Senior Lifestyle

The Benefits of Outsourcing Grocery Shopping and Errands to a Caregiver

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Young woman helping elderly woman with grocery shopping

Every day chores loom large for many seniors who struggle to accomplish basic tasks around the house. Getting to the store and running other errands can become complicated and time consuming.

But these everyday chores need to be done regularly if the senior wants to stay in her own home. She needs nutritious food and the ability to get to the bank, the library and other services.

This is where the benefits of outsourcing grocery shopping and other errands to a caregiver become clear. It can be a positive step to help the elderly live functional lives in their own homes.

It Takes Time

According to a workshop summary called Providing Healthy and Safe Foods As We Age, about one-third of most grocery trips last less than 30 minutes. But the time spent getting to the store and back can double that. And if a senior needs to take the bus, a single trip can take two or more hours.

If he has trouble walking or with his balance, an elderly person can find trips outside the home fraught. The additional struggle to get in and out of a bus while carrying bags can lead to falls and fatigue.

Taking a taxi is a good alternative because it provides direct transportation, but it takes time to arrange and there is the problem of making sure the taxi is available for the trip home.

Getting a ride from family, friends or neighbors is probably the ideal scenario, but it can be very hard for working adults with families to make time for this type of help.

It Takes Energy

Trips outside the home can challenge a senior’s physical endurance and ability to walk easily. In addition, minor aches, regular colds or other ailments that would have caused little if any difficulty a decade earlier can with time cut significantly into her energy levels.

This makes it hard to be consistent with regular trips to the store and other places to handle errands. But consistency is what is needed in order to stay in her own home.

According to the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging, “good nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping older people healthy and functioning,” but many simply aren’t eating well. One of the major reasons is how hard it is to get to the grocery store.

Outsourcing Errands

The answer to this dilemma can be as simple and direct as paying someone to run the errands for the senior. Hiring a caregiver to do the grocery shopping removes it as a barrier to staying healthy.

The senior doesn’t have to worry about begging a ride from family or neighbors. She doesn’t have to worry about finding a taxi at the right time. She won’t have to navigate buses and worry about carrying the groceries.

He won’t be overtaxed by a trip out of the house and up and down the aisles choosing the right food. He can use his physical energy for other activities like a get together with friends, which provides a more direct chance for socializing.

Taking the simple step of outsourcing errands like grocery shopping to a caregiver can keep a senior safer, better fed and more in control of daily care. For more information, contact MD Home Health/ Home Assist.


Benefits of Hiring Laundry Assistance in Your Home

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Elderly woman reading book while home helper irons laundryDid you know it takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete a single load of laundry? Hiring laundry assistance is an ideal way to take away a task that is physically difficult and exhausting. Not only does hiring laundry assistance help you physically, it will provide a number of other benefits including the following.

Help With Personal Care

Companies that provide laundry assistance often help with other day-to-day tasks including basic housekeeping duties. Bathing and dressing are other services in-house services will provide to help individuals in need of such assistance. Additional personal care needs include dressing, shaving, medication reminders, nail care, and feeding. Contacting a home care agency is the best way to find out what services are available, and what you need to use to improve your daily living.

Reduce the Risk of Slips and fall

Elderly individuals can end up with serious injuries if they slip and fall in the home. Unfortunately, many elderly individuals do not ask for help until it is too late. Hiring housekeeping companies is a great way to improve safety within your home as they will be able to remove clutter, straighten rugs, and remove things that could lead to a serious accident. Cleanliness is essential to any home as it provides order.

Social Interaction

If you are homebound, you can find it challenging to leave your home for even the smallest of things. Hiring a company to provide assistance with household chores can give you some much needed social interaction, allowing you to keep your mind fresh as you communicate with the people that come to care for your home and for you. Social interaction helps to keep away other health problems including depression. Since seniors can become socially isolated, small interactions each day with people that care for them is a great way to help reduce the pain of this isolation. Some services companies provide include daily walks, taking you to doctor’s appointments, and making sure your needs are met.

Assessing Your Needs

When you are debating hiring laundry assistance, there are other things you need to consider. Determine if you need help with the following areas:

  • Personal Care. Most people need help with bathing, eating, dressing, and toileting.
  • Household Care. Typical chores include cleaning, laundry, cooking, and shopping.
  • Health Care. Medication management, physical therapy, and making appointments with doctors.
  • Emotional Care. Companionship and conversation are meaningful activities to enjoy when you hire professionals to care for your needs.

Finding the Right At-Home Caregiver

An important aspect of hiring the right person to care for your laundry and other needs comes down to your preferences. Are you comfortable hiring a person who shares your same views, cultural background, or language? Consider what you need to obtain from the company before hiring laundry assistance. Consider working with an experienced company like MD Home Health/ MD Home Assistance for all your personal care needs.


Curb Caregiver Burnout by Hiring Non-Medical Home Care

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Girl Assisting Disabled Woman Getting Into A CarAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 29% of the U.S. adult population is providing care to someone who is ill, disabled, or in their latter stages of life. This could be a spouse, parent, in-law, a child with special needs, or just a really great friend. Coupled with caring for one’s own household, managing caregiver requirements may become a strain on the caregiver, and may eventually cause strain on relationships as well.

One way to alleviate caregiver burnout is to enlist outside help either through family and friends, or enlisting a home health care agency to provide the services you’re unable to do, thus freeing up time and energy.

 

What to Outsource?


Whether it’s bringing someone into the home each day or just once or twice a week, one of the most helpful tasks to outsource is transportation. If you’re employed and/or caring for a family, driving your loved one to medical appointments may become burdensome, and difficult to juggle. Enlisting a transportation service will help remedy this.

Finding the right transportation isn’t only important for getting loved ones to medical appointments, it’s also effective as a preventative measure against depression. According to the National Caregiver’s Library, one of the biggest needs within the senior population is transportation. It’s critical to the well-being of each person to have mobility to engage in social interactions and activities that will not only get them out of the house, but allow them to connect with others and become more active. Utilizing a home health care agency will allow you to secure not only transportation, but companionship as well for your loved one.

While securing a transportation service is important, it’s even more important to secure a reputable service. Drivers should always complete a background check and have a clean driving record. They should also carry the proper insurance and be well-versed on driving passengers who need more assistance, as opposed to a standard car service.

There are a number of non-medical services that may be outsourced to avoid caregiver burnout. Perhaps housework has become too difficult, or a loved one would prefer having a professional caretaker over a family member as means of maintaining some independence from family and/or dignity. Maybe there are dietary requirements or restrictions that vary drastically from what the rest of the family eats. Finding a service to assist with these basic needs may allow for more opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, rather than functioning strictly as caregiver.

Are you looking for a caregiver solution to fit your family’s needs? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss how we can help ease your caregiver duties. We have caregivers on-call 24/7, so you never have to worry about not having someone around when you really need them the most. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in hiring in-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area.


Top 7 Duties Required of a Personal Care Assistant

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Elderly Woman Is Assisted By Nurse At HomeWhen it comes to bringing in a caregiver for support around the home, there are a number of tasks you may hire for depending upon your own individual needs. When a caregiver is hired for personal care assistance, there are 7 primary duties expected and they include:

Bathing

Those who have problems with mobility may need someone to come to their home and assist them with bathing. A personal care assistant will do just that. They will make sure their clients are kept clean, and also help with shaving, shampooing hair, and hair maintenance. There is no shame in a bit of help for the things one can no longer do with ease. There are risk factors to consider in trying to do these things alone if there is any chance of becoming hurt in the process.

Dressing

Typically when a person is unable to bathe themselves, dressing themselves is also a bit of a challenge. Our professional, licensed caregivers have no problem helping clients to dress when they are unable to do so themselves. This doesn’t mean they have a live-in stylist for hire, but it certainly couldn’t help to have an extra opinion on fashion choices every now and then.

Skin Care

As we age skin care becomes more and more essential in order to stay healthy. Taking care of the skin may become difficult with age, especially for those who aren’t as mobile. It is imperative for skin to be kept clean to avoid risk of infection and bed sores. A caregiver will not only keep the skin clean, but will also help with things such as lotion, sunscreen, and face care products for clients who have lost the ability to do so themselves.

Bathroom Breaks

It’s no fun when nature calls and there isn’t an easy way to answer. For those who unable to move freely on their own, our caregivers are available to assist you with your bathroom breaks so that nature’s call is no longer a struggle.

Medications

For those who are on medications, it may be difficult to remember to take them at the correct times each day. This becomes more difficult with age and an increase in the number of medications taken. This is why our caregivers are available for medication reminders, and they’ll even assist in administering them if needed.

Feeding

As mobility declines, the ability to feed oneself may also diminish. Not to fret, as we have caregivers available to assist with feeding you or your loved one. If combined with homemaker services, you could have a caregiver conduct your grocery shopping, help plan your meals, prepare them and feed them to you or your loved one. Now that’s what we call red carpet care.

Nail Care

Nails are something that never stop growing, so it’s essential to maintain them and keep them from getting hangnails or infections. Our talented caregivers will make sure your nails look lovely. How special is that? Your own manicurist in your home to help you with every step of your day.

Are you interested in hiring a personal caregiver for your home or someone you care about? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation. We’ll even come to your home to evaluate your needs and establish a custom plan for care that’s just right. We have caregivers on-call 24/7, so you never have to worry about not having someone around when you really need them the most. Don’t hesitate to Contact us if you’re interested in-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area. 


3 Things to Expect from Caregivers Conducting Homemaker Services

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Woman CookingAs you or a loved one begin to age there are things around the home or group setting that may not be as easy to accomplish as they once were. This is where our non-medical home services come in. MD Home Health offers a full range of non-medical home services in the Phoenix, AZ area that include custodial, homemaker and personal care assistance. We would love to send someone to your home if you feel like you could use a bit of help with any of these things. We provide skilled caregivers for service 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. They’re even available for hourly or daily rates.

A person who’s never experienced in-home care may be wondering just what to expect when hiring MD Home Assist for homemaker services. This is an important question, and we’ve come up with three major answers:

Light Housekeeping

One of the most important tasks of homemakers is light housekeeping. This includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, changing and making the beds, and other small household tasks that one is unable to accomplish on their own. The caregiver may be a live-in or an hourly employee who comes to the home as often as needed. This could be once per week, or every day.

Meal Planning and Preparation

In addition to getting a light housekeeper when hiring MD Home Assist homemaker services, you’re also getting a personal nutritionist and chef. Our caregivers will sit down and plan out your meals with you with healthy goals in mind. Not only will you have a wonderful menu that you can enjoy, but you will also have the assistance in preparing the meals. Our homemaker services include meal preparation, so you don’t have to stress about how you will eat when you’re having a difficult time with mobility.

Grocery Shopping and Errands

If you’re having difficulty with homemaking tasks, the chances are you’re also having a difficult time running errands such as going to the grocery store. Not to worry, MD Home Assist has you covered should you seek their care. Our caregivers will run all of your errands so that you’re able to rest up and focus on you.

Are you considering hiring in-home services? From homemaking services to a variety of other non-medical and medical care needs, we’re happy to develop a customized care plan with you. Do you have a moment to chat? We’d love a chance to sit down and talk with you about your unique home care needs today. Feel free to Contact us at your earliest convenience.


Helping Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients: 3 Stages of Care

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Helping Elderly PeopleeCaring for sufferers of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease comes with a very specific set of challenges. Three stages of care are needed with these diagnoses, and they grow, evolve and change as the disease progresses. Each stage comes with its own unique challenges, as well. Whether a person is in the early or late stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a skilled, licensed caregiver is beneficial in helping the individual transition and adapt to a new way of life.

Stage One Care

This is the beginning stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can last for years, and may present minor changes to a person’s learning and cognitive capabilities. Most people are able to function and engage in normal activities during Stage One. As a caregiver in this stage, you’re primarily needed for support, companionship, and help with planning for the future, as well as making small lifestyle changes, assisting with medications, recalling memories (dates, names, places), keeping appointments, and managing finances.

It’s important to help bring out the talents and strengths of a person in the first stage of dementia, and to support their independence as much as possible. Encouraging and assisting the person to express their feelings and locate a support group is also beneficial. This is the time to make all necessary legal and financial decisions for the future.

Stage Two Care

During the second stage, the level of care is going to increase. This may be the stage that you’ll want to seek extra support in caring. This is when damage begins to show in the brain, and the person may not think the same way, or perform the tasks they used to be able to on their own. There’s also a chance that the individual will behave in peculiar ways, become upset more often and have a difficult time speaking in sentences that make sense. Help with hygiene and driving may be needed.

This is a good time to adopt lifestyle changes and to keep up a solid routine. The level of care required may be demanding during this stage, and it’s important for a caregiver to take good care of themselves and exercise patience.

nurse showing care to patientStage Three Care

During the final stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s, a person requires care 24/7. This stage may last only weeks, or several years. The person will eventually lose the ability to communicate, and may require assistance with walking. Eating and swallowing becomes difficult, and the risk of infections increases. There’s still a possibility that this person can connect with familiar scents, sounds, music, foods, nature, sunshine, and old photographs.

It’s helpful to monitor the weight and caloric intake during this stage, and to help with range of motion exercises if the person in need of care is confined to a chair. Keeping the person comfortable and upright is important, as is ensuring they’re not in pain. Someone in stage three may need to be fed, and assisted in going to the bathroom. Setting consistent bathroom times is important, as is limiting liquids before bed. This person may require bathing, and may need to be lifted at times. This is the stage where it’s essential to have extra care.

Are you or someone you know suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and in need of some extra support? With MD Home Health, you can expect to find licensed professionals in  Phoenix, Arizona to assist you with your home care needs 24/7.


What to Look for: Great In-Home Medical Services in Phoenix, Arizona

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When looking for an in-home health care provider for yourself or a loved one, you’ll want to ensure you find a team of professionals equipped to meet all of your unique needs—especially when faced with an injury or health issue. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help tremendously when searching for the right home care services.
To get you thinking about what you truly need, we’ve come up with a few questions:

  • What in-home health care service providers are available in your local area?
  • Are you searching for traditional medical services, specialty programs, or both?
  • Do you have one specific need, or several?
  • Would you like home health care services to be administered to an individual in the home, or in a group facility?
  • Are these services desired only during a specified time, or would you prefer a team that’s available around the clock, 24/7?

Once you’ve narrowed these factors down, we’d like to present you with our local home health services. At MD Home Health, we offer medical and non-medical services. They’re available 24/7, and there’s always an emergency nurse on call. Services can be ordered by the visit, or on an hourly or daily basis.
In terms of our medical services, we offer a full range of care:

  • RN and LPN nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Speech Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Nursing Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists

We also provide traditional medical care, as well as specialty services. Our specialty in-home services include:

  • Post-Surgical Care
  • Medication Management
  • Pediatric and Juvenile Care
  • Neonatal Care
  • Orthopedic Care
  • CHF
  • Range of Motion and Strengthening Therapy
  • Ventilator Dependent Care
  • Diabetic Management
  • Wound Management
  • Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Care
  • NeurologicalCare
  • COPD
  • Tube Feeding
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Parkinson’s

If you’re interested in receiving care from MD Home Health, an intake specialist will come and meet with you and your family members to coordinate care with your doctor, hospital staff, and/or discharge planner.
We’ll work with you to design a customized care plan that meets your medical, physical, nutritional, cultural, environmental, social and emotional needs.
Our services are offered at a competitive price, and we even accept several private insurances, as well as Medicaid.
All MD Home Health caregivers and staff have passed thorough background checks and trainings, as we only want the highest-quality care for our patients.
Want to learn more about MD Home Health and the services we can provide for you? We’d love to sit down and have a talk with you about your unique needs. Feel free to contact us today.


5 Myths about Aging & Exercise Debunked

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Even if you no longer believe in Santa Claus, you may still believe these 5 top myths about aging and exercise.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, it can be conflicting, vague and overwhelming. So let’s debunk these 5 aging & exercise myths once and for all.

As we age, the importance of having an active lifestyle increases. Having a regular exercise routine is key for boosting energy levels, managing pain, treating illness and maintaining autonomy.

In addition to physiological advantages, exercise is essential for our psychological well-being, as it benefits the mind, memory, and mood.

The following five myths pertaining to exercise as we age may contribute to the tendency toward its decline over time.

I’m going to age whether I exercise or not, so what’s the point?

While it’s true that exercise cannot prevent aging altogether, it can most certainly slow it down, and even reverse some signs and symptoms. Participating in cardio and strength training helps us to feel and look younger, and even live longer.

There’s a saying, “use it or lose it,” which applies to our level of activity as we age.

This statement is supported by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson in his health blog. He states that physical activity is directly correlated with longevity.

While genetics contribute to approximately 20-30% of our expected longevity, the other 70-80% is based upon our level of activity, as determined through twin studies.

Recent studies in The American Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal have shown that those with larger amounts of muscle mass and physical aptitude live longer.

This is due to the fact that as we age, we typically lose one pound of muscle mass per year after age 20. The muscle is then replaced with fat cells. This is why it is important to actually increase our level of activity (rather than decrease it) over time as we age. In order to keep the muscle mass we have, we must regularly use our muscles; preventing this gradual loss over time

Older people should rest, save their energy, and not exercise.

This is a very unhealthy myth to own. In case the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you, HelpGuide.org states that those aged 50 and up face serious health risks due to inactivity, such as increased pharmaceutical use, more frequent doctor and hospital visits, and an inability to do things they once could.

Exercise can increase my risk of falling.

It is actually the opposite. Exercise prevents bone loss, and builds strength and balance -thus, reducing the risk.

I’m too old to start exercising.

It’s never too late to form healthy behavior patterns. The best way to start is through making small changes to daily habits, such as walking more, taking the stairs, doing things by hand a machine used to (like dishes) and keeping a routine for the next 3-4 weeks, so that it becomes habitual. A good model for improving physical health is to start with some cardio, then to gradually add weights and flexibility/balance exercises. Activities such as water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are useful in helping seniors achieve and maintain better health.

I’m disabled, I can’t exercise.

While being disabled and/or wheelchair bound presents challenges, it’s still possible to get exercise. Things such as stretching, lifting weights and even chair yoga can help increase the heart rate. Resistance bands are often useful in wheelchair bound exercises. For those who do not own weights or resistance bands, cans of soup may be used instead.

 

The recipe for greater health and longevity is now yours. It is important to remember that exercise should not hurt, and it is best to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. Assistance while increasing your activity is always here for you. Give us a call to learn more about in-home care.

 


The New 80/20 Rule: Exercising vs. Dieting

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Have you heard of the new 80/20 rule for getting and staying healthy?

While you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule for a healthy diet, research suggests there’s more to healthy weight loss than just eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging in less healthy food 20% of the time. 

Exercise is part of the new 80/20 rule, and while many believe 80% of getting healthy relies on physical activity and 20% on diet, registered dietician Katherine Isacks says it’s actually the other way around.

The truth of the matter is that 80% of our weight correlates with what we eat and the recipe is still 80% healthy and 20% indulgent food, according to Rose Erickson at Livestrong.

Now that we can have our cake and eat it too, does that mean we should immediately go and spend an hour at the gym vigorously trying to burn it off? Studies suggest exhausting ourselves at the gym for an hour or every per day doesn’t actually prompt more weight loss.

Research conducted at the University of Copenhagen suggests that those who instead engage in moderate exercise routines are setting themselves up to achieve greater weight loss results than those who jump into vigorous workouts at the gym. This study focused on three groups of young males who were healthy, but inactive: the control group that didn’t change their diet or exercise habits; the moderate group that participated in 30 minutes of exercise per day; and the intense group that added an hour of exercise per day.

The study extended throughout the course of 13 weeks. As predicted, the men who made no changes experienced no change to their weight or physique. However, the following results may surprise you.

While the intense group of men that worked out for an hour per day lost an average of five pounds each, the men who engaged in moderate exercise of 30 minutes per day actually lost an average of 7 pounds each.

How could greater weight loss results be achieved from doing half the amount of exercise?

Each group tracked what they ate during the study, and reported on their overall activity levels throughout the day. Those among the intense workout group tended to eat more, as their bodies were prompted to replace the 600 calories they had burned. They were also less active during the day when not working out.

The moderate exercise group only burned 300 calories per day, and reported higher levels of sustained energy. This group was more active throughout the day; engaging in positive lifestyle changes more readily, like taking the stairs and walking.

They also didn’t report much change in their eating habits, as they weren’t burning enough to prompt a surge in hunger. The intense group did gain more muscle, however, which weighs more than fat.

This new research sheds light on specific misconceptions regarding diet and exercise, and shows that it isn’t necessary to overexert ourselves at the gym.

Rather, moderate exercises prompted increased energy and less temptation to overeat. While this study failed to compare results over time, this is a good model for jump-starting your own fitness plan.

Moderate levels of exercise, combined with a diet that’s 80% healthy and 20% indulgent, may be the recipe to better health.


Important Information About Medicare

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Important information about Medicare

By October, many Medicare recipients are deep in the doughnut hole.  Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) typically have a “doughnut hole”, or coverage gap, which imposes a temporary limit on coverage for drugs.  Most people enter this gap after they have reached a spending threshold for covered drugs.  For the year 2014, this threshold is $2850.  Once this ceiling is reached, you have reached the coverage gap.  The good news is that this threshold will be higher in 2015, with increasing subsidies to help you save in the coverage gap.Happy senior people in nursing home with walker and wheelchair

Medicare coverage for the remainder of 2014

 Currently, once you reach the coverage gap, you pay 47.5% for brand-name drugs and 72% for generic drugs for the remainder of the year.  You are required to make these copayments until you get out of the doughnut hole.  How do you climb your way out of the hole?  Although you’re paying 47.5% of your plan’s cost for brand-name prescription drugs, 97.5% of that price gets counted as out-of-pocket costs, which go toward getting you out of the coverage gap.  For generic drugs, all of what you pay will be counted as out-of-pocket spending to help you get out of the coverage gap.  For 2014, you are free of the doughnut hole once your out-of-pocket spending reaches up to $4550. http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/part-d-coverage-gap.html

How Medicare is changing through 2020

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates improvements to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for future years.  These improvements were designed to help seniors afford their prescriptions while they are in the doughnut hole.  In 2015, beneficiaries will pay 45% for brand names, and 65% for generics.  Gradually, copayments required for both brand name and generic drugs are being reduced to 25% for both drug types in the year 2020.  This is the same percentage you pay from the time you meet the deductible until the out-of-pocket spending limit is reached (up to $4700 for 2015). http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/more-drug-savings-in-2020.html  As 2015 rapidly approaches, now is a good time to determine if your health care plan is meeting your needs.  An appointment with Phoenix Home Health Care can help you organize your appointments, screenings, and prescription needs in order to optimize your insurance coverage.

Additional assistance for low-income seniors

The ACA also offers further assistance for low-income beneficiaries by eliminating copayments for beneficiaries who may be recipients of home and community-based services, and who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Assistance is also available in order to allow widows and widowers to preserve their low-income eligibility.

Home Care Phoenix can help you determine whether you are eligible for this additional assistance.

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1161/Closing-the-Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/29/pay-less-for-your-prescription-drugs/?sf30575690=1

For tips on how to lower drug costs, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Find health and drug plans, stay educated, and learn more about what Medicare covers through the Phoenix home health care team!