Health Blog

Dealing with Dementia: Do's and Don'ts


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 Read more

10 Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Summer Heat


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 Read more

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


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 Read more

The Best Spring-time Activities in the Phoenix Area


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 Read more

Dealing with Dementia: Do’s and Don’ts

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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

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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

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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

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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.


Tips for Keeping Seniors Connected

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It’s very understandable that seniors of today would feel even more disconnected from the world around them than senior citizens of past generations, especially given the fact that technology is now progressing at such a breakneck pace. AZ home health caregivers have some recommendations on how you can improve Arizona health care for seniors, by helping to reduce that feeling of isolation or withdrawal among elderly loved ones. By acquainting seniors you know with modern devices and making some senior friendly adjustments to others, you can help remove much of the mystery and confusion about today’s technological devices.

Smartphone Adjustments

You can make a smartphone more accessible and usable to your senior loved one simply by making a few adjustments in the settings. Some of the possibilities you might want to try are:

  • increase the font size for text and the icon size for graphics
  • enable audio feedback for better understanding
  • enable voice commands
  • increase the level of zoom magnification.

 


Install a Personal Assistant in the Household

The amount of information that can be provided by Amazon Echo or Google Assistant is absolutely amazing, and much of it can be very useful to your senior loved one. With just a simple voice command, your elderly friend or relative will be able to:

  • hear local and national news
  • set a timer or alarm
  • setup reminders for medications
  • play music and games
  • control the thermostat in the household
  • access the Internet
  • control household lighting
  • manage television viewing
  • learn about the weather
  • replay exercise routines on demand
  • make phone calls
  • reply to text messages.


Surfing the Internet Safely

There’s a whole other world out there for seniors to explore on the Internet, but many seniors don’t understand how to navigate, and many lack an understanding of security issues online. You can introduce your elderly loved one to the online world in a few simple sessions where important information is repeated, and safety precautions are emphasized. If you’re not up to the task yourself, many communities offer classes which provide seniors with Internet instruction, as well as all the warnings and cautions about safety which attend regular usage.

General Education

While the Internet is a big part of the changing world around us, it’s not the only thing that’s having a major impact on how we live. Technology is proceeding at a faster pace now than ever before, making it difficult for even younger people to stay abreast of it, not to mention less connected seniors. Many local community colleges specifically provide training classes on technological advances as well as Internet usage, and most of these are offered free of charge.

Some retirement communities and centers for elderly persons also offer the same kinds of classes, and they can be even better received than from the more formal educational institutions. Many seniors are more apt to be comfortable learning from informed persons of their own age, rather than much younger instructors. There are even more benefits to be gleaned from learning about modern technology than just staying connected – keeping your senior loved one mentally active is a great idea for maintaining MD home health, and reducing the risk of cognitive decline. 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.


Tips for Helping Seniors With Their Taxes  

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When tax season rolls around, it can be a particularly anxious time for many seniors, and this is true for several reasons. First of all, any income received is often not via employment, so the tax model they were subject to for most of their lives will have changed. Then too, the tax laws themselves change fairly often, and it’s hard for anyone to keep abreast of the impact they have on preparing taxes.

Seniors are also one of the favored targets of identity theft criminals, and tax filing time amounts to open season on seniors for such criminal opportunists. Your AZ home health caregivers recommend taking advantage of the cautions and the available assistance described below for your senior loved one, to help get them through this particularly worrisome time of year.

Avoiding Tax Scams and Frauds

One of the ways that MD home health caregivers can help their senior charges avoid falling into the trap of tax scams and frauds which are so prevalent at this time of year is to help seniors observe some of the following precautions:

  • Document storage – all personal documents should be stored throughout the year in a secure place, out of the sight of visitors and secure against intruders. For instance, all credit card statements, financial statements, Medicare documents, and any kind of insurance documents should be safely stored somewhere.
  • Be cautious on phone calls – no personal data should ever be revealed during a phone conversation, even if the caller threatens dire circumstances. In fact, this is one of the most common ruses devised by tax fraud scammers, often who claim to represent the IRS and ask for personal data.
  • Be careful about paid tax preparers – it’s fairly common for tax fraud specialists to setup a booth at a mall, claiming to be a paid tax preparer, only to disappear after having defrauded clients of filing fees. Do some research on anyone you might be considering as a paid tax specialist.
  • Destroy obsolete documents – when important personal documents have outlived their usefulness, shred them so they can’t be re-assembled and used by criminals.

 

Helpful Resources

There are some helpful resources you can take advantage of, as they offer tax preparation services which are either free of charge, or setup to accommodate very low income households:

      • Local options – most communities have local nonprofit organizations which offer free tax services to elderly adults, for example agencies on aging, local libraries, and senior centers
      • AARP Foundation Tax Aide – this organization provides tax assistance service for low income adults, and it has the built-in advantage of being familiar to most seniors already
      • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) – the IRS itself sponsors this program, aimed specifically at adults aged 60+. In-person assistance is offered by certified volunteers on a personal basis.


Phoenix Home Health and Tax Assistance

It might not seem like it, but part of Phoenix health care, and for that matter all of Arizona health care, includes providing some kind of assistance to seniors who need help at tax time. Without that AZ health care and assistance, tax time could be a lot more stressful for the elderly, because of the huge potential for confusion associated with the process. Help put your elderly loved one’s mind at ease by following some of the recommendations discussed above.

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 in Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


Inspirational Ways to Embrace Aging

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Probably most people have their own ideas about how to embrace aging, and how to enjoy those later years in life to the utmost, but there are a few thoughts on the subject that consistently appear, no matter whom you ask. Here are some of the most consistent themes about how to get the most out of aging and improve your overall health care.

Keep Active Physically

This is mentioned first, because it’s literally a foundation for almost every other aspect of growing old gracefully, while still participating in life at a high level. Regular exercise can maintain your flexibility and avoid the stiffness that would otherwise set in, and it certainly contributes to better health and maintaining a strong immune system. But there’s another aspect of exercise that’s just as important – how it makes you feel. Science tells us that regular exercise releases ‘feel good’ endorphins into the body, and causes a person to have a sustained sense of well-being, and that’s a great way to keep a strong daily attitude about life.

Share Your Story with Others

Anyone who has lived a half century or more has certainly got some stories to pass on – to youngsters in the family, to friends, and to other family members. Sharing your story can give you an immense sense of personal pride, because it relates to obstacles you’ve overcome, things you’ve achieved, or exciting moments that were inspirational. Recalling all these events and emotions can not only help you feel good about what you’ve done in your life, but it can be a great way of passing on to others the legacy of your lifetime.

Make a Difference

It’s never too late in life to take up a cause that is larger than ourselves, and has great purpose. You can inspire yourself and others as well by finding something that you truly believe in, and want to support by volunteering your time and efforts. Being involved in this way can give you a real sense of purpose, and it can provide you with daily goals and objectives to keep on achieving things. The fact that your efforts are aimed at making the world a better place is something that can literally lift your life above the ordinary, and make it something that you’ll feel good about the rest of your days.

Stay Socially Active

Sociologists have long been aware that withdrawal and social isolation leads to depression and a sense of disconnection from the rest of the world. By contrast, staying socially active and enjoying the company of others does just the opposite – it makes us feel like an important part of the world because we matter to someone else, or to many other people. Humans are meant to be social creatures, and when our lives lack that social aspect, there’s a big piece of ourselves that goes dormant and unfulfilled.

Establish Bonds

As an extension of staying socially active, it’s also important as an aging adult to establish and maintain at least one strong bond with another person. In some cases, a living spouse will satisfy this role, but when a spouse has passed on, that same role needs to be filled by another person, both for the support it provides, and for the feeling of being needed by another person. Those emotions in turn, can contribute strongly to a sense of inner peace, and contentment with the ongoing process of aging.

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.


How to Overcome the Winter Blues for Seniors and Caregivers

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Much of the U.S. has experienced severe weather this winter, and that has caused many seniors who are only partially ambulatory to be shut-in for long stretches of time. However, there are some steps which can be taken for both the elderly and their caregivers, to help beat the winter blues, and forget about what might be happening outside. Here are some home health care recommendations based on scientific findings, that will help to lift your spirits, and chase those blues away.

Brighten up the House

Even if you can’t conveniently get outside to soak up sunshine, you can certainly simulate the sunlight by finding ways to add lighting to your home. Keeping curtains open, having rooms brightly lit, and even sitting next to an artificial light source can all help to lift your spirits. People who live in Alaska routinely undergo six months of near darkness, and many of them overcome the shortage of lighting by taking some of these same steps to make up the difference. This tip can be applied in the home health care world.

Do More Exercise

Because at least 30 minutes a day of good exercise will cause anyone’s spirits to be lifted, it’s a good practice to try and include a half hour every day, if it’s at all possible. Some light aerobics will do the trick, or if you happen to have a treadmill, you can ‘walk’ for 30 minutes every day that you feel up to it. Vigorous exercise causes more endorphins to be released into the body, and these are responsible for the euphoric feeling we all get after a good workout.

Talk Therapy

Scientific research shows clearly that people who have the opportunity to talk to a partner regularly, receive much the same benefit that artificial lighting provides, i.e. it contributes to a sense of well-being and self-satisfaction. This can be especially effective if you have talk sessions where you limit your topics of conversation (and your partner’s) to only positive thoughts and ideas. This has the double effect of forcing you to think about what you’re going to say (keeping you mentally agile), and it creates an attitude of positivism that spills over into your daily routine.

Stay Socially Involved

When you are withdrawn and out of contact with people, that can quickly lead to anti-social attitudes and feelings of depression. On the other hand, if you force yourself to stay socially active, even when you don’t particularly want to, it can automatically kindle feelings of happiness and warmth with your friends or relatives.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. As an example, if you’re a person who enjoys summertime gardening, why not buy a plant or two for the inside, and spend some time each day nurturing your wintertime garden? If you’re a person who enjoys walks around the neighborhood or around the local mall, you might want to try going to a nearby fitness center where you can walk or jog laps around the facility. You might even have a local aquatic center where you can enjoy some fun time in the water to lift your spirits, and enjoy socializing with others who are doing the same.

The above tips can help AZ Home Health professionals make the winter months better for the seniors in their care. 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.

 


Celebrate National Hobby Month

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Hobbies can be a lot more than just time-filling activities that pass the day for you and your senior loved one. AZ Health Care professionals point out that having a hobby can be something that relieves a great deal of stress for the elderly person in your household, and can provide him/her with an outlet for self-expression that is both fulfilling and enjoyable.

Stress relief may not sound like a huge medical accomplishment, but as both medical experts and home health care professionals know, stress can be a killer and is something to be avoided if at all possible. Here are some ways that hobbies can be an important component of your senior loved one’s Phoenix home health care.

Participate in Sports

Of course, not all seniors are in condition to actively participate in sports activities like golf, swimming, jogging, or power walking. However, there are also lightweight versions of such activities that will provide nearly the same health benefits, such as dancing, gardening, and water aerobics. Free swim time in a pool can be an excellent activity for older people, because it relieves any stress on joints and still promotes good activity levels. Besides the exercise benefit, being active in sports can improve coordination and flexibility, and can even be socially fulfilling.

Become Involved as a Volunteer

The first thing that happens when you or your elderly loved one volunteers for any kind of community service is that you begin thinking about the welfare of others, and focus less on any problems you yourself might have. As an example, if your elderly loved one recently lost a spouse or a close friend, that could trigger an extended period of grief and withdrawal. One of the best ways to curtail this potentially damaging situation is to encourage your relative to become active in volunteering, and draw them out of self-pity and sadness. This is a great way to establish a real sense of purpose for your senior loved one, to give him/her a chance to show off their talents, and to feel good about themselves.

Artistic Pursuits

Many older people had some kind of hobby in their younger days that they were really good at, for instance sewing, painting, baking, or maybe even writing. Senior years are a great time for re-discovering those talents, because they can revive pleasant memories of those former talented times, and they can rekindle a sense of self-worth and personal ability. Even if your loved one had no such hobby as a youngster, it would be a great idea to start one and become really immersed in learning a new skill. This can literally provide endless hours of rewarding activity, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it can become a pretty exciting part of a senior’s life.

Caring for a Pet

All kinds of studies have been conducted and have confirmed the fact that caring for a pet produces increased levels of beneficial hormones in the caregiver, and elevates the sense of well-being as well. Being involved with the care of a cat, dog, or other domestic animal can lower stress and blood pressure levels, and can banish feelings of depression very effectively. Phoenix Health Care professionals encourage home caregivers everywhere to consider the possibility of providing your elderly loved one with a lovable pet that can literally change the life of a senior.


Cold and Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

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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.


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