Lumosity App Features Brain Exercises to Improve Cognitive Functions: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Senior caregivers and their clients will both benefit from cognitive exercises to improve memory, speed attention and flexibility of the brain. The Lumosity app provides simple games targeted to increase these areas of brain functions.

When new users download the app, they are asked to specify what specific areas they would like to improve upon for their brain functions. Options lose fewer objects, concentrate better, avoid distractions, react quickly, make better decisions under stress, communicate clearly, etc. All of the options indicate certain targeted games for the user to play to work on those skills. For example, to improve memory functions the app presents a game that shows blocks on a grid. Once the blocks disappear, the user must select which boxes of the grid had blocks in them to replicate the original pattern.

To react more quickly, the next game shows various shapes and the user must click "yes" or "no" to indicate if the shape is the same as the shape previously shown. The more often users play the game, the better their score should be for quick reactions to the new shapes being shown on screen. Senior caregivers and their senior clients both benefit from improved brain functions. For senior clients, these games provide targeted cognitive exercise to help keep the mind sharp and practiced and prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. For senior caregivers, playing these games can help improve daily life by strengthening memory, making better decisions under pressure and communicating better in everyday interactions. 

Initially the app provides three games for free, but if the paid version offers access to more than 45 games. If the app is working well for you and/or your senior clients, the cost is $14.99 per month or $79.99 for a year of access.  

This app is available for free 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

Alzheimer's Prevention Tips Shared By The Brain Games App: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Alzheimer's prevention requires an effort on the part of senior caregivers and their clients to keep their minds and bodies active as they age. No single cause of Alzheimer's can be found, though. The Brain Games app offers several valuable tips for seniors and caregivers on specific habits for daily life to help prevent Alzheimer's.

The title of the app is slightly perplexing as it highlights tips instead of actual games, but nonetheless provides useful information. The app features a very simple layout with the ability to pick a tip highlighted on a card and then flip it over to read more about it. Users can see that one of the first tips is to read a good book. If they flip the card over, they learn that reading draws on the imagination which forces the brain to make connections. Users then can easily move onto the next tip when they're done reading with a swipe of the screen. 

The free version of the app presents 11 tips for users, some of which include less common Alzheimer's prevention suggestions such as eating a protein based breakfast to fuel the brain and cutting back on alcohol. The app does lack depth in Alzheimer's education outside of these tips, though. Adding a section with information on how Alzheimer's develops and affects the brain would be useful for furthering caregiver and senior knowledge of the disease. This app is best used to offer tips and supplement information from other sources on Alzheimer's disease. 


The Brian Games App is available for free for Apple products.

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

Calorie Tracking App Helps Monitor Nutrition: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Counting calories and monitoring nutrients for daily food intake often seems to be much easier said than done. For senior caregivers looking to monitor their own nutrition or that of a senior client, the My Fitness Pal app offers an ideal platform to track foods and their nutritional content right on their smartphone.


The My Fitness Pal application matches up with the My Fitness Pal website, and foods and exercise can be logged on either platform. When you first set up your My Fitness Pal account, it will ask for basic information about yourself- or your senior client, if that is who you will be using the application for. The target daily calorie intake will be factored off of the weight, height, age, activity level and weight goal (lose weight, maintain weight, etc.) entered for the account.


Once an account is established, you can log food for that particular day. Your target number of calories will appear on your home screen, and as you log food, it will subtract from that number and tell you how many calories you have left for that day. It also measures fat, sugar and sodium intake, making it easy to recognize and correct excess. The database of foods includes many popular restaurants as well as the option to search a generic food item or create your own entry if you know the calories in your meal. 


Users also have the ability to log exercise with the application, which in turn adjusts the number of calories allotted for that day to account for calories burned during activity.  


The application is available for iPhone and Android and is described below:


“Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest-to-use calorie counter for Android/iPhone. With the largest food database of any Android/iPhone calorie counter (over 3,000,000 foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better diet app – period.”


App Name: My Fitness Pal


Cost: Free

Download the application for Apple or Android products.


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 to relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.


-Paige Krzysko





Super Bowl Commercial Features Seniors Who "Viva Young"

Super Bowl commercials are as anticipated as the big game itself. This year’s offerings included Taco Bell’s 2013 Game Day commercial, “Viva Young,” part of their Live Más (Live More) campaign.

In the commercial, after being tucked in for the night, some elderly residents of the Glencobrooke Retirement Home go out for some after-hours debauchery to a very literal spanish translation of the apt fun. song, “We Are Young.” The group and their leader, Bernie Goldblatt, go on a shenanigan-spree that includes pool trespassing and setting off firecrackers. Next, they go clubbing (along with the requisite make-out sessions), Goldblatt gets a tattoo and they all finish the night at Taco Bell before returning to the nursing home at dawn.

We first meet the 87-year-old Bernie Goldblatt in the online teaser trailer called, “Grandpa Goes Wild.” In it, Mr. Goldblatt takes to the football field in his motorized scooter — tearing it up, popping wheelies and evading security.

According to the spot’s agency, Deutsch L.A., “the “Super Bowl delivers more than 110 million viewers and that is one of the most-watched broadcasts on TV each year fills nine of the top 10 television program slots in history.”

"Our hope is that our consumers will see themselves in this ad," Brian Niccol, chief marketing and innovation officer at Taco Bell Corp., said of the Super Bowl spot.

It’s a good way to go. As the population ages, target consumer markets are getting older. If 50 is the new 30, this Taco Bell spot pushes the notion that 80 can be the new 20, and that life doesn’t need to stop or even slow down as we age.

So what do you think? Taco Bell is not the first to feature “young” seniors in advertising. I recall Coke and Pepsi using the same tactic, albeit with a slightly tamer seniors. There is evidence that healthier living promotes aging well and a “Cocoon” -like life can be waiting for us as we get older.

Healthy Aging Steps for Seniors and Caregivers

Growing older brings the gift of a long life along with the challenges of aging.  How do we navigate the waters of life as a senior?  Americans are living longer and longer with life expectancy of a new born today being 100 years old.  As we have knowledge of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we do not necessarily implement those steps.

However, if we are going to live long, we might as well live well.

Step 1:  Maintain a healthy body weight:  68% of Americans are overweight.   This means whatever your current age, you should try your best not to be overweight.  There are many tools out there and Weight Watcher's says they have more clients online than offline.  The internet makes it easier than ever to access tools to help you stay healthy.

Step 2:  Stay physically fit.  Exercise and enjoy doing it.  Go for a morning walk with a friend, take up tennis or golf or softball (my girlfriend's father retired to Florida and is having a ball playing softball on 4 different teams).

Step 3:  Exercise your brain.  Read the newspaper (before they become extinct) and do the crossword puzzle, play Scrabble or brige or poker.  Take up knitting or take a class at a local community college.  Do something to keep your mind thinking everyday.

Step 4:  Stay connected and involved.  Sustaining happiness happens when you feel engaged in an activity with a sense of purpose.  One of the luxuries of retirement is having more time to spend doing the things you love to do.  Share the wisdom you have learned throughout your life by volunteering in your community or participating in family activities or creating your own weekly events with friends.

The Better Memory Kit provides a convenient program for seniors and caregivers and includes flash cards with questions and games which are appropriate for older adults.  Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa developed the kit and includes diet and exercise tools and vitamins which assist with memory improvement.






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Daily Activities Can Help Stave Off Alzheimer's and Dementia

Exercise for seniors is a good idea. It promotes healthy aging, improves health and increases longevity. Now a recent study published in the journal Neurology, shows that exercise can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, even in those over 80 years old.

We’re not talking about lifting weights or running for miles. Simple daily chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing dishes — even moving around more, showed that active seniors are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than their less active counterparts.

According to Dr. Aron S. Buchman, lead author of the study and associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush, “These results provide support for efforts to encourage all types of physical activity even in very old adults who might not be able to participate in formal exercise, but can still benefit from a more active lifestyle.”

Doctors at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center monitored the daily activity of 716 people without dementia by use of a device called an actigraph, on their nondominant wrist for 10 days. All activity was recorded and subjects were given annual cognitive tests for the next 3.5 years.

Results showed that those test subjects in the bottom 10 percent of daily physical activity were more than twice as likely (2.3 times) to develop Alzheimer’s disease as people in the top 10 percent of daily activity.

So much of the fear associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia comes from the feeling that one has no control over the disease. This study gives the hope that there is something we can do to prevent the onset of those devastating conditions. My 82-year-old mother still washes her kitchen floor every other day, sometimes on her hands and knees. She refuses my help, insisting that it’s her activity that has kept “Old Timer’s disease” at bay. It looks like once again, mom may be right.

The Study on Frailty in Aging (SOFIA) is a sub-study of the ongoing Rush Memory and Aging Project. Rush is still actively recruiting participants for the SOFIA study. Those interested in becoming part of the Rush Memory and Aging Project and SOFIA can contact study coordinator Tracey Nowakowski at (312) 942-2214. Participants must be 65 years of age or older with no previous diagnosis of dementia.

If you are already caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, Caregiverlist has partnered with the leading producer of training videos for the caregiving industry, Terra Nova Films, to assist our caregiving community with understanding how to care for the physical, emotional and psychosocial needs of older adults.

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Caregivers Can Help Seniors with Healthy Aging

September is Healthy Aging Month and while good senior home caregivers take care of important elderly care needs, great senior home caregivers can help their elderly clients or family members live a richer and more healthy life as they age. Healthy aging not only helps the individual, but helps the economy by reducing the burden on the health care system. Here are some tips for healthy aging:

  • Stay active. Try to get some sort of physical exercise (with a doctor’s permission) every day. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Walking is a wonderful way to exercise. Find an activity to enjoy. Perhaps take up a long-neglected hobby.
  • Eat well. Load up on high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains. As much as possible, stay away from processed foods. Remember to stay hydrated.
  • Keep your mind sharp. Board games and puzzles can help keep your brain as active as your body. Take on a new subject, like learning a new language or acquiring computer skills. Take a class. New social connections can also help strengthen the brain.

For a more comprehensive look at healthy aging, read Living Long & Well in the 21st Century, Strategic Directions for Research on Aging, released by the National Institute on Aging.

Find great home caregivers to help with the process of healthy aging in place through a quality senior home care agency.

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