December 2014 archive
Drug addiction is tough, and drug recovery is even tougher. When it comes to drug addiction in loved ones, especially in our own kids, we want to believe that treatment will solve everything. That they will go to rehab, get cured, and never look back.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The truth is that 40 to 60 percent of addicts will relapse at least once during their recovery, often within the first year of sobriety. There are several reasons why this happens and the more friends and family member learn about the obstacles recovering addicts face, the better they can assist with the addict’s recovery.
As part of the recovery process, your loved one might need to sever ties with old friends and acquaintances, especially if they played a part in his addiction. This can lead to a sense of isolation because while the old friends might be a bad influence, it can be difficult for your loved to cultivate new friendships – especially if the new friends don’t know about his history of addiction. Additionally, relationships with family members could be strained, leading to an even deeper sense of isolation. This disconnectedness from others could lead your loved one to return to those old bad relationships and to drugs and alcohol.
One option is for the friends and family to attend counseling to learn how to interact with the loved one after recovery, and to help heal any old wounds. Another option is for your loved one to enter a transitional living situation.
Programs like Tucson Transitional Living allow people in recovery to live in a group setting with others their age who are also going through recovery. These programs also offer family workshops to help repair damaged family relationships. As a result, your loved one will have the social support he needs to stay sober.
Stress is the most common cause of relapse. Rehabilitation programs do offer some stress management training, but once your loved one leaves the relatively safe confines of the rehab program, she might have a difficult time putting those theories into practice. Although stress is the biggest culprit, it’s not the only one; getting broadsided by an emotional situation, even a positive one, can push someone in recovery over the edge.
For example, your loved one might be worried about returning to school for fear of having to repeat a grade. When she contacts the school she discovers that the school is willing to let her graduate on time if she attends regular meetings, does extra credit, and maintains a certain GPA. She could be so excited at the good news that she decides to celebrate with her favorite drink; conversely, she could also be so anxious about the tasks she has to complete that she takes something to calm her nerves.
You can’t control your loved one’s reaction to heavy emotions. In many cases, the best thing you can do is let her know that you have her back, and help her find ways of coping with the emotions without using drugs. In the example above you could offer to take her somewhere without drugs or alcohol to celebrate. You could also offer to help her complete her tasks, within reason.
Exposure to Drugs or Alcohol
One of the most common ways recovering addicts are exposed to drugs is through prescription medications.
For example, Philip Seymour Hoffman rehabilitated in his 20s and was sober for over 20 years when he started abusing pain medication, possibly as a result of a prescription for an injury.
In some cases your loved one might be able to request a non-narcotic alternative, but there might be other times when the only option is a drug that could trigger a relapse.
Another scenario is where your loved one knowingly ingests a mind-altering substance, believing that they can handle it. This could be prescription medication, alcohol or an illicit drug. It could be the substance that they were originally addicted to, or some other substance that starts a new cycle of addiction.
You can’t keep your loved one in a bubble, but one way to reduce the risk of exposure is to avoid having mind-altering substances in the house. If you must have them, like prescription medications, keep them under lock and key. If your loved one has been prescribed narcotic medications, talk to his doctor about alternatives or, suggest your loved one do so if he is an adult.
If you suspect that your loved one has relapsed, do not lose patience and to not ignore the situation. Be prepared to stage a loving intervention, if necessary, to get them the treatment and support they need.
Christmas vacation is an exciting time of the year. It means two or more week where your kiddos are out of school and home to enjoy the holidays. But this special time can get a little crazy with stir crazy children trapped in the house all day and growing a little wild. Here are six fun activities to plan with your munchkins during this winter break.
1. Set Up Craft Time
Most kids have an amazing artistic side, and with school out of session, they will be ready to show off their glue stick skills home. Pull out the construction paper and scissors for a fun family craft time. Research a few printables or other winter craft ideas online and let your kids go crazy with creativity.
2. Cooking School
With holiday baking and warm winter recipes, this break might be the perfect time to teach your youngsters some basic culinary skills. Cover everybody in an apron and set to work. This can be a prime opportunity for reinforcing their fledgling math skills with instruction or reminders about measuring cups and spoons.
3. Pick a Read Aloud Book
The importance of reading out loud to little ones can’t be overstated. Winter break is a perfect chance to enjoy quality time and a classic story. Use the break from schooldays and homework to read with your kids. Get together and pick out a favorite chapter book like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe or The Wonderful Wizard or Oz. If your family enjoys the mornings, cozy up around a cup of hot chocolate and read a chapter. If you are night owls, then start a routine of reading a chapter or two before bed. If your kids are excited to see what happens next, read in the morning and at lunch and at night!
4. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
They’ve been singing that question around the house and in the carpool and at school all year long. Now, as the snow begins to fall, it is finally time to head outside with your kids and sculpt your very own snowman. It is an annual tradition for most families living in colder climates. And if you reside in a sunny spot, maybe opt for constructing a sand castle together.
5. Family Movie Night
Another great way to engage with kids is over their classic movie or TV show. With channels from Mississippi Direct TV Service or other Direct TV providers, you and yours can enjoy classic holiday movies and all of your children’s shows. When you know a great program or film is about to air, gather everyone together and cook some homemade popcorn. Bundle up on the couch with blankets and pillows and enjoy being together.
6. Build a Blanket Fort
One the most fun growing up experiences consists of indoor construction. Blanket forts are so much fun to create, whether you are eight years old or 48. Gather sheets, blankets, chairs, brooms and other prospective building materials and set to work as a team. See your children generate their own ideas and lead a group effort while learning what works and what doesn’t hold up structurally.
With these six winter time activities, your family will be happily entertained this winter break. And you will be able to enjoy the special memories made this holiday season.
Image from reading4rigor.com and sheknows.com
For many children, a deep love of animals begins early on in life. As a parent, you know it’s important to teach your children to love and respect both their pets and the wildlife around them. It’s an excellent outlook to have in general, but can also foster skills that will help your little one to succeed in an animal sciences career down the road. If, “Mum, I’m going to be a veterinarian when I grow up” is something you hear all the time, this post is for you! These six helpful tips will provide you with ways to foster those skills throughout childhood and beyond.
Encourage Good Grades
This may not seem like a very fun way to encourage your child–especially if you tell them how important it is to stay on top of boring homework before going out to play. Good grades from very early on is one of the best ways to guarantee success when applying for a veterinary programme down the road.
Most are extremely competitive, taking only applications that can show an ability to maintain scores from the early grades on. After year 10, this becomes even more important. With major universities like Edinburgh limiting slots in order to gain more foreign students, your child really needs to be the full package.
While you’ll probably have to tag along if your child is fairly young, volunteering is an excellent way to prepare for a veterinary career path. PBS has an excellent blog post that details how other children offer their help.
Volunteering instills the idea that service toward the community–and the beings within it–is important. Offering your time at a local shelter, pet shop or animal clinic is a fantastic way for your little one to get their feet wet while still providing a much-needed service.
That being said, volunteering can have some drawbacks. Very young children may have difficulty understanding that, sometimes, sad things happen in these environments. While that’s no reason to avoid jumping in altogether, consider your child’s personality before signing them up. If you think seeing sick animals or learning of an animal being euthanised will discourage them or upset them a great deal, it may be best to wait a couple of years and try again.
Walking dogs or petting cats at your local RSPCA is an excellent place to start. These animals need love, too!
Adopt a Pet
Dogs are synonymous with childhood. If you had a pet dog as a child, then you undoubtedly know the sense of loyalty and responsibility it can foster. If you haven’t already, adopting or rescuing your own dog can be an excellent way to further that love of animals.
According to the RSPCA, owning a dog can encourage the development of social skills and teach little ones about the value of clear communication.
But it’s not enough to just adopt a puppy–make your little one an active part of the process right from the beginning. That means choosing a good breed, learning about feeding the pet a healthy diet, and attending vet visits. Grooming, walking and training are all valuable learning experiences, too.
When You Can’t Adopt
Can’t adopt your own pet? There’s still plenty of opportunity to play with the pets of others. Help your child to create a pet-related business by walking local dogs for a small donation to the RSPCA. Or, just visit local dog parks. You can also find scheduled dog walks in your area using the My Pawson Dog Friendly website, and other similar sites.
Being the Mum or Dad of a budding veterinarian won’t always be easy. You’ll undoubtedly run into some difficult situations along the way. But the joy and excitement of seeing your little one unfold their wings over time is absolutely worth it.
Striking up a conversation with your husband to tell him that he is losing his hair can certainly be difficult. This is a sensitive topic and needs to be handled with care, empathy, maturity and sensitivity.
As hair care experts know, hair loss can have a profound effect on a man’s self-esteem and can even change the physical attraction that exists between you and your husband. The good news is that there are resources and support for dealing with this situation and hair care specialists such as Transitions Hair, can provide help with hair restoration. Click here for more information and read on for some tips on approaching the situation.
When your husband is making an effort to look handsome, tell him that you think he looks handsome. It’s important that you don’t go over the top with this or give compliments in a false, pitiful way. To do so is offensive. If you have a special occasion to attend and your husband is dressed up, remind him that he looks nice.
2. Show an Interest in your Husband’s Anti-balding Efforts
If your husband is showing an interest in balding treatments and solutions, take an interest and support him with this. Try not to belittle your husband’s ideas, but show a genuine interest in the options available. It is important to nurture your husband’s confidence when he is facing hair loss.
3. Remind him that Hair Loss is a Reality for many Men – even the Rich and Famous
Your husband may take some heart in knowing that even some of the world’s most handsome, wealthy and respected men have contended with hair loss. Be aware that your husband may be drawing a parallel between bald and unattractive, and try to assure him that this is rarely true. It may be helpful for you to subtly say that men such as Andre Agassi, Bruce Willis or Michael Jordan look great (without trying to provoke your husband’s jealousy of course!).
4. Help your Husband Adjust to a New Look
It’s possible that your husband will adopt a new look in response to his balding head. It’s helpful for you to give your husband the freedom to decide on his new look and offer him support. Some women who have been in this situation recommend that you avoid suggesting that your husband wears hats but they do suggest accompanying him if he wants to go and have a look at some hats. Following your husband’s lead according to how he wants to deal with his hair loss can help to increase his confidence; offering unwanted advice will serve to make him more self-conscious, insecure and even embarrassed.
Many men struggle with the reality of hair loss and are very sensitive about the situation. There are some effective and confidence-inspiring ways that you can raise the topic with your husband and offer him support. Listening, being open and willing to support your husband in the approach he wants to take to his hair loss, is the best way that you can be there for him.
Image by: James LeVeque
Bedwetting is actually fairly common amongst school-aged children. The kids can’t control it and most will grow out of it. But there are ways to can help to manage it, including bedwetting alarms.
The Facts About Bedwetting
- Most children will stop daytime wetting by the time they are three and night wetting by five years of age.
- Many children will grow out of bedwetting once they start school but there are primary school children who still wet the bed.
- Bedwetting is sometimes referred to as nocturnal enuresis.
Why it Happens
Bedwetting isn’t about blaming someone – it’s nobody’s fault. Children wet the bed when they don’t have control of their bladders and don’t wake up when their bladders need emptying. These children tend to be heavy sleepers.
There can be medical causes too, so it’s always advisable to seek a doctor’s check-up. Many night time bed wetters have love levels of the hormone that controls how much urine is produced during sleep.
How You Can Help Your Child
- Tell your child that bed wetting is completely normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.
- Have your child drink the majority of fluids during the day and cut back at night. Stay away from caffeinated soft drinks which increased urine production.
- Have your child empty his or her bladder right before bedtime.
- If the bedwetting is causing your child stress, do pacify him or her and let them your child know that bedwetting will stop in time.
- DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarms can help your child to wake up every three hours or so to empty their bladder.
- Offer plenty of encouragement, especially after incidents.
When To see the Doctor
Seek medical advice if:
- The child continues to wet during the day, by the time they reach school age.
- The child has started to wet the bed again after having stopped for some time.
- Your child is getting distressed with the bedwetting.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Firstly, never criticise or punish your child or tease him or her and don’t let others either. This can just make things a lot more anxious.
It’s also a bad idea to make younger children clean up after themselves as they might feel like they’re being punished for something they simply cannot control. Children tend to feel rather upset when they awake in a wet bed – it’s not their intention to upset their parents.
Do remember that behaviour change programs, like rewards and star charts, aren’t going to work in this case. Bedwetting cannot be controlled.
If Your Child is Older than Seven Years
- If your child isn’t too distressed by the bedwetting, and you aren’t either, you both might be ok with waiting out the phase. But a lot of children will try to hide their unhappiness so do try to help them.
- If your child is older than seven, try a bladder training program such as DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarms. Such solutions have proven highly successful.
- Be sure to use a treatment that is not going to add to the child’s embarrassment or discomfort.
- Help make sure you child feels as comfortable as possible about going to sleepovers and school camps but helping him or her with bladder training.
- Reassure the child that bedwetting is completely common and not something to be embarrassed about.
- Never punish, tease or criticise your child for wetting the bed. At the same time, don’t offer rewards. Your child just cannot control the bladder.
- Seek medical advice and a check-up to make sure there are no physical causes.
- Use a bladder training device to help your child if he or she seems anxious or is older than seven.
A Few Things to Remember
Bedwetting can be overcome. They key is patience and understanding.
When you send a loved one into a nursing home or long-term care facility, you hope that he or she is getting the best care. You hope. The reality is that almost all facilities are understaffed. Patient care is an expensive and often thankless profession.
Low Pay As Part Of The Problem
One of the major difficulties and problems with nursing homes is often the low pay their staff are offered. For janitors and housekeeping, it’s not unusual to be paid a measly $9 per hour. Certified Nurse’s Assistants (CNAs), the staff responsible for the bulk of patient care, receive a little more, but are often still underpaid as well.
And, while LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) do receive higher pay than almost all other staff members, it’s not always commensurate with the work being done. Where’s the money? In the administration. Administrators can make upwards of $80,000 to $100,000 or more. Director of nursing positions are also in line, pay-wise.
But, at the boots-on-the-ground level, patient care sometimes gets sacrificed to low wages. CNAs, and other staff, tend to offer care that’s commensurate with the pay they receive. Kitchen staff, although typically indirectly involved in patient care, are responsible for making good and nutritious food for residents.
Unfortunately, the kitchen staff is usually comprised of low-paid high school students and retired people. The cooks and head chef is usually the only person that is paid a fair wage given the responsibilities he or she assumes
Unfavorable Patient To Nurse Ratios
LPNs are often overwhelmed with patients. There may be 15 to 25 patients assigned to an LPN – this person is responsible for dosing medication every hour or several hours, as needed. These nurses are often stressed with the patient load and simply cannot do what RNs can do, which is diagnose, assess, and treat patients.
Even if the number of LPNs were increased, there would need to be more RNs to manage overall patient care as well as the increased number of RNs. To make matters worse, Insurance companies do not always understand the increased level of care needed in these facilities, so reimbursements and payments from insurers don’t always facilitate more staffing.
Elder abuse is a huge problem in nursing homes. CNAs, and other staffers, unfortunately sometimes abuse patients by hitting them, treating them roughly during procedures, not properly assisting them with routine hygiene care, and even neglecting them.
Of course, an elder abuse attorney is the most common and obvious solution to the problem. An attorney, and an ombudsman, can help stop abuse. But, the problem must be discovered and proved first, which can be difficult. If you are unsure if someone you know is being abused, check out the infographic, “What You Need To Know About Nursing Home Abuse”,by Banville Law. And, once you remove the offending staff members, you’re still left with a staffing shortage.
Nursing home staff problems aren’t easy to solve. First, the system needs to change how care is given so that the operation runs more efficiently without sacrificing the quality of care. Second, pay must be commensurate with the job duties. CNAs need higher pay, more training, and better solutions for difficult residents.
Finally, administrators need to regularly audit patient to nurse ratios, adjust those ratios appropriately so that proper patient diagnosis and care can be done.
Laurence P. Banville’s law practice handles the recovery of compensation for elderly victims of neglect. For years he has dedicated his time to those who cannot represent themselves.
For new mothers the concept of having spare time to spend on hobbies and interests of your own can seem absurd. The good news is that as children grow older, start school and most importantly, become more independent; you will have much more time spare time.
In fact, many mums soon realise that they have more time on their hands than they have ever experienced before and some struggle, at first, to find ways to fill the hours between cleaning away breakfast and preparing tea.
If you are starting to notice that you have more spare time but cannot decide what you should be doing with it, here are some suggestions from some experienced mothers who have devoted decades of their lives to mastering the arts of pottering around, pursuing hobbies, socialising and generally keeping busy when there is little to do.
The most important first step is to become social early. Many mums have a very active social live when their children first start play school and go to primary school, however, as children become independent many mums find that their social networks start to wane.
To overcome this, arrange coffee mornings with old friends; start by hosting one yourself. Rather than buying in products, bake some cakes and bread for the home cafe party and learn to make real coffee with a grinder and espresso or filter machine. Hopefully, other mums will offer to do the same in following weeks and you will soon have something to occupy a whole day.
Evenings are often hardest for women; men have their pubs and many are happy to take a solitary walk to the local pub to sip ale all evening and chat with other locals. Many women find greater pleasure in joining social clubs such as the Women’s Institute, where ladies gather together to talk, discuss current affairs, teach each other crafts and sometimes receive guest speakers from all walks of life.
For an evening that is similar to a pub atmosphere but still has a focus on the social aspect, which women are in need of a trip to the bingo is a fantastic idea. Many women meet up with old friends at the bingo each week for some socialising. Some women that can’t or prefer not to go out use online bingo sites such as Mirror Bingo to get their weekly bingo fix.
There are fewer traditional bingo halls these days and many women live too far away from one to visit regularly. If you cannot get along to a bingo hall you should check out mirrorbingo.com/bingo, the games are great fun and there is opportunity to chat to other bingo fans. Many younger mums are already using online bingo rooms to relax and pass the time; this really is a great place to meet like-minded people.
Pursuing hobbies such as playing Mirror Bingo can be a rewarding social activity. If you have spare time on your hands use it to follow old creative interests. Whether it is writing, art, embroidery, music or making crafts, there are many cheap courses on offer where you can learn with like-minded people and make some new friends.
The key to filling your time is to find several different things to do with a variety of people. Weekly visits to relatives, attending craft classes, taking the time to read favourite books and taking more time over cooking delicious meals and cakes will all quickly fill your time. Before you know it, you will feel rushed off your feet again!
When you’re decorating your child’s room, it’s not only design and comfort that you need to keep in mind. As they get a bit older, they’ll be spending a lot of their time in their bedroom, very often unsupervised. This stage between toddler and teen is when they gain real independence, but to give yourself some peace of mind – it’s best to continue to safe-proof the space to a reasonable level and here are some basic tips for doing just that:
Think carefully when deciding where to put the bed
It’s easy to prioritise other factors such as maximising space or whether there will be enough room for a bed side table, but safety is paramount. Don’t place it near the window, where it becomes within climbing distance. You never know when an excitable boy and his friends will want to experiment with throwing action figures out the window, so put in some means of prevention in now. Never put a bed directly next to a radiator, or below a shelf or unit that they could hit their head on or knock things off.
Back to windows, if possible it’s best to fix them with latches that prevent them from opening fully.
Avoid heavy pictures or mirrors
Some framed pictures can be quite hefty and it’s nice to start adding some personal touches when they’re old enough to have a favourite pop star or film. However, hanging them above a bed or in other areas under which your child might sit could result in a nasty accident if it were to fall. The same goes for mirrors or any other hanging feature.
Secure freestanding units
Tall, heavy furniture should be attached to the wall using anti-toppling devices like fixing brackets. A chest of drawers may seem sturdy but if someone is feeling mischievous and pulls out every drawer, it’s thrown off balance and can easily topple. A small wardrobe with its doors flung can present the same risk.
You may be thinking ahead for ways to adapt your toddler’s room, or perhaps you’ll be starting from a fresh canvas in one of the brand new home developments in Winchester. Either way, it is important to ensure your child is safe in their bedroom.
Trying to prepare for your baby’s arrival can leave you wading through aisles of baby products feeling a little puzzled. You probably have a lot of questions, like which clothes should I buy? What about baths, bottles or blankets?
Read this list of baby essentials that will help you make sense of it all.
Babies grow quickly, so focus on buying the essential items. Petit Bateau have everything you will need.
Choose all-in-one sleepsuits to make your baby comfy night and day, and buy vests or bodysuits for underneath. Both of these have poppers so dressing and nappy changes are easier. Cardigans are perfect for layering and allow you to accommodate to your baby’s temperature.
If you plan on breast feeding, you will need a breast pump, bottles, a nursing bra and breast pads. For formula, buy bottles and teats, a steriliser and bottle brushes. No matter which method you choose, you will need to buy plenty of bibs!
Most new parents struggle with feeding, but you will soon fall into a rhythm. There are plenty of articles about how to feed a newborn that will set your mind at ease.
There are a range of sleeping options for your baby and eventually they will need a cot, but newborns can find it hard to settle in one. Unless you choose to co-sleep, buy a Moses basket and a supply of blankets to make bedtime easier.
It is also wise to buy sleeping mitts in case your baby scratches during their sleep.
The first time you bath your baby can be stressful. A baby bath tub is the perfect size and can be placed anywhere. Buy a gentle baby soap or cleanser that will be suitable for their delicate skin and wrap your baby in a soft towel.
Changing tables are bulky and expensive, so if you lack space, opt for a lightweight changing pad. You will need nappies, gentle baby wipes and a supply of nappy rash cream, just in case. Make sure you have a supply of antibacterial wipes to keep the surface hygienic.
Choosing a pram (and a car seat) can be hard, as there are a range of features and different price tags. Head to a specialist for advice. Don’t forget to buy a changing bag and keep it fully stocked to ensure you always have everything on hand.
Markets like Camden often have a special atmosphere that many of us find so appealing and kids just love the buzz of excitement and activity when you take them along.
You can find out about the various markets and what they have to offer at CamdenMarket.com and in the meantime, here is a look at some of the crafts and activity ideas that you might be able to pick up at pocket money prices.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and especially exciting for children, but what you will witness with markets like Camden Lock as an example, is that there is actually a festival atmosphere whenever you choose to visit.
Little people are well catered for with a big range of toys and handmade craft items, all of which can help them enjoy some fun that doesn’t involve a TV or a gaming device. You can find things like juggling equipment to set them a new challenge or you could pick up lots of different craft bits, so that you can let them create something unique using their imagination.
Decorating the tree
A good reason for visiting a market during the festive period is that when it is Christmas at Camden and other well-known markets, you will be able to find a wide choice of tinsel, fairy lights and other decorations, that the kids can choose in order to help decorate the tree.
Whilst you are making your choice, you will probably find that there is plenty of carol singing and mulled wine on offer for the adults, which all adds to the festive spirit and makes the shopping trip that bit more special, compared to your usual high street alternatives.
New Spitalfields experience
Another market that is well worth visiting with the children is Spitalfields.
Subject to a recent redevelopment, Spitalfields market has been given a new lease of life and there are different stalls on different days, so check out the itinerary and pay a visit with the kids when there are craft stalls and other items of interest to take a look at.
Sunday is a very hectic market day for Spitalfields, but there are plenty of places to go and get something to eat if the children need a break from trawling through the various stalls that will be of interest to them.
The whole purpose of visiting a bustling market with your kids is to let them enjoy the unique atmosphere and try and find something that is a bit different to catch their interest with.
You might want to consider searching out some unusual or traditional board games and puzzles to take home with you. Kids of all ages actually love playing all sorts of board games and it makes for a great family-orientated evening without the usual distraction of a TV, which is soon forgotten when they start to play.
Handmade jewellery is also a popular activity with children, who love to make presents for others that are truly unique pieces. You can have a lot of fun searching out all the materials they will need in order to make some jewellery, which is often well received.
Take your kids to a market and let them explore and experience all that these special places have to offer, and they will soon be asking to go back again soon.
Kevin Ellis is a digital content coordinator and marketing consultant. He enjoys blogging and sharing his ideas online. His articles mainly appear on travel and lifestyle blogs.