Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week View from the Garden Path

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo takes us back to Lake Michigan, this time with a summer view. Feel free to share this photo with your loved ones. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for caring for our seniors and 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. 


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."  -Lao Tzu

Caregiver Pay Rates for 2013 Above Minimum Wage

Senior caregivers assist seniors as companion caregivers and nursing aides working in nursing homes, assisted living communities and senior home care agencies.  Hospitals also hire certified nursing aides.  The pay rate for companion caregivers and nursing aides for 2013 have continued to rise and remain above minimum wage for all professional senior caregivers.

The Caregiverlist® pay survey results records the pay rates of 34,959 professional senior caregivers.  Senior caregivers who work for a senior home care agency provide one-on-one caregiving services while nursing aides working for nursing homes and hospitals usually care for anywhere from 10 to 15 residents or patients.  C.N.A. staffing ratios of nursing homes are reported in the health inspection reports conducted every 15 months and can be found in the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory.  More senior caregivers are needed and anyone with a caring personality may apply to a senior care job in their area on the Caregiverlist® Career Center.


Caregiver Pay: Minimum Wage Catching Up as Connecticut Increases to $10.10

Connecticut is leading the way with more than basketball for the U.S.A., as UConn wins the March Madness Final Four Basketball Tournament and legislators increase the minimum wage to be above $10.00 per hour.  They are a state that is showing us how to move things forward in more ways than one this year.

Caregivers working as professionals for senior care companies already earn more than minimum wage, with the average companion caregiver hourly rate at $10.00 per hour.  As the national conversation around minimum wage has continued to engage our country, Connecticut becomes the first state to step forward and pass legislation requiring minimum wage in their state to be $10.10 per hour by January 2017.  They gave plenty of time for this to go into action - maybe enough time for the current law makers to be out of office - but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Senior caregivers are in demand as the country's Baby Boomer population ages.  Anyone with a caring personality, clean background check and desire to connect with a senior may begin a career as a senior caregiver by applying to a part-time or full-time caregiver job in their area.  While professional senior care companies will provide training for each client, and provide training to meet any licensing requirements in their state, they may also prefer that you have some personal caregiving experience.  You may take an online course to learn the basic caregiver skills.  You may also refer-a-friend to be a senior caregiver as right now there are not enough caregivers in many areas of the country.

Chicago, Illinois Caregiver Wins Refer-a-Friend Monthly Grand Prize for Referring Her Friends to Caregivelist Job Application

Congratulations to the February monthly winner of Caregiverlist Refer-a-Friend and Win program - caregiver Monet Coleman from Chicago, IL.

Monet referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on, and she won a free stylish scrubs outfit and a pair of shoes, courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. February caregiver winner will receive a chic scrub to look fabulous this spring, as a thank you for taking care of her loved ones, and for making a difference in seniors' lives. Read Rebeca's caregiving story to find out what lead her to caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family and coworkers for professional Caregiving Jobs near you.


Here is Monet's reasons as to why she enjoys being a Caregiver:

What led you to begin a career in caregiving?

The main thing that led me to begin a career in caregiving was my grandmother who I cared for before she passed away last year. I also was led by my love for the elderly and for the children.


What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?

One of my most memorable caregiving experiences was when I would just sit and talk with my grandmother, because she wasn't always up to beat with holding conversations, but when she was we would have awesome conversations about the past on how me and my siblings would come over her house for the weekends. It was perfect.


What has being a caregiver taught you?

Being a Caregiver has taught me a big deal of responsibility. Since I do not have kids yet, I have hands on experience with caring for one of my family members long term.


How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?

I manage the stress that comes with caregiving by not even thinking of the stress consistently, because I am not the type that gets overly stressed, it happens every once in a while but not too often.


Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A.’s, & C.H.H.A.’s weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your professional caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.


Refer-a-friend to Caregiverlistand get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One monthly GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (top, bottoms and pair of shoes), courtesy of Scrubs Magazine.

Refer-a-Friend for Caregiverlist Caregiver Jobs and Win

West Virginia Caregiver Wins Caregiver Job Refer-A-Friend Weekly Prize

Congratulations to this weeks winner of the Caregiverlist Refer-A-Friend and Win Program- Caregiver Sydney Stone from West Virginia

Sydney referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on, and she won a free 8-hour Training from Caregiverlist Training University. Every weekly winner will receive a free training. Read Sydney's story to find out what lead her to her caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family, and coworkers to professional caregiving jobs near you.
Meet Sydney to learn more about the benefits of becoming a professional senior caregiver.
-What led you to begin a career in caregiving?
I love helping people no matter what their age is.
-What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?
Dinner time was always fun and I was constantly laughing.
-How many years have you been a caregiver?
Two years.
What has being a caregiver taught you?
How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?
I take a break and call my mom
Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A's and C.H.H.A's weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your profession caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.
Refer-A-Friend to Caregiverlist and get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One month GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (tops, bottoms, and shoes) courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. 


How to Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Assistant)

Senior caregiving has become an industry segment, with professional in-home senior care service companies growing by more than 40% since 2008.  This comes as no surprise because the number of seniors continues to grow with the post-World War II Baby Boomers aging and living longer than any generation before them.  This leads to one job description within the senior care industry which has exceptional career growth and high demand for more workers: C.N.A. or Certified Nursing Assistant.

What is a C.N.A.?

A Certified Nursing Assistant has professional training to provide hands-on assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) and to monitor and record health care issues, such as vital signs and meals eaten.  A C.N.A. may also be called a nursing aide.  Many people consider them nurses and just use the term nurse to also mean a C.N.A.  This is an important reminder that C.N.A.'s works as part of the care team.  All Registered Nurses actually receive C.N.A. training during nursing school and many R.N.'s work as C.N.A.'s while they are in nursing school or during summer and winter breaks from nursing school.

What are the C.N.A. School Admission Requirements?

High-School Diploma or G.E.D.

C.N.A. Training:  The First Step in Becoming a C.N.A.

Certified Nursing Assistant training was created more than 35 years ago when Genevieve Gipson, a Registered Nurse working in Ohio, decided care would be better of nursing assistants had consistent training.  As patient care needs can vary in a hospital and nursing home, she found it extra difficult to not know what type of training a nursing assistant already had when care began.  She pulled together a team and eventually Congress passed legislation for C.N.A. training to be required in every state nationwide.  In addition, each state would need to manage the certification process by having nursing assistants pass a state exam to be certified as a nursing assistant after attending a state-approved C.N.A. training program.  Many states require a minimum of 120 hours of training but some states, such as California, require 150 hours of training to become a C.N.A.

Find a C.N.A. school in your state and review their costs and requirements in Caregiverlist's C.N.A. School Directory.

Here are some examples of C.N.A. School costs, length of programs to give you a quick snapshot:

       Name of C.N.A. School                           Cost        Length

Malcolm-X College in Chicago, IL:                                        $900.00        8 Weeks   

Florida Educational Institute in Miami, FL:                           $500              8 Weeks

Premier Choice Health Service in Columbus, OH:               $400              2 Weeks

Sterling Health Careers in Houston, TX:                              $800              4 Weeks

Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ:                                          $1,069           10 Weeks

Healthcare Academy of California, San Diego, CA:          $1,700          3 Weeks

Pasadena College of Health, Pasadena, CA:                       $1,200             4 Weeks

SacMed Training, Sacramento, CA:                                     $1,000             4 Weeks

Apollo, Portland, OR:                                                           $1,000             4 Weeks

Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville, WI:                   $947                4 Weeks

As you can see, most C.N.A. Schools cost around $1,000 and provide training for one month, with additional 'In-service" training which means you'll work side-by-side another experienced C.N.A. at a hospital or nursing home.  Financial aide in the form of scholarships and grants are often available and sometimes employers will also pay for the nursing aide training.  Remember, the length of the nursing aide training program depends on if classes are offered part-time or full-time and the costs will vary slightly, too, depending on if the school is public or private.  Community college programs usually cost less if they receive state funding to offer the nursing assistant training program.  Always talk to a school admissions counselor for guidance and assistance with financial aide options.

Learn more about the certified nursing aide job description, take a practice C.N.A. test and apply for a companion caregiving job to gain experience working in the senior care industry - an industry predicted to be the top industry for jobs in the next decade.  Caregiverlist's job application allows you to reach multiple employers in your area, as hiring continues to be on-going since seniors may need immediate care upon hospital discharge after a stroke or hip-replacement or diagnosis with memory loss.  You may also obtain professional caregiver training through an online training course to learn basic caregiving skills before you start your C.N.A. training program.



Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Aide) by attending a C.N.A. School

Background Checks: How to Perform Your Own Background Check to Protect Your Identity

Senior caregivers working for professional senior care companies must pass a criminal background check in order to be hired.  Individuals seeking to become professional caregivers or a certified nursing aide may enjoy a guarantee of employment as long as they can pass a criminal background check. This means proper identity information is crucial for a senior caregiver’s background check to return accurate information in order to obtain employment. Caregivers need to understand how to protect their identity and understand the information included on a criminal background check.   Senior care companies conducting criminal background checks on employees include:

  • Licensed Senior Home Care Agencies
  • Long-term Care Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Communities
  • Hospitals

How do you protect your identity as a professional caregiver?  Especially knowing you will change care companies multiple times throughout your career?  We live in a digital information age making it even more important to protect your personal identity information both offline and online. 5 Background Check Identity Protection Tips:

1) Purchase Your Own Background Check Annually:  once a year buy a background check on yourself to see the information that is on your criminal record and to confirm the names and addresses attached to your Social Security number.  Research to be sure you understand the right type of quality criminal background check to purchase.

2) Maintain and update online passwords: pick passwords that are unique. Be sure you have anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and a firewall on your computer. Use encryption software to safeguard your online transactions.  Never respond to an email requesting a password reset unless you asked for this yourself on the company’s website. Look for the “lock” on your browser’s status bar which you will see when you are using an online bank’s website.  

3) Review your mailbox, even the junk mail:  if you begin receiving mail in another name at your address, call the sender to investigate.  Be mindful if you stop receiving monthly bills or if your name should change in anyway on your usual subscriptions.

4) Monitor credit card statements:  even if a small amount appears that may not have the exact name of a company you are familiar with purchasing from, call to investigate the transaction.  Some credit card number thiefs will first do a small $10 transaction before making additional charges.

5) Limit credit cards used:  try to limit the number of credit cards you make purchases with to also limit the number of companies that have your information and who are running credit reports on you.  When the friendly department store clerk asks if you would like an additional discount on your purchase by opening up a charge card, just say “no”.

Act quickly if you do discover improper names and addresses associated with your name.  The background check companies do have formal dispute investigation systems in place (you will need to fill out a form to start the ball rolling) and the credit reporting bureaus also will work with you to clear up misinformation.  However, it is a time-consuming process.  The best way to insure a proper criminal background check is to make sure you do not engage in criminal behavior (don’t break the law).  Then be mindful of your spending behaviors to protect your identity.  Check your own background once a year in order to be able to immediately correct mistaken identity information. Review the by-state background check laws to see if employers can review your criminal history beyond just 7 years and purchase a quality background check. Then apply for a professional caregiving job or refer-a-friend to a caregiving job as more caregivers are needed to keep up with the care needs for America's growing senior population.

Caregiver Careers: More Primary Care Medical Doctors Needed

Senior caregivers assisting as family caregivers or working as professional caregivers know the challenges of senior care.  The work can be difficult and the while the pay is above minimum wage and there are some moments of down-time.....the real pay is in the fulfillment of the work, not the paycheck.

Caregivers who truly love the industry may now consider entering into senior care as a full-time profession as the opportunities are many.

A study by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services announced this week that less than 25% of new doctors go into this field, instead preferring a specialty, even though there is currently a shortage of primary care doctors in the U.S.A.

Dr. Candice Chen, an assistant research professor and the lead study author also said that 4.8% of the new primary care physicians open an office in a rural area.

"If residency programs do not ramp up the training of these physicians the shortage in primary care, especially in remote areas, will get worse," Chen said in a statement. "The study's findings raise questions about whether federally funded graduate medical education institutions are meeting the nation's need for more primary care physicians."

As someone who did grow up in a rural area, I can both remember and appreciate the ability to just "walk-in" to the doctor's office to have him check an ailment and to even telephone on a weekend or evening.  Dr. Porter was the local doctor in my hometown of 19,000 people.  He specialized in assisting athletes and eventually the town named the high school stadium after him.

But Doc Porter was there when you needed him.  You could just walk in and talk to his office manager or give him a call and he would meet you there, even on weekends and evenings.  Now that we have instant contact services with all types of technology advances, it seems research universities could figure out a way to make rural medical practices more efficient.  

Maybe 50,000 people do not live in one town to provide enough clients for a doctor but maybe with technology such as email and text messaging and digital care plans a medical doctor could live in a rural area and enjoy the country living while still serving hundreds of clients efficiently.  Rural living can be cheaper and more enjoyable, too.

There is also technology being tested for virtual doctor's visits, an expansion upon Skype where the doctor can see you and you can see him and he can then diagnose your problem and even monitor the progress by checking body functions such as blood pressure.

Chen's concern is that taxpayer dollars are supporting the schools that are training the medical doctors, yet these institutions are not focusing on how to use the federal money to make sure we have enough of the right doctors.

  • Studied Career Paths of 8,977 Physicians
  • Physicians Graduated from 759 Medical Residency Sites
  • Timeline of Study:  2006-2008
  • 3 to 5 Years After Residency Ended:  25.2 percent of the physicians worked as primary care doctors (with some working as hospitalists which means this is actually an over-estimate of the number of primary care doctors)
  • 198 out of 759 institutions produced 0 rural physicians during the study period.

Currently, the United States is producing primary care physicians at rates that are "abysmally low," Chen said.

As medical care continues to evolve, it is important that we remember the human aspect that goes beyond a computer.  People who become medical doctors do so because they care and systems must be created for them to deliver the care in rural areas as well as big cities and to practice as a primary care physician.  

Caregivers for seniors should be aware that the senior care industry has been predicted to be the top industry for jobs in the coming decade which guarantees employment.  More caregivers are needed today and you may apply for a senior caregiving job in your area or refer-a-friend for a caregiving job and be entered for a chance to win weekly and monthly prizes.

Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013 Endorsed by American Nurses Association

Family caregivers for seniors and professional caregivers truly know the challenges of caring for a senior while they are in a hospital or nursing home which include pitching in to assist the staff.  Many times a Registered Nurse of Certified Nursing Aide simply cannot keep up with all of their patient's needs because they have too many patients or residents to care for during their shift.  Many time nursing homes will even tell families they must bring in their own paid senior caregiver if they want certain tasks managed.

As the owner of a senior home care agency in Chicago, we often had nursing homes such as Warren-Barr, in downtown Chicago, introduce our services at the same time they did the intake with a family for a new senior resident.  They were upfront about the fact that they staffed one Certified Nursing Aide for every 12 or more residents.  We had senior clients in the nursing home who would not be taken for a shower if they did not have a private caregiver.  

Staffing challenges are very real for Registered Nurses who must manage all of the nursing aides and caregivers and often pitch in to perform hands-on care themselves when they do not have adequate staffing.  This is part of the reason for high-turnover in the industry for C.N.A.'s and R.N.'s working at hospitals and nursing homes.

The American Nurses Association has endorsed the bi-partisan Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013 which would make hospitals who receive Medicare funding accountable for providing adequate nursing staff to deliver better care and improve patient safety.  The ANA says ongoing research continues to show that higher staffing levels by experienced RN's are linked to lower rates of patient falls, infections, medications errors and even death.

Similar legislation has been introduced previously in at least 5 sessions of Congress. Some have included protection for nurse whistle-blowers and restrictions on mandatory overtime.  All bills have died in committee.

The current Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013 includes:

  • Requiring hospitals to establish committees that would create unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans based on multiple factors, including the number of patients, severity of the patient's conditions, experience and skill level of the RN's, and the availability of support staff and technological resources.
  • Require hospitals that participate in Medicare to publicly report nurse staffing plans for each unit.
  • Limit the practice of "floating" nurses by ensuring "that RN's are not forced to work on units if they lack the education and experience in that specialty.
  • Allow imposition of civil monetary penalites for knowing violations
  • Provide whistle-blower protections for those who file a complaint about staffing.

Nurse staffing levels and fatigue are repeatedly cited as the primary or secondary factor for accidental events every year.  One of the licensing requirements for hospitals and nursing homes is to have "the necessary staff to support the care, treatment and services it provide" to patients or residents.

Caregiverlist's Nursing Home Directory includes the C.N.A.-to-resident staffing ratio at nursing homes which is often just 1 C.N.A. to every 12 o 15 residents.  Burnout occurs and then what follows is high turnover of C.N.A. employees.  However, some facilities do not experience the 50% or higher turnover because they provide adequate staffing levels, support and benefits to the Certified Nursing Assistants.

C.N.A.'s often will migrate to working for professional senior home care agencies, simply because they enjoy the benefit of providing one-on-one care to just one senior.  Many C.N.A.'s tell us they prefer senior home care because of the quality care they can deliver when just caring for one person at a time. Caregiverlist's Career Center provides information on working as a professional senior caregiver which may require formal training and certification in some states.

Senior home care agencies hire 3 to 6 new caregivers or C.N.A.'s each week, as the industry has grown by more than 40% since 2008.  You may apply for a companion caregiver position on Caregiverlist, reaching multiple companies with just one application.  You may also research Certified Nursing Aide programs and refer-a-friend to a senior caregiver job as the industry is constantly looking for more quality caregivers.





Happy Mother's Day to Our Caregivers and Today's Babies Who Will Live to be age 110+

Today we celebrate Mother's Day and those caregivers who are finding themselves caring for their Mothers and dealing with the transition of perhaps now playing the role of Mother to their own Mom.  Happy Mother's Day to you, however you may have entered into the position!

Motherhood will continue to evolve as the latest news shows a baby born today will have a very good chance of living to be 110-years-old and more than half will surpass age 100.  Living for a century will no longer be rare.  Scientists at the University of California are studying how to prolong life and crossing the bridge into this new territory that ignites emotions and moral questions.

Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, is one Venture Capitalist financing the research into how to prolong life.  He sees death as a problem we may be able to solve.  However, this type of scientific research is still considered on the fringe of science and includes growing new organs for human stem cells, creating body parts and using gene therapy to treat hereditary diseases.

Mothers may soon be able to know that they can easily give birth later in life......we are already accepting of surrogates for women who are unable to carry a baby and so it may not be too far off to accept a surrogate simply because a women in her 50's decides she is ready to be a Mother.  If you are going to live to be 150, which of those 18 years do you want to stay homebound while rearing a child? Do you want wisdom or physical energy for Motherhood?

There will be much to debate as our society confronts a longer lifespan. If my great-grandmother lived to be 101-years-old and was born before there were airplanes and automobiles, it is natural to accept that soon grandparents will be living past 110. We know how to eat a healthy diet and keep our minds and bodies active to enjoy healthy aging.  We have medications and surgeries such as hip-replacements to replace our worn out parts.  I could live to be 110 and so could all of my friends.  Which also means more years living in Assisted Living communities, most likely, and more years needing a senior caregiver.  

Back in the year 1850, the average human lifespan was 43 years.  Now the average lifespan is around age 80.  And that is "average".  More and more of our mothers will definitely be living past the 100-year mark.

One researcher has organized the realities of living longer in this book, "100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith," by Sonia Arrison.  She shares that some babies born today may be able to live to be 150 years old.

Enjoy your time being a caregiver to your Mom today, or to someone who is like a mother to you. 

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