Health Blog

Finding the Humor in Hospice


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 Read more

Animal Therapy Benefits for Hospice Care


We have heard of therapy puppies and cats but never a therapy duck! Meet Webster, the mallard duck that wandered into Johnston’s WesleyLife as the new pet therapy volunteer. What is so interesting about Webster is that you can Read more

Home Health Care to be Revolutionized with Smartwatch Technology


Watches are in and they are no stranger to helping people out; especially home health care patients. It seems as though necklaces aka life alert systems are a thing of the past thanks to Samsung and their recent partnership Read more

Home Health Care to Get "Uberized" in the Future: What Does This Mean?


Improvements in technology seem to be bettering the quality of everything in life these days when it comes to convenience and control. In an attempt to “uberize” the healthcare system, well-known company Axxess, intends on appealing to the convenience Read more

How Can Dogs Affect Your Aging Health?

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As a kid, I always wanted a dog! I guess what little kid doesn’t? After years of trying to convince my parents to get a dog, I finally succeeded!  Looking back, begging them for a dog proved to be a big time commitment on my part, however at the same time, well worth it! Fast-forward to today and I can still remember how happy our dog made me!  Just like when we were kids, dogs can help adults lead a more happier and healthier life! Dogs can be the perfect medicine to some of our adult health ailments! Read on to find out – how can dogs affect your aging health!

How Can Dogs Affect Your Aging Health? MD Home Health has the answers.

Dog’s Can Increase Physical Activity:

Just like when we were kids, adults need exercise too!  As an aging adult, daily exercise can lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy blood pressure, reduce hypertension and ward off diseases such as diabetes.  With our busy workloads, sometimes we may have difficulty finding the motivation to exercise.  This is where a dog comes in! What better way to get mobile then a dog.  Bigger dogs such as a labrador, collie or retriever require at least one hour of exercise a day.  Adults will have no choice but to get outside and move around.  By being active, adults can reap the health benefits of daily exercise and lead a longer, happier life thanks in part to a dog!

Dogs Can Lead to Better Mental Health:

Not only can a dog lead to better physical health but a dog can also improve our mental health.  As we get older, we have to deal with daily stressors, mood swings and for some of us, mental illness.  These adult issues can by trying and tough.  Sometimes we need a little bit of relief.  Taking time out of our day to play with a dog can provide us with this relief.   Studies show that playing with a dog can lower stress, elevate moods and help combat mental illness.  By improving our mental health, dogs allow us to lead a happier and healthier life especially as we age.

Dogs Can Get Us Social

Lastly, how can dogs affect your aging health?  By getting us social! Studies show that interaction with friends and family can improve our overall health.  As our social activities increase, we become happier and healthier individuals. Having a dog increases our chances of having social interactions.  Whether it be at the dog park or on walk, we have more opportunities to meet and engage with people by having a dog.  With a wag of a tail, dogs give us the ability to increase our social community and lead a happier more fulfilling life.

How Can Dogs Affect Your Aging Health? MD Home Health has the answers.

Whether you have a dalmatian or shit zu, dogs can help us age in a happier and healthier way!

For more information on how can dogs affect your aging health or healthy aging visit MD Home Health / Home Assist at www.mdhomehealth.com.


Arizona Health Care

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Whether you are looking for Arizona health care or health care anywhere else, it is important to know the right steps to take in order to find the right health care services for your needs. We value our loved ones above all else, so it is a top priority to know what questions to ask in order to find the right Arizona health care providers. MD Home Health and MD Home Assist has put together a short list of tips on how to find the right Arizona health care services for you or your loved ones.

Finding the Right Health Care

Does the patient need 24 hour health care, or health care on a daily or hourly basis? Is the patient homebound or can he/she visit a hospital or physician’s office? What are the exact needs of the patient? Clearly there are many questions that arise when searching for the right Arizona health care provider. Arizona has many health care options, so how do you find the right one? Every person has different needs when it comes to health care so it is very important to work with a patient’s previous physician and family in order to make a detailed plan that meets the patient’s exact needs.

A good place to start when looking for a new health care service is to get recommendations from friends, neighbors, and coworkers, but ultimately you should do some thorough research. A great way to see if the physician or health service will meet your needs and expectations is to ask if you can schedule an “interview” appointment. This way you can get to know the service provider before committing to see if they are the right person or service for your Arizona health care needs.

Educate Yourself and Ask Questions

We are lucky to enjoy an innovative and highly advanced health care system in Arizona and the United States, but it is not above human error. Therefore, it is very important that family members are educated and actively involved in a loved one’s health regimen. A good portion of health depends on effective communication—not only with physicians and health care providers, but also with family and friends. Ask a lot of questions and make sure that all medical terms are defined so that everyone involved has a good understanding of the health situation as whole.

Get into the habit of writing down all of your questions before an Arizona health care appointment so that you do not feel rushed and forget something during your appointment. Good communication with health care providers and physicians will lead to enhanced health, results, safety, quality and benefits. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very helpful guide on how to ask the right questions and communicate with your health care team. Visit the question guide at: www.ahrq.gov/questions/

For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


Aging and Fitness

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As the years go by, each workout seems a little more painful then the last.  The running and lifting that used to come easy now leaves our bodies winded and sore.  However, this should not be a reason to stop exercising.  Aging and fitness go hand-in-hand, and continuing to exercise can lead to a better quality of life especially for adults and the elderly.yoga

Fitness is amongst the best anti-aging tools that we have.  Exercise can help prevent health related problems that occur later in life. Exercise such as weight lifting and aerobic activity can help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression.  By lifting weights or performing weight-bearing exercise, adults can increase bone density and reduce fractures that can lead to less hospital visits and home care.  Aerobic exercise can lead to lower cholesterol, therefore decreasing health related problems and need for medication.  With aging and fitness, exercise can lead to a happy and healthy aging process as long as adults continue to make it a regular habit.

So, what exercises should adults tend to lean toward as they become older to avoid injury?  Older adults should tend to do more low-impact activities.  Some of the better low-impact exercises are walking, swimming, cycling, lifting weights, and yoga.  Walking is easier on adult joints and can be done practically anywhere.  Swimming can help improve endurance, flexibility and conditioning.  Cycling aides with building muscle and endurance.  Lifting lighter weights can also help older adults build muscle and strength.  Finally, yoga can increase muscle without putting unnecessary strain on the body.  Yoga classes can typically be found at gyms or studios around the community.

So although exercise can be painful at times, adults should continue to maintain a regular regime. A good regime can have positive results on the aging and fitness process.

As always, adults and the elderly should consult a professional or a physician before starting any new exercise regime.  For information or questions regarding aging and fitness for the elderly contact MD Home Health / MD Home Assist at 602.266.9971 or visit their website at www.mdhomehealth.com.


Helen Keller

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“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”


The Active Senior Lifestyle in Phoenix

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It’s a new year and as always, people think about what changes they can make to live the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix. Time for the famous New Years Resolution!

Whether you want to focus on better nutrition, losing weight, or quitting smoking, one of the best resolutions is to invest in your health. As a senior, it may be more difficult to incorporate activities and exercise into your lifestyle, but the more active you are, the better you will feel. Now that we are in perfect weather mode here in Phoenix, there is no better time to take up a new activity or re-visit an old hobby. We compiled a short list of activities in the Phoenix area so you can start the New Year with an active senior lifestyle.

Hiking Trails in Phoenix

Hiking is one of the most delightful ways to get some exercise and a fresh dose of nature.  The Phoenix area has many hiking trails, so here are some easy to moderate trails to get your hiking regimen started and kickstart your active senior lifestyle.

Lost Dog Wash Trail 

North Trail

Tortilla Creek Loop

Golf Paradise

Phoenix is full of golfing options, and there is no better time than the winter and spring seasons to take advantage of them and help maintain your active senior lifestyle. From world-renowned golf courses to automatic driving ranges to miniature golf, Phoenix has all types of golfing opportunities to suit your skill-level and mood.

Golf Courses

Troon North Golf Club

Stone Creek Golf Course 

Driving Range and Miniature Golf

Cracker Jax 

Jambo! 

The active senior lifestyle in Phoenix is encouraged by MD Home Health

 Ballroom Dancing

One of the best ways to stick with you active senior lifestyle and have fun is ballroom dancing. Learn some Dancing With the Stars moves and twirl around the dance floor while getting a great workout and meeting some new people. The Phoenix Chapter USA Dance is a great resource to find events, classes, and senior dancing groups in the Phoenix area.

Arizona Senior Olympics

If you are into competition and want to test your skills, consider signing up for the Arizona Senior Olympics. The annual event is held on February 16- March 10, and includes many diverse sports such as archery, bowling, road race, tai chi, swimming and dance.

For more information about the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix, MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


Arizona Senior Care

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At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we have been involved in Arizona senior care for over 27 years. As our loved ones age, it is important to not only think about present care, but also consider being actively involved in healthy aging and preventative Arizona senior care. Making healthy choices for yourself and your loved ones is the best way to prevent ailments and live a long healthy life. It is never too late to start making healthy changes, so here are some easy tips on how to live healthier in sunny Arizona:

Exercise

There are vast benefits of exercise for people of all ages, but an active lifestyle becomes increasingly important as you grow older. For Arizona senior care, regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. An active lifestyle also helps maintain or lose weight, reduces the impact of illness, improves sleep, and enhances mobility and balance. Whether you are generally healthy, managing an illness, or feel like you are too old or frail, there are many ways to be more active and improve your fitness. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and exercise 2 hours a day, but take small steps to incorporate more activity into your life. You can easily be more active by going on walks, parking at the far end of the parking lot, or choosing stairs over the elevator. When you are ready for more concentrated exercise, try yoga, a water aerobics class, or tai chi. Take advantage of the beautiful Arizona winter and go on an easy hike!

Nutrition

Making healthy eating choices is a great thing at any age, but seniors should especially make an effort to eat healthier. According to the National Institute of Health, studies show that a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosishigh blood pressureheart diseases and certain cancers. A good diet for Arizona senior care focuses on plant-based foods, which means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and some lean meat such as fish and poultry. Limit red meat and dairy, and avoid processed foods and empty calories, which are foods with a lot of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, cookies, soda and alcohol. The American Institute of Cancer Research has a helpful, healthy eating guide called Nutrition After 50.

Arizona senior care provided by MD Home Health.

If you have any questions about Arizona senior care or to schedule a free consultation with MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, please contact us at: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Pt. 2

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Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Know ALL the Risks and Costs Before Doing So. (Pt 2)  By Dave Hildebrandt, Executive Director of MD Home Health/MD Home Assist

Another area of consideration in directly hiring consists of taxes and insurance.  The IRS states that individual employers are liable for Social Security and unemployment taxes on the wages paid to a direct hire.  If you are considered to have “willfully” failed to withhold these taxes, you will be liable for not only the taxes but interest on the amount of underpayment and civil fines of up to $100,000 as well as possible criminal penalties.

Now, how about insurance? What if the caregiver is injured on the job? Back strains and falls are very common with home care.  Will your homeowner’s policy cover it, and if so, will the policy limits be sufficient?  What if the caregiver causes your loved one a serious, life-threatening or fatal injury? Will they have malpractice insurance that will compensate you for the costs? And finally, if the caregiver should break or steal any of your personal property, will they have a bond to reimburse you for their replacement?

All of these concerns are very real.  All of them can cost a family considerable amount of money and possibly even their lifetime savings should the worse occur.  But most importantly, the safety and welfare of your loved one may be at risk unless you can insure that all these steps are followed before allowing a privately hired caregiver into your home. Sure, the costs and time commitment of performing all these steps is probably more than you ever imagined, but do you really want to cut corners when dealing with the health care of your love one?

When considering ALL the costs and risks associated with the hiring of a competent caregiver, it becomes obvious that directly hiring may not be the most prudent route to go. Your alternative to direct hire? Hire a reputable, experienced agency to assume all the costs and risks associated with hiring, training, taxes and insurance, thus allowing you to give 100% of your attention and support to your loved one with the goal of them getting better or at least reaching maximum comfort.

For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


What is Home Assist?

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Everyone needs a little help especially as we grow older, fall ill or become disabled.  Sometimes we reach a point where we are no longer able to take care of ourselves or a family member’s daily duties or medical needs.  This is typically a tough realization for most people, however, many have found that Home Assist and Home Health provide invaluable help in their daily lives. So what is Home Assist? With Home Assist and Home Health, a professional is sent directly to your home in order to offer supportive services for non-medical and/or medical based needs.  These supportive services are provided to the elderly, chronically ill, children and the disabled.

Through Home Assist, caregivers assist patients with their daily duties or non-medical needs.  Based on a specific patient’s needs, caregivers can help with basic services such as home cleaning or running errands to more personal care services such as bathing or feeding. Home Assist is also available to help out new moms with infant care or provide aide to a sick child.
For medical-based needs, Home Health provides medical-based home health services from a registered nurse, LPN or therapist. Trained professionals can assist with post-surgical care, medication management, pediatric care, Alzheimer’s disease and other skilled services.

Under both programs, potential patients will meet with a licensed nurse or supervisor in order to create a customized plan fitting that patient’s specific needs.  With Home Health, the patient’s physician will also take part in coming up with a plan for care.  Upon meeting with a nurse or supervisor, initial care for Home Assist can begin in as little as 24 hours while Home Health medical-based care can begin within 48 hours.

Those who struggle or who have a family member that struggles with daily tasks or medical needs have found great assistance with these programs.  Home Assist and Home Health provides invaluable help to people up to 24 hours a day/seven days per week.

For more information on what is Home Assist/Home Health in addition to a list of services provided by MD Home Assist and MD Home Health please visit www.mdhomehealth.com/.


Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Pt. 1

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Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Know ALL the Risks and Costs Before Doing So. (Pt. 1)  By Dave Hildebrandt, Executive Director of MD Home Health/MD Home Assist

A recent study revealed that the cost of full time non-medical home care will average $45,000 per year in the state of Arizona (based on 44 hours of care per week). Given this, the tendency for some families will be to try to and economize by directly hiring a care giver to save money, rather than going through an agency.  This is a classic example of the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish”. Before taking this step, it is important that the consumer or family be aware of all the risks and costs associated with directly hiring a caregiver to save money.

There are basically two areas that a family must address when directly hiring a caregiver to save money: the caregiver’s personal background and clinical skills, and the administrative costs of taxes and insurance.

The first part to consider is the steps involved in conducting a background verification of a caregiver.  Once you have identified a potential candidate, which in and of itself is not always easy, you will need to interview them, run a criminal background check, credit and DMV check, verify their citizenship, their automobile insurance, and their list of references. Also, if they are licensed (CNA or RN/LPN), you will want to know if their license is current, in good standing, and if there has ever been any disciplinary action taken against them. Finally, you will want to be sure they have no communicable diseases, specifically TB, and have taken First Aid and have a current CPR training certification.

Should all of the background verification go smoothly, you will then need to be able to determine the actual competency of the caregiver, especially if you are requiring special skills that will be needed to provide the care. Are you qualified to do this?  Do you really want to use your loved one to test their competency?

And finally, suppose your direct-hired caregiver is sick, wants a day off, gets injured or simply doesn’t show for work.  Will you be prepared with a list of qualified and trained alternate caregivers who will report on a moment’s notice?

For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


Buddha

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“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”