Earn Your Child Care Credentials With An Online Degree

As the number of two-income household increase, more and more working parents are depending on day care centers to take care their children while they go out for work in day time. Parents know that children always come with surprises and they only trust child care providers that are trained to anticipate those surprises. Hence, if you want to success in this business, you need to earn your child care credentials and online education is one way to supplement your knowledge and experience with children to gain the trust of your potential customers.

What You Learn In Child Care Online Degree?

There are different kinds of children care online degree programs available. It’s range from early childhood education, children development to child study for grade 6 – 12 kids. Hence, you need to decide on one that best suit your child care business needs.

Basically, in children care related online degree programs, you will learn about education games, child growth and behaviors, child food nutrition, anticipation of children surprises and help children explore and learn about the world while developing relationships with peers and adults. If you are taking a degree related to business that focus on child care business, you will be taught on children management, activities planning and scheduling, socialization and much more.

Online Universities That Offer Child Care Online Degree Programs

There are a number of online universities that offer child care and children education related online degree programs. Among the online universities are:

  • University Of Phoenix Online University of Phoenix offers Master in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education
  • Rasmussen College If you are interested to focus on children development, then Rasmussen College’s children development online degree program should be able to suit your need.

Choose Your Child Care Online Degree

Beside that, there are other online universities that offer child care online degree program, you could get most of information from internet, make a request to those online universities to send you a more details information of the course that you are interested in; request information from as many online universities as you can to make a comparison purpose on their online degree programs, information requests are free of charge; hence make use of it.

Accreditation

There are a lot of diploma mills offering “fake” degree. Hence, it is important to consider “Accreditation” when you choose your child care online degree. Make sure your selected online degree program is properly accredited by an accreditation agency that is recognized by U.S Department Of Education. Many “fake” degree programs do have accreditation but it is accredited by a “fake” accreditation agency. Hence, watch it of the potential trap of diploma mill when you choose your child care online degree program.

Summary

Your child care career will only be success if you manage to gain trust from parents. And getting an education online is an important way to earn trust or credentials as a child care provider.

Fast Food and Traditional Food

The term “cooking” includes a wide range of methods, tools and combination of ingredients to create the flavor and digestibility of food. Cooking technique, known as culinary art, generally requires the selection, measurement and combining of ingredients in a controlled procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result. Constraints on success include the variability of ingredients, ambient conditions, tools, and the skill of the individual cooking. The diversity of cooking worldwide is a reflection of many nutritional, artistic, agricultural, economic, cultural and religious considerations that impact upon it. Cooking requires applying heat to a food which usually chemically transforms it and changing its flavor, texture, appearance, and nutritional properties. There is archaeological evidence that the primitive human being used to cook their food with fire that was the most important thing discovered by the primitive human being. Cooking food and cuisine culture vary from country to country and from one culture to another and each cuisine has its specific particularity. Nowadays, because of the modern life that changes everything around us and influence our life style and eating habits, people are less preparing their own food. Eating habits tend to unify people from different society. The food production and the process of eating obtain new characteristics. Food available around us seems to be very different from the one that we used to eat.

Eating habits and modern life

Everything is running in high speed, people do not have time for cooking, don`t has the desire and patience to stay longer in the kitchen, and they don`t have the willing to prepare their own food. Old generation still prefer to cook their own food unlike young people who prefer to eat fast food because they don’t want to spend long time cooking and the desire for the cooking. The modern life shapes our eating habits and makes us like slave following its speed. It`s not hard to find fast food restaurant they are everywhere and every corner. Fast food consumption cause damages to the social and economic life of the country and leads to many health problems such as obesity and heart diseases according to many studies. Also, many nutrition experts from different countries have already declared the epidemic character of fast food. The rapid process of globalization and modern life influence our eating habits and gives opportunity to fast food restaurants to grow and flourish. Fast food seems to become very common everywhere, though some positive aspect of the fast food in easy to prepare, available in many places, and it is a substantial meal. But in other hand, we can estimate that its negative aspects are more important and bigger. I think it is easy to understand that fast food is one of phenomenon that is going to be accepted by people. We are going to see the process of disappearance of the traditional culture with the development of fast food restaurants in all countries all over the world.

How to fight fast food addiction

The best example of the fast food success to change the modern life is the invasion of the world’s food market by the giant fast food company such as McDonald, KFC and others. According to McDonald`s web site, McDonald has about 29.000 restaurants in 120 countries all over the world, and serves nearly 54 million customers each day. As well as it indicates the fact of such changing in eating preferences and even in the way of life itself. There is no doubt that right now fast food changes the face of many nations and eating habits around the world. To sum up, unfortunately, it is hard to prevent these global changes that traditional food is going to be replaced by new foods that common for all people in all countries all over the world. But the good news is that, recently there are some people and some movements which try to contrast the process of modern life and ask people to go back to their traditional food. To solve this problem we need restaurants that offers traditional food, and able to attract large amount of faithful customers. Also parents must teach their children how to prepare and cook the traditional food. Many People figure out that traditional food is much better for our health, so they want to preserve and keep the cooking tradition from evaporating. There is enormous hope of people to preserve their food preparation customs and tradition. The major obstacles are the modern life style. Some people might say that it is difficult to preserve our traditional food because it takes a long time to prepare and people today can not spend a long time in cooking. Other people, especially older people might say that, it is unfortunate to destroy culture and tradition. Those people might be right.

Conclusion

In these days, people have more health problems that are related with the new eating habits and fast food consumption. Despite some advantages of fast food the harm caused by fast food does not outweigh its benefit. I think that people should consider the negative fact of fast food consumption and the benefits of preparing their own food at home. It`s unfair that the traditional food which arrive to us from generation to generation we are going to replace it with junk food that will harm us more than benefit us. It`s unfortunate to lose the cooking tradition and eating homemade food prepared by our mothers together around the table. I am sure that all of us must think over this problem and try to find the appropriate solution to save our cultures, our traditional foods, and more importantly our health. So we should take action immediately to preserve traditional food and encourage people to prepare their own dishes, so they can stay healthy and live longer. Even though fast food is cheap, convenient, yummy and available in every corner in our cities, but that does not mean that our health is cheaper than the fast food that we eat.

If You Are Taking Digestive Health Medicine, You Need To Be Careful

It seems that all of us at one time or another feel a need for some kind of digestive health medicine. If by medicine you are referring to a natural treatment then you’re on the right track. If you want to take a prescription drug or non-prescription drug, you need to find out all the facts.

All drugs are unhealthy for you.

Of course, a certain pharmaceutical drug can save a live in an emergency but we as a modern society have become far too dependent on them and they are causing much more damage to some people than they are helping.

Pharmaceuticals are man-made synthetic drugs which leave potentially dangerous toxins in the body. It’s a proven fact that medications are the cause of certain disorders and disease so unless you absolutely have to take a drug for your condition, why not look at a natural alternative?

Digestive health in particular, is a great example of this. We eat a terrible, high processed diet for many years, until finally symptoms manifest because of certain nutrient deficiencies such as digestive enzymes and dietary fiber. Our body eventually needs quality nutrients or else parts of it will start to break down, just like your car if you don’t change the dirty oil and give it clean fuel.

Drugs are not made to cure a disease, only provide temporary treatment of recurring symptoms

Think about it, does a pharmaceutical company want to sell you a cure? Of course not. That would be the last sale they make to you for that problem. Our focus should be on digging a little deeper to find the true cause of the digestive health problem we’re dealing with.

If you have constipation, taking a laxative might give you some temporary relief but it won’t cure your problem for good. Extended laxative use can muscular functions of your bowel, can drain your body’s water, minerals and vitamins. Excessive use can also damage your kidneys.

Now, wouldn’t it be great to naturally cure constipation through the use of diet. Replacing high processed foods, and fast foods which don’t contain many quality nutrients, with real whole foods? Add fresh fruits, raw and steamed vegetables and then replace your processed grains such as white bread and rice with whole grain bread and brown rice. Get the idea?

These wholesome foods will add more dietary fiber, more vitamins, more minerals and digestive enzymes which will help in your body’s digestion and also absorb more of the nutrients from these foods.

Remember, digestive health medicines are a waste of time and money. You need to think about a cure, and that can be done with quality nutrients.

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates, 400 BC

Panic Disorder in Children – Caring For Them

Panic attacks are a rough thing for anyone to experience. These bouts of intense fear and panic often leave a lasting impression of the effects. Although millions suffer each year from this, it is not just limited to adults. Quite often just as adults can be affected with panic disorder, children can be too.

As parents, witnessing our children going through such an event can be a trying period of time for both the parent and child. Just as we may feel extremely stressed and worried about our young one, imagine how they feel too. We need to do what we can, but how do we care for them when these attacks occur?

The first thing that usually comes to mind, is the thought of calming them down. There are many different ways to go about this, and how effective they may be can differ from child to child. With this being said, there are a few generally effective things we can do.

When a panic attack occurs, our presence may often be one of the few things that can get through to them. Hold them close, and let them hear your reassuring voice. This will tend to bring about a sense of security within them, and could help them to calm down sooner.

Be more active with them. By this I mean talking with them more, being a little more involved with their activities. Understand them a little better, so you can spot the things that may trigger their panic attacks. Through your guidance, you may be able to help them overcome those fears and reduce the occurrences of attacks.

Doing this will also create a better bond. This will in turn act as a solid form of support for the child, something that is desperately needed during this period of time. Try to have open conversation and reassure them that everything will be fine. Reassurance from a parent can be very powerful.

The Fast Food Industry – You Pay Them to Kill You, While Still Making Hefty Profits

The power of advertising has made the public rethink their unhealthy habits. After the September 11th terrorist attack, the marketing department of the Department of Health used this angle to decrease the desire in young adults to use drugs. We’ve all seen these public service announcements from time to time, and I have mentioned them previously: “My drug habit lead to the ruination of lives far from where I live, I am directly helping organized crime… In other words, my drug use has financed murder…”

This chapter is using another angle to get the right point across. “Today, I built up the plaques in my arteries, I increased my triglyceride level by 30%.” I guess this is a blunt way to make a point. By eating fast food, you literally finance your death.

While several worthwhile books have been written in recent years about the broader social implications of a meat-centered diet (Erik Marcus’ “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating”, Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse”, and Howard Lyman’s “Mad Cowboy”, to name a few), none has been greeted more warmly by the mainstream press than Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation”. They all make one point in common: the dangers of eating fast food. In spite of this bad press, we haven’t seen many fast food corporate giants go under. Actually, some are doing very well, indeed. How can we comprehend the fact that despite everything that health magazines, newspapers, and television documentaries say about the dangers in the food we eat, such as hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, etc., people still find themselves filling the seats of these restaurants without thinking about the consequences of their actions? We are talking about your health here. A well-researched and trenchant expose of the fast food industry has caused some people to sit up, take notice, and perhaps even rethink their unhealthy eating habits.

It is obvious that a book talking about the causes of obesity talks about the fast food industry as well. Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” has enabled many to understand how fast food is being processed. Today McDonald’s is the country’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes, and it’s the second biggest purchaser of chicken – which should seem obvious to us all. With their restaurants in every corner of America and beyond, millions of tons of meat and poultry are being processed in the slaughterhouses that supply meat to McDonald’s.

They can only offer their promotions, 2 burgers for $2.22, if their expenses are low. The point here is to make you realize that each time you enter their restaurants, order food, and pay the cashier to eat their food, you are signing your death warrant. Some statistics are truly staggering: In the early 1970’s, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they shelled out more than $110 billion, more than they spent on higher education, computers, or new cars. McDonald’s operates about 28,000 restaurants worldwide and opens 2,000 more every year. That equals six McDonald’s/day. If they follow the same trend for the next decade, they might reach the 50,000 franchises mark. In real life, opening more franchises will mostly send more Americans to their doctors or the emergency room to get diagnosed with several diseases, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. There is at least one positive outlook of these corporate giants. They keep our labor force working by creating many jobs in America and abroad. The 3.5 million fast food workers are by far the largest group of minimum-wage workers in the world; not too bad for the fast food industry.

However, creating jobs should not be used as an excuse, though. They are still convincing people to eat their food by using the media and other sources of advertising. Fast food chains collectively spend about $3 billion annually on television advertising, most of it directed at children-talk about creative marketing. By reaching out to kids, they (the fast food giants) assure themselves a future. What is the point in reaching the older crowd since they are already hooked to their food? They need to reach a virgin market. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, they are targeting your kids. While you are trying your best to teach your kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making their lunch everyday, making them participate in after school sports activities, encouraging them to avoid unhealthy temptation, the industry is spending several millions dollars to brainwash them about what food to eat. I guess you agree with me that these are counter-productive measures. Can this ever end? I don’t think so. Unless Congress confronts one of the underlying factors in health costs for the country, we might never see any progress.

There is some good news, though. We’ve seen some changes in this industry in the past few years. McDonald’s and other fast food chains have tried to implement some healthy items in their menus. Americans are finally seeing some choices offered to them: salad in a cup accompanied by low fat salad dressings is one positive result. Although, most consumers are still not ordering these healthier items, they do have the choice anytime they desire.

Diners can now order salads, baked potatoes and grilled chicken sandwiches, some of which weren’t on restaurants’ original menus. Jeff Bonasia, Burger King’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, says customer surveys revealed that 41 percent of Burger King’s “heavy users”, the beef eaters, wanted a vegetarian burger on their menu.

“We’re not necessarily going out to appeal to people who are strict vegans or vegetarians,” Mr. Bonasia says. “It’s meant to provide more choice and variety for the people who love burgers.” When the BK Veggie Burger idea came up, Burger King officials envisioned it as anchoring a nutritious meal combination, possibly paired with a side salad and bottled water. That didn’t register with customers, Mr. Bonasia says. “Their reaction was, ‘I’ll get the Veggie Burger, and I’ll have my fries’,” he says. Most fast-food chains supply customers with the nutritional content of their menu items, either through Web postings or handout guides.

Fast-food restaurants may have consistent menus, but items typically can be customized on request. Often, Ms. Gensler, a Chevy Chase Maryland Dietician, says, “the delivery time of such meals is the same as with a standard order”. “Today’s consumers appreciate a flexible, heart-friendly menu,” says Wendy’s company spokesman Bob Bertini. The burger chain just went nationwide with four new entree salads after successfully test-marketing them last year in five cities. The Garden Sensations salad lineup offers “ingredients that consumers are not used to seeing [in a fast food restaurant],” Mr. Bertini says, from Mandarin Chicken Salad to crispy rice noodles and roasted almonds. Condiments are included separately.

“The whole approach now is not as much on strict diet regimes … it’s more now about balance and choices,” he says.

“For too many, those choices involve super-, mega- or ultra-sizing the meal in question,” says Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian in New York and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. Super-sized meals also contain excess fat, salt, and sugar, the three main items people crave. The chains (fast foods giants, that is) “know exactly what they’re doing,” Mr. Ayoob says.
Too much fast food leaves diners susceptible to weight gain and all its risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention the strain on the heart. Moreover, fast food tends to offer small amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, three components that counteract obesity and other health woes. Mr. Ayoob says: “Americans won’t stop eating fast food, but if they eat it wisely, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that”. “Go eat it, but eat smart,” he says. “Find the food there you like the most and have it in a more modest portion. As long as your weight is being maintained and you eat a low-fat, balanced diet,” he says, “An occasional journey into a fast-food restaurant should present no problem.

Give Your Loved Ones the Best Family Healthcare

There are many times when despite all the precautions, you fall ill. It is therefore important that people have the ability to get treated at such times. Family healthcare is one of the most basic needs of man. People need to seek treatment as soon as the first signs and symptoms of an illness show up. It is important that people are able to get the required medication and cure for their problem as soon as it starts lest it should turn into something far worse. Often minor problems could lead to major ones. When family members try to avoid going to a doctor, or getting treatment, it is mainly because the cost of treatment is too high for them to bear.

Family healthcare is one of the most important thoughts on the minds of the elders in the house. When it comes to children, the numbers of problems they can face by just going out of the house to play are countless. Since there are numerous infections in the air, it is difficult for anyone to stay protected from all illnesses. It is the same with adults in the house, when you are in office, at the market, or just at a neighbor’s house, you are vulnerable to a large number of illnesses. Family healthcare does not just mean that when a member is sick, he/she gets treatment. It rather means that when a person is hale and hearty, he/she should get regular check-ups to stay the same.

Whether it is the kids in the family or the adults, treatment for medical problems is seldom cheap. Everyone wants the best family healthcare for their family. But this means that people have to spend a lot of money on the same. This can easily be avoided with a medical insurance plan. The policy would pay for all the healthcare problems undergone by family members. At the same time, if the members use the plans wisely, then they have a better chance of staying healthy and leading a happy life.

People thus have the chance of staying healthy without having to pay much. The health insurance plan would take care of most aspects of family healthcare-inpatient treatment, day-care procedures, and other such problems. However, most such plans do not cover outpatient treatments. But there are plans that cover outpatient consultations, dental treatments, spectacles, etc. also. These are known as outpatient benefit plans.

All healthcare problems that a family faces can be dealt with. But the cost of doing so makes it difficult to get the right quality of treatment for individuals. There is the option of availing health insurance policies to cut the cost of family healthcare. But the problem is that people have the inclination to get the right health insurance plan for family members but they just get confused in selecting the right one.

When selecting the plan, one should remember that the policy is meant to get the family all the healthcare assistance it needs. This means that even pre-existing and hereditary diseases should be covered. However, it is not necessary that they be covered from the very first day. Such illnesses are often covered after a waiting period. One should be well aware of the waiting period before buying the policy.

A family is meant to share everything-happiness, sadness and problems. However, in most families, there are few earning members and more dependents. This means that while there are some members who earn money, there are more who spend the same. Thus the fiscal strain that is felt by the earning member can be easily understood. He/she has to provide for the needs of the whole family. However, when the cost of nearly everything around us is increasing, there is seldom any means by which all the ambitions of a family can be fulfilled. Family healthcare is one of the most difficult aspects of a family budget.

There are times when a person has the option of getting treatment that he/she needs, but in order to save money they avoid the same. This leads to further problems. Since there is no means of predicting the problems faced, one cannot tell the cost needed to deal with the same. The cost of healthcare is ever increasing. As time goes by this cost is going to go up manifold. It is important to stay protected against such high costs, so that there is no compromise on family healthcare and at the same time no stress on the earning members.

There are insurance plans that can come to the aid of a person at such times. However, the problem is that people often feel that they do not have the means of buying a health insurance plan. This is contrary to the reality. When a person cannot afford a mediclaim plan, there is no means by which he/she can afford the cost of treatment. Thus it is best to save money enough for a health plan and then buy the same. Also, one must be able to understand the offerings of the plan one is purchasing. The insurance plans are available with variety of offerings and in different values of sum insured. First, one needs to select the cover of benefits he/she is looking for and then accordingly he/she can choose a plan.

Apollo Munich offers comprehensive plans that are designed to take care of a family’s healthcare needs and give them adequate coverage for all medical problems that are likely to arise. It puts up the policy wordings on the website of the company in very transparent and simple terms. One can also buy and renew plans on its site. All the plans are designed t provide all-round family healthcare coverage. Apollo Munich offers mediclaim policies that are designed to give all-round protection to families. There are a variety of policies which are designed for the same.

Affordable Dental Care Available

Affordable dental care is available. Dental care may be one of the most unmet health care needs but if it’s affordable, your needs can be met. When you forgo dental care, you may be putting yourself at risk for more serious health conditions. It is bad enough that you will lose your teeth if you do not take care of them, but you may also be affecting your brain, heart, and immune system as well. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the gum disease that causes tooth loss (called periodontitis) is associated with other more serious conditions like bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. There are other reports that indicate an unhealthy mouth may be linked to diabetes. Without the proper dental care, small cavities or painful teeth can lead to more serious conditions than just tooth decay. You should not delay making an appointment.

Affordable dental care is available for people on a budget in the form of a “discount dental plan”. What is this? It is an alternative to traditional dental insurance that allows you to see a dentist quickly without breaking your wallet. Many major insurance companies offer an affordable dental care package that offers comprehensive coverage at a discounted price. This is to help people on a budget get the care they need quickly.

Discount dental plans are different from traditional insurance in four different ways:

#1 – Instant savings. Once you have your membership, you get a discount of 10-60% off of most procedures. You pay the dentist directly for their services and there are no hidden fees. For example, you need a procedure that usually costs $249. As a member of the discount network, you are eligible for a 60% discount on that procedure. Therefore, you would only have to pay $99 to get your dental work done ($249 – 60% = $99). That’s it. No additional fees will be charged. This significantly reduced rate allows you to get affordable dental care quickly. If you need to make payment arrangements, you can discuss it directly with the dentist.

#2 No paperwork hassles. With traditional insurance, there is a lengthy waiting period that you must go through while the insurance company decides whether or not you are eligible for coverage. This is called the underwriting period. There is no lengthy underwriting period with a discount plan. Your membership is usually active within 3 business days from the time you join the discount network. If you choose coverage for your family, they will be covered at the same time you are.

#3 – No monthly premiums. There are no monthly bills to pay. Once you have your discount plan membership, you are covered for an entire year.

#4 – No deductibles. There are no deductibles to pay before your benefits kick in. Once you are a member of the network, you are fully eligible for member savings. The dentists in the network offer their dental care services to members at a significantly reduced rate.

For additional local depression issaquah visit psychsvc.

What You Must Know About Family Medicine

A Primary care physician is required for those who have certain types of health care coverage plans. This type of doctor can perform physical exams, write prescriptions for your medication, make diagnoses, and treat common illnesses, ailments, and some chronic diseases like diabetes. You can locate primary care doctors in the online business directory, local telephone directory or a physician referral service can refer you to one in your area or surrounding area. These types of doctors provide care to all family members like adults, teens, children, and babies. Sometimes they may refer babies to a pediatric specialist. These doctors can be contacted online or by phone and many of them require you schedule an appointment unless you have an emergency.

Family medicine is also called family practice and this is known as a medical specialty devoted to people of all ages for comprehensive healthcare. If you have been diagnosed with a serious or disabling condition, then this type of practice will refer you to a qualified specialist who can treat you. When you make an appointment to be seen a the family practice, a representative, receptionist, or nurse will schedule one for you. When you arrive for your appointment, the nurse will record your vital signs and then the doctor will visit with you to treat your medical condition.

If you or your family member need a general doctor to treat minor illnesses or ailments, then you may schedule an appointment to be seen by a regular family doctor. This doctor can provide basic treatment and medication to all members of your immediate family. These doctors keep charts on file on your medical records and medical history. Sometimes this type of doctor may be able to help you with prescription medication costs by giving you sample medications they have in stock in their office. This type of doctor usually does not write prescriptions for narcotic pain killers. They can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for pain. Only a pain specialist can prescribe narcotic pain killers.

A family physician can provide the same quality healthcare as a family healthcare doctor, a primary care doctor or a family RN. They can provide medical treatment to all family members of all ages. They offer many great resources to help you understand your medical condition. They monitor your weight by taking measure with a scale. Their nurses in the office take blood pressure readings and record them on their charts. They can monitor blood glucose levels too. They have blood glucose monitors in their office. Some of these physicians will accept walk-in patients. They accept new patients too. New patients will be required to fill out some information regarding their medical history and any drugs they may be allergic to.

Seeing a doctor for your healthcare needs will help you to improve your overall health and self-esteem. They can help you with weight control by providing you with a weight loss diet or refer you to a nutritionist. Family medicine doctors accept a variety of forms of payments that include cash online payments, payments by phone, credit cards, debit cards, e-checks, and bank checks and bank cards. They will also accept health insurance payments and their office staff will work directly with your insurance care provider to collect the payments for medical services provided to you. They make paying simple, easy and fast for their patients. If your medical problem cannot be treated with out-patient care services, these doctors have the authority to admit you for hospitalization in-patient services. After you have been admitted to the hospital, he will treat, run medical tests and prescribe medication for you.

If you have been experiencing problems with your health, seeing a doctor can greatly increase your chances for faster recovery and you will soon be back to your normal daily routine. Sometimes medical conditions can interfere with work. A family doctor can help you get back to work faster if you receive the right treatment and medication for your medical problem.

Buying Individual Health Insurance: 3 Essential Tips From a Health Insurance Specialist

When you’re buying individual health insurance, you’ll probably get overwhelmed by the prices and options of health plans online. Health insurance is now one of the more expensive items in the budgets of many people, but it can also be one of the best decisions you make if you have some know-how selecting the right health plan for you and your family. Here I will give you the 3 Essential Tips that I advise my clients to use when purchasing individual health coverage.

Tip 1: Do not take health insurance advice from someone that is totally unqualified to give you this advice!!

I cannot stress this enough. It amazes me how many sensible people take advice about what health insurance to choose from people who are totally unqualified to give you this critical advice. For example, when I see health insurance messes, (which I see virtually every day) and I ask where they got their health plan information, I inevitably hear things like: “My brother-in- law told me to choose this health plan, he used to work at the hospital.” or “I read an article that says this is the best plan available.” And so on. Everyone’s got an opinion about what health plan you should choose. Just because they are your relative, or involved in some area of health care totally unrelated to insurance, does not mean they know the answers to your individual needs and questions! Work with an insurance specialist BEFORE the problems come up! You have no idea how many clients I have worked with come to me after they chose a health plan online and then have an insurance coverage issue and expect me to fix it, I want to tell them: you should have come to me for help before! Most insurance specialists get paid through insurance carriers, so their services are free to you. USE THEM!!

Tip 2: Determine your actual needs.

The three things to keep in mind when determining your needs are: budget, patterns of doctor and hospital visits, and prescription drug usage. Ask yourself these questions: How frequently do you visit your doctor? Do you go for checkups only or do you go for sick visits? How many times have you been in the hospital in the past 2 years? Do you take regular prescriptions? What are they? Generic or Brands? This is another area where most of my clients neglect. It is not possible to have maximum coverage in all of these areas in any affordable way, maximum coverage for the doctor and hospital plus prescriptions leaves a dent in the budget. However, most health insurance plans offer more than one version of the same plan. For example, say you have “health plan A” that offers maximum coverage for the doctor, maximum coverage for the hospital, and maximum coverage for your prescription drugs. But “health plan A” costs the same as your mortgage. The good news is “Health Plan A” most likely also has customization options, meaning if after analyzing your needs, you discover that you rarely visit a hospital, you could change “health plan A’ s” hospital coverage to moderate or even minimal which will bring down the premium a great deal. If these options are confusing to you, again, a health insurance specialist will be able to help you. They are already aware of “health plan A’ s” customization features and can match your needs to the appropriate version of “health plan A”. A health insurance specialist also has access to versions of health plans that aren’t available as options to the average consumer buying health insurance online.

Tip 3: Resist the urge to over-insure!!

After you’ve analyzed your needs, resist the urge to over-insure! One of the most common health insurance messes I see is over-insurance. People think that if they have maximum coverage for doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions, they have “good” insurance. The truth is, most people who will be approved for individual health insurance won’t need all this coverage. Two things I advise my clients to be aware of: Health Care Reform and Stop-Loss. First, Health Care Reform allows for preventive care services to be covered at 100%. For example, if you only get checkups, why enroll in the plan with 100% doctor’s visit coverage? Enroll in the plan with a lower premium and pay a $10 copay for your sick visit. The difference in premium with this small detail is $100’s of dollars! Furthermore, some of these “maximum coverage” health insurance plans exclude things like pregnancy. The last thing you want to do is pay a small fortune for “good” health insurance only to discover it won’t cover something you need it for! Second, most health insurance plans have a stop-loss built into them which basically states that when your out-of-pocket costs reach a certain amount, the plan will cover you at 100% for all services. And you don’t need the “maximum coverage” plan for this benefit. Your health insurance specialist can even customize this stop-loss amount!

Then, select your plan after following My 3 Essential Tips:

1. Do not take health insurance advice from someone unqualified to offer this advice. Seek a health insurance specialist, they have studied and are licensed to offer this advice and they’re free to you. USE THEM!!

2. Consider your actual needs. Ask yourself questions so you know what your specific health plan needs are, that way you can make sure you select a plan that meets them. After all, if you don’t know what you actually need in a plan, how will you know if you’ve come across the right fit?

3. Resist the urge to over-insure! Health Care Reform has changed how many plans work and you may be able to receive ample or superlative coverage without over-insuring. And most importantly, without the hefty premiums!

There you have it, online health insurance shoppers! I hope this was helpful!

Some Helpful Dental Care Tips

Dental care involves taking proper care of your teeth, gums as well as related structures of your mouth. It encompasses preventing and treating diseases of the teeth and gum and replacing or repairing defective teeth. In most cases, people suffer from dental diseases due to poor brushing, unbalanced diet, and negligence to dental care. This leads to numerous dental problems, which can be expensive, painful, complex, and time consuming. Most of the dental diseases can be prevented by paying much attention to the daily dental care. Proper dental hygiene is not only crucial to our physical appearance, but also essential to the well-being of our body. Below are several dental care tips that will help improve your health and look.

Brush your teeth after each meal

The ideal dental care involves brushing your teeth after each meal. Use soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride and carefully brush along all the surfaces of the teeth in a back and forth motion. It is important to avoid brushing your teeth too vigorously as this can wear down teeth structures. To thoroughly clean each tooth, change the position of your brush after few strokes.

Take your time when you brush

Most people brush for as little as twenty seconds, which is not long enough to get rid of most of the plagues. You should brush for at least two minutes every time you brush your teeth. While you have to brush after every meal, it is before bedtime and after bedtime that is the most crucial.

Flossing techniques

For proper dental care, proper flossing technique must be used. Use about 18 inches floss and wrap both ends against each of your middle fingers. Firmly hold the floss between your thumb and forefinger on each hand. Pool the floss between each other gently, rubbing against the sides of your teeth.

Regular dental checkup

It is essential to visit the dentist at least once every three to four months. Getting your teeth checked by a dentist will help detect any oral problem early. There are no dental signs associated with many oral health problems until the condition has developed to the advanced stage. You should not hesitate to visit the dentist if you have a tooth ache.

Use mouthwash twice a day

For proper dental care, mouthwashes are imperative as they will keep your breath fresh and your mouth feeling clean. They contain effective antiseptic properties that slay the bacterial plaque. It is also vital to maintain a good balanced diet, and reduce the consumption of starchy and sugary foods that are known to trigger tooth decay. To maintain good dental care, avoid consuming between meal because it will make your teeth prone to decay.

Avoid smoking

For a good dental care, smoking should be avoided as it can cause tooth decay, bad breath, tooth discoloration, and gum disease. Some of the other bad effects of smoking are hairy tongue, mouth bores, delaying wound healing, shifting teeth, jaw bone loss among others.

Dental care in an important part of general health and proper oral health gives a sense of overall well-being. By performing daily care of your mouth, gum diseases and tooth decay will stay at bay.

Answer Your the Eldercare Questions Online

Finding the right way to care for aging members of the family can be tough job. There are a variety of online resources for researching your options so you can make a choice that will benefit everyone.

The aging of America has led to a booming industry providing for the care of our seniors. It has also led to difficulties with Medicare and dire threats of the collapse of Social Security. What is important however is that the medical establishment has responded in a variety of ways to support the special needs of people in their final years.

The omnibus site provided by the Department of Health and Human Services is. This site provides a thorough selection of choices for locating eldercare services in your community. The site is multilingual and provides both online support and phone numbers that can be utilized.

A sponsored site with good information can be found at. It is sponsored by QuietCare, a security warning device for seniors living at home. Nevertheless, the site has a good collection of “how to” articles for both seniors and those family members who feel charged with guiding them through the lifestyle changes leading to eldercare.

An extremely well organized site that provides the same guidance and a library of other online resources is at. This site takes the caregiver from first steps right through facility selection and legal issues. Perhaps the most valuable portion of the site is a list of related online sites, broken out by category. Divisions include Assisted Living; Food and Nutrition; Legal Issues; Equipment and Personal Health Supplies; Financial Issues; and several others. For each of these categories the site provides a dozen or more major web sites as references. A few are commercial; more of them, however, appear to be sites put up by professional associations in the industry or non-profits that give unbiased recommendations on resources.

There is a National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (ORC) established and supported by the Federal Government. This organization is an excellent starting point for localized resources. You can click on a map on their web site and select a state where you’ll find listings for such offices as the State and Regional Ombudsmen, Office of License (where you can check on Long Term Care facilities); Medicaid Fraud Control; and so forth. The site is located at.

Ancillary issues facing our senior population today is what sort of long term care insurance is best for them, and the question of whether or not they should pursue home equity conversion, a “reverse mortgage,” to finance their final years. There are increasing numbers of online resources relating to both these areas.

One site that covers both issues and several other related matters – such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney; assist technology and remote monitoring – is the National Care Planning Council’s Guide to Long Term Care Planning at. The site includes 35 in-depth chapters totaling over 670 printable pages covering virtually all areas of long-term care planning. It also provides numerous lists of care providers, advisers and specialized services in four categories of care needs. For the role of Medicare in Long Term Care, go to the government site at.

Finally, the AARP provides some basic information on reverse mortgages at. HUD has a reverse mortgage program that is insured by the FHA and is outlined at. Reverse mortgages are expensive, and not without complications. The FHA insists that reverse mortgages on loans they’ve insured not be provided without a counseling session between an FHA or HUD professional and the homeowners.

Family Medicine And Family Physicians

To become a family physician, men and women go through a four-year degree program, they study in an accredited family medical medicine residency program, and an additional three years of training before becoming board certified. A family physician is your one-stop healthcare expert. They treat everyone in the family and they exam, research, and diagnose medical conditions from head to toe. This type of care is called integrated care where a family doctor devises individualized health plans to treat mom, dad, and children of all ages. Family doctors treat a wide range of health conditions and they can be your primary care physicians at any point in your life. Unlike other specialties, family medicine involves coordinating all types of healthcare issues, from a common cold, pregnancies, to treating an acute or chronic illness.

Family physicians must practice at the highest level of medical care throughout the world. They are required to become re-certified around every six years, through American institutions like The American Board of Family Medicine, The American Academy of Family Physicians or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, all of which have reciprocity agreements throughout the globe for family medicine training. A few of the advantages in being seen by a primary care physician, includes the following:

• family doctors have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

• physicians that have seen generations of family members can help in researching various genetic diseases, like cancer, if it appears more than once in a generation.

• doctors involved in family medicine environments can perform minor surgical procedures without the added cost of seeing a specialist.

• they improve the lives of the under served in America and abroad.

Research and clinical studies have proven that U.S. and worldwide primary care physicians have been responsible for lowering the world mortality rates in diseases, such as in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, low birth weight issues, obesity, and many other illnesses and health conditions. The statistical results associated with the care provided by family physicians, have proven that they help to increase life spans and control diseases from spreading. Their participation in healthcare has reduced healthcare expenditures, they help to lower hospital admissions, emergency room admissions, and they help to reduce surgical costs.

A family doctor focuses on preventive care, community oriented care, global health, plus they diagnose and manage a wide range of health problems to improve the quality of care in local, rural, urban, and large city health. Even if people are generally healthy, patients benefit by keeping a relationship with their primary care physicians. The physicians support individuals to stay healthy through dietary programs, they encourage their patient’s to exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.

One of the main reasons that family medicine works, is the relationship that patients have with their doctors. This specialized and confidential relationship is great for individuals who feel comfortable in talking about their medical health with their physicians. Physicians around the world, are available to answer their patient’s questions in a way that forms a trusting bond. This bond creates a trusting relationship, whereby patients will listen and follow their healthcare provider’s advice and directions, thus decreasing chances of spreading contagions.

Family medicine is all about treating the whole person, not just their symptoms. A family physician has a profound effect on the physical, mental, environmental, emotional, and spiritual health of each of their patient’s. Physicians with an intimate knowledge of their patients can help introduce the healing power of hope, love, faith, and trust, as life presents challenges that can evoke depression, fear, grief, and anger. Also, if a physician’s patient requires the need to see a specialist, a family doctor will help coordinate your care. Patients can often feel frustrated and confused when they have to manage the healthcare system on their own. With a family healthcare provider on your side, the whole medical care journey is made easier and less frightening of the unknown.

Refugees have always fled to foreign countries, including the U.S. for a chance of better opportunities for themselves and their family. The present global news events are following refugees today, who are fleeing from their native countries for various reasons. Before being accepted for resettlement, all refugees must pass medical screening examinations, which is often performed by primary care physicians. The physicians perform a thorough examination of a variety of health problems that involve the mental and social health of the refugees. The family doctor’s check for infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, the refugee’s overall musculature system, and parasites, thus providing immunizations. The information that they gather is shared with that country’s main health agency, which in the U.S. Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You Have Been Declined for Health Insurance in California, Now What?

If you are reading this then you probably have been declined for health insurance in the recent past. When you get declined for health insurance it probably has something to do with your medical history. Since California is one of the underwritten states health care companies have the right to declined people for health insurance. Who health insurance company might decline and who it might not all depends on risk assessment using actuarial tables. Anytime when you fill out individual application for health coverage and answer yes on one of the medical questions your application might be manually reviews by one of the underwriters. It is a person who is responsible to reviewing application using actuarial tables. Actuarial tables are statistics done by the insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, researchers that predict the cost of insuring some one with a specific medical history.

Some states like New York, New Jersey and Washington require insurance companies to insure everyone. Those three states do not have medical underwriting and everyone is automatically approved for health coverage. In order to insure everyone with medical history insurance companies increase rates to the point where it becomes not affordable to most people. What keeps the average monthly premiums low is low utilization of health care. If there are more people with high medical insurance utilization with a specific health insurance company they have to raise the rates for everyone in order to keep up with paying medical claims. That also drives people who do not use health insurance that often to drop health insurance all together and yet driving rates even higher. This leaves no choice for insurance carriers but to drive rates even higher. New York, New Jersey and Washington have highest premiums for medical coverage and a lot of families find health care out of reach.

In California if you have been declined for health coverage you have options. If you out of job or currently on low income you can qualify for Medical and if you have kids they can qualify for a program called Healthy Families. Most states including California have high risk pools that are designed for people who have been declined for individual health insurance. In California this program is called MRMIP. Just the quick search on the Internet will guide to a government website. MRMIP is a program that is managed by the state and your big name medical insurance providers participate in it. Chances are you will be able to keep the same health insurance company if you are already use to them. MRMIP program has limits and it might have a waiting period.

One of the best options might be when it comes to getting the most coverage for your money is through a group plan. In the state of California all group plans by law are required to be a guaranteed issue. That means that there is no medical underwriting. This options requires more work from you. Insurance companies are not just going to let you set up a group plan if you have been declined for individual health insurance. Since insurance companies are required to insurance everyone who is part of the group state requires insurance companies to have rules when it comes to setting up a group plan. Some of the basic requirements change from the insurance company to the insurance company.

The best way to find out is talk to insurance broker. The basics that insurance companies are going to be looking for are that you have to have a reason for starting a group plan other then getting medical insurance. It is illegal to start a group plan just to get health insurance. That means that you have to have a business and that could be anything. To have a group plan you obviously have to have more then just yourself It takes at least two people to start a group plan. All the people that are going to be on the group plan are either have to be the owners of the business or have to be on the payroll. Some insurance companies require either a DE-6 form or six weeks of payroll records. If every one if the owner then you will be required to provide proof of the ownership listing everyone that is going to be on a group plan as the owner. This might not be simple but is is certainly doable and it is definitely worth it if you do not have any coverage and cannot get it on your own.

It is always easier to just blame the insurance company that they have declined you for health coverage. If you have been declined and are looking for health insurance you just have to be more proactive in getting your coverage. Once you work with a broker on getting on the requirements on setting up a group plan then it is forever yours and no one can take that coverage away from you unless you stop paying for it.

Obesity and Fast Foods

Before we discuss obesity and fast foods, let us have some definitions first.

o Obesity: A person is termed obese when his or her Body Mass Index exceeds 30
o Body Mass Index (BMI): A unit of measurement used to define the state of a person’s body weight. It is derived by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of his or her height in meters.

Underweight BMI = less than 20
Normal BMI = 20 to 24.9
Overweight BMI = 25 to 30
Obese BMI = greater than 30

o Fast food: there is no standard definition for it, but generally taken to mean foods that are prepared in very large quantities using standard kitchen utensils, following standardized recipes and repetitive preparation procedures and served rapidly in standard designed restaurants known as fast food restaurants. They usually advertise their services through electronic and print media and generally target children and young people. The rapid spread of such restaurants is usually made possible through the franchising system.

The key to good health through eating nutritious foods needs no explanation. As the saying “we are what we eat” goes, our physical well being is largely dependent on the type of foods we take. Cases of diet related diseases are well documented. They include the likes of diabetes, overweight, obesity, hypertension, heart diseases and certain types of cancer.

The link between obesity and fast foods has been well documented. It has been recognized that excessive consumption of fast foods is a leading cause of obesity due to the high content of fat, sugar and salt in fast foods. They are typically low in complex carbohydrates.

Another area of concern is that advertisements of fast foods are generally targeted towards children. Children, particularly the younger ones, are generally unable to discern through food and nutrition information. It is no coincidence that there are increasing incidences of the rise in obesity in the younger people.

Countries around the world are getting more and more alarmed at the rate of increase in obesity particularly in the younger people; they are well aware of the link between obesity and fast foods.

However, it is unfair to put the entire blame squarely on fast foods. Kids nowadays spent more time on computer games and television than their parents’ generation; they are less likely to part take in robust physical games.

Seeing the need to address the danger of the link between obesity and fast food, many countries around the world are taking action to enforce tighter control on television and print media advertisements, because the younger people are usually the targets of fast food companies.

Of particular concern is television advertising, an extremely influential and effect medium of advertisement for children. Among some of the restrictions adopted are:

o Prohibition of TV advertisements of fast foods during the airing of children’s programs
o Prohibition of TV sponsorship by fast food companies for children’s programs
o Prevention of misleading food information which may confuse consumers
o Fast food companies are prohibited from any form of advertisements that encourages excessive consumption
o Fast food companies are prohibited from promoting fast foods as healthy substitutes for a complete or balanced meal

The link between fast foods and obesity has prompted many governments to take affirmative action to prevent excessive consumption particularly by the younger people. It is a step in the right direction to reduce the overall burden of health care costs provided by governments around the world.

Healthcare – When You Lose Your Healthcare

If health care is important to you, you may feel devastated when you lose your healthcare. With the downward spiral that the economy has been experiencing, companies are trying to do everything to stay in business. For some corporations, this can mean lay-offs and a reduction in work force. For others, this means cutting costs in other areas, including healthcare. It can seem like a scary thing to be without benefits for you and your family, but you have options.

#1 – Purchase your own individual and family healthcare. There are important things to consider when purchasing individual and family health care plans. Do you want to choose your own doctor, or are you okay choosing from a pre-screened network? Do you have any pre-existing conditions that may prevent you from getting insurance? Circumstances like these may affect your decisions and monthly premiums. You will also want to look at whether there is a deductible – a fee that is paid before your coverage starts. If you choose a plan with a high deductible, your monthly premiums may be much lower. Just be aware that should you need medical attention, your deductible amount must come out of your pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. Choose a plan that has a deductible you can handle as well as monthly that are premiums within your budget.

#2 – Purchase a discount health plan. This is a health care option that is not technically “health insurance” but with this type of plan, you are offered discount prices on medical procedures, office visits, emergency room visits, etc. The administrators in a discount program bargain with your physician and come up with a reduced fee for their services. Then, you only pay the discounted fee instead of the full priced fee that is charged to the general public. Most times these discount plans offer a 20-40% savings. Even though this is not traditional insurance, it is a way to save money with reduced costs so that you do not have to come up with the full payment when you need medical services.

#3 – Visit a participating pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer physical exams, vaccinations, and treatment for a number of medical conditions for an affordable price. They may also offer diagnostic testing for common ailments as well. If you are uninsured, be sure to check with pharmacies in your area to see if they offer any of these services. Try to be proactive and check for these services before they are needed so you will know the offerings and prices before you purchase a health care plan.

So the bottom line is, should you lose your insurance, do not feel like there is nothing you can do. Although it may be devastating when you lose your healthcare, there are other avenues you can take and options that are available so that you are covered. Take charge of your situation and start shopping around now for the best option for you and your family.

Drug Abuse in College – How to Get Your Loved Ones Back

Violence is breaking out due to gang wars over drug territory. Are your kids in college safe from this?

Over 75 college students were arrested in San Diego State University in May 2008, for drug dealing on campus. 2 kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy pills, marijuana, illicit prescription drugs, meth, psychedelic mushrooms, guns etc were seized by police.

One half of all college students binge drink, abuse pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs. (ref: National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse or CASA).

College can be a great place to get an education, but if a loved one has drug abuse problems, you should be planning their rehab program 1st. I’ve sent many college students to long-term drug rehab programs that use the social / educational model of recovery after drug abuse was discovered to be ruining a young person’s life.

College students seem to do very well with social / educational methods of rehab as they aren’t expected to admit they are powerless over their addiction. In fact the opposite is true. Social / Education rehab models consider a drug abuser is completely responsible for their drug abuse – but their lives are simply out of control.

What Drugs Of Abuse Should You Be Concerned About?

College students abused pharmaceuticals at higher rates than drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. Pain killing pharma had a 343% increase in abuse amongst students. (ref: CASA)

Anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium had a 450% rise in abuse in the college crowd.

Often drugs like Xanax are used to mask the after effect symptoms of meth and cocaine. So again, Rx use can be a visible indicator of other drug abuse as well.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Damages The Mind

Drug abuse creates inabilities to differentiate between actuality and delusion. Drug users are purposefully imposing delusion into their lives with drug use. They only get upset when they no longer know the difference between reality and illusion. The line of reality slides over gradually, rarely all of a sudden.

What are the indicators of drug abuse?

The biggest indicators of college drug abuse are slides down of GPA and inability to handle course loads anymore. Communication level and frequency changes when people move from use to abuse. It often looks like depression or apathy or loss of goals in life. Those are symptoms of drug / alcohol abuse as well.

However, the biggest indications of drug abuse is lack of communication, lying and avoiding specific questions from parents or family members. Do your kids resist coming home or having you see them on campus? All these types of behaviors are indications of drug abuse.

Does Drug Rehab Work For College Students?

Yes, absolutely and work well. But if a rehab program hasn’t worked for you in the past, meaning they’ve relapsed, you need to re-evaluate the types of programs available. There is more than one way to achieve success in life and more than several ways to end drug addiction.

But be sure the goal of the program and your loved one is to end their drug addiction for real.

Determining the goal of the drug rehab model as well as the goals of the college student goes a long way in starting on the road to straight living and often straight A’s.

Eldercare Solutions For the Sandwich Generation

Ava has flute lessons at 4:00. Dad has a doctor’s appointment at 5:00. And you have no clue what you’re going to whip up for dinner. As a member of the sandwich generation-those who care for both their children as well as their aging parents-you’re in a unique situation. You’ll feel stress in your mind, your body, and even your pocketbook. This guide will help you assemble an eldercare solutions team that can make you feel a little less sandwiched.

Non-medical in-home care
In-home care providers are a favorite solution for many children caring for aging parents. These companies offer a wide variety of services designed to enhance to help your parent in the tasks of everyday living. Professional in-home care can provide assistance with bathing or toileting. They can also perform light housekeeping, such as changing linens or unloading groceries. What’s more, these companies offer companion eldercare solutions services. That means Dad has someone to play checkers with while you’re at a day-long conference.

Adult day care and other senior activities
From day trips to the local tourist trap to water aerobics, you can find a number of local services to keep Mom or Dad active. Church groups and social service agencies are two good sources for activity-related eldercare solutions. Your local agency on aging can also provide a list of resources for you to contact.

Family and Friends
Many of us have a circle of family and friends-and when it comes to caring for aging parents, it’s important to tap into that resource. Have a family meeting to decide how each person can help. Maybe your retired Aunt can become Mom’s taxi service. Perhaps your spouse can take over cooking one night a week. Teens can take on responsibility, too, by picking up prescriptions or taking over one of your typical household chores.

Even if your family consists simply of you and your aging parent, you can still find solutions to make your life less stressful. For instance, ask a neighbor to watch a movie with Dad while you slip away for dinner. If help with household stuff will help make caring for aging parents easier, ask a church youth group if they’d be willing to trim the fire bushes. Have a neighbor with a ladder? Exchange a home-cooked meal for clean gutters.

Professional Services
Caring for aging parents comes with a price tag, especially if you’re part of the sandwich generation. Experts estimate it costs more than $16,000 a year to pay for child care and elder care. That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of professionals who can help guide you through the numbers. Consult a financial advisor who has experience in eldercare solutions.

Remember to ask your parents about getting legal advice regarding living wills and medical powers of attorney. Putting these documents into place now, when your parent is still relatively health, can save the family future heartache and conflict when a serious illness strikes.

Don’t let the stress of raising children and caring for aging parents take its toll on your life. By planning and finding the right kind of help, you can find an eldercare solution you and your aging parent can live with.

The Secret to Getting Your Aging Parents to Accept Eldercare Services – Start With Their Pets

Your parents need more help than they’re willing to admit. They bristle at the thought of elder care services and independent living programs, and they have fired all the in-home helpers and housekeepers you’ve hired for them. How might you prevail upon them to accept some assistance? Ask them about their pets.

They surely want the best for their animals and might be willing to let somebody take their dog for an occasional romp or change the litter box a couple of times a week.

Pet owners often make decisions about their own health and circumstances based on the impact the decisions would have on their pets. “I can’t go into the hospital over night for the test the doctor ordered-who would feed and walk Fluffy?” Your parents might welcome assistance that would make it easier to keep the animal at home and in good health and spirits. And, accepting help for the pet is easier than admitting you need help yourself. Still, help is help, and accepting help for the pet is a face-saving way to ease in to help for oneself.

There are various dog walking and pet sitting services, and some are fully bonded and insured. Local animal shelters and veterinary practices have referral lists. Neighbors with pets probably have recommendations too. A responsible teenage neighbor looking for pocket money might also be a good resource.

When was the last time your parents’ pet went to the vet for an exam and shots? Getting an animal into a carrier is hard enough for many pet owners in the prime of their-and their pet’s-life. It may well be impossible for your parents to catch the cat, put it in the carrier and carry the carrier to the car they shouldn’t be driving anyway.

The way to make assistance tolerable is to get clear and detailed information about what your parents want help with and how they want to be helped. Starting with a topic they’re willing to consider, help with a trip to the vet, you can follow this good experience with others like help with shopping and eventually with in-home help.

Do your parents want help with:

• Walking the pet
• Feeding and watering the pet
• Cleaning up after the pet, inside or out
• Getting the pet ready to go to the vet
• Taking the pet to the vet
• Staying with the pet if your parent is out of town or in the hospital?

No matter how experienced the provider of eldercare services is, he/she cannot anticipate each client’s preferences and may not ask in sufficient detail to get adequate information. Use these questions to help your parents get clear on exactly what they want help with and how they want to be helped, and to train the helper so he/she can provide elder care services they will accept.

Natural Health Treatments Are Most Effective When Using Homeopathy

Natural health treatments are best treated when the whole of you is taken into consideration. Typical health treatments isolate parts of you, dealing only with your eye, your big toe, you digestion, etc. But how can this make sense, bearing in mind the whole of you is all connected?

Let’s look at a more efficient way of considering the whole of you in your treatment.

Consider shock. Initially this can cause an increase in your heart rate, make you sweat more, make you extremely anxious, agitated and restless. Your body is preparing you for flight – to flee from a potentially dangerous situation. However, often shock comes after the danger has passed, such as in a bad accident. Fleeing is no longer necessary, although it would have resolved the shock.

This unresolved shock remains in your system forever, unless it is energetically treated. This can lead to ailments such as high blood pressure, panic attacks, heart conditions and other serious health issues.

But by resolving the shock with an energetic health care modality such as homeopathy, the related health issues are also resolved.

Homeopathy works at an energetic level, which is highly appropriate given that you are an energy being. Many people find this concept hard to understand, in this current climate where the focus of ill health is on the physical, or outside forces. However, natural treatments as a whole, and homeopathy in particular, understand that this is a very limited way of looking at health. And normally, an ineffective one.

It does mean a change of mindset. But given the fact that worldwide health is at an all time low even, or perhaps especially, in those countries where medicine has never been more available, it may be a long overdue change.

Fast Food Statistics – Choices Matter

Fast food statistics let us know that fast food can be an unhealthy option. A quickie burger is a popular choice among people who don’t want to cook, or who are under time pressures and don’t have time to cook. But instead of buying takeout why not make your own fast meals at home?

What’s in a Fast Meal?

Here is a quick statistic on a fast food meal. A cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake have around 1,000 calories. About 17% percent of those calories are from protein, which is not too bad. But around 39% of those calories are from saturated fat and that’s not good. And around 44% are from refined carbohydrates, which is constipating and fattening.

Too much saturated fat in the diet causes high levels of cholesterol in the blood and risk of heart disease. Children may quickly burn up calories from fat in a typical fast food meal, but for most adults those calories quickly turn to body fat and cellulite.

Nutrition of Fast Food

A regular portion of fries has about 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. A 4-ounce hamburger, without the cheese has around 420 calories and 20 grams of fat, plus a whopping 690 grams of sodium! Yikes that is a lot of sodium for a small hamburger. A medium soft drink boasts about 210 calories and 50 of those calories are from sugar.

Eating fast food is a convenient way to grab a bite, but fast food in undeniably unhealthy in many ways. Fast food does not have any fiber whatsoever, which leads to constipation that can later develop into colon cancer. The saturated fat content of fast food is not healthy for the heart. It’s never a good idea to eat fast food more than a couple of times a month, and for some people, never.

Making Your Own Fast Meal

If you enjoy eating hamburgers once in awhile, the alternative is to make your own. Mix ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground turkey. Add seasonings of your choice. Form into patties and broil in the oven. Take two whole potatoes and wash and scrub thoroughly. Cut potatoes into French fry wedges. Toss some olive oil, sea salt and paprika on the potatoes and bake for 45 minutes at 400-degrees.

Time Saving Tips

The rush, rush mentality of society has made many people flock to the nearest fast food joint for meals. But there are healthy eating alternatives. Here are a few tips:

If you live close to your work, simply go home for lunch. If you don’t have the luxury of working close to home, bring lunch to work with you.

If you have to eat out, choose a salad bar, soup, or light sandwich. Bring your own salad dressing with you instead of using those fattening creamy dressings.

Have a well-stocked pantry at home full of healthful foods such as beans, brown rice, pasta and other whole grains. When you cook, make more than you will need and freeze the rest in individual servings for work or when you don’t feel like cooking.

Be prepared. Make lists of what you are going to eat throughout the week. On the night before going to work do most of the prep work, so when you come home from work all you have to do is cook the food.

Cook in your crock-pot. The crock-pot does the cooking for you.

3 Big Reasons To Avoid Digestive Health Medicine

Due to our unhealthy western diet and it’s highly processed foods that many of us eat too regularly, we now have more disease and digestive disorders than ever before in known human history. This downward health spiral has worked out well for the medical industry and pharmaceutical industry. They have a digestive health medicine that can treat every problem you have.

The operative word here being “treat”, not cure. Our health industry is not interested in finding a cure for anything, that’s not what brings in the business.

Let’s take constipation as an example

Constipation is one of the most common digestive disorders we have. If you search for a medicine for it you will be prescribed or guided to several products like:

  • bowel cleaning solutions
  • bulk-forming laxatives
  • fecal softeners
  • stimulant laxatives
  • 5HT4-receptor agonists
  • peripheral opioid-receptor antagonists

All these categories have many products that are all made with drugs. Most of these problems can not only be treated by most people by diet, but most likely cured for good. There are several problems with treating these symptoms with drugs;

1. Drugs can never cure your problem, they can only provide temporary relief for the symptoms until they hit you again.

2. All drugs come with the possibility of negative adverse side effects.

3. Drugs will cause other symptoms unrelated to the symptom they were made to treat, causing you to seek out yet another prescription for another drug that will create another problem.

This is happening everywhere. There are more people on medication now than ever before. Many people are and will be, many unnecessarily, on medication for the rest of their lives. Your doctor is more than happy to prescribe a medication as long as you need it, and once you start, you will always need it.

Natural treatments door digestive health problems

Let’s look at the above list again. Do you really want to take a drug as a bulk-forming laxative? Over-use of laxatives can lead to serious side effects;

  • they can cause kidney stones or failure
  • they can body dehydration and rob it from vitamins and minerals
  • they can damage bowel function
  • pro-longed use can eventually make them stop working altogether

How about dietary fibers we can get from eating all-natural grains such as unrefined oats, barley and the best one of all; bran. Not only will these build up bulk in the intestinal tract, but will also leave your body with digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Consume plenty dietary fiber and you won’t need stimulant laxatives or fecal softeners, or bowel cleaning solutions.

Affordable Dental Care – Top 3 Ways Of Having Affordable Dental Care

The lack of affordable dental care has cause people to go without seeing a dentist. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. These types of problems can lead to other health care problems like infections if untreated. It can also be painful and costly if dental problems continue to go untreated.

By getting the proper affordable treatment it can protect you from tooth decay and gum disease. There are a lot of procedures that can help you save money. By practicing basic dental care it can save fewer trips to the dentist office. An excellent way to start would be to develop healthier dental hygiene.

Affordable Dental Care-Checkups

Routine checks up can help make dental care more affordable by getting your teeth examine and clean. It is recommended to see a dentist twice a year. A dentist can detect any oral health problems in the early stage. A routine checkup may include cleaning, polishing, prevention, and X-rays.

Affordable Dental Care- Good Brushing

Brushing is an additional key to keeping affordable dental care because it prevents cavities and reduces the chances of tooth decay. Brushing can prevent bad breathe too. Regular brushing can help slow down the time spent with visiting a dentist. Besides making your teeth last forever, you can save money by preventing dental problems and reduce any other dental procedures. Overall it is important to have proper oral health care.

Affordable Dental Care – Dental Discount Plan

A good quality discount dental plan that is not insurance can be a perfect way to getting affordable dental care. A membership fee is usually paid by a consumer who wants to receive dental treatments for a discount. There are no insurance companies involved with a discount dental plan. The discount plan will cut down the cost. If you can’t afford dental insurance then this may benefit because it beats having nothing at all.

Suffering From Drug Abuse

Many people do not realize that they suffer from drug abuse problems. There are many different substances that count as drugs. Abusing these substances might only mean using them to a degree more than they were intended.

For instance, caffeine is a drug. There are many different ways that a human being can take caffeine into their body. In this day and age there are like five different kinds of energy drinks at any gas station market. Each of these energy drinks will contain a high amount of caffeine. If someone were to drink many of these energy drinks in one day, then they would be suffering from drug abuse. Still, if someone asked them if they had a problem with abuse, they might not think that they do.

There are definitely harsher forms of abuse than caffeine abuse. Hardcore drugs have the potential to wreck the human body a lot more than the lesser drugs. Still, the lesser drugs can harm the body quite a bit as well.

The problem is that some people associate drug abuse with illegal drugs. There are many drugs that are very legal to buy. These drugs can be abused. What it all boils down to is that everyone has to be careful about what they take into their body. The government isn’t going to make everything that’s bad for the body illegal. Instead, they are going to leave some decisions up to the people. That means that people need to be learned enough to figure out what they should or shouldn’t take into their body.

Sometimes people are having an illegal abuse problem without even knowing about it. When a doctor prescribes a certain amount of medication, it is illegal to go beyond the prescribed amount. There are many people who don’t seem to think there is a problem with this. In fact, there are some doctors who make a living on over-prescribing people medication. They are actually helping people with their abuse.

I feel that part of thing that drives abuse in middle class society is the fact that moderately wealthy to extremely wealthy people don’t think that they can have a drug abuse problem. They think they are somehow above the entire drug abuse situation.

That’s just not true. Anyone who has access to drugs can have an abuse problem. Drugs are incredibly addictive, and so everyone is subject to having a problem with them. The sooner high society admits that they suffer from drug abuse as much as everyone else, the sooner we can all start solving this problem together.

Still, this won’t happen until drug abuse is more clearly defined for people. Simply put: drug abuse is abusing drugs. Legal drugs that are overused are being abused. It’s as simple as that. The problem with most types of drugs is that they are so addictive that people can’t help but take more of them than they should. This is why abuse is even a problem.

Lonely Planet Guides Vs Travel Blogs – Which Is Better?

If you find traveling the world to be a rejuvenating experience, you don’t have to strain your budget to stay young and kicking on the travel circuit.

I’m sure you’ll agree, It’s a lovely planet we live in, and Lonely Planet guides can show you the best treats, eats and retreats which some luxury tours choose to overlook as they sometimes only show you only the glossy, well worn parts of the country that you have chosen to visit, and leave you with the feeling of a somewhat ‘plastic’ holiday experience

If you are planning a backpacking trip of your own, then the correct use of Lonely Planet guides and various travel blogs are a great way to familiar yourself with your chosen travel destination before you ever leave home. They are a great option since they include some of the best kept travel secrets, helping you to travel further & longer with confidence.

Just because you want to travel doesn’t necessarily mean that you have burn a whole pile of cash to get an amazing traveling experience.

Backpacking from place to place can give you the chance to meet locals, as well as other travelers, and learn more about the planet we live in and the diversities of other cultures.

The famous Lonely Planet Guides have provided tourists with useful and practical information for many years.

Created after its founders splendid honeymoon during which they traveled across two continents and an ocean with borrowed money.

I always liked how the Lonely Planet guides are packed full of practical travel information and advice about the places I want to visit, however, I sometimes have found the guides to be outdated on more than one occasion.

The Guides are laid out beautifully with helpful maps & various photographs from local attractions.

Combine the photos with descriptions of cities & countries from around the globe and you have a great book that will inspire you to plan your next travel adventure.

What I enjoy most about the Lonely Planet Books is they can help to generate fresh ideas of new places to travel and things worth doing when I’m in need of some travel inspiration.

The books are full of lists. Top 10 Countries, Top 10 Regions, Top 10 Cities and so on.

I don’t know if I agree with the top 10 in each of these categories, and you might not either, but that is not the point.

Use the book to inspire you to travel to new places you haven’t yet been, and to generate ideas and travel inspiration.

Even if you don’t travel to the locations listed in the Lonely Planet Travel Guides, they will help you create awareness of what’s out there, and of the places that are available for you to explore.

If you enjoy traveling, you will enjoy looking through the Lonely Planet Travel Guides for fresh new backpacking ideas.

In 2007 approximately seventy five percent of the Lonely Planet was acquired by BBC Worldwide who resolved to continue creating travel guides as they have always been created in the past, providing trustworthy advice to independent travelers and backpackers.

Each year approximately 500 new Lonely Planet guides are published for travelers.

You can either purchase them from bookstores all over the world, or online directly from the company’s official website.

In addition, you can even download the guides now as an audio book.

Wandering from one distant place to another, allows you to experience the diversity of the world’s cultures, and the world-renowned Lonely Planet Guides have been helping tourists with their itineraries since it’s founders went on their own life-changing adventure, spending borrowed money and savings on an unforgettable travel experience across two continents.

Lonely Planet Publications is one of the world’s largest travel guidebook publishers, founded by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, who cashed in on their wanderlust.

Tony came up with the company name, having misheard the phrase ‘lovely planet’ in Joe Cocker and Leon Russell’s song, ‘Space Captain.’

Backpackers, travelers on the move, and jet setters who love to travel the world can find a bunch of relevant information on travel blogs especially information that may not be available in a standard printed travel book or guide.

First hand information about a possible travel location can come in very handy for the regular traveler, especially if it concerns local travel, hotel and food information, local weather information and travel maps etc.

Don’t depend on a single source for travel information. Flick through the Lonely Planet Guides, find a good Travel Blog with relevant & accurate information & even use Google to find helpful useful travel advice & tips.

Is There a Travel Consultant on Your Team?

OK, I have to admit… I book my own travel. I’ve been vacillating back and forth for months and months on whether to add a travel agent (aka travel consultant) to my team of experts that help make my life easier and I just haven’t done it yet. Now don’t get too impressed that I have a ‘team of experts’ – the list is short. It includes the lawn guy who’s also now the pest control guy, the maid, my hair stylist, my all-important driver to and from the airport, and that’s about it. But they’re all people who can save me time, save me money and can make recommendations based on their experience with me and my preferences. Hmmm… sounds like a travel consultant also.

So to help me make my decision, I thought I’d pretend that you’re asking me questions and I’m giving you the answers. It makes the writing so more interesting than just talking to myself.

Q: So why in these days on online booking of everything should I use the services of a travel consultant?

A: Online booking of travel may be the best way to go if you have a simple flight to book, have no long list of special needs, and know what you’re doing. I like to go to Travelocity or Expedia and search out my options and prices, but then I book my ticket on the airline’s direct site. I just trust that if I have any issue with my ticket that their airline will be more helpful to me.

I’ve only ever booked a ticket on one of these online sites when I needed a flight that had one airline on the outbound and another airline on the return.

Because I routinely fly to the same city, I just jump on that airline’s site and can have a ticket booked within seconds. But when my husband and I are both flying and we’re originating in different, then a travel consultant makes much more sense. I spend an excessive amount of time searching multiple airline sites trying to get us to arrive and depart at somewhat the same time.

If you have special needs (allergic to peanuts, pets, people, etc.), then a travel consultant can help ensure that your seats and/or flights are suitable for you. If you’re traveling internationally and are concerned with connecting flights, tight connections, passport or health requirements, go to the expert on your team.

Q: What can a travel consultant really do that I can’t do myself?

A: Besides what I just mentioned above, they can also:

Scout out lower prices than you may be able to find.

Help you with recommendations and prices on cruise bookings and most other forms of travel packages (guided tours, all-inclusive resorts, safaris, etc.) based on YOUR needs and desires.

Keep you in the know about luggage fees, luggage limits, TSA, travel rules in other countries, best times to travel based on weather and more.

Help resolve travel issues (cancelled flights, oversold hotels) and complex travel itineraries.

All with personal service and expert knowledge.

Q: What does a travel consultant charge to use their services?

A: The fee depends on the consultant. While some of the more luxury agencies have higher fees, the average fee is quite marginal. Some travel consultants will even drop the fee or offer a discount once you have finalized your trip with them. Plus, you can always ask an consultant upfront what their fees are and decide for yourself if it’s worth it. Your time is valuable also… so consider the value of the hours that you’re searching for your own travel and the fee for the travel consultant then looks very reasonable.

Q: So what are the requirements for a travel consultant to become part of your ‘team of experts’?

A: Just a few minor requirements to fulfill:

  • They recognize who I am when I call and say “Hi, it’s Carol.” I do not want an agency where I speak to someone different each time I call.
  • They know my preferences and my type of travel. When I say “Bruce and I both want to get to New York City around 6pm on a Thursday,” they’ll know to put me on Continental, him on Delta, and get us both aisle seats (exit row for me, any row with a power outlet for him).
  • They know our 1,000 places to see before we die, know where we’ve already been, and call us when they see a great deal to a place we’ve yet to go.
  • They book our cruises and our hotels and airfare. No more cruise-only people that leave the rest up to us.
  • They provide recommendations for places to see, things to do, restaurants, etc. because they’ve already been there!
  • If they’re not an expert in a certain area, such as finding us a house to rent in Santorini, they’ll find someone who is.
  • They offer reasonable fees and throw in a freebie now and then because we use them so much (is that too much to ask??).

Q: So are you still going to book all of your own travel?

A: Heck no! I’ll take resumes starting today from any travel consultant who can meet my requirements! — I’m interviewing!

Ten Essential Steps to Building Your Custom Hillside Home

Envision your dream home, perched atop the perfect mountain overlooking the vast landscape below. Feel the warm sun against your skin as you sip your morning coffee and watch the sky turn brilliant colors of red, orange and pink. With each new hour the scenery outside your window changes, an evolving canvas of light and color. A magnificent painting lay before you, a private masterpiece view able only from the window of your custom home.

A home in the mountains offers more than just beautiful landscapes and stunning sunset views. Hillside construction provides a sense of privacy and seclusion that many homeowners desire when considering their dream home. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, a mountainside home can transform daily living into an oasis of tranquility. However, hillside construction has its own set of unique challenges. Follow these 10 steps to ensure your mountainside construction project is built without a hitch.

1. Hire a Local Builder Who Specializes in Mountainside Construction

Before you decide to build your dream home in the mountains, make sure that the new home builder you hire is experienced in hillside construction in your town. Each municipality has its own set of zoning regulations. It is best to find a home remodeling contractor that can provide actual photos and references from previous home builds in your area. A local contractor will understand the soil, topography and hydrology that is involved in your construction project and can guide you throughout the design process.

2. Choose The Location for Your New Home

One of the most important aspects of your custom home build is choosing the location. Mountainside building is environmentally sensitive and follows strict building regulations and zoning ordinances. Many factors influence the choice of location for your home. This includes the type of soil, drainage patterns and boulder formations. All proposed building sites should undergo a thorough analysis, identifying both challenges and opportunities before moving forward with the home design process.

3. Plan Your Home Design With The Natural Landscape

As said by the Father of Arizona building, Frank Lloyd Wright, “No house should ever be on any hill or on anything. It should be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together, each much happier for the other.” When designing your custom home, the placement of the building should be a key consideration. Some important factors to discuss with your home designer are the surrounding views, location of mature vegetation, angle of the sun and prevailing winds. Multi-story buildings should be stepped into the natural contours of the site to establish harmony with the natural landscape.

4. Use Building Materials That Enhance The Mountain

A well-designed mountainside home is a blend of nature and design. Your custom home build should enhance the beauty of the mountain, using colors, textures and materials that coordinate with the natural landscapes. Focus on muted colors that match the desert tones. Shiny metals and other reflective colors should be used minimally. Textured patterns are recommended on the building facade to increase light absorption and tinted windows will help to decrease heat gain. Using desert varnish on exposed rock will enhance the stone’s natural appearance.

5. Avoid Using Excessive Exterior Lighting

Preserve the beauty of the night skies by utilizing exterior lighting that accents and protects without eroding stargazing. Spotlights should be placed on timers or restricted to emergency situations only. Face accent lights towards the ground to decrease light pollution.

6. Protect the Natural Ecosystem in The Landscaping

Utilize native desert vegetation, boulders, and native rocks in your landscaping design. Native shrubs protect the soil surface from monsoon rains, promote water retention and infiltration and reduce erosion. The planting of mature trees will help to maintain the natural ecosystem functions, assisting in the establishment of seedlings, availability of nutrients and decomposition.

7. Choose a Driveway Location That Minimizes Grading

Driveway design should minimize mountainside scarring, and preserve the features of the landscape such as mature saguaros and boulder outcroppings. The slope of the driveway should be designed to meet local ordinances, using retainer walls and natural boulders to minimize the chance of erosion. Using pavers or exposed aggregate will reduce the disturbed area calculation for the driveway.

8. Strategically Place Windows Throughout Your Custom Home Design

Window placement is an important part of a mountainside home build. A properly designed home will utilize windows for natural light as well as beautiful scenery. During the architecture phase of your custom home remodel, make sure to notate the location of the trees, cacti or other interesting landscape elements. Windows are the perfect design accessories to bring the warmth of the mountain to the interior of the home.

9. Use Sustainable Building Designs in Your Construction

Solar power is recommended as a supplemental energy resource and for use in swimming pool systems. Rainwater harvesting systems can be integrated into the landscaping irrigation system, providing an environmentally friendly and sustainable water source for plants and trees.

10. Hire a Company Who Provides a Construction Warranty

Construction warranties provide more than just peace of mind. A warranty will protect you during your home remodeling or new home construction project, ensuring that your home is built to the specifications that were outlined in your contract. Choose a company that provides a minimum of a five-year warranty covering materials and labor.

Five Reasons You’ll Love Being a Traveling Nurse

In your wildest dreams, could you imagine a job where you get to practice your skills, travel the world, see exotic sites, explore distant cultures, and experience the thrill of adventure every single day? Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but this is the kind of lifestyle that a traveling nurse lives.

Obviously, the life of a travel nurse is not 24/7 tourism. There is work to be done, and difficult situations to face. Despite the challenges of the job, travel nurses experience a whole new level of intensity that a traditional nursing position could never offer. Here are the reasons you’ll love it.

You get to see the world. Is there really a job that lets you travel world? Yes, but there aren’t many of them. Travel caretakers may work in third-world countries, remote regions, or isolated mission hospitals. While many travel caretaker agencies only utilize nurses within the U.S. you may select an agency that sends nurses worldwide. Either way, you’re going to travel somewhere.

You get to experience new cultures. Each area of the country and each region of the world boast its own unique culture. When you move from point A to point B, you will be immersed in a new culture. Cross-cultural experiences are enriching opportunities, allowing you to increase both your personal and professional skills.

You experience variety. Are you the type of person that doesn’t like to be tied down to one place, one job, and one role? Becoming a travel caretaker will put you in a situation where variety is the name of the game.

You receive higher pay. Generally speaking, travel caretaker receive higher pay rates than traditional stationary nurses. There are, of course, a lot of variables that affect the salary issue, including experience, licensing level, area of service, etc. Usually, a travel nursing contract provides for your housing including utilities. In situations where the agency does not provide nursing housing, they usually provide a generous housing stipend.

You develop a strong resume. Employers love to see travel or international experience. You may remain a travel assistant for the remainder of your career, or you may wish to settle down and look for a stationary position. Whatever your choice, you are adding invaluable experience to your resume by traveling. Being a travel assistant is a wise career move in more ways than one.

Travel nursing isn’t for everyone. It comes with adventure. This is precisely the appeal of the job for many nurses. If you have a sense of adventure, being a traveling nurse is probably the right calling for you.

Impact of Cloud Computing on Travel Industry

Introduction

The last decade has seen major changes in the travel distribution landscape. First, it was the Internet that started a revolution and forever changed how the travel industry operates. This online boom followed by subsequent economic slowdown has created new dynamics in travel distribution. The proliferation of smart phones and social media has resulted in further creating both chaos as well as new opportunities. While opening up new avenues for growth, these developments have also created new operational challenges.

Challenges faced by travel distribution industry

Dynamic Demand

One key nature of the travel industry is that the demand for travel is highly seasonal and cyclic. This creates a challenge for any operations manager in terms of capacity planning and right sizing of the IT support infrastructure. Planning for peak size can result in underutilization and lead to higher marginal cost. On the other hand, not planning for peak load runs the risk of lost transaction opportunities, unsatisfied customers and finally business losses. This is one of the primary reasons why most travel distribution players end up having higher IT infrastructure cost and lower operating margins.

Increased Search Volume

Increased number of travel portals along with a changing pattern of travel booking behavior of the travelers, has resulted in a huge surge in ‘look to book’ ratio. This increased number of availability request per booking now runs into thousands from a mere single digit number few years back, putting an enormous pressure on existing IT infrastructure. According to Pegasus Solutions, global processor of hotel transactions through the GDS and ADS channels, the look-to-book ratio soared to around +60% over 2009 levels and is expected to rise further. Today’s common look-to-book ratio is almost at a 2,500 -3,000 to 1, -primarily due to growth of online reservation and the changing consumer behavior who is now looking ‘value for money’ deals. For this, travel shoppers use multiple avenues such as search engines, referral sites, websites, mobile applications, and social media.

Business Disruptions

Just prior to the recession, online travel booking soared to all time highs attracting further investments in IT infrastructure in demand anticipation. However, discretionary travel was one of the first spends that was cut down during the slowdown. This caused a severe strain on financials and travel companies had to rethink their models yet again.

Increase in number of sales channels

Popularity of smart phones has persuaded travel players to embrace mobility as a medium to manage bookings and provide other experiences to increase customer stickiness. At the same time, social media sites have also become very popular and travel portals are trying to utilize this trend by integrating different social media components with their sites. Of course, more number of channels also increases complexities in product management.

Cloud computing from a travel distribution perspective

The Cloud helps enterprises to have a dynamically scalable abstracted computing infrastructure that is available on-demand and on a pay-per-use basis. This model not only saves the IT teams from investing heavily on infrastructure, but also shields them from the intricacies involved in infrastructure setup and management. Presently, apart from providing the on-demand IT infrastructure, cloud service providers typically provide interfaces for other related IT management services. To understand the application of Cloud computing to the travel industry, availability searching or shopping is probably the best example; it is by and large the biggest resource consumer in a typical travel process. In today’s circumstances, travel enterprises who run their entire travel application on a single infrastructure platform put unnecessary stress on operational budgets. One of the probable solutions to this problem is to decouple the availability search functionality from the traditional CRS system transfer it on an infrastructure that can support flexible demand. At the onset, it seems to be a complex and upheaval task, as it creates operational challenges such as latency. However, these challenges can be handled through a cloud based solution which offers higher scalability by using modern architecture patterns. On the other hand, mobility is witnessing an unprecedented growth in demand – this is another area where a cloud strategy can bring in competitive advantages for travel organizations. The key challenges that travel enterprises are facing today regarding mobile and social media channels are manifold, viz.,

  • With the advancements of mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Symbian, and Blackberry, travel enterprises need to invest in leveraging these to further their distribution and fulfillment channels.
  • Mobility, being a rapidly evolving technology, is difficult to predict in terms of short term as well as long term demand. Due to this, travel enterprises are facing a challenge in scoping the required infrastructure for supporting mobility channel.
  • Travel enterprises need to create a business model to measure increase in revenue and profit against the costs incurred on mobility & social media investments.

Cloud based flexible and on-demand infrastructure enables a travel enterprise to offer mobility and social media channels without incurring any fixed cost. Using a cloud infrastructure, a travel enterprise can start in a small way and grow into these evolving markets with a lower risk and financial strain.

Key concerns in adopting cloud based system

Availability of a Service

Organizations worry about whether utility computing services will have adequate availability, and this makes them wary of Cloud Computing. But in reality, cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon and Google have much lower outage compared to any internal IT system.

Data lock-in

The primary way to access the cloud platforms is through proprietary APIs. Thus, enterprises feel that they cannot easily extract their data and programs from one site to run on another. But in reality, all major service providers have an obligation in their contract to return the data to the enterprise. These service providers also have data access APIs that can be used to extract data in standard formats.

Data Confidentiality and Statutory Requirements

Many enterprises believe that their data will not be secure in the cloud, since current cloud offerings are essentially public networks. However in reality most of these cloud service providers have better data protection and security mechanism than most IT organizations. They achieve this through the usage of audit trail, encrypted storage, and network middle-boxes. Service providers also comply with various statutory and audit requirements related to enterprise and personal data security and usage.

Integration with external systems

Since travel distribution systems interact with multiple external applications, travel enterprises always have a concern about integrating the cloud based system with other external systems. However, all major cloud service providers have web service interfaces that can be utilized to integrate the cloud based system with other external systems.

Solution for the ‘long tail’

As we know, the travel industry comprises of many small to mid-sized companies. A large majority of which are very entrepreneurial and niche in terms of the products and services they offer. Companies in this ‘long tail’ have little or limited IT knowledge or support and rely on numerous third parties for IT. Such companies always find it difficult to balance their IT spending between IT upgrades and innovating on their solutions, and this tends to become a barrier for business growth. Even today, many small time travel enterprises do not even have an IT system, because they cannot afford to setup an IT operation in-house. Economics of Cloud environment can change this basic premise and make it both affordable and beneficial for travel enterprises of any size who can use this service to derive a competitive advantage. Such an environment brings tremendous advantages to such companies because it also helps them to manage their cash flow better. At the other end of the horizon, start-ups are finding it easier to build and offer products like CRSs, tour operating systems, distribution systems or basic inventory systems on a SaaS model, which is a stronger value proposition and provides a competitive edge to their offerings.

Business outcomes of using cloud based systems

From the above discussion we can conclude that travel enterprise can achieve business growth by leveraging the power of cloud computing:

  • A cloud-based solution reduces the total cost of IT ownership for the travel enterprises and offers performance, reliability, security, and flexible scalability advantages
  • Travel enterprises are able to increase customer base due to higher availability, low congestion, and additional sales channels
  • Competitive advantage to the small and mid-sized enterprise in the form of lower fixed or upfront capital cost
  • Improved operational efficiency due to low marginal cost
  • Ability to manage risks better by reducing fixed investment on any new initiative

How To Select The Best Home Furniture

If you have an interest in purchasing home furniture from Malaysia then there are certain considerations that should not be overlooked. As it is known as one of the top five exporters of furniture worldwide, you can be sure that the range of options will be extensive. It is important to think carefully about the purchase so as to ensure that you buy the perfect items for your place of residence.

Before spending any money you should visualize how the pieces you are considering would look in your own home. Whether or not you opt for a complete set of furniture or choose individual items would depend upon your exact needs. Often selecting separate pieces would give you greater scope for flexibility and changes at a later date.

If you feel that you do not have the time or the inclination to sit down and analyze every aspect of choosing modern Malaysian furniture, the solution would be to hire a professional to conduct the task on your behalf. Most interior designers would be able to suggest specific pieces depending upon your tastes, current decor, and budget. As such individuals are trained in decoration you would be able to create a look that is unique.

Today, choosing home furniture is a lot easier thanks to the internet. Now wherever you are located you can browse at leisure a wide variety of online furniture retailers. If you are planning to shop online make sure you are clear on such factors as the exact color of the items, their dimensions, and shipping costs. You should also inquire if there is a return policy in case you are not happy with the goods once they are delivered.

Of course you can always spend time visiting furniture stores in person. Though you would be able to see exactly how certain furnishings appear you would not necessarily have access to the greatest range of items or the best deals. Using the internet to locate suitable pieces and then planning a viewing trip would make more sense.

Before parting with your hard earned cash make sure you have considered how the home furniture will be transported to your home. Do you need to pick it up or will it be sent to your address. Also, do not make the unfortunate mistake of buying pieces that are too large to fit through your doors or windows; this is an error that occurs all to often.