Caregivers

Meal Ideas For Seniors That Will Help You Plan For 2019

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Most seniors experience a decline in appetite as they age, so it’s often hard to make sure they’re getting enough nutrition in their diets. As the daughter of a senior loved one, you’ve probably worried about this in the past, especially given the fact that you have to balance your own family life and work schedule in the mix every day as well. To be sure that your elderly parent is eating healthy, the following meal suggestions are offered, to carry you into the holidays and beyond.

Breakfast ideas  

A great way to begin a holiday morning for your parent would be to make him/her some whole grain waffles or pancakes. Add a pat of butter and some blueberries on top, and for extra protein, include a handful of walnuts on the side.

Another good breakfast alternative is a good yogurt parfait, which includes yogurt, nuts, and fruit. This is a great combination of healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates, and Vitamin C.

A third option for breakfast is making one or two hard-boiled eggs, and serving them with whole grain toast and some fresh fruit. This is a well-rounded meal that’s light and loaded with nutrition.

Lunch options

One great lunchtime idea is a Southwest omelette, made with two eggs, chunks of pepper jack cheese, and a little chili sauce or salsa. Put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your frying pan, then add in the eggs, and as soon as they begin to firm up, you can add in the other ingredients. Fold over when cooked, and serve piping hot.

Eggs and red potatoes are a good choice for a quick lunch full of nutrition. Put a pat of butter into your frying pan, chop up some potatoes into the pan, and add scrambled eggs after the potatoes have cooked for five minutes. Season with pepper, herbs, and spices, but try to avoid using salt.

At holiday time, your elderly parent will love a quinoa salad, made with chopped up stir-fry vegetables, mushrooms, red pepper, and onions. Combine these with cooked quinoa and either pine nuts or pecans, and add a fresh Italian dressing.

Dinner meals

One great holiday option would be to prepare a grilled salmon steak. Top the salmon steak with sweet onion, tomatoes, one tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic, and fresh basil. Wrap up the entire fish mixture tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

For a great-tasting shrimp and pasta meal, begin by putting a pat of butter in your frying pan, along with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add in some garlic, chopped fresh herbs, and one or two handfuls of shrimp. Toss the ingredients together, and cook them all until the shrimp is done, then place all ingredients over a bed of pasta, and top with tomatoes.

Southwest chicken salad is a great tasty meal that is simple to prepare, starting with cutting up a boneless, skinless chicken breast into your frying pan, along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salsa when the chicken is cooked, and serve warm to your appreciative loved one.

Need senior care for 2019?

If you’ll need care for your senior loved one in 2019, contact MD Home Health, the Phoenix Home Health organization which provides the very best caregiving for your elderly parents. We can customize a care plan for your loved one, based entirely on their needs and on your budget, so call us to get the process started today.


The 5 Truths You Need To Know About Home Health Care

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Most seniors would readily choose to remain in their homes as their preferred option, when needing health care which can’t be provided to them by themselves or family members. This could be after surgery which requires rehabilitation, or there could be some other situation which requires occasional or full-time supervision. If you’re considering home health care for your senior loved one, here are some of the most important things to know about the service.

  1. Home health care benefits many people, not just the home-bound

Many people have the mistaken idea that home healthcare only applies to bedridden invalids, but the truth is far different than this. Instead, home healthcare can be ideal for seniors who are adjusting to significant new medications, for those who are unable to manage household activities, those experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline, and for those who are unable to safely navigate around the home without assistance. Home care is also ideal for persons who require physical therapy or some kind of skilled nursing care, and possibly even speech therapy.

  1. Home health is designed with the comfort in mind

One of the most important aspects of home healthcare is that it allows a senior to remain at home, where more than 90% of them prefer to be. Home surroundings are always the most comforting and memorable to a senior, often being the site of many years of memories with loved ones. Once a home caregiver has had the opportunity to work with your senior loved one, they can quickly identify favored habits and preferences which can be accommodated. At the same time, any physical or mental needs can also be addressed, so as to develop a care plan tailored to the individual.

  1. Home health is both medical and non-medical – complete care

It’s much easier in a home setting to address all the needs of a person requiring care, which is the holistic approach to caregiving. Virtually all aspects of a senior’s daily routine can be assisted in some way by a competent caregiving professional, and the caregiver can also serve as a monitor of the senior’s daily health and wellness status. Medications can be scheduled and taken on time under the supervision of a qualified caregiver. The healthcare professional can also recommend nutritional meals and help to prepare them, and can encourage as much exercise as the senior individual is capable of.

  1. Not all agencies are created equal – look for full-service

As you might expect, all healthcare agencies and organizations are not the same, just as all home caregivers are not the same. Before signing up for services for your senior loved one, be sure to find out whether or not an agency is certified for home care giving, and that their employees have been adequately screened, so that you can trust the professional service you’ll be receiving. Make sure to do your homework and research a healthcare organization which you are considering for home care service, so that you don’t get unpleasantly surprised sometime in the future.

  1. It shows when a home health agency truly cares

When you find a home healthcare agency that really cares about your senior loved one, and goes the extra mile to make sure that their health and wellness are truly of concern, you’ll know it right away. You’ll be able to tell by the way a caregiver interacts with your loved one, the kind of companionship which is provided, the way your loved one responds to a caregiver’s company, and your loved one’s general demeanor during the period of caregiving. If your parent is doing well and is happy under the supervision of a specific home care provider, that’s probably the best indicator that great care is being extended.

Caregiving help for your loved ones

When the health and wellness of your senior loved ones are at stake, you really want the best possible in-home care, and that means you should have MD Home Health professionals involved. Contact us at MD Home Health for the best Phoenix Home Health Care, to be sure that your loved ones are receiving the full attention of caring professionals, right in the comfortable surroundings of their own home.

 


Fun Fall Activities For Seniors And Caregivers

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Most seniors living at home are only too glad to be involved with a worthwhile activity that makes them feel productive, and which also creates something worthy of admiration. There are tons of fall activities that seniors and their caregivers can do together, and both persons will benefit from having undertaken them. For starters, the five activities described below should help kindle some ideas in your head, but there are hundreds more that can be extremely enjoyable for seniors and their caregivers.

  1. Pumpkin picking and carving

Almost any community you visit in Arizona has a Pumpkin Festival somewhere around this time of year, so you won’t have any trouble finding an event to attend. There are at least half a dozen in the greater Phoenix area alone, and most of them have lots of activities for you and your caregiver to participate in, so as to catch the Halloween Spirit.

  1. Make fall decorations with your loved one

Spending quality time with friends and caretakers is always a rewarding activity, and in the busy world of the 21st century, it seems that there is less and less time for these kinds of rewarding sessions. Fall is a great time to gather up some gourds and corn stalks and create a fascinating porch display that exudes country living. You might want to just cut out some typical fall decorations from construction paper, and hang your pumpkins, leaves, and maize cutouts all around the house, for a great seasonal dress-up.

  1. Outdoor activities

With the weather cooling off a bit, it’s more conducive to taking a stroll through parks and gardens, to appreciate the beauty of nature, and to relax for a while outdoors before returning to the less expansive world inside the home. There are also lots of fall festivals you can attend, such as the Oktoberfest celebrations at Overgaard and Mt. Lemon, the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, and the Music & Art Festival in Patagonia, AZ.

  1. Go to a football game

Football season has just begun, and now is the best time to go see an Arizona Cardinals game at the University of Phoenix Stadium. All teams are still in the running for making the playoffs, and the weather is great for watching a game at the stadium. You might go with friends and enjoy a parking lot tailgate party, or just have some traditional stadium foods and beverages to enhance your appreciation of the event. While you’re there, make sure to purchase a Cardinals souvenir as a reminder of your day at the stadium, and who knows? – You may even see a very interesting football game.

  1. Make fun holiday/fall treats

When the weather cools off, it’s more fun to get involved with preparing fun fall treats, and special baked goods for the holidays. Cookies are a favorite treat for most people, both young and old, and some pumpkin-shaped cookies are not only great expressions of the coming season, but are a very enjoyable snack to have with some cider or coffee. Apple or pumpkin pies are loved by practically everyone, a flavorful squash soup will satisfy the hearty appetites in your household, and for a really special holiday treat, you could make a Christmas-tree shaped breadsticks-wrapped-in-spinach gourmet treat. If you run out of ideas, there are literally thousands online for you to choose from.

In need of home care services?

There are definitely a number of home health care organizations in Arizona which you might choose for your own home care, but to be sure of having the most professional care, customized to your own specific needs, you should trust MD Home Health. Contact us at MD Home Health with any questions you might have about caregivers, or to schedule an interview for home care.

 


10 Books Caregivers Need To Read

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A survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, in tandem with AARP, discovered that there are nearly 70 million caregivers in the US who are obliged to provide some kind of care for least one individual who is disabled, ill, or elderly. Of course, not all of these are professional caregivers like those at MD Home Health, and they might even be relatives of the person needing care, but still the total number of caregivers in this country is staggering.

One of the issues made clear in this survey result was that a large number of these caregivers felt overwhelmed or somewhat helpless by the task which they were obliged to perform, and many expressed the need for more information and greater skills. One of the best ways to actively address this situation is to delve into the treasure trove of health-related and caregiving books available to interested readers. Here are 10 of the best books, which you might want to use to upgrade your skills and increase your understanding of caregiving best practices.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding” by Joan Lunden and Amy Newmark

Many caregivers are inspired by reading about how other people in similar situations have managed to sacrifice and provide needed care to others, while persevering against all manner of challenges. Co-author Joan Lunden includes 101 stories which chronicle the specific things faced by some family caregivers in helping their love ones enjoy a greater quality of life.

“Our Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents – and Ourselves”, by Jane Gross

Jane Gross is a former New York Times reporter who has provided in this book a kind of how-to primer for dealing with elderly care in the US, including Medicare and the general system as well. It’s also a personal memoir about how the author managed to care for her own aging parents, written with brutal candor that everyone can relate to.

“The Caregivers Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself”, by Alexis Abramson

Being a member of the ‘sandwich generation’ can be very frustrating for a woman these days, because it means you’re providing care to for both young children and aging parents. In the midst of all that, you’re probably also under-appreciated as a person yourself. Much of this book deals with how you can cope with the stresses involved with this dual care arrangement, in the face of maintaining a healthy work/home life balance.

“While They’re Still Here: A Memoir”, by Patricia Williams

Many people in America are confronted with the same situation presented in this book, which is that of a daughter suddenly forced into the role of becoming the only caregiver for aging parents. Struggling with all the challenges of her own personal life, the author discusses how she learned to provide care for her elderly loved ones with courage and with grace.

“Living With Dying: Complete Guide for Caregivers”, by Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham

A very informative and practical book for caregivers, this volume provides easy-to-follow recommendations for treating various medical conditions and symptoms, and having those difficult conversations with your elderly loved ones.

“The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic New Approach to Alzheimer’s disease and Other Dementias”, by Gayatri Devi

In the midst of all the gloom surrounding dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease, the author provides a glimmer of hope for those caregivers facing the challenge of an afflicted elderly loved one. The book covers hopeful topics like maintaining independence, and positive communications with those suffering from dementia.

“Caregiver Defined: Words That Honor the Work of the Caregiver”, by Michael Fortuna

In this volume, the author paints a very positive image of caregivers who provide needed assistance for loved ones, including some heartfelt recollections of his own experience. This is an inspirational peon to the thankless task which many caregivers undertake every day in America.

“Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose About Alzheimer’s disease”, by Holly J Hughes

This is a compilation of the work of more than 100 authors who are also medical professionals and family caregivers. Each one has contributed a special reflection on someone they know who is afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, and every contribution is touching in its own way.

“A Gradual Disappearance”, by Elizabeth Lonseth

The author provides a Christian perspective on family caregiving, which is infused with much of her own experience on the subject, as she cared for several relatives who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. It provides a number of key insights on how to cope with all those behaviors manifested by dementia patients.

“No Saints Around Here: A Caregivers Days”, by Susan Allen Toth

This memoir by the author showcases her own caregiving experience for her spouse who was afflicted by Parkinson’s disease. The gut-wrenching challenges which she faced, right up until the end are vividly chronicled, along with her own practical suggestions for coping with it all.

Phoenix Health Care assistance

Many of the challenges faced by family caregivers are also managed by our professionals at MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, and as respected members of the Arizona Health Care network, our caregivers are always ready and willing to take on new challenges for our clients. Contact us at your earliest convenience, so we can discuss home health care for your loved one or for yourself.

 


Practical Tips For Finding The Right Doctor For Your Aging Parent

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Most people who are young and healthy don’t think it’s much of an issue to find a new doctor when that becomes necessary. However, if you have an aging parent who has been under the care of a particular doctor for years and possibly even decades, it can be a very difficult thing to accomplish. More than likely, over the years your aging parent has established a strong relationship of trust and confidence in a specific doctor, and if that doctor is no longer available for whatever reason, it can come as a big shock to your parent. Your AZ healthcare professionals from MD Home Health offer the following tips on how to find the right doctor(s) for your aging parent.

Insurance coverage

One of the first considerations that you should have when replacing your elderly parent’s medical team is choosing a primary care doctor who accepts the insurance that you have. Cost can be a major factor when medical expenses start piling up, and you want to be sure that the insurance carrier for your parent includes a primary care doctor in their network. This goes the same for Medicare of course, and although most doctors do accept Medicare, it’s not automatically true that Medicare works with all doctors.

The right G.P.

Many elderly patients have a number of medical professionals whom they receive treatment from, but virtually all seniors are under the care of at least a general practitioner, so that’s a good place to start when finding replacement medical care. The most important thing about finding the right general practitioner is to identify one who is compatible with your parent, in terms of personality and delivered care. This should be someone whom your parent can establish a good rapport with, and who will keep your parent informed with accurate information.

Identifying replacement specialists

It’s always a little harder trying to find replacements for any specialists whom an elderly parent was seeing. First of all, there may be practical limitations in terms of insurance coverage, and also in terms of the specialists available in your area. Again, you should seek to find someone who is a personality fit with your parent, but beyond that, you should also look for someone who shares the same philosophy as your loved one. For example, a specialist who is very science-oriented and relies heavily on medications, would be a far different kind of provider than would be someone who is more of a holistic practitioner, and prefers herbal cures and home remedies.

Don’t forget the office staff

This is especially important if your elderly loved one makes frequent visits to a doctor’s office or a clinic, because staff people can make all the difference in having a patient feel welcome and important, or inconsequential and something of a bother. Ideally, you’d want to have an office staff that is very helpful and considerate of any disabilities or challenges due to physical or medical mental issues that your parent may have. Friendliness and a kind word go a long way, and while a stony greeting may also make a powerful impression, it’s not the one you want for your loved one.

MD Home Health and MD Home Assist

When home care is needed by your elderly loved one, the best Phoenix healthcare is provided by MD Home Health, caregivers who are dedicated to providing the very best home care for those who are homebound, and need at least some level of assistance. Contact us today for all your home care needs, and set your mind at ease about your elderly loved one being safe, secure, and well cared for.

 


Preventing Boredom: Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Engage Your Loved One 

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The activities you share with your senior loved one during visits or when you’re home from work, can have a tremendous effect on her quality of life and general outlook, so it’s really important that these times are maximized and enjoyed to the fullest. Even if it is not readily observable, the impact of shared activities can go a long way toward boosting her mood, and significantly reducing anxiety or agitation that might otherwise trouble her.

After you’ve gone through some of the old standby shared activities, you should consider some really inventive, out-of-the-box ideas which can maintain her interest and really engage her. Here are a few possibilities to consider.

Playing with children’s toys

This might seem like an odd suggestion, given the fact that these objects were created with children in mind, but older adults can experience these very same objects in an entirely different manner. For example, a simple puzzle might take your senior loved one back to childhood days and recall warm memories of the time. A children’s toolbox might trigger recollections from your senior parent about home repairs or do-it-yourselfer activities that he used to enjoy doing around the household. If you discover that ideas like this work really well with your parent, by all means, get involved yourself, and enjoy playing with children’s toys to engage your loved one.

Fun group activities

There are any of community groups which regularly meet to benefit seniors, and provide them with an outlet for socializing and engaging in fun activities. There are dance groups, card-playing groups, movie-watching groups, and even tap dancing groups, which have formed in almost every community in the country for this purpose, and which can really get your senior your loved one involved, and enjoying life again.

Treasure hunting

One very different way of really engaging your senior loved one is to take her on a treasure hunting expedition with a metal detector. This can be a very exciting time, as new discoveries are encountered, and interest is sustained throughout the entire treasure-hunting experience. It can be even more exciting, when there’s a legitimate chance of finding something interesting, but even without any spectacular discoveries, the whole experience can be a very usual and engaging way of spending some time with your loved one.

Community projects

There are always community projects which you can participate in with your senior loved one, and there is a double good feeling associated with such activities. In the first place, it will be excellent therapy to have your loved one involved and participating in a large project. It will also make her feel good to be contributing to society in general, and performing some kind of action that makes the community a better place. Some activities like this might include planting trees in the neighborhood, gardening around public buildings, and doing sponsored walks for a good cause.

Monthly or weekly game nights

Set aside a regularly-occurring night each week or each month, when you get together with your senior loved one, and play a different game each time. There are numerous board games which you could play that are fairly easy to grasp, and your senior your loved one will probably just love the fact that you’re taking the time to be with her, and share an activity you can both enjoy. Something as simple as Yahtzee might be a wonderful way of engaging with your loved one, and showing her that you really care.

Additional care for your senior loved one

There are of course, situations where your busy life at work and with your own family simply won’t allow for as much regular engagement with your loved one as you would like to have. For these situations, you should contact MD Home Health/MD Home Assist, so we can help fill in the gaps in home health care for your loved one. The compassionate and caring companionship provided by a professional caregiver from an Arizona health care specialist might include many of the same creative ideas, and others like them, which are described above.


20 Caregiver Quotes That Will Inspire You

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Caring for others is thought to be at the very summit of human emotion, and why the practice of caring elevates each of us to a place above our ordinary existence. While caring for a loved one is rewarding and life-affirming, it can also be a trying time. Sometimes we need a little inspiration to get us through those difficult days. We compiled 20 inspirational caregiver quotes that we hope inspire you.

The Quotes

  1. “Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” ― Tia Walker, from The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love
  2. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” — Mother Teresa
  4. “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. —Michael J. Fox, actor
  5. “The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” – Carson McCullers
  6. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
  7. “The simple act of caring is HEROIC.” – Edward Albert
  8. “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” — Mason Cooley
  9. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
  10. “Although the days are busy and the workload is always growing, there are still those special moments when someone says or does something and you know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. That’s why I became a nurse.” — Diane McKenty
  11. “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” – Tia Walker
  12. “No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” – Lee Iacocca
  13. “Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana
  14. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
  15. “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn
  16. “Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy.” — Chogyam Trungpa
  17. “Be determined to handle any challenge in a way that will make you grow.” — Les Brown
  18. “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” — Emory Austin
  19. “God gave burdens; he also gave shoulders.” — Yiddish Proverb
  20. “No matter what the relationship was between the parent and child—whatever it was—this is going to be extremely challenging because it is not logical. There’s no way to deal with it rationally or directly. You don’t reason it out. What I’ve said to so many people is: we always must lead with our love.” ― Dr. Stephen Hoag

Inspired professionals at MD Home Health

Arizona health care professionals have the kind of caring and compassion which is at the heart of each of the quotations above. When you want that kind of care for your senior loved one, contact the caregivers from MD Home Health, and provide the very finest in home health care to the persons in your life who mean so much to you.

 


10 Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Summer Heat

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With the intense heat of the Phoenix, Arizona summer right around the corner, many area seniors will be more at risk for heat stroke and heat exposure, as rising temperatures begin to pose a potential health risk. When temperatures begin soaring past 110 degrees Fahrenheit, seniors’ bodies simply don’t adjust very well to the higher temperatures like younger persons might, so this makes it extremely important that precautions be taken to keep seniors cool during this time of year. With this being the case, AZ health care professionals and caregivers offer a few home health tips to keep in mind, to help safeguard your senior relative against the potential dangers of summertime heat.

Drink Lots of Liquids

It’s important for all people to stay hydrated during the heat of summer, but seniors are especially prone to becoming dehydrated when exposed to the strong rays of the sun. Make sure your loved one has plenty of fluids to stave off the naturally drying effect of strong sunshine.

Keep Cool When Active

Participating in activities which encourage socialization and exercise are always important, and they shouldn’t be abandoned in summertime just because of the heat. There are lots of ways to stay active while socializing and exercising, for instance engaging in Open Swim time for seniors at the local aquatic center.

Be Aware of How Sun Impacts Medications

There are a number of medications which are not nearly as effective, and can even cause problems with body temperature regulation, when the patient is exposed to prolonged warm conditions. Phoenix home health and Arizona health care professionals urge you to read all instructions on medication labels to make sure that there are no harmful effects caused by being in the sun for a while.

Visit Well-Conditioned Places

When you’re out around town enjoying a short road trip with your senior loved one, be sure to include places which have good air-conditioning and make it pleasant for seniors. Shopping malls, coffee shops, and recreation centers are just a few of the places which might be nice to visit, if they provide well-conditioned air.

Avoid Heavy Meals

Heavy meals put a strain on the digestive system, and since calories are actually measures of heat, it’s better to avoid high-calorie meals which will generate more body heat. Try lighter fare such as pasta salads, garden salads, and fruits or vegetables.

Be Careful of Car Exposure

You should always leave windows open if you’re going into any store without your senior loved one, and even then it should not be for any extended period. While traveling, make sure that there is adequate cooling in the vehicle.

Monitor Sun Exposure Outdoors

Direct exposure to the sun should be limited for seniors, since they will burn much easier and do not cope with extreme heat as well as younger people. Monitor the amount of sun your senior gets daily, and avoid anything excessive.

Keep Indoors Cool

If you don’t have air conditioning running through the heat of the day, make sure that all windows are kept open, and that shades are drawn, so there can at least be good air circulation throughout the home, while also deflecting the sunshine.

Eat Cool Snacks

A good way to cool down is with a bowl of ice cream or a popsicle, even though the cooling effect is only temporary. The important point is that this interrupts the buildup of heat for a senior, and can instantly provide a level of comfort.

Wear Lightweight Clothing

Clothing can have a big impact on anyone’s comfort level outdoors, so make sure your senior is dressed in lightweight attire when outdoors. This should include items which do not absorb moisture or stick to the skin, and if appropriate, items which leave some areas of the body open, so as to benefit from air flow.

Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming, no matter the season. If you are looking for senior health care or home care in the Phoenix area, contact us today. We have home health care options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.

 


Use This Handy Checklist to Find the Right Caregiver for your Loved One

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Most people are aware that the overall population of the U.S. is aging, and that more and more elderly people require partial or full-time care, just to carry out the basic daily necessities of living. The professionals at MD Home Health, as well as Arizona health care workers throughout the state, urge you to take the time to find the right caregiver for your elderly loved one. Even those seniors who are not physically disabled, are still much more vulnerable than younger persons, so it becomes extremely important to be sure that they are getting the right kind of AZ home health care.

Here is a handy checklist you can use to make sure that your loved one receives proper treatment from a Phoenix health care aide.

Phoenix Home Health Checklist

  • The home health care agency does background checks on all its employees, especially those directly employed as caregivers.
  • Caregivers can be available during the night if needed, and on an emergency basis, should that be necessary.
  • The agency can provide the type of care needed by your loved one, and at the hours recommended by your family doctor for that kind of care.
  • Either the home health agency itself can provide extra needed services, or can help arrange for them – some examples might be for having meals delivered, physical therapy, mental health counseling, etc.
  • If your loved one lives alone, you may need some level of housekeeping services, in addition to bathing, dressing, shopping, transportation, meal preparation, possibly laundry service, navigational assistance, and medication reminders.
  • When skilled nursing care is needed by your senior loved one, any agency which you work with will need to have that kind of professional experience available, and must be properly certified for that work.
  • References or online reviews are available about the agency and individuals employed by the agency, and these references are predominantly positive in nature.
  • Any special needs which your senior might have, such as language, physical disability, hearing/vision loss, can be accommodated by the firm that you consider for AZ health care.
  • The cost of home health care with a candidate agency is within your budget, without having to sacrifice important services needed by your loved one.
  • It may be difficult to learn about a specific caregiver’s personality and his/her on-the-job manner, but this could be critical to having your favorite senior be compatible with the caregiver. If you can talk with other people who your candidate has worked with, you may be able to anticipate what to expect from them. If it is possible, both you and your elderly loved one should have a preliminary interview with a candidate to get a feel for what they’re like, and whether he/she is likely to get along with your senior.



Your Final Decision

In the end, there is bound to be a certain amount of guesswork and intuition involved with making a choice for the role of your senior’s caregiver. While you might get a strong feeling about a candidate caregiver merely from talking with them, when you get around to making a final decision, it should be based on factors more practical than how you feel about someone. By consulting the above checklist, and adding in any other important factors for your situation, you stand the best chance of making a good decision about home health care for your loved one.

If you are looking for senior health care or home care in the Phoenix area, contact us today. We have home health care options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.


Tips for Helping Seniors With Their Taxes  

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When tax season rolls around, it can be a particularly anxious time for many seniors, and this is true for several reasons. First of all, any income received is often not via employment, so the tax model they were subject to for most of their lives will have changed. Then too, the tax laws themselves change fairly often, and it’s hard for anyone to keep abreast of the impact they have on preparing taxes.

Seniors are also one of the favored targets of identity theft criminals, and tax filing time amounts to open season on seniors for such criminal opportunists. Your AZ home health caregivers recommend taking advantage of the cautions and the available assistance described below for your senior loved one, to help get them through this particularly worrisome time of year.

Avoiding Tax Scams and Frauds

One of the ways that MD home health caregivers can help their senior charges avoid falling into the trap of tax scams and frauds which are so prevalent at this time of year is to help seniors observe some of the following precautions:

  • Document storage – all personal documents should be stored throughout the year in a secure place, out of the sight of visitors and secure against intruders. For instance, all credit card statements, financial statements, Medicare documents, and any kind of insurance documents should be safely stored somewhere.
  • Be cautious on phone calls – no personal data should ever be revealed during a phone conversation, even if the caller threatens dire circumstances. In fact, this is one of the most common ruses devised by tax fraud scammers, often who claim to represent the IRS and ask for personal data.
  • Be careful about paid tax preparers – it’s fairly common for tax fraud specialists to setup a booth at a mall, claiming to be a paid tax preparer, only to disappear after having defrauded clients of filing fees. Do some research on anyone you might be considering as a paid tax specialist.
  • Destroy obsolete documents – when important personal documents have outlived their usefulness, shred them so they can’t be re-assembled and used by criminals.

 

Helpful Resources

There are some helpful resources you can take advantage of, as they offer tax preparation services which are either free of charge, or setup to accommodate very low income households:

      • Local options – most communities have local nonprofit organizations which offer free tax services to elderly adults, for example agencies on aging, local libraries, and senior centers
      • AARP Foundation Tax Aide – this organization provides tax assistance service for low income adults, and it has the built-in advantage of being familiar to most seniors already
      • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) – the IRS itself sponsors this program, aimed specifically at adults aged 60+. In-person assistance is offered by certified volunteers on a personal basis.


Phoenix Home Health and Tax Assistance

It might not seem like it, but part of Phoenix health care, and for that matter all of Arizona health care, includes providing some kind of assistance to seniors who need help at tax time. Without that AZ health care and assistance, tax time could be a lot more stressful for the elderly, because of the huge potential for confusion associated with the process. Help put your elderly loved one’s mind at ease by following some of the recommendations discussed above.

Taking care of an aging parent or loved one can be a stressful experience. But you do not have to endure it alone. We take senior health care very seriously, and as one of the top home health care companies in Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.