Senior Health Care

Practical Tips For Finding The Right Doctor For Your Aging Parent

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

Insurance coverage

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

The right G.P.

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

Identifying replacement specialists

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

Don’t forget the office staff

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

MD Home Health and MD Home Assist

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

 


How exercise may help with slow Parkinson’s

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A new study published in JAMA Neurology this week has the potential to dramatically impact one aspect of senior health care: Parkinson’s disease. Clinical trials showed that those who have been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease may be able to dramatically reduce its progression through strenuous treadmill exercise. Alternatively, less strenuous exercise for those who have Parkinson’s does not stop its progression.

Parkinson’s Disease and Its Challenges

Parkinson’s disease, a progressively degenerative neurological disease involving motor control problems, so exercise can be potentially dangerous. Though the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be controlled by medication, it is currently incurable, and the drugs used to manage the disease eventually lose their efficacy over time.

How exercise may help with slow Parkinson's

Because medications will ultimately fail patients, researchers have been looking for new solutions in symptom management, with exercise being one of the treatment options. What’s promising about these findings is that if Parkinson’s is caught early enough, and exercise is used as an intervention in Parkinson’s beginning stages, the disease may not only be slowed down significantly and delay the use of medication, but exercise may change the trajectory of the disease altogether, postponing the worst symptoms.

Studying Exercise as a Treatment Option in Clinical Trials

Researchers from institutions such as Northwestern University and the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus investigated whether exercise would be a viable treatment option for Parkinson’s. Although there were animal studies which have shown the results of exercise on Parkinson’s in rodents—a reduction in symptoms and a delay in physical deterioration—those results were not yet shown in humans.

Other forms of exercise and physical activity, including cycling, dancing, and boxing, may have shown promise to help those who are suffering from Parkinson’s, but the studies had inconsistent results as well as used multiple kinds of exercise instead of measuring and comparing specific exercises.

And that’s what this study did in a Phase II clinical trial, using exercise as a treatment in comparison to medication, measuring the efficacy and safety of exercise in different doses. In this study, the researchers recruited 128 women and men with Parkinson’s diagnoses within the last five years. No one had been exercising regularly nor had they been taking medication for Parkinson’s symptoms.

It’s worth noting that the study was not designed to show the effectiveness of intense exercise in comparison to moderate exercise. But what has been surmised from this study is that strenuous exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn slows brain deterioration and boosts overall brain health.

What’s needed now is Phase III clinical trials to test this hypothesis out. But while that study is being organized, a high-intensity exercise routine may be something for those who have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed, consult with your physician first before embarking on any exercise routine.

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.


How to age gracefully

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Aging doesn’t have to be something to dread or fear.  Although our bodies and minds do change over time, you can age with grace and have some fun while you’re at it. Here are a few tips to stay forever young and to improve your health care.

Live Well

This may go without saying, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one surefire way to age well.

This involves avoiding unhealthy habits such as excessive salt, sun exposure, and watching television, any smoking, and drinking too much.

This also involves embracing healthy habits such as regular exercise, keeping your blood pressure on target, getting enough rest every night, and maintaining a healthy weight and cholesterol levels.

Stress can age you prematurely, so try to keep stressors at bay through self-care practices such as exercise meditation and seeking support from a mental health counselor or psychologist.

How to age gracefully

Give Your Brain a Workout

Keep your mind agile with brain games such as crossword puzzles. Even if you or a loved is in their 70s or 80s, taking up mentally-stimulating activities can slow and reverse the mental declines that typically come with aging.

It’s not just puzzles that can keep a brain fit. Believe it or not, blogging can be helpful. Sharing your life experience and the wisdom you’ve gained in a blog can help you with both active and passive thinking.

Soak Up the Sun

Although increased skin exposure to the sun will increase your chances for skin cancer, you don’t have to be out for long to get the vitamin D that your body naturally creates through the sun.

Vitamin D is good for strong and healthy bones, but it also helps your immune system, increases calcium absorption, regulates the growth of cells, and protects from certain cancers, bone diseases, and diabetes.

It can be easy to get your daily dose of vitamin D (400 IUs) from a supplement, or from fatty fish, fortified milk, and eggs. But it you can typically get a day’s worth of vitamin D from spending just 20 minutes day outside.

Note: the more melanin you have, the longer you will need to be outside–but even getting outside every day for some needed fresh air can do wonders for your health and mood.

Fill Up on Folate

Folic acid isn’t just for pregnant women. Studies have shown that low levels of folate can increase your risk of diseases such as depression and dementia.

You can get folate quite easy from your diet by adding beans, dried peas, citrus juices and fruits, and green, leafy vegetables.

If you’re not sure if you have low folic acid levels, some symptoms include forgetfulness, headaches, digestive issues, and irritability.

Stay Positive

You know how the saying goes, “You’re only as young as you feel.” If you’re dreading aging, then that’s what you can easily focus on. Studies have shown that what can better predict how healthily you age is your resiliency, your attitude, and your stress response—more than disability or physical disease. Even in the dark clouds of your challenges, you can find a silver lining.

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