After Caregiving Ends


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

March 9th! This day comes around every year and there is no way to avoid it. Sure, I could roll the covers over my head for the entire day and wallow in sadness, but what does that accomplish; more sadness, more isolation? I think not!

As I look back on these last four years, I see quite a bit of change in all facets of my life. There is the weight loss, the new moustache, establishing The Whole Care Network and TLO Cruises and Tours and of all things getting a tattoo!

 

The tattoo is probably the most outlandish thing I have ever done in my entire life, however the tattoo has so much meaning to me as I ACE, (After Caregiving Ends). I believe it is through the experience of the white flower and tattoo which has allowed me to work through my grief and (If you would like to learn more about the tattoo see my post entitled “We’ve Only Just Begun: White Flowers and Green Shoes by clicking here“) guide me on a peaceful path.

When Richard (aka TLO) made his life transition on March 9, 2104, two lives were forever changed. As I look back on what I wrote the three previous years on March 9, there is one constant theme, love endures. What is different for me on March 9, 2018 is that I have started to live life again and break out of my isolation.

As I wrote in “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” I believe there are four stages of grief that caregivers experience:

  1. Relief < caregiving has come to an end and the one you are caregiving is now pain-free
  2. Sadness < the life that you once knew is forever changed
  3. Guilt < when you realise that you move on with your life without the one you love
  4. Acceptance < that day when you wake up and say to yourself…”Job well done” and you’re ready to move on with your life with your head held hight.

It took me 15 months to get to the point when I could get to acceptance. What I realize this past year is that I left out one important stage in grief, taking…

5. Action < Moving from isolation and activate your hopes, dreams and desires.

Whether it was the experience of the while flower, the tattoo, starting the Whole Care Network, (I could use countless examples from this past year) these experiences that happened over the past 12 months made me realize that until I took action, I was going to continue to isolate myself and stay stuck in my own muck (Richard would be most displeased!). Taking action has not only has restored my confidence, taking action has allowed me step outside my comfort zone which has provided exciting opportunities for personal growth and fulfilment.

What I have learned along the way is just as caregiving is different for each one of us, life after caregiving is going to be different for each one of us too. Now four years past, I don’t miss him any less; I’ve learned to live with him, and the love, care and commitment we had for each other, in a different way.

It’s “funny” how taking action has allowed me to find deeper meaning to our love, care and commitment. I will be interested to see what March 9, 2019 brings to me on The Purple Jacket!

 

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Top Tips for Effective Self-Care


With today’s busy lifestyles and crazy schedules, finding enough time to maintain your own self-care is often the last priority. There are a number of things that can make you feel negative and can hinder your progress in life but getting through these hurdles is what makes you a stronger and more resilient person. Whatever life throws at you, by taking a positive approach and spending time on caring for your body and mind, you’ll start to notice changes in both physical and mental well being. Sometimes you need a reality check, and although you may have a support network around you, you have to take responsibility for your own destiny and well being to support your own development and progression in life.

For some people, this concept can be more difficult than for others, so if you’re looking for some inspiration on how you can incorporate self-care into your life, take a look at these handy tips to make some time for you.

Treat yourself as you treat others

The saying normally goes ‘treat others how you want to be treated,’ but that should also be turned around when looking at how you value yourself. Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind and considerate to other people and actually could arguably be more important. Give yourself little pep talks and make sure you’re supporting and nurturing your own development. Re-training your thought process and recognizing your own strengths and attributes will help you gain more self-confidence which leads to better self-care.

Focus on being healthy and happy

You may have some personal hurdles to overcome that prevent you from seeing the bigger picture, or you might need a little motivation to get rid of those bad habits. However, focusing on health and feeling happy is an essential factor in self-care. It might be you need a little helping hand for alternatives to habits such as smoking, and www.brokedick.com offers liquids to support a change in lifestyle. Feeling healthy also isn’t just about physical health, it also focuses on mental health too, so making some time for yourself and relieving symptoms of daily stresses can help put you in a better frame of mind to take on new challenges.

Staying positive

Learning to love yourself and your body can be a difficult task but having the right mindset and getting to grips of the real picture can help you see past the fake stimuli that society is pressuring you to achieve. Focusing on the positives in all situations even the bad ones can help you achieve so much more. Not fixating on problems and seeing past small issues can help you understand things in a different light, which, in turn, help to control your emotions and take care of your mind.

Believing in your own strengths and realizing your achievements is vital for positive affirmation. Getting to this point might require time and patience, but the journey will help you reap the rewards in self-love.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

 

 

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How to Prepare For Life After Caregiving


The thought of your caregiving journey coming to an end may be extremely overwhelming and upsetting. Whether the person in your care passes over or makes a full recovery, it can be incredibly difficult to find your feet and move on with your life. If you are so used to thinking about the needs of someone else, not having to do so anymore could leave you feeling more than a little lost. Instead of fretting about the future, you should take on board the following seven suggestions. They won’t be able to remove the pain from the process, but they will be able to provide you with a little comfort during this tough time.

Find hobbies to enjoy

As a caregiver, it is unlikely that you currently have a lot of time to spare. However, once you are relieved of your caregiving duties, you will suddenly have a huge gap in your schedule. If this is due to the loss of the loved one, you may find it extremely difficult to come to terms with your change in lifestyle. Even if this is due to a brilliant recovery, it is still possible that you will find yourself at sea, which is why you should be on the lookout for interesting hobbies to enjoy. This will provide you with something positive to direct your attention towards. It will also help you to rediscover your identity as an individual. Instead of seeing everything in relation to the person in your care, you will need to teach yourself to prioritize your own needs once again.

Establish your own support system

Taking part in exciting new hobbies could also provide you with a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. If you are going to move forward with your life, it is vital that you have your own support system to fall back on. This may seem like a foreign concept if you are used to being the one that is providing support. However, every now and then, it is important that you allow yourself to be taken care of. If you are wondering how to achieve this, why not sign up to a friend finding app? You could even look out for ex-caregivers who are also trying to build connections. That way you will be linked to likeminded individuals who understand your mindset and appreciate everything that you have been through.

Reach out to other caregivers

If you are interested in reaching out to other caregivers, you should do so via a wide range of online forums. You could also follow uplifting blog sites or attend conventions. This is a great opportunity for you to learn from the experiences of others. To someone who has never been a caregiver, all of your answers will appear obvious. You should simply cheer up, keep busy, and put yourself first. However, your fellow caregivers will be able to understand just how difficult it is to break away from the pattern of always prioritizing someone else.

Look after your own health

The next step is to look after your own health. You can do this by taking up regular exercise, following a healthy diet, and spending plenty of time in the open air. You should also be getting enough sleep and drinking your recommended daily intake of water. If you have spent all of these years worrying about someone else’s health, the last thing you want is to be struck down by your own health issues now that your time is your own. That is why you should also endeavor to invest in a comprehensive health care plan and schedule in regular checkups. As a caregiver, you understand perfectly just how important good health can be to someone’s life. That is why you should never take any chances with your own.

Deal with any negative side effects

If you have experienced any negative side effects from your years of caregiving, it is vital that you deal with them as soon as possible. For example, if you struggle with anxiety after years of worry, you will benefit from speaking with a therapist. They will be able to provide you with the coping techniques you need to clear your mind and control your breathing. Or, if you have become overly reliant on harmful substances, you should visit an inpatient drug rehab Colorado way. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to receive the treatment you need in a safe environment, led by professionals who know the journey themselves. Whatever your issue, it is important that you confront it head-on. Acting as a caregiver is an extremely difficult job, so you shouldn’t feel ashamed if it has had a serious impact on your life.

Re-evaluate your living space

Another great idea is to re-evaluate your living space. If you have had your patient or loved one living at home with you, it is important that you embrace a new way of looking at your environment. This is especially important if part of your caregiving duties required you to maintain a sterile home that stored a lot of medical equipment. Instead of being surrounded by painful memories, you should consider updating your design scheme. This could be a therapeutic process, so it is important that you carry out most of the work independently. That way, you can ensure the transformation occurs at a speed that you are comfortable with. While it is essential that you move forward in your life, you don’t want to do so before you are ready.

Embrace a change of scenery

If you are not yet ready to transform your home, but would like to enjoy a change of scenery, you should get to work planning a vacation. This is a brilliant opportunity for you to step away from the stresses and strains of daily life. It is also a great way for you to force yourself to unwind. If you haven’t truly relaxed for a number of years, it might take some getting used to. That is why you will benefit from a trip abroad. Once you have selected your destination, you could invite along some close friends. Or, you could make the most of your chance to go it alone.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

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How To Get Help With Your Caregiving Duties


How to get help with your caregiving duties

As a caregiver, it is likely that you are dealing with an enormous amount of responsibility. In order to protect yourself and the person in your care, it is important that you are honest about whether or not your duties are beginning to overwhelm you. The moment that you feel out of your depth, you should be on the lookout for opportunities to lighten your workload. One of the best options available to you is to bring in outside help. If you are wondering how this could work, you will need to pay close attention to the following seven suggestions.

Hire a personal trainer

First things first, you should consider hiring a personal trainer. This is a fantastic way for you to improve the health and happiness of the person that you are caring for. You could even join in with the exercises yourself, in an attempt to boost your own levels of strength, flexibility, and stamina. If you decide to push forward with this plan, just make sure that you opt for a personal trainer who is able to tailor their workouts to suit your specific needs. Otherwise, you could be putting the person you care for in danger. Although it is important that they stay healthy and active, it is vital that they aren’t pushed beyond their capabilities.

Work with a physiotherapist

If the recipient of your care isn’t in a position to benefit from a personal trainer, why not scale things back by working with a physiotherapist? This is a great opportunity for you to ensure the person that you are caring for isn’t doing any long-term damage to their health. Depending on the condition that they are dealing with, it is possible that they will be putting extra strain on specific areas of their body. Instead of allowing everyday wear and tear to spiral out of control, you can hire a physiotherapist to prevent this from happening.

Call in a dietician

Another important step is to call in a dietician. Hopefully, bringing in an expert will help you to ensure your patient or loved one is eating the correct meals and receiving all of the nutrients they require. While you might find it difficult to talk them out of unhealthy choices, a trained professional will be equipped with persuasive arguments and startling facts. They will also be able to help your patient or loved one to enjoy the best of both worlds. Instead of cutting out all of their favorite treats, a dietician will think up innovative recipes that are both healthy and delicious. When you are struggling through a hard time, the last thing you want is to be denied all of life’s small pleasures, which is why you need to strike the right balance between being a sensible caregiver and acting as a kind and understanding source of support.

Reach out to a rehab center

If the person that you are caring for is struggling with addiction, it is essential that you reach out to a rehab center as soon as possible. This is one area of the caregiving process where you simply cannot manage independently. Of course, you can offer your patient or loved one plenty of advice, but you can’t shoulder the burden of their behavior alone. That is why you should research drug rehab centers in Washington State. Whether the recipient of your care is struggling with addiction as a result of depression or compulsive medication use, the right rehab will be sure to help you out. Allowing their addiction issues to escalate could put even more strain on their body and mind, so you need to act at the first sign of trouble.

Book a session with a stylist

Next, you should consider booking a session with a stylist. While this step might not seem as important as visiting a rehab center or collaborating with a physiotherapist, there are still plenty of benefits to thinking about the superficial from time to time. In order to raise the spirits of the person in your care, you need to make sure that they are looking and feeling their best. The fact that they are going through a difficult time doesn’t mean that they can’t take pride in their appearance. Therefore, organizing a styling session could be a brilliant way for you to remind your patient or loved one that they are still worthy of pampering and preening. You could even use this as a bonding session and join in with the fun. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that everyone involved is given the chance to feel confident, happy, and normal.

Hire an interior designer

In addition to this, you should encourage your patient or loved one to hire an interior designer. This is another brilliant way for you to provide them with a mood-boosting treat. Updating their décor could also be a great option if they are tired of being constantly enveloped by medical equipment and a sterile environment. If the person that you are responsible for spends a lot of their time at home, it is vital that they are comforted by their surroundings. Even if you don’t decide to pay out for an interior designer, you could always take matters into your own hands by adding a touch of color to the walls, rearranging the furniture for easy access, and purchasing a couple of houseplants. You might be surprised by the amount of difference it makes.

Schedule in a regular deep clean

Last but not least, you should embrace the many benefits of hiring a cleaner. There is no better way for you to ensure your patient or loved one is protected against harmful germs and bacteria. A regular deep clean will also come in handy if they suffer from allergies or easily trip and fall. While you may not be able to afford a weekly clean, scheduling one in for the end of every month will still have an impact. Of course, it will provide a touch of luxury for the person in your care, but it will also help to cross one more job off your list. It really is a win-win situation!

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

 

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How to Prevent Chemical Poisoning In the Aged


Chemical poisoning might sound very rare and complex to occur normally, but it is actually quite common in children and the elderly in particular- most of the household products, medicines, cleaners we use daily have chemicals in them, and due to their physical frailty, kids and the aged are more vulnerable to injury or illness by chemical poisoning. Substances like carbon monoxide and lead are common in cleaning liquids and yet other chemicals release fumes and odors which can cause slow chemical poisoning when inhaled frequently. An elderly person is more susceptible to these dangers but there are a few checks to prevent chemical poisoning.

Keep notes

With age, one tends to get a little confused about different things, and it’s possible for the same to happen in the case of medication. To avoid the risk of getting muddled and taking the wrong medicine, or consuming it the wrong way, one can keep notes about each medicine and when and how it should be taken. Caregivers should keep track of the same.

Protection against fumes

An elderly person should try to find alternatives to harsh chemicals which give out possibly poisonous fumes, but in case that is not possible, it is prudent to take measures such as using thick, anti-absorbent cleaning rags and brushes, protective face and body gear, and opening all the windows around to let the gases out. The caregiver needs to be careful in such cases.

Study and research

If you’re taking care of the elderly on a regular basis, or are doing it professionally you might consider reading up on what kinds of chemicals to avoid or to be careful around. There are several courses from simple first aid to basic toxicology which you can pursue. In fact, toxicology makes a sound career and combining it with anti-hazard precautionary care for the elderly is a novel idea. How much does a toxicologist make? A good amount, that’s for sure, and it’s a great way to learn about chemicals, chemical poisoning, and how to prevent it.

Emergency phone line

This is important for everyone, including the aged and their caregivers. Always keep a poison/hazard helpline number at hand, amongst the regularly important numbers such as those of the police, ambulance, fire department, etc. Chemical poisoning is a terrible danger for the elderly, and being prepared this way is best.

Store chemicals in original containers

Many households have a tendency to store different products and materials in containers of different categories, such as laundry detergent in a soda bottle, for example. That is not a good idea, as the aged person might mistake it for something else and spill the chemical, which could result in injury. So be careful not to interchange containers with chemicals in them, and label everything clearly to avoid any confusion.

As you may have observed, the little factors play a huge role in preventing terrible events like chemical poisoning. One must be alert, careful and pro-active when it comes to protecting particularly the aged from such dangers.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

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6 Tips For Dealing With Stress


Everybody gets stressed at one point or another, and everybody has different reasons for being stressed. It’s virtually impossible to avoid being stressed, as a Gallup poll carried out late last year that revealed just 4% of American’s felt they had never been stressed showed.

If you can’t avoid it – and short of moving to a desert island where the pressures of life are absolutely non-existent, that seems unlikely – then the next best thing is learning how to deal with it.

Thankfully, there are quite a few coping mechanisms that can help you deal with most stressful situations. For starters, here are six tips for dealing with stress.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and refined sugars

Many of us turn to caffeine to keep us awake or alcohol and nicotine to help us cope in stressful situations. None of these substances is particularly helpful for dealing with stress. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants so will actually increase your stress levels rather than reducing them while alcohol may give us a temporary feeling of elation or a boost, but ultimately it is a depressant which means that it is far more likely to make you feel even worse than we did before hitting the bottle.

If you are feeling stressed, swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water or natural drinks such as fruit juice and herbal teas. These will keep your brain hydrated which will help keep you awake and alert just as caffeine does but without the negative impact of a stimulant.

Refined sugars are particularly bad for stress levels due to the energy crashes they can be responsible for which can make you tired, irritable and angry. More than two-thirds of the refined sugar used in the United States is found in processed food, so by cutting out cheaply manufactured food produce in favor of fresh produce, you’ll be helping to cut your stress levels.

Take part in physical activity

Our ancestors from thousands of years ago used to have to fight to survive and that has left modern day man with hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals are released into the body in stressful situations in order to provoke the fight or flight response , which was designed to protect us from harm when we were under threat.

The stresses of modern day life such as a work deadline or trying to host the perfect Thanksgiving meal don’t require a fight or flight response, so how do you deal when your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your system? Exercise is one way to do so. It can help to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and return your body to a calmer state.

If you are feeling stressed, then go for a brisk walk in the fresh air to relieve it. If you want to help manage stress before it has even hit, then regular physical activity can do the trick as well as improving your sleep. Which moves us nicely onto…

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep and stress are a vicious circle. You need to get a good night’s sleep to feel less tired and as a result less stressed, yet if you are stressed, you may struggle to sleep as thoughts and worries continue to swirl around your head when you are trying to drift off.

There are a several ways in which you can help yourself get the recommended seven to nine hours sleep a night that an adults over the age of 26 need. Stopping doing mentally demanding work a few hours before going to bed will allow your brain time to unwind and switch off while you should also avoid anything containing caffeine before hitting the pillow.

A warm bath or reading fiction can help relax your body and take your mind off the stresses of everyday life that might be keeping you awake. You should also try and stick to a regular bedtime. If your body knows that come 11pm every day you’ll be switching off, then it will adapt and be prepared to shut down at that time each night, in turn helping you get to sleep.

Supplement your diet with natural remedies to help you relax

We’ve already covered the fight or flight response and what that does for stress levels – so how did our ancestors cope with stress? In ancient times, herbal remedies would have been used to help reduce anxiety and depression which can lead to high-stress levels.

These answers still exist today. Some herbal remedies you may want to consider to combat stress are Ashwagandha which one study showed reduced stress by 44%, Rhodiola who’s properties include energy enhancement and improving mood, valerian root which can help with insomnia and nervousness and cannabidiol which helps manage anxiety.

Keep a diary

Writing “Dear diary…” entries when you are stressed probably sounds like a pretty accurate description of hell, but it can be an extremely beneficial tool when it comes to managing stress. By noting down the time and place when you underwent a stressful episode, you’ll have a record to look back at and work out if any similarities are linking the times you are stressed.

You could discover that it is happening in the run-up to performing a specific weekly chore or when you come across a certain individual. By working out certain scenarios that are making you stressed, you can either avoid them completely in the future or if that isn’t just isn’t possible, try and come up with ways to cope when faced with them.

Say NO!

Often, we put ourselves under additional stress because we can’t say no. Whether it be to that extra shift at work or helping out a neighbor, taking on extra responsibilities is extra stress – especially if you already lead a hectic lifestyle with far too much crammed in.

It’s difficult to say no, especially when we feel like we may be letting a friend or relative down. It is something we all have to learn to do though. Learning to say no to requests that you don’t think are important or are simply ones that you can’t or don’t want to fulfill will help you deal with stress.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

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The Importance of Building Healthy Relationships


It’s natural for people to want to share their life with others and build relationships in different areas of their life. Whether these relationships are on an intimate, friendship or family level, each and every one is important for building a better life and compassionate outlook. Positive relationships are good for the soul, and they provide tons of benefits for you and those around you. Some of the most obvious advantages of building healthier relationships come in the form of trusting one another, respecting others and making time for the people who matter most but there are also plenty of other significant benefits too including:

Encourages healthy habits

You are most influenced by the people around you, so building better relationships will help you get the most of the good aspects and healthier habits for the long term. You’re likely to follow in the footsteps of someone who is a good role model, and this can be for healthy eating habits, supporting change and reducing things that negatively impact your life.

Decreases stress

When people that support and comfort you surround you, you are less likely to be affected greatly by everyday stresses. Also, for people that are in a committed relationship, studies suggest that you release less of the hormone that contributes to stress. Working together and building up resilience to trivial stresses can help you sustain a happier lifestyle and enjoy support others around you.

Solving problems

When you have a good network surrounding you, you are more likely you be able to tackle problems calmly and rationally. This support network can provide a place to bounce ideas off each other and come up with solutions to small or larger issues. It can also be a fun space too, as challenging yourself to work together in a relationship building exercise such as the Memphis Escape Room will get everyone working together in a fun and exciting way.

Helps you to heal

Both in the physical and emotional sense, having healthy and supportive relationships with you can help you to heal faster. Research has shown that people who have others supporting them after operations and times of illnesses are more likely to recover faster for those that don’t have a support network. In emotional cases, having a significant other to talk through your problems and help you through bad times will help to see things in a different light which aids recovery times.

Contributes to a longer life

Having better relationships over the course of our life is said to lead to a longer and happier lifestyle in the long run. Healthy relationships help to keep blood pressure down and support your coping strategies towards stress. Having people around you also gives you a greater sense of purpose and although it might not seem apparent, a feeling that you are a more prominent part of people lives. This sense of self-worth and purpose in life is said to add years to your life too.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

 

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Staying On a Clear Path


Staying On a Clear Path

Go to school, spend time with family and friends, practice self-care and even choose a career that you feel fulfills your soul: staying on a clear path throughout your life could also mean staying out of trouble. It is all of these factors that can contribute to someone staying on a law-abiding path in life. There will always be ups and downs with everything, but that does not mean that you should neglect taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is incredibly important for the sake of your mental health and living a long life. Avoid breaking the law and engage in activities that make you happy. This article provides further details about what staying on a clear path could entail.

Go to school

School and education is a privilege that some people still fight to obtain in certain parts of the world. Not everyone can receive free education. It’s highly important for those that do to attend. School is beneficial for kids and adults for a number of reasons. For one, attending school helps kids obtain the necessary social skills for life. Moreover, without school, you may find it harder to understand what the correct path in life is. This is broadly used because the ‘correct’ path sometimes means something different for everyone. However, what remains the same is this need for people to stay within the law and to ensure that their life path does not harm them or the people that surround them. Plus, going to school teaches people from a young age how to read, write, critical thinking skills and so on. It is these skills that set people up for a functional life in society. In addition, school develops personalities from a young age, as the interaction with people can mold kid’s likes and dislikes. Without learning about all of these different factors from a young age, adults would have a hard time adapting to professional work.

Avoiding addiction

Some people use substances such as alcohol and drugs as a way to connect with people. It ties back to the importance of attending school, as school helps people gain the necessary social skills. Addicts, for instance, can use their chosen drug as a way to connect with others. However, those that fall prey to this drug will also wind up incarcerated or even worse. ‘10 Things You Learn As A Heroin Addict’ will help you learn about Connor’s story and his life with heroin addiction. There is an assumption that the drug will make people feel good, but really, the opposite is true. Should people fall into this life, getting help is one of the most important things you can do to overcome the addiction. Recovery is the only way to come out of substance addiction, and just because people you know are taking the drug does not make it ok.

Avoiding addiction is more than just avoiding a certain drug; it is avoiding alcohol abuse and any other substance or drug overdose. When you begin to talk to people or hang out with people who have fallen off the path, it’s important to quit sooner rather than later. Meaning, stop running with those crowds. True friends do not force you down a path of addiction, nor should they. True friends inspire you to live the best life you can and support you every step of the way.

Help from friends & family

Family and friends play a huge role in people’s lives. Having people in your life that support and love you will further help you stay on a good path in life. A support system from the people that care about you can be one of the best scenarios to help you through any tough situations. Family, for instance, is meant to prepare you for the world from a young age. Teaching you right from wrong and taking care of you. For those that do not have a good relationship with their families, friends are the family you choose. Having people around that care about you will help you emotionally. Distancing yourself from these people, alternatively, will sabotage your ability to connect with them on an emotional level. You must be open and allow for friends and family to help out, especially during stressful or anxious times in life. They are there to provide comfort, and these are individuals you should open up to about your feelings and emotions.

Self-care

It is always up to you to take care of yourself. Family and friends can help support you, but nobody can tell you what to do outside of you. That is why self-care tips are beneficial. One example of self-care is going about life slower. Life isn’t a marathon with checklists. Everyone hits milestones at a different point. Don’t always get caught up with social media applications and constantly being on your cell phone. Go for walks in the park or take a stroll through the neighborhood. Self-care can also differ with the seasons, as you may not be as inclined to go for long walks in mid-winter. Still, winter is a great time to sit by a fireplace and read a favorite book, watch a good show, drink some hot chocolate and take some time to relax. Taking care of yourself will go a long way to improving your way of life.

Choosing a career that fulfills your soul

Choosing a career that fulfills your soul could be another self-care method. People spend a lot of their lives in the workplace. You have to make money to afford to purchase a home, furniture, food, clothes, etc. Thus, aim to go to a job that fulfills your soul. Having a dead end job will only make you hate your life, and this will not benefit you. You can stay on a clear path and still have a job you hate, but having a job you love will make life more exciting. Life is too short, so you might as well do your best to get the kind of job that would make life fun.

Self-care is one of the most important factors when it comes to staying on a good life path. Still, friends and family, education, career and avoiding addiction all affect your quality of life. As a result of this, it’s important to surround yourself with people who will push you to succeed and make you happy. From a young age, always do your best to stay out of trouble. Trouble should not be the go-to activity throughout life.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

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8 Steps To Becoming The Perfect Caregiver


If you are going to succeed as a caregiver, it is important that you are confident in your abilities. It is also important that you can instill this confidence in the people around you. You need to make sure that everyone has faith in your suitability to manage the situation and take on such an enormous amount of responsibility. In order to achieve this, you will need to prove yourself as a suitable caregiver. Below are eight tips that will guide you through the process.

Free up your schedule

The next step is to free up your schedule. If you are going to thrive as a caregiver, you will need to have plenty of time to dedicate to the person in your care. That is why you need to take a step back and evaluate your lifestyle. Ideally, you should have a clear plan for each week. This will allow you to separate your time into manageable chunks. It will also help you to avoid double booking. In your role as a caregiver, the last thing you want is to be distracted by other commitments. It will be impossible for you to do your job effectively if you are overwhelmed by everything else you need to squeeze in.

Prove that you are enjoying a healthy lifestyle                   

The first step is to prove that you are enjoying a healthy lifestyle. This is a fantastic way for you to show just how reliable a caregiver you will be. Instead of taking regular days off from your responsibilities, you should make it clear that you are definitely up for the challenge. You can do this by making an effort to work out at least twice a week, following a balanced diet, and attend routine health checks. You could even sign yourself up for a drugs screen, just see page for more details. This may seem extreme, but it can demonstrate your open-minded attitude and understanding of responsibility that you have for the role. Why give them cause to question your capabilities, when it is so easy to put everyone’s mind at rest?

Get your finances under control

You will be able to be a lot more relaxed about your schedule if you manage to get your finances under control. Financial security is your best chance of reducing your stress levels and focusing on the job at hand. Why not work with an accountant to explore your options? Alternatively, you could sign up to internet banking and manage your funds independently. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you aren’t in a position where you need to take on extra employment or make drastic changes to your current lifestyle. If you are going to be someone else’s rock of support, it is essential that you are completely stable.

Work out to boost your personal fitness levels

Along with emotional support, you will also need to provide plenty of physical support to the person in your care. That is why you should be working out to boost your personal fitness levels. This is especially important if you have a small build. You don’t want anyone to worry that you are incapable of carrying out the more physical aspects of your role. Therefore, you should try your hand at weight training. You should also sign up to exercise activities that require plenty of stamina, balance, and flexibility. These skills could all be of use further down the line.

Embrace philanthropic opportunities

Another brilliant idea is to embrace multiple philanthropic opportunities. As a caregiver, it is essential that you are kind, generous, and understanding. Taking part in charity work is an excellent way for you to make this clear. Of course, your commitments will change as you take on your role as a caregiver. However, in the lead up to this event, you should endeavor to help out in your local community and support important causes. Not only will this help you to broaden your skillset and your experience, but it will also put you in touch with useful contacts that could help you in your role. Perhaps you will work with a charity that supports people who are going through difficult times. Or, maybe you will connect with an organization that could provide you with support when you need it most.

Educate yourself

If the person that you are providing care for is dealing with a specific problem, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible. Although it is extremely likely that they will have healthcare professionals to take the lead, it is still worth your while reading up on the issues that they are dealing with. This is an excellent way for you to improve the quality of care that you are offering. It is also a fantastic opportunity for you to impress the other people involved in the situation.

Work on your time keeping abilities

You can also impress the people around you by working on your timekeeping abilities. If you are going to prove that you have what it takes to be a caregiver, you need to learn the importance of turning up to appointments bang on time. You also need to think about how you are going to keep to your deadlines when there might be other factors that complicate the situation. For instance, the person that you are caring for might require special equipment for getting around. Or, they might experience a down day that makes it difficult for them to leave the house. Whatever the situation, it is vital that you are an expert in time management.

Improve your patience levels

You should also be an expert in remaining patient and calm in stressful situations. This won’t always be easy, but it is an essential part of maintaining a good relationship with the person that you are caring for. That is why you should work hard to improve your patience levels. Even if you think that you are fairly skilled in this department, working as a caregiver provides a whole new set of challenges. Luckily, it is never too late to make improvements.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

Email address: maggiehamm

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Eight Ways to Show Your Loved One You Care


The world can seem like a sad place full of heartbreak and misfortune. On the other hand, on some days it can appear to be a place full of possibilities and beauty. In order to live a balanced life, it is important that you’re able to both give and receive love. While receiving love can make you feel fulfilled, giving love can help the people around you feel the same. In a world full of busy schedules, it can be difficult to find the time to show love to the people closest to you. However, since it is often said that the world needs more love, here are eight practical ways that you could show more of it to the people around you.

Surprise Visits

In this present age of technology, physical contact can seem like something that is becoming extinct. People have become so accustomed to instant messaging, texting, and social media, that visiting friends and loved ones no longer seems to be a common occurrence. Visiting people, however, is a way to make them feel appreciated and loved. It takes extra effort and is a way of showing people that you’re thinking of them and have them in mind. If you want to make the people around you feel loved, why not plan a surprise visit? You could choose a day that you think they’ll be home and bring a small thoughtful gift along with you. If you have the sort of friend that doesn’t like surprise visits, then you could let them know ahead of time that you want to stop by.

Support

You never know what people are going through and how afraid they may be to talk about it. For this reason, reaching out to those around you is critical. Some people are battling heartbreaks, the loss of loved ones, financial hardships, addiction, as well as other challenges and are in desperate need of support. This is when friends and family come into play as they can offer the support needed to help them get through tough times. If, for instance, you have friends or family that you know are battling addictions, you could help them find rehab centers as a way of helping them recover. Additionally, you could offer support while they’re in rehab and also once they come out. No matter what it is that the people around you are going through, there are ways that you can support and make their burden lighter to carry. It could be by talking to them often, speaking positive words to them, or encouraging them not to give up. It also doesn’t hurt to ask them how you could support them so that you can give them exactly what they need. If it happens that you’re still stuck on ideas for showing support, you could send a care card, tell someone how important they are in your life, thank them for their help and contributions, give compliments, and also genuinely praise their strengths.

Birthday Wishes

A birthday is an event that only happens once a year, and it’s a chance to celebrate life. While some people make more of a big deal out of it than others, it is a chance for you to appreciate those closest to you and show them some love. Remembering so many birthdays can be challenging in the midst of busy work and life schedules. For this reason, it may be a good idea to pop important birthdays into your calendar on your phone and set reminders. If you happen to be Facebook friends with those close to you, then you’ll probably notice that they provide you with notifications when it’s a friend’s birthday, so that’s a way of remembering as well. You could send them a thoughtful message, send a gift to their house with a card, or take them out to celebrate if you have the time. If they’re celebrating and happen to invite you, honoring their invitation is also a way of showing love. You could even go the extra mile and plan a surprise birthday party for a friend or family member if you really want to go all out. A birthday is one of those occasions in a year where someone can be celebrated for their existence. When you remember that day and show love, it is likely something that those around you will appreciate.

Encouraging Texts

Life is an uphill battle for many people, and it can be easy to become discouraged. People are often looking for encouragement to keep them going as a result. If you’re good at cheering people on and sending warm words of encouragement, then why not make a habit out of it? You could choose a day of the week to send selected contacts a nice text message that could help lift their mood and spirit. There are several ways you could go about doing this which include sending messages through instant messaging apps or through SMS. You could even take it a step further and post your messages on social media if you would like to reach a wider audience of people. If you choose, you could compose the messages on your own or look for encouraging quotes online that you could send out. You never know just how much this could brighten up someone’s day, give them a little hope, and make them feel more loved.

Generosity

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way in making those around you feel loved. There are so many ways to be generous and carry out acts of kindness. You could choose to do so by giving material things or as mentioned above, spending quality time, or showing support and encouragement. If you choose to give material things, there is no end to what you could do. If, for instance, you notice one of your friends has a need such as a TV, and you have one that’s idle at home, you could give it to them. You could likewise offer financial support to those who need it or give away items that you’re not using to those around you who may need them. When you’re shopping, you could also think about picking up things for those around you that may meet pressing needs. It may be interesting to also note that outside of making the people around you feel loved, another benefit of generosity is that it can also make you feel good.

Quality Time

Spending one to one time with those around you is a simple way to make them feel loved. There are so many things you could choose to do in your quality time together but what’s most important is that you do it together. You may choose to go for a walk, indulge in some type of entertainment, or have a relaxing day in. If you’re stuck on what else you can do when spending quality time with someone, you could also try something you’ve both never done before to ensure your time together is more memorable. This could mean engaging in adventure, trying new food, or exploring new sports together. As long as you get to talk, laugh, be yourselves and show each other love, it should be time well spent.

Grocery Shopping

Sometimes all it takes to show a little love is a thoughtful gesture such as buying groceries. Next time you pop into the grocery store, you could consider buying groceries for a neighbor or elderly person in your community. You don’t have to go overboard and could just stick to a few healthy food items such as fruit, vegetables, and perhaps bottles of water. If you don’t want to buy food items, you could stick to household essentials like toilet roll, detergent soap, and other things people are likely to use on a daily basis. You may want to send someone groceries but find you do not have the time to buy them and drop them off as well. If this is the case, you could think about ordering them from a supermarket that does home deliveries and getting them delivered to the person’s house as an alternative. Buying groceries may also be a good idea for someone who just had a baby, has just come from the hospital, or is recovering from any kind of illness.

Volunteer  

Another way to show love is by volunteering. Volunteering is different from the rest of the suggestions as if you opt to volunteer; it’s a chance to help people that you don’t know. There are so many places that you could choose to volunteer at such as homes for elderly people, in hospitals, at local charity’s and even at youth clubs. You should think about a social issue that interests you and how you can contribute your time and skills to help improve that issue. You could even consider a volunteer vacation if you want to be a little more adventurous.

Finding time for the people around you isn’t always easy, but it is vital. No matter how much of an introvert you are, we all need people for different purposes. Everyone needs a little love at some point in their life so showing it in whatever way that you can is a way to contribute to your community and make your world a better place.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

Email address: maggiehammond57@gmail.com

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How to Fund Your Medical Practice


How to Fund Your Medical Practice

If you’re a medical professional who wishes to open their own practice, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all of the costs that are involved. In addition to finding the perfect location, you also need to consider how much you’ll pay your staff and what your supplies and equipment will cost. But, once you’ve crunched some numbers, you’ll have a much clearer idea of just how much funding you’ll need in order to get off the ground. Here are a few tips on how to get the funding required.

Try Crowdfunding

Believe it or not, crowdfunding could be a good way to get the money that you need to start any type of business, including a medical practice. The key is transparency, as that will help people trust you and believe in your project. Let people know how their donations will be used, and what they could expect in return for their help. So, for example, if you are opening up a dental practice in Washington, you could list out the costs of real estate there, as well as the cost of a dental hygienist salary Washington, so that you can let people know where the donations will be going and why the donations are so necessary.

Traditional Loans

In addition to asking the public for direct support in opening up your medical practice, you could also opt for traditional loan options. For example, you could get a long-term financing option in the form of a loan from a local bank. Or, you could even go for a small business loan from a lender. Consider opting for a loan that can provide you with the lowest possible interest rate and the longest repayment term possible, as that could make it easier to repay the loan over time. Just be aware that you may need to wait a few months before you actually receive the funding, and you will need to fill out quite a bit of paperwork. But it will all be worth it once you are approved and you can use the money to get your practice off the ground.

Short-Term Options

If you aren’t keen on the idea of taking out a long-term loan or you aren’t able to qualify for one, you could instead get the funding that you need via an alternative loan like a line of credit or a short-term loan. This will provide you with a more immediate flow of the cash that you need, but the drawback is that these types of loans will usually also have short repayment terms and high-interest rates. But if you are in need of fast money to make an equipment purchase or to replace something that broke, this could be a good way to go.

As you can see, you do have a few options when it comes to funding your medical practice. So, if it’s your dream to help people heal, don’t get discouraged, as you can get the money that you need to have the career that you will love.

 Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

Email address: maggiehammond57@gmail.com

 

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