There’s nothing wrong with food being fast. To walk into an eatery, order a meal and get it in five minutes is great. But there’s a trade-off when commercial pressures come into the story.

Here are the seven evils of fast food. Avoid them if you can — it IS possible if you buy with care.

 1. Substandard Ingredients

No, not everywhere, nor all food in a particular outlet. But large chains and the wholesale suppliers to smaller places have a grand opportunity to offload low-quality ingredients processed to make them acceptable, especially in highly-flavored food (see #2 and #3 below).

The worst ‘offenses’ involve mechanically reclaimed meat and using emulsifiers and polyphosphates to retain processing water in meat. How can you tell? When you can see a nutrition table, look for the protein to fat ratio. Lean meat will be around 3:1 protein, depending a little on the animal and breed. Highly-processes ground meat products such as sausage and kebab meat can vary from 1:1 to 3:1 fat, with a third of the weight added water. Without printed evidence, you’ll have to educate your palate!

So be aware, and look for better quality food; most Indian places use good, fresh ingredients, for example, whereas a lot of Chinese outlets buy in highly-processed partly-prepared ingredients to go with the fresh stuff. That’s not a hard-and-fast rule; use common sense to choose your store. Burger joints vary from fastidiously pure food to utter garbage in both meat and sauces — and MacDonald’s and Burger King are better than most for purity. But their desserts, shakes and soft drinks are another matter — read on!

 2. Fat and Sugar For That Blobby Feeling

These are the staples of most quick preparation foods. This is particularly because frying is speedy and sugar is the core of desserts and drinks. At least the oils used today are healthier than the old saturated animal fats.  You’ll already be aware that a high fat, high sugar diet is unhealthy. An occasional fast food meal should be no problem nutritionally — your body is great at dealing with infrequent overload. But do you fool yourself that your take-away every lunch and every night is ‘occasional’?

Both fat and sugar are addictive (see #7) and combine to make the best way to pick up atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer — if that’s your choice of future.

 3. Salt Can Lead To Hypertension

To most punters, tasty equals salty. But salty equals hypertension equals high blood pressure equals collapsed arteries and heart failure. Eating less salt is impossible if you major on fast food, because you don’t control salt addition and if a fast food joint left it out, most of its customers wouldn’t come back.

The result is that a fast food diet is almost always a high-salt diet.

 4. Low Fiber Equals Gut Problems

By customer demand, most fries are skinless and bread, pasta and rice are white.  The fiber is stripped away to give you what was once a luxury food, but now is the cheap, health-free option. Fast foods rarely include much fruit or vegetables by weight — they tend to be garnishes. When most of the other calories come from refined oils and sugar, fast food meals as a whole are very low in fiber.

This is the cause of sluggish digestion, dyspepsia and poor food absorption and poisoning from inefficient waste elimination. It’s also reckoned to seriously increase some cancer risks (especially that all too common colon cancer).

If you eat a lot of fast food and other low-fiber stuff, you’ll be liable to the usual constipation and dyspepsia. If it’s an occasional treat and you usually eat plenty of vegetables and other fiber-rich food, no problem.

 5. Additives Can Mess Up Your Body

Many food additives are fine, but that’s not always the case with fast foods. Preservatives are often mild poisons, artificial flavorings can mess up your digestion’s signaling system and many commercial colors promote allergies in a large minority while they disguise bad ingredients. Watch out for places that use all of these to boost bad food.

You’ll probably know already if you are particularly sensitive to any of the more dire additives, like azo dyes or benzoates, and you’ll have the problem of finding out whether the fast food you’re looking at is free of your particular horror. Tough! The friers and counter staff usually haven’t a clue what’s in their food. If it’s a large chain, you just might find that they have a recipe book for inspection.

 6. Nutrient-Poor — You get Sick

This evil is maybe the worst problem with fast food, as well as other ready meals from supermarkets and those cheaper restaurants that buy in chilled and frozen meals ready to microwave, grill and and fry for you.

Many ingredients, from oils and flour to sauces and pickles, are given a long shelf life for convenience. This involves removing the part of the food that spoils quickly and adding artificial preservatives. Problem is, the preservatives are mostly bad for you and the stuff removed is the fiber, plant sterols, vitamins and other natural ingredients that you need to eat to stay healthy.

That’s why most people today are sick in body and listless, prone to illnesses and body breakdown like diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Being like this is, for most people, a choice, not inevitable. If you choose this kind of food as your staple diet, you choose the consequences, too.

 7. Addictive — You can’t Stop The Gorging

A key reason so many people major on fast food is its addict — I’ve given the reasons for that above. It’s similar to that for nicotine and can have similar withdrawal symptoms. The usual result is that you eat far more food than you can burn up for energy, and it gets stored as fat.  We’re a society of fatties, as you can’t avoid knowing.  Type II diabetes, heart problems, rheumatic diseases like arthritis, bodily breakdown from the load you have to permanently carry and cancers are the usual consequence — and the age that the trouble begins is steadily coming down.

Be aware, and you can reduce your dependency on this kind of food, wherever you buy it.

So In Summary…

Overall, then, fast food can be a seriously quick way to Bad Health, with an unpleasant long-term future for you if you make this kind of food a way of life. But if you choose your outlet and meal carefully, fast food can be a delight and at least fairly healthy. Even the most fastidious foodie can indulge once in a while!

I ought to finish, though, by reminding you that Fast Food isn’t the only kind that has these Seven Evils! Most people in the West have sick bodies because their whole diet is based on prepacked, processed food with (as we say) all the goodness taken out. Government agencies all through Europe, North America and Oceania have been flagging up these problems for decades, yet public health steadily gets worse. You can’t have missed those Public Health campaigns, nor the media fuss over every new medical report all governments produce on ‘The State Of The Nation’s Health’.

Yet if you’re a ‘normal’ member of Western Society, you’ll have spent little of your attention on these ‘scare campaigns’, and a lot more on believing the thousands of adverts promising a wonderful lifestyle if only you’ll eat their heavily-advertised junk food. It amounts to, “Indulge yourself, and you’ll be happy,” with the suggestion that you can eat treats many times a day without any consequences to your health.

Our ancestors knew better. They called this kind of eating ‘gluttony’, and told their kids exactly what the consequences would be. And they were right.

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.

When you bring your children to a pediatric dentist for the first time, an experienced doctor will do what’s necessary to make your children comfortable. Depending on the age of your children, a doctor may engage in conversation or even a bit of play. Bottom line, the goal is for your children to feel relaxed from the beginning and for the doctor to create a good rapport with your kids. In addition, there are other benefits of bringing your children to this kind of doctor. Not only will this type of skilled doctor help them have a positive view of the dental experience, but also help them better care for their teeth.

Kid-friendly office

One of the biggest ways taking your children to a pediatric dentist can help your children care for their teeth is the fact that the office is specially designed for kids. Oftentimes, an office that caters to adults does not have an area for toys and the staff communicates in a more adult manner. On the other hand, a kid-friendly office is usually filled with brighter colors and a waiting room where kids can play and have fun. Also, this office may have television screens mounted on the ceiling so kids can watch movies while they’re lying back getting their teeth worked on.

Sensitive staff

In addition, the staff talks in a more playful tone that connects with kids and makes them feel at ease. For example, there are some technicians or hygienists that are genuinely good with kids. They know how to relate to them and make them more accepting of certain services and procedures. The same can be said for the pediatric dentist. He or she will go out of their way to make your child laugh and feel less anxious. In fact, sometimes the doctor won’t even perform any procedures on your children until he feels the children are well adjusted and have formed a sense of trust with him or her and the staff.

Oral hygiene tips

Once the children are ready to have procedures, the doctor may begin with a simple cleaning. This way, the children are getting able to get used to seeing strange tools coming near their mouths as well as the sounds some of these tools make. Getting a cleaning at a pediatric dentist is a lot less stressful than having to get other dental work, such as a filling. That’s why when children visit this type of doctor on a regular basis, they are not only becoming more comfortable but also learning to form better habits. As a result, they’ll have fewer cavities or no cavities at all, which can prevent them from having to get more in-depth or painful dental work later.

A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, although some users haven’t realized yet that it is a problem, but the users family, friends, or special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having problem with drugs.

People involved with drug problems or know someone who has at times thinks that drug addiction and drug abuse are basically the same thing, and should just be used interchangeably. But actually they are both different terms with different meanings. Complexity revolving drug abuse and definition has become increasingly clear and several efforts have been done to look of the right meaning both terms.

Drug Addiction:

The World Health Organization committee (WHO) had collected numerous of definitions concerning drug abuse and addiction and had suggested a generic term “drug dependence”. This addiction is defined as a disorder wherein the drug user’s behavior is being strongly influenced and dominated by the drug. It is a condition of recurring intoxication that happens when there is constant consumption of drug. It has characteristics of intense need or desire of continuous use, tendency of increasing dosage, unfavorable effects on both individual and society, and dependence on effects.

Drug Abuse:

Drug abuse is defined as the misuse of the drug or substance according the culturally acceptable standard. It is simply an abuse usage of substance which may involve excessive and habitual use in order to attain a certain effect. These so-called substances may be illegal, can be taken from streets and syndicates against the law, or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that are used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.

Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:

As both terms have different definition, their causes are different as well. Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has more forceful motivational condition. With drug addiction, it comprises the drug’s effect on the brain wherein it can become a strong motivational factor to use the drug again. On the other hand, drug abuse as a misuse of a substance, may or may not go together with a strong motivational factor to continue the use of the drug. In many cases, therefore, drug abuse does not necessarily make drug addiction, but drug addiction can constitute drug abuse.

Patterns of Behavior:

Drug addiction and Drug abuse have basically the same effects. Both have unwanted or unfavorable consequences both to society and the individual. Some symptoms and patterns of behavior of drug addiction and abuse comprise an abnormally slow in speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability of sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, series of excessive sleep, sudden constant wearing of long-sleeved tops even under high temperature just to hide scars of injection points, loss of physical control, sudden impulse and confidence in doing risky activities, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drug use.

Knowing the fact that drug users are prone to deny their drug-related symptoms and behavior, the family, friends, and loved ones must be sensitive and be more aware of these signs.

Being with a Drug Abuse or Addiction Problem:

At times it is not easily recognizable that someone so important to you is struggling with drug problem. It could be that it has started very early but not noticeable since the progression is slow, and that person might have been good in hiding the level of drug use from you. Or since that drug has been used early on and slowly, you might have easily adapted to the users behavior to the point that it seems normal still. It can be that the realization that someone so important to you is a victim of drugs is painful. You should never feel embarrassed. There are so many people who are in the same position as you. Drug abuse and addiction have affected millions of families all over the world.

There are available help and support everywhere. You can start by looking for support groups locally. Support groups can be in your very own religious area, private or government institutions, and small communities. By just listening to others who share the same experiences and dilemmas can be a very good way of support and give comfort. Other sources to find support and help would include a therapist, spiritual leader, a trusted friend or family member.

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.

Family healthcare plans start with your researching all the types of insurance that fit you particular family needs. From the day a baby is born until old age, family health care is very important. Now is the time to start looking and find insurance coverage for your family if you are currently uninsured.

Five reasons to look for family insurance now.

A lot of companies are no longer offering health benefits to their employees. Don’t take a job just for the benefits it may offer, make a living doing what you truly like and find insurance for yourself and your family on your own.

You never know when an accident could happen and you need a trip to the emergency room for stitches or a broken bone. You can get the medical help you need without worrying about large bills if you have health coverage.

Your credit score may drop if you have problems paying medical expenses. You can avoid that predicament if you have health insurance. Your credit will also be safeguarded for your health and economic future.

With health insurance, you will feel more confident that you can save money without having to worry about emergencies, and how much the medical bill will be.

Options to pay your premiums on a quarterly or yearly basis can result in significant savings in the long run. If your employer offers you insurance, but not your family, this supplement works well for a personal plan while giving the rest of your family a plan for them to ensure their health. Its important for children to have medical screenings as they grow into adults.

What will be the cost of health insurance for you whole family?

You won’t find an answer for this question right off the bat. What you will require to do is seek the coverage plan that suits where you hail, your life style and your medication or physician needs.
Based on the plan that you choose, along with the deductible and the yearly plan you want to set into motion for your managed care you will find a set price on health insurance. Without comparing deductibles, insurance providers, and doctor’s lists, you won’t find a real price from any type of insurance provider.

Think about it along the lines of purchasing car insurance, you have to specify what coverage you want in order to get it on your policy. The same rule applies for the health insurance for your family. Specify what you want so that your medical plan can be catered to your needs.

INTRODUCTION – The term “health insurance” is commonly used in the United States to describe any program that helps pay for medical expenses, whether through privately purchased insurance, social insurance or a non-insurance social welfare program funded by the government. Synonyms for this usage include “health coverage,” “health care coverage” and “health benefits” and “medical insurance.” In a more technical sense, the term is used to describe any form of insurance that provides protection against injury or illness.

In America, the health insurance industry has changed rapidly during the last few decades. In the 1970’s most people who had health insurance had indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance is often called fee-forservice. It is the traditional health insurance in which the medical provider (usually a doctor or hospital) is paid a fee for each service provided to the patient covered under the policy. An important category associated with the indemnity plans is that of consumer driven health care (CDHC). Consumer-directed health plans allow individuals and families to have greater control over their health care, including when and how they access care, what types of care they receive and how much they spend on health care services.

These plans are however associated with higher deductibles that the insured have to pay from their pocket before they can claim insurance money. Consumer driven health care plans include Health Reimbursement Plans (HRAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), high deductible health plans (HDHps), Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Of these, the Health Savings Accounts are the most recent and they have witnessed rapid growth during the last decade.

WHAT IS A HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT?

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to taxpayers in the United States. The funds contributed to the account are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit. These may be used to pay for qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability.

Another feature is that the funds contributed to Health Savings Account roll over and accumulate year over year if not spent. These can be withdrawn by the employees at the time of retirement without any tax liabilities. Withdrawals for qualified expenses and interest earned are also not subject to federal income taxes. According to the U.S. Treasury Office, ‘A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care.

HSA’s enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.’ Thus the Health Savings Account is an effort to increase the efficiency of the American health care system and to encourage people to be more responsible and prudent towards their health care needs. It falls in the category of consumer driven health care plans.

Origin of Health Savings Account

The Health Savings Account was established under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act passed by the U.S. Congress in June 2003, by the Senate in July 2003 and signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003.

Eligibility –

The following individuals are eligible to open a Health Savings Account –

– Those who are covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).
– Those not covered by other health insurance plans.
– Those not enrolled in Medicare4.

Also there are no income limits on who may contribute to an HAS and there is no requirement of having earned income to contribute to an HAS. However HAS’s can’t be set up by those who are dependent on someone else’s tax return. Also HSA’s cannot be set up independently by children.

What is a High Deductible Health plan (HDHP)?

Enrollment in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is a necessary qualification for anyone wishing to open a Health Savings Account. In fact the HDHPs got a boost by the Medicare Modernization Act which introduced the HSAs. A High Deductible Health Plan is a health insurance plan which has a certain deductible threshold. This limit must be crossed before the insured person can claim insurance money. It does not cover first dollar medical expenses. So an individual has to himself pay the initial expenses that are called out-of-pocket costs.

In a number of HDHPs costs of immunization and preventive health care are excluded from the deductible which means that the individual is reimbursed for them. HDHPs can be taken both by individuals (self employed as well as employed) and employers. In 2008, HDHPs are being offered by insurance companies in America with deductibles ranging from a minimum of $1,100 for Self and $2,200 for Self and Family coverage. The maximum amount out-of-pocket limits for HDHPs is $5,600 for self and $11,200 for Self and Family enrollment. These deductible limits are called IRS limits as they are set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In HDHPs the relation between the deductibles and the premium paid by the insured is inversely proportional i.e. higher the deductible, lower the premium and vice versa. The major purported advantages of HDHPs are that they will a) lower health care costs by causing patients to be more cost-conscious, and b) make insurance premiums more affordable for the uninsured. The logic is that when the patients are fully covered (i.e. have health plans with low deductibles), they tend to be less health conscious and also less cost conscious when going for treatment.

Opening a Health Savings Account

An individual can sign up for HSAs with banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other approved companies. However not all insurance companies offer HSA qualified health insurance plans so it is important to use an insurance company that offers this type of qualified insurance plan. The employer may also set up a plan for the employees. However, the account is always owned by the individual. Direct online enrollment in HSA qualified health insurance is available in all states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Contributions to the Health Savings Account

Contributions to HSAs can be made by an individual who owns the account, by an employer or by any other person. When made by the employer, the contribution is not included in the income of the employee. When made by an employee, it is treated as exempted from federal tax. For 2008, the maximum amount that can be contributed (and deducted) to an HSA from all sources is:
$2,900 (self-only coverage)
$5,800 (family coverage)

These limits are set by the U.S. Congress through statutes and they are indexed annually for inflation. For individuals above 55 years of age, there is a special catch up provision that allows them to deposit additional $800 for 2008 and $900 for 2009. The actual maximum amount an individual can contribute also depends on the number of months he is covered by an HDHP (pro-rated basis) as of the first day of a month. For eg If you have family HDHP coverage from January 1,2008 until June 30, 2008, then cease having HDHP coverage, you are allowed an HSA contribution of 6/12 of $5,800, or $2,900 for 2008. If you have family HDHP coverage from January 1,2008 until June 30, 2008, and have self-only HDHP coverage from July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, you are allowed an HSA contribution of 6/12 x $5,800 plus 6/12 of $2,900, or $4,350 for 2008. If an individual opens an HDHP on the first day of a month, then he can contribute to HSA on the first day itself. However, if he/she opens an account on any other day than the first, then he can contribute to the HSA from the next month onwards. Contributions can be made as late as April 15 of the following year. Contributions to the HSA in excess of the contribution limits must be withdrawn by the individual or be subject to an excise tax. The individual must pay income tax on the excess withdrawn amount.

Contributions by the Employer

The employer can make contributions to the employee’s HAS account under a salary reduction plan known as Section 125 plan. It is also called a cafeteria plan. The contributions made under the cafeteria plan are made on a pre-tax basis i.e. they are excluded from the employee’s income. The employer must make the contribution on a comparable basis. Comparable contributions are contributions to all HSAs of an employer which are 1) the same amount or 2) the same percentage of the annual deductible. However, part time employees who work for less than 30 hours a week can be treated separately. The employer can also categorize employees into those who opt for self coverage only and those who opt for a family coverage. The employer can automatically make contributions to the HSAs on the behalf of the employee unless the employee specifically chooses not to have such contributions by the employer.

Withdrawals from the HSAs

The HSA is owned by the employee and he/she can make qualified expenses from it whenever required. He/She also decides how much to contribute to it, how much to withdraw for qualified expenses, which company will hold the account and what type of investments will be made to grow the account. Another feature is that the funds remain in the account and role over from year to year. There are no use it or lose it rules. The HSA participants do not have to obtain advance approval from their HSA trustee or their medical insurer to withdraw funds, and the funds are not subject to income taxation if made for ‘qualified medical expenses’. Qualified medical expenses include costs for services and items covered by the health plan but subject to cost sharing such as a deductible and coinsurance, or co-payments, as well as many other expenses not covered under medical plans, such as dental, vision and chiropractic care; durable medical equipment such as eyeglasses and hearing aids; and transportation expenses related to medical care. Nonprescription, over-the-counter medications are also eligible. However, qualified medical expense must be incurred on or after the HSA was established.

Tax free distributions can be taken from the HSA for the qualified medical expenses of the person covered by the HDHP, the spouse (even if not covered) of the individual and any dependent (even if not covered) of the individual.12 The HSA account can also be used to pay previous year’s qualified expenses subject to the condition that those expenses were incurred after the HSA was set up. The individual must preserve the receipts for expenses met from the HSA as they may be needed to prove that the withdrawals from the HSA were made for qualified medical expenses and not otherwise used. Also the individual may have to produce the receipts before the insurance company to prove that the deductible limit was met. If a withdrawal is made for unqualified medical expenses, then the amount withdrawn is considered taxable (it is added to the individuals income) and is also subject to an additional 10 percent penalty. Normally the money also cannot be used for paying medical insurance premiums. However, in certain circumstances, exceptions are allowed.

These are –

1) to pay for any health plan coverage while receiving federal or state unemployment benefits.
2) COBRA continuation coverage after leaving employment with a company that offers health insurance coverage.
3) Qualified long-term care insurance.
4) Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance for: Part A (hospital and inpatient services), Part B (physician and outpatient services), Part C (Medicare HMO and PPO plans) and Part D (prescription drugs).

However, if an individual dies, becomes disabled or reaches the age of 65, then withdrawals from the Health Savings Account are considered exempted from income tax and additional 10 percent penalty irrespective of the purpose for which those withdrawals are made. There are different methods through which funds can be withdrawn from the HSAs. Some HSAs provide account holders with debit cards, some with cheques and some have options for a reimbursement process similar to medical insurance.

Growth of HSAs

Ever since the Health Savings Accounts came into being in January 2004, there has been a phenomenal growth in their numbers. From around 1 million enrollees in March 2005, the number has grown to 6.1 million enrollees in January 2008.14 This represents an increase of 1.6 million since January 2007, 2.9 million since January 2006 and 5.1 million since March 2005. This growth has been visible across all segments. However, the growth in large groups and small groups has been much higher than in the individual category. According to the projections made by the U.S. Treasury Department, the number of HSA policy holders will increase to 14 million by 2010. These 14 million policies will provide cover to 25 to 30 million U.S. citizens.

In the Individual Market, 1.5 million people were covered by HSA/HDHPs purchased as on January 2008. Based on the number of covered lives, 27 percent of newly purchased individual policies (defined as those purchased during the most recent full month or quarter) were enrolled in HSA/HDHP coverage. In the small group market, enrollment stood at 1.8 million as of January 2008. In this group 31 percent of all new enrollments were in the HSA/HDHP category. The large group category had the largest enrollment with 2.8 million enrollees as of January 2008. In this category, six percent of all new enrollments were in the HSA/HDHP category.

Benefits of HSAs

The proponents of HSAs envisage a number of benefits from them. First and foremost it is believed that as they have a high deductible threshold, the insured will be more health conscious. Also they will be more cost conscious. The high deductibles will encourage people to be more careful about their health and health care expenses and will make them shop for bargains and be more vigilant against excesses in the health care industry. This, it is believed, will reduce the growing cost of health care and increase the efficiency of the health care system in the United States. HSA-eligible plans typically provide enrolled decision support tools that include, to some extent, information on the cost of health care services and the quality of health care providers. Experts suggest that reliable information about the cost of particular health care services and the quality of specific health care providers would help enrolls become more actively engaged in making health care purchasing decisions. These tools may be provided by health insurance carriers to all health insurance plan enrolls, but are likely to be more important to enrolls of HSA-eligible plans who have a greater financial incentive to make informed decisions about the quality and costs of health care providers and services.

It is believed that lower premiums associated with HSAs/HDHPs will enable more people to enroll for medical insurance. This will mean that lower income groups who do not have access to medicare will be able to open HSAs. No doubt higher deductibles are associated with HSA eligible HDHPs, but it is estimated that tax savings under HSAs and lower premiums will make them less expensive than other insurance plans. The funds put in the HSA can be rolled over from year to year. There are no use it or lose it rules. This leads to a growth in savings of the account holder. The funds can be accumulated tax free for future medical expenses if the holder so desires. Also the savings in the HSA can be grown through investments.

The nature of such investments is decided by the insured. The earnings on savings in the HSA are also exempt from income tax. The holder can withdraw his savings in the HSA after turning 65 years old without paying any taxes or penalties. The account holder has complete control over his/her account. He/She is the owner of the account right from its inception. A person can withdraw money as and when required without any gatekeeper. Also the owner decides how much to put in his/her account, how much to spend and how much to save for the future. The HSAs are portable in nature. This means that if the holder changes his/her job, becomes unemployed or moves to another location, he/she can still retain the account.

Also if the account holder so desires he can transfer his Health Saving Account from one managing agency to another. Thus portability is an advantage of HSAs. Another advantage is that most HSA plans provide first-dollar coverage for preventive care. This is true of virtually all HSA plans offered by large employers and over 95% of the plans offered by small employers. It was also true of over half (59%) of the plans which were purchased by individuals.

All of the plans offering first-dollar preventive care benefits included annual physicals, immunizations, well-baby and well-child care, mammograms and Pap tests; 90% included prostate cancer screenings and 80% included colon cancer screenings. Some analysts believe that HSAs are more beneficial for the young and healthy as they do not have to pay frequent out of pocket costs. On the other hand, they have to pay lower premiums for HDHPs which help them meet unforeseen contingencies.

Health Savings Accounts are also advantageous for the employers. The benefits of choosing a health Savings Account over a traditional health insurance plan can directly affect the bottom line of an employer’s benefit budget. For instance Health Savings Accounts are dependent on a high deductible insurance policy, which lowers the premiums of the employee’s plan. Also all contributions to the Health Savings Account are pre-tax, thus lowering the gross payroll and reducing the amount of taxes the employer must pay.

Criticism of HSAs

The opponents of Health Savings Accounts contend that they would do more harm than good to America’s health insurance system. Some consumer organizations, such as Consumers Union, and many medical organizations, such as the American Public Health Association, have rejected HSAs because, in their opinion, they benefit only healthy, younger people and make the health care system more expensive for everyone else. According to Stanford economist Victor Fuchs, “The main effect of putting more of it on the consumer is to reduce the social re-distributive element of insurance.

Some others believe that HSAs remove healthy people from the insurance pool and it makes premiums rise for everyone left. HSAs encourage people to look out for themselves more and spread the risk around less. Another concern is that the money people save in HSAs will be inadequate. Some people believe that HSAs do not allow for enough savings to cover costs. Even the person who contributes the maximum and never takes any money out would not be able to cover health care costs in retirement if inflation continues in the health care industry.

Opponents of HSAs, also include distinguished figures like state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, who called them a “dangerous prescription” that will destabilize the health insurance marketplace and make things even worse for the uninsured. Another criticism is that they benefit the rich more than the poor. Those who earn more will be able to get bigger tax breaks than those who earn less. Critics point out that higher deductibles along with insurance premiums will take away a large share of the earnings of the low income groups. Also lower income groups will not benefit substantially from tax breaks as they are already paying little or no taxes. On the other hand tax breaks on savings in HSAs and on further income from those HSA savings will cost billions of dollars of tax money to the exchequer.

The Treasury Department has estimated HSAs would cost the government $156 billion over a decade. Critics say that this could rise substantially. Several surveys have been conducted regarding the efficacy of the HSAs and some have found that the account holders are not particularly satisfied with the HSA scheme and many are even ignorant about the working of the HSAs. One such survey conducted in 2007 of American employees by the human resources consulting firm Towers Perrin showed satisfaction with account based health plans (ABHPs) was low. People were not happy with them in general compared with people with more traditional health care. Respondents said they were not comfortable with the risk and did not understand how it works.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, early experience with HAS eligible high-deductible health plans reveals low satisfaction, high out of- pocket costs, and cost-related access problems. Another survey conducted with the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that people enrolled in HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans were much less satisfied with many aspects of their health care than adults in more comprehensive plans People in these plans allocate substantial amounts of income to their health care, especially those who have poorer health or lower incomes. The survey also found that adults in high-deductible health plans are far more likely to delay or avoid getting needed care, or to skip medications, because of the cost. Problems are particularly pronounced among those with poorer health or lower incomes.

Political leaders have also been vocal about their criticism of the HSAs. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. issued the following statement criticizing the HSAs “The President’s health care plan is not about covering the uninsured, making health insurance affordable, or even driving down the cost of health care. Its real purpose is to make it easier for businesses to dump their health insurance burden onto workers, give tax breaks to the wealthy, and boost the profits of banks and financial brokers. The health care policies concocted at the behest of special interests do nothing to help the average American. In many cases, they can make health care even more inaccessible.” In fact a report of the U.S. governments Accountability office, published on April 1, 2008 says that the rate of enrollment in the HSAs is greater for higher income individuals than for lower income ones.

A study titled “Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans: Are They an Option for Low-Income Families? By Catherine Hoffman and Jennifer Tolbert which was sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported the following key findings regarding the HSAs:

a) Premiums for HSA qualified health plans may be lower than for traditional insurance, but these plans shift more of the financial risk to individuals and families through higher deductibles.
b) Premiums and out-of-pocket costs for HSA qualified health plans would consume a substantial portion of a low-income family’s budget.
c) Most low-income individuals and families do not face high enough tax liability to benefit in a significant way from tax deductions associated with HSAs.
d) People with chronic conditions, disabilities, and others with high cost medical needs may face even greater out-of-pocket costs under HSA qualified health plans.
e) Cost-sharing reduces the use of health care, especially primary and preventive services, and low-income individuals and those who are sicker are particularly sensitive to cost-sharing increases.
f) Health savings accounts and high deductible plans are unlikely to substantially increase health insurance coverage among the uninsured.

Choosing a Health Plan

Despite the advantages offered by the HSA, it may not be suitable for everyone. While choosing an insurance plan, an individual must consider the following factors:

1. The premiums to be paid.
2. Coverage/benefits available under the scheme.
3. Various exclusions and limitations.
4. Portability.
5. Out-of-pocket costs like coinsurance, co-pays, and deductibles.
6. Access to doctors, hospitals, and other providers.
7. How much and sometimes how one pays for care.
8. Any existing health issue or physical disability.
9. Type of tax savings available.

The plan you choose should according to your requirements and financial ability.

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

Drug abuse is by far one of the biggest problems bothering nations across the world and a lot of research is being conducted to look into various social and economic factors that trigger this abuse. Drug abuse is also responsible for the rapid increase in AIDS cases as the disease continues to spread like an epidemic. Contaminated needles that are shared by intravenous-drug users and unprotected sex between drug users are believed to be the main reasons why this disease is spreading so fast. Drug abuse therefore needs to controlled if not uprooted to bolster a society that’s healthy in every way. California understands the need of a more enlightened approach to this deadly abuse and strongly believes in amending certain laws that indirectly encourage abuse. For instance, laws that make needle possession an offense may indirectly encourage drug users to share the same needles thereby becoming a potential health hazard. All thanks to Proposition 36, all addicts who also happen to be nonviolent drug offenders can now seek treatment and dare to dream of a drug free life.

According to California Society of Abuse Medicine, often referred to as CSAM, methamphetamine is the choice of 53% of those who have been diverted to treatment instead of incarceration as per Proposition 36 or The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act. In order to put a check on the “Methamphetamine Epidemic” in California, there are number of things that can be done on the legal and medical front. The biggest hurdle is the UPPL regulations, that stop physicians from probing into drug and alcohol problems and is more in favor of insurers and not citizens. There should be procedures in place to ensure proper screening for stimulants and other drugs of abuse so that abuse is traced before it’s too late. In addition, there should be parity in the type of coverage insurance companies provide for abuse treatments and other medical illnesses. The incarceration rate for drug-related crimes has shot up and most believe that community-based treatment and not incarceration was the key to bring drug abuse behavior under control. More than 36,000 people convicted of a non-violent drug offense had access to medical treatments as per Prop 36 that aims to not only help people get rid of their addictive behaviors but also bring down incarceration costs.

California’s unique geography and diverse culture greatly influence the drug scene there and also happens to be the reason why the problem of drug abuse has been there since a very long time. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and club drugs are abused on a large scale in California, as they are smuggled into the state from Mexico and therefore easily available. In addition, Marijuana and methamphetamine are also produced locally making the drug situation very serious in the State. As the problem of drug abuse continues to grow, the State of California is facing the biggest challenges of providing medical care and treatment to all those people who wish to put an end to their abuse.

With an estimated number of 1,759,368 marijuana users, 288,306 cocaine users, and 16,332 heroin addicts residing in the State, its apparent why California is so concerned about this deadly abuse. The number of people abusing prescription drugs, inhalants, and those using hallucinogens are also staggering and necessitate immediate medical assistance.

There seems to be a definite connection between fast food and obesity. The fast food chains will deny it of course, or blame it on their customers, but the association is there. And it’s a problem Americans need to address.

So, what’s so special about fast food? As it turns out, fast food has some true advantages . . . in the short term. The food is hot and it tastes good. Quite simply, people enjoy eating it more than they do many other kinds of food. However, this is one of the links between fast food and obesity.

Another advantage of fast food is, well, it’s fast. Not only that but it’s convenient – easily found. What other kind of food can you go out and pick up ready to go at a moment’s notice? You don’t have to cook, shop, or even wash dishes. Just toss the bag in the trash. You’re saving all kinds of time here.

You can eat fast food and obesity is the furthest thing from your mind as you chow down.

In fact, fast food is even a socially accepted custom. Children’s birthday parties are held at fast food restaurants. People meet here after sporting events. We’re encouraged by society in general and the custom is touted by tantalizing commercials. Fast food and obesity are never linked in these commercials, by the way.

Scientists have made it their business to study fast food and obesity issues. Some say fast food is as addictive to the human body as heroin. This is of interest since the average American eats away 4 helpings of fast food French fries and 3 fast food hamburgers every week!

Researchers have found people start to crave the sugar, fat, and salt of fast foods. Many different lab studies have demonstrated sugar addiction in rats, for example. One study determined that the rats experienced withdrawal symptoms when sugar was taken away. Because of soft drinks, shakes, and other treats offered, fast food and obesity are connected once again.

Fast food also signals the body to have changes in hormones. These changes make it nearly impossible to control eating. After people eat fast food for a period of time they gain weight. Then they become resistant to leptin, which affects appetite.

Addiction sets in when you crave a second fast food meal after having one already that day. The fast food will cause your blood sugar to go very high and then very low. You’ll want more. You may deny yourself, but without your fast food, you may feel symptoms of weakness and shakiness. This is how fast food and obesity are linked.

The quantity of fast food Americans are eating is an issue of great concern. Fast food and obesity statistics bear this out.

Americans have gotten used to the Super Sized portions. And even though a single fast food meal has enough fat and calories for the entire day, statistically there’s a good chance you’ll eat a second fast food meal during the same day. Or if not you’ll probably eat something else before the day is out.

With about 1/3 (one-third) of all American adults over 20 being obese, fast food and obesity need to be studied more closely. As you take yourself or your family to the nearest fast food haven for dinner, please think twice.

How about only going once or twice a month instead of several times a week? It’s important to take this connection between fast food and obesity seriously. You’ll live longer and enjoy life more because of your good health if you do.

If we want the cheapest personal medical insurance rate we need to do several things. We ought to contemplate look at both low and high deductible contracts. We should compare plans and costs for coverage regularly. We ought to seek to be be someone that the health insurance company wants to insure.

Make sure that you contemplate health care insurance plans with medium and high deductibles. These health insurance plans often offer the best deal when when you factor in the premiums. If you agree to to pay more towards the little expenses, they will give you a better premium. This may make it worth your while to take on the additional risk.

It’s crucial that we find the right balance between premium and benefits. Low deductible healthcare insurance contracts have better coverage but higher costs. medical insurance policies with very high deductibles have low premiums but may have coverage levels that you are uncomfortable with. Most of the time healthcare insurance plans with higher deductibles are better bargains, but you will need to find the level of risk and price that you are comfortable with.

A tried and true way for lowering health insurance premium is to comparison shop. Whether we are talking about healthcare insurance, life insurance or shoes shopping around is a proven way to help you to get the best rate.

Since health care insurance rates change on a regular basis, we should shop for medical insurance on a regular basis. Once a year or once every two years, we ought to make sure that we have the cheapest health care insurance rate by looking at other medical insurance policies. Most medical insurance companies change their costs at least annually.

Make sure that you check to see if the health care insurance company you currently have has any new plans. You may find that one of their new plans is more advantageous. If you stick with the same health insurance company chances are you will be able to use the same medical providers. You may find that this can make things much easier for you.

Getting the best premium for private healthcare insurance starts with being a good risk. All the comparison shopping in the world won’t help you get the best healthcare insurance rate for car insurance if you have 20 speeding tickets. Insurance companies are looking to insure people who are the least likely to cost them money. They are not going to give their best rates to people who are overweight or who have pre-existing conditions.

Healthcare insurance companies base their costs on numbers and not moral judgments. They know that a driver who has been caught driving while intoxicated is much more likely to cost them money when compared to a driver who has a clean driving record.

They look at a person with a high BMI or high blood pressure the same way. It’s a money issue for them. They want to offer policies to those who are the least likely to cost them more money than the average person.

Since there are so many of us who do not have control of their healthcare, those of us who do should do what we can to be healthy. By dropping some bad habits, we can cut the chance of being a burden on the health care system. We can thereby make things easier for those who do need medical intervention and can’t do anything about it.

Most of us can decrease our individual and family healthcare insurance rates if we are willing and able do a few things. We ought to think about high deductible plans including HSAs. We should comparison shop on a regular basis. We should aim to be.

Recreational Therapy has become a popular component of treatment for many health fields, including mental health. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association defines it as “a treatment service designed to restore, re-mediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.” (American Therapeutic Recreation Association, July 2009) Recreational Therapy services are provided in a variety of mental health treatment settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and residential care. Certified therapists have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in the field and have passed national certification exam.

Recreational Therapists use a variety of techniques to help alleviate symptoms of mental illness and improve the quality of a consumer’s life. Leisure education is often provided, which can help consumers identify what types of leisure they are interested in and find community resources for participation. Many people who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness have lost touch with their leisure lifestyles or have become socially isolated. Leisure education can also improve social skills to enhance enjoyment and enable consumers to build better relationships. Many Recreational Therapists also use recreation participation as a treatment modality. Therapists will engage in leisure activities with the consumer to improve leisure skills and practice social skills in the moment. In a group setting, therapists will use leisure based activity to explore patterns of behavior and teach healthy coping skills.

In treating mental health, Recreational Therapy can be a versatile treatment addressing various issues. Leisure activity can provide improved daily structure when participating in activities such as volunteer work, classes, or social groups. Certain leisure activities also provide opportunities for social interaction and support. Physical activities and exercise can help improve your mood. Exercise and other leisure activities also can provide a sense of accomplishment. Many of the concepts reinforced in Recreational Therapy align with cutting edge treatments like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The skills of mindfulness, regular participation in pleasant events, and building mastery are all core components in both DBT and Recreational Therapy. Finally, leisure involvement can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life, as well as strengthening individual identity or one’s sense of who they are. A Recreational Therapist can motivate and guide someone experiencing mental health difficulties to leisure that provides the specific benefits suited to their needs. Recreational Therapy services are included in most high quality mental health programs.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, most dental insurance policies would cover up to $1,000 or $1,500 in dental care every year. Today, a single crown can cost that much, but most dental insurance policies still have the same annual dollar limits.

Unable to find affordable dental services, many people are having teeth pulled that could be fixed, because they can’t afford to pay for the work.

Finding affordable dental services in your area should not be that difficult. Though the task of locating a dental specialist who offers an affordable dental plan for yourself or your family can take some time, but it can be done easily if you know how to find them.

First and simple step for doing so is to just ask around. World of the mouth is possibly the best chance you can have while looking for a good dental care plan. Simply inquire about them from your relatives, friends and co-workers. Ask about the dental services they are getting, how much it costs, how easy it’s to get an appointment, if the emergency service is provided and so on. Inquire about their personality, if they are friendly, especially towards the children and if the atmosphere in their office is relaxing and reassuring. By asking around you will not only be able find a dental care facility that you can count on but also the ones you can avoid.

If you have just moved to a new area, it could be quite hard for you to find affordable dental care. Since you are new and don’t know anyone well enough to ask about their dental plans, you can try checking out the local hospitals and other facilities that use the services of a dentist. They or the dentist they employ should be able provide you with a list of the best dental care facilities in the area. If you are planning to move to a new area, you can always check with your present dentist and find out if he can suggest any dental facility in your new area.

The other thing you can do in order to find an affordable dental care is to check out the local dental schools. Most of these schools offer dental services and that too at competitive rates. Some of them may offer to clean and check your teeth for free. You can search for them over the Internet easily.

The most powerful and easiest way of finding great dental services in your area is searching for them online. There are thousands of websites listed over the Internet that can help you locate a dental facility in your area. Simply enter the zip code of the area, and you will get the list of dentists that offer dental care in and around the particular area. Many of the dental insurance companies also provide this facility on their websites. Searching for dentists over your insurance company’s website will give a personalized list of dentists that accept your insurance cover.

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.

While consumers search for affordable health insurance, they have price in their mind as the top priority. A general conception among the consumers is that cheap health plans should not be costly-the cheapest health plan available in the market is their target. However, this approach is not good. Sometimes, paying for a cheap health insurance plan but still not getting the required level of coverage results only in wastage of money.

With the implementation of the affordable care act, the reach of affordable health plans is set to increase. Or at least, this is what is believed to be the objective of healthcare reforms. However, lots of consumers are still in confusion about how things would work. In this article, we will discuss some detailed options that consumers can try while looking to buy affordable health plans.

To get a hand on affordable health insurance plans, consumers need to take of certain things. First among them is about knowing the options in the particular state of the residence. There are lots of state and federal government-run programs that could be suitable for consumers. Knowing the options is pretty important. Next would be to understand the terms and conditions of all the programs and check the eligibility criteria for each one of them. Further, consumers should know their rights after the implementation of healthcare reforms, and something within a few days, they may qualify for a particular program or could be allowed to avail a particular health insurance plan. If consumers take care of these steps, there is no reason why consumers can’t land on an affordable health plan that could cater to the medical care needs.

Let’s discuss some options related to affordable health insurance plans state-wise:

State-run affordable health insurance programs in California

While considering California, there are three affordable health insurance plans that are run by the state government. Consumers can surely get benefited by these if they are eligible for the benefits.

• Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP)

This program is a very handy one offering limited health benefits to California residents. If consumers are unable to purchase health plans due to a preexisting medical condition, they can see if they qualify for this program and get benefits.

• Healthy Families Program

Healthy Families Program offers Californians with low cost health, dental, and vision coverage. This is mainly geared to children whose parents earn too much to qualify for public assistance. This program is administered by MRMIP.

• Access for Infants and Mothers Program (AIM)

Access for Infants and Mothers Program provides prenatal and preventive care for pregnant women having low income in California. It is administered by a five-person board that has established a comprehensive benefits package that includes both inpatient and outpatient care for program enrolls.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Florida

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Florida, consumers can think about below mentioned options:

• Floridians who lost employer’s group health insurance may qualify for COBRA continuation coverage in Florida. At the same time, Floridians, who lost group health insurance due to involuntary termination of employment occurring between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 may qualify for a federal tax credit. This credit helps in paying COBRA or state continuation coverage premiums for up to nine months.

• Floridians who had been uninsured for 6 months may be eligible to buy a limited health benefit plan through Cover Florida.

• Florida Medicaid program can be tried by Floridians having low or modest household income. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, medically needy, elderly, and disabled individuals may get help.

• Florida Kid-care program can help the Floridian children under the age of 19 years and not eligible for Medicaid and currently uninsured or under-insured.

• A federal tax credit to help pay for new health coverage to Floridians who lost their health coverage but are receiving benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. This credit is called the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). At the same time, Floridians who are retirees and are aged 55-65 and are receiving pension benefits from Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), may qualify for the HCTC.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Virginia

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Virginia, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Virginians who lost their employer’s group health insurance may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Virginia.

• Virginians must note that they have the right to buy individual health plans from either Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield or CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.

• Virginia Medicaid program helps Virginians having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, and elderly and disabled individuals are helped.

• Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) helps Virginian children under the age of 18 years having no health insurance.

• In Virginia, the Every Woman’s Life Program offers free breast and cervical cancer screening. Through this program, if women are diagnosed with cancer, they may be eligible for treatment through the Virginia Medicaid Program.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Texas

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Texas, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Texans who have group insurance in Texas cannot be denied or limited in terms of coverage, nor can be required to pay more, because of the health status. Further, Texans having group health insurance can’t have exclusion of pre-existing conditions.

• In Texas, insurers cannot drop Texans off coverage when they get sick. At the same time, Texans who lost their group health insurance but are HIPAA eligible may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Texas.

• Texas Medicaid program helps Texans having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, elderly and disabled individuals are helped. At the same time, if a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, she may be eligible for medical care through Medicaid.

• The Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers subsidized health coverage for certain uninsured children. Further children in Texas can stay in their parent’s health insurance policy as dependents till the age of 26 years. This clause has been implemented by the healthcare reforms.

• The Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program offers free cancer screening for qualified residents. If a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through this program, she may qualify for medical care through Medicaid.

Like this, consumers need to consider state-wise options when they search for affordable health coverage. It goes without saying that shopping around and getting oneself well-equipped with necessary information is pretty much important to make sure consumers have the right kind of health plans.

Too often people don’t truly comprehend the real reason why a person develops a drug abuse addiction or how drugs can alter their brain to stimulate compulsive drug abuse and addiction. They wrongly perceive this problem as something that is surely a social problem only and may discriminate those who abuse drugs as morally powerless. A persistent and general belief is that addicted individuals should be fully capable of just quitting drugs as long as they are willing to alter their attitude and behavior. Again and again, what people often simply and underestimate is the complication of drug addiction. It is a serious disease that impacts the very brain itself and as a result, ceasing drug abuse and drug addiction is not plainly a matter of an individuals’ willpower. Through current scientific advances we are now able to understand much more in regards to how precisely drugs affect the brain. Furthermore, we now know that drug abuse addiction can be successfully treated to assist individuals’ in stopping the abuse of drugs and carry on their normal lives.

Drug abuse and addiction can be a huge burden on society. There have been approximate estimates of the overall costs of this issue in the USA alone, which includes health costs as well as losses in productivity, to surpass 500 billion dollars annually. As distressing as these figures are, they don’t adequately and fully convey the breadth of detrimental public health and safety implications, which involve domestic violence, school failure, family disruption, loss of employment, child abuse, and many other types of deviant crimes.

To truly understand what drug abuse and drug addiction is, we need to know that it is a continuous, relapsing brain disease that induces uncontrollable drug seeking and use and abuse in spite of harmful and damaging consequences to the abuser who is addicted and to all those who are close to them. Drug abuse and addiction is defined as a brain disease for the reason that this problem advances changes in the function and also the structure of the brain. Even though it is undeniable that for most addicts the initial decision to take drugs is purely voluntary, over the course of time the alterations in the brain, as a result of abusing drugs over and over again, can greatly affect an individual’s self control and capability to make logical decisions, while at the exact same moment send extreme impulses to take more the addictive substance.

It is these very extreme changes in the brain that makes it so difficult for an individual who is addicted to absolutely cease from abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are existing treatments that assist people to neutralize drug addiction’s strong damaging effects so that the individual can recapture some semblance of self control. Studies have shown that incorporating drug abuse addiction treatment medications along with behavioral therapy is one of the most successful ways for majority of patients. When a treatment method is customized to each patient’s patterns along with psychiatric aid can lead to long term continuous recovery and a life without the need for further intervention.

Very much like other chronic or relapsing diseases such as heart disease or diabetes, drug abuse addiction can be managed quite successfully. Additional, it’s not unusual for a drug abuse and addiction person to backslide and start abusing drugs again. We must be clear that relapse does not indicate failure, rather, it demonstrates that proper drug abuse and drug addiction treatment should be reintroduced, modified, or that other forms of drug abuse addiction treatment is required to help the individual retake self control and recover.

A topnotch mental health treatment facility is in great demand. In today’s growing economy, there is an increasing number of persons who suffer from mental health illnesses or to put it bluntly; just able to cope with daily stresses. The problems, which are becoming more apparent, are sometimes looked upon as pitiful, deserving or embarrassing.

However, neither hiding from nor shunning the realities of the problem will help your family member or loved one cope with the condition. The solution lies in identifying the right facility that will best suit your needs. There are specialized facilities in every city, town or state that are designed to accommodate the needs of the community.

Each mental health problem is unique to the person and the disease. This uniqueness requires specific treatment that must address the condition in a holistic manner. ( holistic means, you should have treatment in all areas, Ie. Mentally, physically, and psychologically, in order to have a balance program). Some trained mental professionals try to avoid further occurrences by determining the triggering factors.

When choosing a facility, the staff must have the right qualifications for the job. Since the staff will be spending elongated amounts of time with the patient, it is imperative that the facilities staff be understanding, compassionate, and properly certified in dealing with the individual cases of the patient.

Ensure that the facility has a “make yourself at home” feel to it. The facility should be clean with recreational activities and plenty of group sessions. Each mental health treatment facility is different; find one that best suits your needs.

You are one of many people who really want to look taller. You have tried almost everything to make you look taller, but they’re all failed. Well, if you are described by these sentences, just don’t give up your hope. Many people just don’t know that there are some fashion styles that can make you look shorter. So, this article will show you the way to look taller, and trust me, it’s easier than you think.

Before talking about the fashion styles as mentioned, there is something that you should learn about your bone health. Do you ever know that your bone health has a big effect to your height? Well, it has. So, frequently exercise is important, along with having a good food. Avoid doing this can make you shorter than before, really.

Well, you have the right to think that this is impossible. Since when we are first born, we have only gristle, not solid bone. But, as we are growing, this gristle fortify to form solid bones. And when we are teenager, the end of our long bones are plated by the growth of gristle. This helps our growth spurts.

However, if you don’t have any good foods during these important years, you actually can suppress your growth. So, which is the food that I am talking about? It’s easy. Just try to eat foods rich in calcium, amino acids, calories, and protein. This is to make sure that you can grow as much as you can. Especially, when you are teenager because this period has a lot of changes that is important.

When you get older, your bones get weaker because of the lack of exercise and having poor foods. Besides, your bones start to shrink because of the low level of calcium. So, having a good food will keep your bones strong and healthy. Don’t forget to regularly exercise also. This can be helpful too.

Now, it comes to the fashion as previously stated. If you want to look taller, try to wear darker or solid colors clothing, since it covers your waistline. Do not wear white shirt with black pants because this will emphasize your middle. In addition, wearing vertically striped clothing can help looking taller. For women, if you want your legs to look longer, try wearing vertical striped stockings.

Why not use your health insurance for counseling? Isn’t that what it is for?

Perhaps.

But using health insurance for mental health services is a little different than other medical issues. Sometimes mental health issues are not covered by your health insurance. Once you use your health insurance for mental health, you will have a mental health diagnosis on file – a mental health disorder/mental health illness must be on the insurance claim in order for insurance to pay for treatment. This will be in your permanent medical record.

Of course you want to consider using your health insurance for counseling, but there are some good reasons for you to consider why you may not want to use your insurance for counseling services.

Why doesn’t my counselor accept my health insurance?

Many counselors choose not to accept health insurance for very good reasons. They want to focus 100% of their time in treating you. If they accept health insurance, there is a lot of extra work involved in accepting insurance, in addition to agreeing to work for a discounted fee. The counselor may spend hours on the phone getting benefit information, authorizations, or following up on claims payments. The counselor has to wait a month for payment from the insurance company. The counselor has to file progress reports with the insurance company. The counselor is required to submit treatment reports and other details about your medical history with the insurance company.

It’s not that counselors don’t like insurance companies, or don’t want you to use your insurance (we have health insurance too!), but many counselors prefer to focus 100% of their time and energy in helping clients, rather than doing paperwork for insurance companies.

But this isn’t the only reason counselors may not be in network with your health insurance company.

The other reasons are more compelling, and you need to consider them BEFORE you decide to use your health insurance.

Many counselors prefer not to work in network with health insurance companies so that they can better protect your confidentiality. Any information (claims, reports, or treatment plans) filed with health insurance leaves the protection of their office and their locked files and your personal, private, emotional information is outside of your counselor’s office. In order for any insurance company to reimburse or pay for counseling (both in network and out of network), you must be considered “ill”. You must be diagnosed with a mental health illness or disorder. If you are not ill enough to warrant a diagnosis, then insurance will not pay for counseling services. If you do qualify for a mental health diagnosis, your illness will be listed in your permanent medical record. Many counselors don’t like this “medical model” of declaring someone ill, so they choose not to accept insurance because they want to focus on their client’s strengths, and not label them as mentally ill.

Do you want to be considered mentally ill? If you have a mental health diagnosis already, because you have been to counseling or psychiatric appointments in the past, find out what your diagnosis on file is. If you already have a mental health diagnosis, this may not be a concern to you, but if not, you may not want this in your medical record.

Counselors also do not like releasing information to others to protect your confidentiality. Once a claim is submitted to the insurance company, who knows how many people take a look at it and rubber stamp it while it travels through the system? If insurance pays for any counseling sessions (in network or out of network), then the insurance company has the right to audit your complete file. They can request copies of counseling notes, assessments, and other personal emotional information to determine if you really are “sick enough” to warrant their payment. They can deny services to you if they think you aren’t sick enough or if they think your counseling is not “medically necessary”.

Additionally, there are many counseling issues that are not even covered by insurance at all. Stress management and anger management are usually not covered. Marriage counseling is usually not covered. Certain medical conditions/mental health conditions may be excluded (such as attention deficit disorder or adjustment disorder). Even if your illness or disorder is covered by your insurance plan, they may limit the number of visits they will cover (sometimes only 20 per year), and they will set a maximum amount they will pay per calendar year or in your lifetime.

Additionally, counselors prefer not to have someone in the insurance company telling them how to treat their clients. Insurance companies can decide what type of counseling is covered, what diagnoses are allowed, and how many times the client needs to come before they are cured. Many counselors prefer to work directly with clients to serve their needs, without interference from an insurance company.

Using your health insurance for counseling services can also affect your security clearance, life insurance rate, employment, or future health insurance coverage.

For the above reasons, I recommend that you be informed about using health insurance for counseling. You may choose to file anyway, but be an informed consumer.

  • Be an informed consumer.
  • Know your mental health diagnosis.
  • Talk to your counselor about the diagnosis.
  • Ask your counselor about your treatment reports.
  • Decide if you have, or want to have, a psychiatric illness.

If you have clinical, severe depression, anxiety, or other issues, then you probably already have a diagnosis.

But if you are stressed, having relationship problems, or trying to figure out your purpose in life, your symptoms may be minor, and you may not want to have a mental health diagnosis in your records.

Once an insurance claim is submitted to your health insurance company, your diagnosis becomes part of your permanent medical record, and can affect future life insurance, preexisting conditions, or the cost of private health insurance.

Classic home furniture styles endure the test of time. While trends come and go, the materials, construction, lines and proportion of classic furniture ensures that the styles will retain their popularity. Decorating a home in classic designs gives homes a look of permanency, history, and tradition. Here are several house furniture styles that have become classics in interior design.

English Style

The English style is a collector’s dream-come-true. The look features armoires, curio, and china cabinets to showcase collections, frequently those of glass or china. Wood is the prominent material in homes decorated in the English style, from paneled walls and wood flooring, to wood living room furniture and wood-framed bed canopies. The English style also features upholstered furniture in fine fabrics, often with plaid, paisley, striped or floral patterns.

The color palette for the English style includes strong, saturated colors like crimson, forest green and navy blue, as well as a heavy use of gold and golden yellow. Dark wood is favored over lighter woods like pine and oak, and the strong color palette helps balance the deep, rich tones of mahogany, walnut, and cherry. The scale of a large English manor is reflected in a modern use of the style with an oversized mirror, chandelier or floor-to-ceiling window treatment.

French Provincial

French Provincial furniture is influenced by the ornate style of the French Court of the 1600s and 1700s, as interpreted by the period’s less affluent merchants and peasants. The scale, lines and proportions of the home furniture echo those of Louis XIV and Louis XV, but with a decidedly country feel. French Provincial furniture has a handcrafted look, with a heavy use of cane and wicker. White painted furniture also suits the French Provincial style. Strong blues and yellows are popular, as are more muted shades like terra cotta and rose. Home furniture stores may refer to this style as French Country.

Romantic Style

While the Romantic style does not encompass a particular historical period, due to its enduring charm and appeal, the look has achieved classic status over time. A predominant use of fabric dominates home furnishings in the Romantic style. Textiles can include rich, textured fabrics like brocade, but most often feature lighter fabrics, such as silk, lace and chintz. Painted furniture with smooth, arcing lines are popular choices for the style, as is furniture upholstered in floral patterned fabrics. Pastels comprise the Romantic style’s color palette, with white used as a unifying element.

Both online home furnishing retailers and home furniture stores offer a variety of classic furniture designs. When shopping for classic home furniture styles, identify the style by its characteristic use of material, textile and line, to ensure that the furniture you buy best reflects the style’s signature look.

Just like welding, cutting is also an important process in heavy duty industries. Cutting is an important procedure as the accuracy and the clean finish is important for any process. When a metal piece of solid thinness is cut, the cutter must make sure that the machine used to cut is as efficient to make a clear cut without any chip or cracked finish. Same ways metals sheets of thinner thickness must be handled carefully. Therefore the importance of a proper cutting machine is equally significant just like a welding machine. Among the other cutting machines, Oxy Fuel Cutting Machines are one of the latest, and let’s see about them in brief in this article.

Oxy fuel cutting is one such procedure which makes use of pure oxygen for the purpose of cutting metal sheets like that of steel. The point behind the procedure is the oxygen that reacts with the steel; this is where the reaction happens which gives rise to iron oxide. The combustion process happens with the help of fire, which actually heats the steel to a high temperature, which is calculated to be just about 1800 F. The 1800 F is the temperature at which the pure form of oxygen used in the Oxy Fuel Cutting machine is made to flow in a steady stream and this reaction is the one that creates the perfect cut.

Oxy Fuel Machines are nothing but metal cutting machines that work according to the above procedure by having oxygen as their fuel. The important point to note down in this method is that. These machines take help of the high-velocity, high-temperature that the oxygen gas gives when heated. The cut is actually made because of the ionized oxygen gas which falls out of the nozzle of the welding machine at a very high velocity. The velocity of the ionized gas is the force that is behind the necessary heat that is provided to melt down the metal sheet. The perfection of any cuts made out of this Oxy Fuel Machines is too high and is the main reasons why technicians prefer these machines for cutting steel metal sheets.

It is not that we have just one single model of Oxy Fuel Machines in the market. There are several kinds of Oxy Fuel flame Machines that are available in the market these days and each has their own specialties. Portable cutting equipment or plasma cutters, shape cutting machines and profile cutting machines are some of the Oxy Fuel flame Machine. If you were thinking that the Oxy Fuel flame Machine are fit only for cutting steel, then you are wrong, you can even cute electrically conductive metals such as aluminium and brass with the help of these machines. As the perfection of these oxy fuel machines is higher they are widely available as shape cutting machines. These shape cutter machines are in general used for the purpose of cutting metals into varied shapes as we desire like circular, flanges, squares, rectangles, straight line and much more.

Banks manage financial assets and the success of that management is dependent on the capabilities of the persons who manage those assets.

Therefore growth in this sector is dependent on effective management and leadership capacity and dominance in retail services is directly related to the expansion of the branch network through which the bank’s retail products and services are distributed.

The central departments or bank headquarters form the nerve center of the bank by providing direction, developing new products and services, handling high value investments, treasury management and credit activities. However, it is through the network of bank branches that the retail services developed by the central marketing function are distributed. The network of branches acts like the five senses as well as the arms and the legs of the body by sending critical information from the field to the central departments and executing the corporate strategy by successfully linking the needs of the public to the products and services developed to meet those needs.

The quality and the quantity of that exchange between the branches and the central departments have a great impact on the ability of the bank to leverage its products and services in the market. Simply put, the branches are the points of sales for all the retail products and services developed by the bank. Even though sophisticated, high-value products and services are facilitated by the central departments concerned, the ‘retail services’ are the ‘Cash Cow’. A bank’s ability to expand its branch network through which its products and services are distributed is therefore critical to its growth and profitability.

The question arises – “What is that growth dependent on? And the answer is – “It is dependent on the human capabilities available in the form of individuals who have the skills, the knowledge, the experience and the personality to successfully manage newly established branches. Herein lies one of the major challenges faced by many banks: Their need and their readiness to open new branches both in the home country and abroad is frustrated by the scarcity of individuals who are genuinely capable of successfully launching a new branch or ‘turning-around’ an existing branch.

The purpose of this article is to explore some of the reasons for the scarcity and to suggest some things that can be done about it the in the short term and in the longer term.

8 Challenges and 8 Possible Solutions

Challenge 1: There is no training and development program designed specifically to prepare individuals to move from ‘competent employee’ to ‘competent branch manager’ with the requisite leadership skills.

Solution: Identify individuals with leadership potential as early as possible in their careers through various activities and through multiple sources and methods. For example, if ‘leadership’ is identified as one of the core competencies of the bank and it is fully integrated into the appraisal system at all levels, there will be regular feedback through the performance appraisal system. This feedback can be further validated through regular Assessment and Development Centers designed to identify talent in various areas. Once identified, a clear career path should be presented to these individuals and a systematic development program applied to ensure that we not only identify capable individuals but that we retain them. A clear career path with well defined requirements for moving from one position to another contributes very strongly towards the retention of ambitions and talented leaders. When linked to ‘Succession Planning’ there will also be a timeline that ensures adequate preparation for successors and minimal disruption of work due to sudden departures.

Challenge 2: The competition for talented individuals who have the potential to lead is very high because the demand far exceeds the supply. This increases cost because salary levels have to be raised in order to attract and hopefully keep the best talent.

Solution: Recognize that intelligent and talented individuals are looking for something more than just the salary. So make your bank one that attracts the kind of people you want. Intelligent individuals with leadership capability are looking for a credible organization where they can grow and where they are given the opportunity to contribute as well as enjoy the fun and challenge of working in that place.

Challenge 3: The type of person who is good at managing the branch operations and attending to all the administrative details may not necessarily be good at leading and managing a bank branch from a commercial perspective. Therefore the assumption that it is possible to promote the operations manager to branch manager and then bring someone up from the ranks to handle operations is simply not valid.

Solution: Recognize that ‘Work Preferences’ are an even more powerful predictor of job satisfaction and productivity than academic qualifications and experience. ‘Work Preferences’ must be measured, understood and built into career management and staff retention programs. A person who is good at one thing may not necessarily be good at another. The ‘Work Preferences’ that make a good operations manager are the exact opposite of those that make a good branch manager. When Operations Manager and Branch Manager positions are filled with individuals whose ‘Work Preferences’ are congruent with their skills and their roles it leads to complementary. This increases to a high degree the potential for a great performance. Therefore ‘Work Preferences’ should be factored into the recruitment, selection, career planning, talent management, and succession planning and retention programs of the bank.

Challenge 4: The ‘Critical Success Factors’ for the position of Branch Managers need to be redefined so they reflect current market realities. The branch manager certainly needs to have a solid foundation in the banking know-how that brings the highest revenues to the bank – Credit and Trade Finance. There are far too many branch managers that are not really able to discuss business affairs with their more sophisticated clients in a satisfactory manner. Moreover, many are also unable to adequately coach their staff on the effective preparation of credit files or trade finance documentation and credit.

Solution: Develop a rigorous testing and evaluation system in these areas and use it as a pre-requisite for promotion to the position of Branch Manager. In other words, if candidates for promotion to the position of Branch Manager are unable to pass a knowledge test and a practical skills assessment, they will have to develop their abilities and pass the tests and assessments in these areas before their promotion can go through.

This will contribute to building a sense of professionalism in the sector.

Challenge 5: There is little or no emphasis on the essential ‘soft skills’ for branch management. This includes the effective management of people – inspiring, motivating, developing and challenging them to get the best results. The soft skills are underrated in comparison with banking techniques, whereas they are equally important. Here there are a wide range of skills that are vital to success; the least of which are customer relationship management that goes beyond dinners and lunches or funerals and weddings. Business Ethics is another critical area that must receive attention in light of the recent global economic crisis.

Solution: Develop a set of corporate values and a clear set of interpersonal and managerial competencies that are ingrained into the psyche of every employee through an ongoing coaching and mentoring program. Train and develop your managers so that coaching and mentoring is part and parcel of their daily routine. As they communicate these values and build the competencies into daily behavior, they will contribute to the creation of a new corporate culture where those who do not fit will move out and those who do will move up. This will increase the supply of better qualified candidates for leadership and managerial positions.

Challenge 6: Many think of the Branch Manager as a Public Relations Officer or a Liaison Officer facilitating the exchange of documents and information between the central departments and the branch. In fact many banks have designed the job of the branch manager so that he or she is no more than an informed ‘button clicker’ authorizing transactions through the bank’s operating system. Certainly the ‘control’ function is a very important one and one that cannot be relinquished. However, it has to be considered in light of the role of the branch manager and the optimal utilization of capacity.

Solution: Answer the question of what exactly is the role of the branch manager and what is the most valuable contribution that such a manager should be making. Unless this question is discussed in depth and in light of the future strategy of the bank the role of the branch manager will remain vague and will by necessity be defined by the personal preferences of the individual occupying that position. Those who like dealing with people will become Public Relations Officers, those who like dealing with things and with numbers will become Controllers, those who like ‘challenges’ will become Demanding Bosses. Each role has its merit but the bank needs to decide which role it wants to emphasize and to select its managers accordingly. The important thing is that the decision must be aligned with the banks corporate strategy for growth and expansion.

Challenge 7: From the branch manager’s perspective the question always arises: “Do I have any real power or authority within this centrally controlled structure?” There is no doubt that there are those who will take charge and confidently communicate with the central departments and get the support they need and there will be those who perceive themselves as waiting for orders and are therefore not really responsible in the final reckoning.

Solution: This relationship needs to be considered and clearly defined including the identification of the inevitable ‘grey areas’. Some individuals will be able to rise to the occasion but are waiting to be invited or to be told that they do have permission of the ‘powers that be’ to interact assertively and openly with the Central Departments. They are on the same side.

Challenge 8: Branch Managers also ask: “Where do I go from here? What is my future? Do I remain a Branch Manager for the rest of my life?”

Solution: The answers to these questions are critical to attracting suitable candidates for the position. This is also linked to the role we want our branch managers to play. Are we looking for ambitious entrepreneurs with a solid ethical grounding who are prepared to go after promising opportunities? Or are we looking for ‘button clickers’ who will scrutinize the details, follow the rules and religiously adhere to procedures? Or are we looking for someone who enjoys being a Public Relations officer and gets along really well with people but lacks the solid banking knowledge that will yield high returns from these customer relationships?

This is an important decision as it will determine who you get to fill the position. If you don’t want to settle for taking the first ‘okay’ candidate, a decision must be taken.

Looking at these Human Capital challenges and solutions leads us to propose two main courses of action. One is to make the most of the current situation and the other is to be better prepared for the future. Below are the details on both approaches.

Short Term Human Capital Investment:Take advantage of the current crisis to recruit the talent you really want and to build a pool from which to choose in the future. In the Harvard Business Review you will find steps of consideration to ensure that when you do hire, you hire the right person, at the right time, with the right skills to ensure that when you need specific outcomes, your people are able to deliver.

Hiring Top Executives: A Comprehensive End-to-End Process

1. Anticipate the Need

  • Conducting ongoing, proactive analysis of future needs.
  • Continually evaluating the pool of potential talent.
  • Developing rigorous periodic forecasts of the company’s talent needs.

 

2. Specify the Job

 

  • Defining the specific demands of the job.
  • Specifying which skills and experience are relevant.
  • Identifying the team the candidate will need to work with or recruit.

3. Develop the Pool

  • Developing a large pool.
  • Including insiders, outsiders, inside­rs, outsiders, and outside-insiders.
  • Considering people on the periphery of the organization (employees in remote offices, consultants, suppliers, customers).
  • Tapping your networks and involving the right external partners.
  • Asking candidates’ peers for nominations.

4. Assess the Candidates

  • Using a small number of high-caliber, well-trained, properly motivated interviewers.
  • Employing rigorous behavioral event interviews.
  • Conducting detailed reference checks.
  • Including top stakeholders in candidate assessment.

5. Close the Deal

  • Demonstrating active support for the candidate’s interests.
  • Describing the job realistically.
  • Involving the hiring manager personally, not just HR, in closing the deal.
  • Ensuring that compensation is fair to other employees.
  • Involving C-level for top positions.

6. Integrate the Newcomer

  • Using veteran top performers as mentors.
  • Making sure the newcomer checks in regularly with boss, mentor, and HR even when no problems have arisen.

7. Audit and Review

  • Removing bad hires within the first year.
  • Regularly reviewing recruiting practices.
  • Identifying and rewarding excellent interviewers.
  • Holding all assessors accountable for the quality of their evaluations.

Source: Fernandez-Araoz, C, Groysberg, B and Nohria, N 2009, ‘The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad’, Business Harvard Review, vol. 87, no. 5, pp.79.

Long Term Human Capital Investment:

Identify, develop and retain top talent by using a number of structured and unstructured innovations in ‘Talent Management.’

Build Your Own Talent Pool

Forward-looking Banks today realize that what limits their ability to expand and develop retail operations is the availability of qualified managers to head new branches. The absence of an effective second or third line management layer within a bank means that the bank will face a succession crisis if there isn’t a swift and effective response to this reality.

The challenge is how to make sure that the right persons have been selected and that the path of their development and training will be one that properly prepares them to carry the bank into the 21st century. More importantly, will these individuals be ready to respond to the impact of the political, legal / regulatory, environmental and social changes in the world and in the region? Will they be prepared to handle the reality of borderless financial markets and the ever-increasing pace of technology driven change?

There is no doubt that banks already have or are actively recruiting high potential individuals to lead their banks into the future. The problem, however, is how to accurately identify and accelerate the development of these high potential people so that they can get to where you need them to be in 1 or 2 years instead of five or ten. The second challenge is how to retain them.

These are the challenges that this Bank Branch Manager Accreditation program addresses.

CRITICAL PROGRAM SUCCESS FACTORS

This is an ambitious program and dictates that we proceed with full awareness of the necessary conditions to ensure success.

  1. Full support and or commitment from top management.
  2. Selection on merit and competence so that the investment is made in the right people and the program is perceived as credible.
  3. Selection on merit and competence so that the investment is made in the right people and the program is perceived as credible.
  4. Address the expectations of all stakeholders to prevent misconceptions regarding the outcomes of the program.
  5. Develop a supportive succession and retention plan for those in the program and those directly impacted by them.
  6. Set a realistic budget for this project and demonstrate the high return on investment.
  7. Give the program the optimal time for successful implementation.

OBJECTIVES

The main purpose of this program is to prepare successful individuals to fit smoothly into the role of future Branch Manager of fast-growing banks that have a regional and or international client base. This will involve a number of subordinate objectives:

  1. Train and develop future Bank Branch Managers quickly, effectively and economically.
  2. Use techniques that will bring out the best in your staff and help you decide, without a doubt, where each one will perform best.
  3. Ensure that the development program is totally targeted to your bank’s culture and business strategy.
  4. Identify those who can deal with high change and high stress business environments.
  5. Differentiate the true team players from those who do better alone.
  6. Change your corporate culture to reflect the values and competencies that are vital to the future success and sustainability of your business.
  7. Provide real management experience at low risk to you and your staff.
  8. Involve more than one group in the change process to ensure maximum ‘buy-in’ or ownership of the development process.
  9. Increase the supply of qualified candidates and so reduce the risk of poaching by competitors.

The more we know of human nature and the workings of the human brain, the more we realize that the story of our lives is written in every cell of our body and shaped by every significant relationship. The importance of getting the right people in the right place and the right group of people working together cannot be overestimated. The right outcomes will seem to come as if by magic.