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Protect Yourself from Hospital Infections

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How To Protect Yourself From Hospital Infections

 

            People check into hospitals to overcome illness, but these supposedly sterile environments can also expose you to many germs. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect your health if you happen to land in the hospital:

 

  1. Research your chosen hospital.  Educate yourself about laws in your state designed to create safer, healthier hospitals (hospitalinfectionrates.org), then find out what your hospital has done to control infections.  Your state’s health department can advise where you can find specific hospital statistics.

  2. Practice appropriate hand washing.  Ask that your doctors, nurses, and visitors wash their hands before touching you or items in your room.  Gloves offer a false sense of security and can be contaminated if put on by germ-infested hands.

  3. Eat from clean plates.  Consume food that has only touched the clean plate on which it is delivered.  Don’t set food on a meal tray or any other surface.

  4. Avoid contact with sick people.  This includes not just other patients but also family and friends who may be ill.

  5. Keep tubes to a minimum.  Catheters, IVs, and other tubes offer a direct line into your body.  If possible, skip them; but also ask to have all tubes removed as soon as possible after surgery.

  6. Go home.  The longer you stay in the hospital after surgery, the more likely you are to develop an infection.  Before being admitted, work with your doctor to create a recovery plan you can tackle right away in order to get out of the hospital as soon as possible.

 

Find more information about staying safe at safepatientproject.org.

Roadside Assistance Plas

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Roadside Assistance Plans

 

            Being stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire or some other mechanical problem can happen to anyone at any time.  A roadside assistance plan is the kind of purchase you hope you’ll never have to use, but having the right one when you need it most can save hundreds of dollars and a massive headache.  Here’s what you need to know to choose the one right for you:

 

  • Many new cars (and some certified used cars) come bundled with assistance from auto manufacturers.   Though they are often valid for the length of the warranty, check with the dealer when you purchase. 

  • Popular roadside assistance carriers include AAA (aaa.com), Better World Club (betterworldclub.com), AARP Roadside Assistance (aarproadside.com), and Good Sam (goodsamroadside.com).  However, add-on plans are also available from cell service carriers, credit card companies, and insurance providers, though the services they cover vary.  Some may have restrictions on towing distance, the number of roadside assistance calls allowed each year, and out-of-pocket costs you may incur by using these services.

  • Because some coverage plans are for specific vehicles (such as those affiliated with a warranty), you may need additional plans for other family vehicles.  However, other plans, such as cell phone-related assistance, cover certain people.  In choosing coverage, make sure all relevant parties and vehicles in your family are appropriately protected.

Digital Photo Overload

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Manage Digital Photo Overload

 

            Smartphones have made it easier than ever to shoot photos at a moment’s notice, but with this ease comes a new problem: What to do with all of those images?  Organize them with these simple tips:

 

  • Junk the bad photos as soon as you take them.  Don’t save anything you won’t print, use, or look at later.
  • Upload photos to your computer regularly and sort them into organized folders.  Create folders for each year, and within each year, make sub-folders for specific events or holidays.  Use simple names, like “Family Reunion.”  Move relevant photos into the folders, and delete them from your phone.
  • Share as appropriate.  Don’t overload email messages with data-heavy images.  Instead, upload select photos to a photo-sharing site like Picasa (picasa.google.com) or Flickr (flickr.com) and distribute a link to family and friends.  Continue to print your favorite photos for framing or create an annual photo book.
  • Invest in a cloud service or use an external drive to back up photos.  Services like Mozy (mozy.com) and Carbonite (carbonite.com) automatically backup copies of computer files.

Cheap Airfare

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Find The Cheapest Airfare

 

            With so many airlines, routes, connections, and extra fees, it can be hard to unearth the cheapest airfare for your needs.  Follow these suggestions to book your next flight with confidence:

 

ü  Search far in advance (but not too far).  A study by CheapAir.com suggests that, on average, booking seven weeks out for domestic flights and 11-12 weeks in advance for international flights is best. 

ü  Flights are cheapest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

ü  Be a flexible traveler by searching with a couple extra days or weeks on either side of the preferred departure date.  Many flight booking sites such as kayak.com offer flexible travel as an option when you search for flights.

ü  Delete cookies from your computer before looking up flights online a second time.  Sites store your search data and know you’re a potential buyer, so prices are likely to be higher than originally posted. 

ü  Fly into a different city.  Look at flights into nearby airports or within the destination’s region.  In Europe, for example, it may be cheaper to fly into a nearby city then take the train to your destination.


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