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HealthCare Articles Index


HC-100-022017-Caring For The Elderly: Working With Their Money
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Caring For The Elderly: Working With Their Money


If you are the primary caregiver for an elderly relative, you will soon come to realise that your responsibility is not limited to their personal health. You will discover within a matter of weeks that you will ultimately be expected to take care of their lives in general, which includes everything from regular outings to their finances. The latter will usually be one of your more pressing concerns, whether you feel comfortable with the idea of being responsible for another’s money or not. In an ideal world there will be very little to this and you will not need to spend much time on it because of wealth that your senior relative has accumulated over the years. However, in reality it rarely plays out that way. You will effectively have to budget for them over the course of the time that they are in your charge. The tips below will make that process easier for you.


Before you can even begin to start budgeting for your elderly relative, you need to work out exactly where they stand with their finances. You can do this by getting organized and drawing up an effective set of accounts that you can work with on a weekly basis. These accounts do not have to be professional by any means, as long as you can fully understand and follow them. You should look at ...

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HC-200-022017-A Caregiver's Guide To Coping With Stress

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A Caregiver's Guide To Coping With Stress


Caring for the elderly, whether complete strangers or those related to you, can be extremely rewarding. The sense of satisfaction can be immense. However, the down side of caring is that it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting for all parties concerned, especially for the carer. Until you have actually been through it yourself you can never fully appreciate exactly how stressful it can be. It can bring out every possible negative emotion in you that you could ever think of and put you on the fast track to burnout. It is a full time occupation because you will find that it is all you ever think about, even when you are elsewhere. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn how to recognise the signs of stress and how to cope with it early on.


Caregivers can experience extreme stress over the course of their time as a carer for an elderly relative. The most upsetting thing is perhaps getting to know a person really well and then have him or her turn around and not recognise you anymore. It can be heartbreaking, but this may well happen to you. This is obviously an extreme example, but it can cause major stress on your part. There are other causes of stress when caring for the elderly as well. The list can include, but is not limited to, non-compliance with requests, violence, threatening or unreasonable behaviour, illness, confusion and then of course there is the amount of work that you will need to do in order to care for another individual on a full time basis. Even if you are not with that elderly person 24 hours a day, it is still hard to get away from the role. You will find that you constantly think about it and cannot switch off. It may even become the focus of your life until you learn how to deal with it.


It is important to recognise the symptoms. You may find that you ...

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HC-300-022017-Promoting And Maintaining Independence Whilst Caring For The Elderly

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Promoting And Maintaining Independence Whilst Caring For The Elderly


Sometimes, when caring for an elderly relative, it can be hard to know what to do for the best. If you are a caregiver, you are generally and solely responsible for the health of the person under your care, which makes it hard to make decisions that concern their welfare. However, when that person is a member of your family it becomes even harder to deal with. You have known that person inside out for most of your life and so it is easy to remember what sort of person they were before mental or physical disability kicked in. That may actually cloud your judgement. One thing that shouldn’t be hard for you to decide upon is their independence. Whether a family member is physically or mentally disabled, you should always try to promote their independence as far as possible.


Where caring for the elderly is concerned, there are two techniques relating to their independence. The first is promotion and the second is maintenance. You should do all you can within your power to promote and/or maintain the independence of any elderly person in need of care. Promotion of independence is largely ...

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Healthy Employees = Productive Employees

Companies are constantly searching for new and better ways in which to increase the productivity of their workforce, and thereby, enhance their bottom line. They try new tactics and strategies, all of which are designed to help employees reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to the company.


However, sometimes the best solutions are the ones that are so readily apparent that they go unnoticed.  One such solution involves the health and lifestyle choices of the employees in question.


Factors for success . . . or failure

There are many factors that can impact employees’ productivity levels.  They include diet, sleep (or lack thereof), stress, morale, and exercise (or lack thereof).  A recent survey conducted by ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs, sheds some interesting light on these factors and how they can negatively—or positively—affect employees.


ComPsych surveyed more than 1,000 employees across the United States during the timeframe of January 1 through February 15, 2008.  The survey involved companies of all sizes and those operating in a variety of different industries.  Overall, the survey was quite extensive and unearthed a wealth of data.  However, in the interest of brevity, we’ll address a few of the more important findings, as they relate to the factors listed above.


  • Diet—Of employees with balanced diets, 73% reported having high levels of productivity and 50% reported having high levels of energy.


  • Stress—Approximately ...

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The Cost of an Unhealthy Workforce

With the health of the U.S. economy so much in the news these days, it seems natural to also analyze the health of the average U.S. worker, considering how much influence the latter has on the former.  That analysis, considering the current state of the national healthcare system, does not paint a pretty picture. 


There are two sides to this issue.  The first is the more obvious of the two: the actual cost of healthcare.  During the past decade, that cost has skyrocketed in relation to other business costs.  In fact, it’s skyrocketed in relation to just about any other product or service, with the possible exception of oil and college tuition.  Every year, businesses and corporations have passed more of the cost of their health insurance programs on to their employees.  Despite all of this, politicians have been unable to hammer out a workable solution. 

But at this point, that’s only one half of companies’ worries in regards to the cost of an unhealthy workforce.  There’s another facet to the issue, one that can be just as costly, if not more so. 


Counting the cost


This second facet involves the cost of lost productivity—in other words, the cost of millions of employees who are too sick to work.  These workers fall into three distinct categories, which are listed below: 


·        Those who ...

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Word Count: 664

The Basics of Health & Productivity Management 

When it comes to the level of competition that currently exists in our capitalist society, as well as the competition that also exists in what is increasingly becoming a global economy, every company is looking for an edge—an edge that will make them just a little better, stronger, and more resilient than the other guy. 


With that in mind, it’s no surprise that new and more aggressive programs are being developed to give companies that edge.  One of the latest initiatives in this area is that of health promotion, and one of the programs most directly tied to that initiative is called Health & Productivity Management (H&PM).  This strategy, which strives to ensure the growth of productivity within organizations, is gaining more popularity with each passing year. 

Definition and differentiation


Let’s start with a definition of H&PM, one devised by the Institute of Health and Productivity Management (IHPM).  That definition is as follows: 

[Health and Productivity Management] is “the integrated management of health and injury risks, chronic illness, and disability to reduce employees’ total health-related costs, including direct medical expenditures, unnecessary absence from work, and lost performance at work (i.e., presenteeism).” 


H&PM has two main focuses, as listed below: 

  1. Health problems that are potentially preventable, especially those that could impact the company in an economic fashion

  1. Sub-par performance in the workplace, with an emphasis on lost productivity due to “presenteeism.”


There are a number of characteristics that make H&PM unique from other health promotion initiatives.  These characteristics stem from the fact that this is a comprehensive approach to productivity management through health promotion.  In addition, this is a ...

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Word Count: 692


The Advantages of Health & Productivity Management

In the first article in this series, we looked at the basics of Health & Productivity Management, starting with a definition of the concept:

[Health and Productivity Management] is “the integrated management of health and injury risks, chronic illness, and disability to reduce employees’ total health-related costs, including direct medical expenditures, unnecessary absence from work, and lost performance at work (i.e., presenteeism).”

As we discussed, this concept is comprehensive in approach and pro-active in nature, significantly differentiating it from other healthcare/productivity endeavors.  Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, what makes this type of program so important?  Why should companies and other organizations consider implementing an H&PM initiative?  With this article, we’ll look at the answer to these and other questions.

Meeting the economy’s challenges

The economic crisis currently facing the United States—and in some fashion, the world—makes an effective Health & Productivity Management program even more essential.  This is true not just for certain types of companies, either.  It’s true for companies in every industry and of every size, namely because the economy is presenting the same types of obstacles for all companies.  Some of those major obstacles and challenges are outlined below.

·        The aging workforce—There’s no stopping it; employees are getting older every day.  Another stark reality is that more and more employees can’t afford to retire at the age workers retired in the past.  As a result, they’re working well into their 60s and beyond.  At that age, employees are more at risk for injuries, disabilities and/or chronic illness.  Therefore, their subsequent absence from work, even for short amounts of time, can eat into a company’s overall productivity.  The H&PM program can help to combat this challenge.

·        The healthcare dilemma—Healthcare costs seem to skyrocket every year, rising even faster than the annual rate of inflation.  For some small business owners, the cost of ...

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Improve Morale - Give Employees Time Off!

Given the current state of the economy, giving your employees time off is probably the furthest thing from your mind.  However, not giving enough attention to this subject could come back to bite you later . . . and it might do so sooner than you think!

The reason is simple.  There’s a good chance that the employees you currently have are anxious and apprehensive at the moment.  With layoff figures and unemployment numbers in the headlines just about every week, it’s only natural that they carry some trepidation with them to their job.  The problem is that you need them at the top of their game in order to put their talent and skills to the best possible use.

This is why you should ensure that your employees take the time off they need, especially their vacation time.

If they’re well rested and refreshed, then you’ll reap the benefits upon their return:

·        Company culture—A more relaxed atmosphere contributes to a better culture within the company.  Employees, like everybody else, are intrinsically drawn to people and/or things that help them to reduce the stress in their lives.  Your company could be one of those things.

·        Productivity—Employees are more productive when they’re rested and relaxed, not when they’re frazzled and feel worn out.

·        Loyalty—A ...

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HPM 105

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Implementing a Health & Productivity Management Program

In the first two articles in this series, we looked at the basics of a Health & Productivity Management (H & PM) program, as well as the advantages associated with using one.  In this, the third and final article in the series, we’re going to explore how a company can implement such a program.  The way in which we’ll approach this analysis is from the standpoint of size.  In other words, how both larger companies and smaller companies should implement their programs for the purpose of maximizing their efforts.

Blueprint for larger companies

Bigger companies with thousands of employees face more challenges than smaller companies, in large part because of their size.  As you recall, the effectiveness of Health & Productivity Management is tied directly to its emphasis on integration throughout the system.  The bigger a company is, the less integration there is, for a couple of reasons.

First, employees are more likely to be scattered throughout the country (or around the world) at various locations.  Second, the different departments within a larger company tend to work more independently of each other than they do in a smaller company.  As a result, the company is less efficient—and subsequently, less effective—in the area of employee health and productivity.

The keys for the implementation of any program are consistent and explicit communication and set expectations, and this is especially true in the case of large companies.  With that in mind, below are important steps that must be ...

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HPM106-021714-Healthcare Savings Account

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Healthcare Savings Account


For employees that have high deductible insurance plans, health care savings accounts can be a good way to cover out of pocket expenses. These plans will free up employees from the worry that they will not be able to afford medical expenses when they come. Understanding who qualifies to have a health care savings account and the benefits it will bring to an employee is important.


Savings Account:


A health care savings account (HSA) is an account where money is deposited directly from your paycheck pre-tax. This type of account is established to cover out of pocket medical expenses. These expenses will include hospital stays, medicine that has a prescription, and doctor visits. Monies that are withdrawn from the account for non-medical expenses and unqualified purchases will be treated much like an IRA account.

You will pay the tax penalty at the time of withdrawal. It is suggested that these accounts be used only for medical expenses because the penalties are very high. However, all qualified purchases of medical expenses are not subject to tax liability going in or coming out of the account. This makes these accounts very valuable.


Who Qualifies:


In order to open an HAS, an individual must ...

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