Children Caring For Parents and Avoiding Medical Errors

Children caring for parents often assist in keeping track of their parent’s health records. This can be a daunting task as many seniors see multiple physicians who may prescribe several medications for a variety of conditions. Keeping good medication and medical records can help prevent dangerous medical and medication errors. Sometimes they do this by hiring a caregiver to come to their home, but others will often drop their parents off at a senior daycare on the way to their job and pick them up at days end.

There are many in home care services that are offered by independent companies who most often have to be licensed to provide senior assistance services in the home.

Those assisting seniors can help them keep an updated medication list (including over the counter medications) on a computer or in a notebook. An updated list makes it easier for everyone since the first question most doctors ask for is the patient’s list of medications and any changes since they were last seen. Even if they are not available for every appointment, the caregiver can ask about any changes and update and print this list for their parent. Expiration might also be followed to avoid trying to get a renewal for a much needed prescription.

Another good record those providing parent care will want to keep is a good medical history that includes conditions, past surgeries, hospitalizations, Dr.’s names numbers and emergency contact information. These types of lists are vital for emergency visits as well.

They can take these lists to every Dr.’s appointment along with a list of any other issues they or their family may want to address. These simple steps empower the medical professionals providing geriatric care, those caring for their parents and most importantly the seniors themselves.

Natural Health Medicine

Natural health medicine is a ever growing business which more people are turning to for effective health treatments. Natural medicines cover virtually any type of sickness and medical condition you might suffer with. We pump our systems with so many chemicals from prescription drugs sometimes it can overload us which can lead to more medical problems down the line. With the price of prescription medicines sky-rocketing over the last decade it is literally impossible to afford the medicines you need.

There are some alternatives to over priced medicines and can be just as effective. Some of the natural health medicines include Devil’s Claw which helps those who suffer from chronic back pain by reducing inflammation, Red Yeast Rice which helps reduce the level of your cholesterol, St. John’s Wort which comes in pill or oil form and can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, Propolis Powder can be used to help maintain a cleaner mouth, Milk Thistle can be used to help quit smoking (keep in mind results may very), Adaptogenic herbs which include ginseng, licorice, maca, holy basil, and goldenroot, which helps treat fatigue and give to long term energy and not just a quick burst. Phototherapy is one of the more interesting natural health medicines because it deals with ultraviolet light to treat diseases.

Not to suggest a conspiracy but it would seems as if more tests and studies were conducted in these natural health medicines it would take away from the prescription drug business, just something to think about. There are natural health medicines out there to be used to help treat your problems so taking the time to do addition research to see which is right for you is highly suggested.

Strengthen Your Immune System With Natural Health Medicine

Your immune system protects you against an army of germs and viruses that are ready, and waiting to attack. However, to remain constantly effective your immune system requires your consideration. Therefore, if you incorporate a natural health lifestyle, supplemented with natural health medicine, into your daily routine, you will be helping your immune system to defend you, as and when the need arises.

Natural health medicine is one of many tools available to complement a natural health lifestyle. Because it can naturally combine with normal body processes, to strengthen your immune system, you can become naturally resistant to numerous afflictions, waiting to invade. There are many people who have derived benefit from the use of natural medicine, to the extent that it has reduced their requirement for traditional and unpredictable alternatives.

Natural health medicine does not act as a drug but strengthens the immune system, to provide you with a natural defense. This is preferable to having to rely on chemical preparations. These, it must be said, are sometimes necessary because people have neglected to take the best care, that a natural health lifestyle can provide.

There is no better investment that you can make than remaining healthy, which in turn will help you to enjoy your life to the full. That is your birthright, which can be more readily achieved through a healthy lifestyle, including natural health medicine containing naturally therapeutic ingredients.

Many people suffer distressing side effects from synthetic medicines and drugs. At times they have little alternative but to resort to such measures, but in other instances the old adage, that prevention is better than cure, rings true. An understanding of natural health medicine, and how it can assist in maintaining your immune system, is something, that all who contemplate good health, should consider.

How to Help Children Care for Their Braces

Proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment is an important part of helping them get and keep a healthy smile for their whole lives, as many of the habits they learn will carry with them even after their orthodontic treatment is over. However, young children may not understand the reasons for such a structured cleaning regime. To avoid your child’s frustration, support his or her cleaning efforts through gaining knowledge of the process and ideas to make it enjoyable.

Here are four ways to care for your child’s braces:

1. Brushing. Thorough brushing after every meal and snack will prevent plaque build-up that can cause cavities and gum disease. Children should be encouraged to brush their teeth and braces at all angles to ensure any food hiding behind brackets or wires may be properly dislodged.

Make it fun: Try purchasing a brightly-colored toothbrush or one with your child’s favorite movie character on it. Even better, let your son or daughter pick out his or her own toothbrush. This will empower your child and allow him or her to get excited about brushing. Other children may be spurred to brush more often by using an electric toothbrush at home. This tool may be a great gift if you are getting ready to go Christmas shopping.

2. Flossing. Effective flossing can be a challenge with braces but it is another healthy habit to encourage on a daily basis. As it is nearly impossible to floss normally with braces, using a “threader floss” with a stiff tip or a plastic floss threader will allow the dental floss to get behind the wire. Gently insert the threader between the teeth at the base of the gums, then thread the floss through the oval loop and gently pull it back between the gums. Once the floss is inserted, delicately slide the floss up and down the inside of each tooth.

Make it fun: A quick and easy tool to help with flossing is the inter-dental cleaning brush. The small bristle tip can be inserted between the braces and around the gums for added cleaning on top of brushing and flossing – or used conveniently and subtly when out in public when full brushing may not be possible.

3. Healthy Eating. It is important to eat a balanced diet to support oral care. Sugary foods, and even sweetened beverages such as juice and pop may cling to the teeth and cause cavities around the brackets. Hard and sticky foods, such as caramel, popcorn and gum, have the potential to crack, dislodge or adhere to the braces so they should be avoided.

Make it fun: Look for healthy treat recipes together with your child. Preparing nutritious snacks or baking together makes healthy eating a fun process and also provides an opportunity to talk with your child about the many benefits of eating well.

4. Wire-care. Regular brushing is the first step in keeping your orthodontic wire clean, but these wires have the potential to irritate the skin inside the mouth, causing sores and bleeding. To avoid this, moldable wax can be applied to the braces at the points of friction. This wax will protect the mouth while also remaining flexible for easy removal.

Make it fun: The orthodontist will offer a variety of colored elastics that will loop around the brackets and wires. This is a helpful method for children to personalize their orthodontic treatment and express their personality. Breaking out of the mono-tone metal color of the brackets and wires will encourage children to maintain their braces as they will be proud of how they look.

Cleaning the teeth and braces can become an enjoyable and routine part of your child’s oral care. Parents are a valuable source of knowledge and support for their children and will help set the tone in forming positive habits. Children should be encouraged to clean their own teeth and be praised for their efforts, no matter how small. Making the process fun and supportive will set your child up for success.

Popular Hotspots for Dental Care and Implants

If you or someone you know is missing one or more teeth or suffering from severe tooth decay then dental implants may be an excellent solution. All those people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth can bring back their teeth in tip-top shape through implant dentistry.

Yet, the major drawback of considering cosmetic dental care and surgery for most people from the US, the UK and Australia is their cost. The dental treatment cost in the First World countries can be extremely daunting for many patients in need of it.

Luckily, one can find very affordable dental care somewhere else in the world. People who are completely ready to undertake the dental implant procedure can save up to 80% on their treatment simply by opting to receive implants in any dental tourism destination.

Some popular countries for overseas dental implants include Poland, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand to name a few.

Poland

Poland, one of the most advanced countries in Europe, is now one of the most preferred destinations for affordable dental care. The ultra modern private Polish hospitals and clinics equipped with state of the art technology and infrastructure play an important role in Polish dental tourism boom, by attracting thousands of dental tourists, mainly from the UK, every year.

Cosmetic dental procedures including implants are quite cheaper in this central European country, saving UK patients at least 81% on the cost of their treatment.

Hungary

Seeking dental implants or other dental services in Hungary is a good alternative for people living in countries where dental treatments do not come cheap. Situated in the center of Eastern Europe, the country takes pride in having the advanced private hospitals with modern x-ray machines, lasers, video cameras, dental tools and surgical techniques. These medical facilities offer competent dental services at reasonable prices to their local and foreign clients. By having the dental abnormalities fixed in Hungary, a patient can expect to at least 50% on the procedure even after including all other expenses.

Italy

Traveling to Italy for dental care may seem like a far out option for American and many Asian denizens but with the significant savings they make on the cost of their dental treatments overseas patients feel completely satisfied. Dental care cost in Italy can be as low as 70% of private dental prices in the US. Given the affordability of the dental procedures, standard of infrastructure and the skills of the surgeons in Italy it’s not a surprise that different patients from different countries are increasingly flocking to this country with their dental and other healthcare needs.

India

India is the destination of choice for anyone seeking first world quality treatment at third world prices. If you require expensive dental work such as bridges, crowns, implants or an orthodontic procedure, you can make considerable savings by going abroad to India. Medical tourists from all across the world, prompted by sky-scraping dentistry costs and dwindling insurance benefits at their native countries, make a beeline in this Southeast Asian country for various dental procedures. Top notch private dental clinic in India use latest generation techniques to perform oral surgery.

Mexico

This country shares its borders with the United States so it is the perfect option for those from the US. Opting for dental implants in Mexico can save American patients up to 66%. Not only US citizens even patients from far away countries can expect huge savings on their dental treatment. Private Mexican clinics are staffed with qualified and skilled general dentist, periodontists and oral surgeons with advanced training in implant surgery. Not only the dentistry is affordable, the quality of dental care in Mexico is also superior, a major factor that attracts many overseas patients.

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.

Specialized Mental Health Treatment Training – Seven Building Blocks For Your Successful Practice

Once you complete your generalist training in mental health practice, it is time to identify your practice niche. The next step after identifying your niche is to seek out specialized mental health treatment training. Specialized mental health treatment training provides the foundation to build your successful practice. When you use the following building blocks, your foundation is solid and the walls surrounding your practice are strong.

Building Block one: Builds confidence in your abilities to treat clients in your niche.

Building Block two: Builds in-depth knowledge in your client’s issues.

Building Block three: Builds skills to work with client issues. Effective mental health training includes interactive skill-building development.

Building Block four: Builds effective approaches to use with client interventions when various client issues arise.

Building Block five: Builds credibility with clients and professional colleagues. You increase referrals. You’re viewed as a specialist with a given body of expertise.

Building Block six: Builds greater competence as your caseload includes more and more clients with similar issues.

Building Block seven: Builds potential to expand your knowledge, skills, and approaches into training other therapists in your specialty niche.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at each building block.

Building Block one: Builds confidence in your abilities to treat clients in your niche. When you carefully select your specialized mental health treatment training, you are prepared to learn what is most beneficial for treating your client niche. You approach the training opportunity with a readiness to learn and leave with greater confidence. Your confidence arises from the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you gain from the training.

Building Block two: Builds in-depth knowledge in your client’s issues. Mental health training in your client niche helps you gain a deep understanding of the issues and dynamics of your clients. This knowledge contributes to your ability to have empathy and patience as you work with your clients to discover resolutions to their emotional pain.

Building Block three: Builds skills to work with client issues. Effective mental health treatment training includes interactive skill-building development. When you select quality mental health treatment trainers, they include experiential or interactive elements in their training. This provides you the opportunity to gain practice in working with the tools the trainer introduces. With appropriate feedback, you hone your skills to work with your clients.

Building Block four: Builds effective approaches to use with client interventions when various client issues arise. You are able to integrate your knowledge and skills to select the appropriate intervention when you apply the approaches you learn in specialized mental health treatment training. Over time, you gain a clear understanding of which interventions are most productive when clients present with similar issues and dynamics.

Building Block five: Builds credibility with clients and professional colleagues that increase referrals. You’re viewed as a specialist with a given body of expertise. Clients stay with you to complete treatment even after their insurance runs out. Your number of self-pay clients increases allowing you to build a more lucrative practice. Managed care referrals increase with your increased credibility.

Building Block six: Builds greater competence as your caseload includes more and more clients with similar issues. Your skills and effective approaches become more refined. You are able to facilitate lasting changes with clients. Your expertise is valued within the larger mental health community.

Building Block seven: Builds potential to expand your knowledge, skills, and approaches into training other therapists in your specialty niche. Leverage your expertise when you provide specialized mental health treatment training to other therapists treating clients in your niche. You move from being trained to being the trainer.

Help Your Immune System Fight Diseases With Natural Health Medicine

The benefits of taking care of yourself are some of the rewards you get from knowing that you are doing the best for your body. This includes the most important part of your body–the part which is in fact a mechanism that protects your body: your immune system.

Your immune system protects you against viruses, bacteria, and toxins. And to ensure that your body keeps doing all these things and more, you need to take good care of it. This includes taking precautions against diseases; and helping your body when you do get infected with diseases.

That is why only the best will do. Before you begin to incorporate a natural health lifestyle into your everyday life, you should first start to learn what options are available for you.

Natural health medicine is one of part of the pool of many medicines available in the natural health market. Because of its natural, anti-bacterial effects, many people are using in favor of traditional medicine to cure their illnesses.

Natural health medicine is good in that it has a harmonious effect. It does not act as a drug, but more as a supplement for all your bodies needs. You know that you are giving your body the best of that nature has to offer; rather than bombarding it with chemicals that will harm it as much as help it.

Natural health medicine does not cause drowsiness and it works with the body to help you get better. The most-praised element of natural health medicine is that it is made from natural ingredients. And these ingredients enhance your body’s effectiveness to work for you.

When you know what is at stake, you understand that natural health medicine can give you that ultra boost you need to get your body in the best defenses shape possible.

In addition to everything else, you will not suffer side-effects when you take natural health medicine; instead, the medicine will help your body to heal without harming it simultaneously.

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

Small Business Health Insurance – The Best Policy Is A Great Agent

I have been a health insurance broker for over a decade and every day I read more and more “horror” stories that are posted on the Internet regarding health insurance companies not paying claims, refusing to cover specific illnesses and physicians not getting reimbursed for medical services. Unfortunately, insurance companies are driven by profits, not people (albeit they need people to make profits). If the insurance company can find a legal reason not to pay a claim, chances are they will find it, and you the consumer will suffer. However, what most people fail to realize is that there are very few “loopholes” in an insurance policy that give the insurance company an unfair advantage over the consumer. In fact, insurance companies go to great lengths to detail the limitations of their coverage by giving the policy holders 10-days (a 10-day free look period) to review their policy. Unfortunately, most people put their insurance cards in their wallet and place their policy in a drawer or filing cabinet during their 10-day free look and it usually isn’t until they receive a “denial” letter from the insurance company that they take their policy out to really read through it.

The majority of people, who buy their own health insurance, rely heavily on the insurance agent selling the policy to explain the plan’s coverage and benefits. This being the case, many individuals who purchase their own health insurance plan can tell you very little about their plan, other than, what they pay in premiums and how much they have to pay to satisfy their deductible.

For many consumers, purchasing a health insurance policy on their own can be an enormous undertaking. Purchasing a health insurance policy is not like buying a car, in that, the buyer knows that the engine and transmission are standard, and that power windows are optional. A health insurance plan is much more ambiguous, and it is often very difficult for the consumer to determine what type of coverage is standard and what other benefits are optional. In my opinion, this is the primary reason that most policy holders don’t realize that they do not have coverage for a specific medical treatment until they receive a large bill from the hospital stating that “benefits were denied.”

Sure, we all complain about insurance companies, but we do know that they serve a “necessary evil.” And, even though purchasing health insurance may be a frustrating, daunting and time consuming task, there are certain things that you can do as a consumer to ensure that you are purchasing the type of health insurance coverage you really need at a fair price.

Dealing with small business owners and the self-employed market, I have come to the realization that it is extremely difficult for people to distinguish between the type of health insurance coverage that they “want” and the benefits they really “need.” Recently, I have read various comments on different Blogs advocating health plans that offer 100% coverage (no deductible and no-coinsurance) and, although I agree that those types of plans have a great “curb appeal,” I can tell you from personal experience that these plans are not for everyone. Do 100% health plans offer the policy holder greater peace of mind? Probably. But is a 100% health insurance plan something that most consumers really need? Probably not! In my professional opinion, when you purchase a health insurance plan, you must achieve a balance between four important variables; wants, needs, risk and price. Just like you would do if you were purchasing options for a new car, you have to weigh all these variables before you spend your money. If you are healthy, take no medications and rarely go to the doctor, do you really need a 100% plan with a $5 co-payment for prescription drugs if it costs you $300 dollars more a month?

Is it worth $200 more a month to have a $250 deductible and a $20 brand name/$10 generic Rx co-pay versus an 80/20 plan with a $2,500 deductible that also offers a $20 brand name/$10generic co-pay after you pay a once a year $100 Rx deductible? Wouldn’t the 80/20 plan still offer you adequate coverage? Don’t you think it would be better to put that extra $200 ($2,400 per year) in your bank account, just in case you may have to pay your $2,500 deductible or buy a $12 Amoxicillin prescription? Isn’t it wiser to keep your hard-earned money rather than pay higher premiums to an insurance company?

Yes, there are many ways you can keep more of the money that you would normally give to an insurance company in the form of higher monthly premiums. For example, the federal government encourages consumers to purchase H.S.A. (Health Savings Account) qualified H.D.H.P.’s (High Deductible Health Plans) so they have more control over how their health care dollars are spent. Consumers who purchase an HSA Qualified H.D.H.P. can put extra money aside each year in an interest bearing account so they can use that money to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Even procedures that are not normally covered by insurance companies, like Lasik eye surgery, orthodontics, and alternative medicines become 100% tax deductible. If there are no claims that year the money that was deposited into the tax deferred H.S.A can be rolled over to the next year earning an even higher rate of interest. If there are no significant claims for several years (as is often the case) the insured ends up building a sizeable account that enjoys similar tax benefits as a traditional I.R.A. Most H.S.A. administrators now offer thousands of no load mutual funds to transfer your H.S.A. funds into so you can potentially earn an even higher rate of interest.

In my experience, I believe that individuals who purchase their health plan based on wants rather than needs feel the most defrauded or “ripped-off” by their insurance company and/or insurance agent. In fact, I hear almost identical comments from almost every business owner that I speak to. Comments, such as, “I have to run my business, I don’t have time to be sick! “I think I have gone to the doctor 2 times in the last 5 years” and “My insurance company keeps raising my rates and I don’t even use my insurance!” As a business owner myself, I can understand their frustration. So, is there a simple formula that everyone can follow to make health insurance buying easier? Yes! Become an INFORMED consumer.

Every time I contact a prospective client or call one of my client referrals, I ask a handful of specific questions that directly relate to the policy that particular individual currently has in their filing cabinet or dresser drawer. You know the policy that they bought to protect them from having to file bankruptcy due to medical debt. That policy they purchased to cover that $500,000 life-saving organ transplant or those 40 chemotherapy treatments that they may have to undergo if they are diagnosed with cancer.

So what do you think happens almost 100% of the time when I ask these individuals “BASIC” questions about their health insurance policy? They do not know the answers! The following is a list of 10 questions that I frequently ask a prospective health insurance client. Let’s see how many YOU can answer without looking at your policy.

1. What Insurance Company are you insured with and what is the name of your health insurance plan? (e.g. Blue Cross Blue Shield-“Basic Blue”)

2. What is your calendar year deductible and would you have to pay a separate deductible for each family member if everyone in your family became ill at the same time? (e.g. The majority of health plans have a per person yearly deductible, for example, $250, $500, $1,000, or $2,500. However, some plans will only require you to pay a 2 person maximum deductible each year, even if everyone in your family needed extensive medical care.)

3. What is your coinsurance percentage and what dollar amount (stop loss) it is based on? (e.g. A good plan with 80/20 coverage means you pay 20% of some dollar amount. This dollar amount is also known as a stop loss and can vary based on the type of policy you purchase. Stop losses can be as little as $5,000 or $10,000 or as much as $20,000 or there are some policies on the market that have NO stop loss dollar amount.)

4. What is your maximum out of pocket expense per year? (e.g. All deductibles plus all coinsurance percentages plus all applicable access fees or other fees)

5. What is the Lifetime maximum benefit the insurance company will pay if you become seriously ill and does your plan have any “per illness” maximums or caps? (e.g. Some plans may have a $5 million lifetime maximum, but may have a maximum benefit cap of $100,000 per illness. This means that you would have to develop many separate and unrelated life-threatening illnesses costing $100,000 or less to qualify for $5 million of lifetime coverage.)

6. Is your plan a schedule plan, in that it only pays a certain amount for a specific list of procedures? (e.g., Mega Life & Health & Midwest National Life, endorsed by the National Association of the Self-Employed, N.A.S.E. is known for endorsing schedule plans) 7. Does your plan have doctor co-pays and are you limited to a certain number of doctor co-pay visits per year? (e.g. Many plans have a limit of how many times you go to the doctor per year for a co-pay and, quite often the limit is 2-4 visits.)

8. Does your plan offer prescription drug coverage and if it does, do you pay a co-pay for your prescriptions or do you have to meet a separate drug deductible before you receive any benefits and/or do you just have a discount prescription card only? (e.g. Some plans offer you prescription benefits right away, other plans require that you pay a separate drug deductible before you can receive prescription medication for a co-pay. Today, many plans offer no co-pay options and only provide you with a discount prescription card that gives you a 10-20% discount on all prescription medications).

9. Does your plan have any reduction in benefits for organ transplants and if so, what is the maximum your plan will pay if you need an organ transplant? (e.g. Some plans only pay a $100,000 maximum benefit for organ transplants for a procedure that actually costs $350-$500K and this $100,000 maximum may also include reimbursement for expensive anti-rejection medications that must be taken after a transplant. If this is the case, you will often have to pay for all anti-rejection medications out of pocket).

10. Do you have to pay a separate deductible or “access fee” for each hospital admission or for each emergency room visit? (e.g. Some plans, like the Assurant Health’s “CoreMed” plan have a separate $750 hospital admission fee that you pay for the first 3 days you are in the hospital. This fee is in addition to your plan deductible. Also, many plans have benefit “caps” or “access fees” for out-patient services, such as, physical therapy, speech therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. Benefit “caps” could be as little as $500 for each out-patient treatment, leaving you a bill for the remaining balance. Access fees are additional fees that you pay per treatment. For example, for each outpatient chemotherapy treatment, you may be required to pay a $250 “access fee” per treatment. So for 40 chemotherapy treatments, you would have to pay 40 x $250 = $10,000. Again, these fees would be charged in addition to your plan deductible).

Now that you’ve read through the list of questions that I ask a prospective health insurance client, ask yourself how many questions you were able to answer. If you couldn’t answer all ten questions don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t mean that you are not a smart consumer. It may just mean that you dealt with a “bad” insurance agent. So how could you tell if you dealt with a “bad” insurance agent? Because a “great” insurance agent would have taken the time to help you really understand your insurance benefits. A “great” agent spends time asking YOU questions so s/he can understand your insurance needs. A “great” agent recommends health plans based on all four variables; wants, needs, risk and price. A “great” agent gives you enough information to weigh all of your options so you can make an informed purchasing decision. And lastly, a “great” agent looks out for YOUR best interest and NOT the best interest of the insurance company.

So how do you know if you have a “great” agent? Easy, if you were able to answer all 10 questions without looking at your health insurance policy, you have a “great” agent. If you were able to answer the majority of questions, you may have a “good” agent. However, if you were only able to answer a few questions, chances are you have a “bad” agent. Insurance agents are no different than any other professional. There are some insurance agents that really care about the clients they work with, and there are other agents that avoid answering questions and duck client phone calls when a message is left about unpaid claims or skyrocketing health insurance rates.

Remember, your health insurance purchase is just as important as purchasing a house or a car, if not more important. So don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent a lot of questions to make sure that you understand what your health plan does and does not cover. If you don’t feel comfortable with the type of coverage that your agent suggests or if you think the price is too high, ask your agent if s/he can select a comparable plan so you can make a side by side comparison before you purchase. And, most importantly, read all of the “fine print” in your health plan brochure and when you receive your policy, take the time to read through your policy during your 10-day free look period.

If you can’t understand something, or aren’t quite sure what the asterisk (*) next to the benefit description really means in terms of your coverage, call your agent or contact the insurance company to ask for further clarification.

Furthermore, take the time to perform your own due diligence. For example, if you research MEGA Life and Health or the Midwest National Life insurance company, endorsed by the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE), you will find that there have been 14 class action lawsuits brought against these companies since 1995. So ask yourself, “Is this a company that I would trust to pay my health insurance claims?

Additionally, find out if your agent is a “captive” agent or an insurance “broker.” “Captive” agents can only offer ONE insurance company’s products.” Independent” agents or insurance “brokers” can offer you a variety of different insurance plans from many different insurance companies. A “captive” agent may recommend a health plan that doesn’t exactly meet your needs because that is the only plan s/he can sell. An “independent” agent or insurance “broker” can usually offer you a variety of different insurance products from many quality carriers and can often customize a plan to meet your specific insurance needs and budget.

Over the years, I have developed strong, trusting relationships with my clients because of my insurance expertise and the level of personal service that I provide. This is one of the primary reasons that I do not recommend buying health insurance on the Internet. In my opinion, there are too many variables that Internet insurance buyers do not often take into consideration. I am a firm believer that a health insurance purchase requires the level of expertise and personal attention that only an insurance professional can provide. And, since it does not cost a penny more to purchase your health insurance through an agent or broker, my advice would be to use eBay and Amazon for your less important purchases and to use a knowledgeable, ethical and reputable independent agent or broker for one of the most important purchases you will ever make….your health insurance policy.

Lastly, if you have any concerns about an insurance company, contact your state’s Department of Insurance BEFORE you buy your policy. Your state’s Department of Insurance can tell you if the insurance company is registered in your state and can also tell you if there have been any complaints against that company that have been filed by policy holders. If you suspect that your agent is trying to sell you a fraudulent insurance policy, (e.g. you have to become a member of a union to qualify for coverage) or isn’t being honest with you, your state’s Department of Insurance can also check to see if your agent is licensed and whether or not there has ever been any disciplinary action previously taken against that agent.

In closing, I hope I have given you enough information so you can become an INFORMED insurance consumer. However, I remain convinced that the following words of wisdom still go along way: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” and “If you only buy on price, you get what you pay for!”

How to Get Free Dental Care in the Texas State

Today a lot of people never get dental insurance included in their medical insurance policy. In fact a long time back, the thousand dollars of dental fees were not even covered by insurance policies. Nothing seems to have changed in fact the costs involved in dental treatments have now doubled or tripled than before. Now, even if insurance covers dental treatment costs only a small number of people are actually able to afford it. Due to this reason a lot of people have opted for tooth extraction as an alternative of paying for dental care. Many of them even avoid getting dental care treatments on time due to the expenses involved. Tooth decay and gum disease are the common risks involved if oral care is avoided long enough.

Out of all the 50 states in the U.S., according to the Texas Senator Eliot Shapleigh only a minimal number of residents in Texas have overall health insurance and therefore it ranks last in this regard. Free dental care has become a need all over the country and especially in Texas, so now a lot of organizations have started to put an effort to offer free dental services and there are now several places where people can go, to avail free oral care.

If you are in need of free dental treatment you can start by contacting the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation. Every year these dental care opportunities are provided by the licensed dentists at this organization for those who are in need of immediate dental care. The Texas Mission of Mercy is a large event which is held every year for two days in variety of cities all across the state. Here hundreds of people are able to receive free dental care from the volunteering dentists. They even offer free dental services on the go by traveling into communities in mobile vans known as ‘Smiles on Wheels’.

A second alternative to receive such schemed care is by applying at a Hill-Burton Facility for free dental care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources runs the Hill-Burton program, where qualified people are allowed to avail free or low-cost dental and medical care. To be eligible the income level of each patient should meet the current HHR Poverty Guidelines. All you need to do is to go to a facility near you where a Hill-Burton obligated facility is accepted and apply for the free treatment and care. In Texas there are now 11 Hill-Burton facilities and by visiting the HHR website you can find more information about them.

Lastly searching online for a free or low-cost dental clinic will also help you to receive free oral care. To find the right program and service all you need to do is type the term ‘free dental care’ into a search engine with the city closest to you. You can find a comprehensive list of free and low-cost medical and dental care services listed by state and city at Free Dental Work.org.

Is It Safe To Use Natural Health Medicine On Toddlers?

Most parents who have toddlers know how often they come home from kindergarten or day care with a runny nose.

That is because our children often catch illnesses from other children in these closed environments. This is why administering natural health medicine on your toddler can be beneficial in more than one way; not only will it help cure those minor illnesses that appear from time to time, but it will also bolster your child’s immune system to prevent them before they even take root.

Natural health medicine can give your toddler that extra boost he needs to avoid illness. Natural health medicine is made in a way that ensures that the growing toddler recovers fast and is not held down by the common cold or runny nose.

In addition to being really effective, they rarely have any side effects, which as a parent is good to know. Most of them are based on soothing the body and will not make your toddler tired or sleepy.

But because they are ill, their bodies will need the rest so that they can recover quickly. Natural health medicine will also make them less prone to getting ill, which as a parent is definitely good news.

It is hard having a sick toddler because all you want to do is to take the pain away from them. And natural health medicine will help you do that so that your toddler is back on their feet in no time at all.

They will feel more energetic to continue exploring the wonders of the world; and their bodies will be able to sustain anything that they might throw at it.

A little research in the natural health medicine department will only be a benefit to you and your toddler.

How To Be Sure Your Great-Grandchildren's Children Care

What will you practice today? Will your great-grandchildren’s children care?

When I began this leadership work many years ago, my focus was a bit different versus today. You could say, quite rightly, I have evolved my thinking.

However, well before I found myself immersed in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership© and what’s been created since, the foundation was set with seven key principles. I thought I would share those with you today and let you kick them around and, hopefully, respond with your thoughts.

Principle #1: Leaders focus on themselves. Sounds kind of selfish, yes? But hold on a minute. If you are not working on your personal growth, how the heck can you be a leadership role model for others?

Principle #2: Leaders simplify their lives. In today’s fast-paced, multi-tasking world, exasperation is staring at you in the next Tweet, text or email that demands your immediate attention and action. Have you cleared your desk lately? Deleted those emails that have stacked up since email was invented? Tossed files (please recycle)? Clearing the desk really does clear the mind.

Principle #3: Leaders establish priorities for themselves. Keep in mind, that there is no great value in getting things done, if they are not valuable to do. Have you separated yourself from what is least important in your life yet? If not, why not?

Principle #4: Leaders define their destinations. Do you know where you’re going? Do you need a personal GPS (Goal Performance Strategy) guide? Take some time to stretch out and create a personal vision and some stretch goals for the several areas in your life: Personal, Family, Professional, Financial, etc. Jot down just a few ideas in each category, reflect on them a bit and then get busy adding action steps to help you reach those outcomes. New Year’s Day is not the only time to make resolutions.

Principle #5: Leaders plan their time based on importance. All of my coaching clients have heard my suggestion that they take some L.E.A.D time each day. Listen to yourself with a 10 to 15-minute planning/re-planning session; Evaluate how you are doing in each area of your life; and Adjust what needs reconsidering. Finally, Determine, once again, if the destination you set is still correct.

Principle #6: Leaders nurture their creative genius. Are you aware of your creative genius? Or, are you just stomping through each day hoping to make it back home in one piece? Ugh! Every person is a creator. You have created your life to this point. Happy? Yes? No? What are you going to do about it? Robert Fritz, an author/colleague from years ago told me, “The creative process is alive. It is improvisation. And it is one of the most powerful and intimate involvements with one’s life I know.”

Principle #7: Leaders don’t arrive, they evolve. You’ve probably heard something like that before. It’s very true. There is no end point with leadership. It takes constant practice and is a continuing saga. And, keep in mind, depending on your life story, the memory of you takes a while to slip from this Earthly atmosphere.

Live your life with purpose. Create your Masterpiece. You wouldn’t want to disappoint your great-grandchildren’s children would you?

Natural Health Medicine – Children

Natural health medicine can be as important for children as it is for their parents. The close contact they encounter with other children, in nurseries and kindergartens, means that minor infections, such as runny noses and colds, are easily picked up.

Natural health medicine can assist children to resist infection by boosting their immune systems. In turn this may assist them to combat the germs carried by other children, or if they do catch something it could help them to nip it in the bud.

In addition to being effective in strengthening a child’s resistance to illness, natural health medicine is usually free of unpleasant side effects. Therefore, it helps children to stay healthy in more ways than one. Not only are they less likely to be affected by illnesses, but also if they are unfortunate enough to be smitten, natural health medicine assists in promoting a speedy recovery.

It is always distressing for parents of children who become ill, as well as for the children themselves. Those parents who have discovered the benefits of natural health medicine are in a better position to help their offspring stay well. Children frequently recover quickly from minor ailments, but may do so even more speedily with the help of natural health medicine.

Although sick children can quickly recover, parents are concerned that illnesses can spread to brothers and sisters. This is why natural health medicine is important to the whole family. It can help to ensure that any temporary incapacity does not become prolonged.

Of course children rely on their parents to look after them, and they are even more dependent when they are unwell. Fortunately there are natural health medicines for children as well as adults. Natural health medicine for children is just one of the ways that proper care can be administered. It is good that we live an age when help and advise is freely available for child related matters. Undoubtedly children are our future, so it is in our best interests to look after them and protect them from illness.

Alternative Health Treatment – 5 Questions and Answers

1. Why should I look at alternative health treatment as a realistic remedy for my ailment?

While Western medicine has advanced closely in tandem with knowledge of and experimentation with drugs as a way of treating disease and illness.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that it relies heavily on drugs and medications for treating disease. But drugs and medications are not natural to the human body, and invariably there are side-effects, often harmful.

Alternative health treatment is based wholly on natural cures not involving drugs or manufactured or processed materials. As such, it is invariably accepted by the body without resistance, so no energy is wasted in fighting it. It’s like swimming with the current rather than against it.

Besides, alternative health treatment has an excellent record in curing people of illness and disease, arguably a better record than Western medicine.

2. How does alternative health treatment differ in essentials from orthodox medical treatment?

Orthodox Western medicine depends largely on the administering of drugs and medicines, and unnatural procedures such as chemotherapy for cancer victims. It focuses largely on the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. A typical example is the taking of pain killers to cure a headache.

Alternative medicine acknowledges that the natural state of the body is one of good health, and that the body, mind and spirit are closely connected. It recognizes that all these components of the whole need to be in balance, and treats illness as a sign that they are out of balance. It therefore works to restore the natural balance and, thereby, good health. A headache would be cured by direct action on the area affected, e.g. by acupressure techniques.

3. Why don’t doctors and surgeons give more weight to alternative health treatment, and why hasn’t it made more progress in being accepted by the medical establishment?

The medical establishment consists largely of doctors and surgeons. Put yourself in the position of a doctor or surgeon. You spent seven gruelling and expensive years qualifying and passing difficult exams, and working long hours for at best mediocre pay. You now have an encyclopedic knowledge of medicines and medical drugs and procedures, and are enjoying a financially rewarding career in medicine.

Then you learn there is an alternative system of medicine based on herbs, and practices such as acupuncture that claim to be able to deal with medical conditions better than the medicine you learned at such cost in money and time. What would your feelings be towards these alternative medicines?

4. Isn’t alternative health treatment rooted in the past, and modern Western medicine with all its advanced technology the way ahead?

What matters more than anything else is what treatment will effectively cure your own particular ailment.

Just because skills such as acupuncture, acupressure and yoga have been practiced for thousands, of years in the Far East it doesn’t mean they are any less relevant today. On the contrary, it is evidence of their effectiveness.

Western medicine may have all the modern gleaming technology, but it is still a system developed and administered by humans and subject to all their faults and failings. Yes, it can and does produce some astonishing and greatly beneficial results, such as transplant surgery and artificial limbs, but in the case of common ailments and complaints, sometimes the simple methods are the best.

5. Which alternative health treatment is best – herbal, physical contact type treatment such as acupuncture or chiropractic, or supplements such as oils and enzymes?

It’s horses for courses. Different kinds of treatment best suit different kinds of illness. A general malaise, such as weight loss or gain, can often best be treated through a change in diet and the administration of herbal remedies, plus an exercise regime, whereas constant muscular pain such as back ache is best treated by someone like a chiropractor or osteopath, who can manipulate the bones and muscles so as to remove the root cause of the pain.

Effective Mental Health Treatment May Mean Using Alternative Methods

Effective mental health treatment doesn’t have to mean prescription drugs and hours of therapy. There are alternative methods for dealing with things like stress, depression, memory issues and even age related issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia. So why don’t we hear more about them? A lack of understand on the part of many doctors keeps the public from being educated and aggressive marketing by drug companies keeps prescriptions flowing.

This is not to say that there isn’t a time and place for mental health treatments like prescription drugs or therapy. Those can be helpful for certain things, but it may be that we are too quick to turn to them for mild to moderate forms of stress, depression, etc. Often there are alternative mental health treatments available.

While the category of alternative mental health treatments can be broad, the primary method that can be of benefit is natural supplements. Secondary treatment methods would include lifestyle changes such as exercise, altering diet, etc. Research has recently been done in both those areas that has opened the door to new thinking on how to address illness of the mind. Some of the change in thinking involves treatment, the rest prevention. However, it is the primary method of supplements that is the focus of this article.

Mental health treatments that are truly effective deal both with prevention and treatment. Supplements are a powerful tool to address each. Studies have been done showing that many herbal supplements are as effective as prescription drugs in dealing with various aliments. For example, a study on Passion Flower found it to be as effective as a leading anti-anxiety medicine for helping people suffering from anxiety disorders.

Ginkgo Biloba is another example. In a study done on Alzheimer’s patients the results demonstrated that Ginkgo may be as effective as a commonly used Alzheimer’s medication in delaying the symptoms of dementia in people that have the disease. It also seems to be effective as a preventative mental health treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in those who may be predisposed to it.

The thing about these alternative mental health treatments is that the findings of these studies are not likely to get public press and acceptance of the information by both medicine and the public alike is slow. However, they are far more cost effective and have fewer side effects than most prescription drugs. This is not something drug companies like very much so much is done by them to over emphasize their products.

Newer supplement products containing compounds like huperzine A, choline, L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP are also promising in their ability to support a healthy mind. They work to help the body produce and sustain neurotransmitters, the chemicals your brain needs to function. Many mental issues like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, etc. involve reduced levels of certain neurotransmitters or destroy them outright. These compounds help counter that effect thereby sustaining brain function. Studies have been done on these, but more research is underway.

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.

Dental Care Services and Plans

Many people usually neglect issues related to dental care such as taking good care of their gums, teeth etc. Dental care also involves treatment and prevention of diseases of the teeth and gums apart from the repair and replacement of defective teeth.

Gone are those days when dental services used to be an expensive option. Let us have a look at a few tips on how to find affordable dental care services:

1. Start by simply inquiring about a good dental plan from your co-workers, friends and relatives. Ask questions such as whether emergency service is provided, how easy it is to get an appointment, how much it costs, the different types of dental services and so on. Also inquire about whether the atmosphere of the dental care facility is reassuring and relaxing, behavior of the staff especially towards children etc.

2. Dental services are also provided at local dental schools at affordable and competitive rates. Some of these schools might offer to check and clean your teeth for free of cost. It should not be a problem to find a list of such schools in and around your area through internet.

3. In case you are new to an area, try checking out the services of the dental specialist who provides his/her services to the local hospitals. You can also search for the best dental care facilities in your area online. You can also use your insurance company’s website to search for dentists who would accept your insurance cover.

Following are the two most popular dental plan options:

1. Dental Insurance:
One of the options for oral health care is dental insurance. Apart from a few dental insurance policies which might cost less than $10 on a monthly basis, most of the available options would be expensive. It is essential on your part to read the entire terms and conditions, excluded procedures and items, what the policy covers, the annual cost for both family and individual policies which ever applies to you.

Most of the people going for such policies do not know that pre-existing conditions are not covered by such policies. Even after the completion of 1 year, most companies pay progressively, such as covering 15% the 2nd year, 30% the 3rd year and so on. Thus, such kinds of dental insurance are usually not recommended by agents currently because of their lack of coverage and high cost.

2. Discount Dental Plans:
Pre-existing plans are not restricted in case of discounted dental care plans. Substantial discounts are offered by such plans on routine dental care like braces, dentures, root canals, X-rays, cleanings, check-ups and more. The membership fees of such dental care plans usually average around $150 for families and $100 for individuals annually. At the time of your appointment, you need to pay for your visit in full.

No permission of any sort is required in case you want to change your dentist. Within the network of the plan, you can visit any provider in any state. It is to be noted that large discount dental plan networks have providers in excess of over 0.1 million dental specialists and dentists worldwide.

You might be surprised to know that over 70% of the families residing in United States do not have any dental plan. Thus, it is important for you to realize that proper dental care is essential for the well-being of your entire body.

Online Babysitting Services: How Do They Work and How To Choose The Right One For You

So you need someone to watch your children and have decided to look into online babysitting services. However, there are so many to choose from, including Sittercity, Care, Care4Hire.com, GoNannies, AuPairCare and 4Sitters.com, that it is overwhelming. To find the best fit for you and your family, you need to check out an assortment of sites. Each one will vary in everything from their fees and services, to their applicant filtering system and reputation, to the number of caregivers in their database. Some even provide contact information for pet sitters, housekeepers, tutors and eldercare services.

There are two ways in which online babysitting services work. With the first method, parents post a job and then the sitters who are interested and nearby contact them. This may be done via email or telephone. The parents can then respond accordingly. With the other method, parents can look at the profiles of potential babysitters and then contact the best ones. When searching, you get immediate access to babysitters. Simply type in your zip code and a list of local sitters pops up. When you click on a sitter, you may get a brief bit of information or their entire profile.

Some sites will let you preview and look for sitters without registering, so you can see the options. However, if you want to get the contact information, you need to be a member. Subscriptions may be paid for on a monthly or yearly basis. The best sites will give you a free trial period, perhaps for a week, so you can try it out first. If you like it, you often have to pay an initial registration fee, in addition to the subscription costs.

Be aware that not all sites do the same things. Some may simply interview the babysitters to create a profile but do not check references. Others provide the option of doing extensive background checks. However, it may cost extra or require you to increase your membership level. The best sites will have a multi-step screening process. In addition, the online babysitting services should have comments or referrals from people the caregivers have worked for in the past.

Most online babysitting sites also have a search filter that lets the parents narrow down the candidates. For instance, if you have a child with special needs, you can locate a babysitter who has previous experience with this type of child or someone with specific medical certifications. This search filter will help you save time. They can also help you find back-up sitters at the last minute, in case the scheduled sitter gets sick or you get an unexpected dinner invitation. Some sites, like Sittercity, even offer nannycam and video monitoring options.

Don't Put Off Researching For The Right Family Healthcare Plan

Family health care plans or insurance can be extremely beneficial to the well being of the people you care the most about. Let’s be honest, our health is very important to us and as we age it becomes vitally important that we spend some time thoroughly researching the health insurance providers in order to find a family healthcare plan that protects the interest of our family’s health without costing us a fortune in health insurance premiums or monthly rates.

There are several reasons why researching a family healthcare plan is a good idea. First and foremost as I’m sure you are aware more and more companies are downsizing or eliminating the benefits they provide their employees. Unfortunately, reducing or completely doing away with health care benefits has become the norm as opposed to an exception to the rule. For this very reason it is imperative that you spend quality time now finding an adequate family healthcare plan that will provide outstanding family health insurance to your most precious of assets.

Guess what, accidents happen and they do so with enough frequency that should you need to take a trip to the emergency room or to the doctor’s office it’s better if you go knowing that you have a family healthcare plan that has you covered and will take care of any medical or health related bills that appear as a result of the hospitalization required due to the accident.

Being financially strapped for cash is no picnic and can be very stressful for many consumers. Having a family healthcare plan allows you to put aside any financial worries you may have in the event you find yourself or a family member needing attention or treatment at a local hospital. Having proper health insurance also affords you the opportunity to save money for other needed necessities in life because you won’t have to worry about having to cover any medical expenses or bills that may come up due to receiving medical attention from a hospital or doctor.

As you do your online research in order to find a family healthcare plan that fits your needs, wants and desires you will be able to compare price quotes between several different health insurance providers or companies. Always make sure to look at deductible costs, prescription costs and of course the doctor’s that you can choose to seek future medical treatment from. The time you invest in finding the best family healthcare plan will save you money and aggravation in all of your future medical emergencies.

Choosing Right Home Furniture

A house without furniture often sounds like a flower without fragrance. Furniture takes away the emptiness of a home, and makes it attractive and functional. For those reasons, it’s important to choose the right furniture items that function, add to the appeal, reflect your taste, and provide a great value for the price. It turns out not too many shoppers exhibit satisfaction when they are exploring choices for quality home furniture. One of the major reasons for this dissatisfaction is the lack of priorities that a shopper must set to determine what exactly to look for. Also is there a group of buyers who finds it a nerve-wracking task to select right furniture for their homes out of the multiple choices being offered by internet today.

If you have happened to be facing any of the afore-identified situations, you should seek some guidelines for a better understanding of finding and buying good-value furniture and accessories. Below is brief list of points-to-note to be kept in mind and considered before going on a shopping spree:

Room and requirements: Every house comprises different rooms; the main being living room, drawing room, dining room, guest room, and TV lounge. Each room requires different furniture items for its distinctive classification. For instance, a dining room requires to be filled with a dining table set instead of sofa set whereas a bed room needs to be graced with a dressing-table set instead of a utensil storage cabinet. It is important to determine what room requires what kind of furniture.

Similarly, if you intend to buy a sofa or a cabinet, create an appropriate place for it in your home. A sofa fits well in a living room or a drawing room whereas cabinet should find its way to a bedroom or kitchen depending upon its use.

Furniture replacements: If you decide to redecorate your old home by replacing its furniture with a new line, do it systematically. Choose the living room to begin with, for being the most occupied place of your home. This is where your family members or friends sit, relax, chat and enjoy. Make sure you find and buy living room furniture items in colors and designs that match with the colors of walls and/or floor of your room or house. Once done with your living room, go with the redecoration of a guest room, drawing room, dining room, so on and so forth.

Furniture size: Consider room space before settling on any furniture item. If your room is too large, choose mirrored furniture which will make your room look small.

Wholesale living room furniture: Go for online stores of wholesale furniture where you’ll have more chances to get your favorite furniture pieces at the most competitive prices and get discount deals on your purchases.

A common misconception attributed to cheap furniture is that it is neither durable nor reliable. If truth be written, cheap furniture is the line of furniture that is offered at a cheap price. Quality remains the same though. Hope, you are pretty sure how to choose and buy right furniture for your home now!

Why Travel Solo – My Reasons For Travelling Solo

Many of you reading this article are thinking to yourselves ‘why travel solo… are you crazy’, while others are reading this in total agreement. Like for all travel needs, individual tastes, interests and goals will be the concern for any person traveling.

For me personally I prefer to travel solo myself but It all boils down to the type of trip you’re taking and what you plan on doing… obviously there are times where group or couple travel is inescapable and is of course still going to be a great experience… all travel is. These times could be team getaways, events such as weddings or corporate and clearly for a romantic getaway or honeymoon where I’ll assume that you would prefer not to travel solo.

Maybe you don’t have a partner or perhaps you didn’t know anyone else you wanted to travel with you… but you know with all your heart you want to go, have to go. Are the people who said no going to stop your travel? If so, why? Is it safety concerns, is It the unknown? Those questions might be on your mind, but think about it this way… doesn’t it make it more exciting? Wouldn’t you feel more accomplished if you did it by yourself?

Let me explain why I travel solo and the reasons why.

Avoid The Drama Of Others

Drama is often inescapable as all people including myself has some sort of drama in their lives. However in my experience below

A few years back I backpacked Europe and after about a week or so met up with a group of friends for roughly a month. In this time the couple traveling with us had a bad break up, which in turn almost severed another relationship. That night while this couple was fighting, bags were snatched, wallets stolen and because of the public outburst questioned by the police… and this was just the beginning of the drama, we still Christmas to get through after this. When the whole group of my friends had left I felt relief and like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

You may not want to travel solo but if you’re single then my recommendation is that you at least don’t travel with a couple, not without at least some other single people there.

Indifference Of Ideas

All travelers have their own ideas of what they want out of their travel and so they should. Compromise can be much easier in a couple and certainly traveling solo but in a group it can be a nightmare. You may want to go to a museum you’ve always wanted to see where as the others in your group want to just hit the pub.

Whoever has the numbers or the dominance will most likely win which puts you in an awkward situation. Yes, you could leave and go the museum by yourself but then what do you friends think of you and say about you later on. You may also not be contactable by phone, being in another country without a sim card which makes it much harder to meet up and find out when others will be back etc.

I remember road trip we took just 2 hours away from home with six guys and we had one of the worst weekends away possible. Some of us wanted to go prawning, others wanted to go somewhere else for fishing and some of us just wanted to hang out at the hotel by the beach and drink. The problem was we were all stubborn and because we only had the one car and two sets of keys it caused arguments left, right and centre.

Living In Close Quarters

When traveling with others, particularly for long periods of time you need to ensure that your travel buddy is someone you could live with in close quarters for however long it is you are traveling. We all have friends that we know that are good friends but you could never live with them, maybe they are messy, maybe they are snappy and the list goes on. If you can’t live with them… what makes you think you can travel with them?

Be Who You Want

A bonus to traveling solo as well is that others you meet along the way and you get to be the person you’ve always wanted to be or at least be able to interact differently with others. I truly believe you meet a lot more people when traveling solo as you have more reason to talk to others and you will meet more like-minded people to you as there are no indifference to ideas of what to do.

These are four of the main reasons why I travel solo but there are many more personal reasons like independence my goal when backpacking Europe was to get out there in the world and do it all myself. Escapism is another big reason for me sometimes with work and the same old routine you just need to escape the daily grind and get in some alone time.

Traveling solo isn’t for everyone and isn’t for all kinds of travel but if you’re after a fulfilling holiday and experiences then there really is nothing like traveling solo. You will not only meet more like-minded people, get to be who you want, gain independence and a sense of fulfillment as well avoid an indifference of ideas, living in close quarters and avoid anyone else drama while you enjoy what you want to do on your dream holiday. This is why I travel solo.

School Bus Safety Tips For Drivers and Their Children

Imagine: millions of students nationwide start their day by getting on and off the school bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that year after year, pedestrians who are usually below the age of 19 have died in school bus-related crashes. More school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m. than any other time of day. The NHTSA has even formulated several safety tips for both drivers and children:

Take note of the crosswalk/school zone sign.

 

  • Drivers: This means that during mornings and afternoons, these areas are likely to be crowded with children — some even on their bicycles or in-line skates. All of them are no match to a bus, so extra care in part of the driver is needed.
  • Children: Do what you learned in pre-school: look left, then right to see if vehicles or people are going to pass before crossing the street. If you could, go along with other children/people using the crosswalk.

Learn the “Flashing Signal Light System”that school buses use.

  • Drivers: Alert motorists if you are preparing to/stopping the school bus using the yellow/red light.
  • Children:Just because they are in a stop position does not mean there is no more danger. Take note of the danger zones around a stopped school bus, namely, the front and back (which are the most dangerous zones) and the driver’s side of the bus.

Slow down.

  • Drivers: Be alert around school zones. Young people may be rushing about on their way to class or to meet a parent.
  • Children: No need to rush when getting on or off. Wait until the bus hits a full stop, with the doors wide open before getting in. Use the handrails to avoid falls.

Visibility.

  • Drivers: For a vehicle such as a school bus, you really can’t see what’s directly below you. Be careful before speeding on.
  • Children: When crossing in front of a bus, put a safe distance (say, 10 feet) between the bus and where you plan to cross. Use sidewalks and walkways where you’re sure the driver sees you.

Backing up.

  • Drivers: Be aware if children/bicycles are crossing behind you.
  • Children: Never be the children/children-in-bicycles who cross behind buses.

To enforce traffic safety, the state of Florida has enforced tougher penalties for passing a stopped school bus while loading or unloading children. Previously the fine was $65.00, however now they are required to attend a 4-hour basic driver improvement course. This course explains Florida traffic laws and provides a refresher on defensive driving techniques.

So, for all drivers before you rush to pass a stopped school bus remember that the school bus uses the red flashing lights for a reason. And for pedestrians and children always but safety first and proceed with caution when exiting or entering the bus or in school zones.

Tips When Buying Home Furniture

When buying for home furniture, there are a lot of tips that you need to be aware of in order to get the best out of the quality and from the price. There are numerous stores that sell furniture for the home and you may get confused on which place is the best for you. It is never recommended to buy the first furniture that you like. Always look for more items and selections first so that you can make sure that what you are buying is the best in the market.

The bedroom is one place in your home that you may want to redecorate. When choosing home bedroom furniture the best tip to follow is finding the best and the most comfortable. The bedroom is your private sanctuary and it is very important that your bedroom furniture is comfortable. For instance, when you are buying a bed for your room, choose the one that you find at ease with. Do not be afraid to test out the bed, its foam and how it feels once you lay on it. Also do not forget to measure the size of the bed that it can fit perfectly in your room. For the home bathroom furniture, choose the ones that can fit into the space of your bathroom. Keep it elegant and simple.

For the furniture in your home, the trick is finding the perfect design and color that can match your place. One home furniture store can carry countless furniture that have different color, designs and materials to suit your home. Some of them may have offers of making made to order furniture if you cannot find the design and the color that you want. These made to order furniture may cost more than the regular ones in the store, but if you have the budget and you are willing to wait, this could ensure that you will get the furniture that you want. When shopping for home furniture, it is important that you are getting items that are of good quality. You may want your furniture to last for years. Paying for cheap but low quality furniture will only cost you more in the long run because you will need to repair or buy new furniture from time to time.

When choosing the sofas or armchair of your living room, the rule is like that of the bedroom, choose the sofa or armchair that can give you comfort. Your guests or family will be sitting in these sofas when you get together or watch television, a comfortable sofa means a lot. Also make sure that the sofa can match your room color. It does not have to be the same color, but something that can compliment your home. There is also other home décor furniture that you may want to add like coffee tables, side tables or a small chair or tea table. These are good furniture to add to your room if you have enough space. Overcrowding a room with furniture is never a good idea. It will only make your home look smaller and disorganized.

Travel Pre And Post Internet

Travel Pre Internet:

I’ve been traveling for over 40 years – by thumb in my early days, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta came next and then my first old banger followed by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava.

My thumb, boots, bikes and bangers took me all over Europe and the UK before finding that a charter flight to Spain on an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the beaches and bars a lot quicker and allow more time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horse and cart and the occasional bus and train.

‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so instead of taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic crossing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet lag did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time it was 5 times bigger and I traveled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Grill somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the modern cruise ships going from port to port with constant line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruises recover from their woes). But I digress.

I had read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my entrance into the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was a trip of wonder to a bloke from London. Today the scenery is still spectacular and the best way to go is still by road so rent or buy a car, motorhome or motorbike, take the train or tour bus but remember the maps, a fly rod, good boots and take your time.

My favorite part of Canada / USA for adventure travel has to be Northern BC / Alaska, to hike the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to canoe the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, cast a fly and scale a few hills or drive on endless dirt roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, elk, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experiences in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway or to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Highway or even the Canol Road can only be felt by doing them. I would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is an easy drive unlike the aforementioned.

Today the costs of driving these distances may mean that sharing the journey with others is required, but RVing or simply vanning and camping is a great way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute adventures now need to be booked in advance whereas when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Pass it was just a case of turning up, registering with the local ranger office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of lengthy flights or drives have to somehow be countered with more careful planning. In the days of reasonable gas prices I would not even consider the driving or flying costs and have driven to Key West from the northwest coast, down the west coast to the Baja and to the west coast from New York. I once even flew my 1946 Fleet taildragger from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Before the oil and credit crisis I drove from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, down to Tierra del Fuego and back to Rio covering over 15,000 miles of spectacular scenery and with no consideration about the cost of gas. South America should be on your itinerary too! Some other memorable drives that may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Skippers Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the amazing coast of Western Australia stopping by at Monkey Mia and Wave Rock.

We tend to forget that the real cost of traveling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for fuel, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ method of price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper gives us a good gauge for most expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private pilots license in the 1970’s seems cheap by comparison to today, but obviously not when using this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also far cheaper today but this should not mean that travelers should disregard the many methods of saving costs that can then be put to extended or improved travel experiences

Travel Post-Internet:

In my 40 years of travel I have had to use travel agents to make even the simplest of reservations and buy tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that?” It was just a case of there being no other options to buying travel. Now we have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without even leaving home.

The Internet now gives travelers ideas and options of Where to go, When to go, Why to go, What to do, Who to book with and How to save money and offset costs. We can search and find experts for every travel option. If we are comfortable with the Internet we no longer have to go to a travel agent to make reservations and buy tickets except to book with some of the larger travel companies that still produce glossy brochures and offer all inclusive packages or tours that only sell through the agency system. The Internet also allows those of us who are smart enough to know when to seek out a top travel agent with knowledge, experience and expertise (KEE skills) of destinations and activities about where to find them. There is no longer any need to only use our local agents when we can find one somewhere else in the world. When we do not need ‘the knowledge’ and can do it ourselves we simply surf the web so that we can book directly with tour and travel operators wherever we have decided to go.

Some travel agents operate their own tours, some are both wholesale and retail, some limit consumer selection by only selling their ‘preferred’ suppliers and some have professional consultants with years of experience invested in gaining knowledge, experience and expertise and are worth their weight in gold to the savvy traveler. Beware though, as some are also called destination specialists and some of these designations merely require the agent to take a rudimentary test offered by tourism offices, destination marketing groups or even tour operators and in my opinion can harm the reputation of the travel industry. A specialist is not necessarily an expert.

Travel is probably the most used commercial aspect of the Internet and if retail agents want to harness this exciting medium to offer ‘the knowledge’ and their ‘kee’ skills to a global audience, not just their local community, they must embrace the changes that are happening. Travelers now have the ability to seek answers to the 5 W’s of travel and the important ‘How to’ save money and offset costs by having information just a click away.

And then it occurred to me that even internet travel prices often include a commission element even when sold directly to the consumer. If we book directly with operators we should not have to pay full retail prices as we are doing for ourselves what a retail agent would normally do for us. A dilemma for the operator is that to show a both a retail and a cost price option could deter many agents from selling the services as travelers could use an agent for free advice and book directly with the operator to get a ‘net of commission’ price. Obviously this two tier pricing is not often available but travelers who do not need advice should also not be penalized by retail pricing. A new way had to be found and I think I have found it!

The need for fairer fare prices is why I developed the Top Travel Voucher program at The Top Travel Club and I even found a dot com for it. All travel selections on the site are at ‘net of commission’ prices for members who handle there own travel arrangements directly with the operators linked on the club website using our voucher program.

I am inviting travel operators from around the world to join this program, from B&B’s, Motels, Hotels, Luxury Lodges, Eco Resorts, Beach Resorts and Tour and Adventure Operators who want to promote their products and services to travelers who are comfortable with direct bookings and reservations.

I am also inviting Travel Agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities to showcase their skills to a global audience of travelers and to the members of this new travel club. I am leery of ‘specialist agents’ and only want experts to showcase their services.

This opportunity is available to the travel trade at no cost except for them to offer net, wholesale or outlet prices to club members and visitors to the website using top travel vouchers. I believe this program offers fairer fare prices to direct-booking travelers. The operator would normally be paying commission anyway but now travelers get the savings because they make their own arrangements.

The Top Travel Club opened in mid-April 2008 offering thousands of top travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries with around 150 travel operators on-board. Every week we add more travel operators with more choices for members. Currently you can get savings on accommodations, adventure travel, boat charters, culinary tours, hike, bike and dive tours, auto and RV rentals fishing lodges and guides, safaris, vacation rentals, single travel, women only and dude ranches. Members get the vouchers free of charge by paying an annual membership fee and non-members can buy the vouchers on the internet at Top Travel Sites at deeply discounted prices to the face-value. The future growth will include restaurants, travel clothing, travel insurance and the opportunity to access air ticket consolidators who want to deal directly with consumers.

The way I have traveled and the way I see travel is that consumers should have unlimited access to every travel opportunity with the ability to do their own due diligence or to find a professional who can offer quality advice and services at fair prices, and to find all of this without needing endless hours of searching.

To find out more about the new way of cost offsets for travel please go to The Top Travel Club and my apologies for some of the spelling (traveler / traveler) but that is what I was taught. As long as we all understand the meaning, vive le difference!

The Health, Medicinal Benefits of Garlic – Part 1 Getting Heart Healthy!

Part 1: Health, Medicinal Benefits of Garlic:

There are many reasons that adding raw garlic to your diet will increase your health. In part 1 of this article you will learn 10 facts about how garlic affects your health.

1. Garlic supports a healthy heart. It can help you lower your bad cholesterol levels, and prevent hardening of the arteries, among many other benefits for your heart.

2. Organic garlic has a higher amount of sulphur in it, and the higher this amount the more health benefits there are.

3. Garlic that has been aged has more antioxidants than garlic that is not aged.

4. Garlic can be used in diabetics to lower blood sugar, or continue to keep it low.

5. Too much garlic can cause irritation to your bowels.

6. One of the compounds of Garlic can be used as an anti-fugal.

7. Microwaving garlic will completely kill the antibiotic and anti-fungal properties of it.

8. By crushing fresh organic garlic you will get the most medicinal use out of it.

9. The fresher the garlic and the freshest chopped or crushed the more taste you will get out of it.

10. Garlic has been used for over 5,000 years for medicinal purposes, starting in India.

From reading this you can conclude that by buying raw organic garlic bulbs and only opening them right before you crush or chop them for immediate use, you will get the most medicinal purposes out of your garlic. The smaller the garlic pieces when you are done chopping, mincing or crushing the more of the healing components you will get out of it, these components are activated when you cut the garlic, as time goes by the benefits will diminish, that is why it is very important to only get the garlic ready just before using it. You may also want to note that by using garlic this way you will get more taste out of it, so you can actually use less.

Benefits of Collaboration in the Luxury Travel World

The luxury travel industry has been the core of my business world for many years. In my role as marketing consultant have seen travel companies grow and fall as the trends for vacations and short breaks changed in line with needs for the industry’s most important component – the customer.

From just one holiday or vacation a year, the trend has grown to a pattern of two maybe even three vacations. For those with more disposable income, a sprinkling of short breaks throughout the year has become a typical indulgence… until now.

With the onset of the financial recession from 2008 onwards large families and travelers in their 40-50s were hardest hit in terms of the number and quality of holidays taken. Excited at the opportunities afforded by budget flights and exciting destinations many families looked forward to a few weeks in the sun with cheap food and drink plus the opportunity to pick up some duty free luxuries and a tan.

But the fall out from flight route closures on the cheaper airlines, the rising costs of hold baggage and the affects of currency fluctuations have made larger numbers of potential holiday makers taking the cheaper option and staying at home.

The younger singles market still managed the short luxury breaks to European cities such as Prague and Barcelona and the island retreats of Ibiza and Mallorca. But even this market is being eroded as salaries dip in line with recession. Currency fluctuation and exchange rates have hit the cost of bed and board rises dramatically in the once celebrated destinations. Add in the effect of ‘global warming’ on the conscience of the younger travelers and its easy to see why so many of the budget holiday companies are falling on difficult times.

And what about the luxury end of the market? Believe it or now but some of the top end companies are having a very profitable time. How? They have talked to each other, joined forces and shared resources to help bring their marketing costs down and in many cases their market coverage up.

I have seen groups of top Scottish Hotels who might have been fighting for a customers attention, become a collaborative marketing group whose aim is to sell the destination first and then divide up the spoils among their spa resorts, golf complexes, boutique hotel partners and city centre apartments.

I have also seen small specialist travel agents collaborate by forming a collaborative venture specializing in high end luxury travel destinations – each member having a unique destination or service. With one innovative marketing message they have a louder voice than they might have as individual travel operators.

On the customer side collaboration is also proving very beneficial. Instead of taking lots of individual holidays there is a growing trend for groups who might have booked separate hotels and a similar destination to team up and book a large villa or apartment. Combining their entrepreneurial skills, purchasing skills and cooking skills they are able to eat well, organize great activities while staying at some of the most exclusive holiday destinations.

The Basic Elements of Style

Wearing the latest in fashion is what every one of us likes to do. But it is very important to carry the clothes in style. Having a great wardrobe is definitely essential but some basics of style should also be adhered to in order to make a striking fashion statement. There are lots of online wholesale apparel shops that cater to the fashion conscious generation. But apart from stocking up a fantastic collection, there are a few other issues that need to be paid attention to.

• A well groomed appearance is very essential in order to carry any ensemble with style. Nobody looks good with straggly, greasy hair, chewed up fingernails, gross skin, unplucked eyebrows, and leg stubble.

• Taking good care of your clothes is also very important. Well maintained clothes are the basic requirement of carrying off any stylish look with elan.

• Over usage of accessories can kill any fashionable ensemble. It is always best to make minimum use of accessories so that they can act as a compliment to the basic outfit and add some style.

• Try to choose outfits based on which colors and styles look nice on you. It is a good idea to match what you are wearing with your own personality. This helps in bringing out your true colors and helps you look and feel great.

Each year new fashion trends are born and it is time for the old ones to retire. Though it is definitely a great idea to go with what is in vogue, but at the same time you should keep an eye out for the comfort factor as well. Comfort and style goes hand in hand and choosing apparel based on how comfortable you feel wearing them is the smartest decision. Fashion trends appear unexpectedly and fade away even quicker than they appeared.

There is no limit to the permutations one can think of in terms of mixing and matching clothes and creating a style that is comfortable yet elegant. If you want to achieve a great look, be in line with new fashion styles that are influenced by different seasons. In recent we have seen the rise of new brands as well as the comeback of some old fashion trends. To wear something different and with style is to create fashion and with a bit of creativity you can come up with unique combinations that can become a personal fashion statement.

Looking Effortlessly Stylish and Creating Your Own Unique Fashion Style

There’s a famous saying that goes, ‘the clothes make the man (or the woman).’ This simply means that what one wears can say a lot about him; some actually judge people on the kind of clothes they wear. Ever since that time when man decided to put on something to cover his naked body, he has always been paying attention to what he wears not only in terms of how it protects his body, but also on how he’s going to be perceived by other people. Today, fashion trends come and go as fleeting as the latest smartphones.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t necessarily keep up with the latest trends in fashion but don’t want to look old-fashioned either, you can follow these tips on how to dress up in style without necessarily spending a fortune or without looking like you’re trying to follow the trend:

Choose clothes that complement your skin color, height and size – Some people make the mistake of putting on something that they’ve seen their favorite celebrities wear that may not necessarily be ideal for them. Always go for outfits that will highlight your good features and downplay the not-too-good ones.

Don’t go for too much: It’s okay to make a statement with what you wear, but you don’t necessarily have to go over the top for it. You can be bold sometimes, but don’t make yourself appear like a human placard.

Have a few pairs of jeans: Jeans always work with almost anything and are never out of style. Jeans can also be used to neutralize your overall look in case your top looks too formal or too elegant if you’re only attending a small soiree. However, you should still stay within the bounds of good taste and decency by not going too low waist-ed with them. Tattered jeans are fine, too, but overdoing it may just result to a fashion disaster.

Know how to mix and match: When shopping, look for clothes with neutral colors and plain prints so you can match them with anything in your closet. But this is not to limit your shopping range. Of course, you can always go for shirts that have different colors and exciting prints, but nothing too outrageous.

Create your own style – There’s nothing wrong with looking like your favorite celebrity, but wearing exactly the same shirt, pants, shoes, and accessories he or she has worn in a picture you’ve seen in a magazine makes you look like a copycat. Some people would even think it’s creepy. Experiment with different combinations and create a style all your own.

Looking stylish with the clothes you wear is certainly not rocket science. Just know who you are and what looks good on you and you can strut your stuff with panache wherever you go.

Business Travel Agents Tips: A Corporate Travellers' New York Airports Guide

New York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travelers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centers (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveler you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travelers flying to or from JFK Airport.

New York JFK Facts & Figures

Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travelers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures are in place to minimize them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travelers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travelers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travelers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travelers

In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travelers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travelers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travelers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind that bridge/tunnel tolls are not included in the shared-ride shuttle services fares. Another option is to ask your business travel company to arrange a shuttle service for your trip from and to John F. Kennedy International Airport as prices can vary greatly depending on location and number of passengers. In this way you can ensure that you are traveling with a reliable supplier.

An express bus service is also available for a nominal fee from Penn Station (reachable e.g. by AirTrain or taxi). The service operates from early morning to late night, with buses running at least every half hour.

The airport is also home to several car rental agencies. Leisure and corporate travelers can choose between a number of car major rental companies including Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, National and Avis.

So, which mode of transport should corporate travelers choose for a trip from JFK to Newark and LaGuardia airports? Usually the best way to get to Newark Airport from JFK Airport is to simply take the AirTrain. However, if you need to travel to LaGuardia during your business trip, it we recommend to take advantage of a convenient shuttle bus service, using the free Route A (running every 10-15 minutes from 4:00am to 11:30pm) or Route B (running every 10-15 minutes from 6:00am to 2:00am).

Hotels near JFK Airport

Hotel booking services for corporate travelers flying to New York JFK Airport-although there are no operating hotels at JFK Airport at the moment, New York provides corporate travelers a huge choice (from budget accommodation to luxury suites) of hotels and motels, which are conveniently located nearby the airport. Most hotel accommodations nearby offer shuttle services. Alternatively you can take the AirTrain to the Federal Circle station and follow the “Courtesy Hotel Shuttles” signs. There are telephone services for the hotel courtesy shuttles located at the AirTrain Federal Circle Station and in the arrival areas of the airport terminals ($5, i.e. about £3.04, €3.81, Service Charge for making reservations). The range of motels and hotels include the Hilton*, the Courtyard* by Marriott, Hampton Inn*, Sheraton*, Hilton Garden, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn* by Marriott, Days Inn, Best Western and Howards Johnson. The ones marked by an * are also offering conference and meeting rooms for corporate events.

© Copyright Flight-line Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All prices correct at time of publication.

In part two of our New York City Airport guide we’ll provide you with some business travel agents insider tips on Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA).