elderly health

Festive Holiday Activities For Seniors And Caregivers

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Holiday times are all about being together and having fun with family members, even if your senior loved ones may have physical limitations or some level of cognitive impairment. The activities you plan with your senior loved ones don’t even need to be very special, because it’s the togetherness aspect which matters most to them and to yourself. With that in mind, here are a number of activities which can be shared with seniors and their caregivers.

Make a gingerbread house  

This is a wonderful holiday activity to involve your parents with, and it can either be done completely from scratch, or from one of the many kits which are available in holiday stores. It can be great fun to bake the gingerbread, add on the frosting, and then decorate the house with all kinds of candies. When you’re done, you’ll have something that your parents can be proud of, and which can be displayed right along with all the other household decorations.

Create a snowman

A holiday snowman can be a perfect touch for indoor decorations, and it can be placed almost anywhere after you’ve finished working on it. The beauty of making a snowman with your elderly loved one is that you can literally use almost any materials to get the job done. You can purchase a ready-made kit from a seasonal store, or you can purchase some foam balls, and use buttons for the eyes and nose. A craft shop will be a good place to pick up a little hat and broom, or you can use materials from around the house.

Bake holiday cookies

Everyone loves holiday cookies, and just about everyone loves being involved with making them. Your parents will too, because they will love to create something that is appreciated by guests and household members alike, and holiday baking is a tradition that your parents most likely participated in themselves when they were younger. Carry on that tradition with some tasty treats that will put everyone in the right mood for the holidays.

Make a holiday centerpiece

Every holiday dinner table needs a centerpiece to focus on, and involving your senior loved ones in making that centerpiece will give them a wonderful sense of participating in the holiday preparations. Your centerpiece might be an elaborate flower arrangement, or it could be a Christmas-themed display, such as Santa and his reindeer. Regardless of the subject though, your parents will feel great about having contributed to the festivities by helping with the centerpiece.

Sharing holiday memories

One of the nicest things you can do with your elderly loved ones would be to sit with them at some point during the season, and just go through old photo albums to reminisce about times which have gone by. Almost everyone is genuinely touched when recalling the happy times of the past, and what things were like during those days. Enhance the memory-sharing with a tea party and cookies to make it a special event that your parents will absolutely love, and which will likely be one of the highlights of the season for them.

Phoenix home health needs

Take all the stress away from the holidays by contacting MD Home Health, your Phoenix caregivers who provide full service caring for seniors and disabled persons. We do it all, so that you can enjoy the holidays more, and so that your senior loved ones can also get the most out of the holiday season.


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.

 


Healthy Indoor Plants for a Healthy Home

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It is well known that spending time outdoors in nature is proven to reduce anxiety and depression. But, there can also be many health benefits of bringing nature inside. Adding a few indoor plants to your home will not only boost your mood by adding splashes of color, but will also improve your health. Indoor plants naturally filter the toxic air in your household. Toxins can come into your house in many ways, through dry cleaning chemicals, household-cleaning products (such as furniture polish and oils), and from dish and laundry detergents. By selecting a few of your favorite plants or flowers and bringing them into the house, you will minimize the respiratory and neurological damage outside toxins can cause.

Flower Power

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Indoor flowers will require a little work and a lot of light. However, they bring cheer, fragrance, and cleaner air into any room you place them. Gerbera Daisies are beautiful flowers that come in a wide variation of pinks, reds, and yellows. These flowers can assist in removing the toxins benzene, which is present in many inks and dyes, and Trichloroethylene (also known as TCE), which contaminates our drinking water.

 

The popular Chrysanthemum, or ‘Mum’ is another fun, colorful flower option for your home. With lots of water and light, Mum’s will flourish in your home and clarify your air from benzene. For an added health benefit, use the leaves to make your own Chrysanthemum tea. The tea is known for its amazing health benefits, which range from helping clear sinuses, to preventing eye deterioration as you age.

Pick a Plant

Indoor plants tend to be a bit more durable compared to their flower counterparts, but still offer amazing health benefits. For a no fuss option, consider a Rubber Plant, which can tolerate low temperatures and little light. Bamboo Palms can add a tropical flair to your home while removing toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Your Bamboo Palm will do best in a window with direct sunlight, and you can enjoy watching it grow to be several feet tall. If you are someone who often forgets to water your plants, consider an Aloe Vera plant .The Aloe plant requires minimal attention but still detoxifies your air, and can also be used to treat minor cuts and burns.

For more creative ways to make your home and body healthier, read more on our blog or contact MD Home Health


Great Activities For Seniors To Stay Active

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Senior Activities

As you age, it gets harder and harder to do the activities you used to do to stay healthy and active. Even if you can’t run five miles or go rock climbing anymore, that doesn’t mean the rest of your days are relegated to your couch. The more you stay active as you get older, the younger you will feel, and there are a number of great activities for seniors to stay active.

For some general guidelines, healthcare professionals recommend that seniors get at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or an hour and fifteen minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity a week. This amount of activity will help ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and dementia. Aerobic activities can include walking at a brisk pace, jogging with some friends, taking a water aerobics class, or even pushing a lawn mower. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate going faster than usual and reduces the amount of time you spend watching television or doing other sedentary activities.

Unfortunately, daily activities like shopping, cooking, and housework don’t count as aerobic activities, but there are ways that you can turn these into strength-building exercises through functional fitness. Functional fitness is an exercise regimen that involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities like lifting a heavy bag of groceries or getting in and out of a low chair. By strengthening the muscles you use for these activities, you can minimize your chance of injuring yourself while making it easier to do these sorts of activities on a regular basis by yourself. You’ll be better able to go grocery or clothes shopping, go out to eat, or any number of other things that can increase your feeling of independence.

If you’re feeling especially spry, you can even try yoga to stay social, strengthen muscle, and keep your joints flexible.

While getting older isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we recommend incorporating these great activities into a weekly routine to help you feel young, healthy, and independent.


Strength Training for Seniors

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Strength Training Tips for Seniors

As we age, our bodies take on a toll of the burdens we’ve put our bodies through over the years. Aging doesn’t mean that we should stop working out altogether, rather, we should strive to be at our best even in our later years. Here are some top strength training tips to get started on a regiment of building up muscle strength.strength

#1) Stand in front of a chair, then alternate repeatedly between sitting and standing. Don’t plop down; lower into the chair with control every time.

#2) Practice pushups, modified to your comfort level such as knees on floor, or standing pushup in which you’re pushing off a wall or railing. Remember to go at your own pace, and to only do as much as you’re comfortable with.

#3) Squats with light hand placement on secure object for balance. Don’t push yourself too hard, if you feel like you need to take a break, or stop and catch a breath, do what your body is telling you to do.

#4) Deadlifts: The deadlift is when you stand before a barbell that’s on the floor or a tracked device such as a Smith machine. Keeping legs nearly straight (slightly bent knees), you bend at the hips, keeping back slightly arched. Do not hunch your back. Bend over just enough to pick up the barbell. Usually, palms face away from you, but they can face forward.

Keeping legs nearly straight, back slightly arched, arms nearly straight (do not lock out elbows, but don’t bend arms, either), pull the weight up as you return to your start position. That is one repetition.

#5) Leg presses: It’s best to do these on a leg press machine, and to keep your back straight. It’s also helpful to remember to exhale as you push out.

The detriment of not doing strength training is a result in a loss of muscle, beginning at around age 30. This starts occurring in people who don’t do strength training – structured weight-bearing workouts. This muscle loss equates to about five pounds per decade. So even though an elderly woman may still be able to “fit” into her wedding dress of decades past, her body composition has radically changed if she’s been losing five pounds of muscle every decade!

Keep these strength training tips in handy, and remember to that should you or your loved one require assistance, to get in touch with one of our qualified caregivers at www.mdhomehealth.com