senior care

Festive Holiday Activities For Seniors And Caregivers

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

Holiday times are all about being together and having fun with family members, even if your senior loved ones may have physical limitations or some level of cognitive impairment. The activities you plan with your senior loved ones don’t even need to be very special, because it’s the togetherness aspect which matters most to them and to yourself. With that in mind, here are a number of activities which can be shared with seniors and their caregivers.

Make a gingerbread house  

This is a wonderful holiday activity to involve your parents with, and it can either be done completely from scratch, or from one of the many kits which are available in holiday stores. It can be great fun to bake the gingerbread, add on the frosting, and then decorate the house with all kinds of candies. When you’re done, you’ll have something that your parents can be proud of, and which can be displayed right along with all the other household decorations.

Create a snowman

A holiday snowman can be a perfect touch for indoor decorations, and it can be placed almost anywhere after you’ve finished working on it. The beauty of making a snowman with your elderly loved one is that you can literally use almost any materials to get the job done. You can purchase a ready-made kit from a seasonal store, or you can purchase some foam balls, and use buttons for the eyes and nose. A craft shop will be a good place to pick up a little hat and broom, or you can use materials from around the house.

Bake holiday cookies

Everyone loves holiday cookies, and just about everyone loves being involved with making them. Your parents will too, because they will love to create something that is appreciated by guests and household members alike, and holiday baking is a tradition that your parents most likely participated in themselves when they were younger. Carry on that tradition with some tasty treats that will put everyone in the right mood for the holidays.

Make a holiday centerpiece

Every holiday dinner table needs a centerpiece to focus on, and involving your senior loved ones in making that centerpiece will give them a wonderful sense of participating in the holiday preparations. Your centerpiece might be an elaborate flower arrangement, or it could be a Christmas-themed display, such as Santa and his reindeer. Regardless of the subject though, your parents will feel great about having contributed to the festivities by helping with the centerpiece.

Sharing holiday memories

One of the nicest things you can do with your elderly loved ones would be to sit with them at some point during the season, and just go through old photo albums to reminisce about times which have gone by. Almost everyone is genuinely touched when recalling the happy times of the past, and what things were like during those days. Enhance the memory-sharing with a tea party and cookies to make it a special event that your parents will absolutely love, and which will likely be one of the highlights of the season for them.

Phoenix home health needs

Take all the stress away from the holidays by contacting MD Home Health, your Phoenix caregivers who provide full service caring for seniors and disabled persons. We do it all, so that you can enjoy the holidays more, and so that your senior loved ones can also get the most out of the holiday season.


Meal Ideas For Seniors That Will Help You Plan For 2019

mdhomehealthadmin Healthy Eating Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most seniors experience a decline in appetite as they age, so it’s often hard to make sure they’re getting enough nutrition in their diets. As the daughter of a senior loved one, you’ve probably worried about this in the past, especially given the fact that you have to balance your own family life and work schedule in the mix every day as well. To be sure that your elderly parent is eating healthy, the following meal suggestions are offered, to carry you into the holidays and beyond.

Breakfast ideas  

A great way to begin a holiday morning for your parent would be to make him/her some whole grain waffles or pancakes. Add a pat of butter and some blueberries on top, and for extra protein, include a handful of walnuts on the side.

Another good breakfast alternative is a good yogurt parfait, which includes yogurt, nuts, and fruit. This is a great combination of healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates, and Vitamin C.

A third option for breakfast is making one or two hard-boiled eggs, and serving them with whole grain toast and some fresh fruit. This is a well-rounded meal that’s light and loaded with nutrition.

Lunch options

One great lunchtime idea is a Southwest omelette, made with two eggs, chunks of pepper jack cheese, and a little chili sauce or salsa. Put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your frying pan, then add in the eggs, and as soon as they begin to firm up, you can add in the other ingredients. Fold over when cooked, and serve piping hot.

Eggs and red potatoes are a good choice for a quick lunch full of nutrition. Put a pat of butter into your frying pan, chop up some potatoes into the pan, and add scrambled eggs after the potatoes have cooked for five minutes. Season with pepper, herbs, and spices, but try to avoid using salt.

At holiday time, your elderly parent will love a quinoa salad, made with chopped up stir-fry vegetables, mushrooms, red pepper, and onions. Combine these with cooked quinoa and either pine nuts or pecans, and add a fresh Italian dressing.

Dinner meals

One great holiday option would be to prepare a grilled salmon steak. Top the salmon steak with sweet onion, tomatoes, one tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic, and fresh basil. Wrap up the entire fish mixture tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

For a great-tasting shrimp and pasta meal, begin by putting a pat of butter in your frying pan, along with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add in some garlic, chopped fresh herbs, and one or two handfuls of shrimp. Toss the ingredients together, and cook them all until the shrimp is done, then place all ingredients over a bed of pasta, and top with tomatoes.

Southwest chicken salad is a great tasty meal that is simple to prepare, starting with cutting up a boneless, skinless chicken breast into your frying pan, along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salsa when the chicken is cooked, and serve warm to your appreciative loved one.

Need senior care for 2019?

If you’ll need care for your senior loved one in 2019, contact MD Home Health, the Phoenix Home Health organization which provides the very best caregiving for your elderly parents. We can customize a care plan for your loved one, based entirely on their needs and on your budget, so call us to get the process started today.


Fun Fall Activities For Seniors And Caregivers

mdhomehealthadmin Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most seniors living at home are only too glad to be involved with a worthwhile activity that makes them feel productive, and which also creates something worthy of admiration. There are tons of fall activities that seniors and their caregivers can do together, and both persons will benefit from having undertaken them. For starters, the five activities described below should help kindle some ideas in your head, but there are hundreds more that can be extremely enjoyable for seniors and their caregivers.

  1. Pumpkin picking and carving

Almost any community you visit in Arizona has a Pumpkin Festival somewhere around this time of year, so you won’t have any trouble finding an event to attend. There are at least half a dozen in the greater Phoenix area alone, and most of them have lots of activities for you and your caregiver to participate in, so as to catch the Halloween Spirit.

  1. Make fall decorations with your loved one

Spending quality time with friends and caretakers is always a rewarding activity, and in the busy world of the 21st century, it seems that there is less and less time for these kinds of rewarding sessions. Fall is a great time to gather up some gourds and corn stalks and create a fascinating porch display that exudes country living. You might want to just cut out some typical fall decorations from construction paper, and hang your pumpkins, leaves, and maize cutouts all around the house, for a great seasonal dress-up.

  1. Outdoor activities

With the weather cooling off a bit, it’s more conducive to taking a stroll through parks and gardens, to appreciate the beauty of nature, and to relax for a while outdoors before returning to the less expansive world inside the home. There are also lots of fall festivals you can attend, such as the Oktoberfest celebrations at Overgaard and Mt. Lemon, the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, and the Music & Art Festival in Patagonia, AZ.

  1. Go to a football game

Football season has just begun, and now is the best time to go see an Arizona Cardinals game at the University of Phoenix Stadium. All teams are still in the running for making the playoffs, and the weather is great for watching a game at the stadium. You might go with friends and enjoy a parking lot tailgate party, or just have some traditional stadium foods and beverages to enhance your appreciation of the event. While you’re there, make sure to purchase a Cardinals souvenir as a reminder of your day at the stadium, and who knows? – You may even see a very interesting football game.

  1. Make fun holiday/fall treats

When the weather cools off, it’s more fun to get involved with preparing fun fall treats, and special baked goods for the holidays. Cookies are a favorite treat for most people, both young and old, and some pumpkin-shaped cookies are not only great expressions of the coming season, but are a very enjoyable snack to have with some cider or coffee. Apple or pumpkin pies are loved by practically everyone, a flavorful squash soup will satisfy the hearty appetites in your household, and for a really special holiday treat, you could make a Christmas-tree shaped breadsticks-wrapped-in-spinach gourmet treat. If you run out of ideas, there are literally thousands online for you to choose from.

In need of home care services?

There are definitely a number of home health care organizations in Arizona which you might choose for your own home care, but to be sure of having the most professional care, customized to your own specific needs, you should trust MD Home Health. Contact us at MD Home Health with any questions you might have about caregivers, or to schedule an interview for home care.

 


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

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

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 

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.


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.


The Best Spring-time Activities in the Phoenix Area

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

As much as you’ve been looking forward to springtime, there might be an elderly loved one in the family who is even more anxious for the arrival of the season. Of course, Phoenix-area residents aren’t usually obliged to hibernate through winter as people in the Northeast might, but the refreshing cooler atmosphere of spring is still one of the best times to get outdoors and enjoy the benefits of the season.

AZ home health caregivers have many options for spring-time activities which are appropriate for seniors, and which are sure to be much appreciated. Participating in such events can be an important part of Phoenix home health, and the professionals at MD Home Health and MD Home Assist heartily recommend that as a caregiver, you take advantage of these opportunities to enhance your elderly loved one’s quality of life.

Opportunities in April

Springtime means baseball among other things, and that means the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball are back in uniform, and welcoming fans to the ballpark. This can be a wonderful afternoon or evening of relaxing at the stadium, and enjoying the action on the field, as well as indulging in an old-fashioned ballpark feast of hot dogs and french fries. There are an incredible 182 parks in the area surrounding Glendale-Scottsdale-Phoenix-Tempe, so several of those are surely accessible for everyone, and will provide a memorable experience, whether walking or driving through.

Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Performance entertainment – you can enjoy the Gilbert Downtown Concert on April 26th, or the International Jazz Day Festival on April 18th at the Mesa Arts Center.
  • Sporting events – besides professional baseball, you might enjoy the all-girl Roller Derby Championship on April 21st, or the Glendale Family Bike Ride on April 22nd.
  • Nature events – in addition to all the available park experiences, a good idea to promote AZ health care for your senior loved one might include a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden.
  • Cultural – the ‘Embracing Your Journey Expo’ is held on April 22nd in Phoenix, and it’s all about holistic wellness, alternative health services, and other aspects of Arizona health care.


Opportunities in May

Before the heat of summer arrives, you can still take advantage of some May activities planned for the Phoenix area. Here is a sampling, which might include something that tickles your fancy:

  • Musical – on May 3rd, the Rancho Solano Prep School will do a presentation of the very popular musical ‘Grease’, a fun-filled recollection of a bygone era that just might appeal to your senior loved one.
  • Dance – on May 4th, the Pacifico Dance Company will be at the Chandler Center for the Arts to thrill audiences with their talent, grace, and imaginative choreography. If your favorite senior still enjoys some dancing of their own, you might enjoy East Coast Swing Night at the Fatcat Ballroom on May 29th.
  • Classics – a presentation of Victor Hugo’s famed Les Miserables will be staged on May 15th at the Gammage Auditorium.


Stay at Home Ideas

Of course, you don’t really have to venture out into the city or anywhere else to enjoy the delights of the spring season. Home health care can be very therapeutic just by volunteering to help your elderly loved one with spring garden preparation, choosing which plants and flowers to grow, and helping to get things established. After you’ve enjoyed some time outdoors, why not try something totally new inside as well? Discovering and preparing a brand new recipe can be a very satisfying way of spending some quality time with your senior, and celebrating the fresh beginnings of springtime.

Phoenix health care professionals have the same goals for seniors as do caregivers for private home health care – to keep them engaged, active, and physically and mentally fit. 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.