caregiver az

10 Books Caregivers Need To Read


A survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, in tandem with AARP, discovered that there are nearly 70 million caregivers in the US who are obliged to provide some kind of care for least one individual who is Read more

Practical Tips For Finding The Right Doctor For Your Aging Parent


Most people who are young and healthy don't think it's much of an issue to find a new doctor when that becomes necessary. However, if you have an aging parent who has been under the care of a particular Read more

Preventing Boredom: Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Engage Your Loved One 


The activities you share with your senior loved one during visits or when you're home from work, can have a tremendous effect on her quality of life and general outlook, so it's really important that these times are maximized Read more

Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Health Care 


It is almost always a difficult decision to face when you begin to notice signs that your Arizona senior loved one may need AZ home health care, because he/she is not completely safe alone while you go to work Read more

10 Books Caregivers Need To Read

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A Gradual Disappearance”, by Elizabeth Lonseth

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

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

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

Phoenix Health Care assistance

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

 


Practical Tips For Finding The Right Doctor For Your Aging Parent

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

Insurance coverage

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

The right G.P.

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

Identifying replacement specialists

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

Don’t forget the office staff

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

MD Home Health and MD Home Assist

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

 


Preventing Boredom: Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Engage Your Loved One 

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The activities you share with your senior loved one during visits or when you’re home from work, can have a tremendous effect on her quality of life and general outlook, so it’s really important that these times are maximized and enjoyed to the fullest. Even if it is not readily observable, the impact of shared activities can go a long way toward boosting her mood, and significantly reducing anxiety or agitation that might otherwise trouble her.

After you’ve gone through some of the old standby shared activities, you should consider some really inventive, out-of-the-box ideas which can maintain her interest and really engage her. Here are a few possibilities to consider.

Playing with children’s toys

This might seem like an odd suggestion, given the fact that these objects were created with children in mind, but older adults can experience these very same objects in an entirely different manner. For example, a simple puzzle might take your senior loved one back to childhood days and recall warm memories of the time. A children’s toolbox might trigger recollections from your senior parent about home repairs or do-it-yourselfer activities that he used to enjoy doing around the household. If you discover that ideas like this work really well with your parent, by all means, get involved yourself, and enjoy playing with children’s toys to engage your loved one.

Fun group activities

There are any of community groups which regularly meet to benefit seniors, and provide them with an outlet for socializing and engaging in fun activities. There are dance groups, card-playing groups, movie-watching groups, and even tap dancing groups, which have formed in almost every community in the country for this purpose, and which can really get your senior your loved one involved, and enjoying life again.

Treasure hunting

One very different way of really engaging your senior loved one is to take her on a treasure hunting expedition with a metal detector. This can be a very exciting time, as new discoveries are encountered, and interest is sustained throughout the entire treasure-hunting experience. It can be even more exciting, when there’s a legitimate chance of finding something interesting, but even without any spectacular discoveries, the whole experience can be a very usual and engaging way of spending some time with your loved one.

Community projects

There are always community projects which you can participate in with your senior loved one, and there is a double good feeling associated with such activities. In the first place, it will be excellent therapy to have your loved one involved and participating in a large project. It will also make her feel good to be contributing to society in general, and performing some kind of action that makes the community a better place. Some activities like this might include planting trees in the neighborhood, gardening around public buildings, and doing sponsored walks for a good cause.

Monthly or weekly game nights

Set aside a regularly-occurring night each week or each month, when you get together with your senior loved one, and play a different game each time. There are numerous board games which you could play that are fairly easy to grasp, and your senior your loved one will probably just love the fact that you’re taking the time to be with her, and share an activity you can both enjoy. Something as simple as Yahtzee might be a wonderful way of engaging with your loved one, and showing her that you really care.

Additional care for your senior loved one

There are of course, situations where your busy life at work and with your own family simply won’t allow for as much regular engagement with your loved one as you would like to have. For these situations, you should contact MD Home Health/MD Home Assist, so we can help fill in the gaps in home health care for your loved one. The compassionate and caring companionship provided by a professional caregiver from an Arizona health care specialist might include many of the same creative ideas, and others like them, which are described above.


Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Health Care 

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It is almost always a difficult decision to face when you begin to notice signs that your Arizona senior loved one may need AZ home health care, because he/she is not completely safe alone while you go to work every day. This is a very common scenario in our society today, and you should not feel guilty about having to make this decision – after all, it really is with the best intentions toward the safety and well-being of your loved one.

It’s also the best thing for you too, as the son or daughter, because it will allow you to have peace of mind while you’re working through the day, knowing that your parent is in the capable hands of a professional caregiver. Here are some of the signs which might be indications that the time has come for senior health care with MD Home Health/Md Home Assist.

Unexplained wounds or injuries

If you start to notice wounds or injuries on your senior loved one which weren’t there the last time, and she can’t tell you how they happened, it could very well be that your parent is having difficulty taking care of herself. There could be slips and falls occurring, or bumps into walls or furniture that leave bruises, and are later forgotten so they cannot be explained to you as a result.

Your loved one can’t manage daily activities

When your senior loved one can no longer carry out the normal functions of daily life, it’s a big cause for concern, and probably calls for home assistance in the very near future. Typical activity activities in this category are personal hygiene, dressing and bathing, navigating around the home safely, preparing meals throughout the day, and all the other basics of home life.

Your loved one seems more out of touch than usual

If you begin to notice that it’s hard to reach your senior loved one with phone calls, or that he or she’s more out of touch than usual about returning calls and being aware of their surroundings, this may well be another warning signal. When you start to notice this, you should make a point of regularly checking in with him or her, to be sure it’s not just a temporary condition. When it gets to the point that it seems to be constant, that’s when you may need to take action.

Lack of involvement with life

There are number of indicators which can show a growing lack of interest in normal life that you should be on the lookout for. Some of these include overlooking the payment of bills, forgetting to read mail, skipping meals, disinterest in personal hygiene, and a generally lethargic outlook on life. When you start to notice symptoms like these, it can be a strong indication that your senior loved one is ready for home health care and companionship.

Don’t do it alone!

If you are the daughter of a senior loved one who is exhibiting some of the warning signs referenced above, don’t waste any time – contact MD Home Health at the very earliest opportunity, to setup a consultation so you can discuss getting the very best Phoenix home health care for your loved one, and peace of mind for yourself. You will be very glad that you took this important step toward well-being for your loved one and for yourself.


What to do When Seniors Stop Eating

mdhomehealthadmin Healthy Eating, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Given that this month is ‘National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month’, it’s a great time to be a little bit more aware of what your elderly loved ones are including in their daily diets, and whether those things are conducive to good senior health. It’s also good to be aware of how fresh the foods in the refrigerator are, because it’s always possible that things aren’t being monitored closely for expiration dates and for freshness.

Then again, there may be times when, even if you are taking steps to make foods appealing and healthy for your senior loved one, they just aren’t interested in eating. AZ Health Care professionals recommend some of the following ideas for encouraging your senior to eat a little more, and if you can’t be around personally to do that, by all means consider retaining Phoenix health care specialists to help support the healthy eating initiatives at home.

Possible Responses

The first thing you should do is make sure that your senior’s disinterest in foods isn’t due to a medical condition, or a result of some medication they’re taking for a condition already present. Assuming that isn’t the cause, it’s worth a try to adjust the timing of served meals, adapting mealtimes to when your senior seems hungry, rather than at traditional times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The way you serve meals may also have an impact. For instance, your senior may feel more confident about eating soup from a cup than a bowl, or he/she may prefer meats which have been cut up into small bites, as opposed to the cuts they were sold in.

Adding a little seasoning might increase the appeal of certain foods, and since seniors typically begin to lose taste as they age, a little extra might be just the ticket. Sometimes, seniors just aren’t interested in eating alone, and might feel more inclined if they had a partner to share with. Inquire about social meals and get-togethers at local community centers to make the experience more enjoyable.

When seniors develop increasingly low appetites, it’s better to provide them with heavy doses of nutrients rather than larger portions. Healthy calories from peanut butter and other foods might strike their fancy. And if the issue is that your loved one simply doesn’t enjoy cooking anymore, why not pitch right in, and share the preparation and cooking tasks with him/her? It will provide some good quality time to be with your loved one, and it may even overcome their disinterest in the whole cooking process.

One or more of these suggestions should do the trick, but if your senior loved one still shows little interest in eating after all your efforts, you might want to consider using an appetite stimulant to be sure they’re getting the nutrition needed.  

Monitoring the diet of your senior loved one

It can be a difficult task to constantly monitor what your senior loved one is eating, especially if you have other commitments at home and on the job. But you don’t have to do all this alone – MD Home Health has been a trusted provider in the greater Phoenix area ever since 1985, and has helped many families through difficult times with health and home care. Contact us today to learn 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.


7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life

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In honor of April being National Garden Month, and this beautiful spring weather, we’d like to share some of the amazing health benefits gardening can bring into your life. Gardening is so healthy that it could, in fact, add years your life. Here are some of our favorite health benefits one can gain from the healthy hobby of gardening.

Improves Brain Health and Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk

A study conducted on the long-term effects of gardening on the brain found that daily gardening was the single most effective activity in reducing the prevalence of dementia by 36-47%. This is likely due to the various health benefits the act of gardening brings, such as increased strength, endurance, learning, dexterity, sensory function and problem solving skills.

Improves Self-Esteem and Lowers Stress

There was a Dutch study conducted that showed the cortisol (stress hormone) levels of those who gardened for 30 minutes, vs. those who read for 30 minutes. The study found that those who gardened for 30 minutes had much lower cortisol levels, and much higher self-esteem levels than those who read.

Reduces Risk for Stroke and Increases Heart Health

A study conducted in Stockholm found that regular gardening reduced the risk for stroke in those over the age of 60 by 30%. For those who may have physical difficulties or need home health care, bending or leaning over to garden may present some problems. This is an easy fix through incorporating raised garden beds. It is also a healthy idea to expose your skin to the sun without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes per day in order to absorb your daily dose of Vitamin D. This is another factor in reducing heart disease and other issues associated with heart health. It’s also best to conduct gardening sessions in smaller time segments than doing it all at once, as sitting is another cause for poor heart health.

Reduced Depression Symptoms and Improved Mental Health

There are a variety of factors associated with gardening that can help stimulate one’s mental health. These factors include physical activity, sunlight, being surrounded by nature, the satisfaction one gets from a job well done, and the cognitive stimulation it provides. For the best mental health benefits associated with gardening, keep a garden that has a balanced mix of plants to nourish all of the senses, such as food-producing plants, flowers for visual appeal and nicely scented plants.

Regulates the Immune System

The immune system is elevated due to the Vitamin D absorption gardening brings. It is also boosted when one decides to forego the gardening gloves, and get their hands dirty. Gardening dirt contains nutrient bacteria or “Mycobacterium vaccae”. This bacterium has shown to improve common symptoms of a weak immune system, such as asthma, allergies and psoriasis.

Better Nutrition

There’s nothing healthier than growing your own vegetables. So long as you use healthy soil, lay off the pesticides, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden when they are ripe, you will be greatly increasing your health on numerous levels. It’s also a cost-effective solution to purchasing expensive organic produce at your local store, farmer’s market, or co-op.

Being Surrounded by Green Plants Adds Years to Your Life

It’s no secret that being surrounded by nature and green spaces can benefit our physical and mental health.  A couple of studies conducted by the CDC and Michigan State University found that small increases of 10% in green space surrounding a person’s location of home could increase their life by a number of years.

This just goes to show how important gardening and being outdoors in nature is for our well-being. If you’d like more information on health care in Phoenix, finding a caregiver to assist you in gardening, or getting more active outdoors, we are here for you.  For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


February is National Senior Independence Month

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February is a month that is dedicated to celebrating senior independence, and putting a bit of extra time into promoting and assisting a senior in your life in any way that helps with their independence in staying at home, while receiving the care that they need. As caregivers and Phoenix home health care professionals, we are extra excited about February, and have a variety of suggestions for ways that you can join in and promote senior independence this month as well.

If you have a special senior in your life that you would like to see stay in their home, and out of hospice care, it would be a good idea to take an assessment of their needs. A needs assessment can help you to better understand the daily struggles your loved one faces, and also where they might have needs for greater health and safety in their normal routines. If you’re unsure of how to conduct a thorough needs assessment, contact your local Phoenix home care professionals, and they can send someone to the home of your special senior to conduct a needs assessment and consultation for free.

There are likely to be a variety of medical and non-medical services required in the home of your loved one, and deciding whether to help with some of these tasks, or to hire a caregiver is going to be your next decision. You may even want to split up some of the tasks between yourself and family members, while adding the help of a professional caregiver. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning the home, and administering meds may sound like reasonable tasks that you can handle, while the more medical needs will require the help of a medical caregiver. There are also a variety of non-medical needs your loved one may have, such as having someone there to help them dress each day and to bathe, that you may want to hire a caregiver to help with.

Another great way to help promote independence in seniors this month is to help promote a decent amount of exercise into their daily routines. This is something you will want to discuss with your loved one’s doctor first, to ensure they aren’t over exerting themselves, or bringing extra risk to a health condition. Any amount of consistent exercise has been found to be the single most important factor for those over 65 in promoting independence, longevity and reducing the risk of falls. Falling is one of the most prevalent risk factors for seniors, and is the biggest cause of injury death for this age group.

National Senior Independence Month will be more effective the more it is acknowledged and observed, so spreading the word is another great way to help promote awareness. A great way to spread awareness is by asking your municipal government to declare February as Senior Independence Month in your city or town. Here is a great example of a proclamation that you may use to spread the word to your local community.

Every bit of help in spreading awareness about Senior Independence Month is certainly appreciated. And for those of you who do not have a special senior in your life, but would like to help in promoting senior independence in your community, look no further than your local YMCA. They offer a SilverSneakers Fitness Program for those 65 and older, and you can get involved by volunteering, and helping facilitate senior fitness in any way that you can. If you would like more information on National Senior Independence Month, or our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.