Learn the Basics of Spanish to Better Communicate Using App

The Spanish-speaking population in the United States continues to grow at a rapid rate. For caregivers whose senior clients might not speak English as their first language, learning some of their language may help them feel better connected with you. It also may help you communicate better with them. The Breaking the Barrier app offers caregivers the ability to learn how to speak Spanish. 

When users first open the app, they will see that it starts with the very basics. The first module takes users through learning how to say the numbers 1 - 20. They are presented flashcard style, with the English word on one side and the Spanish word on the other. An audio button allows users to hear the pronunciation of the word, and then the app asks users to repeat it using the microphone on their device. 

Once a user correctly repeats a word to the satisfaction of the app, it will fly up to their learned words list. Users can revisit this list at any time using the arrow button in the top right corner of the app. The microphone in the app took a minute to figure out because it's unclear whether your audio is registering if you don't say the word exactly right the first time. Make sure the button at the top has moving bars as you speak and keep trying. Once it registers the first time, users will realize how it works. 

Other beginning categories within the app include: Days, months and seasons; In class and at home; Colors; Weather; Greetings; and Family. These categories provide vocabulary useful for caregivers who wish to engage in light conversation with their Spanish-speaking senior clients. The app has different levels, ranging from Beginner to Advanced, so caregivers can grow in their abilities with the app. 

Caregivers can also ask their senior clients if they'd like to help with learning words around the house and in conversation. If they're not fluent in English, you can have fun with helping one another learn by having conversations dedicated to comparing words for different objects, and even put post it notes with the Spanish and English translations for different words around the house on various objects. 

The Breaking the Barrier: Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards 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 

Colorful Creation in the Park for Stress Relief

This week's stress relief photo was taken at the Serpentine Gallery, in Hyde Park, London. Each year, a different architect builds a pavilion in the park for people to enjoy. This was the 2015 pavilion designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano and celebrates form, light, and color. Caregiverlist invites you to enjoy and the photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors.  At Caregiverlist we know the realities of caregiver stress. Senior care training assists caregivers to better manage a senior's care needs and manage caregiver stress. We hope you have a great week.

"Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows
 superimposed one on top of the other."  -Paulo Coelho

New Mexico Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, has always been a place of intrigue for me. I’ve delighted in the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. I’ve wanted to investigate, under cover of night, the goings-on at Roswell. It’s a land of incredible beauty, and birthplace of many notables—Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos is from New Mexico, as is Neil Patrick Harris, Demi Moore, Conrad Hilton, and a host of others. Breaking Bad made New Mexico impossibly cool. I mean, it was home to Saul Goodman, after all.

According to New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department, by the year 2030, New Mexico’s 65+ population will move from 29th to fourth largest in the nation, and 5th in the projected growth rate of the 85+ population. And although the majority of seniors prefer to age at home, New Mexico spends 39 percent of the state's Medicaid funds on nursing home care.

How much do nursing homes in New Mexico cost? According to Caregiverlist’s updated national nursing home cost database, the daily room rate of a nursing home in New Mexico is $200.00 (the state average of single and shared rooms) or $73,000 per year, making it the 30th costliest state in the nation. The average star rating for New Mexico nursing homes is 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Senior care planning and paying for that care is the conversation no one wants to have. However, families need to understand the costs of nursing homes in their area, along with their overall ratings. Families usually doesn’t learn of those costs until long-term care is needed. Most hospitals release seniors to nursing homes for postoperative care. Medicare will cover the first 100 day—after which most seniors must private pay for care. Caregiverlist updates our nursing home cost database so seniors and their families can get an idea of long-term care costs in their area.

Below is a snapshot of New Mexico nursing home costs and ratings:
Total Number of Nursing Homes: 82
Average Single Price: $211
Average Double Price: $189
Average Rating: 2.5

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 1
4-Star: 24
3-Star: 28
2-Star: 18
1-Star: 11

You can also see an at­-a­-glance snapshot of our latest findings with our New Mexico nursing home cost infographic below.

Which is New Mexico’s highest rated nursing home? The only New Mexico facility with the highest Caregiverlist rating is not a nursing home but a Continuing Care Retirement Community. Landsun Homes in Carlsbad, New Mexico receives an overall 4.2 star rating, with perfect marks in its overall Medicare star rating and its certified nursing aide hours per resident per day.

On the other hand, some nursing homes in New Mexico have been in the news recently as the Office of the Attorney General Hector Balderas filed suit against Preferred Healthcare and Cathedral Rock after receiving complaints about the care given to senior residents in their New Mexico nursing home properties.

For that and a host of other reasons, many seniors prefer to stay at home and hire an in-home professional senior caregiver. The median hourly rate for a home health aide or CNA in New Mexico is $20 per hour, but can increase or decrease depending on the exact location (Santa Fe is the most expensive) and level of care required. A quality home care agency provides all necessary liability and worker's compensation insurance protections and payroll taxes as required by law, as well as running a thorough background check on their caregivers.

When should families begin anticipating for future long-term care costs? Consult with a professional who can come up with a financial action plan, something that includes an assessment of your family’s assets and anticipated spending needs. Seniors and their family caregivers can also research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

Add Your Steps Into Miles Using MapMyWalk App

Everywhere you turn these days, people are discussing how many steps they got today and if they've met the main goal of 10,000 throughout the course of their day. The FitBit craze has taken over. For senior caregivers who may not want to spend $100 or more on a wristband to count their steps, the MapMyWalk app offers an alternative to tracking light exercise. 

Going for a walk offers health benefits to senior caregivers and their clients alike. For senior clients who may not have ease of motion any longer and cannot participate in high-impact activities, walking provides a way to still get up and move while setting their own pace. For senior caregivers, walking can help get you out of the house and relieve stress. And, according to Harvard Health, as a form of moderate exercise, walking can improve cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. 

When users first open the MapMyWalk app, they need to create an account. This allows caregivers to keep historical data of their walks to review and compare over time. Starting a new workout is easy. Caregivers simply need to click the "Record a Workout" button and make sure the proper exercise appears in the upper left corner. 

While the app's main focus is walking outdoors, other exercise types are available to track as well. Users can choose between stairs, walking on a treadmill, running, mountain biking, hiking and more. Once users select an activity, they can click the "Start Workout" button as they begin exercising. 

If caregivers don't have a specific route in mind, they can make it up as they go and the app will track it. Otherwise, if they'd prefer to have a set route ahead of time, the app offers a tool to see nearby routes that other runners have taken to help plan yours. For an additional fee associated with the MVP membership, users can use the Route Genius tool, which analyzes the map in your neighborhood and suggests the best path. 

As users go for their walk, the app tracks distance, duration, pace and calories burned. Don't think of this as a race against the clock, though. Take your walk at a pace that you feel comfortable with, especially if you have a senior client accompanying you. Once a workout is complete, it's stored in the workouts tab for future reference. Users can easily review how far they've walked over time on this tab. 

The app also features challenges that caregivers can opt into, if they so desire. These range in difficulty and requirements, such as walking a certain amount throughout the whole year. Users can also search for friends in the app to view their activity and send them encouragement. 

The MapMyWalk 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

New Jersey Regency Nursing Center Makes Guinness World Record for Largest Gathering of Centenarians

America's seniors are living longer than any previous generation and to prove it, a senior living residence in Somerset, New Jersey gathered 31 seniors age 100 and above and received a mention in the Guinness World Records for the largest gathering of centenarians. And, only 2 of those in attendance were men!

Babies born today have a life expectancy of age 100. Now that we know more about ways to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, it is expected that many Americans will easily reach age 110 or older. This means we will need to rethink what our retirement years will look like and how to better save money to pay for retirement care.

Medicare health insurance covers all seniors age 65 and above in the U.S.A. and does not pay for long-term care. Medicare only covers hospital stays and short-term nursing home stays for up to 100 days after a major medical incident. All long-term care must be paid for by the senior unless they have limited assets and income and qualify for the subsidized Medicaid program. 

Seniors can research nursing homes in their area and learn more about Regency Jewish Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to plan ahead for their senior care needs. As nursing homes are often an extension of a hospital stay, seniors should learn about their preferred nursing care center in their area.

Refreshing and Relaxing Hike: Caregiver Stress Relief

We hope you are enjoying a relaxing holiday weekend with family and friends, or are able to just take some time to yourself. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Manchester, Connecticut. 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 wish you a Happy 4th of July and a great week.

"Running water never grows stale, so you just have to keep on flowing." 
-Bruce Lee
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