Remote Hospitals In Isolated Areas

Health care is an essential part of life for millions of people all over the world. Regardless if a person lives in the city or in a remote jungle location; sooner or later they will need some type of medical assistance. Thankfully, there is a growing trend to extend health care to all corners of the globe.

The effort to extend health care to the less fortunate is something that governments do for many people. Governments and health organizations typically provide this type of benefit to faraway people that usually do not have access to traditional medical care. This care is essential for saving lives and helping people to remain free from disease and ailments.

Many government and national organizations are establishing medical facilities in places that rely on poor quality health care to deal with sick and injured people. Many volunteers and missionaries from around the world typically staff make shift hospitals within isolated areas. A lot of these people are professionals such as doctors, nurses and medical specialists. However, many make shift hospital workers are not licensed and certified medical workers. They have been giving on-the-job training and instruction in terms of care.

Medical care professional individuals often fulfill the role of a primary care physician. People can now experience what it is like to have a family doctor. Having a family doctor for the first time is a big deal for most people. Family doctors are essential to people in the areas serviced by remote medical facilities. They can help people to feel more comfortable during their visit to a medical facility. These individuals also help to influence people to keep coming back for future care.

Remote hospitals are often used to stem the advancement of disease or to curb specific medical conditions. People in remote areas typically do not have medical insurance but this will not stop remote hospital facilities from taking them in as patients. Governments and private medical organizations typically support remote health care structures through taxes, business transactions or donations. They can also be funded directly through governmental support from nations where the medical facilities are located.

Most international organizations that establish medical facilities in remote locations across the world also provide other types of infrastructure. Roads, schools and emergency services are also usually built up along side hospitals that have been included into a region. These extra facilities are often necessary for helping communities in these areas to grow and stabilize. They also help to serve the hospitals that have been erected.

Family medicine is virtually non existent in many Third World countries and rural communities. Many people might have to travel hundreds of miles to receive adequate health care. Investors and organizations that fund remote hospitals typically must set them up within an area that is centrally located in the middle of an isolated region. Once these hospitals have been erected they are important for helping and maintaining the community.

Project managers must also ensure that the hospitals have enough staff and population to support them. Project managers know that they cannot build up these medical facilities if there is not enough of a demand for their services. Specific isolated regions must be carefully selected before project managers will place a medical facility into an area.

Family medicine is an essential part of a community’s well being. Without it lots of people will continue to be plagued by sickness and disease and they also will have to deal with other ailments that are impacting their communities. Remote hospitals are not just for poor countries or people who reside within rural areas they also can be set up to serve individuals who live within inner city communities. Many inner city communities do not have adequate health care facilities and people must often travel outside of them to receive help. Ultimately, remote care facilities are useful structures for helping people everywhere to get the medical care that is desperately needed within these areas.

We’d be honored to become your medical home, and we are committed to delivering our patients with the greatest Preventative Medicine they have ever experienced. Our wish is that we form a collaboration to help keep you as healthy as possible. We treat our patients with the respect that they deserve and know that your time is as valuable as ours. We discover patients from the age of 5 and up and allow many individual insurance policies.

Services Provided by a Hospice Hospital

A serious illness can be debilitating for not only the sick person, but also for the family in attendance trying to offer support and assistance. With palliative care, expert medical support is provided to improve an ill person’s quality of life. This type of support is typically provided by a hospice hospital with physicians, nurses, support staff, and specialists trained in offering this level of assistance for seriously or terminally ill patients. Explore the various services that are included with this assistance.

Quality of Life

Maintaining quality of life is one of the main goals of palliative care. Regardless of the specific illness, patients often experience marked symptoms, discomfort, pain, problems sleeping, and depression. With assistance, people can become stronger both physically and emotionally. Patients may become better able to tolerate various medical treatments simply because they understand the treatments and feel empowered to make choices.

Home or Inpatient Services

A hospice hospital might provide either at-home or inpatient services. Many people prefer to remain at home for as long as possible, and these services can make this possible. Staff will visit patients and their families in the home setting, providing medical assistance and support. If a patient’s condition worsens, hospital admission may become necessary. Services will coordinate support with a specialized team of professionals who all deliver various treatments.

Spiritual Counseling

Religious beliefs often play an integral role when someone experiences a serious or terminal illness. Palliative care can provide for specific spiritual needs, providing counseling as needed. Patients can also receive assistance with planning goodbyes and final rituals desired before death.

Assistance for Loved Ones

Loved ones may struggle significantly during the terminal stages of serious illness. Palliative care can support family members by offering group therapy sessions, individual meetings for answering questions, and daily updates about conditions. Respite assistance is also available to give family members a break from caregiving for the ill person.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Specialists are available to help people learn new or better ways to handle tasks. This help may require physical therapy to gain strength or coordination necessary for tasks. The help may also involve occupational therapy that will teach patients new ways to accomplish typical tasks such as dressing and self-feeding.

Bereavement Support

When the time of loss arrives and the family is left to manage the death, professionals can offer support to get through the mourning phase. Staff members of a hospice hospital are experts in assisting family members through the grieving process. Counselors can visit the bereaved family at home periodically throughout the first year after the death. Staff can also provide telephone contact. Support groups are also available for family. If necessary, professionals can provide referrals for specialized care to assist with the grieving process.

When it’s time to involve a hospice hospital in treatment, professionals will advise the patient and family of the options available. The overwhelming goal of palliative care is to provide the best quality of life for the ill patient for as long as possible, according to the preference of the patient and family.

Health Insurance – Family Requirement

Today Health Insurance has become family requirement. With the increasing spread of various diseases and hospitalization becoming essential due to ailments or accidents, the requirement of having health insurance has become more eminent.

The life style changes have been a root cause of many common diseases like obesity, diabetes. Though many feel to make amends in their life style few can do it for practical difficulties. The lack of time and energy both makes it impossible for many people to effectively undertake daily exercise to control their health problems.

As a result of wrong diet, lack of adequate sleep, mounting stress and burden of office work in addition to rising transport problems has made life of people more troublesome. It has raised the rate of hospitalization in people of all ages.

The cost of hospitalization has increased manifold in last decade. Increasing cost of medicines, consultancy charges of health experts, diagnosis charges and all related hospitalization expenses are increasing and making it burdensome for common man. It is therefore essential that one should guard against the eventuality of such hospitalization for any one member of the family. Taking appropriate health insurance cover is the remedy or way of managing financial crisis due to hospitalization.

The health insurance or the medical policy called by any name takes care of pre-hospitalization consultancy, medicines, and laboratory tests. It also commonly covers post hospitalization treatment for certain period depending upon the nature of the policy. During hospitalization all types of expenditure like medicines, drugs, operation charges, anesthesia, ambulance charges etc are taken care of by the policy.

The increasing rate of accidents taking place every day further increases the possibility of anyone becoming victim. The new age speedy vehicles, roads full of traffic and lack of attention while driving are main causes of increase in number of accidents. Accidents can be fatal one even causing loss of limbs or making one permanent disable. In that situation health insurance policy would come to rescue of such accident victim. It would try to reduce the financial burden due to accident and also assist in restoring back the loss of pay to certain extent depending upon the coverage of the policy.

The right time to buy health insurance is any time- preferably when the person is not having any kind of disease or ailment like diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, arthritis etc. Because all existing diseases are normally covered under exclusions of any such policy. Further known and declared diseases would have to wait for the waiting period to be over to get the claim settled. As such it is always beneficial to have medical insurance policy purchased when you are completely fit.

It is also advisable to take health insurance for the family. Family floater policies are made available by almost all companies. It thus covers the risk of every member of the family including a small child. We cannot foresee who would require hospitalization and at what time. It is beneficial from tax saving point of view as spending on this count get special exemption under Sec. 80 D of Indian Income Tax Act.

Incredible Ukrainian Hospitality

Ukrainians loves guests very much (especially in the West Ukraine). It even doesn’t matter, if you decided to visit somebody in Ukraine absolutely randomly. In every case you will have a sincere reception. You will have a large selection of food in this house. A Ukrainian is even willing to share with you the last piece of bread in his home because you are his GUEST.

Also if you are to marry a Ukrainian, you will not have the traditional bachelor’s bread with peanut butter, you will have a really good restaurant at home, because Ukrainian women are some of the best cooks in the world! They are able to cook something delicious even from “nothing”. But if a West Ukrainian woman arranges a special occasion (Christmas, Easter, New Year, wedding, birthday, or simply just a meeting with friends or relatives), she could actually stay up all night before the event preparing for the festivity.

Sometimes, if even Ukrainians do not have enough money to arrange a party, they will borrow it, but they will prepare the best festive table for the dear guests, especially for a big reception like a wedding or anniversary.

Oh, wedding it is quintessence of Ukrainian hospitality! Who ever was at least one time at a Ukrainian wedding, will understand what I am talking about. Ukrainians have sayings “A table bends from a meal” and “No place to put new dishes on the table”. This means that the reception is just perfect. My North American friend was at a wedding in Lviv, the biggest city of Western Ukraine and she told later, “I have never seen such a wedding in my life. They carried and carried in new dishes, and there really wasn’t a free place on the table. Besides, they did not take off any dishes from the table until the end of the wedding. All the people had fun (because of the wedding!), they were dancing, singing and joking, and I just couldn’t relax, I was thinking, why did not they take this meal away, it can spoil from staying so long a time on the table”.

My dear friend didn’t know some important thing about Ukrainian wedding traditions. First thing, if a wedding table is really full of dishes, it’s mean that the parents of bride and groom are very generous people what make them very respectful in the eyes of society. Second thing, if the wedding staff would take away some dishes from the wedding table before the end of wedding, people would have a bad opinion of the parents of young couple. It would mean the parents are very miserly people. So, nobody takes away any dishes from the Ukrainian wedding table until the wedding is over.

Also I explained to my friend, that she worried in vain that the wedding food will spoil from staying a long time on the table. Ukrainian cooks have such good recipes and technologies for cooking, especially for preparing meat, fish and sweetness stuff, that there is no reason to worry that something will spoil even for the second day after wedding. For example, we had lots of leftovers from my wedding to make another reception for the next day after the wedding. Some of the dishes were even better for next day, for example, holubtsi (cabbage rolls). According to Ukrainian recipe of making holubtsi, they are much better for the second day of cooking. The same thing applies to Ukrainian borshch (beet soup), it is better for second and even third day since it was cooked.

Besides, Ukrainians have another tradition. After the reception, the guests are given some cookies and pies to take home for everybody who wasn’t able to be at the wedding. Closer relatives, like brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles also take home some of the leftovers from main courses (meat, fish etc).

Salads are almost the only foods that are not good for next day after the Ukrainian wedding. So if a wedding is taking place in the village, parents of bride and groom usually dig a big hole behind their backyard for all the salads and other spoiled items. Ukrainians even have a saying, “How many salads did you dig after the wedding?” If lots, it means, “wedding was great!”

Perhaps, from the point of view of other nations, it is not reasonable to spend so much money for parties and festivities, but it is such a Ukrainian tradition, and people have kept this tradition for many years. Ukrainian families feel themselves very awful, if people think of them as “misers”. This tendency is especially strong in Western Ukraine.

A West Ukrainian woman-cook usually can feel ashamed in two cases. First, if she did not cook enough food for the guests and they went home hungry. Second, if guests did not like her dishes, she would feel worse than not providing enough food.

So, if you are going to visit somebody in Ukraine, be ready for big meal and for incredible Ukrainian hospitality. After that you will want to go to Ukraine again and again.

Your Wedding Ceremony – Let Your Siblings Support the Hospitality at Your Perfect Wedding

When the wedding machine gets going, I think we often overlook hospitality as an important focus of the wedding. You will be entertaining your friends and family, inviting them not only to witness your wedding ceremony and wedding vows but also to celebrate with you. You are welcoming these people at this party and into the rest of your life.

At the same time that you’re hosting this magnificent celebration of your relationship, you’re getting married. You need to keep your wedding vows and your wedding ceremony at the center of the day and the center of your planning. It can be difficult, because there are a lot of little details to attend to which keep pulling your attention away from the essence of the day.

You want to be able to focus on the wedding ceremony with wedding vows that will be the foundation of your marriage.
You will be so engaged in how much you love one another, and how wonderful it is that you’re marrying, that you will not be able to concentrate on making sure that your guests have a wonderful time.

This is a great place to ask your siblings to help. If you have that kind of relationship, if they appreciate the way you have set up the day, they’re the perfect people to be the hosts at the parties you’re running. You can always get things set up ahead of time so that they can just put on their party clothes and become your hosts.

If your wedding is close to where they live, they may be willing to host an event at their house. Or people. Or stuff. My wedding would never have gotten organized if my sister had not volunteered her house as a staging area. It would never have been as much fun if many of my favorite women hadn’t been able to have a 2-3 night slumber party at her house. (Every time I left to go somewhere, I was so torn between entertaining my own beloved guests and the good time being had by all at her house!) The day after family hung out at her house. My brother contributed food. It was a godsend.

My guess is that your siblings would like to be just as helpful. And the hosting so that you can be at your party is something you forget to pay attention to until you’re deep in the party and you realize people are still asking you about canapés! This is a great alternative!

Caregivers: Ten Important Questions to Ask Before a Hospital Discharge

Do you have a loved one, parent, child, friend or even yourself who is about to be discharged from a hospital stay?

Read before you proceed. Ten important questions to ask before you take your loved one home that could be a life saver.

1. What is the Prospective Discharge Date?

When a loved one is admitted to the hospital, the last thing on the mind of a caregiver or family member are concerns about them being discharged. Initially, all of the caregiver’s or family’s concerns are focused on the present. For example, concerns of what is wrong with the patient, what kinds of treatment the patient will undergo, and whether or not they will be fine are all commonplace during this time. The caregiver and family members of the patient realize that, unless the untimely happens, the patient will be discharged from the hospital at some point. The discharge most likely will happen sooner than expected. Based on today’s statistics, the average hospital stay for a non-complicated patient is 1.5 days. Due to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance regulations, hospitals and institutions are discharging their patients sooner than expected and utilizing other available resources such as rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and course, the patient’s family.

Technically, the discharge planning for the patient starts at the time of admission. As soon as a patient is registered into the hospital system, a team is ready to plan the discharge. The caregiver and family of the loved one are part of the discharge planning team that includes the physicians, nurses, social workers, case managers, and all other medical personnel involved in the patient’s care. With this information on hand, the caregiver and or family of the patient must understand that they are an important part of the discharge planning team. Therefore, they must be informed, assertive, and proactive to obtain the best possible outcome for their loved one.

2. Who are Your Teammates?

It is imperative that the patient’s caregiver or family meet with the discharge planning team, in order to understand their role and what to expect from them. Know them on a first name basis, meet with them, and collect their phone numbers.

a) The Patient

The patient is the most important member of the discharge planning team. It is easy for all those involved with the patient’s care, as well as the patient’s family, to assume that once a person is lying on a hospital bed all decisions are made by somebody else. However, it will ultimately be the patient, depending on their age and condition, who will make the decision of their care following discharge.

b) All Physicians and Specialists Involved

Keep in mind that the physician that provided care during the patient’s hospital stay is not necessarily the one that will continue care after discharge. Today, more and more, hospitals have what is called a Hospitalist. A Hospitalist’s involvement with the patient is limited to treatment and care required while in the hospital. Upon discharge, the patient must follow-up with their primary care physician. In other words, after discharge you may not be able to contact the discharging physician or Hospitalist for follow-up orders, refills or consultations. It will be very difficult and frustrating for you to try to contact him or her and ultimately they will refer you to the primary care physician. Obtain all prescriptions and services that the patient needs to continue after discharge. This includes equipment such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, oxygen, supplies, and home care services. Ask for these orders/prescriptions before the patient is discharged. If your loved one received care from any kind of Specialist, make sure that you have their names, specialty, addresses, phone numbers and their office manager’s name. Ask if your patient must follow-up with them and make an appointment as soon as possible.

c) Clinical Personnel

This includes nurses, therapists, clinical managers and others involved in the patient’s care. As well as the other team members, know them by name and obtain phone numbers where they could be contacted in case of questions or concerns. Learn what their responsibilities are when the patient is admitted and how you could get in contact with them if needed after discharge. Make sure that you get the name and phone number of the Nurse Manager of the unit where your patient was admitted.

d) Case Manager

Every patient admitted in a hospital or institution is assigned a case manager. This person plays a key role in the discharge planning process. Get to know her or him well. This individual is your line to sanity during the first few hours after discharge. The Case Manager is the one that coordinates the whole process. When a strong, positive relation is developed between the patient, caregiver, family, and case manager, the process is usually easier and less stressful for all those involved. The case manager will arrange for the equipment needed after discharge, home care services or hospice, referrals or placement to other health care facilities such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers and transportation if needed.

e) Caregiver and Family Members of the Patient

Another extremely important team member in the discharge planning process, and most of the time the most difficult to coordinate, is the caregiver and family. It is important to identify, without a doubt, exactly who is in charge. Call for a family meeting and designate who will be taking the responsibility of coordinating the patient’s care after discharge. Keep clear in mind that the caregiver position cannot be an assumed or imposed one. There are options available to be considered before making this decision. Caregiving – whether at home or outside the home – is one of the most stressful, life disturbing experiences anyone could ever live. I recommend that the person that is considering taking this responsibility take the Caregiver Assessment Test. This will provided some insight of the potential caregiver’s strengths and weaknesses before undertaking the task.

3. What are the Patient’s Diagnosis or Diagnoses, Prognosis and Life Expectancy?

Be very clear and specific about this. Ask for the specific name of the diagnosis or diagnoses. If unknown or difficult to understand, ask the person providing the information to explain it in simple words or to write it down for you. Research and educate yourself on the matter. The caregiver and/or family must be fully aware on what to expect after the patient is discharged. Ask about prognosis and life expectancy. This will be a difficult subject to deal with. Healthcare professionals sometimes have difficulty dealing with this topic themselves, and could be very evasive about it. The caregiver has the right to know, contingent with privacy regulations, the patient’s condition to be able to make the best decision regarding the patient’s after care.

4. What are the Best Options for After Discharge Care?

There are as many answers to this question as there are patients, diagnosis and conditions. It all depends on the patient’s specific condition, prognosis, life expectancy, age, availability of caregiver and family support system. The options include but are not limited to; the patient’s own home, family and friend’s homes, nursing home facilities, rehabilitation centers and assisted living facilities. The caregiver or family must make a self-assessment to determine the best options for their loved, as well as themselves. If you, a family member or friend decides to undertake this task, I have created a simple tool that the caregiver could use to determine if care giving at home is an option. Take this simple test before you make any decision.

Talk with the patient’s physician, case manager and other members of the discharge planning team, including other family members. Reach out! This will be your salvation once you start this journey of caring for someone at home.

5. What Treatments and Procedures will have to be Continued After Discharge?

Now more and more it happens that patients are being discharged from the hospital in need of continued care such as therapy, treatment or procedures. Even if the patient will receive home care services, usually these services are provided for a limited amount of time and the caregiver is expected to continue to perform them after the services are terminated. From insulin injections, tracheostomy care, colostomy care, wound care or dressing changes and everything in between. Many of these procedures do not require a professional to perform them but the caregiver must be instructed on how to perform them. Educate yourself, observe the healthcare provider performing these procedures while in the hospital, request a one on one, hands on instruction session. Plain and simple, get ready! It is up to the caregiver to get ready for the task. Clinical personnel will not volunteer to instruct the caregiver on certain procedures unless the caregiver demonstrates an interest in learning or it is specifically ordered by the physician.

6. Will My Patient Continue the Same Medications and Treatments Before They Were Admitted?

I wanted to list this question as a serious issue that needs to be addressed independently. In my experience as a nurse and caregiver, medication non-compliance is one of the most frequent reasons for the patient to be readmitted to the hospital. Most of the time, the patient and/or caregiver assume that a medication or medications are to be continued or discontinued without understanding the consequences. It is standard practice that when a patient is admitted into the hospital all of the medications that are taken at home are reconciled. The same procedure applies at discharge time. Make sure that a list of medications taken at home is brought in upon admission of the patient or shortly after. At the time of discharge, request to speak with the clinician in charge of your patient’s care. Go over each one of the medications in the patient medication profile. Ask for indications, dosages, frequency and route as well as possible side effects and or allergic reactions. If a new medication has been indicated during the hospital stay, ask if it is to be continued after discharge. Be certain to request prescriptions for all those new medications. You do not want to find yourself in the situation of needing a medication, not having a prescription from discharge and it is a holiday. Good luck!

7. What are Possible Signs and Symptoms I should be Aware of?

It is here where the absolute understanding of the patient’s diagnosis and prognosis comes into play. Signs, symptoms and actions to take depend on the patient’s condition and vary with them. Request a conference with all those involved in the patient’s care i.e. physicians, specialists, clinical personnel, and case manager or social worker. Ask all the questions that you think are pertinent to your patient’s condition and prognosis. The ideal situation will be that the conference is held with all participants at once; however, most likely that will not be the situation. One thing is certain; you must have a face-to-face conversation with all the disciplines mentioned if you want to survive the first 24 hours after discharge. Get educated, be assertive and proactive, request, demand and expect. Most hospital personnel welcome the caregiver interested on a fast recovery or the best outcome possible of their loved one, but in today’s fast environment the caregiver should assume a very assertive position.

8. Who is Responsible for the Patient’s Financial Obligations?

This should be asked right up front. Do not assume that the caregiver is responsible for this obligation. Have an honest talk with the patient, if possible, on how he or she plans to meet their financial obligation with the hospital or institution. Request an appointment with the office of financial affairs at the hospital or institution to discuss the patient’s bill status. Familiarize yourself with all medical insurance policies that the patient might have. Bring with you all of the identification cards, copies of insurance policies including any supplemental health insurance policies. Request an itemized bill. Obtain the name and phone number of the person you are dealing with. You will need to call back regarding this issue and you need a person that knows you. This will prevent the aggravation of having to tell your story to several people repeatedly.

9. What do I do During the Days Just Before Discharge?

The panic is overtaking you. Reality is sinking in. Your loved one is coming home tomorrow. You have accepted the responsibility of taking care of him or her at home. Welcome to the club. There are millions of members in this club. Hopefully, you took the Caregiver Assessment Tool Test before you assumed this responsibility.

Today you will collect the patient’s belongings that will not be needed for the rest of the hospital stay. Make sure you go over every item that was brought with the patient at the time of admission. This includes eyeglasses, dentures, any equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers. If possible, ask the patient if there is anything else that was brought in that you are not aware of. If anything is missing, this is the time to speak with the personnel that took care of the patient and start a search. Do not wait until the day of discharge.

Make sure that before discharge, care is already coordinated and in place. This is equipment, supplies and services such as home care. Contact the home care agency that is supposed to service your loved one and inform them of the prospective discharge date. Get a contact person’s name and phone number. Contact the case manager and inform him or her of any discrepancies in the coordination of services.

10. Today is the Day, What do I do?

Today is the day. Discharge day. Emotions are running high. Make sure that you are available at the time of discharge. It is imperative that you are there during this process. On this day, you will take last inventory of the patient’s belongings. Get prescriptions from the hospitalist. Talk with the nurse that is in charge of the patient’s care and request all medications that remained unused. Ensure these medications are on the list of medications that the patient is supposed to continue after discharge, as well as all supplies. These medications and supplies were already charged to the patient. Request a last-minute conference with the hospitalist to be clear on instructions that were already discussed. Clarify any doubts and ask questions. Avoid the feeling that you are taking their time or interfering with their schedule. They are there for you and your patient. Now, it is time to go home.

What is the Difference Between a Hospital Plan and a Medical Aid Policy?

A hospital plan is also known by the term “Entry level medical aid plan”, it is basically a much more affordable option to opt for. With a conventional medical aid plan you end up paying crazy premiums and more often than not you have minimal coverage. Many medical aid policies leave you on a lurch when you need coverage the most, as many medical aid plans have restrictive regulations to follow.

Engaging in a hospital plan also helps take care of your family needs should you be suddenly hospitalized due to either a disabling disease or unexpected accident all within an affordable monthly premium. There a numerous benefits that hospital plan packages can include such as maternity coverage, coverage of preexisting medical conditions and even a cash back bonus for individuals who do not claim over a certain period, qualify for a cash payout, there are many more benefits that other insurance houses can offer, its best you go on line and research the different types of hospital plans available out there.

A Hospital coverage Plan is designed for those who can take care of their own day-to-day medical expenses and are looking for an extensive appropriate in-hospital cover all within an economical budget and covers hospitalization and related bills 100% with annual limits, this in turn can be increased should it be exceeded. Most packages include emergency transport to a hospital. Where as a conventional medical aid plan will give you a little more extensive cover also costing you an arm and leg.

Hospital coverage is also an excellent way of taking care of your family when you are no longer able to, due to either a disability caused by preexisting disease or an accidental disability. The policy will payout a lump sum to your family and assist with all financial needs that have to be met, without having the monthly income usually generated by yourself.

So help take care of yourself and your family should you suddenly be hospitalized by finding out more about Hospital plans and hospital covers, go on line and search for what will suite you and your family best. Search in the comfort of your own home and in your own time.

Friendship or Hospitality?

Years ago I owned a book entitled “Open Heart, Open Home” which discussed the differences between having a friendly home where people are welcome and one which goes the extra mile. This table top size book had a profound effect on how my home developed over the years.

To my mind there was a subtle difference between “friendship” which grows between mostly like-minded individuals and “friendliness”. For me “friendship” binds people together. I would move the moon in some instances if that would help my friend and it were within my ability to do so.

The word “friendship”conjures feelings of warmth and safety. We can be totally open and honest with our friend. It speaks of long walks, endless cups of tea or coffee, lots of laughter, all too many tears, and a bond which spans the test of time and distance. Most of us would have to admit that we have very few true friendships. Feeling comfortable enough to let others meet us at a heart to heart level is a rare and precious occurrence.

While this is the case most of us would realize that we are friendly with many others. These people usually fall into categories: work friends, people we regularly meet at social events, craft groups, church activities for example. While we really enjoy being in these peoples’ company these relationships rarely go beyond that boundary. We like to be with them, they add colour and value to our lives. Friendliness at this level is an important part of most lives.

Is there a difference between the words “hospitality” and one who is “hospitable?”

In our area the hospitality industry is the life blood of the major town. This necessitates holiday homes, holiday apartments, caravan parks and the like. It brings tourists from overseas and within our own country. Most employment opportunities stem from this industry as there is a huge need for cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues just to name a few. Were this not to be so our area would definitely struggle.

Being “hospitable” however can mean so much more. A cursory look at Wikipedia shows that the ancient Greeks set great store by showing hospitality. It was customary to welcome someone into the home, wash their feet and present the stranger with food before actually even asking their name. Wow! That takes the term to a whole new level doesn’t it?

How could we hope to practice this type of generous hospitality in today’s’ less than hospitable society? It certainly presents challenges. As a Christian woman I believe that God would have us generously share the blessings he has given us with those either less or more fortunate than ourselves. Learning to do this can be quite an adventure – it was for me.

At times my first husband repeatedly counseled me on the dangers of bringing complete strangers into our home just because they had nowhere to stay. Then there was the opposite shock when he arrived home to find two quite wealthy individuals happily tucking into pancakes in our less than three star accommodation.

It was not at all unusual to ask people visiting our church to come home with us and share a meal. It didn’t matter how much or how little was in our fridge or pantry a great time was usually had by all. Hospitality at this level is always an enjoyable experience in our family. Rich or poor all are welcome here.
A friend recently sent this definition of hospitality: “Hospitality, therefore, means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.” Henri Nouwen

Throughout the years many people have stayed in our home. Some have been invited to stay for weekend board games events so that we could get to know them better. Others have been invited simply to spend time together. Still others have come due to a need for accommodation or help in other ways. Occasionally they have come to know the Lord and at other times they haven’t. It is our prayer that our hospitality might in some way be a link in the chain to their salvation.

Practicing hospitality has become second nature now and it is a blessing to share with others all that we have. Sometimes we have even been blessed with deep friendship as a result of it. There are many unique forms of hospitality. May I encourage you to find and practice the form you feel God would have you to offer to others?

Pauline Fredrickson is a mother and grandmother who has a heart for children and for families.

Extended Hospital Stay – 3 Tips to Stay Connected With Family and Friends After Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth is undoubtedly one of the major milestones in a woman’s life. From the time a woman learns that she is pregnant all through to the day of delivery, she is filled with expectant hope. Unfortunately, complications may arise which may prevent her from leaving the hospital as fast as she would have wanted. Some of the reasons for an extended hospital stay after childbirth include:

• Premature Birth – your baby may be pre-term in which case he/she may need to be kept in the incubator for a period of time and you can give Kangaroo Mother Care.

• Congenital infections – your child may develop a bacterial or viral infection necessitating treatment

• Jaundice – your child may be jaundiced

• Mother’s complications – you may develop complications which force you to spend more time in hospital as you receive treatment

The bottom line is that once it is determined that you will be spending more time in hospital than originally anticipated, you need to find ways and means of creatively connecting with family and friends. You need to be able to interact with your family and friends to avoid boredom and depression. If you have a spouse and other older children, they will miss you greatly and you will therefore need to find a way to interact with them. The following tips will help you stay connected with your family and friends after childbirth:

• Practice Open Communication – Keep the communication channels between your family/friends and yourself open. When your family visits you, let them know you are happy to see them. Hold hands with your spouse and have some intimate quiet time where you can catch up. Let your children see their new sibling and watch as you perform Kangaroo mother care if your baby is pre-term. If you are practicing Kangaroo Mother Care, let your partner get involved as well. Keep your family in the loop about everything that is going on and encourage them to ask questions. If you are allowed to have a mobile phone or laptop, post regularly to Twitter and Facebook. Let your friends know what is happening and you will receive lots of encouraging messages which will improve your emotional status.

• Establish a Relationship with Your Primary Nurse – The kind of relationship and rapport that you build with your primary nurse will to a large extent determine how pleasant your stay in hospital will be. You can take advantage of a close relationship to schedule extended visits by your family and friends. You can even get away with receiving visitors outside visiting hours. You can also get clearer and more candid explanations of any ongoing treatment.

• Seek the Help of Family and Friends – get your family and friends involved by asking for their help with certain things. In most cases they will only be too glad to oblige. Ask them to do some shopping for you. Get them to bring you food, drinks and snacks that are not offered by the hospital (provided you stay within your dietary guidelines). Ask them to bring you a book, get your older children to do your nails and generally get help with anything within reasonable limits, which will increase interaction with your family and friends.

What Makes a Children’s Hospital Different?

Hospitalized children often cope with pain, separation, and an unfamiliar environment. Their vulnerability demands a highly specialized team of professionals. Arguably, one of the most integral members of a children’s hospital team is the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).

According to the Child Life Council, the main role of the CCLS is to improve the child’s ability to understand stressful healthcare and life experiences, by fostering an environment that offers both emotional and developmental growth opportunities. Since a child’s welfare directly depends on the wellbeing of the entire family, the CCLS also provides parents, siblings and extended family members with information, support and guidance. Becoming a CCLS requires a university degree, covering topics on human growth and development, psychology, and counseling; it may also require an internship within a hospital for sick children.

Play activities are universal across cultures and essential to human development. More specifically, the CCLS supports children through the use of “therapeutic play” activities. These include; encouraging the child to work through their emotional issues by having them re-enact their accident using toy cars, stuffed animals and/or dolls; teaching the child about an upcoming procedure by allowing them to touch and feel some of the equipment; demonstrating a procedure on a stuffed toy, or using dolls and props to help explain the child’s diagnoses.

Children who work with a CCLS tend to show fewer physical signs of fear; such as sweaty palms or an elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Therapeutic play is not only about supporting the child emotionally and psychologically, it can also be used to strengthen the child physically. For instance, taking deep breaths to blow bubbles can help strengthen a child’s respiratory status. The benefits of working with the CCLS are measurable. The American Academy of Pediatrics (September 2006) recognizes that child life services improve pediatric care. Employing a CCLS may also contribute to shorter hospitalization periods and a decreased use of pain medications.

Children’s hospital websites are often proud to highlight the CCLS role within their organization. For example, within one Texas area children’s hospital the CCLS prepares children for tests, surgeries and other procedures; provides information and education surrounding the child’s diagnosis; helps develop children’s hospital policies and uses teaching dolls, stuffed animals and medical equipment as a way of preparing and educating the child. The CCLS also supports the child’s siblings and helps children prepare for school re-entry.

These services are not unique to hospitalized children. The trend toward outpatient services has led many facilities to develop Child Life positions within their outpatient clinics. When possible the CCLS conducts pre-admission tours of the hospital; thereby facilitating the child’s subsequent admission. In 2003, one Dallas area children’s hospital began receiving funds from a charitable organization, to fund a “Child Life Assistant” within their outpatient setting. Their Child Life Assistant creates some much needed distraction, through educational activities, such as individual and group games. The CCLS role allows for continuity of care for families that are returning to the children’s hospital outpatient clinic week after week.

Parents and children come to view the CCLS as a “safe” person, who is well equipped to provide emotional, cognitive and developmental support. This level of focus is what makes a children’s hospital unique. Nation wide, children’s hospitals have found this position to be instrumental in helping to decrease fear and anxiety amongst all family members.