caregiver az

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.


6 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity as a Caregiver

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Happy male nurse and senior man enjoying while using tablet computer in nursing home porch

Providing home health care for a loved one or patient can be a very demanding job, especially in situations where that person is a fully incapable of self care. This scenario is occurring more and more throughout the country, including Phoenix, as the elderly population increases, and fairly often the caregiver is a spouse or other relative who provides round-the-clock assistance.

This can be a very trying situation to maintain, especially when lifting, bathing, feeding, and other requirements are involved – not to mention disruptions to rest and sleep for the loved one/patient’s unplanned needs. It’s not surprising that many caregivers in circumstances such as these find themselves exhausted both physically and mentally from the constant demand for care. To help cope with the effects of such intense home assistance, these suggestions for caregivers are offered.

Regular attitude checks

When the ‘nasties’ start creeping into your attitude, i.e. all the negatives and the many irritations of the daily care-giving routine, have a time-out, take a few deep breaths, and acknowledge them. Build in regular sanity checks throughout the day, and try to focus on the more positive aspects of life.

Don’t forget down time

Even in the midst of care-giving, down-time should be included. Whenever possible, try listening to soothing music, take little cat naps or at least close your eyes and relax when your loved one is also resting. Reading a book can be very calming, or watching a movie on television to take your mind off the duties of a caregiver.

Know your limits

Understand that you will simply never be able to do everything that could be done, and trying to do so will inevitably result in frustration. In addition, acknowledge the fact that you will occasionally forget something or fail in the attempt to accomplish something, and that those are normal limitations. Doing your best as a caregiver is all you can do – accept that, and spare yourself any self recriminations.

Maintain order

Staying organized in your daily routine can be an enormous boost to your sanity. By keeping your mind ordered, as well as most aspects of daily care, much of the annoyance of unanticipated incidents can be averted. Make use of technology wherever possible to help with organization, for instance keeping notes and reminders on your cellphone.

Remember the ‘why’

One final way to conduct a mini sanity check is to stop for a moment and recall the ‘why’ of what you’re doing. If you are a caregiver for a spouse or other relative, the care you provide is literally sustaining that person, and to some extent, adding to his/her quality of life. You are giving this care out of a deep sense of love and responsibility, and have chosen to do so.

Outside help

Soliciting the help of an outside service can be another huge boost to your sanity, even if their involvement is no more than one or two days each week. MD Home Assist provides just such personalized home care  in the Phoenix area from personal care to homemaking assistance.  Are you seeking an extra hand around the home? Give us a call and we’ll send someone over for a free consultation. We’ll even help plan a caregiving schedule that fits your unique individual needs. In the meantime, take a look at the Caring.com Caregiver Wellness Solution Center online for some amazing resources for caregivers.


Tips for Staying Healthy this Summer

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Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

The warmest season of the year is upon us, and although fun in the sun is something everyone looks forward to throughout the nine months beforehand, it’s just as important to be mindful of your health as the days grow longer and the nights shorter. There’s a good chance your stress levels decrease, since the summer’s usually marked by vacation and family time. The following are more great things you can do to maximize both your physical and mental well-being.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

It seems like everyone’s trying frantically to alter their diet in the months leading up to summer, in order to get into some semblance of a beach body shape. Truth is, too many people neglect essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients in an attempt to cut calories. One way to combat the decreased potency of your diet is to add fruit to it. Blackberries, strawberries, watermelon – any assortment of berries will do wonders for helping your body fight off disease and energizing you for the day. In fact, these fruits are chock-full of antioxidants, which are powerful natural remedies against many different illnesses.

Customize a Program of Care

Whether you’re young or old it’s essential to ensure you join us in having a healthy summer. This means making sure to get plenty of exercise – whether it’s taking a swim in the pool of the local YMCA, or making sure you have a dedicated caretaker to accompany you on daily walks. After all, school may be out for the kids, but the adults still have to work and provide a living for their families during the summer months. There’s no substitute for quality care; especially when your loved ones are involved. Exercise has been proven to increase mental well-being, in addition to the obvious physical health benefits – and both the young and elderly should engage in it this summer.

Take a Vacation

Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

After all, what other time of the year will the whole family be together? This is what you work so hard for all year long, and a trip to any of the many wonderful destinations on the planet would do wonders for bonding and overall health. You can keep the vacation local, or spend a little more to see one of the wonders of the world, such as the Dead Sea on the border of Israel and Jordan. The combination of salt in this sea isn’t replicated in any other body of water in the world, and it represents a fantastic opportunity for memories and rejuvenation. Even within your own state, there are plenty of destinations that are sure to recharge.

Are you interested in hiring an in-home caregiver for help around the home, help with a family member, or for some extra support with the kids this summer? MD Home Health/Home Assist is happy to help Phoenix area households keep their cool during the summer months.


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.


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 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.


What To Expect from In-Home Assistance

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Having an extra hand around the house when caring for a loved one can be priceless, which is likely why there’s a variety of in-home services available today. Whether you need assistance caring for someone or would simply like some help around the house while you do, there’s an in-home service that’s perfect for your unique needs.

Knowing what to expect from in-home assistance is crucial when looking for a good provider. From medical to non-medical services, there’s a wide variety of options available, with numerous factors to consider first.

Searching for in-home care might feel overwhelming at first; but by the time you’re finished reading this blog post, you’ll know exactly what to look for when seeking out a high quality provider.

Range of Services

There’s a wide variety of in-home services available for those seeking assistance. Companies which offer both non-medical and medical services give you the most options. A good in-home care provider will offer non-medical services such as personal care assistance and homemaking tasks, plus the back-up of licensed nurses who can provide you with valuable consulting as well as provide skilled services for potential medical issues.

Personal care services include bathing, shaving, shampooing, dressing, skin & nail care, and assistance with the toilet. Other services might entail feeding and medication reminders.

If a person needs assistance with personal care tasks, they’re likely to also need help with household tasks as well. Common housekeeping services include cleaning and dusting, doing laundry, washing dishes, running errands, cooking meals, and making beds.

A full-service provider will even include things like tucking in and waking up, companionship, transportation, newborn care, sick childcare and post-surgical care. Depending on the level of need, a caretaker can live in the home, or visit on an as-needed basis.

Customized Care

Every person seeking care has their own set of individual needs, and an excellent healthcare provider will offer intake services to meet with the client, their physician, and their loved ones when creating an individual care plan. This includes all of the individual’s medical, physical, nutritional, environmental, cultural, social and emotional needs.

Caregivers

Once the level of care and individual care plan has been established, the right caregivers will be selected to be placed in the home.

All caregivers should undergo extensive criminal background checks, fingerprint scans, driving record inspections, TB tests, drug tests, license verifications and written competency exams.

Once caregivers have meet these criteria, they should be monitored by their employer through: on-site visits at the patient’s home; weekly review of the caregivers’ notes compared with doctors’ orders and care plans; individual supervision; discussions with the patient and other staff; and yearly mandatory continuing education.

 

Insurance

A competent and reputable in-home service will have insurance covering their caregiver activities. This is meant to protect both the patients and the service providers so that patients and clients can rest assured knowing their home, livelihood and belongings are covered in the event of an accident.

A good service provider will also consider their patient’s medical insurance in order to identify exactly what is covered, then work with either their private/commercial insurance, Medicaid/AHCCCS, Veteran’s Administration, Division of Development Disabilities (DDD), worker’s compensation, etc. to get them all they’re entitled to. They may even offer competitive pricing for cash-paying clients.

Are you searching for such a service in the Phoenix, Arizona area? Look no further than MD Home Health. We offer everything listed above, with the highest-quality caregivers around. Give us a call today to discuss your individual care plan—and we’d love to provide you with the information and assistance you need.