Caregiver Information

Animal Therapy Benefits for Hospice Care

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We have heard of therapy puppies and cats but never a therapy duck! Meet Webster, the mallard duck that wandered into Johnston’s WesleyLife as the new pet therapy volunteer. What is so interesting about Webster is that you can actually pet him! He even goes up on patient’s laps!

Webster is no ordinary duck though, and the best part about him is that he brings joys to different patients in many different ways. Based on the patient’s condition and their upbringing, Webster can reinvoke childhood memories for those that grew up in rural areas or connect to people that have never even socialized with ducks before. His low temperament and friendly demeanor definitely make him an ideal suitor for this particular business.

Animal Therapy Benefits for Hospice Care

Now, we know that patients that receive visitors and family socialization time seem to do better and sustain life longer than those that don’t, but have you ever actually read up on what animals can do for us? According to Huffington Post, “studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can offer immediate physiological and psychological benefits, including lowering blood pressure, stress and anxiety in many patient populations, including those in hospice, the elderly, and those with behavioral health issues.” Sometimes we just need that non-judgmental, unconditional loving that we feel we cannot receive from the human race and animals are just the ones to do it.   

For those that don’t have the capacity to take care of and love for animals on their own, this type of situation with Webster is the perfect solution because they can get the quality time they want without the responsibility. It is quite a common thing to see that Hospice Care and health facilities have an animal companion or sponsor to lift the spirits of their patients through some good old fashioned pet therapy.

Here is a sweet video clip of the wonderful Webster for all of you to enjoy!

View Video: Therapy duck waddles into the hearts of Iowa hospice patients

Phoenix home health care professionals can help you with more advice or questions you may have. 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.


March is National Nutrition Month

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March is National Nutrition Month, which is an education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme strives to help people manage their weight successfully and reduce their risk of chronic disease while promoting general health. Consuming fewer calories, getting daily exercise and making educated food choices are part of this year’s goals. There are many easy ways to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

Cut the Calories Without Going Hungry

 Cutting down on calories is an easy way to feel better and prevent unnecessary weight gain. There is more to reducing caloric intake than just simply  “eating less.” Making simple choices in what foods you eat is easier than depraving yourself from eating. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables over processed snacks and red meat is a healthy way to cut calories. Snacking on fruit before every meal is a great way to reduce cravings and eat more sensibly at meal time. Try an apple 15 minutes before lunch to curb a ravenous appetite.

Daily Exercise

 Daily exercise is important for a healthy cardiovascular system. Elevating your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes a day is a clinically researched way to promote heart health. If you are someone who needs home assistance, one of our processional caregivers would be glad to assist you with an exercise routine. Strengthening therapy is just one of many medical services provided by our Phoenix home health care professionals.

 Informed Decisions

 Making educated food choices is important to a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to know your body’s caloric and nutritional needs by talking to your doctor or a health care professional. Eating organic food is a great way to provide wholesome nutrition to your body without the risk of contamination from toxic pesticides. Eating a plant based diet is also a great way to cut down on calories and give your body the nutrition it needs. Cut down on processed and packaged foods and stick to the ones that can be found at local farmers’ market.

Cutting calories, daily exercise and making informed decisions when buying food are all stepping stones to a healthy lifestyle. The food we eat is directly connected to how we feel and the health of our bodies. Let this National Nutritional Month be an inspiration to start some new healthy habits. To find out more about our Phoenix home health services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


Why Fall Prevention is So Important

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February is National Senior Independence Month, and while many are doing their part in promoting healthy living, caregiving and exercise, it is equally important to stress the risk of falls, and to join in promoting fall prevention this month. According to the CDC, one out of every three adults age 65 and over falls each year. Falling is also the leading cause of accident related deaths for this age group. This makes falling one of the single highest threats to the independence of seniors. It is for this reason that we are going to dedicate an entire blog post to the topic of fall prevention this month; in spreading awareness, and helping prevent accidents, while promoting senior independence.

Important Statistics

According to the CDC, falling is a serious and costly issue facing those 65 and older, and their website has listed the following shocking statistics:

  • 1 of 5 falls causes a serious injury–broken bones or a head injury.
  • Over 300,000 seniors are hospitalized annually for hip fractures.
  • Nearly 3 million seniors are treated in the ER for injuries resulting from a fall.
  • Over 800,000 seniors are hospitalized yearly for fall injuries. Hip fractures and head injuries are the most common.
  • Over 95% of hip fractures are caused from falling, and usually onto one’s side.
  • The most common cause for traumatic brain injuries is falling.
  • The annual cost incurred from fall injuries is $31 billion. 2/3 of this results from hospital costs.

After a Fall

After a person falls, they are likely to suffer from broken bones. Common breaks from falling include wrists, arms, hips and ankles. They may also suffer a head injury. Head injuries can be serious, and medications such as blood thinners can make them even more dangerous. If a senior has hit their head, they should see a doctor immediately to rule out brain injury. Even if the senior has fallen and was lucky enough to escape serious injury, a fall can have debilitating mental effects that could cause the person to become fearful of falling again. This is likely to interfere with their normal daily routines, and cause them to become less active. Being less active is only going to increase their risk of a future fall more in the long run, so a good therapist may be essential after a loved one has experienced a fall.

Risk Factors

The Center for Disease Control has identified the following factors for increased risk of falling. Most falls are the result of a combination of risk factors, and the more factors someone has, the higher their risk of experiencing a fall.

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Weak lower body
  • Troubles walking or balancing
  • Foot pain, or poorly made footwear
  • Medications that affect one’s balance (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Home hazards
    • Uneven or broken steps
    • Lack of handrails next to stairs or in the bathroom
    • Throw rugs or clutter that one may trip over

Fall Prevention

The best way to help your loved one to prevent a fall is to evaluate their risk first in their home, and second with their medical doctor. You may want to ask a Phoenix home health care professional to evaluate your loved one’s home. You may even want to hire a Phoenix home care provider to visit the home of your loved one on a regular basis to clean, or assist them during daily tasks that open them up to greater risk for falling. Your doctor can help you find ways to reduce fall risk around the home, and you may want to review the medications your loved one is taking, and add a vitamin D supplement into their daily diet. The biggest factor in reducing the risk of falling is exercise. Tai Chi is great for helping increase lower body strength and balance.

For more information on preventing falls, 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.


5 Gifts Your Caregiver Will Love this Holiday

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The holidays are just a couple weeks away, and you may be wondering what to get your Phoenix home health caregiver. Well, you are in luck because we have 5 gift ideas that would be ideal for anyone in a helping profession.

It is imperative for caregivers to rejuvenate and recharge with some healthy self-care during their down time. The following gift ideas will that you truly appreciate the services your Phoenix health caregiver provides, while nudging them toward a bit of self-indulgent care for themselves this holiday season.

A Trip to the Spa

Nothing helps calm and relax a caregiver like a day, or even hour, at the spa. Whether it’s a facial, mud bath or a massage, your caregiver will have a chance to unwind, rejuvenate, and come back to work feeling better than ever. When your caregiver is feeling recharged, he/she will have more energy to put into helping you as well, so really sending them to a spa is a win-win for all.

A Vacation

Getting away and seeing a place or land one has never set foot on before can be one of the best ways to recharge and indulge in a bit of self-care. Perhaps your caregiver would like to spend a week touring pyramids, or even a mini-vacation for 2-3 days. Whatever your budget and schedule allows, your caregiver would likely enjoy some time away to gain some new perspective on life. Chances are that once they return home they will find that they appreciate their own surroundings a bit more as well, and they just might even miss you!

A Gym Membership

Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of yourself, and chances are your caregiver is so focused on caring for the needs of others, that they have let their own needs slide a bit. A gym membership is a great way to let your caregiver know that it is OK to take time away from helping others to focus on their own health and needs. Whether it’s a spinning class before or after work, or just a place they can go to do some cardio or lift weights on the weekends, your caregiver is sure to end up feeling more energized and capable of carrying out their duties once they begin to incorporate exercise into their weekly routine.

A Club Membership

Whatever indulgence it is that your caregiver fancies, there is likely to be a club out there designed just for them in this day in age. Whether it’s a wine club, a gourmet food club, or even just a Costco membership, this gift will show your caregiver that you care, while being practical in helping them save money on the things they love to buy most.

A Food Delivery Service

If your caregiver works many hours, they may not have much time to do things such as grocery shopping, cooking or feeding their beloved pets the healthy meals they wish that they could. All of this could be solved with a delivery service. Whether it’s specially prepared meals of a specific diet, healthy pet food delivery (yes, this really exists) or just a gift certificate for Chinese or pizza delivery, your caregiver will appreciate the time saved from preparing their own meals.

If you don’t have a caregiver to buy gift for but would like to, we’d be happy to remedy this 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.


How to Maximize Your Time With In-Home Care

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Home health care worker and a teenage girlHaving a home health care worker provide you with assistance can take a great deal of pressure off of your household. Whether you are considering a Phoenix home health care professional for help with a relative, to ease your load as a primary caregiver, or you require some assistance for yourself, you may be surprised to learn that such workers are equipped to perform a variety of non-medical tasks.

The Benefits of Remaining in the Home

In the last several years, various social service agencies, health care professionals, and non-profit organizations have determined that keeping people in their homes whenever possible is the ideal solution. When patients are able to receive health care at home, the prevailing thought is that they tend to be happier overall. That is why home care seems to be the overwhelming preference of innumerable individuals who require health care.

An Integrative Approach

In addition to needing home health care, countless people also benefit from receiving non-medical assistance in their homes. Getting personal care at home can be incredibly helpful for a wide range of clients. When a person who needs medical care can also get home care assistance with non-medical tasks, that person is being served on a variety of levels. This integrative approach to home care has become the ideal strategy for millions of people nationwide.

Providing Respite for Caregivers

Many individuals care for their relatives on a full-time basis – often in addition to working full- or part-time jobs, as well as caring for other family members. One of the best ways that a caregiver might maximize his or her time is to hire a home health care worker who can also provide non-medical services. This may lead to a significant decrease instress for both the primary caregiver and the person who is receiving medical and personal care.

How a Home Care Professional Can Help

In numerous cases, those who receive care and those who help them are unaware of the non-medical services available via home care professionals. A home care worker might provide a client with help making beds, doing the laundry, dusting, and other light housework duties. A personal care assistant could help a client with bathing, getting dressed, and even nail hygiene. Such a person could be available to remind a client to take medications when scheduled. An individual who is no longer able to cook may appreciate having someone come to the home to plan and prepare meals.

While people often assume home care workers assist only disabled or senior citizens, such a professional may be hired to assist other types of clients, as well. These clients may include new mothers, parents with sick children, people who have recently undergone surgery, and clients who need help getting from one place to another.

Whether you are a caregiver or a person who needs care, your time is valuable. A Phoenix home care professional can help you to make the most of your time. 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.


Eating Healthy by Season With the Help of a Phoenix Home Care Professional

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Eating Healthy by Season (Small)When you require assistance at home, you may benefit from a variety of non-medical services. These services might include help with basic housekeeping tasks, grocery shopping, and getting errands done. One of the most common needs that a Phoenix home care professional may fulfill is to assist a client with meal preparation.

Eating healthfully all year long is crucial to maintaining a state of good physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, the potential for developing a chronic disease increases as a result of unhealthy eating habits. If you hire a home care worker to help you with planning your meals, you may want to discuss a schedule of healthy meal plans for every season.

Why Eat According to the Season?

Eating fresh, healthy foods based on the season is a great way to support your overall health. When you consume local foods as much as possible, you are also supporting your community – which ultimately benefits everyone in the area. Cooking fresh, local foods enables you to enjoy a variety of highly nutritional items during every season.

Healthy Fall and Winter Recipes

Fall and winter offer an abundance of opportunities to create delicious, healthful meals. Some examples of fall and winter foods include cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, squash, and pumpkin. You and your home care worker might devise hundreds of meals based on healthy fall and winter recipes. Such recipes could include chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms, hearty pumpkin soup, and “pasta” made from squash (this can be easily created with an inexpensive kitchen gadget that spiralizes vegetables). Other recipes you might enjoy in the fall and winter months are roasted cauliflower, oatmeal blended with figs and ricotta cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Healthful Spring and Summer Fare

Springtime and summertime bring a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that may be savored via a wealth of nutritious recipes. The foods of the warmer months include strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, and zucchini. Recipe ideas might include whole-grain pasta topped with fresh spring vegetables (such as artichoke, asparagus, and even dandelion greens), green salad with tomatoes, and smoothies made with blackberries, raspberries, and fresh pineapple juice. If you have access to an indoor or outdoor grill and some assistance, you could grill chicken, eggplant, and zucchini, followed by slices of fresh mango sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.

Once you know how to plan healthy meals, eating foods that nourish you can be fun. Remember to buy organic foods whenever you have the opportunity; they may be more expensive than other options, but you won’t be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in many non-organic items. A Phoenix home health care professional may be able to advise you on making solid choices for seasonal eating. With a little help from a home care worker and some careful planning, you may indulge in the delicious possibilities that each season yields.

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 Ways to Brighten up the Holiday Season for your Loved Ones

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Woman hands in winter gloves Heart symbol shaped LifestyleWith the holiday season fast approaching, thoughts about loved ones become more and more prominent in people’s minds, and this is especially true of those family members who might require home nursing care or physical therapy. Of course in most cases, probably the most desired gift for a person in such circumstances would be to have family with them, sharing the season and enjoying the warmth of family ties.

But what about a Christmas present? It is often difficult to come up with a gift idea that really has meaning, and can truly brighten the holiday season. This being so, it makes more sense to consider ideas for Phoenix patients and loved ones that cost little or nothing, and are still truly appreciated.

A surprise ‘hair salon’ session

A female client or loved one might really appreciate a surprise session where she is pampered with an entirely new hairstyle, starting with a shampoo and finishing with a smiling face in the mirror, flashing a brand new look. Why not arrange for your loved one to have a hair salon day at home, and let her feel special for a few hours? She will probably love the whole experience, and every time she is complimented by someone afterward, it will be a reminder of the unique and thoughtful gift she was given.

Donate time/money to a charitable institution

The Phoenix holiday season is a time for giving to others, and it might perk up your loved one if you spend time with her at a charitable organization, helping those less fortunate. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation provides a wonderful service to young people in the area, and St. Mary’s Foodbank Alliance serves almost all of Arizona’s 15 counties in offering food and shelter to those who especially need it during the holiday season.

Out for a drive

If your loved one or client spends almost all of his/her time confined to the home setting, it might be nice to arrange for a drive around town to enjoy the sights and sounds of seasonal preparations. This can not only impart a sense of the Phoenix holiday season in your family member, but also provide welcome relief from the life of a shut-in.

Decorating the residence

Cheery decorations are often one of the best triggers of holiday spirit in the home or living space, and they provide constant reminders of the joyous season at hand. Even if your loved one has limited mobility, it will be worth the effort to do a little decorating to brighten up the living area, and enjoy the feeling of being involved and participating in holiday activities.

Reading togetherCare Assistant Reading Book

Homebound patients, especially seniors, may have difficulty reading on their own, but might really appreciate reading a good story with someone. The pleasant sound of another voice is often a very welcoming prospect in itself, and some light discussion about the story might serve to involve your loved one and increase her appreciation for the time you spent together.

MD Home Health can brighten the season for loved ones

Loving home care in Phoenix is provided by MD Home Health/MD Home Assist. Show your loved ones you care by hiring someone to come and clean their home for them, tuck them in at night, cook, run errands or even just give companionship. No one should have to be alone and feeling sad this holiday season, and we will treat your loved ones like family of our own.


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.