Caregivers

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

20 Caregiver Quotes That Will Inspire You


Caring for others is thought to be at the very summit of human emotion, and why the practice of caring elevates each of us to a place above our ordinary existence. While caring for a loved one is rewarding and Read more

What to do When Seniors Stop Eating


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 Read more

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

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

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.


20 Caregiver Quotes That Will Inspire You

mdhomehealthadmin Inspiration Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Caring for others is thought to be at the very summit of human emotion, and why the practice of caring elevates each of us to a place above our ordinary existence. While caring for a loved one is rewarding and life-affirming, it can also be a trying time. Sometimes we need a little inspiration to get us through those difficult days. We compiled 20 inspirational caregiver quotes that we hope inspire you.

The Quotes

  1. “Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” ― Tia Walker, from The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love
  2. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” — Mother Teresa
  4. “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. —Michael J. Fox, actor
  5. “The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” – Carson McCullers
  6. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
  7. “The simple act of caring is HEROIC.” – Edward Albert
  8. “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” — Mason Cooley
  9. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
  10. “Although the days are busy and the workload is always growing, there are still those special moments when someone says or does something and you know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. That’s why I became a nurse.” — Diane McKenty
  11. “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” – Tia Walker
  12. “No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” – Lee Iacocca
  13. “Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana
  14. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
  15. “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn
  16. “Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy.” — Chogyam Trungpa
  17. “Be determined to handle any challenge in a way that will make you grow.” — Les Brown
  18. “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” — Emory Austin
  19. “God gave burdens; he also gave shoulders.” — Yiddish Proverb
  20. “No matter what the relationship was between the parent and child—whatever it was—this is going to be extremely challenging because it is not logical. There’s no way to deal with it rationally or directly. You don’t reason it out. What I’ve said to so many people is: we always must lead with our love.” ― Dr. Stephen Hoag

Inspired professionals at MD Home Health

Arizona health care professionals have the kind of caring and compassion which is at the heart of each of the quotations above. When you want that kind of care for your senior loved one, contact the caregivers from MD Home Health, and provide the very finest in home health care to the persons in your life who mean so much to you.

 


10 Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Summer Heat

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Caregiver Information, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

mdhomehealthadmin Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.


Tips for Helping Seniors With Their Taxes  

mdhomehealthadmin Finances, Seasonal/Holiday Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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

Avoiding Tax Scams and Frauds

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

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

 

Helpful Resources

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

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


Phoenix Home Health and Tax Assistance

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

Taking care of an aging parent or loved one can be a stressful experience. But you do not have to endure it alone. We take senior health care very seriously, and as one of the top home health care companies in Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


Celebrate National Hobby Month

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

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

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

Participate in Sports

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

Become Involved as a Volunteer

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

Artistic Pursuits

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

Caring for a Pet

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


Taking Care When a Caregiver Isn’t There

MD Home Health Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

How Much Help Do Seniors Need to Live Independently?

Determining the Right Amount of Support

When it comes to the issue of elder care and taking care of our senior parents, we are unfortunately torn between two somewhat extreme decisions—1) they are fine living independently or 2) they require 24/7 support and care.

Taking Care When a Caregiver Isn’t There Send Bonus

What more likely is that there’s a spectrum of elder care needs that should be more flexible and accommodating to individuals. Respecting the need for independence while providing appropriate support is a tense balance that should be centered on safety. Knowing what the options are for senior care can help adult children and caregivers of seniors to make more informed decisions.

If you have an in-home assessment done by an AZ Home Health company, you may be surprised that your parents do not require in-home care or live-in caregiver—or, if they do, they require a lot less support than you may have initially thought.

What now fills in the gaps of having someone there full-time are technological advances such as home monitoring systems that can assist in medical emergencies such as falls, help with keeping people medication compliant through reminders, and with monitoring vital signs.

In-Home Monitoring Systems

If you’re concerned about leaving your parents all alone but want to support them in their independent living, then it may help to try an in-home monitoring system along with some in-home care. This could be especially helpful if your mom or dad is recovering from an injury or an illness. The main reason for this is that the risk for falls increases during recovery. In-home monitoring can also be helpful for elders who aren’t necessarily needing round-the-clock in-home care.

When you’re researching which in-home monitoring system will work for your parents, you should thoroughly research what each system is and is not capable of. The adage “you get what you pay for” applies here. The higher quality systems typically are more than just a call button and can adjust to whatever your parents specifically need.

Smart Monitoring Devices

There are other technology advances that can help older adult to be safe without the need of someone being in the home. Now there are smart stove alarms that will alert people if there’s a possibly dangerous situation in the kitchen. These devices go a step further than just a smoke detector, which detects when noxious gases are being emitted. They detect a potentially hazardous situation before smoke occurs.

Smart detection devices can also alert seniors of other air quality issues as well as water leaks. For example, there are smart bath monitors that monitor water levels in a tub, detecting when a bath tub could possibly overflow and then shutting off the water before it happens.

Remember the Clapper from the 80s that turned on and off lights? Well now, you don’t need to clap—you can just install motion-activated lights so seniors can still live independently without having to stumble in the dark. There are also smart doorbells that can provide video pictures of visitors so elders can determine if they should open their doors.

Contact MD Home Health Care Today!

Our Phoenix home health care professionals can assist you with more advice or any questions you may have about home health care. For more information about MD Home Health Care, our services, experience, or rates, please call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.


Seniors, Caregivers and the End of Daylight Savings Time

MD Home Health Active Living, Articles, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

Handling the End of Daylight Saving Time

When Daylight Saving Time ends, and we return to standard time, it’s a struggle for everyone as we try to adjust to earlier sunsets and earlier sunrises and less sunlight overall. It can be quite disorienting.

Seniors, Caregivers and the End of Daylight Savings Time Send Bonus

The Benefit of Routines

Anyone who thrives on routine will see their daily schedules be disrupted. With in-home caregiving, it is no different. Planning not only helps caregivers, but it helps elders to maintain their independence in a stable manner. As we grow older, we rely on the stability of our routines more and more. So switching to standard time can be disruptive.

Sundowning

Although there is the perceived benefit of getting that hour back that we gave up, for those who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, this switch back can increase the symptoms of sundowning. Also known as late-day confusion, people with this condition will become more confused and agitated in the late afternoon and evening. Usually this occurs with people have mid-stage to advanced dementia.

Making Some Adjustments

To help older people who experience sundowning, planning can help reduce this condition. Seniors can be eased into standard time before Daylight Saving Time ends by incrementally adjusting one’s routine along with the daylight hours.

Another way to help an older loved one’s circadian rhythms ease into standard time is to add small naps or some quiet time for several days after the switch is made.

Yet another method can be the use of medication or dietary supplements. Since seniors are usually taking some sort of medication already, it’s imperative that you consult with his or her doctor before adding any new medications or supplements to their regimen.

Studies have shown that light therapy can help with sundowning symptoms and adjusting one’s circadian rhythms. This involves using a full-spectrum fluorescent light about three feet away from your loved one for a couple of hours every morning. The Alzheimer’s Association also suggests to brighten the lights in the home whenever an elder is feeling agitated or confused. Light therapy can also help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Keeping active during the day is another way to help reduce the symptoms of sundowning. One trigger for late-day confusion is fatigue. Then if there’s too much sleeping or dozing during the day, then that can result in having trouble falling asleep when it’s bedtime. A walk in the park or cleaning some space in the home to dance are two examples of activities that can improve sleep quality as well as boost their physical health.

Other methods for adjusting to standard time include adjusting eating patterns (e.g., no heavy meals in the evening), reducing stress, making sure he or she feels comfortable and safe (e.g., a favorite shawl or blanket, family pictures), monitoring behavior, and finally–making sure that you as a caregiver are taking care of yourself.

Our Phoenix home health care professionals can assist you with more advice or any questions you may have about home health care. For more information about MD Home Health, our services, experience, or rates, please call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.