caregiver az

September is National Apple Month

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September is National Apple Day Month

MD Home Health, a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, is excited to celebrate National Apple Day Month with all our friends and family. Did you know that our nation has been celebrating the glory of apples since 1904? And did you know that National Apple Day Month actually starts in September and continues through November? To help you to enjoy this three-month celebration to its fullest, we decided to share a few fun but practical facts about apples so you can understand why every home care in Phoenix should include this delicious fruit in their diet!

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Fact or Myth?

It’s that time of year to celebrate your juicy, round friend. As a timeless favorite for fruit, snack, dessert, and cider making, the yummy apples you see in the market every day dominate the hearts of every culture with its thin red or green skin, sweet aroma, and crisp flesh. However besides tasting good and looking good, apples are loved for their delicious taste and nutritious value.In fact, apples are extremely rich in dietary fiber and flavanoids. The phytonutrients (vitamins A and E and beta carotene) in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar, while the antioxidants in apples have been found to reduce the risk of many common ailments such as cancer and diabetes. According to a recent study led by Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, eating apples regularly will keep your body healthy and your doctors far away! The Office of Child Development also confirms that the complex carbohydrates in apples will help the body to sustain and improve its energy level so that you can tackle your daily routines with better productivity, performance, and attitude. Additionally, because apples are absolutely fat-free, its fiber and rich boron will not only encourage bowel movement but also help prevent osteoporosis.

Interesting Nutrition Facts of Apple

When people think about the nutritious makeup of apples, carbohydrates and vitamin C are among the commonly named. But apples also contain pectin, boron, quercetin, and phytonutrients. Pectin is known for lowering both blood pressure and glucose level. As a form of soluble fiber, pectin can effectively lower your “bad” cholesterol level to improve your overall circulation and body metabolism. Quercetin, on the other hand, promises to reduc the free radical damage. As University of Maryland Medical Center explains, “Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color…Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer…”

Eat Your Apples and Live Healthier

Apple is definitely a superfruit for everyone! When you eat an apple, try to leave the peels on. Apple peels have been known to be packed with rich vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As for pesticide residues, Dr. Dianne Hyson from U.C. Davis explains that, “Despite public misperceptions, laboratories have consistently found very low levels — if any — of pesticide residues on the skin of apples.”

So enjoy your apples and experiment with a variety of apple types and recipes to give your body and taste buds some generous treats!

To learn more about improving your diet with apples and other nutritious fruits and vegetables, visit MD Home Health. We will help you to discover a savoring and healthy eating routine!


The Power of Therapeutic Writing

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The therapeutic power of art has been known about and explored for centuries. Whether through painting, music, or writing, both artists and non-artists alike have used these mediums of expression as effective ways to heal the soul. It may not seem like it at first, but an easy way to start healing your soul and improving your psychological well-being is to simply keep a diary or daily journal. Releasing pent-up stress and anxiety onto the page can do wonders for your emotional health and general happiness.

Writing Therapy

Believe it or not, diaries aren’t just for teenagers and they’re not just full of adolescent ramblings. In fact, there is a very important reason why teenagers keep diaries and why we could stand to learn a thing or two from this very common high school practice. The teenage years are an especially difficult time because of constant hormone shifts, awkward maturation processes, and crucial life transitions that can affect mood and mental health significantly. Keeping a private journal is an instinctual way that adolescents learn to grapple with these changes in order to help stabilize their emotions. As we get older, we tend to lose or “outgrow” this instinct, but it can be helpful to relearn it with age, because the power of therapeutic writing doesn’t diminish even if we have survived adolescence.

Writing Therapy

Mental health professionals have also picked up on the importance of therapeutic writing. Many psychologists and counselors use art therapy during sessions and psychological interventions as part of a concerted regimen aimed at expressing, understanding, and coming to terms with problematic thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Because of the uninhibited nature of many expressive art forms, journal writing can help us identify how we are really feeling and how we can improve upon that. It also helps that it’s cheap, essentially risk-free, and nearly anybody can do it. All you need is some paper, a pen, and anywhere from ten to sixty minutes a day. 

It’s important to remember, however, that persistent situations involving serious emotional and mental health problems should always be dealt with by a mental health professional. While therapeutic writing can help alleviate everyday stresses, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for professional therapy. For more information on the importance of mental health and when professional assistance is required, visit us at MD Home Health. Otherwise, get writing and start healing!


Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Pt. 2

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Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Know ALL the Risks and Costs Before Doing So. (Pt 2)  By Dave Hildebrandt, Executive Director of MD Home Health/MD Home Assist

Another area of consideration in directly hiring consists of taxes and insurance.  The IRS states that individual employers are liable for Social Security and unemployment taxes on the wages paid to a direct hire.  If you are considered to have “willfully” failed to withhold these taxes, you will be liable for not only the taxes but interest on the amount of underpayment and civil fines of up to $100,000 as well as possible criminal penalties.

Now, how about insurance? What if the caregiver is injured on the job? Back strains and falls are very common with home care.  Will your homeowner’s policy cover it, and if so, will the policy limits be sufficient?  What if the caregiver causes your loved one a serious, life-threatening or fatal injury? Will they have malpractice insurance that will compensate you for the costs? And finally, if the caregiver should break or steal any of your personal property, will they have a bond to reimburse you for their replacement?

All of these concerns are very real.  All of them can cost a family considerable amount of money and possibly even their lifetime savings should the worse occur.  But most importantly, the safety and welfare of your loved one may be at risk unless you can insure that all these steps are followed before allowing a privately hired caregiver into your home. Sure, the costs and time commitment of performing all these steps is probably more than you ever imagined, but do you really want to cut corners when dealing with the health care of your love one?

When considering ALL the costs and risks associated with the hiring of a competent caregiver, it becomes obvious that directly hiring may not be the most prudent route to go. Your alternative to direct hire? Hire a reputable, experienced agency to assume all the costs and risks associated with hiring, training, taxes and insurance, thus allowing you to give 100% of your attention and support to your loved one with the goal of them getting better or at least reaching maximum comfort.

For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


What is Home Assist?

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Everyone needs a little help especially as we grow older, fall ill or become disabled.  Sometimes we reach a point where we are no longer able to take care of ourselves or a family member’s daily duties or medical needs.  This is typically a tough realization for most people, however, many have found that Home Assist and Home Health provide invaluable help in their daily lives. So what is Home Assist? With Home Assist and Home Health, a professional is sent directly to your home in order to offer supportive services for non-medical and/or medical based needs.  These supportive services are provided to the elderly, chronically ill, children and the disabled.

Through Home Assist, caregivers assist patients with their daily duties or non-medical needs.  Based on a specific patient’s needs, caregivers can help with basic services such as home cleaning or running errands to more personal care services such as bathing or feeding. Home Assist is also available to help out new moms with infant care or provide aide to a sick child.
For medical-based needs, Home Health provides medical-based home health services from a registered nurse, LPN or therapist. Trained professionals can assist with post-surgical care, medication management, pediatric care, Alzheimer’s disease and other skilled services.

Under both programs, potential patients will meet with a licensed nurse or supervisor in order to create a customized plan fitting that patient’s specific needs.  With Home Health, the patient’s physician will also take part in coming up with a plan for care.  Upon meeting with a nurse or supervisor, initial care for Home Assist can begin in as little as 24 hours while Home Health medical-based care can begin within 48 hours.

Those who struggle or who have a family member that struggles with daily tasks or medical needs have found great assistance with these programs.  Home Assist and Home Health provides invaluable help to people up to 24 hours a day/seven days per week.

For more information on what is Home Assist/Home Health in addition to a list of services provided by MD Home Assist and MD Home Health please visit www.mdhomehealth.com/.


Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Pt. 1

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Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Know ALL the Risks and Costs Before Doing So. (Pt. 1)  By Dave Hildebrandt, Executive Director of MD Home Health/MD Home Assist

A recent study revealed that the cost of full time non-medical home care will average $45,000 per year in the state of Arizona (based on 44 hours of care per week). Given this, the tendency for some families will be to try to and economize by directly hiring a care giver to save money, rather than going through an agency.  This is a classic example of the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish”. Before taking this step, it is important that the consumer or family be aware of all the risks and costs associated with directly hiring a caregiver to save money.

There are basically two areas that a family must address when directly hiring a caregiver to save money: the caregiver’s personal background and clinical skills, and the administrative costs of taxes and insurance.

The first part to consider is the steps involved in conducting a background verification of a caregiver.  Once you have identified a potential candidate, which in and of itself is not always easy, you will need to interview them, run a criminal background check, credit and DMV check, verify their citizenship, their automobile insurance, and their list of references. Also, if they are licensed (CNA or RN/LPN), you will want to know if their license is current, in good standing, and if there has ever been any disciplinary action taken against them. Finally, you will want to be sure they have no communicable diseases, specifically TB, and have taken First Aid and have a current CPR training certification.

Should all of the background verification go smoothly, you will then need to be able to determine the actual competency of the caregiver, especially if you are requiring special skills that will be needed to provide the care. Are you qualified to do this?  Do you really want to use your loved one to test their competency?

And finally, suppose your direct-hired caregiver is sick, wants a day off, gets injured or simply doesn’t show for work.  Will you be prepared with a list of qualified and trained alternate caregivers who will report on a moment’s notice?

For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.


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