Teen drug abuse became a serious health problem in United States. It is hurting the healthcare system, burdening the economy, and causing millions of deaths every year. Of the many causes that promote drug abuse among teens, lack of parental supervision is a major one. Teens should be guarded properly by their parents as they are still immature.

Since, early intervention leads to effective prevention of this unhealthy habit, parents should identify drug abusing habits in teens and take preventive measures. Parents can take help of home drug testing kits which are effective and easy to use.

In this article, we will discuss about teens and their vulnerability to drug abuse; how to identify teen drug abuse and how important are drug testing programs at home to prevent teen drug abuse.

Teens – vulnerable to drugs abuse: Many scientific studies have already proved that teenagers are more prone to risk taking and are vulnerable to drug abuse when compared to adults. This typical behavior of teens during adolescence is because of the major changes in parts of the brain that are responsible for functions such as self-control, judgment, planning, organization, and emotions. Since teen brains are not yet fully developed, they cannot take proper decisions and fall victims to unhealthy habits like drug and alcohol abuse.

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse: The primary step towards prevention of drug abuse in teens is to identify their unhealthy habits. Prominent changes, both in their behavior and in physical appearance can be noticed even at the early stages of abuse. Following are the warning signs:

Physical and emotional changes:
• Red eyes
• Finding difficulty to speak
• Sudden fall or rise in weight
• Lack of hygiene and showing less interest in personal grooming
• Aggression and arrogance
• Depression and irritation

Social and behavioral changes:
• Dissociation from old friends and acquiring new social group
• Sudden anger or depression
• Poor attendance and academics at school
• Spending time lonely
• Abnormal odor in breath or clothing
• Pipes, needles and other suspicious substances in their room

Importance of home drug test kits: The moment you see the signs that indicate drug abuse in your teen, it is the time to confirm drug abusing habits using reliable methods. They are useful devices for the parents to confirm these unhealthy habits in teens. They are simple, easy to use, provide instant and accurate results, cost-effective and above all ensure privacy. Some multi-panel drug testing kits can detect multiple drugs of abuse at a shot.

Best drug test methods to implement: When it comes to home drug testing, urine and saliva tests are considered to be the best methods. There are two other methods – blood and hair tests also, but they need special devices and expert supervision, hence are not recommended for home testing.

Urine test can detect the drugs in your teen’s system up to three days after use. If you believe that your teen has taken drugs during the last few days, then this method is effective in offering accurate results. However, it is necessary to check that your teen is not providing fake urine sample which can lead to false results.

Saliva drug testing is an ideal drug test if you suspect that your teen abused drugs on that particular day. These kits can detect drug use up to 48 hours.

Need for random drug testing: If you are conducting drug tests on your teens at regular intervals, following a regular pattern, your teen may notice the pattern and either try to manipulate the sample before the test or stop abusing drugs few days before the test. Hence, practicing random drug tests is always an ideal way to identify the drug use which effectively helps in detecting the drug abuse among your teens. Random testing makes teens say ‘NO’ to drugs as they know that you can conduct drug testing any time at home.

Home drug testing kits can be considered as effective solutions in controlling and preventing drug abuse in your teens. So, make sure that you have some of them at home to test your teen to help him stay away from drugs.

Our diet and lifestyle have altered dramatically in the last 50 years. At one time culinary skills were passed from one generation to another, and a woman’s role was the ‘home-maker’. She wasn’t expected to work outside the home whilst her family was growing, and she often had other female relatives living close by as back-up.

The car was a luxury, so her daily shopping was usually done locally on foot. She purchased fresh food regularly, which contained far more nutrients than produce purchased from the supermarket weekly. As fast food didn’t exist, her role included cooking wholesome family meals daily.

Fast forward to now. Women learned the art of the short-cut, often through necessity. We drive to the supermarket once or twice per week to purchase food. We gravitate to fast option choices, which when short of time and adequate information, seem both convenient and appealing. Most of the food we buy is preserved, sprayed with chemicals, injected, or grown in chemically rich soil.

It’s no wonder we develop problems. We probably treat our cars with more respect. Few of us would dream of denying our car the appropriate fuel or oil, so why do we neglect our bodies so?

How Our Diet has Changed Over Time

Our love for sugar escalates uncontrollably. In the UK alone we consume 500,000 tonnes of chocolate each year, which is mostly made from refined sugar. Table sugar contains no vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre or starches; perhaps tiny traces of calcium and magnesium if we are really lucky, but apart from that – empty calories.

  • Sugar lurks in some of the most unlikely foods: cheese, fruit yoghurt, tomato sauce, baked beans, pickled cucumbers, muesli, beef burgers, Worcestershire sauce, sausages, peas, and yes, even cornflakes.
  • Be careful with steak and kidney pie. Saturated animal fats clog the arteries that supply the heart, brain and other major organs. This leads to poor circulation, and then to heart attacks and strokes. Smoking accelerates this process.
  • Foods high in animal fat have been blamed for the increased incidence of breast cancer. So go easy at the fast food counter.
  • We consume too much salt – often 10 – 20 times more than our bodies require each day. Result: high blood pressure.

Don’t let your eating habits be a recipe for disaster. With a little enlightenment and effort, you can come out ahead.

With most of us living life in the fast lane, we don’t have the time prepare meals like our earlier generations. But we can get healthy food on the run if we’re aware of the roadblocks and learn to detour around them.

Want to Know More about Healthy Fast Foods?

Learn how to live an active life with healthy foods that won’t leave you feeling greedy and weak-willed.

When we talk about living on a fast food diet many of us think of America and their menu of shakes, fries and hamburgers. Understandably, the US has been blamed by many researchers for setting the trend in the rise of obesity issues.

But let’s not be so quick to judge.

A new study reveals that America is not the country with the highest fast food consumption. Remarkably, Britons have begun to out-guzzle their American counterparts when it comes to fast food. When asked to identify with the statement, “I like the taste of fast food too much to give it up”, 45 percent of the British agreed, compared to 44 percent of Americans.

Despite menu changes, the major burger and pizza chains offer few healthy options. An investigation of the food sold by the four of the big fast food chains found that 17 of 20 products were high in salt or saturated fat or both. On average, the fast-food meals sampled had 274 calories per 100g of food, more than double that of a home-cooked roast dinner.

Some fast-food meals scored mega calorific counts. A Big Mac, medium fries and small vanilla milkshake contained 1,169 calories. You’d need to walk 16 miles to work that off. A margherita pizza and garlic bread had 5.4 grams of salt in the same analysis, almost the entire recommended daily allowance of 6 grams.

Is Fast Food Always Unhealthy?

Surprisingly, the answer to that question is no – if you know what to look for.

Day care is becoming a booming business avenue with passage of time. As more moms are working out and no one at home to take care of the children so day care facility is the only choice. These centers offer care for children of different ages like newborn, infant, toddler, preschool or older children. As an extension, you can also find on-site day care for businesses or schools, after school day care programs, over night care, part time care, occasional care etc. It means you can find children care facility according to your needs.

Care centers keep your children busy in different activities. Children not only enjoy but also learn a lot of things at day care centers. Theses centers provide you solution for children’s sleep issues, biting tendencies, potty training, teething etc. If you want to start a day care business then you must have the qualities that parents look for while selecting a day care facility. These qualities are:

  • A licensed day care facility
  • Trained, helpful and pleasing staff members
  • Special attention to each and every child
  • Attractive play equipment
  • Adequate different areas for different activities
  • All the area must be hygienic
  • Prepare balanced meals
  • First aid facility
  • Ability and equipment to handle emergencies

A good day care center should have a proper schedule for different activities of the children. It may include physical games, learning, coloring, meals like breakfast, lunch, snack time etc., story telling, sleep time, cleaning up mess, prepare to go home etc. Apart from making schedule for the children, you would be looking after many other tasks like meeting parents, explaining them your facilities, arranging the record of your customers, matching number of children admitted and staff members available and a lot of other things. So, your actual focus i.e. caring children is somewhat compromised.

There is a solution that can help you in automating your official processes. It will help you in lessening your tedious work, making you efficient, building up your reputation and boosting your earnings. This is a facility that will be installed on your website. Your would-be customers will get all the needed information through this facility and afterwards they will enroll their children there automatically. Due to automation of your processes, you would have a lot of time saved for your actual job. The benefits of this facility are:

  • Your interaction with customers will be minimal
  • Customers can access the facility from internet anytime from everywhere
  • You will provide all the information once and iteration will be done by the system
  • It will keep all the records about your customers, your staff, your receipts and payments etc.
  • You can generate different needed reports easily and print out them as well
  • You can handle many centers situated in different localities from this facility easily
  • You can maintain different access levels for customers and staff
  • All your information would be secure
  • You can process payments electronically

This is only a short list of benefits you would enjoy by installing this facility. It is an “Online Scheduling System” which enables you to automate all your processes and boost your earnings.

Elderly care is an event that most children do not wish to think about. No one wants to think about his or her parent growing old. We look to our parents for guidance and support, but there comes a time when the parenting roles reverse.

It is important to discuss future events with your loved ones and develop a long-term plan for their care for when they become unable to care for themselves. Developing an Eldercare checklist is a proactive way to ensure your loved ones whether parents or grandparents receive the level of care they need and services they want, or, in the case of artificial nutrition, they may not want.

There are several key points and strategies you will want to include on your Eldercare checklist:

1. What level of eldercare is needed, and where will this care be given?

2. How will you pay for the eldercare? The medical costs of eldercare.

3. What will be done with your parents’ or grandparents’ assets while they are receiving eldercare?

4. Are all legal documents including the Will and Living Will current? Have your parents’ or grandparents’ Wills and Living Wills been reviewed recently by an Attorney? What is an Advanced Financial Directive? What is an Advanced Medical Directive in eldercare estate planning?

5. Have your parents or grandparents designated a Durable Power of Attorney?

Making sure you have answers to these questions for your parents or grandparents eldercare early on will avoid confusion and distress later. Don’t wait until there is a tragedy to make plans that will affect how your loved one spends the rest of their life. For the purposes of this article we will assume “loved one” to mean a parent or grandparent.

Where will eldercare be given, and by whom?

1. CAREGIVER AND ELDERCARE

INFORMAL CAREGIVER

There are two types of caregivers: informal and formal. An informal caregiver might be a spouse or child, and these caregivers do not receive direct payment for their services. Usually payment is made through services exchanged such as food or housing at no charge while caring for your parent.

FORMAL CAREGIVER

A formal caregiver is usually employed by an agency to provide quality care in the comfort of your home. If the formal caregiver is not associated with an agency, it is important to conduct a thorough check of references to ensure you are hiring a quality professional.

It is important to inform all formal caregivers of the responsibilities associated with your parent’s needs. If your parent needs assistance in and out of a wheelchair, a hired caregiver should be able to perform this task without harm to your parent or to him/herself. To avoid injury to all persons involved, informal and formal caregivers should receive training on proper techniques for lifting and moving, proper use of bedpans, and how to maintain good hygiene for a parent confined to bed.

LOCATION OF ELDERCARE FOR YOUR PARENTS

There are many options for the location of care provided. Most people would agree that living our their remaining years in the comfort of home is more appealing than living in a state facility. If your parent wishes to receive care in their home you can make home modifications, such as a wheelchair ramp or seat in the shower, to accommodate their changing needs. You can also hire a formal caregiver to come and assist your parent with daily activities such as bathing, eating, taking medications, or regular exercise.

CONSIDERATIONS OF ASSISTED LIVING HOUSES OR NURSING HOMES

If it is not possible for your parent to remain at home, you can choose to place them in assisted living houses or a nursing home. Before placing your loved one in a facility, you should thoroughly check both the location and the staff. Make yourself familiar with required paperwork ahead of time to prevent delays when it comes time to move in, and, if possible, make several unannounced visits to oversee daily activities.

You should check if the facility is regulated by the state, and request to see any licenses they have for providing eldercare. Find out how the staff is trained and if they are required to have certification to work there. You should consider the cost of the facility and the living accommodations your parent will be provided.

Additional considerations when choosing a facility might be types of activities offered to residents and the quality and type of food provided. While no place will be perfect, you should choose a facility that makes your parent feel as comfortable as possible away from home.

2. MEDICAL COSTS OF ELDERCARE AND MEDICAID

Not many insurance companies are willing to pay for long-term care. It is important to check the details of your parent’s policy and read the fine print for restrictions. For example, Medicare will not pay for long-term care but it will pay a very short-term benefit. However, Medicaid will pay for long-term care but only if your parent receives care in a Medicaid facility.

If you plan far enough ahead, you can begin setting aside money so you can afford to provide long-term care to your parent at home. You should consult a financial advisor or estate planner to go over your parent’s bank statements and assets to determine how long their current funds will be able to provide medical care, and based on this assessment you can establish a savings plan to make up the difference needed for long-term eldercare. When figuring in additional savings you need, keep in mind that you will also need to continue paying any current bills your parent might have.

3. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR PARENTS’ ASSETS DURING ELDERCARE

Before you rush off and put your parent’s house on the market, make sure you have discussed where they want to receive their long-term care. It would be quite devastating for your parent to come home from a hospital stay to discover you had sold the house and moved their belongings into a nursing home.

You should also ask your estate planner or financial advisor which of your parent’s accounts you should withdraw money from to help offset costs. Some accounts, such as annuities, carry penalties for early withdrawal and may require you to pay taxes on income earned through these accounts. Also, once you begin withdrawing money from an annuity you cannot stop payments.

LEGAL ISSUES OF ELDERCARE

Hopefully, your parent has written a will and made you aware of its location. A Will should be reassessed by an Attorney every few years to make sure all the people listed as beneficiaries are still alive, and that your parent still wants them to receive a portion of their estate.

Moreover, your parents should have an irrevocable trust as part of their estate planning eldercare needs which will avoid the high expenses of probate, reduce estate taxes and possibly eliminate some earned income and your parents will gain the benefits of asset protection. Speak with a qualified and good estate planner such as Estate Street Partners who can guide you through this complex process.

4. IMPORTANCE OF LIVING WILL, ADVANCED FINANCIAL DIRECTIVE AND MEDICAL DIRECTIVE IN ELDERCARE ESTATE PLANNING

You should also council your parents on drafting a Living Will in the event they are unable to speak for themselves. Learn more about Living Wills and Advanced Financial Directives and Advanced Medical Directives by going to our website. The Advanced Financial Directives and Advanced Medical Directives are extremely important in eldercare estate planning when your parents cannot speak for themselves and will protect their financial and medical wishes.

5. DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY (DPOA) AND ELDERCARE ESTATE PLANNING

You should know ahead of time where these documents are before an emergency arises to ensure that your parent’s wishes are followed. Having a DPOA allows someone your parents trust to act on their behalf and make legal and financial decisions for them, including the transfer of valuable assets, if they become incapacitated.

The world today has become surrounded by drug abuse as well as drug addiction. This escalating disorder has become so common, that its truth is based on misconceptions that people have concerning drug abuse as well as addiction. This paper briefly provides an overview of drug abuse as well as addiction, and at the same time looks at the aspects of epidemiology, social problems, pathophysiology, as well as ethical issues that might arise with medical emergency respondents.

Drug abuse and drug addiction; exactly what does that mean and who is affected by it? There is a confusion between drug addiction and abuse. Drug abuse happens when there is usage of a substance, generally illicit drugs or alcohol, while drug addiction takes place in a broad variety of substances and activities. Addiction can be termed as the compulsive need for usage of substance forming habits, such as alcohol, nicotine and heroin, of which is eventually characterized by obviously physiological signs upon withdrawal as well as tolerance; widely: insistent compulsive use of known substances that are harmful to the user. Drug addiction is usually not a substance forming habit, it also includes things such as gambling, sex, video gaming, and even internet. All the same, the primary focus of society is still to do with drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Several characteristics of pathophysiology and epidemiology will be discussed together with the social implications that addiction causes as well as any ethical problems that lie with addiction and medical emergency service providers.

The addictive behavioral study is relatively new. Science just started to study behavioral addictive in the 1930. Prior to this, studies were being carried out by scientist on drug abuse that were plagued by misconception shadows as well as nature addiction. But with present day discoveries as well as information on how brain chemicals work and the methods of alteration, there is now a deeper understanding of alcohol and drug addiction. Drug addiction, according to Dr. Dryden-Edwards also referred to as chemical dependency or substance dependence, is an illness that is described by a destructive drug abuse pattern that leads to major problems which involve tolerance towards or substance withdrawal and other problems arising from substance use that could have implications to the sufferer, either by school performance, socially or in terms of work. More than 2.5% of humanity suffer from drug addiction at some point in their lives. Some of the commonly abused addictive substances are alcohol, anabolic steroids, amphetamines, cannabis, caffeine, ecstasy, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, nicotine, phencyclidine, opiates, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, and or hypnotic. Despite the fact that alcohol and drug addiction is viewed as a mental health issue, there is no one particular determinant cause. However, several people believe that drug addiction and abuse is a genetic disease of which is a false fact. A person’s environment is cause for the development of a predisposition dependency drug.

Epidemiology

The socially associated risk factors of drug addiction and drug abuse encompass the male gender, between the age ranges of 18 and 44 years, heritage of Native American persons, low socioeconomic status as well as the marital status of the unmarried. State statistics reveal that residents from the western U.S are more at risk to substance dependency as well as abuse. While males are very prone to alcoholism development, females seem more vulnerable to alcoholism at fairly lower amounts of alcohol consumption, this is because females have a much lower body mass as compared to males. The combined medical, criminal, economical, as well as the social implications costs American taxpayer more than half a trillion dollars annually. Each year drug and alcohol abuses contributes to 100,000 American deaths, with tobacco contributes approximately 440,000 deaths annually. Individuals of all ages suffer the damaging consequences of drug as well as alcohol addiction and abuse. Babies can get affected while within the mother’s womb if the mother is to engage in drug or alcohol use, which as a result causes defects in birth as well as slows down the intellectual development in the later years of the child. As for Adolescents, they usually perform poorly in school and usually drop out while they are abusing drugs. Adolescent girls stand the risk of having unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and violence. In addition, parents and adults are also affected, usually by having their cognitive abilities clouded. With all the vast exposure, the stage has easily been set for the next generation to simply step into the addictive lifestyle.

Pathophysiology

Drug addiction primarily affects the brain, but also affects the flow of a person’s organ systems. Drugs as well as mind changing substances which can be abused usually target the body’s natural system of reward either willingly or unwillingly causing entire euphoric effects for the drug user. These effects arise from the dopamine, which is a regulated neurotransmitter movement, emotion, cognition, motivation and pleasure feelings. The release of Dopamine is naturally rewarded to the body for natural behaviors as well as initiations for the cycle to repeat the behavior all over. The dopamine neurotransmitter fills the reward system that is often concealed in restricted amounts from routine activities such as sex or eating. The brain perceives this as a life-sustaining action as a result of the activated reward system. On introducing the chemical substance within a person’s system and the euphoric effects are realized, a person’s brain takes note of several significant happening events and teaches itself to do this action repeatedly until it is a habit. The consumption of illicit drugs can cause an individual to impulsively act when the brain’s reasoning system would normally delay or prevent a form of given action.

This reasoning system is circumvented, hence leading to the undesired action that can possibly have negative consequences on the drug user’s life. However, several drug effects as well as chemical substances are at times euphoric, and other times the substance causes depression, suicidal thoughts, and paranoia. Continuation of the drug causes the brain to become acclimatized to the surplus of dopamine within the reward system. This then leads to the decrease of dopamine release as well as the dopamine receptors numbers within the system itself. In turn, this affects the user’s ability to attain the desired effects of the drug usage. This response from the person’s brain causes the person to try and reactivate the receptors by adding the dosage or amount of the drug in order to attain the same dopamine high. This effect process is referred to as a tolerance. Long term drug abuse causes changes to occur to other systems parts within the brain. The neurotransmitter glutamate of which is a part of the reward systems can be changed and hence cause learning inability. When the brain reaches the maximum level of glutamate, it causes an off balance and the brain tries to compensate, of which as a result affects the drug user’s cognitive ability. Once the brain accustoms to the drug effects, dependence is made and drug abuse cessation causes a result known as withdrawal. While most withdrawal signs are very uncomfortable for the drug addict, there are several serious signs such as seizures, strokes, myocardial infraction, delirium tremens, and hallucinations.

Social, Ethical issues as well as the impact on emergency medical services (EMS)

The consequences of drug abuse and addiction are very evident in an individual social life. The addictions destructive behavior affects every area of their personal life, right from the genesis of the drug abuse. The addictions symptoms from a physical perspective include alteration of sleeping patterns as well as eating habits, which in turn contribute to both weight gain as well as loss. Frequent drug abuse tends to lead to failure in meeting important responsibilities at work, school or even home. Other drug addiction effects include domestic violence, family disintegration, child abuse, employment loss, and failure in school. People with addiction engage in risk taking, and with alterations in the reward system within the brain, the drug users expect positive reactions prior to them taking the substance that would satisfy their needs for the risks they take. Impulse control is difficult when drug choice is available to people with addiction. As a result this fuels the addiction even more.

The effect of the emergency medical service is immense. The calls from addiction range from medical overdosage to trauma. The emergency medical provider’s obligation in response to overdosed patients requires paramedics to find out how much as well as what the patients took, and what is the correct medication to give in order to reverse the condition that is being experienced by the patient or drug user. With the various emergency responses comes danger, with the possibility of violent outbreaks by the addicts or users. Therefore, paramedics must be aware of their surroundings while handling the patients. In addition, patients who experience withdrawals tend to hallucinate a complete event as well as incorporate the paramedics, thus causing the patient to react violently towards the care provider. Drug addiction is a very serious condition that can be considered as a psychiatric problem, of which needs to be treated with a sure diligence as well as suspicion.

Within the realm of the emergency medical service, the response rate of addiction is not considered an emergency condition. The incident will arise if an addict is experiencing withdrawal violent signs or has substance overdose, and the patient would appear in a state of agitation or even unconsciousness. There is no prearranged method in handling a patient that is experiencing problems related to addiction. The key element is in treating the symptoms of the patient. All patients require supplementary oxygen through non rebreathe if tolerance is acceptable. To assist in flushing out a normal saline of infusion, obtaining of intravenous access is a must. Should a patient or addict be in a state of agitation or seizure, administration of a sedative is required, such as versed or valium. Caution must be taken when administrating benzodiazepines because of the risks regarding failure or respiratory depression is present. Should a patient experiencing an opiate overdose as well as low breathing, Narcan 0.4 – 2 milligrams must be administered, but caution must be observed when administering the drug of which is done slowly in order for the patient to breathe sufficiently so as to sustain life. Should breathing and airway problems continue then intubation must be considered in order to secure the airway of the patient. Quick transport with due concern is suggested in order for the patient to be evaluated so as to have the hospital staff commence detoxification.

Conclusion

The drug abuse and addiction world is unforgiving and harsh, especially if an addict or user is unwilling to leave it behind. A number of people claim that the addiction is all within the head, and research has verified this notion. The brain effects from a formed learned pattern is similarly rewarded to such activities like drinking or eating.

A lot of people do not comprehend as to how and why other people become drug addicts. It is wrongfully presumed that drug users have no willpower or moral principles and cannot stop using drugs simply by choosing to alter their behavior. The reality is, drug addiction and abuse is a complex illness, and quitting it requires lots of good intentions. In actual fact, because drugs alter the brain in ways that raise drug abuse compulsiveness, quitting becomes hard, even for the willing addicts.

A lot of drug users also believe that they can control their drug abuse and addiction. Having a drug habit is a costly affair that leads to loss of belongings, money and even self-esteem. Curiosity is what drives some people abuse drugs, while others it is peer pressure, and another group of people become addicts of prescription drugs. While drug abuse normally leads to drug addiction, overcoming drug addiction is no easy task. So the question begs, is this drug abuse or is this drug addiction? These are two completely separate paths that lead to the same depressing outcome. In addition, the consequences of drug abuse as well as drug addiction become noticeable after a given period of time whereby compulsiveness and violence take over, furthermore, the physical toll which includes illness and depression at times could be debilitating. Therefore, the only method to reducing drug abuse as well as addiction is through educating or sensitizing the public. Avoidance is viewed as the best prevention.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is part of the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Because many Medicare and Medicaid recipients are elderly, much of the funding goes to nursing homes or eldercare services. Health agencies that receive certifications from Medicare undergo an assessment every three years. CMS assesses these home health agencies via quality measures and publishes each agency’s results.

CMS & Home Health

CMS provides scoring for all Medicare-certified home health agencies via Health Compare. The quality measures take into account: (1) the patient’s improvement in performing a variety of activities of daily living (ADLs), and (2) whether the patient’s health improves or stabilizes over time.

It is important to note that the quality measures should only be used as a general guide. Many home health care recipients are elderly, and each patient’s needs are different. Some patients are recovering from surgery or a medical emergency. Others have chronic and worsening medical conditions. Therefore, the lack of improvement in some home health care recipients is not due to poor standards or substandard care, but rather due to declining health. In addition, Medicare’s quality measures for home health are fairly recent and are still being refined. Currently, the quality measures provide a baseline to help consumers see how a local agency compares to both state and national averages.

CMS Quality Measures

CMS quality measures are used in Medicare-certified home health care agencies in order to come up with the final scoring. Medicare details the following quality measures:

* Three measures related to improvement in getting around:
– Percentage of patients who get better at walking or moving around
– Percentage of patients who get better at getting in and out of bed
– Percentage of patients who have less pain when moving around

* Four measures related to meeting the patient’s activities of daily living:
– Percentage of patients whose bladder control improves
– Percentage of patients who get better at bathing
– Percentage of patients who get better at taking their medicines correctly (by mouth)
– Percentage of patients who are short of breath less often

* Two measures about how health care ends:
– Percentage of patients who stay at home after an episode of home health care ends
– Percentage of patients whose wounds improved or healed after an operation

* Three measures related to patient medical emergencies:
– Percentage of patients who had to be admitted to the hospital
– Percentage of patients who need urgent, unplanned medical care
– Percentage of patients who need unplanned medical care related to a wound that is new, is worse, or has become infected

How can you find capable and honest people whose quirks won’t drive your parents nuts? How much will they be paid? For how many hours at a stretch? How many stretches per week or month? Will these people be employees of yours/your parents? Of an agency? Or independent contractors? Do you know how the IRS determines these things and what paperwork and record keeping are required? Have you thought about worker’s comp and withholding? Suppose the applicants don’t speak much English?

Finding Candidates
There are two common ways to find help. Your parents can hire workers through an agency or can hire privately using referrals from friends, neighbors, physicians, local groups, or advertisements. Do you and your parents know the pros and cons of each option?

Agency hires
What are the pros and cons?

If your parents hire through an agency, the helper is the employee of that agency. It will find candidates, select a helper, pay that person, withhold taxes, provide W-2 forms to the helper, and bill you/your parents at its hourly rate. Although your parents will not have to recruit, screen, or haggle over wages, they will have limited choice in whom the agency sends – but somebody will show up, including substitutes when your parents’ worker is ill or on vacation. Clients may ask about the agency’s hiring and screening policies but are expected to rely on the agency’s selection.

If your parents have a problem with the worker, they can call the agency and a supervisor will talk to the worker for them. This is a strong argument in favor of agency hires, as long as your parents are willing to ask for help. How likely are your parents to report dissatisfaction while problems are small and easily fixed? Will they have the moxie to call the supervisor? Will they let you know?

Your parents will probably be charged between $20.00 and $40.00 per hour and will have to agree to a minimum number of hours per visit, usually four. The worker receives about half of the agreed-on fee. If the worker is dissatisfied with the fee schedule or benefits, that dissatisfaction is with the agency, not with your parents. Most agencies have policies prohibiting clients from supplementing salaries or giving gifts to their helpers. This is to protect clients from pressure by rather poorly paid helpers. If a helper suggests ways to skirt this policy and bestow tokens or riches, the agency should be told immediately. This could lead to financial abuse. Will your parents tell you or the agency promptly if this happens?

Types of agencies:
If your parents need simple housekeeping, they should work with a housekeeping agency. If they need in-home help including personal assistance, they should use agencies that specialize in in-home helpers and non-medical personal care providers. If they need assistance with health problems, they’ll need to look into more skilled home health aides.

The first option, housekeeping agencies, provides people who clean homes. But even this apparently simple option should be influenced by the results of the check sheets.

• Some house cleaners sent by housekeeping agencies bring their own cleaning supplies. That’s a help if it saves you or your parents a shopping trip, especially one that involves hauling heavy containers. But it’s a problem if your parents want specific cleaning products used and not others.
• House cleaners from agencies probably are on a fairly tight schedule, will come in, clean, and move on to the next house and may work in pairs or teams. This is great if your parents want the house cleaned quickly because it reduces the time somebody is in their home. But it can be a problem for a parent who doesn’t like people in the house because it increases the number of people there at one time. And with a team cleaning, several rooms may be in upheaval at the same time.
• Agency house cleaners may also chat with each other, and not necessarily in English. This can be a problem if your parents don’t want the noise involved with several people cleaning and talking. If they want to work along with or supervise the helpers, they may hit trouble both because of the helpers’ time constraints and also because they may not speak much English. And, if your parents want sociability as well, they may want to avoid this option. These workers get paid for cleaning, not talking, and need to move quickly and get on to their next job.

The second option, agencies that provide personal assistance and light housekeeping, offers more services and more sociability. Even if your parents don’t need much assistance beyond light housekeeping at this point, choosing an agency that provides in-home health aides may make sense. As your parents’ needs increase, they won’t have to start fresh with a new agency. These agencies provide employees who can offer broader services including transportation, sociability, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), and other support. In essence, your parents make a list of things they’d like help with, how many hours a day/week they’d like assistance, and the agency does its best to match the request with their available staff. The agency bills an agreed hourly rate based on the level of difficulty of the services provided. It has policies about weekend, holiday, and overtime charges.

To get the best match through an agency that provides help beyond housekeeping, you and your parents should give the intake worker at the agency a detailed list of what your parents want help with and how they want to be helped. These checklists should be reviewed right away with any helper who shows up at the house to prevent the well meaning 19-year-old aide from driving your parents crazy by gabbing all day long about a fruitless search for a soul mate. Review the checklists and work regularly with the aide, and pass the feedback along to the aide’s supervisor at the agency. Attention to little details at the outset will make eldercare services more tolerable to your parents now and in the future.

For eldercare services to be tolerable to the elders, you need to explain to the in-home helpers exactly what your parents want help with. It’s not enough to say “hire someone to clean the house.” Does this mean the person cooks meals? Does laundry? Makes beds? Waters the lawn?

It seems simple enough. Your father said he can’t drive anymore so he needs someone to help him with shopping. Unfortunately, it’s easy to misinterpret what’s really needed. Does your father need someone to take a grocery list, go shopping and drop groceries off in the kitchen? Or does he need someone to stop by, pick him up, wait outside while he shops, bring him back, and drop him off? Does he need someone to go in the store and shop with him? For him? Help unpack and put the groceries away?

People make assumptions about what to do and how to help-and don’t get enough detailed information for the assistance to be acceptable to person needing assistance. To avoid these mistakes, and the complaints and cycle of hiring and firing in-home aides, get a complete picture of what your parents want help with. Begin the conversation by focusing first on a single, simple issue like shopping.

Because an apparently simple task like shopping is actually a series of smaller tasks, we have broken each topic into its components. Explore these details with your parents to learn what they really mean when they say “I think I want help shopping for groceries.” The detail may seem excessive to you, but it will make your parents feel understood and allow you to train the helper in acceptable assistance so his/her tenure will exceed a nanosecond.

• Shopping for groceries
Some people enjoy grocery shopping and would miss the activity. They may like the social connection of seeing and talking to other people in the store; they may enjoy slowly wandering down the aisles looking at and feeling the fresh fruits and vegetables, or they may want to keep control over decisions about what is purchased and how much money is spent. For these reasons, grocery shopping can plug into issues of authority and companionship.

Be sure you don’t hire a mismatch, e.g., someone who comes in and does a fabulous job selecting, buying, and organizing the groceries thereby annoying your parents who love to shop and see this as one of the last vestiges of control over daily life. Talk to your parents about the tasks involved in grocery shopping.

Do you want help:
• Deciding how much to spend?
• Making grocery lists?
• Getting to and from the store?
• Selecting the groceries?
• Navigating the aisles?
• Reaching items on very high and/or low shelves?
• Putting the groceries into the cart, onto the checkout counter?
• Paying?
• Carrying the groceries to the car and into the house?
• Unpacking the groceries?
• Doing the whole thing?

Grocery related issues – Do you want:
• Someone to follow along patiently while you shop?
• Someone to chat with while you are shopping?
• Someone to talk to the store clerks for you if you need help finding an item?
• Someone to handle the payment at check out?
• To do shopping on a regular schedule…when?
• To buy only specific brands or specific product sizes?

You may not have realized how much was involved in shopping for somebody else. Busy people just zip in, buy what they need and zip out. But, for people whose world has gotten smaller, these little things matter a great deal. No matter how experienced the provider of eldercare services is, he/she cannot anticipate each client’s preferences and may not ask in sufficient detail to get adequate information. Use these questions to help your parents get clear on exactly what they want help with and how they want to be helped, and to train the helper so he/she can provide elder care services they will accept.

Choosing a career in child care requires a natural love for children, the ability to be creative and inspiring, and consistent child care training. There are many ways to receive child care training which depends on if you are working for yourself or for a company.

It takes many character qualities to work with children successfully and among these characteristics is patience. You also need to use your imagination as well as your talents. If this is your first position in a child care career you may find it difficult to switch from a corporate setting or office setting to a relaxed atmosphere full of vivid colors, shapes, and toys.

Training for a company

If you are working for a children care company they may pay and provide child care training for all their employees. During child care training you will learn different topics to help you prepare for your career as a children’s care provider. The company that you are working for may require that you have so many hours of training and they may decide what topic they want you to receive child care training in and they will probably also pay for it as well. This care training can last anywhere from eight hours to twenty-four months, depending on what type of certification you are required to obtain.

Training for your business

If you have decided to open your home to other families and become a children care provider, you will need to first determine what type of training for child you need. The requirements for a care provider is different in every state so you will need to check with your local health and human resources department to determine what type of children’s care training is required before you can begin to provide care for them in your home. You will also need to determine what type of training you will need to continue to care for children in your home every year.

Training College Courses

If you love taking care of children and want to make a career of it, you may want to consider obtaining a child development degree or child care associate degree so you can open up your very own child care center outside of your home. You may also want to work for a child day care center in your local community instead of opening your own center. It’s not easy to obtain this training and it requires many hours of hard work, class time, and studying however it will be worth it when you have a degree and the job of your dreams.

Children’s care training can be provided locally in your community, at a college, or online. You can also receive training materials in the mail that allow you to read the instruction manual and then take a written test in order to achieve your certification in that particular area of children’s care.

Here the 4 Secrets of Fast Foods: Eating “On-The-Go” & Not Gaining Weight. The success of a weight loss plan is to accept that, by circumstance of time, location, or even money, one might end up in a fast food restaurant or having to eat while driving in their car. Just because one has to eat “on-the- go” does not mean your weight loss has to be disrupted. The secret is like eating anywhere is to have a plan. In this case it’s easier to remember what you should not have rather than the best choices. Here is the short list of what you should try to avoid: It’s as simple as can be, and if you examine it closely it really works. I use a simple acronym: F.A.S.T. to point to the really bad drinks and foods.

The Perfect World:

Ideally, everybody has the “right breakfast” at home, does away with eating at fast food restaurants, picks lower calorie alternatives at the office or at the school cafeteria for lunch, has a high-protein, low-carb snack in the late afternoon and then comes home at the end of the day for a nutritious, healthy dinner including fish, vegetables and salad. That is the perfect world.

50% of All Food is Fast Food Types:

Unfortunately, let’s face it, the perfect world never happens in the lives of the majority of Americans. The NPD Group®, an organization that estimates food trends in the United States, reported in 2002 that more than 50% of all food consumed (not just restaurant foods) consisted of burgers, fries, Mexican food and pizza.

Why Fast Foods?

Consumers go to the drive through at McDonald’s®, Burger King® or Taco Bell® and pick up burgers, chicken nuggets and fries without even thinking about the consequences. These foods taste good, are cheap, satisfying and, most importantly, are convenient-they fit into our busy life styles. Unfortunately, gaining weight is easy even when you only eat small amounts of these high-calorie, fattening foods, especially foods with portions that are difficult to control.

Fast Foods Give Pleasure:

The reality is that, more often than not, these foods represent a main source of a lot of pleasure for many people. Depriving yourself of what you like only leads to wanting it more. Sooner or later, the “I can’t have it” becomes “I must have it” and creates anxiety. The SECRET is to learn how to choose smartly from the vast selection available.

4 Secrets to FAST Food Eating: F.A.S.T.

When you find yourself forced to eat on the go, the secret is to choose foods that will not add thousands of calories to your diet. From all of the choices that surround you, here is a short list of what you should try to avoid.

Just remember the word, “FAST.”

  • F=no fried foods
  • A= No add on’s-sauces, high cal dressings, dips, mayo, all “special sauces”
  • S= skip breakfast, skip sugary drinks
  • T= “thick”--no burgers, sandwiches that have double & triple layers, remember most of these have been eliminated because they are fried.

The easiest way to navigate the 200 or more items is not what’s good, but what’s bad. Here is how F.A.S. T. eliminates all of the high calorie, high carb foods:

F: No Fried Foods for Lunch and Dinner at Fast Food Restaurants:

You really only need to avoid a small number of items among the two hundred or more food choices we are exposed to everyday. Going to fast food restaurants and finding reasonable, low-calorie, portion-controlled foods is absolutely possible.

fried foods: this eliminates all burgers, fried chicken, fried fish, French Fries, onion nuggets

A: Add-On’s:

This means all of the sauces, including Mayo, many of the proprietary sauces, bad salad dressings, croutons,- this can save you hundreds of calories.

Low cal salad dressings, mustard and ketchup are great

S: Skip: Skip Breakfast:

Breakfast is the easiest meal to adjust because what we choose to eat in the morning is not as much about satisfying cravings or wanting comfort food. Many people will pick up the first thing they see, such as a Pop Tart®, a bagel, pastry, a donuts or a muffin. In fact, we would be just as satisfied with foods that have much lower calories. Fast food breakfasts can easily account for a third to half of the total daily calories for a person on a diet. Often, people in a rush get their breakfast at a drive Thur gobble down their food in their cars and often do not even realize what they are eating! –SKIP BREAKFAST IN THESE RESTAURANTS

S: Skip: Skip sugary drinks:

Forget the juices, fruit punches, whole milk, high calorie lattes, and mostly the regular soft drinks There are numerous zero calorie drinks, try water, diet soft drinks, no fat milk

T: Thick(double stacked, multiple ingredients)

If the fried food exclusion did not get you, this will. This eliminates all foods with multiple more than one meat or chicken patty, combinations of meat-bacon and other almost crazy ideas. Vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes on great, we are talking about adding extra proteins and carbs to the sandwiches.

What Can You Eat: Here are the foods that past the F.A. S. T. “test”:

McDonald’s: hamburgers(single), cheese burgers, grilled chicken, wrap snacks, apple dippers, all salads, side salads, watch-no creamy dressings,

Burger King: hamburger, cheese burger, chicken sandwich-grilled, BK Burger Shots(kids and adults), salads, again watch dressing and add-on’s

Wendy’s: Junior hamburger or cheese burger, grilled chicken, Classic single, chili(large or small), baked potato.(sour cream and chives as 80 calories), all salads-watch the add-on’s and dressings,

Subway: most subs, nothing fried, no mayo, watch sauces, avoid meatball, Philly cheese-steak, chicken and bacon ranch, BMT, Italian spicy, Feast, Chicken Teryaki

It’s that simple, you can go to these places when you need to you just need to be a little careful with what you chose.

Just remember: FAST-fried-skip-skip-ad-ons-thick & stacked

Choosing an eldercare home for an elderly can be a challenging task. You want them to get the best care they can and should receive, but there are just so many homes around, you may just feel lost at to what to consider. But do not worry too much, as here we have a guide to choosing a suitable eldercare home for the elderly.

First of all, you should talk to the elderly person, even if they are very sick. They are still very much human like we are, and would appreciate being consulted before having any decisions made. There may be some things that they would want in the centre in order for them to live comfortably. Whether it is the personality of the people caring for them or the facilities available, if the request is not too much to ask, and if some of the homes have what they need, you can narrow down your options to the few homes. At least you are taking care of their spiritual needs this way. You should also evaluate the other needs of the person, for example, if they are gravely ill needing 24-hour care, or healthy and require minimal supervision.

The cost of the eldercare should also be taken into consideration as what you can give may determine the type of care received. Some of these expenses can be covered by insurance, depending on the type of care the elderly receives. Nevertheless, make sure you calculate the costs that you will need to chip in, such as the care, medicine, toiletries, and other necessities.

Ensure that the company that provides the eldercare service is licensed, and meets the state and federal guidelines to provide care for elderly people. With the license, it is recognized that the minimum standards to care for the elderly are met by the centre. Those standards can range from the architectural dimensions of the centre; the staff having undergone intensive training and received certification; as well as the facilities and services available. Such standards are made in order to create a safer environment for the elderly. You should also do additional research on the service provided and ask for references. Just because a centre may be licensed does not make it satisfactory.

Last but not least, pay the centre a visit. Both you are the elderly person should take a look at the place to see if the environment is pleasant and clean, staff are hospitable, and the residents are safe. You will want the elderly person to be able to live there peacefully without complaints. Then, both of you can make the final say.

A study conducted by an organization known as Monitoring the Future, found that 47% of teenagers had involved used illegal drugs before they completed high school. This is not only a problem attributed to the youth, since it is found in adults too. Illegal drugs have a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of the people who use them, making it a national concern. People have lost their lives, and caused untold pain to those who are around them. These drugs have also led to a high level of crime, an issue, which has led to the formation of enforcement agencies, to fight the vice. There is a significant relationship between Drug Abuse and Health Care Cost.

How the abuse of drugs affects healthcare costs.

People who use illegal drugs spend a lot of time in medical facilities, due to a myriad of problems brought about by consumption of the drugs. These drugs affect your health directly by compromising your immune system. If you abuse drugs, you will always be suffering from one illness to another, thereby resulting in more visits to the hospital, than you would, if you were not abusing the drugs. This considerably increases the cost of health care per capita. Insurance companies that provide healthcare schemes are therefore forced to increase the amount of money that you pay, in the form of premiums. Government healthcare schemes are also stretched thus, providing lower cover for people. Drug abuse also has an indirect effect on the cost of healthcare. Scores of people around you will be affected when you abuse drugs. Accidents, on people who do not use drugs, caused by people who are under the influence of drugs are on the increase. These people need medical care, and therefore have to spend large sums of money, treating a condition that was not of their own doing. This is how drugs, directly and indirectly, affect the cost of healthcare provision.

Apart from increasing the cost of providing emergency medical response to people who abuse drugs, a large volume of financial resources goes into curative drug abuse programs. These are programs designed to help you stop abusing drugs. The reason why they are expensive is because they take a long time to have any measurable effect, and they are conducted by highly paid professionals. Drug rehabilitation programs have a draining effect on the exchequer. A lot of taxes are used in creating programs that help people to stop using drugs. Private medical care schemes also spend a lot of money in paying for private rehabilitation of drug addicts in clinics or at home. The costs are further increased by the fact that you still have to be monitored after you leave a rehabilitation facility. This is done so you do not suffer a relapse, and end up where you began.

How you can help lower the healthcare costs brought about by drug abuse.

The first step towards lowering this cost is to stay away from drugs in the first place. Get involved with your peers, and other members of your community, to educate people on the dangers of abusing these drugs. Your efforts will reduce the cost of providing healthcare to drug addicts. If you, or anyone you know, are abusing drugs, you should seek immediate help from a professional. The cost of rehabilitation can be reduced considerably, if you make a personal commitment to staying away from illicit drugs. If you go through a rehabilitation program, only to relapse later, you will have increased the national cost of healthcare provision.

The untold story of abusing prescription drugs

Although the abuse of illegal drugs is a primary concern, when it comes to the cost of providing healthcare, the abuse of prescription drugs, to a lesser extent, also contributes to this issue. When you are addicted to prescription drugs, you will have to spend a lot of money buying the drugs, when you do not need them. To stop this, you should use all prescription drugs according to the directions given by your physician. Do not use the drugs, for a longer period than that prescribed. If you do not get better, you should visit your physician who will give you an alternative treatment.

“If mom is not working, no child care,” insisted Deputy District Attorney Roye Randall of Los Angeles County at the pre-hearing interview of a mother of three, seeking modification of child(ren) support from the father through the County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Department.

Mandatory Child Care
Related To Employment:

The mother, as the other parent represented by this Author, in the proceedings for modification of child(ren) support before Department 2G, Com. Anthony B. Drewry presiding, (Com. H.M. Webster retired in April 2009) against the father as respondent, was willing to split monthly children care costs of $1,056.00 (at $88 per week per child).

But the father objected to child care costs and yet asserted that mom should be working. But mom has three children, 10, 9, and 7 years of age, and a fourth child, 1 year old, with another partner, who is living with mom and the four children.

With four young children, mom is a full time homemaker without time to look for work, nor study, nor train for work, nor actually work. Should the rule on child care costs be changed to provide child care costs to allow mom to look for work and hopefully find work?

Indeed, Section 4062(a)(1) of the Family Code provides for child care costs as mandatory add-on, if “related to employment or reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills” of a parent.

Pros and Cons On Changing
Child Care Rule:

The proposed change in child care costs rule is for the non-custodial parent to provide child care costs to allow the not-working custodial parent to look for work for a reasonable length of time.

Otherwise, the rule perpetuates the status quo, with mom unable to pursue her work or career development, and dad liable for more non-custodial parent’s basic child support according to the Family Code guidelines.

If mom is able to work and earn income, she would be able to contribute to child care costs. And dad’s basic child support payment would be lessened due to mom’s income according to the guidelines.

On the contrary, if the rule of no child care costs for a non-working mom is retained, mom would be a better child caregiver than any other care-provider unrelated to the child. And the dad would not be burdened with paying child care costs in addition to the basic child support payment.

Child Support
Deviation Guidelines:

The guideline formula for computing basic child support is stated as an algebraic formula in Family Code Section 4055(a), as: CS=K[HN-(H%)(TN)]. CS= child support amount; K= amount of income to be allocated for child support as stated in Family Code Section 4055(b)(3); H%= percentage of time the high earner parent has or will have physical custody of the child, compared to that of the other parent; and TN= total net monthly disposable income of both parties.

As a matter of practice, California family law courts arrive at the basic and additional child support payments by using the DISSOMASTER software, where relevant entries from the Income and Expense Declaration of each parent are entered, pursuant to standards contained in California Rule of Court 1258 (renumbered Rule 5:275).

After the formula child support is computed, the court may deviate from the formula amount of support by considering one or more of the five codified factors of: (1) parties’ stipulation to a different amount of child support; (2) deferred sale of family residence whose rental value exceeds mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes; (3) parent’s extraordinary high income and formula amount of support exceeds needs of the child; (4) non-contribution to needs of the child commensurate with the parent’s custodial time; and (5) special circumstances causing application of the formula to be unjust or inappropriate, stated in Family Code Section 4057(b).

Mandatory and Discretionary
Add-ons To Child Support For
Child Care:

Family Code Section 4062(a) states the two (2) mandatory add-ons to child support, as “(1) child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills” of a parent; and “(2) reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.”

And the two discretionary add-ons under Family Code Section 4062(b) are: “(1) costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children;” and “(2) travel expenses for visitation.”

The aforesaid add-ons are considered additional support for the children; and such child care costs may be apportioned one-half to each parent, or a different apportionment, if requested by either parent, in proportion to their net disposable incomes, pursuant to Family Code Section 4061.

Conclusion:

Whether mom or a custodial parent can get child care costs pursuant to Family Code Section 4062(a) and (b) depends on whether the child care costs are mandatory or discretionary add-ons to basic child support.

As mandatory, the Family Law Judge or Commissioner has no discretion not to grant child care costs related to employment or necessary education or training for employment skills for a parent and uninsured health care costs for the child

As discretionary, child care costs related to educational or other special needs of the children and travel expenses for visitation, the Judge or Commissioner may decide one way or the other, as long as no abuse of discretion is committed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do your parents want help with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sustainable building, green building, green construction or simply “going green” is a concept about Eco-friendly construction. It involves the application of practices and technologies that are environmental friendly, right from the construction, to occupancy, maintenance, renovation and finally demolition. This concept first started rising in the ’70s when concerns regarding harmful impacts of construction industry on environment, and its resources, started growing.

Although no international agreement is available regarding carbon reduction and Eco-friendly construction, there are organizations present that are working for the sustainability of natural resources, toxic reduction, recycling, waste reduction and application of energy efficient practices etc, such as EPA in the US. The EPA requires the construction industry to design and build buildings with Eco-friendly materials and methods. This is not the only reason why construction industry has started following green trends. Many environmental-concerned companies and individuals have started emphasizing on green building, when doing a new construction or renovation project in their homes, commercial properties or work places. This is a very good sign because it educates and encourages the construction industry to work towards developing new sustainable building techniques. The need of going green gets more imminent as a recent study shows that the Ozone layer had depleted by 40%, which is alarming.

The basic principles of sustainable building in new construction projects and retrofitted properties include:

· Efficient use of land, water, energy and other resources.
· Improving the health of everyone living in a building.
· Providing clean environment to increase employees’ performance.
· Reducing pollution and other waste emission in the environment.
· Educating public about the need and merits of green building.
· Using local materials and manpower so as to avoid transportation cost of these brought from other towns and areas.

Not only it is important to derive methods for going green, it is equally important to use the present resources in an intelligent and efficient way.

Water Efficiency:

Two-third of the Earth consists of water, not all of it readily usable. It takes a lot of work and energy to make water usable which means there’s a shortage of water and therefore, we need to use it efficiently. A popular way of maintaining the quality of water and reducing its usage is to use dual plumbing system, which recycles the water with every flush of the toilet. Low-flow showerheads and low-flush toilets can also increase water efficiency during the life cycle of a building.

Energy Efficiency:

There are a lot of ways to use energy efficiently. Few simple methods are to use light paint colors on the exterior and interior of the building. The exterior light colors will reflect sun-rays and as a result the interior of the building will remain cool reducing the need of air conditioners and such. Interior light colors will also help reflect the natural light, which will reduce the cost and need of electric lighting. Modern insulation systems can also be installed in walls and floors to use the energy efficiently. Building can be designed with passive solar building ways that uses windows and walls to help shade the property in summers and provide natural light in the winters. Other ways to use energy efficiently are solar power, hydropower and wind power etc.

Material Efficiency:

Using material that are recyclable and re-usable is an important part of sustainable building. It involves using natural materials such as straw bale, clay and bamboo for the construction or renovation of the building.

Waste Reduction:

Compost bins are a great way to reduce waste emission by the occupants or work force in a building. Waste reduction can also be achieved by recycling the waste into fertilizers. Use of water instead of paper towels can also reduce waste going in the landfills. Some highly sophisticated waste reduction techniques can also be applied, but they may be a little costly.

We only have planet Earth to live on. We don’t have any other place to go. We need to keep earth and our environment safe and healthy, and Earth’s natural resources sufficient for our generations to come. We’ve already harmed the Earth enough. Now is the time to go green.

1. Celebrate fashion weeks

Besides the four fashion capitals of the world namely; Paris, Milan, London, and New York, I’m sure there is a local version of fashion week in your place where you can get a huge amount of fashion style inspirations. Quickly check online for the scheduled date of this tremendously exciting affair for fashion aficionados and take a pick among which style inspirations you would get from the various collections of different fashion designers flaunting their work on the runway.

2. Be a mall rat

If fashion weeks seem to be far-fetched, you can always go to your dependable local mall. Malls usually have shops that sell the trends. Which top sells the hottest or which clothing brands are worn by celebrities and models alike. Clothing brands usually get famous celebrities to be fashion style inspirations and you’ll surely find out how you can keep up with the latest fashion trends & tips.

3. Love media!

Print, television, and film are powerful sources of great style inspirations you can check. Posh magazines are still on the list of references where you can see what’s hot and what’s not. Magazines are also beneficial because you can just cut-out your favorite outfit, post it on your wall and explore your closet to have the same look! Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Vogue are just some of the many fashion magazines you can rely on. Fashion style inspirations are also found on TV and film where you can just see what style celebrities are wearing.

4. Embrace the online fashion frenzy

You will definitely agree when I say that technology has made everything conveniently operated by the touch of a finger. All you have to do is research, browse, and pin pictures of your fashion style inspirations so you can have them on-standby when you need a glance of the latest fashion trends & tips. You can also subscribe to fashion websites to get a daily dose of fashion freshness or follow fashion designers and posh clothing brands on social media.

5. Go out and scout

Call up your friends and hit the bar, a concert, or a party and play observe. The best fashion style inspirations are sometimes the random people you see around. Chances are if it’s trendy enough, then 90% of the people are wearing it. Spot the fashionistas with your friends and don’t forget to take down notes on the latest fashion trends & tips.

Getting cosmetic dentistry and dental treatment in several parts of the world, specifically in wealthy countries of the developed world, can be extremely expensive, regardless of whether you have access to any form of dental coverage.

In a survey (1999-2004), it has been revealed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that 3.75% of adults between the age of 20 and 64 have no remaining teeth. As of 2010, nearly 45 million Americans lacked dental insurance, according to the US federal agency CDC’s statistics.

Many middle-income and uninsured people avoid their dentist appointments due to high costs than pain. But delaying needed dental treatment or check up can put them at an increased risk of facing costlier and more extensive dental work in the long run. Understandably, the oral and dental problems can worsen an individual’s oral health if not attended to immediately.

If you are in need of any kind of dental treatment or surgery but are scared of the heavy dentist bill, by following some useful tips you can save money on your dental care.

Mentioned below are some useful tips to lower the costs of dental treatments for insured and uninsured alike.

Dental Tourism
Dental care could be highly cost prohibitive in several wealthy countries like US, Canada, Australia, the UK and other EU countries.

Compared to the US and European countries, all common dental makeover procedures including veneers, tooth colored fillings, bleaching as well as more complex treatments including orthodontic or surgical treatments like dental implant, bridges, crowns, sealants and tooth bonding can be found at surprisingly lower costs in developing and some newly industrialized countries like India, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hungary and Belgium, due to the lower living costs and labor wages.

So, instead of delaying your medically necessary dental treatment you can look for inexpensive alternatives in any cheaper country of your choice.

Say No to Frequent X-rays
Your dentist might suggest dental x-ray during your first visit, a scheduled checkup, or a return for treatment. But the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that the frequency of trips to the dentist’s X-ray chair should be determined by the current condition of a patient’s dental health.

So, if you have good oral health, it is just not necessary to have dental x-rays taken every time you visit the dentist. Having teeth x-rayed less frequently can not only save you substantial amount of money but also keep you from potentially harmful radiation exposure from dental X-rays.

Use Negotiation
Another way to keep your dental treatment cost down is to talk to your dental surgeon about payment options during the initial consultation. After having clear understanding of what will and will not be included in the dentist bill you may ask for discount on the dental bill. Your dental care provider and facility may offer you a variety of payment options. Don’t be afraid of asking to pay your dentistry expenses on monthly or quarterly basis.

Barter
It may sound crazy, but you can get free dentistry through the bartering system. Patients with different skills and professional services like carpentry or web design can trade their services for the dental treatment. For example, one can create a Web site for your dentist or offer plumbing, mechanic or any other service in exchange to the dental care costs.

Seek Out Dentistry in a Dental School
To super-size your dental care savings, consider having your dental work done at a dental school, where the dental procedures will be performed by students under the supervision of the qualified and skilled dentists at a fraction of what you would pay in a private care center.

Brush and Floss Everyday
Most importantly, if you really want to save money you need to take very good care of your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal and floss at least once daily to ward off your risk of oral problems. Cut down on your sugary intake in order to reduce your dental problems, thus your time in the dentist’s chair.

Travel Agents have been helping travelers plan their vacations and trips for decades. The brick and mortar agencies are still going strong and many times beating the prices of online competition.

Now that almost every home in America has a computer and internet access, many people are trying to do it all by themselves when planning a vacation thinking they’ll get the best deal. For an international trip, the typical person will spend many, many valuable hours online doing research and making reservations if they do it alone. Why not just go to a Travel Agent? Contacting a knowledgeable individual can save you time and money. That’s what they are for.

Here are some of the many benefits of using a Professional Travel Agent.

Your time is valuable. Instead of spending your precious time searching the internet, going from website to website, comparing prices, itineraries, hotels and destinations, you can make just one call and have a Travel Agent do all the planning.

Service. There is something to be said for good, old-fashioned, person to person service. This is an attribute you will not experience with an online booking engine. Travel Agents are happy to help you with your travel arrangements including inception of ideas and thorough planning. Plus they are available for the duration of your trip, upon your arrival home and for all future travel. The personalized service you receive provides peace-of-mind whether you purchase an air ticket or an entire travel package. A travel agent is ready to answer any and all questions.

Knowledge. Travel Agents have the most up-to-date information about specials, promotions and rates. Because they are the professionals in the industry, they are notified first of all current special rates and promotions stemming from airlines to tour companies to hotel deals. Many agencies who have weathered years of ups and downs in the travel industry have also built excellent relationships along the way. More times than not, they can provide better rates than what can be found online due to wholesale status and working with airline consolidators.

Specialized. More and more Travel Agents are becoming specialized in a specific geographic region or type of travel through study and hands on travel experience. This means that if you are traveling to Australia, for example, and want assistance from someone who really knows the country by the best places to visit, climate, exchange rates, cuisine, clothing to pack and the inside scoop to the best deals, utilizing a Travel Agent is a great resource. They often have personal travel experience and the experience of all their clients who have booked their trips with them. Plus the accumulative travel knowledge of their fellow agents giving you real information about how a hotel may suit your needs or a great tour guide that would jive with your travel style. It’s specialty information only a real, live human can provide when you are booking your trip.

One-Stop Shopping. With a Travel Agent you can book all your reservations and services in one place. Travel Agents can book everything from airfare to car rentals, to tours and show tickets. This also means you only have to give your personal information, like credit card details to one business.

Someone to call in case of an emergency. If you should have some type of a glitch or emergency while abroad, trying to get through to an actual person at an airline or online agency can be practically impossible and completely time consuming. It can be reassuring knowing that you have someone you can call in case of an emergency.

Unique Travel Itineraries. Travel Agents can help put together a trip and itinerary based on your interests. Tell a Travel Agent what you like to do during vacation, how active you want to be and your budget, and she will give you suggestions based on that information. This usually results in a more enjoyable vacation developed just for you instead of following an itinerary suggested by a friend or family. Just because your friend enjoyed a specific tour doesn’t necessarily mean that you will.

First Hand Hotel Information. Most Travel Agents have up-to-date information on hotels that are under construction or being refurbished. You do not want to arrive at your hotel, only to find that the reason why you got such a great deal is because they are in the middle of construction on the pool.

To book your international vacation of a lifetime, contact a Travel Agent today, or visit us on the web.

Many people today believe that their clothing really speaks out what their beliefs and opinions are. Like the beliefs and opinions of people, fashion is also constantly changing and varying. All people have their own way of expressing themselves. It could be in opinions, beliefs, or even through the clothes that they are wearing.

There are a number of kinds of fashion styles that people are using. It could be Modern, Classic, Contemporary, Gothic, Tacky, and Old-fashioned. These styles are just revolving and actually get better as time goes on. So, what is the best style for you? Through the combination of different styles, you can assure that you can transform a new style that would really help you voice out your beliefs and opinions.

Everything that you need to make your own fashion statement is right there on your closet. Just make sure to blend the different kinds of styles and mix it with a bit of creativity. Whatever fashion statement you would like to establish, blending the kinds of styles is the best answer.

Many women all over the world today are discovering the benefits of blending the kinds of fashion styles. From casual to formal, rustic to elegant, contemporary to modern, style blending could really help in making a new and unique fashion statement.

So, what are you waiting for? Try to blend fashion styles right now! Get out of those outdated ones. It is just as simple as this: blend the different styles, be creative, and get noticed!

Are you considering a law enforcement degree? Are you interested in becoming:

o Police officer
o Detective
o FBI Agent
o DEA Agent
o U.S. Marshal
o Department of Homeland security officer
o U.S. Secret Service agent

If any of these law enforcement careers seem interesting and sound like something you would like to pursue, consider a law enforcement degree as this will lead you one step closer to your perfect career.

Law Enforcement Degree Programs – What are they like?

As our world becomes more complex and technically advance, so is the demand on more highly trained individuals. As in any other career, law enforcement careers today require more and more education training from prospective applicants.

Most positions within this field require an associate’s degree, bachelor’s or even master’s degree, usually in criminal justice. Not only will a higher level of education, such as a bachelor, masters or doctorate degree, lead to greater salary but also to more job opportunities and career advancement choices.

Law enforcement degree programs will train you for a wide spectrum of skills, allowing for a wide range of career options. You will learn about the court and judicial system, police procedures and policies, prison systems, rehabilitation and control of prisoners.

Law Enforcement Courses/Curriculum

Aside from the study of law and the legal system, courses focus on accounting, business finance, computer science as well as physical education to promote fitness and performance on the job. Foreign language fluency is important for federal employment.

In a law enforcement training program you will be exposed to courses in criminal justice, police administration, police management, police organization, criminal law, criminal procedures, crime scene investigation, interviewing and interrogation, criminal counseling, juvenile delinquency, pubic safety – to name a few.

As you can see from the long list of courses offered, law enforcement is becoming a popular and fast growing field. As a result, colleges and universities offering training in this area are able to provide many courses to choose from. By exploring all your options within this degree program, you can pinpoint your strengths, areas of interest and design your ideal future career. You can do so much with a law enforcement degree – make sure you find out what works best for YOU.

Online Law Enforcement Degree Programs

Online education is on the raise so it’s not surprising that most online colleges and universities also offer law enforcement training. Online degree programs give you the freedom from attending regularly scheduled classes and allow you to go to school while working full time and managing a family. They are becoming very popular as they are a way to advance your career while keeping your current job. Many employers will pay their employees to go back to school, online.

There are so many online schools offering law enforcement online degree programs, how are you to choose one? The best approach is to select a few, request information and research, read about their programs and courses offered as well as class/degree requirements. Some schools offer complete online degree programs, others require some in class time. Find out all the details before signing on to a program, be it an online associate, bachelor or online master degree law enforcement program. When researching schools, in addition to program details, try to find out faculty qualifications as well as the percentage of students that graduate and find jobs upon graduation.

Law Enforcement Careers

The primary goal of all law enforcement professionals is to protect individuals within their jurisdiction. With this career you could work as a state or federal agent, police officers, inspector, sheriff or detective. There are many opportunities for specialization within this field and the list of job titles is extensive.

Police officers are usually employed at a local level and perform task such as traffic control, regular patrols, investigation of theft and assault as well as community policing.

Detectives and Investigators specialize in one area of crime and are assigned cases within that area. Their primary role is to collect evidence, conduct interviews, and examine records all leading to crime solution, arrest and prosecution.

Federal agents are employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and perform investigations of all types of crimes. The list of task and job opportunities is extensive. Spend some time reading and researching all the opportunities and educational requirements before choosing an area to specialize in within the law enforcement filed.

Not everyone has a highly-developed fashion style and fashion sense like the great fashion designers. But even great designers make fashion bombs sometimes. Although one cannot always be sure if his or her fashion is perfect or not, there are a few ground rules that one can follow in order to at least give him or her a chance to make a positive fashion statement.

Following trends and fashion fads blindly is something that you should avoid at all costs. While it’s true that it seems everyone around you might be wearing it, you have to be careful that you don’t get pulled into the frenzy if that style of fashion does not suit you. A lot of times, fashion fads don’t last long and when they end, you might find yourself with a heap of clothes that you won’t be able to wear ever again.

Accessorizing is good, but too much of it would be a fashion no-no. It’s only fine to wear ten bracelets and five necklaces and earrings and other bling you can find when you’re six years old and playing dress-up. When you’re grown up, it just looks ridiculous. One can show off whatever jewelries or accessories you have but not all at the same time. Remember there are other parties or social occasions where you can show of your other stuff. Add a little class to your fashion style by going with the “less is more” motto when it comes to accessories.

Don’t buy things just because they are on sale. Similar to following fashion fads blindly, buying just because an item is on sale is just a waste of money. Make sure that when you buy with your hard-earned money, it would be something that you can use and that it will last. Otherwise, sale or not, it’s better to clench your teeth and just walk away.

Wearing clothes that don’t fit you is also a big mistake. First of all, ill-fitting clothes are not very comfortable to wear. And clothes that are too big or too small will do nothing for your figure. It will just make your wardrobe a fashion disaster. Do yourself a favor, if your clothes don’t fit you, give them away. You’ll not only help others, but you’ll also be helping yourself.

In the end, it doesn’t take much brain power to know the right fashion style for you. It’s all about having control over yourself, and knowing the right balance of things. Keep in mind that too much of anything is never good.

My weekends tend to be split into three main fashion categories, with a different outfit for each one. Friday is the girls night and all that goes with it, Saturday is dinner with my man at a sophisticated restaurant and Sunday tends to be country walks with the dogs and family lunch.

The best part of a night out for my girlfriends and I is the preparation. Pampering, preening and plucking. We tend to leave the office early and start getting ready from 4pm onwards. Friday nights have been the girls nights for over ten years and the women’s fashions and trends have changed so much in that time. But it’s not just about what was in fashion that has changed but our personal style choices. First of all, ten tears ago we were still students. We were on a budget and Primark was only just on the cusp of being the icon it is today. My fashion style was probably much more creative than it is today because I couldn’t afford to just walk into a boutique and buy exactly what I wanted. I hunted charity shops, did clothes exchanges with my friends and once we even bought a sewing machine. However, it spent more time collecting dust than sewing. Our style at that time was very much “less is more”. Short skirts, low tops, sleeveless, backless dresses and all this in the middle of January.

These days I like to think we are a little more sophisticated in our fashion choices. There is big trend towards 1940s fashion at the moment and this suits my friends and I just fine. The hair is glamorous, the make up powerful and the preparation takes forever. There is something so lovely about getting dressed up for a night out with your girlfriends. I think it’s the child in you that still likes to play dressing up.

After a night dancing with the girls on a Friday, I usually need a good detox in the gym on Saturday before my big night out with my gorgeous man.I like to dress in total contrast on a Saturday night. I wear black black black. I like to create a look that is sultry and mysterious. I have even invested in a wig. I love how different it makes me feel.

Finally it comes to Sunday and I am more than happy to take it slow. I embrace the country life on a Sunday. But not too much, I still want to look fashion savvy and not like a complete country bumpkin. I love the fact that the Barbour style jacket is so current. The great news is that it is available in a wide range of colors, navy, red, camel, racing green and for a wide range of budgets. I own two such jackets. One is quilted and when paired with a Hermes type scarf ( I have not invested in an original as there are so many similar ones available I thought it would be more cost effective) I feel ever so regal and start looking for my corgi. The other jacket is more military style and I can even get away with it in the city on a rainy day. Finally I opt for military style boots or flat grey brogues. The perfect chic country Sunday.

Bags, bags and more bags! Whether you’re going out to the nearest grocery store or for a formal evening out, a bag is a must for any lady. This season, bags in different shapes and sizes are ‘in’, but it is important to realize that if the most fashionable bag is worn on the wrong occasion and most importantly with the wrong type of outfit it will only make you look silly. Small clutch bags give an elegant and chic look and are a must for a formal evening out or a lunch with friends. The small clutch bag gives a graceful and chic poise to the lady holding the bag and looks awesome with long shirts and caprice. Small pouch bags also look great, as they are no hassle to carry and comfortable that makes them all the more better for formal occasions. Since saris are also favorite outfits on formal evenings and clutch bags, pouches are a must for an “all-out elegant look.”

If you are all for the glamorous and glitzy look then clutch bags with stones and embroidery will do the job for you. So for a classy touch go for petit bags and purses to complete your look. The huge metallic bags are the most popular bags this season and are definitely en vogue! They were in vogue last winter’s as well but their fashion has not worn out. In fact, huge bags are all the more in fashion this summer. They look good with any casual outfit like a Tee-shirt dress and jeans, A-line frock dresses or your casual day to day wear. These bags are useful for those who go to college, university or work as they are spacious enough to carry your make up kit and you can fit in just about anything – maybe even your pet Chihuahua! They are also lifesavers for moms with infants as the mother can not only keep her make-up and accessories but also her babies ‘accessories’. You have a lot of choice in these bags, as they are available in metallic colors as well as in any other colors with or without artificial stones, chains and buckles. Just be careful that you don’t buy an over-accessorized bag because it just ends up looking very cheap. The best thing about these bags is that they look good on just about anyone. However, keep the bags large enough – do not go for the ultimately over-size bags that will surpass your outfit and undermine your personality. This can be a total disaster as it will make you look like a huge metallic piece of leather and you don’t want that!

A much better choice for a bag to take on a semi-formal GT would be the bamboo bags. These bags can be found in almost any color but personally one finds them better in natural earthy ones like beige, brown or black. Stylized with diamantes, stones, sequins, and beads these bags come in different designs. Bamboo bags look casual yet give a graceful feel to the over-all look. Worn with a semi-formal clothes and stilettos, it definitely looks chic.

Well, that’s just about it for the bags in vogue this summer but one thing you need to be really careful about are the fake designer bags that can be found very easily these! Please do not buy bags that have Gucci and Armani drooling over them. Besides people have become so aware of fashion these days, you can tell an original from a fake. So to save yourself from embarrassment stay away from fake designer bags!