elderly healthy living

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

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With winter on the horizon, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the health of your senior loved ones throughout the long cold season. It’s very easy to have a downturn in mood through the winter months, especially because it often confines elderly persons to the home. Then too, the warmth and the cheer of summer seems long gone, and with it, much of the joy and good feeling that attends the summer season. That makes it especially important for you to ensure that your senior loved ones are maintaining their health through the winter months.

Maintain social contact

Seniors and their caregivers sometimes feel isolated during winter months, so it’s a good idea to fight off that isolationist feeling by being more social. If possible, arrange for meetings for coffee or other social events, so that spirits can be lifted and good company can be enjoyed. Depending on the health and physical well-being of your parent, it might be a good idea to have them volunteer to help others, since this is always a good mood booster.

Keep exercising

The benefits of exercising are well-known, with regard to the physical enhancement as well as mood enhancement. If your senior parent is up to it, take the exercise program outdoors and bundle up for a good walk in the chilly weather. Make sure to dress properly for such forays, and try to enjoy the weather rather than be held prisoner by it.

Keep the home warm

As people age, it often becomes more difficult to maintain the appropriate body temperature, sometimes due to declining circulation. That makes it important to maintain a proper temperature in the home, so that seniors don’t feel excessively chilly, or catch cold due to some kind of exposure. If you can maintain the thermometer at 68°F, that should be sufficient for keeping your loved ones warm and comfortable through the winter.

Eat healthy

It can be a little more challenging to eat healthy during the wintertime, since many of the fresh produce items are unavailable, or they cost much more. When this begins to happen in your area, check on the availability and the cost of frozen vegetables, which generally contain much lower amounts of sodium than canned vegetables do. In addition to eating as many fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as possible, it’s wise to maintain the immune system as well. Make sure your elderly loved one has all the vitamins he/she needs, either by taking supplements, or by eating foods such as fish, poultry, and eggs.

Get some sunshine

It’s important to keep sunshine in your daily routine as a means of trying to beat the winter blues. Sunshine also provides a body with vitamin D, so it has a health benefit as well as a mood benefit. Take your parent along when you walk the dog, or for a stroll around the neighborhood. On days where it might be too cold for a walk outside, open up the curtains and the blinds to let the sunshine in, and have your loved one sit by the window for a while. A number of studies have been conducted on the value and the importance of maintaining natural light as part of your daily routine, so keep this high on your list to fight the winter blahs.

Do you need home health care?

One important part of keeping loved ones like your parents healthy during the upcoming winter, may be to include home health care as part of their overall care program. Contact MD Home Health to obtain the best Arizona health care for your senior loved ones, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that all their health needs will be provided for, by the best team of caregivers in the state.


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.


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.

 


What to do When Seniors Stop Eating

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Given that this month is ‘National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month’, it’s a great time to be a little bit more aware of what your elderly loved ones are including in their daily diets, and whether those things are conducive to good senior health. It’s also good to be aware of how fresh the foods in the refrigerator are, because it’s always possible that things aren’t being monitored closely for expiration dates and for freshness.

Then again, there may be times when, even if you are taking steps to make foods appealing and healthy for your senior loved one, they just aren’t interested in eating. AZ Health Care professionals recommend some of the following ideas for encouraging your senior to eat a little more, and if you can’t be around personally to do that, by all means consider retaining Phoenix health care specialists to help support the healthy eating initiatives at home.

Possible Responses

The first thing you should do is make sure that your senior’s disinterest in foods isn’t due to a medical condition, or a result of some medication they’re taking for a condition already present. Assuming that isn’t the cause, it’s worth a try to adjust the timing of served meals, adapting mealtimes to when your senior seems hungry, rather than at traditional times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The way you serve meals may also have an impact. For instance, your senior may feel more confident about eating soup from a cup than a bowl, or he/she may prefer meats which have been cut up into small bites, as opposed to the cuts they were sold in.

Adding a little seasoning might increase the appeal of certain foods, and since seniors typically begin to lose taste as they age, a little extra might be just the ticket. Sometimes, seniors just aren’t interested in eating alone, and might feel more inclined if they had a partner to share with. Inquire about social meals and get-togethers at local community centers to make the experience more enjoyable.

When seniors develop increasingly low appetites, it’s better to provide them with heavy doses of nutrients rather than larger portions. Healthy calories from peanut butter and other foods might strike their fancy. And if the issue is that your loved one simply doesn’t enjoy cooking anymore, why not pitch right in, and share the preparation and cooking tasks with him/her? It will provide some good quality time to be with your loved one, and it may even overcome their disinterest in the whole cooking process.

One or more of these suggestions should do the trick, but if your senior loved one still shows little interest in eating after all your efforts, you might want to consider using an appetite stimulant to be sure they’re getting the nutrition needed.  

Monitoring the diet of your senior loved one

It can be a difficult task to constantly monitor what your senior loved one is eating, especially if you have other commitments at home and on the job. But you don’t have to do all this alone – MD Home Health has been a trusted provider in the greater Phoenix area ever since 1985, and has helped many families through difficult times with health and home care. Contact us today to learn more.

 


Dealing with Dementia: Do’s and Don’ts

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Dementia is a condition which affects a person’s ability to remember things, to communicate effectively, and even to think normally, and as you might expect, that can have an enormous impact on daily life. One of the most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which afflicts seniors in greater numbers than any other demographic. As of 2018, there are approximately 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s Disease, and of these, 5.5 million are ages 65 and over. MD Home Assist caregivers and Phoenix home health caregivers offer the following tips on how to manage the behaviors of your elderly loved one afflicted with dementia.

Positive Body Language

Almost more important than what you say to a senior, is the body language you express when around them. The most effective communication with your loved one should include gentle touches, a quiet and respectful tone when talking, and pleasant facial expressions.

Maintain Humor

A humorous approach to your home health care can be very helpful and will usually be well-received by your senior, as long as the humor is not at their expense. A smile and a laugh are therapeutic for practically anyone, and seniors with dementia are no exception. 

Use Conversation That is Simple and Direct

Since comprehension may be impaired in your senior loved one, it’s best to communicate with statements and questions that are simple and direct, so they can better understand them. Whenever possible, ask questions which only require a yes/no, or one-word answer, and when speaking, be slow and clear with statements.

Limit Distractions

When you’re trying to discuss anything with your senior or you need to convey something important, you should limit or eliminate other background distractions such as television or radio. To be sure you get his/her attention, sit or stand at the same level as your senior, and be sure to make eye contact, so as to establish the most direct possible connection.

Be Patient

Don’t get irritated or annoyed when dealing with your senior, even if it becomes difficult to get a point across, or to understand what they’re trying to tell you. If he/she is having difficulty verbalizing something, it’s perfectly alright to suggest or guess at what they’re trying to say. Sometimes it’s better to listen with your heart than with your ears.

Redirect When Things Get Difficult

For those times when things become difficult with your senior loved one, and he/she gets upset about something, try redirecting the situation into something more pleasant and completely off-topic. Take a walk, listen to soothing music, or do anything that your senior really enjoys to defuse the situation and replace it with something more pleasant.

Don’t Point Out Mistakes or Misunderstandings

Don’t press the point when you feel that your senior is wrong about something, and don’t insist on impressing your views upon them. Most likely you will only cause them to be more upset by pressing your point anyway, so it’s far better to just let it pass and be as calm and reassuring as you can.

Remember the Good Times

Ironically, many seniors afflicted by dementia have difficulty recalling something that happened an hour ago, but can easily remember events of 30 or 40 years ago. Take advantage of this fact in your Phoenix health care by frequently bringing up those happier times from youth, and taking your senior back to a happy place.

Break Down Difficult Tasks

Any activity which might present a problem for your loved one should be managed in a series of do-able steps, rather than trying to accomplish the complete task at once. One example might be getting dressed in the morning. Create minor tasks for each article of clothing, and address those one at a time with your senior, so that each one can be a small success in its own way.

Positive Reinforcement

Keep in mind that your loved one is going through something which is extremely disorienting and possibly debilitating, and that it won’t take much to get him/her confused, frustrated, and maybe even frightened. As a main caregiver providing Arizona health care for a senior, you can best support them by being positive all the time, and by being loving and supportive, rather than critical or argumentative.

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 Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


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.

 


Inspirational Ways to Embrace Aging

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Probably most people have their own ideas about how to embrace aging, and how to enjoy those later years in life to the utmost, but there are a few thoughts on the subject that consistently appear, no matter whom you ask. Here are some of the most consistent themes about how to get the most out of aging and improve your overall health care.

Keep Active Physically

This is mentioned first, because it’s literally a foundation for almost every other aspect of growing old gracefully, while still participating in life at a high level. Regular exercise can maintain your flexibility and avoid the stiffness that would otherwise set in, and it certainly contributes to better health and maintaining a strong immune system. But there’s another aspect of exercise that’s just as important – how it makes you feel. Science tells us that regular exercise releases ‘feel good’ endorphins into the body, and causes a person to have a sustained sense of well-being, and that’s a great way to keep a strong daily attitude about life.

Share Your Story with Others

Anyone who has lived a half century or more has certainly got some stories to pass on – to youngsters in the family, to friends, and to other family members. Sharing your story can give you an immense sense of personal pride, because it relates to obstacles you’ve overcome, things you’ve achieved, or exciting moments that were inspirational. Recalling all these events and emotions can not only help you feel good about what you’ve done in your life, but it can be a great way of passing on to others the legacy of your lifetime.

Make a Difference

It’s never too late in life to take up a cause that is larger than ourselves, and has great purpose. You can inspire yourself and others as well by finding something that you truly believe in, and want to support by volunteering your time and efforts. Being involved in this way can give you a real sense of purpose, and it can provide you with daily goals and objectives to keep on achieving things. The fact that your efforts are aimed at making the world a better place is something that can literally lift your life above the ordinary, and make it something that you’ll feel good about the rest of your days.

Stay Socially Active

Sociologists have long been aware that withdrawal and social isolation leads to depression and a sense of disconnection from the rest of the world. By contrast, staying socially active and enjoying the company of others does just the opposite – it makes us feel like an important part of the world because we matter to someone else, or to many other people. Humans are meant to be social creatures, and when our lives lack that social aspect, there’s a big piece of ourselves that goes dormant and unfulfilled.

Establish Bonds

As an extension of staying socially active, it’s also important as an aging adult to establish and maintain at least one strong bond with another person. In some cases, a living spouse will satisfy this role, but when a spouse has passed on, that same role needs to be filled by another person, both for the support it provides, and for the feeling of being needed by another person. Those emotions in turn, can contribute strongly to a sense of inner peace, and contentment with the ongoing process of aging.

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 Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


How to Overcome the Winter Blues for Seniors and Caregivers

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Much of the U.S. has experienced severe weather this winter, and that has caused many seniors who are only partially ambulatory to be shut-in for long stretches of time. However, there are some steps which can be taken for both the elderly and their caregivers, to help beat the winter blues, and forget about what might be happening outside. Here are some home health care recommendations based on scientific findings, that will help to lift your spirits, and chase those blues away.

Brighten up the House

Even if you can’t conveniently get outside to soak up sunshine, you can certainly simulate the sunlight by finding ways to add lighting to your home. Keeping curtains open, having rooms brightly lit, and even sitting next to an artificial light source can all help to lift your spirits. People who live in Alaska routinely undergo six months of near darkness, and many of them overcome the shortage of lighting by taking some of these same steps to make up the difference. This tip can be applied in the home health care world.

Do More Exercise

Because at least 30 minutes a day of good exercise will cause anyone’s spirits to be lifted, it’s a good practice to try and include a half hour every day, if it’s at all possible. Some light aerobics will do the trick, or if you happen to have a treadmill, you can ‘walk’ for 30 minutes every day that you feel up to it. Vigorous exercise causes more endorphins to be released into the body, and these are responsible for the euphoric feeling we all get after a good workout.

Talk Therapy

Scientific research shows clearly that people who have the opportunity to talk to a partner regularly, receive much the same benefit that artificial lighting provides, i.e. it contributes to a sense of well-being and self-satisfaction. This can be especially effective if you have talk sessions where you limit your topics of conversation (and your partner’s) to only positive thoughts and ideas. This has the double effect of forcing you to think about what you’re going to say (keeping you mentally agile), and it creates an attitude of positivism that spills over into your daily routine.

Stay Socially Involved

When you are withdrawn and out of contact with people, that can quickly lead to anti-social attitudes and feelings of depression. On the other hand, if you force yourself to stay socially active, even when you don’t particularly want to, it can automatically kindle feelings of happiness and warmth with your friends or relatives.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. As an example, if you’re a person who enjoys summertime gardening, why not buy a plant or two for the inside, and spend some time each day nurturing your wintertime garden? If you’re a person who enjoys walks around the neighborhood or around the local mall, you might want to try going to a nearby fitness center where you can walk or jog laps around the facility. You might even have a local aquatic center where you can enjoy some fun time in the water to lift your spirits, and enjoy socializing with others who are doing the same.

The above tips can help AZ Home Health professionals make the winter months better for the seniors in their care. 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.

 


Finding the Humor in Hospice

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Isn’t one of the best things to do in life to laugh at ourselves? If we have no sense of humor, then who are we? Although we in no way are claiming that hospice care is anything to joke about, of course, one man and his good friend decided to poke fun at the home health care system and inevitabilities of death in a playful way.

93-year-old Harry Azoff, accompanied by his hospice volunteer, Morgan Thompson, set out to lift some light into the subject of aging and hospice with their “Hospice-tality” play addressing Azoff’s “impending death.” Only 30 minutes long, the play plucked at the heartstrings of Azoff’s family and friends telling stories of his life with musical hints tied in done by his favorite music therapist, Molly Hicks. Even plays on words of the ever-famous and dreaded Grim Reaper were well-received by his hospice friends. “Have you ever seen cartoon drawings of the Grim Reaper? How can anyone take that guy seriously,” his character asks in the short play. And, we have to agree, the whole manifestation of death carrying a massive scythe is a little over-the-top now that we think about it.

Finding the Humor in Hospice

Besides living a very full life, Azoff has miraculously outlived his doctors’ estimates after being diagnosed with kidney disease; maybe it’s all of the humor circulating in his veins. Although neither Azoff nor Thompson has any professional playwriting or singing experience, the two made ballads until the cows came home and enjoyed every minute of it. To make the story even more heartfelt, as if it could be, Thompson is blind in one eye and has impaired vision in the other making it almost impossible for her to even see Azoff. “Maybe I can’t see people’s physical bodies as well, but I can see their souls better,” she said. “Harry has a beautiful, beautiful spirit inside of him,” she told the Herald.

Creating joke-upon-joke of various hospice visits between himself and Thompson, they poked fun at the typical jargon spoken between patient-and-professional like “Are you having any pain issues since I saw you last?” To which Azoff would respond with “Not unless you count existential pain.” Although the two are very aware that Azoff’s time is coming to a close like their curtain eventually had to, Thompson stated to the Herald Tribune that she finds peace helping Azoff share his story. And, what a beautiful story it is.

Phoenix home health care professionals can help you with more advice or questions you may have. For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


Animal Therapy Benefits for Hospice Care

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We have heard of therapy puppies and cats but never a therapy duck! Meet Webster, the mallard duck that wandered into Johnston’s WesleyLife as the new pet therapy volunteer. What is so interesting about Webster is that you can actually pet him! He even goes up on patient’s laps!

Webster is no ordinary duck though, and the best part about him is that he brings joys to different patients in many different ways. Based on the patient’s condition and their upbringing, Webster can reinvoke childhood memories for those that grew up in rural areas or connect to people that have never even socialized with ducks before. His low temperament and friendly demeanor definitely make him an ideal suitor for this particular business.

Animal Therapy Benefits for Hospice Care

Now, we know that patients that receive visitors and family socialization time seem to do better and sustain life longer than those that don’t, but have you ever actually read up on what animals can do for us? According to Huffington Post, “studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can offer immediate physiological and psychological benefits, including lowering blood pressure, stress and anxiety in many patient populations, including those in hospice, the elderly, and those with behavioral health issues.” Sometimes we just need that non-judgmental, unconditional loving that we feel we cannot receive from the human race and animals are just the ones to do it.   

For those that don’t have the capacity to take care of and love for animals on their own, this type of situation with Webster is the perfect solution because they can get the quality time they want without the responsibility. It is quite a common thing to see that Hospice Care and health facilities have an animal companion or sponsor to lift the spirits of their patients through some good old fashioned pet therapy.

Here is a sweet video clip of the wonderful Webster for all of you to enjoy!

View Video: Therapy duck waddles into the hearts of Iowa hospice patients

Phoenix home health care professionals can help you with more advice or questions you may have. For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.