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Gabriel Nielsen

2 months ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: How to Avoid the Emergency Room This Summer

Summer is a time to kick back and relax -- unless you’re an ER doctor, that is. Hospitals don’t take vacations. In fact, some research shows that emergency room visits actually increase during the summer months.

 

Outdoor fun and time off from school and work can provide great opportunities for staying active and fit, but they can also raise your risk for injury and illness. To keep yourself and your family safe this summer, check out these tips for staying out of the ER, from Lenox Hill Hospital emergency physician Robert Glatter, MD.

 

Injury-proof your home and yard

 

Your family will probably spend a lot of time outdoors this summer, so take a look around and remove potential hazards -- like dead tree branches lying right where they can be tripped over, or broken swing sets your kids may want to climb. If you’ve got a pool, make sure it’s securely fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate, so children can’t get in when an adult isn’t present.

 

Do a similar sweep through your house to clear out any accidents waiting to happen -- injuries in and around the home are a common cause of ER visits year-round, Dr. Glatter says. “Clean up loose toys, shoes, cords and chargers,” he says. “Messy rooms cause a surprising number of concussions, wrist fractures and lacerations.”

 

Keep it cool

 

Summer’s heat and humidity can be uncomfortable for even the healthiest people. For children, seniors and people with obesity or a chronic disease, it can be downright dangerous.

 

If you’re at risk for a heat-related illness, try to stay indoors in a cool place (or at least in the shade) during the hottest parts of the day. And when you do spend time in the sun, drink plenty of fluids and reapply sunscreen regularly.

 

Steer clear of ticks

 

The New York area tends to see more cases of Lyme disease than many other parts of the country, Glatter says. The tick-borne disease can cause flu-like symptoms and other problems that are sometimes severe enough to send a sufferer to the doctor -- or even the ER. “We see a fair number of otherwise healthy people with fevers, skin rashes and joint aches at this time of year,” says Glatter.

 

A few moves can reduce your risk of Lyme. If you’re spending time in the woods or tall grasses, for instance in Westchester or on Long Island, use an insect repellant with DEET to keep ticks from biting. When you come indoors, give yourself (and your pets) a tick check.

 

Stay smart on the road

 

Sure, it’s summer, but the biggest dangers out there are the same ones you face year-round. Like car accidents, for instance. “The importance of safe driving cannot be emphasized enough,” says Glatter, for adults as well as for newly licensed teens. That means absolutely no texting behind the wheel, and also avoiding other distractions -- like eating, fiddling with the radio or GPS, or even having intense conversations while driving.

 

If you’re on a bike, always wear a helmet. And whether you’re on two wheels or on foot, always make sure you’re visible to motorists and obey traffic laws when traveling on or crossing roads shared with cars.

 

Keep up your healthy habits

 

There’s nothing wrong with letting loose a little during summer vacation. But that shouldn’t mean ditching your healthy diet, skipping your medication, abandoning your exercise plan, or making risky decisions about drugs and alcohol.

 

“Self-destructive behavior can sabotage your wellness, ultimately leading to an ER visit,” says Glatter. Or put it another way: Staying healthy (and out of the hospital) is often as simple as making smart decisions single day.

3 months ago

Investing Review: Entering the World of Investment

Why people invest? Investing creates more money, which in turn, helps you to fund your lifestyle and plan for financial hardships. When you invest, you devote your time, resources or effort to some specific endeavor with the expectation that it will generate a return in the future.

 

Entering the world of investment isn’t easy, you need to have a certain level of knowledge and skill because taking your first step in the market without knowing what you’re doing and where you’re heading is a very dangerous move. Be sure that you are well-informed, there’s a huge amount of information available on the Internet to make yourself equipped before investing in an institution.

 

There are various ways to invest – stocks, bonds, certificate of deposit and mutual funds are some form investments you can choose from, just be careful of investment scams. But before venturing your way down the road of investing, consider learning the basics here.

 

Your debts, remove them first.

 

Before starting to invest, make sure that you don’t have high-interest debt existing. Why? Because all the effort you’ll put in investing will be useless if you don’t take necessary action about it. It would be better paying your debt first as such would negate all your efforts in investing.

 

There’s an active and passive management in investing.

 

There are two main methods you’ll encounter when you are stock investing – active and passive management. Active investing involves choosing your desired investment type while a passive investing involves a third party. Stock investing is commonly referred as active investing, but this type of investing strategy doesn’t have favorable outcomes at all times.

 

Analyze the situation before investing.

 

Remember, investing isn’t a casino slot machine lever where you can magically gain a huge amount of money once you get lucky. When you are investing, years of patience and discreet assessment of a company are required before you can finally reap a good harvest. 

 

In line with this, when you commit your money to something you don’t understand then you are gambling with the possibility of losing the money you invested. It is necessary that you do research before investing in a specific company and do not immediately believe the opinions and speculations of another person. If your friend told you that a certain company will definitely boom in the following years, make sure to do a little research about the company first and its performance before throwing your hard-earned cash at it. 

 

Planning and setting financial goals.

 

Investing is a long careful process and you need to ask yourself a lot of questions before undertaking the road to investing.

 

•    What are your financial goals?
•    How long is your time frame in investing?
•    What type of investment will you choose?
•    How much money are you willing to invest to achieve your financial goals
•    What short-term financial expenses do you have?
•    Will you have to retire using your investment?

 

Learn how the stock trading works.

 

After establishing concrete financial goals, you can now learn how to start making your investments. In mutual funds, call a fund company and request to open an account for you. In dealing with stocks, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and the Nasdaq Stock Market are the major US exchanges. Stocks are traded on various stock exchanges, they all have a different mode of trading but the process of buying and selling shares are all the same.

 

Buyers and sellers connect during stock exchanges. The buyer will make a “bid” (the share price they are willing to buy), while seller “ask” (the price of the share they are willing to sell). The “spread” is the difference between the two, which are often goes to the professional who handled the trade exchange.

 

The most common way to buy a stock is through brokerage accounts. There are full-service workers and there are discount brokers who offer their service at a not too expensive price.  

3 months ago

Investment Tips: Escape Plan for Your Debt Problem

Wrestling with debt for years with no success? It certainly is an exhausting thing to struggle and keep your head above water. A debt isn’t something you can brush off. It is like a recurring nightmare where Freddy Krueger keeps on haunting and chasing you even on dreams. And now, it is time to take back your life and follow these debt escape plan I prepared for you.

 

Seek help from family and friends

 

This will be my first suggestion. Talk to a friend or relative that has a financial capability to help you pay your debt. But make sure to have a formal agreement on paper regarding payment terms and conditions so that it wouldn’t cause arguments and disputes in the future.

 

Pay higher than the minimum monthly payment

 

One of the faster ways to escape your debt is to pay higher than the minimum monthly payment. Paying only the minimum cash required each month will just lengthen your misery so pay as much as you can afford. If you have spare money allotted for your dine-outs then why not try eliminating that luxurious thing and add it up to your debt payment? Sacrificing such luxuries to quickly pay off your debt is not a bad thing. 

 

Sacrificing savings and investments

 

Why not withdraw your savings and investment in order to slowly pay off your debt? It isn’t a bad thing if you’ll consider it carefully. If your savings and investments are making less than the cost of your debt, it might appear unwise but it isn’t bad to pay off your debt first using any possible source of money you have. 

 

Snowball method for credit card debt

 

A credit card is such a great help with many benefits. It can help you in buying and save money but the constant uncontrolled use of it can ruin your finances. Here are two credit card debt escape plan recommended for you:

 

Plan #1: First, pay the required monthly payment on all of your cards except for one. Then pay as much as you can afford on that one card so you could easily settle your balance in there quickly. Don’t settle on paying for the minimum required payment only, it will just prolong the agony. Once the balance in that particular card reaches zero, try the same method for the next credit card balance you have on your list. 

 

Plan #2: Credit card balance transfer is one alternative way you can use to wisely pay your debt and save money. This involves the transfer of the balance from one credit card account to another.  Many credit card companies allow this process in most cases. All you have to do is choose the lowest interest rate you have on your cards and transfer the remaining balance from other cards into that one. Transferring a higher interest bill to a low-interest card is one excellent move that will surely save you a lot of money in interest. If the outstanding balance is too large for that low-interest card, consider Plan #1.

 

Using cash value life insurance

 

Nowadays, life insurance is a must have especially if you have a family that relies on your income. This will become of great help to you and your family if you accidentally die. However, having a debt can also become a burden to you and your family in the future. If your life insurance company provides cash value, why not borrow from your own money? In this case, you’ll have longer terms to pay for the loan with interest rate to avoid interest scams less than commercial rates.

3 months ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: 7 Ways to Keep Kids Safe From Lead

The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan is heartbreaking for the people who live there -- and may have made you wonder at least a little about lead levels in your own home. That wonder may have turned to worry after news reports that many other cities around the country, including several in nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have reported high levels of lead in their water, or high percentages of kids with elevated levels in their blood. 

 

If you’re concerned about lead in your water, there are steps you can take to ensure that you and your family remain safe, says Jacqueline Moline, MD, chair of occupational medicine at North Shore University Hospital. Here’s how to get started.

 

1. Learn about your water supply. Lead enters drinking water when it leeches from pipes or plumbing fixtures. This can happen on a community level -- especially if a city’s pipes are old or its water is corrosive enough to damage them (as was the case in Flint) -- or it can happen with the plumbing in individual homes.

 

As long as your water comes from a public supplier (and not a private well), the results of regular lead testing should be available online and mailed to you once a year. But you might also want to test the water in your own home, especially if you have old pipes. You may be able to request a free lead testing kit from your local health or environmental health department; otherwise, you can find one for less than $20 at your local home improvement store. If testing shows elevated levels of lead, take these steps to reduce exposure and risk of health problems:

 

2. Flush your pipes. Let your faucet run with cold water for one to two minutes anytime it’s been sitting in the pipes for more than six hours, like first thing in the morning or when you get home from work. (If your water supplier has let you know that the service pipe at the street has lead in it, you may need to run your shower or bathtub tap on cold for five minutes first. Then run the kitchen tap on cold for another minute or two before filling your glass or cooking pot.) “The water that runs in these first few minutes can be used for bathing or watering plants, but should not be used for drinking or cooking,” says Moline.

 

3. Use cold water for drinking or cooking. Hot water leeches more lead from the pipes, so always turn the tap to cold when you need water to drink or to use for cooking (boiling water does not remove lead).

 

4. Buy an NSF-certified filter. Some water filters can remove lead from your drinking water, but many of the popular models you’ll find in home and kitchen stores are not designed to do so. Be sure to purchase a filtration system that’s certified by NSF International, a nonprofit organization widely recognized as a leader in this area, and replace filters as often as directed.

 

5. Consider replacing your plumbing. If your water tests positive for high lead levels but your city’s supply isn’t to blame, you might want to consider replacing old household pipes or fixtures. (Ask your water department for information about replacing the service lines into your home, too.)

 

6. Make sure young kids are tested. Young children are at the highest risk for developing serious problems from ongoing lead exposure. Because their bodies and brains are still developing, lead can stunt or delay their physical growth and cognitive development.

 

In New York State, kids are required to be tested for lead at age 1 and again at age 2. Be sure your child is up-to-date on his or her checkups, and that you have record of those lead tests and their results.

 

7. Don’t ignore other possible sources. Last but not least, look at the bigger picture. It’s smart to learn about your drinking water, but in most homes where lead is a problem, the main source is lead paint on walls. When the paint flakes off, it can mix with soil or dust and be inhaled or ingested.

3 months ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: Your Daylight Savings Time Survival Guide

At 2 a.m. this Sunday, your clocks will “spring forward” an hour, kicking off Daylight Saving Time. The upside: You’ll get some extra sunlight in the evening for the next several months. The downside: You’ll almost certainly lose an hour of sleep Sunday night. And depending on how early you have to get up in the morning, it may be pitch black when you rise for a couple of weeks.

 

For most people, adjusting to the change isn’t hard. “It’s like flying from Chicago to New York,” says Saul Rothenberg, PhD, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist at Northwell Health. “Good sleepers may not even notice a difference.” But if you’re sensitive to time changes or sleep disruptions, you could have trouble falling asleep at night or waking up in the morning, at least for the first few days. If that’s the case, here are some dos and don’ts that can help.

 

Don’t sleep in on Sunday. You may have a habit of grabbing a little extra sleep on Sundays, especially if you stay up late Saturday night. But the time change makes it easy to overdo it. Say you don’t set your alarm—it’s Sunday, after all—and let yourself wake up naturally when your body feels like it’s about 9 am. With the time change, it’s actually already 10 am! Suddenly, you’ve slept so late that you may find it hard come evening to get to bed at your usual time. To make sure you’re rested for work on Monday, it’s best to lose that hour of sleep right away on Saturday night.

 

Don’t nap. Biologically, your bedtime just became an hour earlier than you’re used to. So it’s normal to not feel as tired as you normally would at, say, 10 pm. Napping on Sunday afternoon may make it even harder to fall asleep when you’re supposed to. Instead of a mid-day snooze, fit in a good workout or a long walk: Daytime exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality at night.

 

Do listen to your body. If you’re not tired at your regular bedtime for the first few nights after the time change, don’t force yourself to lie in bed awake. “Just go to bed a little bit later for a day or two,” says Rothenberg. “Humans are very good in the short-run at compensating for an hour less sleep. Over a couple of days, that sleep loss will translate into getting sleepier at night, so it’s easier to get back on track.”

 

Do get some morning light. You’re temporarily getting up an hour earlier than you’re used to, so it’s normal to feel extra sleepy when your alarm goes off. The best way to acclimate your body to its new schedule is to get natural light as early as possible. (Sunlight shuts down the brain’s production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.) Throw open your bedroom curtains as the sun comes up, eat breakfast by a sunny window or spend a few minutes walking outside before work.

 

Don’t fret. Follow these simple steps and you should breeze through the time change with minimal disruption. “The key here is not to worry,” says Rothenberg, “because worrying can have a bigger effect on your sleeping than the change in your clock.” And if you do experience sleep problems that last more than a few weeks—after the time change or at any time during the year—talk to your doctor about healthy ways to make things right.

3 months ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: 5 Numbers to Know for National Wear Red Day

If you’re seeing red today, it’s probably because some of your friends and acquaintances are using a splash of color to draw attention to the fight against heart disease in women. And with good reason: While coronary heart disease is recognized as a major threat to American men, a lot of people aren’t aware that it’s also the #1 killer of women.

 

Here are a few other numbers worth pondering in honor of National Wear Red Day:

 

80
80 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

 

35

Take out a tape measure—if your waist is more than 35 inches, you’re at increased risk of heart disease.

 

30
You can protect your heart by getting as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. Exercising every day is even better.

 

82
If you’re at increased risk for heart disease, here’s a reassuring thought: Women can lower their risk by as much as 82 percent just by making healthy lifestyle changes.

3 months ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: 3 New Year’s Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make

January is a time for new beginnings, and a time for promises to ourselves that this year will be better, happier and healthier than the last. But why are we so often right back where we started by the time February rolls around?

 

“Research shows that about 50 percent of the population makes resolutions, and of those people about 50 percent or less stick with them,” says Robert Graham, MD, director of Integrative Health & Wellness at Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System). “So, at best, only about 25 percent of us are making lasting changes.”

 

Often, that’s because we make resolutions that are unreasonable. “If you don’t have a realistic target, it’s going to be that much harder to achieve it, and frustrating when you fall short,” he says. So in the spirit of “New Year, New You,” here are three common mistakes not to make when thinking about resolutions -- and a few simple tweaks that will make your goals more attainable.

 

Wrong resolution: “I want to lose 50 pounds in three months.”
Make it right: Aim for 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.

 

A restrictive diet may help you shed pounds quickly at first, but is it something you can stick with for several months -- let alone the rest of your life? If not, you may find yourself gaining the weight back before you know it. Instead of making such a drastic change, says Graham, aim to lose 5 percent of your body weight within 6 to 8 weeks, and 10 percent within three months.

 

That may not be the dramatic makeover you’ve been dreaming about, but research shows that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lower your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. What’s more, a slow-but-steady approach is one you can keep up all year, allowing you to continue to lose.

 

Graham also recommends enlisting the help of nutritionist and/or a personal trainer, especially if you want to lose more than a few pounds. “It can be hard to do on your own, especially when you’re trying to create lasting change.”

 

Wrong resolution: “I want to finally get in shape … by jumping into a super-challenging workout program.”
Make it right: Start with 30 minutes of (any) exercise a day.

 

“So many patients tell me, ‘I’m going to start this crazy P90X workout’ or ‘I’m going to run a marathon in two months,’ when they were a total couch potato all year,” says Graham. “That’s great, but as we learned from being a kid: You need to learn how to crawl, then walk, then run.” If you start an exercise program that’s too challenging or that moves too quickly, you could quickly fall behind—or, worse, injure yourself.

 

It’s fine to have a lofty goal, like completing a race or becoming expert in a trendy new approach to exercise. But if you’re starting from scratch, set your sights lower to start: Just pledge to get 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week. That activity can include brisk walking and other forms of moderate exercise.

 

If you can keep that up for a few months and are feeling good, you may want to start increasing the duration or intensity of your workouts, says Graham. But always talk to your doctor before starting a new program that’s physically demanding.

 

Wrong resolution: “I smoked my last cigarette December 31.”
Make it right: Make a plan, set a date and make yourself accountable.

 

The decision to quit smoking is a big one, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. (So congrats!) Now you’ve got to actually make it happen. If you know you want to quit smoking in 2016 but haven’t given much thought to the specifics of how you’re going to do it, going cold turkey may not give you the best chance at success.

 

First, talk with your doctor about strategies that might make quitting easier; he or she may recommend nicotine patches, gum, or medicines that can reduce your urge to smoke. Northwell Health also hosts support groups, workshops and educational programs for people who want to quit; the Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, for example, has one of the highest success rates in the country for smoking cessation.