Caregiver Stress Relief: Picnic at Walden Pond

This week's stress relief photo was taken at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.  The lake inspired and was made famous by Henry David Thoreau. We invite you to take a moment to enjoy the photo and the inspirational quote and feel free to share them with loved ones. Caregivers provide companionship and caregiving to seniors, and must remember to "care for the caregiver." Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. We hope you have a great week. 

"Live the life you have imagined."  -Henry David Thoreau

App Provides Basics of Braille for Senior Caregivers

Caregivers with clients who have impaired vision may need to coach them extra through specific activities. If a senior client can read Braille, they might be more independent. However, a senior caregiver would benefit from also being able to read basic Braille to help them through daily life when they encounter it. For senior caregivers, the PocketBraille app provides a learning and reference tool. 

The app provides basic categories for learning Braille, such as Alphabet, Numbers and Punctuation. Senior caregivers who want to learn the language might benefit most from sitting down with a notebook, pulling up individual letters and copying the specific symbol repeatedly. The alphabet section includes the symbols for both lower case and upper case letters. 

The app also provides reference for Contracted Braille, which is when one figure stands for a whole word. It breaks these down into One Letter Word Contractions or One Symbol Word Contractions. When people read or write Braille, they simply need to write this one letter or symbol to communicate the whole commonly used word, instead of spelling it out letter by letter. Examples of words represented by contractions include for, his, this, not, etc. 

The app also includes a section focused on Braille History, which explains that Braille was created in 1829, why it's represented as a series of dots and more. According to this section, the use of Braille has subsided in the past 30 years, but plenty of people with vision impairment still use it. 

Senior caregivers don't need to memorize everything in the app, but can rather use it as a reference if a senior client who is new to Braille gets stuck or they want to learn a few basics to read along with their senior client. A phone screen lacks the ability to raise the Braille characters and feel them in the same way a deaf person actually uses them to read. However, the app is useful for those with good vision to pick up the basics. 

The main capability that this app lacks is the ability to attempt to string together whole words. It would be nice if caregivers could practice writing a word or two, even if only to learn how to spell a senior client's name or write a simple sentence. 

The PocketBraille Reference app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko 

Maine Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

I’d like to retire to Maine — and that’s not just my love of lobster talking. I’d If I do retire there, I won’t be alone. Maine has one of the highest percentage of senior populations in the U.S., second only to Florida, according to the World Atlas. Unfortunately, Maine seniors are experiencing a housing crisis, with limited access to affordable, quality homes. The situation is so dire that many Maine seniors are forced into institutional housing before they really need to be there. A situation like this is why it is so important to be aware of the costs of long-term care near you.

The average annual price of a semi-private room in a Maine nursing home is $91,980, or $7,665 per month, according to our July 2016 database update. The average annual price of a private nursing home in a Maine is $99,280, or $8,273 per month. While Maine’s nursing home are the 10th costliest in the nation, they are less expensive than the nursing homes in their neighboring states, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The average Caregiverlist Star Rating is higher as well — 3.3 out of 5, compared to New Hampshire and Vermont, who each score an average of 3.1 out of 5 stars, and Massachusetts, whose average Caregiverlist Star Rating is 2.9.

Below is a snapshot of Maine nursing home costs and ratings. You can also see our findings on our Maine nursing home cost infographic.

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 110
Average Single Price: $276
Average Double Price: $252

Caregiverlist Nursing Home Star Rating
5-Star: 15
4-Star: 62
3-Star: 27
2-Star: 1
1-Star: 5
Average : 3.3 (out of 5) stars

Maine seniors and their families should understand the costs of nursing homes in their area, along with their overall ratings. Hospitals often discharge the senior to a nursing home for post-hospital stay rehabilitation after a stroke or major surgery. If the senior’s stay is longer than the Medicare-covered 100 days, those costs becomes out-of-pocket. The nursing home talk is a difficult one and most families avoid the discussion until the need is imminent. Caregiverlist believes and informed consumer is in the best position to make those critical long-term care choices. We are always updating our nursing home database to provide the latest costs and ratings for nursing homes nationwide.

In-home caregiving can be an attractive option if 24-hour care is not needed. Many families will work with a quality home care agency for their senior care needs. The hourly rate for senior home care in Maine can range from $16 to $34 per hour, depending on the location and level of care required, with the added benefit of one-on-one assistance. “We have been able to help families stretch their savings to cover elder care costs and at the same time provide compassionate care that goes above and beyond in the home,” says Sonia Garcia of FirstLight Home Care of Southern Maine. “We become part of the family and offer a safe, engaging and nurturing care that lessens the worry for families.” A quality home care agency will also conduct the necessary background check and provide all liability and worker's compensation insurance protections and payroll taxes as required by law.

Each family has to determine their own breaking point between cost and level of care. We recommend you consult with a professional who can come up with a financial action plan to anticipate future long-term care costs. They will help assess your future spending needs.

Caregiverlist can also provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Maine and help you learn about the costs for senior care. Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

Maine Nursing Home Cost Infographic for July 2016

Caregiverlist has released the daily rates of nursing homes in Maine. With 110 nursing homes, the average cost for a shared room is about $252 per day. Maine nursing homes hold an average Caregiverlist Star Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Maine's nursing homes are the 10th costliest in the nation, but the least expensive of the Northeastern states.

Arizona 102-year-old Senior Announces U.S.A.'s First Female Presidential Candidate

American women could not vote when Jerry (Geraldine) Emmett was born. But last night she marked her spot in history by announcing Hillary Clinton as the first female candidate nominated for president by a major political party in the U.S.A. Ms. Emmett has been an active member of the Democratic party for many years and claims life-long allegiance as she continues to live a long life! She arrived in Philadelphia to make the historic announcement of Hillary's nomination in person.

Regardless of which political party you are a member of or which candidate you support, appreciating the freedoms we enjoy and the ability to be recognized as someone still contributing to the world at age 102 deserves recognition and admiration.

There are still countries where women cannot drive, cannot vote, cannot own a business and cannot wear a bikini.

May we American women always maintain these freedoms and cheers to Jerry Emmett for reminding us that we are lucky to be aging in the U.S.A.!

Find C.N.A. Programs in Chicago Illinois

How do you find nursing aide programs in Chicago? 

The best way to find C.N.A. courses is by accessing the complete directory listing on which was created by real humans. When you visit the directory of the state schools you'll find:

  • Illinois C.N.A. school program length (6 weeks is popular)
  • Admission Requirements (must pass background check and have high school diploma or G.E.D. and perhaps take a math or writing exam)
  • Cost
Find the actual Illinois C.N.A. school costs which is the most important information for every student. Don't over-pay and be sure to find a quality nursing aide program that will allow you to pass the state nursing aide certification exam (check it out first by taking the state C.N.A. practice test) Good Luck!

You may also request free C.N.A. admissions and program information for healthcare school programs in your area, including for nursing aide certification as you map out your career ladder.

Illinois Certified Nursing Aide School Costs and Admission Programs Update

Illinois C.N.A. schools are listed in the Caregiverlist C.N.A. School Directory which includes the information on the nursing assistant school costs and admission requirements in the state of Illinois. Nursing assistants become certified in Illinois by first taking the state-approved C.N.A. course and then passing the state exam to gain their certificate. More C.N.A.'s are needed as Illinois is a state where seniors age-in-place. "Sweet Home Chicago" rings true for the state's retirees. Please find the information on the state of Illinois' updated nursing aide programs below.

How much does a C.N.A. school program in Illinois cost?

Of the approved certified nursing assistant training programs in Illinois, the average cost per program is $1,097 and the C.N.A. school programs pricing ranges from $550 to $2,800 for the course with books and uniform. Many of the Illinois nursing assistant programs are in the middle range for cost, between $700 and $1,000. Definitely contact schools you are considering attending to find out if you may qualify for financial assistance. Sometimes hospitals and nursing homes in Illinois will assist residents seeking to become nursing aides by reimbursing them for their C.N.A. certification training.

Average Illinois C.N.A. School Cost: $1,097

Most Popular Length of C.N.A. School course in Illinois:  130 hours

The C.N.A school requirements, along with the length of the program, and contact information is listed for each school for easy comparison. A Certified Nursing Aide often finds work in nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospitals, or senior home care agencies, providing a variety of personal and nursing care to the patients.

Caregiverlist’s Practice CNA Test, presented by Hdmaster, provides great insights into the information needed to succeed as a C.N.A. and to learn about the different types of questions nursing aide exams may ask. After getting certified, Caregiverlist provides a Caregiver Job Application, which allows you to apply for caregiving and C.N.A. jobs in an area near you.

Find Illinois C.N.A. Schools and submit your request for free C.N.A. school applications in Illinois. Remember, as the number of seniors increases by 10,000 every day, and everyone is enjoying living longer lives, more caregivers are needed and jobs are available for trained caregivers and nursing aides - become one today or refer-a-friend!

Over the Rainbow in Switzerland: Stress Relief Photo

No matter how many times we have seen them, we all love a rainbow. This week's stress relief photo was taken at the lake, near Zurich, Switzerland. Caregiverlist invites you to enjoy the photo and share it with loved ones. At Caregiverlist we know the realities of caregiver stress. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. Please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on and visit our career center for additional career tools. Have a great week. 

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." -Maya Angelou

Stay Hydrated All Summer Using App to Track Water Intake

One of the key factors in beating the heat during the summer and staying healthy is drinking enough water to prevent dehydration. Particularly for senior clients, drinking water frequently throughout the day can mean the difference between a trip to the emergency room or a peaceful afternoon. The PlantNanny app helps senior caregivers track how much water their senior clients drink to keep them hydrated. 

When users first open the app, it requires them to create a profile detailing their weight and activity level. The app uses this information to determine how much water the user should be drinking in a single day. Caregivers who would like to use the app for a senior client should enter their client's information. 

Caregivers need to select if they'd like to measure the water in oz or ml. For caregivers in the United States, it will probably be easiest to select oz as most glasses and bottled water uses this measurement. Then, users receive their daily recommended water intake and select their plant. 

The plant within the app offers a visual representation of how much water you need to drink. As users drink more water each day, their plant grows more. Each plant has a fun little description, and users can customize the pot its planted in as well. Beginning choices for the plant include Devil's Ivy and Dandelion. Other options require users to trade in seeds within the app, which they can do at a later point. 

Once caregivers are ready to start tracking water, they need to create a new cup in the app. The app presents several different cup shapes and as users scroll through, they estimate the number of ounces each cup would hold. If users know the exact number on ounces in their cup, they can use the slider at the bottom to select that number. 

Throughout the day, as senior clients drink water, caregivers can hold down the water glass and it will record how much water they've drank. As users drink enough water each day, the plant grows accordingly. The app also presents a warning if you record too much water in too short of time to make sure users understand that drinking too much water too quickly can be dangerous. 

The PlantNanny App is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko 

Stress Relief Photo: Sailing in the Sunshine

It is the height of summer, when we embrace the time we can spend outside in the sunshine. This week's photo was taken at the lakefront in Chicago, Illinois. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy the photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and the care you provide for 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. We hope you have a great week. 

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."  -English Proverb
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