Fields of Gold: Caregiver Stress Relief

This week's stress relief photo was taken on the grounds of Castle Howard in Yorkshire, England. The yellow fields of rapeseed put on a magnificent display each spring. 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.

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, 
and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."  -A.A. Milne

Logic Game Helps Senior Clients Keep Brain Active

For seniors, one of the best ways to prevent the onset of dementia is to keep the mind active. This doesn't mean that seniors need to be constantly working on complex projects, though. Brain exercise as simple as reading a book, completing a crossword or playing a brain game will keep the cogs turning. The Logic Puzzles app provides caregivers and their senior clients a way to exercise their minds.

The premise of the games in this app is to read clues and figure out the breakdown of the scenario accordingly. For example, the first game in the app focuses on a bobsledding tournament. The clues at the bottom are designated to help users decide who in the puzzle belongs on the team from which country, which of them are partners and what color bobsled they compete in.

The grid above the clues shows all of the possible combinations and as seniors read the clues, they can mark the boxes below as red for not correct or green for the correct combination. For example, one of the clues says that Ted and his partner are the white sled, so the user would select a green box for Ted and the white sled. They could also select a red box for the white sled column under the other users, but they do still need to figure out who Ted's partner is.

Senior caregivers could work on figuring out the clues with their senior clients. Some of the clues offer straight answers about which boxes are correct, while others offer hints that need to be combined with other clues to solve. 

Once seniors complete the puzzle and think they know the correct answers, they can select "Check Answers" from the menu in the upper left corner of the app and see how well they did. The app contains 10 different puzzles, so senior caregivers can plan to do one each week with their client and then possibly repeat the puzzles after some time has passed. 

The Logic Puzzle 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

Long-term care insurance caregiver training

Long-term care insurance policies require caregivers to be trained to meet the policy requirements. The caregiver training requirements will vary based on the policy but usually require a caregiver to have professional training meeting their state requirements or to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) by passing the state C.N.A. training course and state exam.

Learn about caregiver training requirements in your state to purchase training meeting your LTCI policy.

How to Become a Caregiver for Senior Care with State Approved Caregiver Training

Senior caregiver training requirements vary by state, based on state law requirements for licensed senior home care agencies and private duty senior care (caregivers hired and paid privately - this is still an old-school term used in the industry: "private duty").

Why do states regulate senior care? Because most senior care fraud starts in the home by a loved one or caregiver. Senior care can take an emotional toll on the caregiver and sometimes this can lead even good caregivers to take a wrong turn to justify financial, emotional or physical elder abuse.

In addition, many of our modern employment laws, such as payroll taxes which an employer takes out of each check for the employee and also contributes additional money for each payroll, provide for Social Security benefits, Worker's Compensation benefits and insurance protections and healthcare benefits.

States are passing legislation to protect both the caregiver and the senior. 

Caregiverlist provides a training portal to allow senior care companies to easily train all of their caregivers and track the training renewals while giving the caregivers a competency exam to test retention of the training skills.

Family caregivers and hire-direct caregivers can also take online caregiver training to learn basic caregiving skills to make sure they are maintaining safety and staying current with elder-abuse laws, privacy laws and the latest Alzhiemer's disease care and approved medications and other age-related disease care. Caregivers may view training required in their state and join the Professional Association of Caregivers to receive a t-shirt and lapel pin along with their online training course.

Receive Online Caregiver Training + T-shirt and Lapel Pin

Stress Relief Photo: Springtime Stroll

This is one of my favorite times of year, when the world is bursting with the colors of new life. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. Senior care training assists caregivers to better manage a senior's care needs and manage caregiver stress. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. We hope you have a great week.

"Dream without fear, love without limits, and let your life sing its song." -Dilip Bathjia

Gardening App Provides Caregiver Stress Relief in Time for Earth Day

With spring upon us and Earth Day this weekend, caregivers and their senior clients might be wondering what they can do to be environmentally friendly and get outdoors a little more. As a hobby, gardening offers a way to help the earth, grow your own healthy foods and relieve some stress. The Garden Compass app provides gardening assistance to caregivers and their senior clients.

Caregivers and their senior clients can spend some time discussing what they'd like to plant in their garden before purchasing seeds. Seeds can be purchased online or at a retailer such as Home Depot. Once caregivers and their senior clients have decided what they'd like to plant and selected a location for their garden, then they can begin using the app. 

Users need to create an account upon initially opening the app. This can be done using a Facebook profile or email address. Then, caregivers can begin building their garden virtually. The app allows users to quickly scan the barcode on a plant to accurately add it to their garden. Alternatively, caregivers can search by the exact scientific name of their plant to add it to the list, or they can add a more generic category to the garden list. The generic categories include Annuals, Bulbs, Citrus and Avocado, Vegetables and Herbs, etc.

In the free version of the app, users can add up to three different plants to their garden. This gives caregivers a chance to try the app and see if they like it, and then if they do they can upgrade to the paid version. The different garden selections are then used to populate the Care Calendar on a month-by-month basis.

The Care Calendar gives caregivers specific advice on how to take care of each plant during that month. For example, during April it indicates which garden items can be planted during cold weather, and then it May it will detail which vegetables can be harvested. This will be particularly useful for senior caregivers and their clients who are new to gardening. 

If caregivers run into unexpected issues while tending to their garden, such as bugs eating their plants or the plants not growing as expected, the app also offers a pest identification service. Using this section of the app requires a credit, which users are given a few of for free upon signing up or can purchase. They then can snap a photo of their garden and upload it to the app. They can also include a comment, and then the experts will examine the photo and offer specific identification of the pest. 

The Garden Compass 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

Illinois Nursing Home Workers Fighting for $15 an hour Wage

Nursing home daily rates are usually above $100 per day and can be higher than $400 per day, as the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Costs directory shows. Many Illinois nursing homes charge more than $300 per day for a private room and the median cost for a single room is $208 per day. Studies show that nursing home workers are among the most underpaid working women and men in the country with 1 in 3 nursing assistants relying on public assistance for some of their family's living needs.

Chicago Illinois nursing home workers participated in rallies on Thursday, April 14, 2017, to showcase their need for a higher hourly pay rate, seeking $15 per hour. Politicians, including two high-profile Democratic candidates for governor, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker, joined the rallies.

Image result for photos of illinois nursing home workers fighting for $15 minimum wage

The Paraprofessional Health Institute reports in their research that nursing assistants and workers providing laundry, food and housekeeping services are underpaid, often viewed "as a cost to be managed rather than an asset to invest." Keeping the wage floor low leads to 50% of nursing home workers leaving their positions each year and adds to the dramatically growing gap in available trained long-term care providers.

Nursing homes employ Certified Nursing Assistants (C.N.A.'s) who must meet minimum training requirements and pass a state certification exam to care for residents.

  • 91% of Nursing Assistants are Women
  • 1 in 3 C.N.A.'s rely on taxpayer-funded public benefits such as food stamps, energy assistance or Medicaid
  • Insufficient staffing levels contribute to high injury rates and high turnover
  • The average turnover for nursing assistants exceeded 50% in 2012
  • More than 1.3 million older Americans and people with disabilities currently reside in nursing homes
  • 10,000 Americans turn age 65 daily and the number of older Americans age 85+ will triple by 2050
How difficult would it be for a nursing home to pay more? Medicaid, the government program for low-income seniors, reimburses nursing homes for their fees for seniors on Medicaid. Medicare, for all seniors age 65 and over, pays for up-to-100 days in a nursing home. Others must private pay for the rooms. Review the cost of nursing homes near you. 

C.N.A.'s continue to be in demand and can always find local hospitals, nursing homes, and senior care companies hiring. Learn more about caregiver and C.N.A. jobs and training near you and submit a job application to be considered for openings. Caregivers may provide one-on-one care in the home for a senior and gain skills with an online caregiver training course. C.N.A.'s working in nursing homes may care for as many as 12 or more residents.

Central Park in Bloom: Stress Relief Photo

Finally we get to enjoy the marvel of blossoms and the new life of spring. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy our stress relief photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. This week's photo of a blossoming tree was taken in Central Park, New York. 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.

"In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous." -Aristotle

Become Professional Senior Caregiver with State Caregiver Training

Professional senior caregivers now may take formal training curated to meet state licensing requirements for senior care. As Americans are living longer, while needing care for some of those years and end-of-life care, both professional and family caregivers may join the Professional Association of Caregivers to keep up with industry news and research. The online caregiver training delivers skills for safety for both the senior and caregiver. Learn how to communicate with seniors, understand age-related illnesses, medications, infection control, environmental safety, transfer skills from bed to wheelchair to walker and more.

Join the P.A.C. Professional Association of Caregivers to receive t-shirt, lapel pin and online caregiver training certification.
JOIN NOW Created by Senior Home Care Industry Professionals for the Industry - Built for Caregivers

Crossword App Provides Caregiver Stress Relief, Brain Exercise for Senior Cients

For seniors, keeping the mind active is vital to preventing the onset of dementia. And for their caregivers, finding a way to relieve stress is paramount to a healthy lifestyle. The Penny Dell Crosswords app provides free daily crossword puzzles to meet both of these needs.

When users first download the app and open it, they will be taken on a guided tour through the different areas in the app. These include the Daily Puzzle, the Puzzle Library and the Puzzle Store. Caregivers and their senior clients can complete the daily puzzle for free each day.

When users navigate to the Daily Puzzle section, they will see options for level of difficulty. Caregivers can choose between an Easy, Medium or Hard puzzle. Since the app allows users to complete all three levels of difficulty on any given day, there are actually three puzzles available for free each day. 

Once caregivers have selected a puzzle, the app will highlight each row one at a time and display the clue. Users simply need to use the keyboard on their phone to type in the answers. The app will then automatically bring up the clue and number of spaces for the next question. Caregivers can use the arrows on the sides to skip back and forth between clues.

The settings at the top of the app allow caregivers to decide whether or not they'd like the app to highlight incorrect answers. This feature might be helpful because then caregivers and their senior clients will know immediately if they should edit a response before they move onto other clues that share letters with the first response.

Caregivers might enjoy spending half an hour alone in the app, figuring out the clues as a form of stress-relief. This could be a good way to take your mind off the stress of the day and focus on relaxing. For senior clients, it provides a form of exercise for the mind by requiring recall of words and definitions. Caregivers could even team up with their senior clients to work on a crossword puzzle together.

The Penny Dell Crisswords 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
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