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Natural Ways to Fight Depression This May


Depression is the most common form of mental illness. As much as 26% of the adult population in the United States suffers from depression. Since 1949, Mental Health America has observed that May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Read more

The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle


May is National Sports and Physical Fitness month. Now is a great time to spread awareness of the many benefits provided by engaging in an active lifestyle. Many Americans don't get enough exercise in their day to day lives. Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life


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 Read more

8 Ways Pets Improve Our Health


If you ask any pet owner who their best friend is, they just might name one or several furry little friends. Scientists, doctors, and therapists all agree that having a pet is beneficial to both your physical and mental Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life

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

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

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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.

 


Hiring a Caregiver Can Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

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Now that 2017 is here, many of us are trying to make fresh, new starts. It’s never been a better time to ask for a bit of extra help with the things you simply do not have time for, or maybe need some extra assistance with from time to time. That is why 2017 is the year to give yourself the gift of a caregiver. There is no shame in having an extra hand around the home, and it could do wonders for your psyche and physical health.

If you or a loved one have a physical or mental disability, and you’d like some assistance around your home with medical, or non-medical services, Phoenix home care professionals are available to come to your home whenever you need someone, and even offer an emergency, on-call nurse 24/7. You never have to be alone, or do things on your own again. There are several medical and non-medical services that an in-home caregiver may provide, depending upon your own personal needs.

Hiring a caregiver can make your life better, and this year better than ever in a variety of ways, for a variety of people.

If you’ve been taking care of a family member or loved one who is ill, you may simply need a break from the caretaking so that you can focus on you, and better be there for your loved one as a companion who is refreshed, and accomplishing all they wish to get done and become this year.

If you’re having medical difficulties, a caregiver can give you the relief of getting the things done that you need done in order to live a fully functioning and enriched life. You may even want to give your loved one a break if you’ve been under the care of a family member or spouse, and give each other space so that when you are together again, your relationship will be back to a state of normalcy, and you may even be able to find a new, enriching way of spending time together that isn’t based upon need.

If you simply feel like you could use an extra hand around the house because you’d rather focus your attention elsewhere, a caregiver could come and help in a variety of non-medical ways also. You could even have one caregiver helping with medical needs, and another with the non-medical needs. Non-medical needs include driving, shopping, errands, meal-planning, cooking, cleaning, companionship, tucking one in at night, helping someone with childcare, or special needs children, and even help with grooming and personal care. These are often the things that relatives become burnt out with when they are doing everything on their own every day. You don’t have to do it on your own anymore. There are Phoenix home health care professionals available to help 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.


5 Non-Medical Homecare Services for the Holiday Season

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The holidays are officially in full swing and that means that we often have far more work to do than we can realistically accomplish on our own. From holiday party planning, visits with friends and family, and all of the household chores and maintenance that come with this time of year, it’s often helpful to have an extra hand for you or a loved one you take care of this time of year. This is something a good Phoenix home health care provider could accomplish for you in accordance with your own schedule.

A trained professional caregiver could not only help provide medical care for a loved one this holiday, but there are also several non-medical services available to you as well. In terms of Phoenix home care, you could hire out, or outsource a variety of tasks this year. Such non-medical services provided by such a caregiver include:

  • Personal care assistance: This involves the basic tasks of personal grooming and care such as:
    • Bathing
    • Hair care
    • Helping one to dress
    • Shaving
    • Skin care
    • Helping one to the toilet
    • Reminding or administering medications
    • Feeding
    • Nail care

 

  • Homemaker tasks: These include household chores and duties such as:
    • Light cleaning and housekeeping
    • Meal planning and prep
    • Dusting
    • Vacuuming and mopping floors
    • Doing the laundry
    • Dishwashing
    • Running errands
    • Grocery shopping
    • Making the bed
    • Changing bed linens

 

  • Miscellaneous services: These are various tasks you may not have time to complete this time of year such as:
    • Care after a surgery for yourself or a loved one
    • Child care for when you little one becomes ill
    • Newborn care
    • Companionship
    • Wake up calls
    • Tucking you, or a loved one, in at night
    • Driving you or a loved one to appointments and such
    • Live-in caregiver services

 

Regardless of your level of need this holiday season, you are welcome to give MD Home Health/Home Assist a call for a free consultation. We will come to your home and sit down with you to develop a package and schedule of services that is perfect for your needs. You don’t have to do everything alone this year. Help is available and you owe it to yourself to take advantage of it.

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.


Five Reasons to Take a Daily Walk This Fall

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In recent years, a great deal of scientific research has focused on the benefits of walking and how it can be highly advantageous to your health and well-being. There are lots of reasons why you should get up off your chair, and get outside to enjoy the crisp autumn air, while you take a stroll around the neighborhood. Some of those reasons are listed below.

Sitting is bad for you

The very first reason to consider about why you should take a walk this fall is because of what might happen if you don’t. Scientific research has uncovered a whole slew of health issues that result from sitting all day and being largely sedentary, including all sorts of problems with your legs, feet and ankles. So the very first reason for you to get up and take a good walk this fall is to simply eliminate that whole catalog of health problems that might befall you, if you simply take up residence on the couch.

Enjoy reflective time

Regular walking has been shown to be a powerful anti-anxiety activity which has a calming effect on the walker. Most people don’t realize this, but the simple sounds of nature do indeed have a soothing effect on humans. For instance the singing of birds, the buzzing of bees, and a softly falling rain or a babbling brook, all have subtle but powerful influences on the human psyche.

In addition, taking a walk can encourage creative and reflective thinking, and this notion is supported by a Stanford News study indicating that the creativity demonstrated by participants increased by 60% when people were walking, as opposed to those sitting.

Achieve balance in your life

Long walks throughout the neighborhood or the countryside yield even more results than calmness and creativity. It has been found that when anxious, stressed-out individuals settle into a program of regular walking, it can also provide a great opportunity to gain perspective, and to achieve a better balance in your life.

When the mind becomes more settled and more relaxed through a regular program of walking, it allows much greater opportunity for self-discovery and self-examination. This kind of reflection gives people more of a ‘big picture’ look at the important aspects of their lives.

Reduced risk of glaucoma

Walking can help to reduce pressure within your eyes, and it has been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with glaucoma, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. In addition to helping prevent the onset of any of these health problems, walking can be at least somewhat effective in treating the condition once you are ready have it.

Improved balance

Because you’re not always walking on smooth surfaces, the activity of walking can help to improve your balance, and this is something everyone can benefit by. When you have to walk on uneven surfaces like trails, paths, and sandy or gravelly walkways, those steps activate muscles throughout the body which work to stabilize you as you proceed. Over time, this acts to build up your balance so that you become more accommodated to uneven terrain and household obstacles.

In-home assistance experts

MD Home Health is a Phoenix home care company offering in-home assistance for persons temporarily or permanently disabled, and which provides care for loved ones as though they were family. 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 through our Phoenix home health care services. If someone in your household needs a companion, personal care, home-making, or supportive services, call us at MD Home Health.

 

 


5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

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Depressed or sad woman walking down a barren path in winter

The holiday season is popularly depicted as a time full of light and joy…but beneath that attractive surface, many people are plagued with stress and sadness. Whether they come from family troubles, unpleasant memories, or the anxiety of always having something to do and somewhere to be, these seasonal doldrums are something almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives. Use these five ways to beat the holiday blues and make it to January with your head held high.

1. Take time to breathe.

If your life during the holidays seems like a whirlwind of activity, those conditions are basically a pressure cooker of stress. Try to keep everything in perspective: the world won’t stop turning if you take fifteen minutes every morning or afternoon to stop and relax. Learn some gentle yoga moves or practice mindful breathing to help yourself feel centered and calm.

2. Don’t neglect physical activity.

Too many people wait until their New Year’s resolutions kick in before they hit the gym. But why miss out on all those positive exercise endorphins during the month when you probably need them the most? You don’t need to bench press 200 pounds or run a marathon, but raising your heartbeat for 30 minutes a day will help you feel better in both body and mind.

3. If things go wrong, do your best to let them go.

A gift doesn’t ship in time for Christmas? Family drama gets out of hand? First batch of decorated cookies burn? It’s just life. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into resentment or frustration over any of it. Being intentional about maintaining a good attitude is one of the most important things you can do to beat the holiday blues.

4. Take nutritional supplements.

The same hormonal imbalances that cause Seasonal Affective Disorder can rear their heads during the holidays. Fortunately, there are plenty of vitamins and herbs that can help perk up your mood. Take vitamin D supplements to make up for the wintertime reduction in sun exposure, B vitamins, and fish oil. Many people report that St. John’s Wort has a positive impact on depressive moods when taken regularly, and valerian root can mitigate anxiety.

5. Don’t isolate yourself

Even if you feel like crawling into bed and hibernating all winter, isolation can end up making you feel even worse. Whether that means meeting up with friends, having a trained home companion, participating in a candlelight service or holiday event, or unburdening yourself to a therapist, spending time with people you trust can have a major effect on well being.

No matter which holiday ailments may plague you this season, remember that it’s well within your power to beat the holiday blues. Just remember, it’ll all be over soon, so do your best to enjoy it while you can. Should you need some extra help or companionship around your home this season, we’re just a phone call away.

 


Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover

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Post Surgical Care

Having to undergo a major surgical procedure is one of the most stressful and frightening experiences in a person’s life, but helping a loved one recover from surgery can be equally taxing. The hard work may be technically over once the surgery is deemed a success, but it can take a long time for one’s body to heal even after the most routine surgeries. This can be especially troublesome when helping senior citizens recover from a procedure; even the highest quality Phoenix home health care doesn’t eliminate the risk of serious complications in an elderly family member.

Helping someone you love recover from a major surgery can indeed be difficult, but with the proper education and a lot of patience, you can still help administer home care during a loved one’s recovery period. Here are a few tips that will help you with that.

Educate Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help a loved one recover from a surgery or illness is to educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what they have gone through and what they can expect as they heal. It’s entirely possible that they will recover on their own after a few days or weeks of rest, but major procedures may require you or a caregiver to change wound dressing, administer medications or assist the patient in their daily routine. A good Phoenix home health care service will be able to give you the advice you need, but the best source of information is always the patient’s doctor. Ask about anything you think you might need to know; there is no such thing as being too informed.

Have a Caregiver Present at All Times

This piece of advice mostly applies to those recovering from a serious medical procedure, but it’s always a good idea to have a caregiver on hand as often as possible. This caregiver could be you, but it could also be a home health aide or nurse hired for the patient. This is particularly important for elderly patients since they will require a higher level of care than a younger patient.

Encourage Independence

Even though it is important to have a caregiver present at all times, you should still encourage your loved one to regain their independence as much as possible. This may not be possible during the first few days after the surgery, but over time they should be able to do most or all of the things that they used to do before undergoing surgery. 

Caring for a loved one as they recover from surgery is emotionally taxing for many people, but there are always resources available to you. If you would like to learn more about home health care in Phoenix and gain and extra hand so you can best serve your loved ones, feel free to give us a call.


When Should I Retire from Driving?

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Driving is considered a sign of independence and freedom in our society. Getting a driver’s license is seen as a rite of passage, and a person’s schedule is often dictated on whether or not they can drive. Most people want to be able to drive for as long as they live, but this may not always be an option as we age.

Elderly drivers don’t always have the greatest reputations on the road, even though they may not technically be as dangerous as teenage drivers or drunk drivers. Nevertheless, approximately 14 million people report being involved in auto accidents caused by elderly drivers in the past year. These accidents can be attributed to vision and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, dementia and other health conditions commonly associated with aging. Clearly not all senior drivers will experience these conditions; many people age gracefully and do not lose any of their driving abilities, yet it’s still important to look for these signs that it’s time to retire a driver’s license.

Frequent Close Calls

If you’ve noticed an increase in near crashes recently, it may be time for you or your loved one to give up driving. This is especially true if these close calls are due to an inattentive driver. It’s best to quit before a near miss becomes a potentially deadly crash.

Dings or Dents on a Car

Small dents or scratches in a car could be the result of a rude drivers in a parking lot, but they can also be caused by minor accidents. If you have an elderly driver in your family, check to see if their vehicle has any new scratches or dents.

Getting Lost

Everyone gets lost while they’re driving once in a while, but a senior driver who doesn’t know where they are frequently may be showing early signs of dementia, and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Limited Mobility

People lose mobility as they age, and that can affect their ability to drive. An senior who has trouble turning their head or moving from the gas pedal to the brake is definitely a liability on the road.

Limited Visibility

Being able to see is essential when it comes to driving. Drivers must be able to read road signs, judge distances between vehicles and stop quickly if they notice something on the road in front of them. Aging can affect a person’s vision, so all elderly drivers should have their eyes checked every year if they want to keep driving safely.

Care for the Elderly who Cannot Drive

Losing the ability to drive can come as a devastating blow, but a senior can still live a full life, even if they need to retire from the road. Many home health care services provide transportation for their clients so they can make it to their appointments and meet their other obligations. Companies providing home care may also provide counseling services for those who feel like they’re losing their independence by not driving.

As our population ages, we will have more senior drivers on the road, and more people finding that their age prevents them from driving. For more information on this and other aspects of home care in Phoenix, visit the MD Home Health/Home Assist website.


5 Ways to Keep your Cool While Caring for your Spouse

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Anyone who finds themselves suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for an ailing spouse can be overwhelmed by the constant attention and care necessary on a daily basis in caring for your mate. This is particularly true for disabled spouses who can do little or nothing for themselves, and require help for even basic functions like washing, eating, and bathroom needs.

In such cases, it often happens that the care-giving spouse has little or no time to himself or herself, and this can quickly lead to frustration, resentment, and over a period of time, even burnout. Before that stage is reached, it is advisable to build practices into the daily routine that can be used to maintain sanity – after all, a burned-out care-giver can’t really be much help to anyone.

Try to maintain a positive attitude

An upbeat attitude for yourself and the person you’re caring for are of utmost importance. While this is admittedly difficult to maintain, even under stress-free circumstances, it is something that should be adopted to the greatest extent possible to prevent an overall negative attitude from creeping in when caring for your loved one.

Include down time

Taking time out for yourself is extremely important, even if this only amounts to a few minutes each day. There are always times this can be scheduled, for instance when your spouse takes a nap, or is engaged watching television or reading a book. When it does happen, use this time to best advantage – clear your head and think about anything else but care-giving. Some possibilities might be taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or even meditating.

Get help from friends and relatives

Soliciting help from friends and relatives is nothing to be embarrassed about, and is a wise strategy for helping to avoid fatigue in caring for your spouse. Perhaps on specific days sons, daughters, or others can assist in care-giving to lessen your personal burden. Lacking any of these options, support groups may be another possibility for providing at least temporary assistance, and a broadening of the support network.

Take care of yourself too

Never allow your own health to suffer while you are tending to the health of your spouse. This means making sure your diet is a healthy one, that you get enough exercise to stay healthy and reduce stress, and that you sleep well at night so you don’t start the next day frazzled.

Emotional closeness

Try to remain receptive to emotional intimacy when caring for your spouse, since that might be one of their greatest needs. Think about which aspects of daily care cause you to be frustrated, indifferent, or even angry, and recognize them for the emotional triggers they are. Manage these so they don’t interfere with care-giving, and so that you can maintain a positive relationship with your loved one.

Home care in Phoenix

Providing constant care for a loved one is not easy, but it doesn’t have to signal the end of your own active, personal life. Home health care in Phoenix is here if you’re in need of any extra assistance, even if for those tasks that trigger the Hulk inside you. We provide a variety of non-medical and medical services which can be combined into a custom care plan for you. Give us a call, and we can send someone to your home for a free consultation. In the meantime, check out the caring.com wellness center.


Managing the Struggles of Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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Male care assistant reading senior woman book

 

Caring for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s can be exceedingly difficult.  With Alzheimer’s disease, something as simple as daily communication can be made into a frustrating and stressful task. Alzheimer’s patients often struggle to find the right words, are prone to losing their train of thought, and may even forget what simple words mean. This can create frustrating situations for both the Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver.

Even More Problems

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients will have less functional brains over time. The end result is that every Alzheimer’s patient will have good days and bad days as their behavior changes with the passage of time. This means they may misunderstand the things they see and hear, be prone to anger, wander or get lost while leaving their home, and lose interest in things that once captivated them. They may also come to feel anxiety about traveling, become confused with even the slightest change in their daily routine, and be overwhelmed by day-to-day activities.

Required Care

Consequently, Alzheimer’s patients will need assistance with essential personal care like dressing, bathing, feeding, and taking regular medication. They may also require help with regular housekeeping like doing laundry, preparing meals, carrying out general errands, and keeping things tidy. Unless these issues are handled correctly, Alzheimer’s patients may turn to abuse drugs like alcohol and caffeine, they may start losing sleep which can lead to serious health problems, and they may fall prey to a variety of different illnesses.

Providing Care

Whenever communicating with someone who suffers  from Alzheimer’s, it’s important to try to state your intentions as simply as possible. Try asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, while providing step-by-step instructions whenever possible. One might also consider simplifying communication. For instance, rather than asking “how are you?” try asking “would you like to eat?” This simplification can make communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient far more effective.

Adjusting to behavioral changes can be accommodated with a similar approach. If your loved one starts to lose sleep, consider implementing a bedtime routine or planning energetic activities during the day. If they start pacing around their home, be sure that they’re wearing comfortable shoes and have a safe area to walk. Your care should be reactionary and supportive to the types of behaviors that they develop.

Phoenix Home Health Care

Providing this kind of care can be difficult, particularly for anyone who lacks experience working with Alzheimer’s patients. That’s why MD Home Health supplies the most trustworthy and qualified caregivers available, screened for their expertise and reliability alike. By choosing from only the more reliable and proven homecare providers in Phoenix, you can rest assured that your loved one will have the best possible care available to them. MD Home Assist care can help provide all the necessary care required to look after an Alzheimer’s patient, ensuring their well-being on good days and bad days alike. If you’d need a hand providing homecare in the Phoenix area, get in touch with MD Home Health today, and get the peace of mind you deserve. For more tips on managing the struggles of caregiving, and maintaining good self-care visit the Caregiver Wellness Solution Center.