Find Flexible and Convenient Work Opportunities as a Caregiver

My name is Sarah… pleased to connect with you online. As I approach my 46th birthday, I am “officially” entering the 21st century era of communications by finally getting around to trying my hand at blogging (better late than never, as they say!) Given the internal challenges I have been facing lately, I expect it will be a therapeutic exercise in laying out my situation and clarifying my thoughts. Meanwhile, I’m hoping you, the reader, will find this post to be helpful in some way as, together, we explore the possibility of entering the home healthcare or personal home healthcare market via the tools CaregiverUSA provides.

Here’s my backstory to give you some context. My husband David, a mid-level accounting manager, and I have been married nearly 19 years and have been busy rearing our two sons, Mike, now 16, and Zach, 14, at our home in a quiet middle-class Columbus, Ohio suburb. While we’ve had our ups and downs like everyone else, overall we have been blessed with good health, a vibrant family life, wonderful friends, and steady employment for David.

I must say David is great – he has always been totally supportive of my decision to resign from my frenzied position as a marketing manager for a major telecom company to be a stay-at-home mom, starting at around age 30. After all, what better investment can parents make than funneling their energy and gifts into their children’s well-being? As we see it, our job is to nurture and develop our sons into caring, responsible human beings who will, hopefully, make the world a better place to live.

To this end, I have proudly and happily worn the multiple hats of full-time homemaker for the last 16 years: layperson nurse, laundress, organic vegetable gardener, bargain shopper, home decorator, wardrobe consultant, meal planner, chief cook and bottle-washer, chauffeur, amateur psychologist, Cub scout den mother, sports team spectator, PTA chairwoman, social director, church bake sale point person, school basketball team fundraiser, holiday event planner, tutor, and, last but not least, housekeeper and organizer. In fact, I have been accused of being a “neat freak” by the men in my family. So what if I store the canned goods in alphabetical order?

But, I admit, kids grow up fast and things have changed; the boys don’t need me as much anymore. Mike is able to drive himself and his brother to and from school and their various sports and social activities. Mike got his license the day after his 16th birthday – we were so proud! It stings a little that they are at that phase where they really don’t want mom hanging around too much, particularly when the boys are with their friends.

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A mother explores her options to be a caregiver with CaregiverUSA.

So, I’ve found I am kind of restless, rather at loose ends at this crossroads in my life’s journey. This means it is time for a new challenge, a positive change. Besides, as David says, “How many times do you need to dust the shower curtains?” David thinks I need to get out of the house and find something I enjoy doing. Granted, while my husband does make reasonably good money, we both realize that with the prospect of putting two boys through college looming on the near horizon, it would be wise to figure out something for me to do that will allow me to put away some cash each week toward their higher education pursuits. I’m sure you’ve heard, in this election year, how college tuition costs are going through the roof! I know we’ll get through it, but we should be proactive in finding ways to increase our household income.

Of course, I’ve ruminated quite a bit about what I should do. Considering how much I enjoyed my former career in marketing, I always thought I could return to it eventually, once my children became more independent. But so much has changed since I left the industry at age 30 – in technology, in new best practices, etc. The learning curve would be very steep. Plus, I’ve heard so much about age bias in hiring (let’s face it – I’m well over 40, it happens) so it’s possible I might hit some resistance re-entering that particular job market. Of course, I know I could prevail, but the thing is, I have to really want it.

Truthfully, I don’t relish the thought of taking on a stressful position, and that certainly comes with the territory in a marketing career. I am really only interested in working part-time, and I considered healthcare, but have decided that at this stage in life, I don’t want to submit to the late-night study sessions and rigors of academia all over again. Because I love healthy cooking so much, I also toyed with the idea of opening my own “organic only” cafe, but David and I eventually decided the hours involved and the financial risk would ultimately not be the best choice for our family.

After much soul-searching, I’ve figured out something I’ve known inside all along, but never articulated before. The bottom line is: “I need to be needed.”

But please read on, because an exciting new development is unfolding. Ironically, despite all the things I have been doing the last several years to take care of others, it never crossed my mind that I would consider becoming a professional part-time caregiver – after all, that’s what I’m doing on this CGUSA website. But life has a way of opening up new possibilities where you least expect them.

Long story short: I love Facebook and these days, I am probably on there a bit too much. Several hours ago, in a light moment, I posted a funny meme about “Pre-empty Nest Syndrome.” It got several likes, which led to an old high school friend, Ashley, messaging me about her new career as a part-time personal caregiver and suggesting it may be good for me, too. Ashley used to tease and call me “Mother Sarah” way back in the day (I loved playing with little kids, and I would always be offering up home remedies to my friends’ random case of sniffles or sore muscles after a softball game). I asked her how she got into this field, given she had been an insurance adjuster for many years, and she told me about how she was able to easily find flexible and convenient work opportunities as a caregiver via CaregiverUSA.

 

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I was interested, of course, but mentioned that I do not have any kind of nursing certification. No worries, said Ashley, neither does she! We actually jumped off Fcaebook and onto our phones, where we talked about how she was being paid to go into different people’s homes and cook, clean, organize, babysit – all the things I have been doing for years as a homemaker. She was so enthused about convincing me to do this I finally had to beg off the call so I could take action.

You’ve made your case, Ashley, this home caregiver situation is definitely worth looking into!

I am happy to report that I did not procrastinate. I hung up the phone immediately and went to the CaregiverUSA site, which is very easy to navigate, and just signed up, taking about 40 minutes to throw together and submit an appropriate resume highlighting my homemaker skills. I have already received the email acknowledgement for my application.

Ashley says they move quickly, and told me I can expect to hear from them in a few days regarding the requisite background check, setting up my profile, etc. She described CGUSA as sort of a home healthcare match-making service, and told me there are a lot of people on the site looking for help with elderly parents, Alzheimer’s patients, child care, housekeeping and errands during illness. Of course, skilled nursing services from Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) are also in demand. Ashley said in ten days or less, I should be able to start looking at the CGUSA electronic job board for care seekers in my area, and, conversely, have potential employers contact me via specific searches on the website database.

Can all this really be happening so quickly? Absolutely. In this amazing human journey, we’ve all got to “seize the day.” I am so looking forward to seeing how fate will bring me together with “just the right people” at “just the right time” so we can learn, grow, and help each other through life’s joys, trials, and tribulations.

A Fulfilling Caregiving Career

Hi, it’s me, Christine, again.

Hope everybody’s doing OK. As for me, my new career as a caregiver is looking up!

Just want to fill you in real fast in case you missed my first post. Last time, I was talking about how much I was “over” working as a manager in fast-food, and how I just received my CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) credential in Ohio. But then I hit a wall – what’s next? I was looking for a new career path that will allow me to set my own schedule, so I can spend more time with my kids, Lucas, 6, and Mia, 22 months, to give my mom and sisters some relief from always babysitting for me. If I can, I’d love to even choose how much money I can make per hour – I mean, within reason!

Anyway, I googled “part-time nursing assistant jobs” and came across this website, www.caregiverusa.com.  After looking the site over a little bit, I decided to sign up!

So, first I should talk to you about the important business aspects of joining CGUSA before I get to the really good part –getting hired. You should understand that, basically, CGUSA is empowering you to run your own business. That’s right, members are “caregiver entrepreneurs” so to speak, in that I (and, you, if you join) can set your own hours, manage your own time, and establish your own pricing.

I told you last time I filled out the short, “easy-peasy” online application and cut-and-pasted my resume inside it. I sent it off and immediately got an email confirmation from CGUSA that it was received.

Shortly thereafter, I’d say a week or so, I received a notification that CGUSA accepted my application. I was invited to sign up for an annual subscription . . .

Uh oh! I thought, this is where they get you. But hey, I found out the cost to join Caregiver USA is very reasonable. Only $68 a year for caregivers, regardless of the certifications you have. That’ only $5.67 a month. Sweet!

Next, I’m told they need to perform a free background check on me. That’s right, it’s included in my $68 fee, which is a relief! Gotta say, having people verify my social security number and look into my education, employment, any criminal history, etc. is what I expected, since I know people are concerned about whether or not the people coming into their home or that of a loved one has a “record.” I mean, wouldn’t you be? The normal background check is three years, but CGUSA goes back seven. Again, that’s OK. I want to be part of respected caregiver network that has a reputation for making sure its workers are good, honest people.

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Being a caregiver entrepreneur also offers flexibility, freedom and control over your work-life balance.

Of course, I passed the background check. (They didn’t count a couple parking tickets, hahaha!)

 

Did you know CGUSA pays you directly electronically? What’s more, you can look up exactly how much you’ve made after – say – three days, and figure out if you want to accept any extra hours that may be offered. And you know the really good part? They don’t take out any taxes, so you can keep more of what you earn, and “write off” your mileage, any supplies you buy, etc., at the end of the year. You’re an independent contractor. Just be sure to keep track of your receipts to score the extra tax benefits.

There’s real potential to make what I would call good money! Specific rates are kind of determined by where in the country you live. In Ohio, most people set their fee between $18 and $20 an hour. It’s a supply-and-demand business, after all.

You should know Caregiver USA takes credit cards from the care seekers you would be working for and has a highly secure encrypted internet security system through its website and the apps it provides to caregivers. I already told you the annual subscription fee for caregivers to sign up is like, ridiculously low. It makes sense then, that to support the set-up and maintenance of the extensive data base, search features, credit card payment system and all the security bells and whistles, that Caregiver USA needs more than $5.67 a month from its caregivers to pay for all the services it provides. After all, it is running a business! All that being said, it withholds only 10% of caregivers’ weekly earnings to help maintain the site and provide the banking services to both caregivers and care seekers at the best possible level. Sounds more than fair to me.

What’s more, as a “caregiver entrepreneur,” (love that phrase!) you’re going to want and need liability insurance. This is what care seekers demand, for their own protection and peace of mind. Fortunately, CGUSA offers you a very modestly priced group policy with a lump sum premium paid at the beginning of your work year. Again, it’s priced really low, at less than $10 a year for coverage. It’s definitely a lot cheaper than buying a policy on your own. Besides, as I said, very few care seekers will even consider hiring a caregiver without liability insurance.

Next, they asked me to review my calendar and block out times I am available to work (and the times I’m absolutely not.)

As I said in my last post, I’m currently working full-time as a manager at a fast-food restaurant, but it’s too many hours and I am flaming out under the stress. The convenience and ability to choose when and how often I can work is great for my situation.

After being encouraged to add photos and other personal information to my online CGUSA caregiver profile so it would be easy for care seekers to find me, I was ready to launch my CNA career. Fortunately, as a CGUSA caregiver, there are three different ways I can find work (or it can find me!) 1) I can search for jobs in the database that meet my criteria. 2) Care seekers can search profiles of people they are looking for, based on credentials and expertise. 3) Care seekers can post their jobs on an electronic job board and caregivers can respond. Both the caregiver and care seeker communicate with each other via a secure internal email system.

So this is what is happening now. I was not active on the data base very long at all when this woman named Mary Jane contacted me. She says her father, John, 72, has Alzheimer’s and her mother, Anna, 65, has high blood pressure, diabetes, and is having a really hard time dealing with her own issues while trying to care for John. Mary Jane has five siblings, but everybody lives in different states. Mary Jane is the closest to John and Anna, however, living about two hours away by car, so the burden of looking in on her parents has fallen to her.

Poor Mary Jane! I’m guessing she’s about 45-years-old. She said she has a demanding, full-time job as a senior manager at a Fortune 500 Company; a husband, three kids ranging from ages 3 to 8, and two dogs. Every Friday, for the last three months, she leaves work and does all this driving in rush hour traffic to John and Anna’s house. While there, she does the housework and cooks five days worth of meals for her parents. She stays with them till Sunday morning, crack of dawn, when she drives back home to go to church with her family. Mary Jane is trying to help her parents while she is drowning herself. She’s even thinking of quitting her job if things don’t improve. (And I thought I had it rough!)

Anyway, we’ve traded several internal messages back and forth and finally spoke on the phone, having given out our numbers earlier. She wants to know if I can come over to her parents’ house (about 12 minutes away from me by car in medium traffic — yay!) and help out with housecleaning, cooking, and maybe running some errands so that she (and her mom) can get a little bit of a break from the constant needs of her dad.

Sure, I can do that!

Mary Jane already knew from the online calendar that I am available from 10 am-2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There was like no drama over money, because I set my price at $18 an hour, and it showed up on my profile before she even contacted me. Again, I am starting out as a “companion.” When I add more CNA work (performed under supervision of a physician or an RN) I may boost my rate up to $20 an hour when my contract comes up for renewal. Not bad for starting out in a new career!

I just told my husband Daniel the great news, and he is excited for me, and for our family! I’ll let you know how it’s going after taking care of John a few weeks.

Gotta go!

Christine

Caregiving with Purpose

Hi, my name is Christine. I’ve got to figure out my life. Maybe you can help me?

I found this website, caregiverusa.com while I was googling around for part-time nursing assistant jobs. Did I mention I got my CNA? Yeah, and I’m kinda proud of that, too. CNA stands for Certified Nurse Assistant certification. We’re also known as State Tested Nurse Aids (STNAs) here in Ohio, where I’ve lived all my life. In this state, it takes 75 hours of training – a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training – which is done through the Nurse Aid Registry, Ohio Department of Health. Here’s another helpful related website.

In CNA training, you learn about protecting patients’ rights, dealing with emergencies, identifying abuse and neglect, and how to communicate most effectively with patients, their families, and the supervising nurse. Most importantly, you are taught to pay close attention to cleanliness and sanitation, and how to make patients as comfortable as possible.

Are you like Christine? Trying to figure out your life?

Just in case you’re interested, you also need your high school diploma or GED, and to pass a complete health screening and a criminal background check.

Lastly, of course, you need to pass the Ohio CNA certification exam. There’s about 70 multiple-choice written questions, and then you need to complete five nurse aide tasks – all selected at random.

I studied hard and did great, if I do say so myself. I’m officially listed on the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry. But then it hit me, a few days after I passed the exam. “Ok, I’ve got my CNA. But now what?”

Did I mention I am so “fried” on working fast-food? I’ve done every job you can think of at a major drive-thru chain for more than eight years. I started there during junior year of high school. But I’m looking to get out of the burger biz. I am soooooo over it. Doesn’t matter that I’m actually a manager now, and making “not too bad” money. But we’re in a really busy location, it’s stressing me out, and they want me there working all the time. I can’t do all those hours.

I need to find something else, which is one of the reasons I went for my CNA. That, and I’ve always liked feeling useful and needed. I enjoy helping people, and realized the little things I did for my sickly grandma before she died – combing her hair, helping her take a bath, and put on her shoes, even just listening to her when she would talk about her years with grandpa and the “old days,” really made a difference and helped her feel better.

Caregiving could be a purpose in life

But, back to my dilemma! I’ve got my husband, Daniel, a seasonal construction worker, whose work kinda ebbs and flows. We live in our two-bedroom apartment, along with our two kids, “squirmy boy” Lucas, age 6, and precious baby girl, Mia, 22 months.

I need to be able to set a schedule that works for me, at a job that is close to home and Lucas’ school. Something where I might even be able to make more money, and have a better future than staying in fast-food.

A worthwhile job that’s not so crazy, so I have more time for my kids and keeping up with my own housework and errands. I’ve been having my mom and sisters babysit Lucas and Mia whenever Daniel and I were busy working or whatever, but I know they’re getting tired of it, and, besides, they have their own problems.

And that’s my story. I’m on this home healthcare caregiver website, wondering if I should bother exploring. What do you think?

I’m going for it.

So, I’m on the home page on my iphone, and as I scroll down, CaregiverUSA is asking me to join the mailing list. Errrrrr, I guess it’s a good idea to get updates and keep in the loop with what’s happening, since I do have my CNA after all, so I will do it. If I get too many emails or don’t like the content, I can always unsubscribe.

Now I’m clicking the box that says “Be a Caregiver” closer to the top on the home page. It takes me to a new internal web page, where it talks about CaregiverUSA and flexibility in setting your own work schedule. Mentions possibly making more money in the process. So far, so good…

Basically, it’s saying they’re strongly focused on nurturing and compassion as a caregiver organization. Good to know — I would hope so! I’m liking it’s a web-based platform that allows me to search for people meeting my criteria, such as care seekers needing my help in my area. On the flip side, they’re saying care seekers would be looking for someone like me through Web, mobile, and social media apps.

I also have my choice of providing medical care versus personal care. Personal care is non-medical in nature, such as child care, adult and senior care, home care, and pet sitting.

As a new CNA, I know I’m eligible to do some of the medical care tasks under the direction of a physician or RN, but I just want to ease into this. I’ll choose personal care first to see how it goes. It says some non-medical (personal) care services are offered by caregivers who are licensed or certified, so that’s me.

Well, I’ve come this far, so I guess I am interested enough in CaregiverUSA to fill out the caregiver application. I see it as I scroll down. Looks short, easy, and fast enough to knock out.

I input my name and email. It asks for skilled medical care positions. I select “Nursing Aide” in drop down menu. There’s another drop-down box for Custodial Care positions. I choose something easy from the git-go, just to try this out (Companion.) Moving on to Available start date, it gives me a monthly calendar. Uhmm, let’s say Monday, June 5. That should work.

Now, current employment status. I mark the dot “Employed.” However, I will definitely give notice once I figure out this caregiver gig is going to work out.

OK, next step is cut-and-pasting my resume or emailing to them. No problem.

Final question before submitting my application. Alright, the end. Hit the green submit button.

And… we’re off!

Ahhhh, gotta admit, this is kinda exciting. I mean, not “I’ve hit the lottery” exciting. It’s more like “what are the possibilities here” exciting. Could this lead to a better future and solve some of my problems? Caregiving with purpose?

You know what I mean… I’ll let you know how it goes with my next post…

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Caregiver Spotlight

Meet Shonda,

 Shonda is a dedicated and hard-working STNA for Caregiver USA. She loves having the opportunity to be the best part of someone’s worst day. She has worked in the health care field for over ten years. Shonda worked in a hospital setting for about six years. She realized that she wanted to provide more one-on-one care so she transitioned to home health. Her future goal is to become a Registered Nurse. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters! Caregiver USA is very appreciative of Shonda and everything she has and will accomplish for herself.

For more information about Caregiver USA services visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

Got Sleep?

March has been designated National Sleep Awareness Month. One part of sleep awareness is knowing how our sleep may be affected by changes in the environment.

Most of the United States returns to Daylight Saving Time beginning at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 8. As we spring forward and advance our clocks one hour, it is important to consider how this small change can affect our sleep.

Moving our clocks, watches, and cell phones in either direction changes the principal time cue—light—for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. This makes our internal clock out of sync with our current day-night cycle.

In general, “losing” an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall.  An “earlier” bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night.

If you have insomnia or are sleep-deprived already, you could experience more difficulties. In this situation, you could see decreased performance, concentration and memory during the workday, which is common to sleep-deprived individuals.  You also may experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness. All of these are more likely if you consume alcohol or caffeine late in the evening.

In general, people adjust to the change in time within a few days. You can help this by decreasing exposure to light in your home during the evenings, exercising, trying to have a consistent sleep schedule, and reducing or eliminating alcohol and caffeine.

Like us on Facebook for more daily updates! http://www.Facebook.com/CaregiverUSAcorp

Visit https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/04/national-sleep-awareness-month/ for more about sleep, insomnia and work-life balance resources.

Patient Safety Awareness Week-The Week that Lasts all Year

Prevention of Falls in the Elderly

How many of you are caring for the elderly, or looking for someone who can? It’s not easy. There are so many things to look out for, and so many challenges to face.

One of the biggest challenges is prevention of falls in the elderly. There are many other things to talk about when it comes to caring for them but accidental falling can be a nightmare. So how do we prevent falls in the elderly?

We know that falls, and the resulting complications, can be very dangerous but they are also one of the most common risk factors-it’s just too easy to let them happen. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, “One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.” So this problem is not only widespread, it is also hidden. Caregivers end up in a difficult position of having to prevent things before they can happen.

So what can we do?

Many risk factors and prevention have been identified in medical and healthcare literature. This might go a long way in saving the lives of our loved ones. Some of these risk factors are intrinsic and you may need professional help before you can notice them, for example, examination for back problems. Other factors are environmental and to some extent cannot be controlled easily. But there are other factors that are within the power of caregivers-both formal and informal-to deal with.

Medication

Forewarned is forearmed. Some medicines can make a person dizzy or drowsy, of affect balance and co-ordination. This applies to everyone, not just the elderly. Caregivers might not always be in a good position to know this-medical confidentiality and lacking pharmaceutical knowledge might hinder this. But the elderly or their legal representatives should be able to ask their doctors/pharmacists to identify those medicines that increase the risk of falling. The doctors especially, should be able to tell you whether any particular medicine is a risk to any particular patient.

Footwear

Remember that awful, horrible feeling when you wrench an ankle wearing thick soles on uneven ground? Think of this, only much worse, if an elderly person’s feet wobble too much wearing high heels with no ankle support. Backless shoes, even slippers with smooth soles, all pose a variety of footwear-related risks. In Asia, another type of footwear to worry about are the communal slippers used for bathrooms. There are many ways footwear can be unsafe-they can interfere with a safe and proper gait, they can be too slippery, or they can be too large and be a tripping hazard. We should ensure our elderly not only have proper and safe footwear for going out, but also for using within the home-this is especially important for bathroom slippers since the elderly may need to access a potentially wet floor late at night, possibly without wearing glasses, while urgently rushing to answer the call of nature.

Tripping/Slipping Hazards

We already mentioned smooth-soled shoes as a slipping hazard. But there’s more. The bathroom is a particularly dangerous place for elderly when it comes to a fall risk. The floor can be smooth and wet, and placing loose rugs may do nothing to solve this problem-they might even increase the risk of slipping. Bathrooms often also have little curbs, especially at the shower areas. Try to use rugs with a rubberized underside, to prevent elderly users from slipping to them, and of course try to keep the floors dry. Rough surfaces or rubber mats are another potential safety measure.

But that’s just the bathroom. Falls can happen anywhere in the house or outside it, so watch out also for objects cluttering the floor, uneven ground, slopes, and smooth surfaces.

Assistance

Now, this might be a bit difficult. So far, we’ve talked about removing problems. That’s not expensive. But sometimes we may need to make some investments for long term. We don’t need to wrap our loved ones in tons of cotton wool everywhere they go, but it would help if grab rails or other supports and installed in the important areas of the home (bathroom for example). Walking aides should also be chosen carefully. It should not be too heavy, and should be adjusted to the correct height so that a cane-assisted walking posture does not itself turn out to be a falling risk.

Diet

Protein, calcium, essential vitamins and water. All these sound very commonsensical. However, what an elderly person needs for a suitable diet may not be the same as what healthy middle-aged adults need. Some changes are common to all elderly-for example, switching to softer foods. Moreover, a healthy diet can go a long way to prevent numerous other problems that increase the risk of falling. Diet also needs to cater to a person’s specific medical issues.

If you or a loved one are looking into home care options please visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

Did you know 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease? Take Two Simple Tests to Know Your Kidney Numbers

March is National Kidney Month, so let’s focus on the importance of education and prevention!

Anyone can get kidney disease at any time. If kidney disease is found and treated early, you can help slow or even stop it from getting worse. Most people with early kidney disease do not have symptoms. That is why it is important to be tested. Know your kidney numbers!

Your kidney numbers include 2 tests: ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). GFR is a measure of kidney function and is performed through a blood test. Your GFR will determine what stage of kidney disease you have – there are 5 stages. Know your stage. ACR is a urine test to see how much albumin (a type of protein) is in your urine. Too much albumin in your urine is an early sign of kidney damage.

  • Urine Test called ACR. ACR stands for “albumin-to-creatinine ratio.” Your urine will be tested for albumin. Albumin is a type of protein. Your body needs protein. But it should be in the blood, not the urine. Having protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough. This can be a sign of early kidney disease. If your urine test comes back “positive” for protein, the test should be repeated to confirm the results. Three positive results over three months or more is a sign of kidney disease.
  • Blood Test to estimate your GFR. Your blood will be tested for a waste product called creatinine. Creatinine comes from muscle tissue. When the kidneys are damaged, they have trouble removing creatinine from your blood. Testing for creatinine is only the first step. Next, your creatinine result is used in a math formula with your age, race, and sex to find out your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR number tells your healthcare provider how well your kidneys are working. Check with your doctor about having a GFR test.

 

Caregiver USA is committed to the wellness of their employees and clients. If you want to stay informed or would like to learn more about Caregiver USA services please visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

10 Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

From our friends at the National Parkinson Foundation,

Sometimes it’s hard to tell that you might have Parkinson’s Disease. The symptoms arise when your brain stops making an important chemical called dopamine. This chemical helps your body to move, and helps your mood. If you have Parkinson’s, you can feel better by taking medicine that helps your body to replace that chemical.

Parkinson’s disease will get worse slowly over time, and your doctor can help you to stay healthy longer. If you or a loved one show any of these warning signs, you should tell your doctor about them and ask about the disease.

  1. Tremor or shaking
  2. Small handwriting
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. A soft or low voice
  8. Masked face
  9. Dizziness or fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

 

If you or a loved one develop any of these signs and need assistance in the home call 614-408-9939 or visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com for an evaluation.

For more information about Parkinson’s Disease visit http://www.Parkinson.org or call the helpline 1-800-4PD-INFO.

 

February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month

Understanding AMD
AMD is the gradual but persistent breakdown of the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for seeing objects clearly. Over time, this can affect the ability to read, drive, identify faces, watch television, navigate stairs and perform a suite of other daily tasks. For many adults, this visual deterioration occurs in one eye and may eventually form in the other.

There are two types of AMD – “dry” and “wet”. The majority of people with AMD have the “dry” form, which is less severe and develops gradually. It is important to carefully monitor central vision when diagnosed with AMD, because it can quickly develop into a more serious condition – wet AMD.

Risk Factors
According to vision experts, the top five risk factors for AMD are:

  • Being over the age of 50
  • Family history
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have a macular problem until they notice blurred or distorted vision. If you or someone in your family is at an increased risk for AMD, see an eye care provider as soon as possible to undergo an eye exam. Early detection of AMD is the most important step to preventing serious vision loss.

Treatment Options
There is no treatment for dry AMD but doctors have found a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. Introducing low-fat foods and dark leafy greens into your diet can slow vision loss and may even increase your overall wellness.

If wet AMD is detected early, laser treatment is a popular method to help prevent severe vision loss.

As we observe National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, take this opportunity to reduce your risk of developing AMD. Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol, and eat a healthy diet that includes green leafy vegetables and fish. For extra motivation, find a friend, partner or neighbor to engage in healthy habits with you!

If you or a loved one suffers from AMD or vision impairment and you believe they could use some assistance please visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

http://whatislowvision.org/2014/02/19/february-is-national-age-related-macular-degeneration-and-low-vision-awareness-month/ 

Caregiver Spotlight

Meet Shonda,

 Shonda is a dedicated and hard-working STNA for Caregiver USA. She loves having the opportunity to be the best part of someone’s worst day. She has worked in the health care field for over ten years. Shonda worked in a hospital setting for about six years. She realized that she wanted to provide more one-on-one care so she transitioned to home health. Her future goal is to become a Registered Nurse. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters! Caregiver USA is very appreciative of Shonda and everything she has and will accomplish for herself.

For more information about Caregiver USA services visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.