(NewsUSA) – Talk about annoying.
Here you are, trying to keep your family from being left destitute when you die, and — unlike all those travel websites we’re accustomed to — you can’t get a simple price quote online for life insurance without first supplying more personal details than you’d be comfortable telling your best friend.
And even if you do (grudgingly) supply the information, somehow you never learn the actual cost until some insurance company salesman calls you back.
And keeps calling you back — perhaps pitching more insurance than you need.
Well, now there’s a new website, www.CoverYoo.com, that’s getting rave reviews for being — to keep the travel analogy going — “the Kayak.com of Life Insurance,” as one trade journal put it.
Not only does the site let you anonymously comparison shop for different types of life insurance from among hundreds of companies — allowing you to almost instantaneously see, for example, that 10-year term insurance will run you anywhere from $111 to $632 annually — but everything is written in plain English (as opposed to insurance-speak).
“You feel like you’ve done your homework when you go to CoverYoo,” says Chief Technology Officer Todd Albert. “And once you see the price, it’s totally up to you whether you want to talk to an agent or not.”
You also feel like you’re getting the straight dope. Case in point: While many in the industry speak in crisis terms about the estimated 39 percent of Americans who lack life insurance, CoverYoo.com says straight out that “odds are that you don’t need (it)” if you fall into certain categories (i.e., single and no children).
For those who do need it, though, the site also does a good job of explaining the four basic life insurance policies out there — “Term,” “Term to Age,” “Term ROP (Return of Premium),” and “Universal Life” — and helps you decide which is right for you. Thus, even before you check the prices, you’ll know, among other things, that:
* Term insurance is the least expensive, and a simple rule-of-thumb for choosing among five-year, 10-year, 20-year and 30-year durations is to ensure that your youngest child will be covered to age 22.
* Declining a medical exam severely limits your options.
* To figure how much coverage you really need, total all your debts (including mortgages) and 70 percent of your annual expenses for 20 years.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact for anyone who doubts the need for CoverYoo: Esurance.com, which some of you may have tried, is actually owned by none other than Allstate.
(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Knees start to hurt. Hips start to ache. Maybe your lower back too. And you finally understand what “tennis elbow” means. Welcome to getting older.For years, your bones, muscles, and joints have held up with nothing more than a minor twinge here or a bruise there. Now, however, it takes longer to get out of bed and daily aches and pains seem to be the norm.While it may sound counterproductive, studies have shown that engaging in a moderate strength training program not only helps in toning up, but strengthening muscles that can ache for days. This is especially true as you get older.Experts say that while some pain is expected as you age, it is also the body’s way of telling you something. The following tips can help tired, sore muscles and joints feel better:* Soothe with heat. A warm shower or bath, hot water bottle, or warm cloth can help relax tired muscles and ease muscle spams.* Invite in the cold — therapy, that is. Ice packs can soothe pain, especially if a joint is inflamed or swelling (think joints ankles, elbows, shoulders). Try a cool cloth, cold pack, cold compress wrap, or ice massage. Typically the time is 15-20 minutes on, and the same amount of time off the joint or muscle.* Practice deep breathing. The benefits of using the breath to soothe yourself cannot be underscored enough. Slow, quiet breathing helps relax the body and mind and ease the pain. Aim for about six long, deep breaths a minute.* Get a massage. A foot, back, or hand rub can also alleviate pain. Warm oil or lotion may also help you relax. One note: massage in one area for 10 seconds first to see if it feels good.* Invest in a stairlift. If you have stairs in your home, and there are days that you just can’t seem to make it up due to tired, aching muscles, a stairlift, such as those from Orlando-based Acorn Stairlifts, can help. Unlike chair lifts of old, new models are powered by two small 12-volt batteries under the seat or by regular house current. The chair and built-in footrest typically fold up when not in use. Available for straight or curved stairs, these lifts can be a godsend if you’re recovering from an injury. The lifts include safety belts, lockable swivel seats, and light touch controls for easy operation.For more information, please visit www.acornstairlifts.com.
(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Do your kids have your back? Apparently more so than many of you think.
That’s the most heartening takeaway in an otherwise cautionary look at the diciest of American subjects — aging parents — that comes courtesy of the third biennial “Fidelity Investments Family & Finance Study.” Less heartening is that nearly 4 in 10 families seem to be suffering from what’s best described as — hat tip to “Cool Hand Luke” — “a failure to communicate.”
Let’s start by giving at least certain offspring their due credit:
* While 93 percent of parents felt it would be “unacceptable” to become financially dependent on their kids, 70 percent of the adult children had no qualms about opening their wallets.
* Children were much more likely to expect that either they or a sibling would care for an ill parent than their moms and dads were (47 percent vs. 11 percent).
“Despite this welcome news for parents, the study suggests several areas where they need to speak up to ensure their wishes are heard, as it appears the children may not be getting the message,” says John Sweeney, Fidelity’s executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies.
Whether it’s estate execution, long-term caregiving in the event of illness or help in managing investments and retirement finances, it often turns out that the very child parents expect will handle things doesn’t have the foggiest clue the responsibility will fall to him or her (reaching as high as 44 percent of children, in the case of helping to manage their parents’ household expenses).
Part of the miscommunication is attributed to “timing,” given that only 33 percent of parents and their offspring agree on when it’s “appropriate” to initiate conversations related to aging. Before retirement? Upon entering retirement? Closer to when health and/or finances become an issue? (The correct answer: before retirement.)
Compounding the problem is that even when those conversations do occur, the study found, they’re not as detailed as they should be.
Think about it: Has your family discussed, say, how it will cover the estimated $245,000 the average couple can expect to spend on health care throughout retirement?
Probably not. But as Sweeney notes, “At some point, every family will face issues relating to aging — perhaps even dementia — and there are real emotional and financial consequences when family conversations either don’t happen or lack sufficient depth.”
If peace of mind is important to you — and at least 93 percent of both parents and children reported attaining it after having had those all-important talks — online tools can help get you there.
Fidelity, for example, has a variety of resources available at Fidelity.com/families that, among other things, lists the documents you’ll need should a key financial decision-maker die.
After all, “Cool Hand Luke” moments are best saved for the movies.
(NewsUSA) – Iron deficiency, according to the World Health Organization, is the number-one nutrition disorder in the world — affecting approximately 7.8 million women in the U.S. The most common symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue, weakness, headaches and irritability.
Iron deficiency is more common among women (especially those of childbearing age), athletes, vegetarians and seniors. Before seeking treatment you should be properly diagnosed by your healthcare professional for an iron deficiency. However, once diagnosed, there are ways to help treat and reduce your deficiency.
Increasing iron intake can be as easy as making adjustments to your diet. There are several foods that contain a large amount of iron and can help restore the body’s iron level. Some of these foods are:
* Red meat, fish and poultry
* Egg yolk
* Dark, leafy greens
* Beans, lentils, chick peas and soy beans
* Dried fruit
An iron-friendly diet should, in addition, consist of foods high in vitamin C, such as orange juice and tomatoes.
While maintaining a well-balanced diet can help supply the body with iron, sometimes it isn’t enough. In cases such as these, an iron supplement is usually recommended. However, up to 47 percent of people who take iron supplements experience one or more side effects, such as nausea or constipation. In some cases, it is bad enough to make them stop their iron treatment altogether.
Often times, people are unaware that there are different forms of iron that may work better for their body’s individual needs. Someone who tolerates iron supplements well might require a different form of iron than someone who often experiences side effects from their oral iron therapy. For those with a sensitive system, there are alternative supplements, like Feosol Complete, that provide the body with iron while minimizing common intestinal side effects such as nausea or constipation (www.Feosol.com).
Since iron is an important building block for red blood cells, Feosol Complete combines two types of iron for maximum absorption. These forms of iron are most closely compared to those found in red meat and spinach, which are more naturally absorbed into the body to minimize stomach-related side effects.
Feosol offers three iron supplements that cater to each individual’s personal iron supplement needs. As with any iron-containing product, be sure to keep it out of reach of children to avoid accidental overdose.
(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – It sounds so simple: Relax. Let go. Just breathe.
These mantras, while soothing, are difficult to embrace because most Americans are overworked, over-scheduled and generally stressed out.
The reality is that anxiety is a universal affliction affecting millions of Americans. And while most will admit to being under some kind of pressure — be it financial, work or family challenges — getting America to unplug and unload is proving to be a difficult task.
“Many of us have a certain appropriate nostalgia for a quality of life that has been lost,” Rev. Diane Kessler, retired executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, told the Boston Globe in an interview. “Many of us remember when we went to church on Sunday morning and then had a family meal afterwards. In a 24/7 society, those rhythms and those patterns have been lost.”
Joyce Meyer, best-selling author, speaker and Bible teacher, agrees that the demands of modern life can be all-consuming, making it hard to mute distractions. In her new book, OVERLOAD: How to Unplug, Unwind, and Unleash Yourself from the Pressure of Stress, Meyer addresses this problem by identifying the catalysts of worry in your life, as well as offering practical, effective advice and wisdom from a scriptural standpoint that she believes is the answer to curing your stress.
“Nobody is immune to stress,” Meyer says. “But through exploring the inspiring insights of the Bible and calling on God’s strength to help you triumph over stress, you can achieve the joyful, peaceful life that is intended for you.”
Other ways that may help you regain some sense of control and generally decrease anxiety can be found below:
* Make your home a haven. Your home needs to be a place where you go to recuperate and rejuvenate for the next day. The space should be calm and harmonious.
* Take a moment. “There are thousands of ways you can relax. Whether it’s unwinding with music, reading a good book, taking a warm bath by candlelight, going for a walk or engaging in a sport you enjoy, you know what relaxation feels like and you know when it’s happening to you,” Meyer writes in OVERLOAD. “I strongly encourage you to make relaxation a part of your daily life.”
* Use your driving time or commuting time to calm down. This may seem like an oxymoron, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to disconnect from daily pressures or work on the car ride home. Relax by listening to an audio book or singing along to your favorite music, and, if the weather permits, roll down the windows and let the sun and breeze carry your troubles away.
OVERLOAD is available wherever books are sold or at faithwords.com/overload.
(NewsUSA) – Caterers, event halls and wedding planners are gearing up for fall wedding season, one of the busiest times of the year for hopeful couples. Fall guarantees exquisite photo opportunities without the heat of summer — and the wealth of in-season decorations are beautiful and affordable.
In fact, September and October are the most popular and third most popular months for weddings, respectively.
If you’re planning a fall wedding this season, read on for some helpful tips:
1. Keep warm. Since outdoor fall weddings have the potential to get chilly, keeping your guests warm is a must. Offer hot cocoa and homey baskets of soft blankets or cozy shawls. Set up fire pits or outdoor heating stations where guests can shake of the chill.
2. Location, location, location. Select a locale that is known for its fall scenery. For example, as much as it’s known for history, Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa. is celebrated for its brilliant autumnal hues and stunning landscape — a picture-perfect place for memorable fall nuptials in a historic area of southeastern Pennsylvania. Named among the top 10 national parks for fall foliage, the 3,500-acreValley Forge National Historical Park offers a perfect fall backdrop. Learn more at www.valleyforge.org.
3. Incorporate fall colors into the wedding party wardrobe. Chocolate brown compliments a variety of fall color schemes, and it’s flattering for most women. But if brown doesn’t suit the plans, burgundy is another great fall shade that makes the bridal white pop.
4. Select in-season flowers and decorations. Unless the bride has her heart set on lily of the valley or orchids, there are beautiful in-season flowers to choose from. Dahlias, chrysanthemums, asters, roses, zinnias and sunflowers all create elegant bouquets and floral displays with a lovely hint of fall. Add some crab apples for a playful, non-floral element.
5. Mix and match gourds, pumpkins and squash. Pumpkins can be tacky or a little too reminiscent of Halloween, so class them up by serving pumpkin soup, pumpkin cocktails or tiers of mini pumpkins. Gourds also make eye-catching vases, and all three can be arranged as charming centerpieces.
(NewsUSA) – In Beaverton, Ore., Stephanie Glyzewski’s first blood clot went unnoticed for three weeks after routine knee surgery. Following days of excruciating pain and swelling, Glyzewski’s doctor discovered the clot lodged in her leg, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).The blood clot in Glyzewski’s leg broke loose from her leg and made a beeline for her lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication of DVT that nearly killed her. Years later, Glyzewski’s second DVT emerged a month after her daughter was born. A complicated labor led to a fever and a DVT more agonizing than the last.”DVT has changed my life forever. I can’t have any more children, I’ll be on clotting medication for the rest of my life and I have to watch my diet religiously and avoid any strenuous activity,” says Glyzewski. “However, I feel extremely grateful to be alive.”Glyzewski, a young, athletic woman, almost lost her life to DVT, and thousands like her aren’t so lucky.According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, 600,000 Americans are affected by DVT and PE each year with more than 100,000 fatalities. Shockingly, DVT and PE cause more deaths a year than breast cancer, car accidents and AIDs combined.”For women, the risk of getting DVT is even higher. Pregnancy, birth control products and hormone therapies are risk factors, plus extended hospitalization, recent surgery, family history of DVT and obesity,” says Suman Rathbun, MD with the Vascular Disease Foundation. “Anyone can develop DVT. Young, old, athletic — it doesn’t discriminate. But the more risk factors you have, the greater the likelihood of developing DVT.”To raise awareness about DVT and its related issues, health organizations partnered to create a national health campaign, “This is Serious.” Developed by the Vascular Disease Foundation in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the multi-media campaign seeks to educate women about their gender-specific risks for DVT and PE and motivate preventative action.Physicians recommend getting checked if you have symptoms or more than one risk factor. Common symptoms are redness of skin, recent swelling in limb, unexplained pain and hot or warm skin.Since these symptoms can mirror other minor aches and pains, there’s often a delay in diagnosis, which opens the door for a potentially fatal PE. Whether it’s a small piece or the entire blood clot that travels to the lungs, it can be deadly. PE causes shortness of breath, sharp chest pains and coughing up blood, all of which signal an immediate need for medical attention.Get more details and support at www.ThisIsSerious.org.
(NewsUSA) – Chances are, you’re hurting right now.
No, we’re not talking finances. (That’s a whole other story.) We’re talking the kind of long-lasting physical pain — arthritis, backaches, strains and the like — which the Institute of Medicine says at least 116 million U.S. adults experience at a cost to the nation of upwards of $558 billion annually in medical bills, sick days and lost productivity.
And while the natural inclination of many sufferers may be to pop an over-the-counter pain pill for relief, doing so can be dicey. “For some patients, taking an over-the-counter pain pill isn’t possible due to the risks associated with stomach irritation and interactions with other medications they’re on,” says Dr. Sylvia Hesse, an orthopedic medicine specialist at New York’s Manhattan Spine & Sports Medicine Center.
So, how better to deal with pain? Read on.
* Look East. While noted sports therapist Dave Endres is a big proponent of exercise as “one of the best pain-management options for mild, moderate and even chronic pain,” he makes clear that doesn’t mean you have to become some kind of gym fiend. Yoga, he says, which Asians have long practiced, is a less intense way to improve flexibility, build lean muscle and improve circulation.
* Physical Therapy. Typically lasting six to 12 weeks, the focus here is on creating a personalized treatment plan meant to improve muscle strength and joint mobility. Yes, there’s exercise involved, but you’ll learn how to move — safely — so that your chances of future injuries are lessened.
* The Transdermal Bandwagon. Long popular in Europe, these patches, creams and gels are considered by many experts to be a safe, effective alternative to pills like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. That’s because the medication contained in products like Salonpas (www.salonpas.us) delivers medicine right where it’s needed — at the site of pain — unlike pills that pass through the stomach and liver.
Among the line’s fans is tennis legend and sports broadcaster Pam Shriver, who uses New Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel to relieve both her lower back pain from playing sports and her sore shoulders from “hauling supplies around” for her kids’ school fundraisers. “It absorbs fast into my skin and muscles for powerful, long-lasting relief,” she says.
According to Dr. Hesse, Salonpas is a safe and convenient solution for tough pain, but always consult your doctor if your symptoms are severe or persist despite basic treatment measures.
(NewsUSA) – Although braces are essential to correcting a variety of dental issues, cleaning braces with a standard toothbrush is as difficult as trying to floss with a jump-rope.
The interweaving of wires and brackets traps all kinds of bacteria and food particles that cause plaque buildup and present the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria is usually the source of most dental problems — gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth loss, bad breath, you-name-it.
Unless teeth are kept scrupulously clean, cavities may emerge that wreak havoc on enamel, often leading to discoloration and stains.
“The accumulation of plaque puts wearers at risk for gum disease, tooth decay and discoloration,” explains Dr. Mike C. Zauner. “which is why we dentists tend to be super strict on our patients about carefully cleaning around braces.”
But even if you’re diligent about flossing, brushing and rinsing with mouthwash, most toothbrushes are poorly equipped to clean around braces.
“The lack of options does make it a challenge for those with braces to maintain good oral hygiene. It’s frustrating, and sometimes it’s a real nightmare. But there’s actually a new ultrasound toothbrush especially designed for braces. It’s the world’s first toothbrush with technology specialized for braces, truly unique,” Zauner added.
It is unique, in fact, it’s almost revolutionary. The Emmi-dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush with an Ortho Brush uses ultrasound technology to kill bacteria and scrub the enamel covered by metal or wire. The “no brush” brush is actually motionless, it cleans and whitens without brushing or friction because of the ultrasonic brush-head.
The unique technology has already made the ultrasonic toothbrush a hit among orthodontists and other dental professionals. With this added defense against cavities and discoloration, you can protect your investment by saving on extra trips to the dentist.
The Journal of Clinical Orthodontics states the cost of an adult set of braces in the U.S. is $4,800, on average. Not many people can afford to fix additional oral care expenses on top of that.
To learn more about protecting your braces with ultrasound technology, visit www.emmi-dent.com.
(NewsUSA) – Health problems associated with atrial fibrillation (AFib) are increasing. According to the Atrial Fibrillation Association, approximately 2.5 million people living in the U.S. currently have AFib, the most common heart rhythm disorder.
AFib is an electrical problem that causes the atria (upper chambers of the heart) to beat in an irregular, erratic rhythm, resulting in insufficient blood-flow throughout the body. Sometimes the condition doesn’t negatively impact a person at all. Other times, however, it can lead to serious and sometimes fatal health issues like heart attack or stroke.
Below, we unravel some of the most prevalent AFib statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and share ways you prevent the condition.
1. As many as 12 million people will have AFib by 2050.
To prevent Afib, promote heart health by avoiding risk factors associated with it. Risk factors include old age, high blood pressure, heavy alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, genetics, other abnormal heart conditions and other chronic medical conditions.
Keep your blood pressure down by consuming a healthy, vitamin-rich diet, staying active and not smoking. For sleep apnea, consult a doctor or polysomnography technician as a first step.
2. The median age for patients with AFib is 66.8 years (men) and 74.6 years (women).
Doctors have noted that atrial fibrillation seems to increase with age. That’s why it’s especially important to make healthy lifestyle choices and take better care of your heart sooner rather than later.
Becoming aware of health problems before they get worse can reduce the damage the body experiences. If caught early, conditions like stroke and heart attack caused by AFib are very treatable.
3. Atrial fibrillation increases risk of ischemic stroke by five times.
The CDC reports that AFib causes approximately 15 to 20 percent of all ischemic strokes. About 80 percent don’t experience symptoms, so preventing, identifying or treating atrial fibrillation can have a huge impact on these numbers.
Since most strokes are asymptomatic, preventive health screenings (www.lifelinescreeninghospitals.com) that can identify the possibility of a stroke are beneficial. Spotting a debilitating stroke before it happens can benefit a person in more ways than one.
By implementing healthy habits in your daily routine, you can promote your own lifelong health (www.lifelonghealth.com) and avoid becoming a statistic. Don’t become another individual faced with the challenges of atrial fibrillation.