Caregiver Information

The 5 Truths You Need To Know About Home Health Care

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

Most seniors would readily choose to remain in their homes as their preferred option, when needing health care which can’t be provided to them by themselves or family members. This could be after surgery which requires rehabilitation, or there could be some other situation which requires occasional or full-time supervision. If you’re considering home health care for your senior loved one, here are some of the most important things to know about the service.

  1. Home health care benefits many people, not just the home-bound

Many people have the mistaken idea that home healthcare only applies to bedridden invalids, but the truth is far different than this. Instead, home healthcare can be ideal for seniors who are adjusting to significant new medications, for those who are unable to manage household activities, those experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline, and for those who are unable to safely navigate around the home without assistance. Home care is also ideal for persons who require physical therapy or some kind of skilled nursing care, and possibly even speech therapy.

  1. Home health is designed with the comfort in mind

One of the most important aspects of home healthcare is that it allows a senior to remain at home, where more than 90% of them prefer to be. Home surroundings are always the most comforting and memorable to a senior, often being the site of many years of memories with loved ones. Once a home caregiver has had the opportunity to work with your senior loved one, they can quickly identify favored habits and preferences which can be accommodated. At the same time, any physical or mental needs can also be addressed, so as to develop a care plan tailored to the individual.

  1. Home health is both medical and non-medical – complete care

It’s much easier in a home setting to address all the needs of a person requiring care, which is the holistic approach to caregiving. Virtually all aspects of a senior’s daily routine can be assisted in some way by a competent caregiving professional, and the caregiver can also serve as a monitor of the senior’s daily health and wellness status. Medications can be scheduled and taken on time under the supervision of a qualified caregiver. The healthcare professional can also recommend nutritional meals and help to prepare them, and can encourage as much exercise as the senior individual is capable of.

  1. Not all agencies are created equal – look for full-service

As you might expect, all healthcare agencies and organizations are not the same, just as all home caregivers are not the same. Before signing up for services for your senior loved one, be sure to find out whether or not an agency is certified for home care giving, and that their employees have been adequately screened, so that you can trust the professional service you’ll be receiving. Make sure to do your homework and research a healthcare organization which you are considering for home care service, so that you don’t get unpleasantly surprised sometime in the future.

  1. It shows when a home health agency truly cares

When you find a home healthcare agency that really cares about your senior loved one, and goes the extra mile to make sure that their health and wellness are truly of concern, you’ll know it right away. You’ll be able to tell by the way a caregiver interacts with your loved one, the kind of companionship which is provided, the way your loved one responds to a caregiver’s company, and your loved one’s general demeanor during the period of caregiving. If your parent is doing well and is happy under the supervision of a specific home care provider, that’s probably the best indicator that great care is being extended.

Caregiving help for your loved ones

When the health and wellness of your senior loved ones are at stake, you really want the best possible in-home care, and that means you should have MD Home Health professionals involved. Contact us at MD Home Health for the best Phoenix Home Health Care, to be sure that your loved ones are receiving the full attention of caring professionals, right in the comfortable surroundings of their own home.

 


10 Books Caregivers Need To Read

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Inspiration Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, in tandem with AARP, discovered that there are nearly 70 million caregivers in the US who are obliged to provide some kind of care for least one individual who is disabled, ill, or elderly. Of course, not all of these are professional caregivers like those at MD Home Health, and they might even be relatives of the person needing care, but still the total number of caregivers in this country is staggering.

One of the issues made clear in this survey result was that a large number of these caregivers felt overwhelmed or somewhat helpless by the task which they were obliged to perform, and many expressed the need for more information and greater skills. One of the best ways to actively address this situation is to delve into the treasure trove of health-related and caregiving books available to interested readers. Here are 10 of the best books, which you might want to use to upgrade your skills and increase your understanding of caregiving best practices.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding” by Joan Lunden and Amy Newmark

Many caregivers are inspired by reading about how other people in similar situations have managed to sacrifice and provide needed care to others, while persevering against all manner of challenges. Co-author Joan Lunden includes 101 stories which chronicle the specific things faced by some family caregivers in helping their love ones enjoy a greater quality of life.

“Our Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents – and Ourselves”, by Jane Gross

Jane Gross is a former New York Times reporter who has provided in this book a kind of how-to primer for dealing with elderly care in the US, including Medicare and the general system as well. It’s also a personal memoir about how the author managed to care for her own aging parents, written with brutal candor that everyone can relate to.

“The Caregivers Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself”, by Alexis Abramson

Being a member of the ‘sandwich generation’ can be very frustrating for a woman these days, because it means you’re providing care to for both young children and aging parents. In the midst of all that, you’re probably also under-appreciated as a person yourself. Much of this book deals with how you can cope with the stresses involved with this dual care arrangement, in the face of maintaining a healthy work/home life balance.

“While They’re Still Here: A Memoir”, by Patricia Williams

Many people in America are confronted with the same situation presented in this book, which is that of a daughter suddenly forced into the role of becoming the only caregiver for aging parents. Struggling with all the challenges of her own personal life, the author discusses how she learned to provide care for her elderly loved ones with courage and with grace.

“Living With Dying: Complete Guide for Caregivers”, by Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham

A very informative and practical book for caregivers, this volume provides easy-to-follow recommendations for treating various medical conditions and symptoms, and having those difficult conversations with your elderly loved ones.

“The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic New Approach to Alzheimer’s disease and Other Dementias”, by Gayatri Devi

In the midst of all the gloom surrounding dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease, the author provides a glimmer of hope for those caregivers facing the challenge of an afflicted elderly loved one. The book covers hopeful topics like maintaining independence, and positive communications with those suffering from dementia.

“Caregiver Defined: Words That Honor the Work of the Caregiver”, by Michael Fortuna

In this volume, the author paints a very positive image of caregivers who provide needed assistance for loved ones, including some heartfelt recollections of his own experience. This is an inspirational peon to the thankless task which many caregivers undertake every day in America.

“Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose About Alzheimer’s disease”, by Holly J Hughes

This is a compilation of the work of more than 100 authors who are also medical professionals and family caregivers. Each one has contributed a special reflection on someone they know who is afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, and every contribution is touching in its own way.

“A Gradual Disappearance”, by Elizabeth Lonseth

The author provides a Christian perspective on family caregiving, which is infused with much of her own experience on the subject, as she cared for several relatives who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. It provides a number of key insights on how to cope with all those behaviors manifested by dementia patients.

“No Saints Around Here: A Caregivers Days”, by Susan Allen Toth

This memoir by the author showcases her own caregiving experience for her spouse who was afflicted by Parkinson’s disease. The gut-wrenching challenges which she faced, right up until the end are vividly chronicled, along with her own practical suggestions for coping with it all.

Phoenix Health Care assistance

Many of the challenges faced by family caregivers are also managed by our professionals at MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, and as respected members of the Arizona Health Care network, our caregivers are always ready and willing to take on new challenges for our clients. Contact us at your earliest convenience, so we can discuss home health care for your loved one or for yourself.

 


Practical Tips For Finding The Right Doctor For Your Aging Parent

mdhomehealthadmin Articles, Caregiver Information Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most people who are young and healthy don’t think it’s much of an issue to find a new doctor when that becomes necessary. However, if you have an aging parent who has been under the care of a particular doctor for years and possibly even decades, it can be a very difficult thing to accomplish. More than likely, over the years your aging parent has established a strong relationship of trust and confidence in a specific doctor, and if that doctor is no longer available for whatever reason, it can come as a big shock to your parent. Your AZ healthcare professionals from MD Home Health offer the following tips on how to find the right doctor(s) for your aging parent.

Insurance coverage

One of the first considerations that you should have when replacing your elderly parent’s medical team is choosing a primary care doctor who accepts the insurance that you have. Cost can be a major factor when medical expenses start piling up, and you want to be sure that the insurance carrier for your parent includes a primary care doctor in their network. This goes the same for Medicare of course, and although most doctors do accept Medicare, it’s not automatically true that Medicare works with all doctors.

The right G.P.

Many elderly patients have a number of medical professionals whom they receive treatment from, but virtually all seniors are under the care of at least a general practitioner, so that’s a good place to start when finding replacement medical care. The most important thing about finding the right general practitioner is to identify one who is compatible with your parent, in terms of personality and delivered care. This should be someone whom your parent can establish a good rapport with, and who will keep your parent informed with accurate information.

Identifying replacement specialists

It’s always a little harder trying to find replacements for any specialists whom an elderly parent was seeing. First of all, there may be practical limitations in terms of insurance coverage, and also in terms of the specialists available in your area. Again, you should seek to find someone who is a personality fit with your parent, but beyond that, you should also look for someone who shares the same philosophy as your loved one. For example, a specialist who is very science-oriented and relies heavily on medications, would be a far different kind of provider than would be someone who is more of a holistic practitioner, and prefers herbal cures and home remedies.

Don’t forget the office staff

This is especially important if your elderly loved one makes frequent visits to a doctor’s office or a clinic, because staff people can make all the difference in having a patient feel welcome and important, or inconsequential and something of a bother. Ideally, you’d want to have an office staff that is very helpful and considerate of any disabilities or challenges due to physical or medical mental issues that your parent may have. Friendliness and a kind word go a long way, and while a stony greeting may also make a powerful impression, it’s not the one you want for your loved one.

MD Home Health and MD Home Assist

When home care is needed by your elderly loved one, the best Phoenix healthcare is provided by MD Home Health, caregivers who are dedicated to providing the very best home care for those who are homebound, and need at least some level of assistance. Contact us today for all your home care needs, and set your mind at ease about your elderly loved one being safe, secure, and well cared for.

 


Dealing with Dementia: Do’s and Don’ts

mdhomehealthadmin Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dementia is a condition which affects a person’s ability to remember things, to communicate effectively, and even to think normally, and as you might expect, that can have an enormous impact on daily life. One of the most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which afflicts seniors in greater numbers than any other demographic. As of 2018, there are approximately 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s Disease, and of these, 5.5 million are ages 65 and over. MD Home Assist caregivers and Phoenix home health caregivers offer the following tips on how to manage the behaviors of your elderly loved one afflicted with dementia.

Positive Body Language

Almost more important than what you say to a senior, is the body language you express when around them. The most effective communication with your loved one should include gentle touches, a quiet and respectful tone when talking, and pleasant facial expressions.

Maintain Humor

A humorous approach to your home health care can be very helpful and will usually be well-received by your senior, as long as the humor is not at their expense. A smile and a laugh are therapeutic for practically anyone, and seniors with dementia are no exception. 

Use Conversation That is Simple and Direct

Since comprehension may be impaired in your senior loved one, it’s best to communicate with statements and questions that are simple and direct, so they can better understand them. Whenever possible, ask questions which only require a yes/no, or one-word answer, and when speaking, be slow and clear with statements.

Limit Distractions

When you’re trying to discuss anything with your senior or you need to convey something important, you should limit or eliminate other background distractions such as television or radio. To be sure you get his/her attention, sit or stand at the same level as your senior, and be sure to make eye contact, so as to establish the most direct possible connection.

Be Patient

Don’t get irritated or annoyed when dealing with your senior, even if it becomes difficult to get a point across, or to understand what they’re trying to tell you. If he/she is having difficulty verbalizing something, it’s perfectly alright to suggest or guess at what they’re trying to say. Sometimes it’s better to listen with your heart than with your ears.

Redirect When Things Get Difficult

For those times when things become difficult with your senior loved one, and he/she gets upset about something, try redirecting the situation into something more pleasant and completely off-topic. Take a walk, listen to soothing music, or do anything that your senior really enjoys to defuse the situation and replace it with something more pleasant.

Don’t Point Out Mistakes or Misunderstandings

Don’t press the point when you feel that your senior is wrong about something, and don’t insist on impressing your views upon them. Most likely you will only cause them to be more upset by pressing your point anyway, so it’s far better to just let it pass and be as calm and reassuring as you can.

Remember the Good Times

Ironically, many seniors afflicted by dementia have difficulty recalling something that happened an hour ago, but can easily remember events of 30 or 40 years ago. Take advantage of this fact in your Phoenix health care by frequently bringing up those happier times from youth, and taking your senior back to a happy place.

Break Down Difficult Tasks

Any activity which might present a problem for your loved one should be managed in a series of do-able steps, rather than trying to accomplish the complete task at once. One example might be getting dressed in the morning. Create minor tasks for each article of clothing, and address those one at a time with your senior, so that each one can be a small success in its own way.

Positive Reinforcement

Keep in mind that your loved one is going through something which is extremely disorienting and possibly debilitating, and that it won’t take much to get him/her confused, frustrated, and maybe even frightened. As a main caregiver providing Arizona health care for a senior, you can best support them by being positive all the time, and by being loving and supportive, rather than critical or argumentative.

Taking care of an aging parent or loved one can be a stressful experience. But you do not have to endure it alone. We take senior health care very seriously, and as one of the top home health care companies Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


10 Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Summer Heat

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Caregiver Information, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With the intense heat of the Phoenix, Arizona summer right around the corner, many area seniors will be more at risk for heat stroke and heat exposure, as rising temperatures begin to pose a potential health risk. When temperatures begin soaring past 110 degrees Fahrenheit, seniors’ bodies simply don’t adjust very well to the higher temperatures like younger persons might, so this makes it extremely important that precautions be taken to keep seniors cool during this time of year. With this being the case, AZ health care professionals and caregivers offer a few home health tips to keep in mind, to help safeguard your senior relative against the potential dangers of summertime heat.

Drink Lots of Liquids

It’s important for all people to stay hydrated during the heat of summer, but seniors are especially prone to becoming dehydrated when exposed to the strong rays of the sun. Make sure your loved one has plenty of fluids to stave off the naturally drying effect of strong sunshine.

Keep Cool When Active

Participating in activities which encourage socialization and exercise are always important, and they shouldn’t be abandoned in summertime just because of the heat. There are lots of ways to stay active while socializing and exercising, for instance engaging in Open Swim time for seniors at the local aquatic center.

Be Aware of How Sun Impacts Medications

There are a number of medications which are not nearly as effective, and can even cause problems with body temperature regulation, when the patient is exposed to prolonged warm conditions. Phoenix home health and Arizona health care professionals urge you to read all instructions on medication labels to make sure that there are no harmful effects caused by being in the sun for a while.

Visit Well-Conditioned Places

When you’re out around town enjoying a short road trip with your senior loved one, be sure to include places which have good air-conditioning and make it pleasant for seniors. Shopping malls, coffee shops, and recreation centers are just a few of the places which might be nice to visit, if they provide well-conditioned air.

Avoid Heavy Meals

Heavy meals put a strain on the digestive system, and since calories are actually measures of heat, it’s better to avoid high-calorie meals which will generate more body heat. Try lighter fare such as pasta salads, garden salads, and fruits or vegetables.

Be Careful of Car Exposure

You should always leave windows open if you’re going into any store without your senior loved one, and even then it should not be for any extended period. While traveling, make sure that there is adequate cooling in the vehicle.

Monitor Sun Exposure Outdoors

Direct exposure to the sun should be limited for seniors, since they will burn much easier and do not cope with extreme heat as well as younger people. Monitor the amount of sun your senior gets daily, and avoid anything excessive.

Keep Indoors Cool

If you don’t have air conditioning running through the heat of the day, make sure that all windows are kept open, and that shades are drawn, so there can at least be good air circulation throughout the home, while also deflecting the sunshine.

Eat Cool Snacks

A good way to cool down is with a bowl of ice cream or a popsicle, even though the cooling effect is only temporary. The important point is that this interrupts the buildup of heat for a senior, and can instantly provide a level of comfort.

Wear Lightweight Clothing

Clothing can have a big impact on anyone’s comfort level outdoors, so make sure your senior is dressed in lightweight attire when outdoors. This should include items which do not absorb moisture or stick to the skin, and if appropriate, items which leave some areas of the body open, so as to benefit from air flow.

Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming, no matter the season. If you are looking for senior health care or home care in the Phoenix area, contact us today. We have home health care options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.

 


Use This Handy Checklist to Find the Right Caregiver for your Loved One

mdhomehealthadmin Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most people are aware that the overall population of the U.S. is aging, and that more and more elderly people require partial or full-time care, just to carry out the basic daily necessities of living. The professionals at MD Home Health, as well as Arizona health care workers throughout the state, urge you to take the time to find the right caregiver for your elderly loved one. Even those seniors who are not physically disabled, are still much more vulnerable than younger persons, so it becomes extremely important to be sure that they are getting the right kind of AZ home health care.

Here is a handy checklist you can use to make sure that your loved one receives proper treatment from a Phoenix health care aide.

Phoenix Home Health Checklist

  • The home health care agency does background checks on all its employees, especially those directly employed as caregivers.
  • Caregivers can be available during the night if needed, and on an emergency basis, should that be necessary.
  • The agency can provide the type of care needed by your loved one, and at the hours recommended by your family doctor for that kind of care.
  • Either the home health agency itself can provide extra needed services, or can help arrange for them – some examples might be for having meals delivered, physical therapy, mental health counseling, etc.
  • If your loved one lives alone, you may need some level of housekeeping services, in addition to bathing, dressing, shopping, transportation, meal preparation, possibly laundry service, navigational assistance, and medication reminders.
  • When skilled nursing care is needed by your senior loved one, any agency which you work with will need to have that kind of professional experience available, and must be properly certified for that work.
  • References or online reviews are available about the agency and individuals employed by the agency, and these references are predominantly positive in nature.
  • Any special needs which your senior might have, such as language, physical disability, hearing/vision loss, can be accommodated by the firm that you consider for AZ health care.
  • The cost of home health care with a candidate agency is within your budget, without having to sacrifice important services needed by your loved one.
  • It may be difficult to learn about a specific caregiver’s personality and his/her on-the-job manner, but this could be critical to having your favorite senior be compatible with the caregiver. If you can talk with other people who your candidate has worked with, you may be able to anticipate what to expect from them. If it is possible, both you and your elderly loved one should have a preliminary interview with a candidate to get a feel for what they’re like, and whether he/she is likely to get along with your senior.



Your Final Decision

In the end, there is bound to be a certain amount of guesswork and intuition involved with making a choice for the role of your senior’s caregiver. While you might get a strong feeling about a candidate caregiver merely from talking with them, when you get around to making a final decision, it should be based on factors more practical than how you feel about someone. By consulting the above checklist, and adding in any other important factors for your situation, you stand the best chance of making a good decision about home health care for your loved one.

If you are looking for senior health care or home care in the Phoenix area, contact us today. We have home health care options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.


The Best Spring-time Activities in the Phoenix Area

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Caregiver Information, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As much as you’ve been looking forward to springtime, there might be an elderly loved one in the family who is even more anxious for the arrival of the season. Of course, Phoenix-area residents aren’t usually obliged to hibernate through winter as people in the Northeast might, but the refreshing cooler atmosphere of spring is still one of the best times to get outdoors and enjoy the benefits of the season.

AZ home health caregivers have many options for spring-time activities which are appropriate for seniors, and which are sure to be much appreciated. Participating in such events can be an important part of Phoenix home health, and the professionals at MD Home Health and MD Home Assist heartily recommend that as a caregiver, you take advantage of these opportunities to enhance your elderly loved one’s quality of life.

Opportunities in April

Springtime means baseball among other things, and that means the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball are back in uniform, and welcoming fans to the ballpark. This can be a wonderful afternoon or evening of relaxing at the stadium, and enjoying the action on the field, as well as indulging in an old-fashioned ballpark feast of hot dogs and french fries. There are an incredible 182 parks in the area surrounding Glendale-Scottsdale-Phoenix-Tempe, so several of those are surely accessible for everyone, and will provide a memorable experience, whether walking or driving through.

Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Performance entertainment – you can enjoy the Gilbert Downtown Concert on April 26th, or the International Jazz Day Festival on April 18th at the Mesa Arts Center.
  • Sporting events – besides professional baseball, you might enjoy the all-girl Roller Derby Championship on April 21st, or the Glendale Family Bike Ride on April 22nd.
  • Nature events – in addition to all the available park experiences, a good idea to promote AZ health care for your senior loved one might include a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden.
  • Cultural – the ‘Embracing Your Journey Expo’ is held on April 22nd in Phoenix, and it’s all about holistic wellness, alternative health services, and other aspects of Arizona health care.


Opportunities in May

Before the heat of summer arrives, you can still take advantage of some May activities planned for the Phoenix area. Here is a sampling, which might include something that tickles your fancy:

  • Musical – on May 3rd, the Rancho Solano Prep School will do a presentation of the very popular musical ‘Grease’, a fun-filled recollection of a bygone era that just might appeal to your senior loved one.
  • Dance – on May 4th, the Pacifico Dance Company will be at the Chandler Center for the Arts to thrill audiences with their talent, grace, and imaginative choreography. If your favorite senior still enjoys some dancing of their own, you might enjoy East Coast Swing Night at the Fatcat Ballroom on May 29th.
  • Classics – a presentation of Victor Hugo’s famed Les Miserables will be staged on May 15th at the Gammage Auditorium.


Stay at Home Ideas

Of course, you don’t really have to venture out into the city or anywhere else to enjoy the delights of the spring season. Home health care can be very therapeutic just by volunteering to help your elderly loved one with spring garden preparation, choosing which plants and flowers to grow, and helping to get things established. After you’ve enjoyed some time outdoors, why not try something totally new inside as well? Discovering and preparing a brand new recipe can be a very satisfying way of spending some quality time with your senior, and celebrating the fresh beginnings of springtime.

Phoenix health care professionals have the same goals for seniors as do caregivers for private home health care – to keep them engaged, active, and physically and mentally fit. If you are looking for senior health care or home care in the Phoenix area, contact us today. We have home health care options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.


Cold and Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

mdhomehealthadmin Articles, Caregiver Information, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , ,

There’s no doubt about it – we’re right in the middle of the cold and flu season, and we still have weeks to go before the season fades away into springtime. Arizona health care professionals tell us that seniors and their caregivers are the most likely groups to be affected by the flu which is sweeping the country this winter – seniors because their immune systems are less robust, and caregivers because they are in close proximity to seniors every day. This being the case, here are some Phoenix home health care tips which should be observed to reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu, and perhaps lessening the severity of it when it does strike.

Keep the Home Germ-Free

Yes, this is impossible to do with 100% efficiency, but if you do your very best, that will eliminate much of the potential for disease. Here are a few important ways you can keep germs out of the living environment:

  • Wash frequently – you’d be surprised at how effective a simple act like washing your hands can be at killing germs. All it takes is some warm water and soap, and rubbing your hands together for 20 or 30 seconds. When you aren’t near soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer to accomplish the same thing.
  • Household cleaning – when you’re cleaning around the home, use disinfectant agents in the bathroom, kitchen, and other common areas, and give special attention to all those items, e.g. light switches, TV remotes, cellphones, door knobs, that are routinely touched or handled by seniors in the home.
  • Personal hygiene – make sure everyone in the household observes good hygienic practices when sneezing or coughing, so germs aren’t projected out into the environment. Also, it’s a good idea to minimize touching of the facial area with hands, because that has a huge potential for introducing germs into the eyes, mouth, nose, etc.

Keep Exercising

Don’t give up on exercise during the winter, because exercise is one of the best ways of maintaining a healthy immune system. If you have a senior loved one, try and get him/her to take at least a short walk as often as possible, or to get involved with an exercise program at some community center. Studies have shown that regular exercise can lower the risks of contracting colds and flu by as much as 33%, so this should be one of your most important ways of keeping healthy.

Avoid Crowds

Some of the places where germs are most rampant, and where you have far less control of any germs being spread, are in public places where large crowds of people can gather. Every time you go to a department store or grocery store, there’s a chance of being infected by some person you come in contact with, and that’s just simple math – at home, you only have family members that you’re in contact with, but in a store or other public place, you could literally be exposed to hundreds of people in a very short time.

This isn’t to suggest that you make your elderly loved one a shut-in during the winter season, but AZ Home Health professionals recommend limiting those outings to germ-ridden public settings until after flu season passes. You won’t be able to manage absolutely every possibility for removing exposure to colds and flu, but if you are vigilant about handling the precautions listed above, you’ll go a long way toward staying safe for the remainder of the season.


Taking Care When a Caregiver Isn’t There

MD Home Health Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

How Much Help Do Seniors Need to Live Independently?

Determining the Right Amount of Support

When it comes to the issue of elder care and taking care of our senior parents, we are unfortunately torn between two somewhat extreme decisions—1) they are fine living independently or 2) they require 24/7 support and care.

Taking Care When a Caregiver Isn’t There Send Bonus

What more likely is that there’s a spectrum of elder care needs that should be more flexible and accommodating to individuals. Respecting the need for independence while providing appropriate support is a tense balance that should be centered on safety. Knowing what the options are for senior care can help adult children and caregivers of seniors to make more informed decisions.

If you have an in-home assessment done by an AZ Home Health company, you may be surprised that your parents do not require in-home care or live-in caregiver—or, if they do, they require a lot less support than you may have initially thought.

What now fills in the gaps of having someone there full-time are technological advances such as home monitoring systems that can assist in medical emergencies such as falls, help with keeping people medication compliant through reminders, and with monitoring vital signs.

In-Home Monitoring Systems

If you’re concerned about leaving your parents all alone but want to support them in their independent living, then it may help to try an in-home monitoring system along with some in-home care. This could be especially helpful if your mom or dad is recovering from an injury or an illness. The main reason for this is that the risk for falls increases during recovery. In-home monitoring can also be helpful for elders who aren’t necessarily needing round-the-clock in-home care.

When you’re researching which in-home monitoring system will work for your parents, you should thoroughly research what each system is and is not capable of. The adage “you get what you pay for” applies here. The higher quality systems typically are more than just a call button and can adjust to whatever your parents specifically need.

Smart Monitoring Devices

There are other technology advances that can help older adult to be safe without the need of someone being in the home. Now there are smart stove alarms that will alert people if there’s a possibly dangerous situation in the kitchen. These devices go a step further than just a smoke detector, which detects when noxious gases are being emitted. They detect a potentially hazardous situation before smoke occurs.

Smart detection devices can also alert seniors of other air quality issues as well as water leaks. For example, there are smart bath monitors that monitor water levels in a tub, detecting when a bath tub could possibly overflow and then shutting off the water before it happens.

Remember the Clapper from the 80s that turned on and off lights? Well now, you don’t need to clap—you can just install motion-activated lights so seniors can still live independently without having to stumble in the dark. There are also smart doorbells that can provide video pictures of visitors so elders can determine if they should open their doors.

Contact MD Home Health Care Today!

Our Phoenix home health care professionals can assist you with more advice or any questions you may have about home health care. For more information about MD Home Health Care, our services, experience, or rates, please call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.


Finding the Humor in Hospice

MD Home Health Caregiver Information, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , ,

Isn’t one of the best things to do in life to laugh at ourselves? If we have no sense of humor, then who are we? Although we in no way are claiming that hospice care is anything to joke about, of course, one man and his good friend decided to poke fun at the home health care system and inevitabilities of death in a playful way.

93-year-old Harry Azoff, accompanied by his hospice volunteer, Morgan Thompson, set out to lift some light into the subject of aging and hospice with their “Hospice-tality” play addressing Azoff’s “impending death.” Only 30 minutes long, the play plucked at the heartstrings of Azoff’s family and friends telling stories of his life with musical hints tied in done by his favorite music therapist, Molly Hicks. Even plays on words of the ever-famous and dreaded Grim Reaper were well-received by his hospice friends. “Have you ever seen cartoon drawings of the Grim Reaper? How can anyone take that guy seriously,” his character asks in the short play. And, we have to agree, the whole manifestation of death carrying a massive scythe is a little over-the-top now that we think about it.

Finding the Humor in Hospice

Besides living a very full life, Azoff has miraculously outlived his doctors’ estimates after being diagnosed with kidney disease; maybe it’s all of the humor circulating in his veins. Although neither Azoff nor Thompson has any professional playwriting or singing experience, the two made ballads until the cows came home and enjoyed every minute of it. To make the story even more heartfelt, as if it could be, Thompson is blind in one eye and has impaired vision in the other making it almost impossible for her to even see Azoff. “Maybe I can’t see people’s physical bodies as well, but I can see their souls better,” she said. “Harry has a beautiful, beautiful spirit inside of him,” she told the Herald.

Creating joke-upon-joke of various hospice visits between himself and Thompson, they poked fun at the typical jargon spoken between patient-and-professional like “Are you having any pain issues since I saw you last?” To which Azoff would respond with “Not unless you count existential pain.” Although the two are very aware that Azoff’s time is coming to a close like their curtain eventually had to, Thompson stated to the Herald Tribune that she finds peace helping Azoff share his story. And, what a beautiful story it is.

Phoenix home health care professionals can help you with more advice or questions you may have. For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.