Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flu Season

Cold and flu season has arrived. The most efficient way to minimize your risk of "catching" a cold or the flu is to prevent the spread of germs. Do this by washing your hands after touching a public surface such as a door knob or using a public restroom. Public surfaces are covered with a variety of germs. The surface may look clean to the naked eye but microscopically it is contaminated. Cover your mouth with a tissue or the bend of your arm when sneezing or coughing. Bacteria and viruses can spread by airborne mucous droplets. It is easy for an individual in the proximity of the droplets to inhale them. Typically, the germ inhaled will settle in the lower or upper respiratory tract.

Those who are immunocompromised, age 65 or older, in frequent contact with public areas, parents who have young children at home should be vaccinated. Minimize contact with people you know are sick. The influenza vaccine prescribed this year will provide protection against 3 influenza viruses:  A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 which caused a pandemic.

Know the symptoms that accompany a cold vs flu. A cold lasts 2-7 days with a runny nose, cough, sore throat. Flu symptoms are headache, muscle aches in legs and back, fever, chills, congestion lasting longer than 7 days.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Funerals: one of the most expensive purchases to be made

Buying a home, automobile and funerals are the most expensive purchases people ever make. Many funerals run well over $6000 in upwards of $10,000. This can be a great cost burden on many families which is why it makes sense to have final expense insurance in place. It is possible to pay for your funeral with funds which would otherwise go toward the cost of retirement, living expenses and/or nursing home care. Failing to have proper planning in place, your funeral can unnecessarily shift a major expense to your family. If you have dependents, timing of the purchase can be critical. The earlier the better. Funeral insurance policies are becoming more and more common.

There are definite advantages to having a policy that include: 
•you are spending dollars for a specific need 
•most funeral and burial purchases are made when buyers are vulnerable emotionally and lack the time and information to negotiate prices effectively. Having a policy in force greatly reduces this problem.
•preplanning ensures that all of your final wishes will be fulfilled. Death is a difficult subject to discuss, often times your true wishes may not be known or fully understood by your family. 
•preplanning provides you and your family with the peace-of-mind in knowing that everything has been taken care of  in the manner you specified. 

You might think, "well, I can just set aside money for my funeral and burial." However, this type of preplanning does not offer the advantages listed above. There are too many questions left behind for the survivors, funeral director, and of course, the cost of the funeral and cemetery expenses. 

Owning a final expense policy to pay for your funeral and burial plans gives you complete control of handling the funds. A preneed package primarily sold by funeral directors will pay for your funeral only with nothing left over for your survivors. The more expensive the funeral, the more money the funeral home makes. 

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN