“The vast majority of small business owners do not plan”, I think that we can regard this statement as a ruling. But why is it so? As far as my knowledge reach, the reason for this derives from two different aspects: First, the lack of time that every small business owner face, which exists mainly because of the centrality of the small business owner in the day-to-day management tasks that are crucial for the maintenance of the small business. Second, the skills, or lack of skills, to establish a profound strategic planning process that will evolve into strategic plan that will lay out the small business goals and objectives and the necessary resources needed to achieve those objectives. Such skills are not as common even when we are dealing with large business top managers, but contrary to small business owners large business top managers do have the access to professionals in the field of strategic planning and the necessary resources to hire them, and this is what makes the whole difference.After saying all this, several questions needed to be answer: do all small business owners sentenced to lag behind their corporate colleagues regarding strategic planning? Is there something that the small business owner can do in order to narrow the gap? And if there is, what will be the benefits to the small business owner?Small business owners will never have the necessary resources needed to close the gap with large businesses regarding strategic planning process and implementation. But frankly I don’t think that they should put neither their time nor their money in the elusive quest to narrow this gap. What small business owners can and should do is to understand that a small business is not a large business regarding its abilities and needs with the only exception that it’s employ fewer employees. If this understanding become a common knowledge to the small business owner, it is rather obvious that he or she should adopt different approach regarding strategic planning.The idea that strategic planning at small business should not come in a rigid form, that dictate a step by step formula what the small business should do and how it’s need to act at every possible situation, opens a whole new set of alternatives to engage at some sort of strategic planning from which the owner and its business will be the main beneficiaries. The benefits to the small business from engaging in any sort of strategic planning could be as follow: The understanding of the small business owner how he sees the objectives of its small business as for today and what he plans to the future. Defining the resources needed to achieve those objectives and plans. Insight what are and will be the risks while trying to implement its present and future plans.
Strategic Planning in Small Business – Is There Such Thing?
Importance of CIBIL Credit Score in Indian Loans
Importance of CIBIL Credit Score in Indian Loans:Your CIBIL credit score is an indication of your financial stability and helps lenders decide if you are an individual worth taking a credit risk or not. Basically, a credit score tells the lender what’s the probability of you paying back the loan that you have sought.Your CIBIL credit score is calculated on your history of credit usage and the way you have handled past payments. If you have been regularly paying off your equated monthly installments (EMIs) and haven’t defaulted you have a higher score. If you use credit in moderation, and don’t go about borrowing beyond your means, you will have a higher score, which in turn improves your credit rating.Scores between 700 and 800 are considered to be good, but now lenders are enforcing stricter norms. If you have a score below 650, it is most likely that your loan application will be rejected or you will have to pay very high rates of interest. If you have a score below 600, you won’t get a loan.The lower your CIBIL credit score, the higher is the probability of default. You should access your score at least once in a year so that you get an indication of your credit rating. If you are planning to take a big loan (for example, a home loan) in the next 24 months, then it is advisable that you check your score every six months so that you can improve it and increase your chances of getting a loan.What will affect your Credit Score?If you have no credit history, creditors may treat you the same way as if you have had bad credit. This might seem unfair, but the rationale behind is that you have not established a history to show that payments are made over an extended period of time.Score parameters: The credit score of every person is different and is an evidence to varied credit behavior. The credit score is not a permanent one. It is extremely dynamic and keeps changing as a person changes his financial behavior.The score is calculated based on the person’s credit profile parameters at that point in time. It is important to know that the following parameters are taken into consideration while calculating a consumer’s credit score:Credit Utilization: How much credit is being used? Consistent high utilization of the credit limit is unfavorable, and vice versa, the lower your credit utilization, the better. As it suggests that one is using a small amount of the credit that’s been provided to them.Defaults/Repayment History: how many accounts are due in past – by how many days and by how much value? If you have already taken any loan your payment history is the most important factor that determines your credit score. Regular repayment of loans means you are awarded a higher score. If you have missed payments, delayed or defaulted on payments, your score will be much lower.Secured versus unsecured loans: If your credit portfolio has a higher percentage of secured loans (auto loans, home loans), your credit score will be higher. If you have a large number of unsecured loans (credit cards and personal loans) it shows bad money management and results in a lower score.Credit Inquiries: If you have too many inquiries against lending institutions for any kind of credit facility, no matter that you have been granted the loan, it reflects poorly on your credit score. It shows that you are in constant need of funds.Credit Age/Trade Attributes: How old are the consumer’s lines of credit? What type of credit does he have? Does the consumer have a good mix of credit or is it all credit cards?”Five Steps Improve Credit ScoreIn today’s time, the need for credit is very imperative. If you have defaulted on your payments for any reason, your credit information report will promptly report it. With a bad credit report, you are unlikely to get any loan or credit card from any bank. However, that does not mean you are scarred for life.Rebuilding your CIBIL score is a slow process. Follow these simple steps that help you to improve your credit score.Step 1:Pay off existing debts. The most effective way to improve your credit score in this area is by paying down your revolving (credit cards) debt. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your score.Step 2:Opt for a secured credit card, which is usually given against the security of your fixed deposits. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are the three banks that issue secured credit cards in India.Step 3:Go for a Consumer Loan (T.V, Refrigerator, other Home needs) by providing PDC (post dated Cheque) as security and repay the entire loan without any delays.Step 4:Go for a personal loan using an asset as collateral or as an unsecured loan. Paying dues towards this loan on time for the next 12-24 months will help in reviving your credit history.Step 5:Don’t make too many inquiries for more credit cards and loans. Also, abstain from taking huge loans until your score has improved and you are financially healthy.Usually, CIBIL maintains your credit history for 7 years but displays month-by-month repayment record for the last 36 months. This essentially means that if you are on a clean slate post repayment of your old debts, and promptly pay your new dues and loans, your credit history will start looking up after three years.
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!”©2007 Small Business Insurance Services, Inc. http://www.smallbusinessinsuranceservices.com
Health News Sources
You can get health news and information from Medical Magazines and the Internet, the way keeping yourself up to date recent developments.
These two ways are the best sources to acquire health information.Getting the correct health information is very important since wrong information regarding health issues to lead troubles. There are many medical magazines that features up to date health information that could be useful to you. For young parents who want to keep abreast with the latest pediatric developments, it would be a good idea to subscribe to some of those magazines that focus on the health of babies and children. Make sure that you only subscribe to those magazines that are reliable and have well research articles. Do not waste you time with those reading materials that would not really give you any substantial information.Reputable medical websites are the best places to look for, when it comes to getting health information online. However, the problem with these medical websites is that articles are often times too technical for lay people to appreciate. Most of the articles contain jargons that if you are not really very familiar with medical terms, you would yourself at a loss.Fortunately, there some websites that is more lay people friendly and easy to read such as the websites run by reputable hospitals like the Mayo clinic. These types of sites are not only informative and do not contain so many jargons; they also give more insights and ideas when it comes to your health and that of your family. Another site that you might want to look into is the yahoo health page. This site is very easy to navigate and the articles therein are easy to read. There are many topics that you can find in the yahoo health site. Most of these articles contain relevant health information that you can use.
Brand Story and Iconic Brands
Branding is one area in marketing where there are a number of terms and nomenclatures doing the rounds. That some of these terms are interchangeable and some vague and abstract helps people propound them to their hearts content without fear of contradiction. But on the other hand they also create no small confusion in the minds of those who really want to understand them and use the concepts in some context or the other. The other aspect is that many concepts that are redundant are given preference and importance over those that would really help marketers work out practical brand building strategies.For example, I believe one of the main concepts in brand building, the Brand Story has not been given the importance it deserves. The Brand Story is something which is built using newsworthy background details of the brand that backs the brand promise and which is communicated to the pertinent stakeholders through different media consistently and regularly. Any news story is far better than an advertisement in improving the image of a company as it has more credibility with the target audience. Add to that the fact that stories have the power to subtly explain the brand values and brand promise that otherwise maybe very difficult to convey, it should be a favourite method of communication with all brand managers. But surprisingly it has been rarely used or not been used properly except by some PR agencies.Infosys and Walmart are two excellent examples of the power of the Brand Story. Through the legends of the founders Narayanamurthy and Sam Walton these companies have clearly been able to communicate the brand’s promise, essence and values to the general public. Believably, credibly, unlike through advertising. The perception gained out of the life, activities and behaviour of these people, which have been brought to the notice of the target audience has helped build the image of the respective companies and convert them into iconic brands. Narayanamurthy and Sam Walton maybe only one cog in the wheel of their respective companies, albeit an important one. But people believe that what they are, represent what their companies’ brand values are. Perception is everything in branding.Now, that brings us to the next area of brand building which has been relegated to the branding backwaters, so to speak. Cultural and social values. Matching the cultural and social values of the consumers and the brand is one of the key ingredients to successful branding. It is what brands like Kelloggs have been unable to do properly in India. They are presently tuned in only to the cosmopolitan culture of cities – especially like those of Mumbai and Bangalore- and would have to wait for a long period of time for the culture of rural India to change to get countrywide acceptance.To explain the impact of cultural and social values in more detail we will have to look at brand building and the role of ‘liking’ in the process. The reasoning behind the need for brand building is simple. If people like a brand they are generally willing to pay more money for buying the same. People are also likely to be more favourable to something or someone they like and forgive their odd mistake or deviant behaviour with affectionate indulgence, while they will give hell if someone they dislike does something which is not upto expectations or the required standards.It has been found in social situations that people stick with those they like and in turn they like those who are similar to themselves. What we can say in New Gen parlance are people with the same wavelength stick together.Extrapolating this into a marketing viewpoint brings us back to a confirmation of our original hypothesis – that matching the cultural values of the prospective customers and the brand is essential in creating liking and thereby building iconic brands.Now, the Brand Manager or the Ad Agency has the path clearly defined before them. Since credible, true stories create iconic brands they need to convert any news worthy event involving the brand or the company that manufactures it into a palatable story. A story that will make people like the brand or a story reported in such a way that it will influence their minds positively. Which is also according to or shows the brand’s and society’s cultural match.In any brand building activity consistency and perseverance is the key. The net result of such activity conducted over a period of time would be that over the years the consumer and other stakeholders start to sincerely believe that what they have is their type of brand, nay, their brand.
Some Facts to Know About Home Health Care Nursing
Having a home health care nurse is one of the new concepts in the health industry, which is rapidly picking fame. Through home health care, the patient’s privacy is maintained and even the family is released from the hassle of taking the patient to the hospital again and again for routine checkups. Home health care nurse services are best suited for people suffering from fatal illness, permanent or temporary disability, or prolonged health issues.According to a survey nearly 7 million people require nurses for in home care. Until a couple of years back, nurses were needed only in hospitals, nursing centers, or high class living centers. However, today the need of nurses has taken a 360 degree twist. The nurses are no longer only required in the above stated places, in fact, families having members as patients demand receiving nurse care at their home. The nurses associated with home health care are allowed to practice nursing at homes, only after undergoing academic training.Families also prefer hiring only those nurses that come with a sufficient amount of qualification and experience of several years. With time, several changes have been made in home health care. Now, a very secure home health care is provided to the families. Today, insurance is provided and proper documentation is also done between the nursing agency and the family. Also, with technological advancement in the medical field, now patients do not need to stay admitted in the hospital for long. They can easily shift home under the care of home heath nursing services.Home health nurses come with an number of skills.They do not only treat the patients, but they also educate them regarding their illness. Also, they are looked upon to provide emotional support to the patients. From taking care of injured or sick young children, women who have recently given child birth, looking after the elderly, and all other patients suffering chronic diseases, nurses today can be looked upon for nearly every disease, injury, or other kind of treatment. Health care nurses are also capable of taking care of the patient in any particular setting. It is very important for the nurse to have strong communication skills. She should also come with the flexibility to adopt any kind of culture and customs that the family follows. If you are thinking of having a career in home health care nursing, then you should not waste more time and just get into it. The demand for nursing is said to increase by 10% in the coming future.
Home Health Care Benefits
As families continue to grow and expand, there are many additional responsibilities that have to be addressed. When a loved one is ill and needs additional help, it can be very hard for families to accommodate their needs. When families find themselves in this predicament, they often reach out to an agency that specializes in home health care.Home health care can mean different things to different people. The agency that specializes in this type of health care understands this concept and makes sure they understand their clients’ needs before they send a caregiver to their homes. When families feel they need help, their first step is usually to call one of these agencies and schedule an appointment to speak with a representative.Families normally go to an agency to discuss their options and understand exactly how this can benefit their loved one. The agency representative takes the time to listen to the concerns their clients have and what they feel their loved one needs. They also make sure to ask many questions so they understand what they need to provide.Families are comfortable working with agencies for different reasons. Many families feel that these are professionals and they have many different resources that could benefit their loved ones. They are also very concerned about their loved ones safety. When a home health care professional is selected from an agency, families know they have passed a strict background check and thorough interview process.This can mean different things to different families. There are families with loved ones that are gravely ill. When these families ask for a home health care professional, they are often there to monitor their health and many other things. This is a situation that the health care professional may have to check on their client once per day.In other instances home health care professionals only need to see their clients once a week. In these situations, the clients are fairly healthy and able to live independently. They may need help in running errands or doing things around their home due to different medical and health issues. They are able to function well by themselves but families prefer that a medical professional check on them.There are even some situations that a home health care professional is required to stay with their client all day. In these cases, family members aren’t able to be with their loved one during that time and they have requested a health caregiver come into their home. This can happen whenever a loved one will be left alone and they shouldn’t be or this can be a part of their daily routine. It all depends upon what the client needs.When families are made aware of the different options and benefits they have with home health care agencies, they are able to decide what will help their loved one the best. Many of these families take a moment to discuss what they want and then they make arrangements with the agency to start the care. The decision to use these agencies to ensure their loved one receives the best care possible is a daily reminder of their love and dedication to their loved ones.
Has Technology Kept Its Promise?
As I observe humanity, moving in ever-faster and faster paces, racing to achieve ever more at dizzying speeds even as technology threatens to outpace our very mental capacity, something is amiss. Some deeply held idea that we seem bent on fulfilling, a frantic technologically powered promise, has been broken.Whether we realize it or not, underneath all this amazing technology we are creating, is a subtle but powerful promise: that we can accomplish more, in less time, and thereby achieve a greater quality of life.Oh, at first the idea is seductive. Let’s build a machine that can do the work in half the time! We can work in the morning and play in the afternoon. This works great in theory, except it is rarely practiced. No, once that amazing whiz-bang machine is built, it’s run 24/7, working employees to the bone, so we can produce a gazillion times more in a fraction of the time! By all rights there should be a lot more people loafing. Or at least, having a high quality of life. But are they?How is it that our very lives are powered by machines that admittedly double in speed every 2-years, yet as a nation we are poorer than ever, more tired than ever, and less able to enjoy life as we know it? Who doesn’t walk around with more lines on their foreheads even as the world races by? Whose stress levels are lower thanks to the amazing advances in technology? I don’t know many.Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a conspiracy afoot. Yes, really. As a society, our job is to care about each other and improve our quality of life personally and collectively, yet the very technology that has promised to provide this is doing just the opposite. In fact it’s aggregating wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and in a very real sense oppressing the rest, creating a new kind of upper class, a “technorati” if you will, that is able to harness technology to their advantage. And despite all the nifty perks of technology, are our lives really better?Sure, we can point to increased efficiencies. Information can be transferred faster and in larger quantities than ever before, and computers can crunch numbers in ever-larger chunks.Yet have we ever stopped to ask, is that always necessarily good? Computers enable people to make mistakes, faster. Think about that for a moment.And besides simple “business gains,” and increased production, what are the actual tangible gains in human terms? Are employees happier, or are they working just as many hours as in 1960?And another important measure: do people feel more connected to one another, with all the gizmos for interaction?Ironically, technology tends to isolate people rather than bring them together. It promotes anonymity, and separation by encouraging us to interface over longer and longer distances, using bits of metal and plastic for the interactions. What happened to the warmth of a handshake? Looking someone in the eye? Something is getting lost in the digital revolution, and it’s in the intangible, and arguably more important, realm of our lives.What about all the fancy speed of the technology; surely this is making the world more efficient, right?Can anyone point to studies showing the increased production and sheer extra volume of goods, services, and foods, are actually being circulated to those in need? Is the human family as a whole benefitting from the excess, or is the wealth being concentrated by those in position to take advantage of the windfall?Again, this answer is obvious; the human family as a whole is not reaping the benefits of the technological advances, as evidenced by similar or worse levels of poverty, literacy, living conditions, and general conditions of peoples throughout the earth. Sure, there are certain segments of the population that are benefitting, yet we see the makings of a “digital divide” in which the middle classes are disappearing, while the ranks of upper and lower classes continue to swell, in large part due to technology which aggregates more and more power into the hands of those at the top. This has always been a classic harbinger of trouble, for those that care to pay attention.And don’t get me started on our amazing scientific advances in healthcare; what passes for healthcare, rightly should be labelled “sick-care” as it uses 2 main modes of operation: cutting and drugging. The human body does not generally suffer from lack of cuts, or chemicals. Many of the greatest bits of wisdom from thousands of years of human survival are being summarily censored, and even outlawed by those in charge. Don’t believe me? Tsk tsk. Google it. As the saying goes, “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”Then, perhaps, is the planet better off for all the amazing increased production technology affords? Again, ha! No, the planet is hurting, possibly getting a temperature, and for sure getting filled valley to mountain with more trash than ever before. See http://www.storyofstuff.com/ for an amazing video.What about the potential of the human brain: surely we are getting smarter and smarter every year, and children are benefiting greatly from exposure to all this marvelous new stuff, right? (See http://www.flixxy.com/technology-and-education-2008.htm).Well, er, sort of. Actually what I’ve found is that we think differently, not necessarily better, than before. We have greater capacity to multi-task because, surprise, we’re constantly bombarded with the need to process so much at once. But this comes at the expense of the ability to really concentrate. I’m not sure that being “scattered” is better than being “focussed.”What about social skills? Are computers and technology enhancing these? Evidence indicates that our new silicon taskmasters don’t have hearts, and our capacity for human understanding, compassion, and love are not enhanced to any significant degree by our technology.I could go on and on. The basic, simple question is, what are the actual real benefits of this technological craze we are in? Are we honestly better off with the technology than before? And what is driving this insane rapid-fire chase, and what is it for? Or have we lost site of the goal we are running towards? If it’s the betterment of mankind, we are off-course.One can always argue that the technology is not the problem; it’s the biology operating it, and this is a truthful point. Technology is neither good nor bad but in the hands of its users. Truly we can do amazing things with our new gizmos, but will we? Are we? Currently, generally not.So the jury is out. Thanks to the crazy advances in computers and technology, we can do more than ever, but the results are that we as a species are not better off in tangible ways, en masse.In short, technology is not making the world, the planet, or people as a whole, better off; in fact many are worse off and we have the makings of a technorati that control the rest; how is this different than those in power making the world better for themselves at any other time in history?With great power comes great responsibility. ‘Nuff said.
How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?
Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.
The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.
The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.
There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.
Understanding the Impacts of Gout
Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.
Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.
While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.