Caregiverlist offers these 1-page training briefs to assist you in providing quality care to your senior clients. These briefs are not meant to replace caregiver training programs, but are offered as convenient refreshers on common medical conditions and senior
care needs. Read them before starting service with a new client or print them out and take them along with you as care reminders.
Caregiverlist Certified Caregiver training provides a 10-hour online training program for non-medical caregivers.
Senior Care Briefs:
Caregiverlist’s Daily Care Notes
Medication Reminder Scheduling
Sample Senior Care Plan
Sample Senior Home Care Agency Job Application
Home Health Aide Skills Assessment
Certified Nursing Aide Skills Lab
Certified Nursing Aide Vocabulary
View Caregiver Training Videos
Caregiverlist Care Brief: Speaking to People with Hearing Loss
- Use a first name before you speak to draw their attention to you
- Speak a little more slowly than what you consider to be normal
- Do not yell, shout, speak rapidly or speak with exaggerated mouth movement
- Keep your hands and objects away from your face while speaking
- Avoid speaking while eating, chewing, smoking and drinking
- Always face the hearing impaired person
- Do not try to converse from another room or with your back turned
Caregiverlist Care Brief: Macular Degeneration
What Is It?: The bulls-eye center of your eye, called the macula (MAK-u-luh), contains the most concentrated collection of photosensitive cells in your retina. Macular degeneration occurs when these sight-sensing tissues in the macular zone of the retina malfunction and cause the loss of vital central or detail vision which causes causes difficulty in reading, driving and performing detail work. Dry macular degeneration, in which the tissue is not accompanied by bleeding, is more common than wet macular degeneration, and tends to affect adults age 50 and older.
Symptoms: Sometimes only one eye loses vision and as the good eye will naturally compensate for the weak one, it may take awhile to notice the vision loss. Increasing blurriness of printed words, difficulty in adapting to low light levels, a blurred or blind spot in the center of the visual field and hazy vision. Some people experience visual hallucinations of unusual patterns, animals and even faces
Treatments: There is no treatment available to reverse dry macular degeneration. However, this does not mean all vision will be lost. Dry macular degeneration usually progresses slowly and many people with the condition are able to live productive lives if only one eye is affected. Dry macular degeneration can progress into wet type of degeneration at any time which progresses more rapidly. Eye drops may be prescribed along with antioxidant vitamins. Suggest a magnifying glass for reading, appliances with large numbers and good lighting. Remember that peripheral vision remains while central vision is lost and night vision will be more difficult.
Caregiverlist Care Brief: Hip Replacement
What Is It? A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure which replaces the diseased cartilage and bone with artificial materials. A metal ball and stem are inserted into the femur bone and an artificial plastic cup socket. These artificial parts are referred to as the “prosthesis”.
Symptoms: Severe arthritis, bony fractures of the hip joint and death of the hip bone all lead to chronic pain and impairment of daily functions which qualify a patient to total hip replacement. Risks of hip replacement include blood clots in the lower extremeities that can travel to the lungs. Other problems are difficulty with urination, local skin or joint infection, fracture of the bone during and after surgery, scarring and limitation of motion of the hip which can lead to prosthesis failure.
Treatments: As early as 1 to 2 days after surgery, the hip replacement patient may be able to stand, sit on the edge of the bed and walk with assistance. A physical therapist will teach the patient exercises that will improve recovery and strengthen the hip. Due to limited range of motion with the new hip, the therapist will also teach the patient proper techniques for activities of daily living such as bending and sitting. An exercise program with muscle strengthening exercises and range-of-motion activities will be prescribed. Recommended exercises usually include cross-country skiing, swimming, walking and stationary bicycling.
Caregiverlist Care Brief: Alzheimer’s Disease
What Is It? Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia (but not all dementia patients have Alzheimer’s Disease). Alzheimer’s Disease was named after a German physician, Alois Alzheimer. A.D. is a serious, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually the abilities to carry out simple tasks. It is a fatal disease.
Symptoms? Doctors can successfully diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease 90% of the time by physical exams, lab tests, and evaluations of memory and day-to-day functioning but the only way to 100% diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease is an autopsy of the brain to confirm protein deposits. Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease will confuse person, place and time and eventually this will impact their physical capabilities. They will have difficulty learning and retaining information and finding the right words to communicate combined with overall forgetfulness and memory loss. Often, their personality will change as they try to manage these changes.
Treatments? Doctors prescribe medications along with mental exercises and meditation which can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, but there is no cure for it. The best treatment is to form a caregiving support team for the person and their family members. Alzheimer’s Disease progresses at different paces for each person. There are a few Alzheimer’s Disease associations that provide resources and one of the more popular books is: The 36-hour Day by Nancy Mace and Peter Mabins.
Caregiverlist Care Brief: Stroke
What Is It? A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Ischemic stroke: occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by gradual buildup of plaque and other fatty deposits (85% of strokes are Ischemic). Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain.
Symptoms? When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. When a stroke is occurring, symptoms may include: sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, confusion, trouble speaking, seeing or walking and sudden headache with no known cause.
Treatments? Physical and mental rehabilitation which teaches the brain to rewire itself is very successful for stroke patients. In addition, managing blood pressure, cholesterol and atrial fibrillation through medications, diet and exercise will assist to prevent additional strokes. Rehabilitation is most effective the first year after the stroke occurs, to assist stroke patients to regain their mental and physical capabilities, and less effective after the first year has passed.
Caregiverlist’s Daily Care Notes
A Daily Documentation Log can be used to effectively manage a senior’s daily care to make sure their plan of care is followed.
By keeping daily notes about senior care services, you will also be able to provide feedback about the health status and activities
to a senior’s family members and medical doctors. This can be especially valuable when a senior needs to meet certain goals for
gaining or losing weight, developing an exercise routine or monitoring the effects of new medications.
Download Caregiverlist’s Daily Care Notes (.doc 34kb)