elderly in-home care

Festive Holiday Activities For Seniors And Caregivers

mdhomehealthadmin Seasonal/Holiday Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.


Benefits of Hiring Laundry Assistance in Your Home

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

Elderly woman reading book while home helper irons laundryDid you know it takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete a single load of laundry? Hiring laundry assistance is an ideal way to take away a task that is physically difficult and exhausting. Not only does hiring laundry assistance help you physically, it will provide a number of other benefits including the following.

Help With Personal Care

Companies that provide laundry assistance often help with other day-to-day tasks including basic housekeeping duties. Bathing and dressing are other services in-house services will provide to help individuals in need of such assistance. Additional personal care needs include dressing, shaving, medication reminders, nail care, and feeding. Contacting a home care agency is the best way to find out what services are available, and what you need to use to improve your daily living.

Reduce the Risk of Slips and fall

Elderly individuals can end up with serious injuries if they slip and fall in the home. Unfortunately, many elderly individuals do not ask for help until it is too late. Hiring housekeeping companies is a great way to improve safety within your home as they will be able to remove clutter, straighten rugs, and remove things that could lead to a serious accident. Cleanliness is essential to any home as it provides order.

Social Interaction

If you are homebound, you can find it challenging to leave your home for even the smallest of things. Hiring a company to provide assistance with household chores can give you some much needed social interaction, allowing you to keep your mind fresh as you communicate with the people that come to care for your home and for you. Social interaction helps to keep away other health problems including depression. Since seniors can become socially isolated, small interactions each day with people that care for them is a great way to help reduce the pain of this isolation. Some services companies provide include daily walks, taking you to doctor’s appointments, and making sure your needs are met.

Assessing Your Needs

When you are debating hiring laundry assistance, there are other things you need to consider. Determine if you need help with the following areas:

  • Personal Care. Most people need help with bathing, eating, dressing, and toileting.
  • Household Care. Typical chores include cleaning, laundry, cooking, and shopping.
  • Health Care. Medication management, physical therapy, and making appointments with doctors.
  • Emotional Care. Companionship and conversation are meaningful activities to enjoy when you hire professionals to care for your needs.

Finding the Right At-Home Caregiver

An important aspect of hiring the right person to care for your laundry and other needs comes down to your preferences. Are you comfortable hiring a person who shares your same views, cultural background, or language? Consider what you need to obtain from the company before hiring laundry assistance. Consider working with an experienced company like MD Home Health/ MD Home Assistance for all your personal care needs.


Curb Caregiver Burnout by Hiring Non-Medical Home Care

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Girl Assisting Disabled Woman Getting Into A CarAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 29% of the U.S. adult population is providing care to someone who is ill, disabled, or in their latter stages of life. This could be a spouse, parent, in-law, a child with special needs, or just a really great friend. Coupled with caring for one’s own household, managing caregiver requirements may become a strain on the caregiver, and may eventually cause strain on relationships as well.

One way to alleviate caregiver burnout is to enlist outside help either through family and friends, or enlisting a home health care agency to provide the services you’re unable to do, thus freeing up time and energy.

 

What to Outsource?


Whether it’s bringing someone into the home each day or just once or twice a week, one of the most helpful tasks to outsource is transportation. If you’re employed and/or caring for a family, driving your loved one to medical appointments may become burdensome, and difficult to juggle. Enlisting a transportation service will help remedy this.

Finding the right transportation isn’t only important for getting loved ones to medical appointments, it’s also effective as a preventative measure against depression. According to the National Caregiver’s Library, one of the biggest needs within the senior population is transportation. It’s critical to the well-being of each person to have mobility to engage in social interactions and activities that will not only get them out of the house, but allow them to connect with others and become more active. Utilizing a home health care agency will allow you to secure not only transportation, but companionship as well for your loved one.

While securing a transportation service is important, it’s even more important to secure a reputable service. Drivers should always complete a background check and have a clean driving record. They should also carry the proper insurance and be well-versed on driving passengers who need more assistance, as opposed to a standard car service.

There are a number of non-medical services that may be outsourced to avoid caregiver burnout. Perhaps housework has become too difficult, or a loved one would prefer having a professional caretaker over a family member as means of maintaining some independence from family and/or dignity. Maybe there are dietary requirements or restrictions that vary drastically from what the rest of the family eats. Finding a service to assist with these basic needs may allow for more opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, rather than functioning strictly as caregiver.

Are you looking for a caregiver solution to fit your family’s needs? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss how we can help ease your caregiver duties. We have caregivers on-call 24/7, so you never have to worry about not having someone around when you really need them the most. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in hiring in-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area.


Helping Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients: 3 Stages of Care

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

Helping Elderly PeopleeCaring for sufferers of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease comes with a very specific set of challenges. Three stages of care are needed with these diagnoses, and they grow, evolve and change as the disease progresses. Each stage comes with its own unique challenges, as well. Whether a person is in the early or late stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a skilled, licensed caregiver is beneficial in helping the individual transition and adapt to a new way of life.

Stage One Care

This is the beginning stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can last for years, and may present minor changes to a person’s learning and cognitive capabilities. Most people are able to function and engage in normal activities during Stage One. As a caregiver in this stage, you’re primarily needed for support, companionship, and help with planning for the future, as well as making small lifestyle changes, assisting with medications, recalling memories (dates, names, places), keeping appointments, and managing finances.

It’s important to help bring out the talents and strengths of a person in the first stage of dementia, and to support their independence as much as possible. Encouraging and assisting the person to express their feelings and locate a support group is also beneficial. This is the time to make all necessary legal and financial decisions for the future.

Stage Two Care

During the second stage, the level of care is going to increase. This may be the stage that you’ll want to seek extra support in caring. This is when damage begins to show in the brain, and the person may not think the same way, or perform the tasks they used to be able to on their own. There’s also a chance that the individual will behave in peculiar ways, become upset more often and have a difficult time speaking in sentences that make sense. Help with hygiene and driving may be needed.

This is a good time to adopt lifestyle changes and to keep up a solid routine. The level of care required may be demanding during this stage, and it’s important for a caregiver to take good care of themselves and exercise patience.

nurse showing care to patientStage Three Care

During the final stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s, a person requires care 24/7. This stage may last only weeks, or several years. The person will eventually lose the ability to communicate, and may require assistance with walking. Eating and swallowing becomes difficult, and the risk of infections increases. There’s still a possibility that this person can connect with familiar scents, sounds, music, foods, nature, sunshine, and old photographs.

It’s helpful to monitor the weight and caloric intake during this stage, and to help with range of motion exercises if the person in need of care is confined to a chair. Keeping the person comfortable and upright is important, as is ensuring they’re not in pain. Someone in stage three may need to be fed, and assisted in going to the bathroom. Setting consistent bathroom times is important, as is limiting liquids before bed. This person may require bathing, and may need to be lifted at times. This is the stage where it’s essential to have extra care.

Are you or someone you know suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and in need of some extra support? With MD Home Health, you can expect to find licensed professionals in  Phoenix, Arizona to assist you with your home care needs 24/7.


What to Look for: Great In-Home Medical Services in Phoenix, Arizona

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When looking for an in-home health care provider for yourself or a loved one, you’ll want to ensure you find a team of professionals equipped to meet all of your unique needs—especially when faced with an injury or health issue. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help tremendously when searching for the right home care services.
To get you thinking about what you truly need, we’ve come up with a few questions:

  • What in-home health care service providers are available in your local area?
  • Are you searching for traditional medical services, specialty programs, or both?
  • Do you have one specific need, or several?
  • Would you like home health care services to be administered to an individual in the home, or in a group facility?
  • Are these services desired only during a specified time, or would you prefer a team that’s available around the clock, 24/7?

Once you’ve narrowed these factors down, we’d like to present you with our local home health services. At MD Home Health, we offer medical and non-medical services. They’re available 24/7, and there’s always an emergency nurse on call. Services can be ordered by the visit, or on an hourly or daily basis.
In terms of our medical services, we offer a full range of care:

  • RN and LPN nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Speech Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Nursing Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists

We also provide traditional medical care, as well as specialty services. Our specialty in-home services include:

  • Post-Surgical Care
  • Medication Management
  • Pediatric and Juvenile Care
  • Neonatal Care
  • Orthopedic Care
  • CHF
  • Range of Motion and Strengthening Therapy
  • Ventilator Dependent Care
  • Diabetic Management
  • Wound Management
  • Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Care
  • NeurologicalCare
  • COPD
  • Tube Feeding
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Parkinson’s

If you’re interested in receiving care from MD Home Health, an intake specialist will come and meet with you and your family members to coordinate care with your doctor, hospital staff, and/or discharge planner.
We’ll work with you to design a customized care plan that meets your medical, physical, nutritional, cultural, environmental, social and emotional needs.
Our services are offered at a competitive price, and we even accept several private insurances, as well as Medicaid.
All MD Home Health caregivers and staff have passed thorough background checks and trainings, as we only want the highest-quality care for our patients.
Want to learn more about MD Home Health and the services we can provide for you? We’d love to sit down and have a talk with you about your unique needs. Feel free to contact us today.


In-Home Care: Risks of Hiring a Caregiver vs. an Agency

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A recent study revealed that the average cost of full-time, non-medical, in-home care in Arizona averages around $45,000 per year, based on 44 hours of care per week. As a result of this considerable expense, many are choosing to hire a caregiver directly rather than going through an agency.

All in all, there are several risks to consider before making a final decision on either route. If you’re leaning toward hiring your own caregiver directly, be prepared to address all the following tasks before allowing anyone in your home or caring for a loved one.

Personal Background 

Before hiring someone to assist in caring for your loved one, it’s important to conduct a thorough background check, including: a criminal background check, DMV and credit check, citizenship, and auto insurance verifications.

In addition, we recommend verifying the licensed caregiver’s current paperwork and credentials; requiring a TB test and reviewing their medical history; and ensuring they are certified in both first aid and CPR.

Competency

Once a candidate has passed all necessary background checks, it’s important to ensure the caregiver you’ve chosen has what it takes to make sure your loved one is safe, and is keeping up on the latest educational information pertaining to their field of care.

In addition, when hiring directly, there’s always the risk that the provider will become sick or injured, will need time off, or simply won’t show up for work.

In the event that this should happen, it’s recommended to have a list of screened, competent back-up caregivers who will be able to report for duty at a moment’s notice.

Taxes

The IRS holds individual employers responsible for paying Social Security and Tax form conceptunemployment taxes on the wages paid to an in-home caregiver.

If you fail to withhold these taxes, not only will you be liable for the total cost plus interest, but you could incur penalty fees of up to $100,000 and possible criminal charges.

Insurance

Before hiring an in-home caregiver, be sure to check their insurance policies.

Back strains and slip-and-fall injuries are common occurrences within home care, which is why your homeowner’s policy needs to be sufficient to cover such incidents.

It’s also important for the caregiver to hold their own malpractice policy in the event that they cause a life-threatening or fatal injury to your loved one.

They should also have a bond for repayment of any and all household items they could possibly damage or break.

 

Hiring an Agency

When hiring an agency to handle the in-home care of your loved one, the agency assumes all risks regarding background checks, competency, taxes and insurance. This removes the stressful process of hiring a caregiver from your list of duties, and allows you to focus your time and energy solely on your loved one. Agencies also have on-call staff in the event that the primary caregiver is unavailable.

Are you considering hiring in-home care for yourself or a loved one? We’re here for you.


What To Expect from In-Home Assistance

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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

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

Range of Services

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

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

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

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

Customized Care

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

Caregivers

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

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

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

 

Insurance

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

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

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