phoenix health care

Tips for Staying Healthy this Summer

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Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

The warmest season of the year is upon us, and although fun in the sun is something everyone looks forward to throughout the nine months beforehand, it’s just as important to be mindful of your health as the days grow longer and the nights shorter. There’s a good chance your stress levels decrease, since the summer’s usually marked by vacation and family time. The following are more great things you can do to maximize both your physical and mental well-being.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

It seems like everyone’s trying frantically to alter their diet in the months leading up to summer, in order to get into some semblance of a beach body shape. Truth is, too many people neglect essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients in an attempt to cut calories. One way to combat the decreased potency of your diet is to add fruit to it. Blackberries, strawberries, watermelon – any assortment of berries will do wonders for helping your body fight off disease and energizing you for the day. In fact, these fruits are chock-full of antioxidants, which are powerful natural remedies against many different illnesses.

Customize a Program of Care

Whether you’re young or old it’s essential to ensure you join us in having a healthy summer. This means making sure to get plenty of exercise – whether it’s taking a swim in the pool of the local YMCA, or making sure you have a dedicated caretaker to accompany you on daily walks. After all, school may be out for the kids, but the adults still have to work and provide a living for their families during the summer months. There’s no substitute for quality care; especially when your loved ones are involved. Exercise has been proven to increase mental well-being, in addition to the obvious physical health benefits – and both the young and elderly should engage in it this summer.

Take a Vacation

Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

After all, what other time of the year will the whole family be together? This is what you work so hard for all year long, and a trip to any of the many wonderful destinations on the planet would do wonders for bonding and overall health. You can keep the vacation local, or spend a little more to see one of the wonders of the world, such as the Dead Sea on the border of Israel and Jordan. The combination of salt in this sea isn’t replicated in any other body of water in the world, and it represents a fantastic opportunity for memories and rejuvenation. Even within your own state, there are plenty of destinations that are sure to recharge.

Are you interested in hiring an in-home caregiver for help around the home, help with a family member, or for some extra support with the kids this summer? MD Home Health/Home Assist is happy to help Phoenix area households keep their cool during the summer months.


The Benefits of Outsourcing Grocery Shopping and Errands to a Caregiver

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Young woman helping elderly woman with grocery shopping

Every day chores loom large for many seniors who struggle to accomplish basic tasks around the house. Getting to the store and running other errands can become complicated and time consuming.

But these everyday chores need to be done regularly if the senior wants to stay in her own home. She needs nutritious food and the ability to get to the bank, the library and other services.

This is where the benefits of outsourcing grocery shopping and other errands to a caregiver become clear. It can be a positive step to help the elderly live functional lives in their own homes.

It Takes Time

According to a workshop summary called Providing Healthy and Safe Foods As We Age, about one-third of most grocery trips last less than 30 minutes. But the time spent getting to the store and back can double that. And if a senior needs to take the bus, a single trip can take two or more hours.

If he has trouble walking or with his balance, an elderly person can find trips outside the home fraught. The additional struggle to get in and out of a bus while carrying bags can lead to falls and fatigue.

Taking a taxi is a good alternative because it provides direct transportation, but it takes time to arrange and there is the problem of making sure the taxi is available for the trip home.

Getting a ride from family, friends or neighbors is probably the ideal scenario, but it can be very hard for working adults with families to make time for this type of help.

It Takes Energy

Trips outside the home can challenge a senior’s physical endurance and ability to walk easily. In addition, minor aches, regular colds or other ailments that would have caused little if any difficulty a decade earlier can with time cut significantly into her energy levels.

This makes it hard to be consistent with regular trips to the store and other places to handle errands. But consistency is what is needed in order to stay in her own home.

According to the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging, “good nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping older people healthy and functioning,” but many simply aren’t eating well. One of the major reasons is how hard it is to get to the grocery store.

Outsourcing Errands

The answer to this dilemma can be as simple and direct as paying someone to run the errands for the senior. Hiring a caregiver to do the grocery shopping removes it as a barrier to staying healthy.

The senior doesn’t have to worry about begging a ride from family or neighbors. She doesn’t have to worry about finding a taxi at the right time. She won’t have to navigate buses and worry about carrying the groceries.

He won’t be overtaxed by a trip out of the house and up and down the aisles choosing the right food. He can use his physical energy for other activities like a get together with friends, which provides a more direct chance for socializing.

Taking the simple step of outsourcing errands like grocery shopping to a caregiver can keep a senior safer, better fed and more in control of daily care. For more information, contact MD Home Health/ Home Assist.


Benefits of Hiring Laundry Assistance in Your Home

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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

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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.


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. 


3 Things to Expect from Caregivers Conducting Homemaker Services

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Woman CookingAs you or a loved one begin to age there are things around the home or group setting that may not be as easy to accomplish as they once were. This is where our non-medical home services come in. MD Home Health offers a full range of non-medical home services in the Phoenix, AZ area that include custodial, homemaker and personal care assistance. We would love to send someone to your home if you feel like you could use a bit of help with any of these things. We provide skilled caregivers for service 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. They’re even available for hourly or daily rates.

A person who’s never experienced in-home care may be wondering just what to expect when hiring MD Home Assist for homemaker services. This is an important question, and we’ve come up with three major answers:

Light Housekeeping

One of the most important tasks of homemakers is light housekeeping. This includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, changing and making the beds, and other small household tasks that one is unable to accomplish on their own. The caregiver may be a live-in or an hourly employee who comes to the home as often as needed. This could be once per week, or every day.

Meal Planning and Preparation

In addition to getting a light housekeeper when hiring MD Home Assist homemaker services, you’re also getting a personal nutritionist and chef. Our caregivers will sit down and plan out your meals with you with healthy goals in mind. Not only will you have a wonderful menu that you can enjoy, but you will also have the assistance in preparing the meals. Our homemaker services include meal preparation, so you don’t have to stress about how you will eat when you’re having a difficult time with mobility.

Grocery Shopping and Errands

If you’re having difficulty with homemaking tasks, the chances are you’re also having a difficult time running errands such as going to the grocery store. Not to worry, MD Home Assist has you covered should you seek their care. Our caregivers will run all of your errands so that you’re able to rest up and focus on you.

Are you considering hiring in-home services? From homemaking services to a variety of other non-medical and medical care needs, we’re happy to develop a customized care plan with you. Do you have a moment to chat? We’d love a chance to sit down and talk with you about your unique home care needs today. Feel free to Contact us at your earliest convenience.


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.


Important Information About Medicare

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Important information about Medicare

By October, many Medicare recipients are deep in the doughnut hole.  Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) typically have a “doughnut hole”, or coverage gap, which imposes a temporary limit on coverage for drugs.  Most people enter this gap after they have reached a spending threshold for covered drugs.  For the year 2014, this threshold is $2850.  Once this ceiling is reached, you have reached the coverage gap.  The good news is that this threshold will be higher in 2015, with increasing subsidies to help you save in the coverage gap.Happy senior people in nursing home with walker and wheelchair

Medicare coverage for the remainder of 2014

 Currently, once you reach the coverage gap, you pay 47.5% for brand-name drugs and 72% for generic drugs for the remainder of the year.  You are required to make these copayments until you get out of the doughnut hole.  How do you climb your way out of the hole?  Although you’re paying 47.5% of your plan’s cost for brand-name prescription drugs, 97.5% of that price gets counted as out-of-pocket costs, which go toward getting you out of the coverage gap.  For generic drugs, all of what you pay will be counted as out-of-pocket spending to help you get out of the coverage gap.  For 2014, you are free of the doughnut hole once your out-of-pocket spending reaches up to $4550. http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/part-d-coverage-gap.html

How Medicare is changing through 2020

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates improvements to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for future years.  These improvements were designed to help seniors afford their prescriptions while they are in the doughnut hole.  In 2015, beneficiaries will pay 45% for brand names, and 65% for generics.  Gradually, copayments required for both brand name and generic drugs are being reduced to 25% for both drug types in the year 2020.  This is the same percentage you pay from the time you meet the deductible until the out-of-pocket spending limit is reached (up to $4700 for 2015). http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/more-drug-savings-in-2020.html  As 2015 rapidly approaches, now is a good time to determine if your health care plan is meeting your needs.  An appointment with Phoenix Home Health Care can help you organize your appointments, screenings, and prescription needs in order to optimize your insurance coverage.

Additional assistance for low-income seniors

The ACA also offers further assistance for low-income beneficiaries by eliminating copayments for beneficiaries who may be recipients of home and community-based services, and who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Assistance is also available in order to allow widows and widowers to preserve their low-income eligibility.

Home Care Phoenix can help you determine whether you are eligible for this additional assistance.

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1161/Closing-the-Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/29/pay-less-for-your-prescription-drugs/?sf30575690=1

For tips on how to lower drug costs, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Find health and drug plans, stay educated, and learn more about what Medicare covers through the Phoenix home health care team!


Tips for dealing with Alzheimer’s

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Tips for Dealing With Alzheimer’s

The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are utterly devastating. With no cure for the ailment, the patient only worsens as time passes and Alzheimer’s continues to progress. Even the most basic day-to-day activities become more of a challenge. So, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, and their relatives and caretakers, it is very important to adopt major practical tips for effectively handling the disease, which in turn can maximize the quality of life for everyone involved.

Accept changes. With Alzheimer’s, just like any other degenerative disease, change is inevitable. The patient begins to experience memory loss; progresses to speech difficulty, irritability, and outbursts of unpremeditated aggression; and, finally, apathy, exhaustion, and loss of speech. These changes can cause some sufferers to deny that they are happening, so they put up a front to avoid feeling embarrassed. However, denying the existence of Alzheimer’s can increase stress on the person. Rather, the patient should accept the changes in his or her abilities to ward off anxiety and work towards coping with the disease.

Reduce frustrations with the disease. It is hard to imagine having difficulty with even the simplest daily tasks of one’s life. However, there are things patients can do to ease the frustration. They can use a schedule to make each day more predictable and less confusing for them; that includes taking more time for performing tasks, so that they don’t feel rushed or that they’re holding up something. Also, patients should be able to do as much as they can with the least amount of assistance. That way, they can feel a considerable level of independence. It would also be helpful to reduce distractions—such as turning off the TV—for increased concentration on accomplishing tasks.

Be more flexible. It is not just the schedule of the Alzheimer’s patient that is affected. The loved ones in the person’s life also have to adapt to the ravages of the disease. For instance, certain foods that the patient once loved might suddenly become unappealing, which would require adjusting the menu accordingly.Helping Seniors

Rely on professional assistance. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease becomes too much of a burden, people can turn to the assistance of home health care providers. A prime example is MD Home Health, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. State licensed and Medicare-certified, MD Home Health provides a wide range of medical and non-medical services. Patients can be tended to in their own homes or at the facility; relatives can determine the best option or range of personal care services needed to ensure the ultimate goal of a high-quality life—even with Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

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Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a job in itself.  You are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the daily activities and well-being of a dependent adult.  You may already be trying to juggle caregiving responsibilities and the time-consuming demands of a career.  But what if you also have a role as a caregiver of kids?  Wearing so many caregiving hats can be a struggle, even for the most organized among us.  Often, caregivers find themselves sandwiched between the need to care for a parent afflicted with Alzheimer’s and the immediate needs of their child.  Switching between these roles is never easy, but by doing some planning, life can become a little easier for both you and your family.How to Assist Elders by MD Home Health

Ask for help

Caregiving requires patience, skills, and time.  Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can overwhelm our abilities to meet their needs, especially when also caring for children. When any of these critical caregiving qualities fall short, you need assistance.  Organizations such as Home Care Phoenix can provide you with dependable caregiver support, to help you better manage your time, responsibilities, and caregiving resources.  A healthcare professional can also help educate you regarding the many nonintuitive facets of Alzheimer’s care.

Caring is a long-term commitment

Entering into the caregiving role means coming to terms with the many facets of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Patients with Alzheimer’s can live upwards of 10 years after the diagnosis, and as the disease progresses, so does the caregiving time commitment.  Becoming a caregiver means coming to terms with the fact that you are in this for the long haul.  That means your relationship with your family will also inevitably be changed.  Although time can be tight, be sure to set aside at least a small amount of time each week to reconnect with your family outside of your Alzheimer’s caregiver role.  This will allow your kids and spouse the chance to have their voices heard.

Taking care of you

Not least of all, you need to care for your own well-being.  Your role as a caregiver is weakened, for both your kids and for an Alzheimer’s patient, if you are physically or mentally diminished.  Time management will become a critical part of your role as caregiver, allowing critical time for your own well-being.  Delegate part of the caregiving responsibilities to a professional care provider, such as Phoenix Home Health Care.  Having help will not only free up valuable time for yourself, but will also allow the Alzheimer’s patient a chance to physically and socially interact with a different care provider.

For more tips on caregiving management, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Take care of yourself, stay educated, and find additional caregiving through the Phoenix home health care team!