Sunday, April 5, 2015

New BLOG Address: CareLinx.com/blog

The CareLinx blog is now at carelinx.com/blog
 Each week, we add one or more articles about CareLinx, caregiving, and technology. We encourage you to share articles and this site with others who you think would appreciate what we have to offer.

CareLinx is a secure home care social network that empowers families to directly connect with compatible caregivers and cost-effectively manage all their home care services online.
We invite you to explore our website at CareLinx.com, like us on facebook.com/CareLinx or follow us on twitter.com/CareLinx

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Caregiver Essentials for Hospital Trips

Caregivers must remember to take care of themselves in order to take care of others. Emergency checklists need to be handy because emergencies generally come when you are least expecting them! What's on your emergency checklist, and where do you keep it?

Caregiver Essentials for Hospital Trips
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Hospital trips happen suddenly
Sudden hospital trips with your older adult are incredibly stressful, but there’s one area of stress you can control. Put important information and a few necessities into a tote bag. We call this our caregiver essentials kit.
Creating this kit ahead of time prepares you for any emergency. Stash your bag where you spend a lot of time. If there’s a crisis, grab your caregiver essentials kit, get to the hospital, and feel confident that you have what you need to take care of your older adult and yourself.
What to bring for your older adultKey paperwork
  • Copy of insurance card
  • Copy of ID or driver license
  • Copy of living willadvance directive, healthcare proxy, or medical power of attorney
  • Copy of durable power of attorney
  • POLST
Personal information
  • Current height and weight - get this from a recent doctor visit
  • Current list of medications - include full Rx name, dosage, and schedule
  • Notes about allergies and medications that have caused negative reactions
  • Brief medical history - a short list of surgeries, hospitalizations, and current health issues, try to include dates when possible
Don’t count on information being availableHaving all this info at hand means you won’t have to scramble when hospital staff asks questions. Also, the hospital might not have your older adult’s information readily accessible even if they’ve been there before.
What to bring for yourselfChances are, you’ll be spending at least a few hours at the hospital. In some cases, you might need to stay overnight before you have a chance to go home and get some things for yourself. Hospitals are notorious for taking ages to complete tests or have a doctor to talk with you. Having some necessities on hand will help you feel more calm, comfortable, and in control of the situation.
Here are our top suggestions
  • List of important phone numbers - if they’re not already in your cell phone
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Reading glasses - inexpensive pair from the drugstore or these from ThinOptics
  • Phone charger
  • Pen and notepad to jot notes, questions, phone numbers, and names
  • Book, puzzles, music player for entertainment
  • Gum, mints, or packaged snacks so you’re not completely at the mercy of the vending machine selection
  • Pillow, ear plugs, or eye mask - if you need to sleep over
  • Small bills and change for vending machines
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: The Portland Mercury
Visit DailyCaring.com for practical tips that help with the real-life challenges of caring for an older adult. Our free website and email newsletter are brief, to-the-point, and help with care decisions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

6 Fun Spring Activities for Seniors

Team CareLinx loves this reminder by DailyCaring that it is time to leave winter behind and go outdoors. Put away the wool scarves and mittens and put on a smile.

6 Fun Spring Activities for Seniors


Look forward to warmer weather
After a long and brutal winter, it’s a relief to know that warmer weather is just around the corner. Welcome the spring season with these six fun activities that seniors (and you!) will enjoy.


6 ways to celebrate spring with seniors
1. Enjoy a picnic meal
Whether you eat indoors at home or outdoors in the park, having a special picnic meal is a lovely activity. Active older adults can help with the prep too.

Part of the fun can be planning the menu together! Think about traditional picnic foods like sandwiches or wraps, coleslaw, macaroni or potato salad, cookies, and lemonade. You could even invite family and friends and turn it into a festive potluck.

2. Visit a farmers market
Ah, fresh produce and flowers! Leisurely strolling (or being wheeled) around a farmers market is a perfect activity for seniors. There’s so much to see and sample. Plus, they can take home some fresh veggies for a healthy meal.

3. Take a nature walk
Once the weather warms up, take a walk (or wheelchair ride) through the neighborhood, go to the park, or visit a garden center. For those who are less mobile, sitting in the back yard, on the porch, or near an open window is just as nice.

4. Bring nature indoors
Spring means plants, flowers, and growth. Bring the beauty of nature inside by getting an easy-to-care-for plant, a fragrant potted herb like lavender, or some freshly cut flowers. Everyone can enjoy the scent and colors.

5. Bird watch
A sure sign of spring is the birds chirping outside. Attract even more wildlife to your window by making and putting up a simple DIY bird feeder.

6. Do some spring cleaning
Chances are, your older adult could stand to get rid of a few things around the house. Spring is a perfect time to clear out some of that clutter. It’s also a perfect opportunity to go through keepsakes and share special memories.


Bottom line
Everyone enjoys the coming of spring and promise of beautiful weather. Celebrate with these six senior-friendly activities. They’re perfect ways to appreciate the season together.


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
 
Visit DailyCaring.com for practical caregiving tips and advice. We help with the day-to-day challenges of caring for your older adult. Improve your care situation – check out our free website and email newsletter!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space

It's that time of year: Spring Cleaning time! Take a look around. Are there winter blankets to pack away for the season? Are neighborhood signs appearing for yard sales and recycling fundraisers? It's time to clean house and brighten up the rooms. DailyCaring has a few suggestions for how to make living spaces safer and more spacious by decluttering them.

Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space



Create a safe, pleasant living space
Many older adults spend a majority of their time in a few rooms of the house. For safety and comfort, it’s important to make sure their main living spaces are decluttered, pleasant, and don’t have hidden dangers.

Being in open, welcoming spaces is also a great mood booster. Here are our top five suggestions for creating a comfortable space where your older adult can happily spend time.


1. Get your older adult involved
      This is the space they’ll be using so collaborate with them on changes.
      Help them feel excited about getting a room or home makeover.
      Tackle the rooms that your older adult spends most of their time in. Don’t worry about spaces they never use.


2. Declutter and remove tripping hazards
      Swap out any sharp-edged furniture for softer, safer items.
      Remove throw rugs or area rugs.
      Tape down or remove any exposed electrical cords.
      Donate or sell excess furniture or move it to other rooms. Keep things simple and minimal.
      Declutter the space! Don’t use the room as a storage area.
      Keep only things that are actively being used and consider storage baskets for organization.


3. Brighten the space
      Improve the lighting by getting brighter lights and making sure the curtains get opened.
      Hang up a few large pictures or posters. Anything that triggers happy memories is great. Ideas include:
      Family photos
      Nature scenes
      Images from hobbies like fishing or gardening
      Cityscapes from favorite vacations


4. Keep frequently used things in reach
      Make note of the things that your older adult reaches for constantly.
      Figure out how to keep those items within arms reach of their usual seat.
      This could include:
      Tissues
      Telephone
      TV remote control
      Reading glasses
      Books or puzzles
      Glass of water


5. Bring nature inside
      Add some plants. Whether they’re fake or real, they bring freshness and life.
      Add natural items from favorite activities, like:
      Smooth rocks from a fishing spot
      Shells collected from the beach
      Flowers from the farmer’s market
      A bowl of lemons
      A bunch of fall leaves

 
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff


DailyCaring.com empowers families who care for older adults by giving free, practical advice. We help you make good care decisions and manage real-life challenges. Plus, everything is short and to-the-point!


Friday, March 13, 2015

What's Next? Boomer Business Summit

CareLinx CEO Sherwin Sheik is honored to be speaking at Mary Furlong's annual What's Next? Boomer Business Summit in Chicago on Thursday, March 26. "CareLinx would not be where it is today without Mary Furlong. She's been instrumental in making introductions, mentoring, and much, much more. She is absolutely amazing and we are blessed to have her part of the CareLinx family."

Sherwin will be speaking on how to fund your emerging business and attract venture financing. He will share how CareLinx has evolved from being a bootstrapped startup with a social mission to help families in need of care, to being able to attract Angel financing to grow the organization to ultimately closing a Venture Capital and Strategic rounds of financing. To date, the company has raised more than $5M and has garnered a lot of institutional investor interest given CareLinx's rapid nationwide growth. CareLinx now operates in the top 50 metropolitan areas with over 100,000 caregivers on the platform. He will be highlighting the key performance metrics investors typically look for when evaluating opportunities so that other fellow entrepreneurs looking to help seniors can successfully launch their businesses and achieve their goals.  

We hope you plan to attend the summit and introduce yourself.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Deal with Stress in 2 Minutes

Technology can actually calm your nerves! This week's DailyCaring article features a website that helps you relax with calming images and music. While you could use your computer, you could also direct the site to a large screen television monitor. It can be used for daily meditation, yoga, afternoon nap or bedtime. The site can be accessed by your mobile device, such as your smartphone while waiting in a doctor's office. Check it out!

How to Deal with Stress in 2 Minutes



Caregivers need a break
We know how busy family caregivers are, but we also know how important it is to learn how to deal with stress. One way is to take short breaks.

Regularly taking breaks improves your health by decreasing stress and reducing the physical damage caused by chronic stress.


Free website - calm.com
We love the calm.com website for quick relaxation breaks. The site only does one thing - it helps you relax. Choose from many nature scenes with calming sounds and set a timer for 2, 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes of quiet bliss.

When we’re feeling really stressed, the soothing voice in the guided meditations makes it much easier to let go of racing thoughts.


How to use the calm.com website



1. The first thing you’ll see is a peaceful nature scene and a soothing soundtrack. Put your mouse anywhere on the page to bring up the vertical menu bar on the left side and a smaller horizontal menu bar in the lower right corner.


2. The horizontal menu bar in the lower right corner controls the nature scenes and relaxation soundtrack. In this picture, we’ve numbered the controls to let you know what each one does.
1.    Use the left and right arrows to scroll through the different nature scenes and soundtracks until you find the one you like best.
2.    This control lets you set the chosen soundtrack on repeat.
3.    This allows you to select from mute (no soundtrack) or soundtrack + nature scene. It also scrolls through the scene options.
4.    This controls the volume and can quickly mute the sound.
5.    This puts the website in fullscreen mode. On a PC, to get out of fullscreen mode, press the ESC key on your keyboard.


3. Put your mouse over the alarm clock icon on the vertical menu to bring up the timer. Click the length of time you want and the timer will let you know when the time is up. Now you can relax and let go of your worries for a few minutes. If you need to pause or stop before the time is up, use the controls that will appear in the lower right corner.


4. This is our favorite part of the website. Put your mouse over the seated figure in the vertical menu. Choose the length of time you’d like. The soothing voice will help you stop the stressful feelings and help you focus on relaxation. If you need to pause or stop before the time is up, use the controls that will appear in the lower right corner.




By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: calm.com


DailyCaring.com has useful real-life advice to improve your day-to-day life caring for an older loved one. It’s a free website and email newsletter with to-the-point articles that help you make better care decisions.