Professional Caregiver Training for Senior Care with P.A.C. Membership

How do you become a senior caregiver? As long as you naturally have a caring personality and an appreciation for the aging journey seniors are dealing with (a journey we all hope to be fortunate enough to make someday), then you just need to educate yourself on some proven skills that make caregiving a positive experience for both the senior and the caregiver.

The Professional Association of Caregivers assists you to learn the basic caregiving skills with an online course while keeping up with senior care industry news and you'll receive a t-shirt and lapel pin along with the training. You may also apply for a caregiving job on Caregiverlist to begin working as a companion caregiver.

Comprehensive Health App Allows Caregivers to Track Overall Activity

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, so many factors are at play together. From eating a balanced diet to getting exercise and relieving stress, it can all be difficult to track. Luckily, the My Health Diary app allows senior caregivers to quickly and easily store health information about all the different activities in one place so that they can see an overall picture of their efforts. 

Users must first create an account with the app upon downloading it, which includes identifying information and linking existing Health apps on their phone to the app. For iPhone users, the My Health Diary app can pull in information from the build in Apple Health app. This includes an Activity section with a counter for how many steps are walked in a day, in addition to other optional features that iPhone users can choose to track, such as Nutrition, Sleep and Mindfulness. 

Once users create their account, then they can set up their dashboard within the app with the widgets they'd like to use. The app features over 20 different widgets to track different aspects of health, ranging from sleep and steps to medications taken and blood pressure. Widgets can be added or removed from the dashboard at any time by going to the Settings area of the app. 

Caregivers can customize this section to fit the needs of their senior clients. For example, if a senior client needs to track their blood pressure on a daily basis in addition to taking a medication for it, then caregivers can record the results in the blood pressure widget to keep a record over time. This can be useful for personal information, as well as to share at upcoming doctor's appointments to make sure clients are on track.

For caregivers who want to track their own health, the exercise widget in the app will provide an idea of where they're at now and how much more activity they should do to meet their fitness goals. Another area of the app allows caregivers to set Care Items for a particular day of the week. For example, for stress relief caregivers could set a goal to take a walk for 30 minutes three times a week. This could also be used to remind caregivers of specific times that senior clients needs to take medication. 

The Files area of the app gives caregivers a space to take photos of prescription instructions or store important medical documents for their senior clients in case they need them for quick reference. To store a document, users can either upload one or take a new photo. 

The My Health Diary App is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover 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 

Moment for Reflection in Wales: Stress Relief Photo

This week's stress relief photo was taken at Caernarfon Castle in Wales, on a cool and bright November day, and shows the castle reflecting in the water. 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.

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." -Nelson Mandela

Washington, D.C. Nursing Home Cost Infographic for November 2016

Caregiverlist has released the updated daily costs of nursing homes in Washington, D.C. for November 2016. The 18 nursing homes in the District of Columbia have an average cost of $317 per day for a semi-private room and have an average Caregiverlist Star Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Washington, D.C.'s nursing homes are the 4th costliest in the nation, just ahead of Hawaii. D.C.'s  neighboring state nursing homes are less expensive, with Maryland's average daily cost $255 and Virginia's cost $192 per day for a shared room.

Brain Games App Keeps Senior Minds Sharp

For seniors, keeping an active mind plays a large role in preventing the onset of dementia. This doesn't mean that senior caregivers need to pose rigorous challenges to their senior clients on a frequent basis, though. Exercise for the mind can be the equivalent of walking on a treadmill for physical exercise; slow, but still going through the full motions to use the muscles. The Left vs Right app gives senior caregivers a tool to use with their senior clients to exercise their minds. 

When users first download the app, it takes them through a series of categories with questions to determine what the user would like to improve upon the most. The six categories covered in the app are awareness, precision, reasoning, patience, adaptability and reflex. The questions in each offer senior clients the ability to improve upon situations from their own lives, such as consistently remembering people and places that they meet and see. 

The app then recommends games for the user based on their specific choices during set-up. Before launching into the game, the app takes users through the instructions to ensure they understand the rules. It sets up a basic scenario and provides enough detail along with visuals for users to fully comprehend what they need to do before the game begins. 

One of the games for precision requires users to tap smiley faces in the order of their proximity to an "exit." As the game continues, the level of difficulty increases slightly. Another game in the adaptability category requires users to match series of tiles together based on the text color or the words written within the tiles. 

Senior caregivers can encourage their clients to use the app multiple times per week to improve their scores and abilities over time. Free accounts will get three new games on a daily basis, which are determined by their answers to the initial questions in the app. If senior caregivers find that their clients greatly enjoy the app and would like to play more, there is a VIP membership option which allows users full access to the games within the app. The app provides a free trial for this level of memberships, so senior clients can try it at no cost to see if they like it. 

For senior clients, speed may not be the most important factor in completing the activities. Instead, remind them to focus on completing the goal of each game as it appears to improve their abilities. Simply the act of engaging with the game provides the exercise for the brain that can help prevent dementia. 

The Left vs Right: A brain training game app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover 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 

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