Hiring a Caregiver

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 Signals You May Want to Consider Home Assistance

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It’s never easy to make the decision to seek assistance with your everyday living tasks. This is understandable whether you recently became disabled or were born with a disability. As a Phoenix home health care provider, we understand your concerns and are here to help.

Pay Attention to These Specific Problems

One thing that may make it easier for you to determine if it’s time to sign up for home care in Phoenix is to consider the following categories of possible issues:

  • Personal Care: Do you have difficulty keeping up with grooming tasks such as showering, shaving, brushing your teeth, and washing your hair? If so, you can get as much or as little assistance as you need from a non-medical healthcare aide.
  • Household Management: It is easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed with caring for the home, with or without a disability. If chores like grocery shopping and yard maintenance are becoming too taxing, having assistance in this and other areas of household management could be a great stress reliever.
  • Financial Difficulties: Has the utility company sent a shut-off because you forgot to pay the bill? Do you have trouble figuring out how much money is in your checking, savings, or other banking accounts? These are common situations that could indicate the need to consider home care in Phoenix. You remain in control of your bank accounts while receiving the help you need to manage them.
  • Signs of Cognitive Impairment or Physical Frailty: Do you feel alarmed at how easy you seem to forget important details in your life? Maybe walking is becoming increasingly difficult or you fatigue easily from all that you have to do. A little extra help can increase your quality of life when either of these issues is a problem.
  • Driving is No Longer Safe: Do you often get lost when trying to drive somewhere? Perhaps driving intimidates you or you have been in several fender benders lately. Having someone else do the driving ensures you get to work, appointments, and leisure activities on time and without the added stress of getting behind the wheel.

    Home Health Care May Be the Answer You Seek

Non-medical assistance at home could be the ideal option for you if you struggle with the effects of a moderate to severe disability. The loving and experienced staff at MD Home Health/Home Assist can help you with personal care, assist with homemaker tasks, and perform a variety of medical and non-medical assistance. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about the wide range of services we can offer 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.

 


7 Healthy Crockpot Recipes for Fall

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With the air getting nippy and leaves changing into a fiery sea of red, orange, and yellow, fall often sees people exchanging their healthier summer eating habits for Halloween treats and copious Thanksgiving dinners. Eating healthy in this busy season, however, can be simple with the aid of the crockpot. Slow cooker meals cut out the hassle of cooking, letting you simply toss in the ingredients and allowing the flavors to come together themselves, not to mention having only one pot to clean!

If you’re not feeling up for the task, check out MD Home Health/Home Assist’s services and caregivers who can help you add festive and healthy fall crockpot recipes to your menu from breakfast through dinner.

Slow Cooker Veggie Frittata

Start the morning off right with a scrumptious, yet simple, veggie frittata. It’s made with eggs and can easily be reheated in the microwave, a great option for those days when you are in a rush to get out the door. Of course, you are more than free to mix up the veggies and cheese any time you like for a greater variety and versatility. You can find the recipe for this slow cooker veggie frittata here.

Banana Bread Quinoa

Quinoa, a grain from the mountainous regions of Bolivia, is one of the biggest stars of the health food scene. It’s a protein fortified whole grain, without the gluten, that can be part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try out this Banana Bread Quinoa that can serve as an accompaniment to meals or a stand alone snack. 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread

Fall wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins so why not give this pumpkin bread a go? While many store-bought breads are full of sugar and weight you down, this moist, slow-cooker pumpkin bread is packed with potassium and can actually improve your energy. Instead of adding sugar, the bread is sweetened with apple juice.

Shiitake and Noodle Hot & Sour Soup

Crockpot soups offer endless possibilities to stay warm and healthy in the fall. This vegetarian hot and sour inspired soup features the shiitake mushroom, a longtime symbol of longevity in Asia thanks to its wide range of health-promoting properties. The rich and smoky flavor is accented by tofu, vegetables, and filling noodles that work great for lunch or dinner.

Slow Cooker Spicy Cashews

If you’re in need of a snack between meals or a party appetizer, these spicy cashew nuts from the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

Add a little Tex Mex to your cooking with the nutritionally packed, superfood sweet potato. This slow cooker sweet potato chili is hearty and delicious, packed with nutrients and perfect for when you’re looking for a comfort food like stew.

Crockpot Red Lentil Chickpea Squash Soup

Here’s a protein packed soup that you can snuggle up with at night. Red lentils and chickpeas bring all the benefits of legumes and squash adds the fall flavors. The crockpot takes all the work out and you’ll want to enjoy this meal over and over.

At MD Home Health/Home Assist personal care specialists in Phoenix can help you create healthy meals by assisting with everything from grocery shopping to kitchen prep and errands. Caregivers can also provide companionship, helping you or your loved one cook these nutritious fall recipes. For more information about how MD Home Health/Home Assist can help with your home care in Phoenix, please give us a call today.


Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover

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Post Surgical Care

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

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

Educate Yourself

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

Have a Caregiver Present at All Times

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

Encourage Independence

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

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


Great Tips for Preventing Malnutrition in Seniors

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Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is important at every age, but it becomes even more so as we age, particularly for older adults with illness or signs of dementia. Getting the proper nutrition helps seniors maintain their mental acuteness, increases energy, aids in illness resistance and recovery, and makes chronic health problems easier to deal with.  Sadly, an estimated 3.7 million seniors in the U.S. suffer from malnutrition. Failing to intake proper amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, or minerals weakens the body, depriving it from the energy it needs to repair tissue and regulate bodily functions, such as blood flow, and making it more susceptible to sickness. 

Healthy eating, however, doesn’t have to be a chore, involved dieting, or only eating bland foods. It’s advisable for seniors to keep wholesome foods in the house, get creative in the kitchen, and gather with friends to enjoy meals. Extra resources and options for home care in Phoenix are available for those who need them.  Here are some more tips for preventing malnutrition as we age.

6 Tips to Prevent Malnutrition in Seniors

Half of seniors visiting the emergency room in the U.S. are there for malnutrition reasons, following these quick tips can help seniors get the proper nutrition. For seniors with difficulties running errands or cooking, it’s highly suggested to get help, including finding a quality Phoenix home health care provider. 

Avoid Bad Carbs, Sodium, and Hidden Sugar

Most grocery stores are full of processed foods and refined sugars. Start checking labels and avoid foods with bad carbohydrates such as white flour and hidden sugars (corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, and more). Using natural sweeteners such as honey and opting for complex carbohydrates in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables is best. Reducing sodium intake by seasoning with garlic, herbs, and spices instead of salt and look for “low sodium” foods lowers the risk of high blood pressure.

Cook Smart

Getting the most nutrients out of food means preparing them correctly. Preserve nutrients by steaming or sauteing vegetables in olive, coconut or avocado oil. Eat raw foods when possible in vegetable salads or fruits

Cook By Color

One way to visually verify that nutrients are balanced is to cook according to color. Try to include five colors on your plate, especially from the rich array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Think berries, melons, tomatoes, spinach, yams, zucchini, and more.

Hire a Caregiver to Help

For many seniors completing supermarket runs and meal planning can be troublesome. If this is the case take the time to carefully select a caregiver from an experienced and reputable Phoenix home health care provider or other program. A caregiver can do everything from grocery shopping to meal planning and prep, making sure all nutritional needs are met.

Plan Between-Meal Snacks

Snacks can be great nutrition boosts when planned carefully. Think about incorporating more fruits, veggies, or nuts in creative ways like smoothies or peanut butter covered apple slices.

Make Meals Social Events

Staying social is a big boost for senior mental health levels so it makes sense to make meals social events. Whether it’s eating with the family or joining a program in senior home care in Phoenix.


When Should I Retire from Driving?

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

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

Frequent Close Calls

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

Dings or Dents on a Car

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

Getting Lost

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

Limited Mobility

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

Limited Visibility

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

Care for the Elderly who Cannot Drive

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

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