for Thanksgiving

Senior caregivers know that holidays can bring added stress for seniors.  More than half of Americans no longer live in the same city or town where they grew up.  This means that more than half of seniors no longer live near their children.

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal can be challenging for seniors who have age-related illnesses or memory loss.  But the holidays also bring many happy memories and offer an opportunity for seniors and senior caregivers to share memories with each other.

Meals on Wheels assists many seniors in the U.S.A. by delivering meals each day and also providing the added benefit of having someone who is checking in on them regularly.  The Meals on Wheels Association of America works with local community nutrition programs and with the local Area Agency on Aging.  

Many Meals on Wheels programs only require seniors to pay for the meals if they can do so and the fee is usually only around $2.00 for a complete nutritious meal.  Fundraisers allow the meal delivery program to make meals available to all seniors.

Thanksgiving presents an opportunity for volunteers to assist Meals on Wheels to deliver a dinner while also finding fulfillment that is delivered when you help others - - the gratitude of the season.

Find a Meals on Wheels program in your area if you know a senior who would appreciate a Thanksgiving dinner delivery or if you are looking for a way  to give of your time.  Find a meal delivery service for a local senior through your Area Agency on Aging.

Houston’s Interfaith Ministries is seeking volunteers to deliver meals on Thanksgiving morning starting at 10 a.m. and Meals on Wheels in Austin, Texas, is also seeking volunteers along with the Twin Cities in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Volunteer Match is one way to easily find volunteer opportunities - remember, the Science of Happiness says a “sense of purpose” delivers the most sustaining happiness and delivering meals to seniors on Thanksgiving delivers the joy right back to you.

Senior care companies are constantly hiring senior caregivers - both Certified Nursing Aides and Companion Caregivers (many times seniors with memory loss only require a trained Companion Caregiver).  If you may be interested in a fulfilling career as a senior caregiver, apply for a caregiving position on Caregiverlist, as senior care companies nationwide hire from “the Caregiverlist”.

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How to Transfer your C.N.A. License to a Different State

Transfering your C.N.A. License to another state?  Yes, each state requires their own certificate and perhaps technology will soon allow each state’s Department of Health to make transferring a C.N.A. license seamless, but until then, here is how it works (just scroll down and click to Caregiverlist's C.N.A. License Transfer Guidelines page if you are already sure your next step is to transfer your nursing aide certificate).

Certified Nursing Aides (or Nursing Assistants) become a C.N.A. by taking a state-approved training program and then passing the state Certified Nursing Aide exam.  The basic training skills required to become a C.N.A. are similar in each state of the U.S.A. but you still must meet the specific certification guidelines to have your certificate honored when you move to another state.

Transferring a C.N.A. certificate is even more relevant if you live in a metropolitan area that is on a state border such as the Chicago, Illinois (right next door to Wisconsin and Indiana – get married or your spouse gets a new job and you just might find yourself in another state).

New Jersey C.N.A.’s and New York C.N.A.’s also bump into Connecticut and then you have Kansas City, Missouri right next to Kansas City, Kansas.  Not to mention Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next to Cherry Hill New Jersey. And what about Minneapolis, Minnesota just across the river from Wisconsin and Louisville, Kentucky right next to Ohio..........definitely transfering a C.N.A. certificate from one state to another will happen for many C.N.A.'s in the U.S.A.

C.N.A. certificates do transfer from one state to the next but you must follow certain guidelines.  Caregiverlist has received so many questions about “how do I transfer my C.N.A. license to another state?” that we went the extra mile and did the research for you.

Need to transfer your C.N.A. certificate?

Just follow Caregiverlist’s C.N.A. License Transfer Steps

Remember, some states offer reciprocity and this means you will not need to take the C.N.A. exam over again in your new state.

If you do need to re-take the C.N.A. exam, you may take the Caregiverlist Sample C.N.A. test or the actual Practice C.N.A. test.  As you do want to make sure you’ll ace the C.N.A. test in your new state – just take the time to do a quick practice nursing aide exam to be sure.

Once you are ready to start working as a C.N.A., you may apply for a job on Caregiverlist, the nation’s only professional Caregiver Career Center, where thousands of C.N.A.’s find jobs with senior home care agencies, nursing homes, Assisted Living companies and Hospices who hire C.N.A.’s and caregivers weekly.

Remember, you can also work as a professional caregiver while you are working on transferring your C.N.A. license to the new state.

C.N.A. jobs will continue to grow as the nation’s seniors live longer while needing assistance with care needs.

Fill out the Caregiver Job Application on Caregiverlist to be considered for a local Caregiver or C.N.A. job in your area.


C.N.A. resumes are also an added benefit when applying for a new C.N.A. position – just use the Caregiverlist Resume builder (free) to update your information before applying to a job.


Congratulations to everyone working as a C.N.A. – you are on the front-lines of senior care and doing the toughest job!  We are grateful to you for the hard work you do.


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