This week the Wall Street Journal reported that the senior home care sector has grown by 6.6% annually for franchise businesses, which is faster than the 2.6% compound annual growth rate for the franchise industry. Americans are aging, living longer, and choosing to age in their homes.
Caregivers, however, are still in demand, by these hiring senior care companies. Many people do not realize that senior care is an industry and that caregiving is a profession.
Join the Professional Association of Caregivers to receive online caregiver certification training, a t-shirt and lapel pin and become involved with a community of senior care executives who support "caring for the caregiver". Part-time and full-time job positions are available and companies hire new caregivers weekly to keep up with the quick turnaround required as seniors never plan ahead for senior care. States are also passing legislation requiring minimum training for professional caregivers and you can also learn about the state caregiver training requirements. Students and early retirees can enjoy working as a caregiver to earn income while also providing a fulfilling service.
Join Professional Association of Caregivers to begin your career.
Senior caregivers are in demand to keep up with the caregiving needs for Amercia's large Baby Boomer generation. We are also entering a new reality of aging where more and more seniors are living to be 100 years old. Medical technology, along with more knowledge about how to live a healthy lifestyle are contributing to longer lives. My own grandmother turns 100 this year and she just had the battery in her pacemaker replaced this week. She told the doctor she only needed a 2-year battery!
This highlights, though, the fact that part of the way we are living longer is both because of medical advancements and caregiving services. We are fortunate to have family members living near my Grandmother who help with all aspects of her daily living. She also has macular degeneration which has left her with poor vision. She no longer drives and her longer life is due to both caregivers and medical technology.
More than 50% of adult children do not live within a 1 hour drive of their parents or grandparents. In addition, lifestyles have changed and as women have been able to build their own careers, they are not available to be caregivers. This means we need more people to work as part-time and full-time professional caregivers.
Online caregiver training courses teach basic caregiving skills. Anyone with a caring personality can become a caregiver. Family caregivers also can benefit from online training courses. All of the skills taught help you to be a better caregiver and there are many senior caregiving tasks that you will not know how to do well if you are not taught. Even understanding how to communicate with seniors of different generations helps you to be a better caregiver, along with learning activities for seniors with memory loss, how to maintain a clean and safe environment, do safe transfers, assist with meals and more.
Take an online caregiver training course to become a certified caregiver and submit your job application to be considered for part-time and full-time senior caregiver jobs in your area (or refer-a-friend to a job).
Senior caregiver training classes are now required in several states in order to provide a minimum standard of caregiving services for seniors along with protections for both the senior and the caregiver.
California's recent passage of the Home Care Consumer Protection Act requires caregivers there to receive 5 hours of training which include a minimum of 2 hours orientation training regarding the role of a caregiver and expectations as a caregiver employee (such as standard policies and procedures) + 3 hours of safety training encompassing basic safety precautions, emergency procedures and infection control. This total of 5 hours of training for senior care prior to working with a senior client must then be followed by 5 hours of annual training for any items considered to be a core competency.
Digital caregiver training classes are acceptable for California's caregiver training along with most other states, as the ability to study the text, accompanied by videos and audio, delivers a superior training format.
Keep in mind that senior caregiving skills cover a wide variety of topics and many college-educated individuals, without training, can easily fail the online caregiver training courses.
While basic caregiving skills include items many of us would think of, such as how to safely transfer a senior from a bed to chair, how to manage a clean environment, how to communicate with someone with memory loss, there are many more skills needed to successfully deliver senior care in a home caregiving environment, such as:
- Managing Family Dynamics
- Maintaining Care Plan Notes
- Understanding Signs of Dementia
- Emergency Planning
- Caregiving for Hospice (Dying) Seniors
- Universal Infection Control and Precaution
- Recognition of Abuse (Emotional, Physical, Financial)
- Proper Nutrition
Caregiving for seniors
can be very complicated and is much different than caring for children. Obtaining a basic caregiver training certification
enable anyone with a caring personality to become a senior caregiver. Consider becoming a certified caregiver and applying for a job position
as a caregiver in your area as more part-time and full-time senior caregivers are needed to assist with caregiving for America's aging population.
The U.S. Senate passed the RAISE Family Caregivers Act this week (and this bill is actually supported by both Democrats and Republicans), which will require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The bill goes to the House next for consideration. The Department of Health and Human Services would be required to develop, maintain and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. Federal departments would also be required to share any data that can assist with creating a national caregiving strategy.
Advocates are hoping this will help make senior care a national agenda item in the upcoming presidential election. Currently, only candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who cared for her own mother at home, has called for more support for family caregivers.
This summer, New Mexico Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham reintroduced a bill to create a national Care Corps program, modeled after the Peace Corps, in which volunteers would help family caregivers. New York state's Representative Nita M. Lowey also introduced legislation that would give caregivers a Social Security earnings credit when they take unpaid time off from their jobs to provide care.
Advocates behind RAISE hope that increasing awareness will eventually spark political action.
Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care and nursing home costs can easily be from $150 to $350 per day. About 40 million Americans care for family members, which works out to an unpaid workforce worth around $470 billion per year. They typical caregivers is the oldest adult daughter or another relative.
A congressional caucus was formed to focus on the needs of family caregivers earlier this year, with the backing of AARP. RAISE would specifically require the development, maintenance and updating of an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. More caregivers and more programs to support caregivers will be needed to support our nation's growing senior population.
Senior caregivers are already in demand, as seniors rarely plan ahead for care and will be quickly discharged from a hospital to a nursing home or to their home while still needing assistance with activities of daily living. Anyone with a caring personality may become a senior caregiver by taking a basic caregiver training course and applying to a part-time or full-time caregiving job in their area.
AARP Offers this hotline to call your U.S. Congress Representative to urge them to support the bipartisan RAISE bill in the House at 844-453-9952 (Toll Free). Remember, this legislation simply begins the process for a strategy to be developed around family caregiving.
Caregiver employment opportunities are increasing, as America's population of seniors has escalated in recent years. Senior care companies are hiring companion caregivers, live-in caregivers and nursing aides. Anyone with a caring personality can become a senior caregiver. Learn how you can become a caregiver and apply on Caregiverlist to be considered for part-time and full-time caregiving jobs in your area (and refer your friends). Caregiving will be the most fulfilling work you will probably ever do, while also earning a paycheck.
Caregivers in the Los Angeles, California, area are invited to a special evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, along with a movie viewing and fellowship with other caregivers on October 1st. This event, honoring family and professional caregivers, is a special event sponsored by Clorox® as part of the debut of their new care kits. This means you will also receive a FREE GOODY BAG - - - we always love goody bags and can tell you this one is a really good one! Complimentary parking is included and a $5 donation will be made to the Beauty Bus, in the caregiver's honor, when a photo of the one they care for is shared at the event.
Caregiverlist's team attended the Chicago event and really enjoyed the documentary movie created by Ernesto Quintero, profiling his brother's journey with M.S. Ernesto's mother and siblings provide care for his brother who now cannot walk, eat or breathe on his own. Ernesto's Mom even went back to school for nurse's aide training and become a C.N.A. in order to properly care for both her husband and son. Clorox has debuted a home care clean-up kit that contains products without bleach and also includes gloves and just the right items for caregivers: hand sanitizer, stain remover, germicidal non-bleach spray and disinfecting and deodorizing spray. Maintaining a sanitary environment for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom are very important in caregiving and are part of the caregiver basic training required in many states.
Spread the word to other caregivers about this event as you will also enjoy a roundtable discussion with the film maker and others in the caregiving industry after the event. Below you will find the invitation for this night where caregivers will be "caring for the caregiver
Let Clorox CareConcepts take care of, celebrate and honor you for caregiving. Join us for a “night off” to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, drinks and camaraderie with other caregivers. Enjoy pampering activities and a private screening of the documentary “A Sacred Journey” by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Ernesto Quintero that touches all of those who care for a loved one. A panel discussion (6:30 p.m. screening only) with experts and caregivers on "When Care Comes Home” will follow the screening, exploring the challenges and inspirational moments of caregiving.
Date: Wednesday, October 1
Time: 6:30 p.m. with panel discussion, 8:00 p.m. film only
Location: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Transportation: Complimentary valet parking
RSVP: To RSVP@pdcpr.net or 708.305.5075 noting 6:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. showtime
Donation in Your Honor: Submit a photo or keepsake representing the one you care for and Clorox® CareConceptsTM will donate $5 to the Beauty Bus Foundation
Senior caregiving comes with many challenges, including the need to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Keeping a clean living area is not as easy at it sounds when you must also consider health issues. Especially if you are caring for a senior who may be confined to their bed or wheelchair, you have the added challenge of bathing them and assisting them with bathroom visits when they are not fully able to be mobile on their own.
One time, I assisted a senior with a transfer from their bed to their bedside bed-pan in order for them to have a successful toilet visit. While I was very nervous about the transfer because the senior was a tall man, everything went smoothly. All the lessons learned in nursing aide training paid off. However, when I went to dump the bed pan, well, I missed the toilet some and had a bigger mess to clean-up.
Now, Clorox has come to the rescue, marrying together multiple products needed for caregiving in a "Home Care Clean Up Kit". Another challenge for caregivers is finding all of the right products in one place, which usually cannot be done. Clorox has done the research and understands caregivers must protect themselves along with protecting the senior. Remember, one of the positive aspects of the new healthcare law, which rarely is mentioned, is the fact that hospital readmissions were rather out of control because so many times a senior goes into the hospital only to come home with a new infection. The new healthcare law will decrease the Medicare payments to hospitals who have poor performance for readmissions. Maintaining a clean caregiving environment impacts the quality of the senior care.
Clorox's new caregiver product offering, called Care Concepts, offers non-latex exam gloves, hand sanitizer, stain remover, germicidal non-bleach spray, disinfecting and deodorizing spray. And, the best part of the offering is that Clorox has packaged all of these much-needed items together in one package to allow seniors and their caregivers to easily have all the necessary tools for a clean caregiving environment.
"We've participated in numerous studies of caregivers, buy we are exceptionally pleased with this report because it re-enforces the hardships we often hear caregivers endure and it helps us to better understand the unique challenges and rewards of being a caregiver," said John Schnall, CEO of the Caregiver Action Network.
Resources for senior caregivers are always appreciated and these new cleaning products (without bleach) will help caregivers more easily do their jobs. Proper cleaning of the caregiver's environment is part of the caregiver training for basic caregiver skills.
Clorox Clean-up Home Care Kit
Care.com lawsuits recently have surrounded the direct-hire website's offering of babysitters who did not demonstrate quality care while on the job. You can read about the care.com lawsuits by parents in Nebraska and Wisconsin and there are additional incidents of hire-direct situations gone wrong. Every company can have a bad employee and everyone can experience something in their personal life which impacts their job performance. Good reporting involves just stating the facts but these care.com lawsuits provide an opportunity for us to highlight the advantages of only hiring a licensed senior home care agency.
Remember, senior care is not at all like babysitting and you should make sure certain quality standards are always in place for senior care. There are many advantages to only working with experienced senior caregiving companies and many states have even passed laws to make sure professionals only refer seniors to licensed senior home care agencies for senior care. Let's discuss why senior care professionals advise to only hire a licensed senior caregiving professional agency. Unless you have a unique situation where the senior is living with their family members who are actively there each morning and night and actively trained to manage the caregiver, you should make sure you are only hiring a senior caregiver working for a professionally licensed senior care company. I would question the advice and motivations of any person or website who pretends there is no difference in the two - there is a huge difference. And a huge difference in your ability to protect the senior, the caregiver and your family's assets.
First, remember that in senior care a parent is not there at the beginning and end of each day. Senior care can also be very emotional and caregivers require support and training in order to provide quality care. As an employee, a senior caregiver receives benefits, required by law, which protect the caregiver and the senior. There are grumpy old men (and women) and sometimes these situations can make a good caregiver go bad when they do not have the proper benefits and support. A professional senior home care agency will have an involved Care Manager to manage the family and the caregiver and restaff when necessary (and even train the family members).
Senior Home Care Agency benefits:
- Caregivers Must Meet "Employee" Hiring Guidelines: Be Legal to work in the U.S.A. (I-9 Form)
- Caregivers Must Pass Criminal Background Check (Many States Require Finger-printing and Healthcare Worker Registry of the Caregiver)
- Worker's Compensation Insurance (If the Caregiver hurts their back - it does happen - the insurance pays and the senior and their family are protected)
- Fidelity Bond Insurance (Protects against theft which with active care management can be prevented with necessary systems put in place)
- Professional Liability Insurance (Protects in the event a mistake is made)
- Unemployment Insurance (Caregiver has security of knowing they can collect unemployment benefits while looking for their next job if senior dies or gets better)
- Health Insurance
- Performance Bonuses and Incentives
- Ongoing Training
- Company social events: picnics, holiday parties, open houses, etc.
- Social Security (Caregiver pays payroll taxes and can collect social security benefits when they retire)
Note: Healthcare Worker Registries will also show if there is a negative report on the person or if they have been removed from the Registry according to each states' criteria. Registries were created to add an extra layer of accountability, identity validation and protection. You can also see an example of basic caregiver training required in many states.
We know that grocery stores now try to sell us more than just food and Amazon went from books to becoming a toy store, electronics store and grocery store. Be aware that especially in senior care there is much knowledge to be learned in order to do it properly. The number one type of elder abuse, unfortunately, is financial. Hire a quality licensed senior care agency to provide senior care for your relatives and loved ones. And to make sure the professional caregiver is receiving benefits and support and back-ups when they need a day off.
Research your senior care options before you need them. There is a reason large corporations and hospital groups are starting senior home care agencies - they too, know that quality senior care must include a custom care plan created by experienced and trained care professionals. Medicare does not pay for long-term care in the home nor in a nursing home and Medicaid does pay for nursing home care in all states and usually has a Medicaid community home care benefit in most states.
Senior caregivers know that seniors often have their specific food preferences. At the same time, making sure a senior's eating habits are delivering proper nutrition can be an ongoing challenge. Now that it is summertime, you can have fun with nutrition by making cooling slushies, especially if a senior's diet includes the purchased nutrition shakes - what a nice change of pace to have a homemade smoothie or slushy to enjoy a new flavor.
Myfamilydish.com shares an easy recipe with us on how to make a delicious peach slush and you can even toss in some of your summer herbs that perhaps you are growing in your yard or on your kitchen shelf. Farmer's markets offer a fun outing for seniors, too, and a way to engage in conversation about their gardening past if they no longer are gardening. And everyone likes an excuse to share a favorite recipe.
Nutrition tips for seniors: add some of the following to give your Peach Basil Slush a boost:
- Protein Powder
- Flax Seed
- Wheat Germ
This recipe uses peaches, basil and a fun drink you can buy at the store called Cascade Ice. As always, you can make substitutions. Check out the Peach Basil Slushy recipe and if you don't decide to make it, you can definitely enjoy the photos (but I think you'll be craving one, too, when you see these pictures). Happy summertime! Don't forget that senior care companies are still hiring and send anyone looking for a senior caregiving job to Caregiverlist to apply. Online caregiver training also helps anyone begin to develop senior care skills by taking this online training course.
Peach Basil Slushy from Myfamilydish.com