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

Helping Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients: 3 Stages of Care

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Helping Elderly PeopleeCaring for sufferers of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease comes with a very specific set of challenges. Three stages of care are needed with these diagnoses, and they grow, evolve and change as the disease progresses. Each stage comes with its own unique challenges, as well. Whether a person is in the early or late stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a skilled, licensed caregiver is beneficial in helping the individual transition and adapt to a new way of life.

Stage One Care

This is the beginning stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can last for years, and may present minor changes to a person’s learning and cognitive capabilities. Most people are able to function and engage in normal activities during Stage One. As a caregiver in this stage, you’re primarily needed for support, companionship, and help with planning for the future, as well as making small lifestyle changes, assisting with medications, recalling memories (dates, names, places), keeping appointments, and managing finances.

It’s important to help bring out the talents and strengths of a person in the first stage of dementia, and to support their independence as much as possible. Encouraging and assisting the person to express their feelings and locate a support group is also beneficial. This is the time to make all necessary legal and financial decisions for the future.

Stage Two Care

During the second stage, the level of care is going to increase. This may be the stage that you’ll want to seek extra support in caring. This is when damage begins to show in the brain, and the person may not think the same way, or perform the tasks they used to be able to on their own. There’s also a chance that the individual will behave in peculiar ways, become upset more often and have a difficult time speaking in sentences that make sense. Help with hygiene and driving may be needed.

This is a good time to adopt lifestyle changes and to keep up a solid routine. The level of care required may be demanding during this stage, and it’s important for a caregiver to take good care of themselves and exercise patience.

nurse showing care to patientStage Three Care

During the final stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s, a person requires care 24/7. This stage may last only weeks, or several years. The person will eventually lose the ability to communicate, and may require assistance with walking. Eating and swallowing becomes difficult, and the risk of infections increases. There’s still a possibility that this person can connect with familiar scents, sounds, music, foods, nature, sunshine, and old photographs.

It’s helpful to monitor the weight and caloric intake during this stage, and to help with range of motion exercises if the person in need of care is confined to a chair. Keeping the person comfortable and upright is important, as is ensuring they’re not in pain. Someone in stage three may need to be fed, and assisted in going to the bathroom. Setting consistent bathroom times is important, as is limiting liquids before bed. This person may require bathing, and may need to be lifted at times. This is the stage where it’s essential to have extra care.

Are you or someone you know suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and in need of some extra support? With MD Home Health, you can expect to find licensed professionals in  Phoenix, Arizona to assist you with your home care needs 24/7.


What to Look for: Great In-Home Medical Services in Phoenix, Arizona

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When looking for an in-home health care provider for yourself or a loved one, you’ll want to ensure you find a team of professionals equipped to meet all of your unique needs—especially when faced with an injury or health issue. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help tremendously when searching for the right home care services.
To get you thinking about what you truly need, we’ve come up with a few questions:

  • What in-home health care service providers are available in your local area?
  • Are you searching for traditional medical services, specialty programs, or both?
  • Do you have one specific need, or several?
  • Would you like home health care services to be administered to an individual in the home, or in a group facility?
  • Are these services desired only during a specified time, or would you prefer a team that’s available around the clock, 24/7?

Once you’ve narrowed these factors down, we’d like to present you with our local home health services. At MD Home Health, we offer medical and non-medical services. They’re available 24/7, and there’s always an emergency nurse on call. Services can be ordered by the visit, or on an hourly or daily basis.
In terms of our medical services, we offer a full range of care:

  • RN and LPN nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Speech Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Nursing Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists

We also provide traditional medical care, as well as specialty services. Our specialty in-home services include:

  • Post-Surgical Care
  • Medication Management
  • Pediatric and Juvenile Care
  • Neonatal Care
  • Orthopedic Care
  • CHF
  • Range of Motion and Strengthening Therapy
  • Ventilator Dependent Care
  • Diabetic Management
  • Wound Management
  • Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Care
  • NeurologicalCare
  • COPD
  • Tube Feeding
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Parkinson’s

If you’re interested in receiving care from MD Home Health, an intake specialist will come and meet with you and your family members to coordinate care with your doctor, hospital staff, and/or discharge planner.
We’ll work with you to design a customized care plan that meets your medical, physical, nutritional, cultural, environmental, social and emotional needs.
Our services are offered at a competitive price, and we even accept several private insurances, as well as Medicaid.
All MD Home Health caregivers and staff have passed thorough background checks and trainings, as we only want the highest-quality care for our patients.
Want to learn more about MD Home Health and the services we can provide for you? We’d love to sit down and have a talk with you about your unique needs. Feel free to contact us today.


In-Home Care: Risks of Hiring a Caregiver vs. an Agency

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A recent study revealed that the average cost of full-time, non-medical, in-home care in Arizona averages around $45,000 per year, based on 44 hours of care per week. As a result of this considerable expense, many are choosing to hire a caregiver directly rather than going through an agency.

All in all, there are several risks to consider before making a final decision on either route. If you’re leaning toward hiring your own caregiver directly, be prepared to address all the following tasks before allowing anyone in your home or caring for a loved one.

Personal Background 

Before hiring someone to assist in caring for your loved one, it’s important to conduct a thorough background check, including: a criminal background check, DMV and credit check, citizenship, and auto insurance verifications.

In addition, we recommend verifying the licensed caregiver’s current paperwork and credentials; requiring a TB test and reviewing their medical history; and ensuring they are certified in both first aid and CPR.

Competency

Once a candidate has passed all necessary background checks, it’s important to ensure the caregiver you’ve chosen has what it takes to make sure your loved one is safe, and is keeping up on the latest educational information pertaining to their field of care.

In addition, when hiring directly, there’s always the risk that the provider will become sick or injured, will need time off, or simply won’t show up for work.

In the event that this should happen, it’s recommended to have a list of screened, competent back-up caregivers who will be able to report for duty at a moment’s notice.

Taxes

The IRS holds individual employers responsible for paying Social Security and Tax form conceptunemployment taxes on the wages paid to an in-home caregiver.

If you fail to withhold these taxes, not only will you be liable for the total cost plus interest, but you could incur penalty fees of up to $100,000 and possible criminal charges.

Insurance

Before hiring an in-home caregiver, be sure to check their insurance policies.

Back strains and slip-and-fall injuries are common occurrences within home care, which is why your homeowner’s policy needs to be sufficient to cover such incidents.

It’s also important for the caregiver to hold their own malpractice policy in the event that they cause a life-threatening or fatal injury to your loved one.

They should also have a bond for repayment of any and all household items they could possibly damage or break.

 

Hiring an Agency

When hiring an agency to handle the in-home care of your loved one, the agency assumes all risks regarding background checks, competency, taxes and insurance. This removes the stressful process of hiring a caregiver from your list of duties, and allows you to focus your time and energy solely on your loved one. Agencies also have on-call staff in the event that the primary caregiver is unavailable.

Are you considering hiring in-home care for yourself or a loved one? We’re here for you.


What To Expect from In-Home Assistance

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Having an extra hand around the house when caring for a loved one can be priceless, which is likely why there’s a variety of in-home services available today. Whether you need assistance caring for someone or would simply like some help around the house while you do, there’s an in-home service that’s perfect for your unique needs.

Knowing what to expect from in-home assistance is crucial when looking for a good provider. From medical to non-medical services, there’s a wide variety of options available, with numerous factors to consider first.

Searching for in-home care might feel overwhelming at first; but by the time you’re finished reading this blog post, you’ll know exactly what to look for when seeking out a high quality provider.

Range of Services

There’s a wide variety of in-home services available for those seeking assistance. Companies which offer both non-medical and medical services give you the most options. A good in-home care provider will offer non-medical services such as personal care assistance and homemaking tasks, plus the back-up of licensed nurses who can provide you with valuable consulting as well as provide skilled services for potential medical issues.

Personal care services include bathing, shaving, shampooing, dressing, skin & nail care, and assistance with the toilet. Other services might entail feeding and medication reminders.

If a person needs assistance with personal care tasks, they’re likely to also need help with household tasks as well. Common housekeeping services include cleaning and dusting, doing laundry, washing dishes, running errands, cooking meals, and making beds.

A full-service provider will even include things like tucking in and waking up, companionship, transportation, newborn care, sick childcare and post-surgical care. Depending on the level of need, a caretaker can live in the home, or visit on an as-needed basis.

Customized Care

Every person seeking care has their own set of individual needs, and an excellent healthcare provider will offer intake services to meet with the client, their physician, and their loved ones when creating an individual care plan. This includes all of the individual’s medical, physical, nutritional, environmental, cultural, social and emotional needs.

Caregivers

Once the level of care and individual care plan has been established, the right caregivers will be selected to be placed in the home.

All caregivers should undergo extensive criminal background checks, fingerprint scans, driving record inspections, TB tests, drug tests, license verifications and written competency exams.

Once caregivers have meet these criteria, they should be monitored by their employer through: on-site visits at the patient’s home; weekly review of the caregivers’ notes compared with doctors’ orders and care plans; individual supervision; discussions with the patient and other staff; and yearly mandatory continuing education.

 

Insurance

A competent and reputable in-home service will have insurance covering their caregiver activities. This is meant to protect both the patients and the service providers so that patients and clients can rest assured knowing their home, livelihood and belongings are covered in the event of an accident.

A good service provider will also consider their patient’s medical insurance in order to identify exactly what is covered, then work with either their private/commercial insurance, Medicaid/AHCCCS, Veteran’s Administration, Division of Development Disabilities (DDD), worker’s compensation, etc. to get them all they’re entitled to. They may even offer competitive pricing for cash-paying clients.

Are you searching for such a service in the Phoenix, Arizona area? Look no further than MD Home Health. We offer everything listed above, with the highest-quality caregivers around. Give us a call today to discuss your individual care plan—and we’d love to provide you with the information and assistance you need.


8 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season

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8 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season

It can be difficult to stay healthy during the holidays with the plethora of treats, parties, stress and emotional triggers the season brings. Not to fret! We’ve developed 8 simple ways to boost spirits and keep our health in check this year.

Carry Plenty of Snacks

As the holidays near, we’re bombarded with festive temptations wherever we turn. From treats offered by family and friends to parties and social gatherings, food often becomes a focal point of celebration. Having healthy and ready-to eat-snacks—such as raw veggies, fruit and nuts—are great ways to be prepared for the urge to indulge.

Eat Several Meals

One of the most effectives ways of combating these temptations is by eating six small meals throughout the day, rather than skipping meals to save up for one big feast. In order to keep our metabolic rates high and curb our sugar and fat cravings, it’s best to eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day.

Indulge in Only Special Treats

If you have a certain holiday treat you look forward to every year, don’t skip it! Simply hold off on most of the other goodies. Indulging in only select specialties gives you a taste of the holidays without the risk of triggering a chocolate binge from trying to abstain.

Stay Active

It’s always best to maintain an active lifestyle, and this is especially important during the holidays.

Staying active and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day is the best way to beat holiday blues and weight gain. It can even lower symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Go Easy on Liquid Calories

It’s easy to pack on extra pounds due to holiday beverages like eggnog, sugary juices, alcohol and sodas. Not only can alcohol pack a ton of calories, but it also affects the way calories are burned off when ingested. Consider having just one glass of wine or bubbly, rather than overdoing it, and try the same approach with eggnog and juices. You’ll thank yourself for it a few hours later.

Eat Before the Party

If you’re planning on attending a party where there will be plenty of indulgent temptations, try eating before the party. If you fill up on a healthy meal before the festivities, you’ll be less likely to overindulge on the party favors.

Take the Focus off Food

So much of the holidays revolve around food, yet there are so many other traditions that we can focus on. Taking some time to focus on other aspects of the holidays can help curb overeating due to boredom and displaced energy.

Try putting your time and efforts into decorating, making homemade gifts, singing carols, or charity work for those less fortunate. You could even start a holiday project to keep your mind focused and occupied.

Help Others

People sometimes struggle through the holidays, be it financially, emotionally or both. Helping out friends who may be having a difficult time is always beneficial to not only the friend, but your overall happiness and stress levels.

Donating is another way to lend a helping hand. A study was conducted where people were given $100 with the option of donating or keeping it. Results showed that those who kept the money had higher levels of stress and cortisol. Those who donated the money were ultimately happier, as it activated the reward center of the brain.


5 Myths about Aging & Exercise Debunked

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Even if you no longer believe in Santa Claus, you may still believe these 5 top myths about aging and exercise.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, it can be conflicting, vague and overwhelming. So let’s debunk these 5 aging & exercise myths once and for all.

As we age, the importance of having an active lifestyle increases. Having a regular exercise routine is key for boosting energy levels, managing pain, treating illness and maintaining autonomy.

In addition to physiological advantages, exercise is essential for our psychological well-being, as it benefits the mind, memory, and mood.

The following five myths pertaining to exercise as we age may contribute to the tendency toward its decline over time.

I’m going to age whether I exercise or not, so what’s the point?

While it’s true that exercise cannot prevent aging altogether, it can most certainly slow it down, and even reverse some signs and symptoms. Participating in cardio and strength training helps us to feel and look younger, and even live longer.

There’s a saying, “use it or lose it,” which applies to our level of activity as we age.

This statement is supported by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson in his health blog. He states that physical activity is directly correlated with longevity.

While genetics contribute to approximately 20-30% of our expected longevity, the other 70-80% is based upon our level of activity, as determined through twin studies.

Recent studies in The American Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal have shown that those with larger amounts of muscle mass and physical aptitude live longer.

This is due to the fact that as we age, we typically lose one pound of muscle mass per year after age 20. The muscle is then replaced with fat cells. This is why it is important to actually increase our level of activity (rather than decrease it) over time as we age. In order to keep the muscle mass we have, we must regularly use our muscles; preventing this gradual loss over time

Older people should rest, save their energy, and not exercise.

This is a very unhealthy myth to own. In case the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you, HelpGuide.org states that those aged 50 and up face serious health risks due to inactivity, such as increased pharmaceutical use, more frequent doctor and hospital visits, and an inability to do things they once could.

Exercise can increase my risk of falling.

It is actually the opposite. Exercise prevents bone loss, and builds strength and balance -thus, reducing the risk.

I’m too old to start exercising.

It’s never too late to form healthy behavior patterns. The best way to start is through making small changes to daily habits, such as walking more, taking the stairs, doing things by hand a machine used to (like dishes) and keeping a routine for the next 3-4 weeks, so that it becomes habitual. A good model for improving physical health is to start with some cardio, then to gradually add weights and flexibility/balance exercises. Activities such as water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are useful in helping seniors achieve and maintain better health.

I’m disabled, I can’t exercise.

While being disabled and/or wheelchair bound presents challenges, it’s still possible to get exercise. Things such as stretching, lifting weights and even chair yoga can help increase the heart rate. Resistance bands are often useful in wheelchair bound exercises. For those who do not own weights or resistance bands, cans of soup may be used instead.

 

The recipe for greater health and longevity is now yours. It is important to remember that exercise should not hurt, and it is best to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. Assistance while increasing your activity is always here for you. Give us a call to learn more about in-home care.

 


The New 80/20 Rule: Exercising vs. Dieting

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Have you heard of the new 80/20 rule for getting and staying healthy?

While you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule for a healthy diet, research suggests there’s more to healthy weight loss than just eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging in less healthy food 20% of the time. 

Exercise is part of the new 80/20 rule, and while many believe 80% of getting healthy relies on physical activity and 20% on diet, registered dietician Katherine Isacks says it’s actually the other way around.

The truth of the matter is that 80% of our weight correlates with what we eat and the recipe is still 80% healthy and 20% indulgent food, according to Rose Erickson at Livestrong.

Now that we can have our cake and eat it too, does that mean we should immediately go and spend an hour at the gym vigorously trying to burn it off? Studies suggest exhausting ourselves at the gym for an hour or every per day doesn’t actually prompt more weight loss.

Research conducted at the University of Copenhagen suggests that those who instead engage in moderate exercise routines are setting themselves up to achieve greater weight loss results than those who jump into vigorous workouts at the gym. This study focused on three groups of young males who were healthy, but inactive: the control group that didn’t change their diet or exercise habits; the moderate group that participated in 30 minutes of exercise per day; and the intense group that added an hour of exercise per day.

The study extended throughout the course of 13 weeks. As predicted, the men who made no changes experienced no change to their weight or physique. However, the following results may surprise you.

While the intense group of men that worked out for an hour per day lost an average of five pounds each, the men who engaged in moderate exercise of 30 minutes per day actually lost an average of 7 pounds each.

How could greater weight loss results be achieved from doing half the amount of exercise?

Each group tracked what they ate during the study, and reported on their overall activity levels throughout the day. Those among the intense workout group tended to eat more, as their bodies were prompted to replace the 600 calories they had burned. They were also less active during the day when not working out.

The moderate exercise group only burned 300 calories per day, and reported higher levels of sustained energy. This group was more active throughout the day; engaging in positive lifestyle changes more readily, like taking the stairs and walking.

They also didn’t report much change in their eating habits, as they weren’t burning enough to prompt a surge in hunger. The intense group did gain more muscle, however, which weighs more than fat.

This new research sheds light on specific misconceptions regarding diet and exercise, and shows that it isn’t necessary to overexert ourselves at the gym.

Rather, moderate exercises prompted increased energy and less temptation to overeat. While this study failed to compare results over time, this is a good model for jump-starting your own fitness plan.

Moderate levels of exercise, combined with a diet that’s 80% healthy and 20% indulgent, may be the recipe to better health.


Have Your Turkey and Eat it, Too: 500-Cal Thanksgiving Day Meal

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For so many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, give thanks for our many blessings, eat, drink, watch football, be merry, and did I mention eat?

Feasting until our stomachs nearly burst has become a common tradition for many as we kick off the holiday season. But while we’re used to eating until we can’t possibly eat anymore, is this really the best way we to celebrate our blessings? While it’s true that food is a blessing, it can also be a curse if we overeat or abuse it like a drug. That’s why we’ve found a remedy this year: the 500-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal.

Research by the University of Adelaide and the University of Connecticut show that food that’s high in fat and sugar triggers the same pleasure center of our brains that methamphetamines or cocaine would.

These foods stimulate the neurotransmitters of the mesolimbic pathway—particularly dopamine—thus giving us a “high” and actually leading us to feel addicted to food. That’s one of the reasons it’s so difficult to only eat one potato chip. This also contributes to a typical Thanksgiving Day meal packing in around 4,500 calories, according to the Calorie Control Council—significantly more than the 1,500 calories recommended for females and the 2,000 calories recommended for males, says registered dietician Mary Ellen Herndon.

Herndon further suggests a Thanksgiving Day feast should only occupy 1/3 of these calories. That leaves us with 500-700 calories to work with. While this may seem impossible, the lovely folks at Spark People, Live Science, Women’s Health and Pinterest have compiled some healthy holiday tips, as well as delicious low-calorie recipes for everything from meals and side dishes to desserts; helping keep this holiday’s indulgences on track with your personal health goals.

The best way to keep calories below 500-700 is to start with filling half of your plate with low-starch vegetables and greens. This should then be accompanied by a 3-oz portion of turkey (lean meat, as it’s lower in saturated fat). The rest of the plate may be filled with small ½-cup portions of your favorite trimmings.

Some suggestions for cutting calories on sides is to replace the green bean casserole with steamed green beans; cranberry jelly with real cranberry relish; mashed potatoes with roasted sweet potatoes or squash; rolls with cornbread; gravy with a light apple cider vinegar gravy; and traditional stuffing with a healthy alternative made from fruit and veggies.

You can also try new recipes for healthy, low-calorie side dishes. The links above contain several additional tips and recipes to try. A healthy alternative to pie or other desserts can also help lower the calorie count, as can substituting cooked and mashed cauliflower for potatoes or root vegetables, and even replacing all uses of butter with garlic, herbs and chicken or vegetable stock for flavoring.
So there you have it! We hope we’ve given you all the tools you’ll need to enjoy your holidays without the stress of overeating. Don’t forget to reach out if you’d like more tips or advice this year!


Important Information About Medicare

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Important information about Medicare

By October, many Medicare recipients are deep in the doughnut hole.  Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) typically have a “doughnut hole”, or coverage gap, which imposes a temporary limit on coverage for drugs.  Most people enter this gap after they have reached a spending threshold for covered drugs.  For the year 2014, this threshold is $2850.  Once this ceiling is reached, you have reached the coverage gap.  The good news is that this threshold will be higher in 2015, with increasing subsidies to help you save in the coverage gap.Happy senior people in nursing home with walker and wheelchair

Medicare coverage for the remainder of 2014

 Currently, once you reach the coverage gap, you pay 47.5% for brand-name drugs and 72% for generic drugs for the remainder of the year.  You are required to make these copayments until you get out of the doughnut hole.  How do you climb your way out of the hole?  Although you’re paying 47.5% of your plan’s cost for brand-name prescription drugs, 97.5% of that price gets counted as out-of-pocket costs, which go toward getting you out of the coverage gap.  For generic drugs, all of what you pay will be counted as out-of-pocket spending to help you get out of the coverage gap.  For 2014, you are free of the doughnut hole once your out-of-pocket spending reaches up to $4550. http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/part-d-coverage-gap.html

How Medicare is changing through 2020

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates improvements to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for future years.  These improvements were designed to help seniors afford their prescriptions while they are in the doughnut hole.  In 2015, beneficiaries will pay 45% for brand names, and 65% for generics.  Gradually, copayments required for both brand name and generic drugs are being reduced to 25% for both drug types in the year 2020.  This is the same percentage you pay from the time you meet the deductible until the out-of-pocket spending limit is reached (up to $4700 for 2015). http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/more-drug-savings-in-2020.html  As 2015 rapidly approaches, now is a good time to determine if your health care plan is meeting your needs.  An appointment with Phoenix Home Health Care can help you organize your appointments, screenings, and prescription needs in order to optimize your insurance coverage.

Additional assistance for low-income seniors

The ACA also offers further assistance for low-income beneficiaries by eliminating copayments for beneficiaries who may be recipients of home and community-based services, and who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Assistance is also available in order to allow widows and widowers to preserve their low-income eligibility.

Home Care Phoenix can help you determine whether you are eligible for this additional assistance.

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1161/Closing-the-Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/29/pay-less-for-your-prescription-drugs/?sf30575690=1

For tips on how to lower drug costs, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Find health and drug plans, stay educated, and learn more about what Medicare covers through the Phoenix home health care team!


Tips for dealing with Alzheimer’s

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Tips for Dealing With Alzheimer’s

The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are utterly devastating. With no cure for the ailment, the patient only worsens as time passes and Alzheimer’s continues to progress. Even the most basic day-to-day activities become more of a challenge. So, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, and their relatives and caretakers, it is very important to adopt major practical tips for effectively handling the disease, which in turn can maximize the quality of life for everyone involved.

Accept changes. With Alzheimer’s, just like any other degenerative disease, change is inevitable. The patient begins to experience memory loss; progresses to speech difficulty, irritability, and outbursts of unpremeditated aggression; and, finally, apathy, exhaustion, and loss of speech. These changes can cause some sufferers to deny that they are happening, so they put up a front to avoid feeling embarrassed. However, denying the existence of Alzheimer’s can increase stress on the person. Rather, the patient should accept the changes in his or her abilities to ward off anxiety and work towards coping with the disease.

Reduce frustrations with the disease. It is hard to imagine having difficulty with even the simplest daily tasks of one’s life. However, there are things patients can do to ease the frustration. They can use a schedule to make each day more predictable and less confusing for them; that includes taking more time for performing tasks, so that they don’t feel rushed or that they’re holding up something. Also, patients should be able to do as much as they can with the least amount of assistance. That way, they can feel a considerable level of independence. It would also be helpful to reduce distractions—such as turning off the TV—for increased concentration on accomplishing tasks.

Be more flexible. It is not just the schedule of the Alzheimer’s patient that is affected. The loved ones in the person’s life also have to adapt to the ravages of the disease. For instance, certain foods that the patient once loved might suddenly become unappealing, which would require adjusting the menu accordingly.Helping Seniors

Rely on professional assistance. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease becomes too much of a burden, people can turn to the assistance of home health care providers. A prime example is MD Home Health, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. State licensed and Medicare-certified, MD Home Health provides a wide range of medical and non-medical services. Patients can be tended to in their own homes or at the facility; relatives can determine the best option or range of personal care services needed to ensure the ultimate goal of a high-quality life—even with Alzheimer’s.