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Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover

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Post Surgical Care

Having to undergo a major surgical procedure is one of the most stressful and frightening experiences in a person’s life, but helping a loved one recover from surgery can be equally taxing. The hard work may be technically over once the surgery is deemed a success, but it can take a long time for one’s body to heal even after the most routine surgeries. This can be especially troublesome when helping senior citizens recover from a procedure; even the highest quality Phoenix home health care doesn’t eliminate the risk of serious complications in an elderly family member.

Helping someone you love recover from a major surgery can indeed be difficult, but with the proper education and a lot of patience, you can still help administer home care during a loved one’s recovery period. Here are a few tips that will help you with that.

Educate Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help a loved one recover from a surgery or illness is to educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what they have gone through and what they can expect as they heal. It’s entirely possible that they will recover on their own after a few days or weeks of rest, but major procedures may require you or a caregiver to change wound dressing, administer medications or assist the patient in their daily routine. A good Phoenix home health care service will be able to give you the advice you need, but the best source of information is always the patient’s doctor. Ask about anything you think you might need to know; there is no such thing as being too informed.

Have a Caregiver Present at All Times

This piece of advice mostly applies to those recovering from a serious medical procedure, but it’s always a good idea to have a caregiver on hand as often as possible. This caregiver could be you, but it could also be a home health aide or nurse hired for the patient. This is particularly important for elderly patients since they will require a higher level of care than a younger patient.

Encourage Independence

Even though it is important to have a caregiver present at all times, you should still encourage your loved one to regain their independence as much as possible. This may not be possible during the first few days after the surgery, but over time they should be able to do most or all of the things that they used to do before undergoing surgery. 

Caring for a loved one as they recover from surgery is emotionally taxing for many people, but there are always resources available to you. If you would like to learn more about home health care in Phoenix and gain and extra hand so you can best serve your loved ones, feel free to give us a call.


Great Tips for Preventing Malnutrition in Seniors

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Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is important at every age, but it becomes even more so as we age, particularly for older adults with illness or signs of dementia. Getting the proper nutrition helps seniors maintain their mental acuteness, increases energy, aids in illness resistance and recovery, and makes chronic health problems easier to deal with.  Sadly, an estimated 3.7 million seniors in the U.S. suffer from malnutrition. Failing to intake proper amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, or minerals weakens the body, depriving it from the energy it needs to repair tissue and regulate bodily functions, such as blood flow, and making it more susceptible to sickness. 

Healthy eating, however, doesn’t have to be a chore, involved dieting, or only eating bland foods. It’s advisable for seniors to keep wholesome foods in the house, get creative in the kitchen, and gather with friends to enjoy meals. Extra resources and options for home care in Phoenix are available for those who need them.  Here are some more tips for preventing malnutrition as we age.

6 Tips to Prevent Malnutrition in Seniors

Half of seniors visiting the emergency room in the U.S. are there for malnutrition reasons, following these quick tips can help seniors get the proper nutrition. For seniors with difficulties running errands or cooking, it’s highly suggested to get help, including finding a quality Phoenix home health care provider. 

Avoid Bad Carbs, Sodium, and Hidden Sugar

Most grocery stores are full of processed foods and refined sugars. Start checking labels and avoid foods with bad carbohydrates such as white flour and hidden sugars (corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, and more). Using natural sweeteners such as honey and opting for complex carbohydrates in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables is best. Reducing sodium intake by seasoning with garlic, herbs, and spices instead of salt and look for “low sodium” foods lowers the risk of high blood pressure.

Cook Smart

Getting the most nutrients out of food means preparing them correctly. Preserve nutrients by steaming or sauteing vegetables in olive, coconut or avocado oil. Eat raw foods when possible in vegetable salads or fruits

Cook By Color

One way to visually verify that nutrients are balanced is to cook according to color. Try to include five colors on your plate, especially from the rich array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Think berries, melons, tomatoes, spinach, yams, zucchini, and more.

Hire a Caregiver to Help

For many seniors completing supermarket runs and meal planning can be troublesome. If this is the case take the time to carefully select a caregiver from an experienced and reputable Phoenix home health care provider or other program. A caregiver can do everything from grocery shopping to meal planning and prep, making sure all nutritional needs are met.

Plan Between-Meal Snacks

Snacks can be great nutrition boosts when planned carefully. Think about incorporating more fruits, veggies, or nuts in creative ways like smoothies or peanut butter covered apple slices.

Make Meals Social Events

Staying social is a big boost for senior mental health levels so it makes sense to make meals social events. Whether it’s eating with the family or joining a program in senior home care in Phoenix.


5 Ways to Keep your Cool While Caring for your Spouse

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Anyone who finds themselves suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for an ailing spouse can be overwhelmed by the constant attention and care necessary on a daily basis in caring for your mate. This is particularly true for disabled spouses who can do little or nothing for themselves, and require help for even basic functions like washing, eating, and bathroom needs.

In such cases, it often happens that the care-giving spouse has little or no time to himself or herself, and this can quickly lead to frustration, resentment, and over a period of time, even burnout. Before that stage is reached, it is advisable to build practices into the daily routine that can be used to maintain sanity – after all, a burned-out care-giver can’t really be much help to anyone.

Try to maintain a positive attitude

An upbeat attitude for yourself and the person you’re caring for are of utmost importance. While this is admittedly difficult to maintain, even under stress-free circumstances, it is something that should be adopted to the greatest extent possible to prevent an overall negative attitude from creeping in when caring for your loved one.

Include down time

Taking time out for yourself is extremely important, even if this only amounts to a few minutes each day. There are always times this can be scheduled, for instance when your spouse takes a nap, or is engaged watching television or reading a book. When it does happen, use this time to best advantage – clear your head and think about anything else but care-giving. Some possibilities might be taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or even meditating.

Get help from friends and relatives

Soliciting help from friends and relatives is nothing to be embarrassed about, and is a wise strategy for helping to avoid fatigue in caring for your spouse. Perhaps on specific days sons, daughters, or others can assist in care-giving to lessen your personal burden. Lacking any of these options, support groups may be another possibility for providing at least temporary assistance, and a broadening of the support network.

Take care of yourself too

Never allow your own health to suffer while you are tending to the health of your spouse. This means making sure your diet is a healthy one, that you get enough exercise to stay healthy and reduce stress, and that you sleep well at night so you don’t start the next day frazzled.

Emotional closeness

Try to remain receptive to emotional intimacy when caring for your spouse, since that might be one of their greatest needs. Think about which aspects of daily care cause you to be frustrated, indifferent, or even angry, and recognize them for the emotional triggers they are. Manage these so they don’t interfere with care-giving, and so that you can maintain a positive relationship with your loved one.

Home care in Phoenix

Providing constant care for a loved one is not easy, but it doesn’t have to signal the end of your own active, personal life. Home health care in Phoenix is here if you’re in need of any extra assistance, even if for those tasks that trigger the Hulk inside you. We provide a variety of non-medical and medical services which can be combined into a custom care plan for you. Give us a call, and we can send someone to your home for a free consultation. In the meantime, check out the caring.com wellness center.


Managing the Struggles of Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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Male care assistant reading senior woman book

 

Caring for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s can be exceedingly difficult.  With Alzheimer’s disease, something as simple as daily communication can be made into a frustrating and stressful task. Alzheimer’s patients often struggle to find the right words, are prone to losing their train of thought, and may even forget what simple words mean. This can create frustrating situations for both the Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver.

Even More Problems

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients will have less functional brains over time. The end result is that every Alzheimer’s patient will have good days and bad days as their behavior changes with the passage of time. This means they may misunderstand the things they see and hear, be prone to anger, wander or get lost while leaving their home, and lose interest in things that once captivated them. They may also come to feel anxiety about traveling, become confused with even the slightest change in their daily routine, and be overwhelmed by day-to-day activities.

Required Care

Consequently, Alzheimer’s patients will need assistance with essential personal care like dressing, bathing, feeding, and taking regular medication. They may also require help with regular housekeeping like doing laundry, preparing meals, carrying out general errands, and keeping things tidy. Unless these issues are handled correctly, Alzheimer’s patients may turn to abuse drugs like alcohol and caffeine, they may start losing sleep which can lead to serious health problems, and they may fall prey to a variety of different illnesses.

Providing Care

Whenever communicating with someone who suffers  from Alzheimer’s, it’s important to try to state your intentions as simply as possible. Try asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, while providing step-by-step instructions whenever possible. One might also consider simplifying communication. For instance, rather than asking “how are you?” try asking “would you like to eat?” This simplification can make communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient far more effective.

Adjusting to behavioral changes can be accommodated with a similar approach. If your loved one starts to lose sleep, consider implementing a bedtime routine or planning energetic activities during the day. If they start pacing around their home, be sure that they’re wearing comfortable shoes and have a safe area to walk. Your care should be reactionary and supportive to the types of behaviors that they develop.

Phoenix Home Health Care

Providing this kind of care can be difficult, particularly for anyone who lacks experience working with Alzheimer’s patients. That’s why MD Home Health supplies the most trustworthy and qualified caregivers available, screened for their expertise and reliability alike. By choosing from only the more reliable and proven homecare providers in Phoenix, you can rest assured that your loved one will have the best possible care available to them. MD Home Assist care can help provide all the necessary care required to look after an Alzheimer’s patient, ensuring their well-being on good days and bad days alike. If you’d need a hand providing homecare in the Phoenix area, get in touch with MD Home Health today, and get the peace of mind you deserve. For more tips on managing the struggles of caregiving, and maintaining good self-care visit the Caregiver Wellness Solution Center.


6 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity as a Caregiver

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Happy male nurse and senior man enjoying while using tablet computer in nursing home porch

Providing home health care for a loved one or patient can be a very demanding job, especially in situations where that person is a fully incapable of self care. This scenario is occurring more and more throughout the country, including Phoenix, as the elderly population increases, and fairly often the caregiver is a spouse or other relative who provides round-the-clock assistance.

This can be a very trying situation to maintain, especially when lifting, bathing, feeding, and other requirements are involved – not to mention disruptions to rest and sleep for the loved one/patient’s unplanned needs. It’s not surprising that many caregivers in circumstances such as these find themselves exhausted both physically and mentally from the constant demand for care. To help cope with the effects of such intense home assistance, these suggestions for caregivers are offered.

Regular attitude checks

When the ‘nasties’ start creeping into your attitude, i.e. all the negatives and the many irritations of the daily care-giving routine, have a time-out, take a few deep breaths, and acknowledge them. Build in regular sanity checks throughout the day, and try to focus on the more positive aspects of life.

Don’t forget down time

Even in the midst of care-giving, down-time should be included. Whenever possible, try listening to soothing music, take little cat naps or at least close your eyes and relax when your loved one is also resting. Reading a book can be very calming, or watching a movie on television to take your mind off the duties of a caregiver.

Know your limits

Understand that you will simply never be able to do everything that could be done, and trying to do so will inevitably result in frustration. In addition, acknowledge the fact that you will occasionally forget something or fail in the attempt to accomplish something, and that those are normal limitations. Doing your best as a caregiver is all you can do – accept that, and spare yourself any self recriminations.

Maintain order

Staying organized in your daily routine can be an enormous boost to your sanity. By keeping your mind ordered, as well as most aspects of daily care, much of the annoyance of unanticipated incidents can be averted. Make use of technology wherever possible to help with organization, for instance keeping notes and reminders on your cellphone.

Remember the ‘why’

One final way to conduct a mini sanity check is to stop for a moment and recall the ‘why’ of what you’re doing. If you are a caregiver for a spouse or other relative, the care you provide is literally sustaining that person, and to some extent, adding to his/her quality of life. You are giving this care out of a deep sense of love and responsibility, and have chosen to do so.

Outside help

Soliciting the help of an outside service can be another huge boost to your sanity, even if their involvement is no more than one or two days each week. MD Home Assist provides just such personalized home care  in the Phoenix area from personal care to homemaking assistance.  Are you seeking an extra hand around the home? Give us a call and we’ll send someone over for a free consultation. We’ll even help plan a caregiving schedule that fits your unique individual needs. In the meantime, take a look at the Caring.com Caregiver Wellness Solution Center online for some amazing resources for caregivers.


Top 7 Duties Required of a Personal Care Assistant

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Elderly Woman Is Assisted By Nurse At HomeWhen it comes to bringing in a caregiver for support around the home, there are a number of tasks you may hire for depending upon your own individual needs. When a caregiver is hired for personal care assistance, there are 7 primary duties expected and they include:

Bathing

Those who have problems with mobility may need someone to come to their home and assist them with bathing. A personal care assistant will do just that. They will make sure their clients are kept clean, and also help with shaving, shampooing hair, and hair maintenance. There is no shame in a bit of help for the things one can no longer do with ease. There are risk factors to consider in trying to do these things alone if there is any chance of becoming hurt in the process.

Dressing

Typically when a person is unable to bathe themselves, dressing themselves is also a bit of a challenge. Our professional, licensed caregivers have no problem helping clients to dress when they are unable to do so themselves. This doesn’t mean they have a live-in stylist for hire, but it certainly couldn’t help to have an extra opinion on fashion choices every now and then.

Skin Care

As we age skin care becomes more and more essential in order to stay healthy. Taking care of the skin may become difficult with age, especially for those who aren’t as mobile. It is imperative for skin to be kept clean to avoid risk of infection and bed sores. A caregiver will not only keep the skin clean, but will also help with things such as lotion, sunscreen, and face care products for clients who have lost the ability to do so themselves.

Bathroom Breaks

It’s no fun when nature calls and there isn’t an easy way to answer. For those who unable to move freely on their own, our caregivers are available to assist you with your bathroom breaks so that nature’s call is no longer a struggle.

Medications

For those who are on medications, it may be difficult to remember to take them at the correct times each day. This becomes more difficult with age and an increase in the number of medications taken. This is why our caregivers are available for medication reminders, and they’ll even assist in administering them if needed.

Feeding

As mobility declines, the ability to feed oneself may also diminish. Not to fret, as we have caregivers available to assist with feeding you or your loved one. If combined with homemaker services, you could have a caregiver conduct your grocery shopping, help plan your meals, prepare them and feed them to you or your loved one. Now that’s what we call red carpet care.

Nail Care

Nails are something that never stop growing, so it’s essential to maintain them and keep them from getting hangnails or infections. Our talented caregivers will make sure your nails look lovely. How special is that? Your own manicurist in your home to help you with every step of your day.

Are you interested in hiring a personal caregiver for your home or someone you care about? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation. We’ll even come to your home to evaluate your needs and establish a custom plan for care that’s just right. 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-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area. 


What to Expect Post-Surgery

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friendly nurse visiting recovering senior patient

Regardless of age, your post-surgical routine will often play a role in the overall effectiveness of your surgery. For older adults, this often requires  hospice care, visits to the hospital for a short while, or hiring a licensed at-home caregiver. It’s believed that the home is the optimal environment for a successful recovery.

Generally speaking, recovering from surgery will be a much smoother process with the help of a licensed caregiver in the home. It’s of the utmost importance that, once you return home from the hospital after a medical procedure or surgery, you’re as comfortable as possible. Having someone around the home who can help with things like cleaning, meal preparation and transportation to appointments could make a world of difference.

It’s expected that there will be some post-surgery pain. A licensed caregiver can assist with a variety of tasks, including rehabilitation and giving pain medication. One can also requestfriendly doctor talking to a recovering patient in wheelchair that several different caregivers come to the home for short periods of time after surgery as well. For example, a physical therapist may visit for rehabilitation, and a nurse may visit to assist with changing bandages and pain management. Another caregiver may also visit to help clean the home. Sometimes a single caregiver can provide all of the mentioned tasks.

It’s of the utmost importance that the caregivers be licensed and state-certified. They should be insured and have passed an extensive background check. After all, as we mentioned before, one of the biggest components to a successful recovery is feeling comfortable and safe.

Another service home care centers provide is companionship. While you’re recovering, there may be a lot of down time in between physical therapy, meal times, appointments and medication. Friends and family may not always be able to visit, and the independent life you’re trying to maintain may feel lonely while you recover. As a result, you can choose to have a companion visit your home when you’d like some company. This person can sit and talk with you, play games, and engage in safe activities that aid in your recovery. The risk for depression is higher after surgery, and a companion may be able to help curb some of those feelings.

Would you like some assistance or more information about surgery recovery or home care assistance? We offer a full range of home care services in Phoenix, Arizona and would love to send one of our highly skilled professionals to come put a smile on your face today. Give us a call, we’re always here to assist.


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

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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

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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

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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.


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