arizona senior lifestyle

Managing the Struggles of Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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Male care assistant reading senior woman book

 

Caring for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s can be exceedingly difficult.  With Alzheimer’s disease, something as simple as daily communication can be made into a frustrating and stressful task. Alzheimer’s patients often struggle to find the right words, are prone to losing their train of thought, and may even forget what simple words mean. This can create frustrating situations for both the Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver.

Even More Problems

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients will have less functional brains over time. The end result is that every Alzheimer’s patient will have good days and bad days as their behavior changes with the passage of time. This means they may misunderstand the things they see and hear, be prone to anger, wander or get lost while leaving their home, and lose interest in things that once captivated them. They may also come to feel anxiety about traveling, become confused with even the slightest change in their daily routine, and be overwhelmed by day-to-day activities.

Required Care

Consequently, Alzheimer’s patients will need assistance with essential personal care like dressing, bathing, feeding, and taking regular medication. They may also require help with regular housekeeping like doing laundry, preparing meals, carrying out general errands, and keeping things tidy. Unless these issues are handled correctly, Alzheimer’s patients may turn to abuse drugs like alcohol and caffeine, they may start losing sleep which can lead to serious health problems, and they may fall prey to a variety of different illnesses.

Providing Care

Whenever communicating with someone who suffers  from Alzheimer’s, it’s important to try to state your intentions as simply as possible. Try asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, while providing step-by-step instructions whenever possible. One might also consider simplifying communication. For instance, rather than asking “how are you?” try asking “would you like to eat?” This simplification can make communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient far more effective.

Adjusting to behavioral changes can be accommodated with a similar approach. If your loved one starts to lose sleep, consider implementing a bedtime routine or planning energetic activities during the day. If they start pacing around their home, be sure that they’re wearing comfortable shoes and have a safe area to walk. Your care should be reactionary and supportive to the types of behaviors that they develop.

Phoenix Home Health Care

Providing this kind of care can be difficult, particularly for anyone who lacks experience working with Alzheimer’s patients. That’s why MD Home Health supplies the most trustworthy and qualified caregivers available, screened for their expertise and reliability alike. By choosing from only the more reliable and proven homecare providers in Phoenix, you can rest assured that your loved one will have the best possible care available to them. MD Home Assist care can help provide all the necessary care required to look after an Alzheimer’s patient, ensuring their well-being on good days and bad days alike. If you’d need a hand providing homecare in the Phoenix area, get in touch with MD Home Health today, and get the peace of mind you deserve. For more tips on managing the struggles of caregiving, and maintaining good self-care visit the Caregiver Wellness Solution Center.


4 Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

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Senior relaxing at the seaside summer holidays concept

Who doesn’t look forward to taking in the warm, summer sun? You spend months going through the cooler winter temps only to be scorched by the sun during those three prime months of summer. Regardless of how old you are, you need to exercise caution when it comes to being out in the heat. Too much heat is a bad thing. To help you stay cool during the extreme temperatures, follow these simple tips:

Turn the lights off in rooms you aren’t using.

While you might not realize it, lights actually produce a significant amount of heat. Have you ever tried to touch a lightbulb after having it on for a little while? That is a surefire way to get yourself burned. The best thing you can do is to leave the lights off when a room isn’t in use.

Drink ample amounts of water.

The warmer the temperature is outside, the more water you need to drink. If you skip out on the fluids, you will find yourself dehydrated and in the hospital. Your body is composed mainly of water, so it makes sense that you need to put water back into it to make sure you stay healthy all year round. Aim for at least eight cups of water per day, if not more.

Dress based on the weather.

If the weather is going to be 90 degrees outside, one should dress accordingly, wear light fabrics that are breathable and in cool colors. When in doubt, pay attention to what the weather forecast says and plan your wardrobe accordingly. It doesn’t make sense to overheat yourself due to clothing attire that isn’t weather appropriate.

Block the heat.

If the weather outside is extremely warm, keep your windows, doors, blinds and curtains closed to prevent the heat from entering your home. Keeping the area shaded will help to maintain the cooler temperature inside of your environment. Once it cools down outside, you can open everything up and let the nice breeze make its way through your space.

Would you like a little extra help taking care of your loved one this summer and making sure they stay nice and cool? Thanks to MD Home Health/Home Assist, you can put your worries behind you and rest assured that there is someone who is going to be there when you need them the most. Phoenix home health care has never been as convenient and rewarding as it is now.


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.


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.


What to Expect Post-Surgery

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friendly nurse visiting recovering senior patient

Regardless of age, your post-surgical routine will often play a role in the overall effectiveness of your surgery. For older adults, this often requires  hospice care, visits to the hospital for a short while, or hiring a licensed at-home caregiver. It’s believed that the home is the optimal environment for a successful recovery.

Generally speaking, recovering from surgery will be a much smoother process with the help of a licensed caregiver in the home. It’s of the utmost importance that, once you return home from the hospital after a medical procedure or surgery, you’re as comfortable as possible. Having someone around the home who can help with things like cleaning, meal preparation and transportation to appointments could make a world of difference.

It’s expected that there will be some post-surgery pain. A licensed caregiver can assist with a variety of tasks, including rehabilitation and giving pain medication. One can also requestfriendly doctor talking to a recovering patient in wheelchair that several different caregivers come to the home for short periods of time after surgery as well. For example, a physical therapist may visit for rehabilitation, and a nurse may visit to assist with changing bandages and pain management. Another caregiver may also visit to help clean the home. Sometimes a single caregiver can provide all of the mentioned tasks.

It’s of the utmost importance that the caregivers be licensed and state-certified. They should be insured and have passed an extensive background check. After all, as we mentioned before, one of the biggest components to a successful recovery is feeling comfortable and safe.

Another service home care centers provide is companionship. While you’re recovering, there may be a lot of down time in between physical therapy, meal times, appointments and medication. Friends and family may not always be able to visit, and the independent life you’re trying to maintain may feel lonely while you recover. As a result, you can choose to have a companion visit your home when you’d like some company. This person can sit and talk with you, play games, and engage in safe activities that aid in your recovery. The risk for depression is higher after surgery, and a companion may be able to help curb some of those feelings.

Would you like some assistance or more information about surgery recovery or home care assistance? We offer a full range of home care services in Phoenix, Arizona and would love to send one of our highly skilled professionals to come put a smile on your face today. Give us a call, we’re always here to assist.


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.


In-Home Care: Risks of Hiring a Caregiver vs. an Agency

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A recent study revealed that the average cost of full-time, non-medical, in-home care in Arizona averages around $45,000 per year, based on 44 hours of care per week. As a result of this considerable expense, many are choosing to hire a caregiver directly rather than going through an agency.

All in all, there are several risks to consider before making a final decision on either route. If you’re leaning toward hiring your own caregiver directly, be prepared to address all the following tasks before allowing anyone in your home or caring for a loved one.

Personal Background 

Before hiring someone to assist in caring for your loved one, it’s important to conduct a thorough background check, including: a criminal background check, DMV and credit check, citizenship, and auto insurance verifications.

In addition, we recommend verifying the licensed caregiver’s current paperwork and credentials; requiring a TB test and reviewing their medical history; and ensuring they are certified in both first aid and CPR.

Competency

Once a candidate has passed all necessary background checks, it’s important to ensure the caregiver you’ve chosen has what it takes to make sure your loved one is safe, and is keeping up on the latest educational information pertaining to their field of care.

In addition, when hiring directly, there’s always the risk that the provider will become sick or injured, will need time off, or simply won’t show up for work.

In the event that this should happen, it’s recommended to have a list of screened, competent back-up caregivers who will be able to report for duty at a moment’s notice.

Taxes

The IRS holds individual employers responsible for paying Social Security and Tax form conceptunemployment taxes on the wages paid to an in-home caregiver.

If you fail to withhold these taxes, not only will you be liable for the total cost plus interest, but you could incur penalty fees of up to $100,000 and possible criminal charges.

Insurance

Before hiring an in-home caregiver, be sure to check their insurance policies.

Back strains and slip-and-fall injuries are common occurrences within home care, which is why your homeowner’s policy needs to be sufficient to cover such incidents.

It’s also important for the caregiver to hold their own malpractice policy in the event that they cause a life-threatening or fatal injury to your loved one.

They should also have a bond for repayment of any and all household items they could possibly damage or break.

 

Hiring an Agency

When hiring an agency to handle the in-home care of your loved one, the agency assumes all risks regarding background checks, competency, taxes and insurance. This removes the stressful process of hiring a caregiver from your list of duties, and allows you to focus your time and energy solely on your loved one. Agencies also have on-call staff in the event that the primary caregiver is unavailable.

Are you considering hiring in-home care for yourself or a loved one? We’re here for you.