Cocktails and Movie for Los Angeles Area Caregivers October 1st

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: 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

For More Information: Visit WhenCareComesHome.comDisplaying L.A. Caregiver Special Event 300P.jpg Lawsuits: Hiring Licensed Senior Home Care Agency Protects Both Seniors and Caregivers 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 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 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. 


Caregiver Pay Rates April 2014

Professional caregivers continue to earn more than minimum wage, thank goodness, for providing senior caregiving and nursing aide services. As senior care needs will continue to increase, As the senior care industry continues to grow, so does the rate of pay for senior caregivers, along with the need for quality caregivers.  In April, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 6.7% to 6.3%.  However, there continues to be a high demand for professional senior caregivers who can work both part-time and full-time to fill senior caregiver jobs.



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.

Online Caregiver Training Tools for Senior Caregivers

Digital caregiver training tools are now available for anyone desiring to become a professional senior caregiver.  The caregiver training can also be taken by family caregivers who want to deliver safe care to a loved one and also gain knowledge about a senior's care needs.

Online caregiver training allows a caregiver to learn the subject matter from anywhere.  In senior care, where work shifts can be day or night, this is a valuable benefit.

Caregiver Training University's Basic Caregiver Training course provides an understanding of the 12 content areas most needed in senior care and originally created by a senior home care industry association.  

Online senior caregiver course manuals provide the overview of each concept along with tip sheets, study sheets, a practice quiz and then a final exam which contains 3 questions for each concept to meet testing guidelines to confirm retention of the information learned.

How doe a caregiver take an online training course?

Simply sign-up online with a credit card, receive a log-in and password, review the course materials and take the exam.

What are the basic skills taught in a professional senior caregiver training course?

  • Caregiver Job Responsibilities
  • Communication Skills
  • Care Plan Notes
  • Personal Care and Toileting
  • Adaptive Equipment for Transfers
  • Basic Hygiene and Infection Control
  • Maintaining Clean and Safe Environments
  • Basic Personal and Environmental Safety Precautions 
  • Basic First Aid and Emergency Procedures
  • Client Personal, Financial and Health Information: HIPPA
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect: Identify and Understand

An online training course allows anyone who may be considering a career in senior care to understand the skills that will be involved.  Senior care involves both physical and emotional care.  Unlike many careers, a professional caregiver must take into consideration the need to manage a close relationship with their senior client.  Just as with any personal relationship, there can be happy and sad moments in caregiving and this means caregivers must have the necessary skills to handle situations in a professional manner.

Communicating with seniors effectively makes a difference in the quality of the caregiving.  Many times a senior may be experiencing loneliness because of a spouse or friend's death.  Imagine what it would be like if every month someone you know passes away - this begins to happen to everyone as we age.  Caregivers must learn how to connect with a senior and can do so better if they understand the generational differences.

Elder abuse actually occurs most frequently by a close loved one or relative and often is in the form of financial or emotional abuse.  Some states also hold accountable anyone who witnesses the abuse and does not report it.  This is just one more reason why professional caregiver training can be useful for any caregiver.

Become a certified caregiver by taking an online caregiver training course, at your own pace, and you will be able to deliver quality senior care to both friends, families and clients when working as a professional caregiver.  

To help get you started, here is a sample Caregiver Basic Training question:

Key situations when hand hygiene should be performed include:

A) Before touching a patient

B) After contact with blood, body fluids or excretions

C) After glove removal

D) All of the Above

Review the caregiver training course sections and sign-up for caregiver training to learn this answer and more.


Online Caregiver Training Delivers Caregiver Certification

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan: Take Action by March 7th, 5pm ET

Seniors in America receive Medicare health insurance upon turning age 65 and transfer to Medicaid instead of Medicare if they qualify as a very low-income senior.  Medicare does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home nor at home but it does provide for some prescription drug benefits.  Prescription medications are the 2nd highest financial obligation of senior care, after caregiving services.  Caregiverlist provides the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide to help Americans plan for senior care needs.  You may also view Caregiverlist's By-state Medicaid financial qualifications.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule to change the Part D prescription drug coverage available to seniors under the Medicare program.  The rule would remove the "protected class" status of anti-depresseants and immunosuppressant drug classes and potentially remove protection for antipsychotic drugs after year 2015.

Seniors with lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, psoriasis and other immune disorders may lose access to prescriptions that are needed to treat their conditions.  Likewise, patients and caregivers over the age of 65 facing major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions will have less access to the drugs they need and less flexibility to change drugs if their medication is not working.  

The National Alliance for Caregiving has joined other organizations in asking CMS to reject the proposed rule.  In partnership with the Healthcare Leadership Council, the National Alliance for Caregiving has created a letter to present lawmakers showing support of the current drug benefits for seniors and requesting no changes in this area for the Medicare drug benefit.  Review the letter, indicating no changes should be made based on a 90% approval rating of the Medicare Part D program and other positive benefits.

You may also post your note requesting Part D coverage remains the same by writing directly to Medicare here.

Meditation Can Change Your Genes (for the Better)

Caregiving exposes all of us to a constant flow of new information on the latest medical discoveries.  But when the discoveries lead to a free way to make a change for the better, it is worth taking a moment to learn more. 

Deepak Chopra has shared a new year's resolution idea for making a few changes that can change our genetic makeup for the better.  New research in a growing field called epigenetics studies how gene activity changes according to one's lifestyle and environment.  And guess what?  Identical twins have a similar read-out of genetics at birth, as we would guess, but by the time they become seniors, their gene maps have become very different.  Our genetic materials are not a one-time ticket we receive, it turns out.  We change the look of the ticket according to the movie of our lifestyle.

Thoughts, feelings and stress levels affect gene activity.  And some behavioral changes can be passed on to the next generation through "soft' inheritance.  Ouch!

Positive and negative events can potentially be passed on.

Research shows that meditation specifically alters genetic activity almost immediately.  Meditation increases the levels of a protein called telomerase, which has been linked to slowing down the aging process in cells.

Turns out the connection between mind and body truly is deeper than what we see. 

Caregiver stress is one of the top issues seniors and their families must deal with as a senior begins the need for more care.  Find a way to meditate for both good health and relaxation!

Remember, too, that more senior caregivers are needed as senior's are living longer while needing caregiving services.  Apply to a senior caregiver job or refer-a-friend.

Senior Health Care Costs Decrease Centers for Medicare Announces

The Affordable Care Act (also called Obama Care) has reduced the costs of prescription drugs and expanded access to preventative care for seniors across the country.  While the politicians have made hay, as they say, with arguing about all the downsides of the new healthcare law, the reality is that I have yet to meet a healthcare professional who will not say off the record that the new law is a step in the right direction and a must.  Certainly as with anything that was sorely broken, it will take time to heal and patch up our healthcare system.  Some things will need to be massaged and changed. But a geriatric doctor also told said to me once, "imagine if every senior had health insurance their entire life".  He told me that he was astonished at the number of seniors who had never had any healthcare until they turned age 65 and went onto Medicare or Medicaid.  After he finished medical school and began his practice he realized that the majority of seniors with acute health issues simply had the issue because there had never been preventive care for them.

As we move into year 2014, Caregiverlist with be highlighting the good news about healthcare for seniors to make sure everyone can take advantage of innovations in health care, medications and lifestyle guidelines that can make for a happier and healthier life.

Affordable prescription drugs are vital for seniors and the new healthcare law delivers this in addition to more preventive care screenings.

FREE Preventive Care Screenings for Seniors Under Affordable Care Act Include:

  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Flu Shots
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Blood Pressure Screening

These preventive care tests can save lives - and over time will save money for the Medicare budget.  As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans remain stable and strong.  The Center for Medicare Services announced that the average Medicare Advantage premium in 2014 is projected to be $32.60 and the average prescription drug plan premium in 2014 is projected to be $31 per month, keeping with the same rate for the past four years.

The deductible for standard Part D plans will decline by $15 in 2014, to $310 and since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, average premiums for seniors are down by 9.8%.  All good news for seniors.

Speaking of good news, apparently the happiest people on earth live in Denmark.  And guess what they have that may lead to this happiness?  Free healthcare and education, both provided for by their government.  If you don't have to worry about how to pay for healthcare or your college education, that takes away a couple of the largest issues we have in the U.S.A. Maybe once the new healthcare law becomes old news, we can give America's politicians something new to argue about and ask them to find a way to pay for everyone's college education but we'll stick to focusing on senior care.

Plan ahead for your senior care needs and understand the costs of senior care by visiting the Caregiverilst Nursing Home Directory which includes the daily costs of a single or shared room in a nursing home along with the Medicare and Medicaid acceptance.  Remember, too, as you celebrate the new year, that there continues to be a need for more senior caregivers and nursing aides so refer anyone who may be looking for a new job to the Caregiverlist Career Center.

Happy New Year!

Senior Care Costs: Shop Early Says Senior Living Expert Lisa Sneddon in Forbes Magazine

Senior care needs can arise suddenly.  In fact, I bet if you asked your friends what their retirement plans are, they would share with you some places they plan on traveling, where they want to live and talk about hobbies they would like to develop.  But mentioning the type of senior care they have in mind will probably be last on the list, if it even makes the list.

American seniors should plan on a 30-year retirement, says Senior Living Expert's Lisa Sneddon in Forbes Magazine's Planning to Make The Right Move in Retirement article.  Lisa is a Caregiverlist advisor and owner of Senior Living Experts which assists seniors, at no charge, to evaluate and choose the right Assisted Living Community. 

Assisted living can be an enjoyable option for active seniors, especially now that builders are offering more innovative communities which include spas, gardens and regular activity excursions along with a continuum of care needs.  Some seniors may cringe when they hear that monthly rent for an assisted living community usually requires at least $4,000 to cover all the necessary extra items.  Supportive living communities may only require $2,500 or more.  However, Sneddon points out that maintaining a house that may have become too large for the senior, and paying for the property taxes, may already eat up this amount of money each month.

Remember, nursing homes really are for acute care needs and cost as much as $8,000 or more per month.  This gives some perspective to assisted living costs.

Learn more about assisted living communities in your area by submitting a request for a senior care plan and learn more about assisted living at Senior Living Experts.

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