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Author: N Levenstien

You cruise, you win

It’s commonly accepted that we all need a little stress in our lives. Operating under a small degree of pressure can encourage us to push forward, thrive or even make us that bit more competitive.

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Without stress we may become so relaxed that we figuratively become horizontal – slipping under the radar of our bosses and thus miss potential opportunities for promotion as a consequence; we’ve all heard of ‘you snooze, you lose,’ right?  Because stress activates our inbuilt fight or flight instincts, it can actually help us to feel more alert, react quickly or manage several competing tasks.

 

But what happens when it all gets too much? When stress is prolonged it can lead to anxiety, depression or burnout. You might consider yourself to be a healthy person, yet experience a sudden bout of cold sores, rashes or a cough that just won’t go. Maybe the loud office banter that you used to enjoy is becoming a noise that makes you want to screeeam! In which case, you may be suffering from stress without actually realising it.

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If this is the case, then we highly recommend you take a few days out from your life to reflect, recharge and recover. Forget about fight or flight and replace it with something else instead. Something like a cruise, perhaps?

Spending a few days on the blue open waters of the Med or meandering down the Rhine is a wonderful opportunity to literally become horizontal. Relax on the deck of a luxury cruise ship or take a smaller cruise and get up close to wonderful wildlife and nature.

There’s a great range of long and short cruises for you to choose from. Celebrity Cruises for example combine beautiful cruise ships with top of the line cruise travel amenities.

So, if you’re fight or flight instinct is getting too much for you, don’t hit anyone, and don’t jump on board a plane either – take a cruise instead!

Are solicitors in control of their technology?

Law firms are increasingly casting off their archaic image in favour of technological solutions to make workflow more efficient, to store data and to enable lawyers to work from anywhere.

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With advantages come challenges. A ‘click of a button’ approach to case management can lead to a failure to grasp clients’ requirements and to meet their expectations. Outsourcing and mobile working arrangements can cause confidentiality and data handling issues. Solicitors also need to be alert to the possibility of IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, hackers and phishing.

A significant breach can easily cause a firm to fall foul of the regulatory framework and can even give rise to negligence claims. On a more general level, a failure to demonstrate a commitment to IT security may be an indicator of an overly lax attitude to risk management; something which could cause serious problems when it comes to renewal of solicitors professional indemnity insurance.

Here are some of the key issues solicitors (and their clients) need to be aware of.

Case management systems: a tool, not a substitute for a client-centric approach

Case management software can be extremely valuable in ensuring deadlines are met and cases are progressed in the right way. They can also be useful in the context of file review and supervision – making it easier for supervisors to check that everything is on track.

One of the key features of these systems is their ability to pre-empt the next step in a legal matter; to automatically assemble documents (e.g. letters or court papers) that a solicitor can complete simply by populating fields. Boilerplate templates and standard letters can be tweaked to include personalised content relevant to the individual client. Solicitors need to be constantly aware of the temptation of relying too much on standard responses and automatic actions. A CMS may suggest the next step. The solicitor may be tempted to follow the suggestion without proper consideration of whether such a step is appropriate for that client at that particular point in time. What’s more, if a client’s experience of communication from a firm consists almost entirely of pro forma emails and letters, he or she is less likely to come away with the feeling of having been provided with a ‘personal’ service.

Remote working: are all lawyers aware of their data-protection responsibilities?

A solicitor may think nothing of downloading files onto a portable file from time to time to work on the train. In terms of client confidentiality, there’s a lot more to worry about here than thinking about who might be looking over your shoulder. A firm may be vigilant when it comes to its own hardware, but is there anything being done about transfer of data to unsecured devices?

Cloud-based solutions: is your system fit for purpose from a compliance standpoint?

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) has recently drawn up guidance for use of cloud-based solutions. This type of provision involves data and software being held on remote servers operated by separate providers. As well as being a generally cheaper than maintaining local servers, it also allows for safe mobile working. As long as solicitors and support staff are given a log-in, they can access relevant data and software from anywhere.

Firms need to give careful consideration to their choice of cloud provider. Does the provider take all steps necessary to ensure data remains confidential? If the provider is outside the UK, do local laws pose a risk to confidentiality?  Firms are advised to inform their clients if they use cloud computing. For high profile or unusually sensitive matters, it would be highly advisable to obtain positive consent.

Cyber attacks on law firms: no longer the stuff of science fiction

By their very nature, solicitors firms hold lots of sensitive client information, of potential value to hackers. Effective risk management means putting into place safeguards appropriate for the threat in question. Whereas a decade or so ago, this may have meant setting up and maintaining a pretty basic firewall around a firm’s network, the game has now changed. Research from PwC and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills suggests a typical cyber attack costs small organisations with 50 or fewer employees between £65,000 and £115,000 per breach. The high cost is due in part to an ongoing lack of security understanding within most businesses.

The complexity and increased number of routes available to attackers – along with the potential rewards available to hackers, means cyber security is a complex business. It’s not something law firms can afford to ignore – as the long-term reputational damage of an attack could be more expensive than the initial ‘clean-up’ costs.

Tech-based solutions can help drive solicitors’ firms forward – so long as lawyers recognise and deal with the potential risks involved.

 

Bluefin Professions  is one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, providing specialist insurance and risk management services to individuals and businesses. It provides market leading insurance solutions delivered locally through a network of 42 offices and over 1400 staff.

As a top ten independent UK insurance broker, Bluefin provides specialist advice across all classes of business including property, employers liability, public and products liability, professional indemnity, contractors all risks, motor and engineering. Bluefin also underwrites on a wholesale basis for a wide range of products and schemes. Bluefin is proud to have been awarded Chartered Insurance Brokers status by the Chartered Insurance Institute in 2012.

 

http://www.bluefinprofessions.co.uk/ 

Healthcare options for senior citizens

There are now many healthcare options available for seniors. It is necessary to be completely aware of the options since the senior years present unique health challenges that require special attention. As seniors enter their advanced years it is important to address their health needs and monitor their body’s demands so that they can fully enjoy these years.

Personal situation and preferences serve as the primary consideration in deciding on the living options. The senior members of the family can opt for independent living or they can live with you aided by stay-in caregivers. It is actually a matter of preference involving the whole family.

Healthcare options available nowadays can make seniors feel very comfortable. At their age, it is not yet too late to enjoy new hobbies, make the most of their retirement and travel to different places. Living in a stable and healthy environment can truly help seniors to have enough energy to do all the things that they want to do at this time in life.

Independent living option

Seniors have various options when it comes to housing in their later years. They can live independently if they so wish and are capable of looking after themselves; however, it is usually best for them to move from a larger house to a more manageable condominium unit. Doing so would require less house upkeep and expense on their part. It can be hard for seniors to let go of a home they have lived in for so long but they will appreciate the simpler lifestyle without the worry of maintaining a larger home.

Seniors have the option of hiring a caregiver to take care of their health and other needs should they decide to live independently. A caregiver can either be a full-time live-in or they can come in for a set amount of hours per day. This can be perfect for the seniors who need extra help with someone to run errands and reminding them to take medication.

Residing in a senior community home

Another option that seniors have is to move to a senior community home. This is a great option for older people who still wish to have some socialization during their golden years. In a community home, seniors are also able to get the necessary support from other seniors.

Westminster Village is one of the best options for senior life. A community home like this provides a social element by bringing together people to spend this part of their life together. The home regularly sets up social activities and outings to make each day fun and interesting. In addition eating meals together helps solidify that sense of community.

Another reason that a community home is great is that there is on-call care 24-hours a day seven days a week. Therefore, if the seniors face a serious health problem or an emergency, they will not have to wait to have professional medical attention.

Community homes have caregivers who are looking into the seniors’ needs round the clock. Residents will never have to worry about their health needs. The relatives can be 100 percent confident that they are giving nothing but the best to the senior members of the family.

 

Searching for a new career in the health industry

No matter what industry you are in, there comes a point in everyone’s life when they simply need a change. Whether that be a change of pace, a change of location, or a totally new profession it’s achievable no matter how old you are.

If you currently work in the healthcare industry, you are already in a lucky position as this is one of the most dramatically growing sectors on the planet. And with a large proportion of baby boomers fast approaching the age of 65 or older by the year 2030, the healthcare sector doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon.

As the population ages, the demand for better healthcare and services, drugs and new technologies increase along with it. So too, will the demand for doctors, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, lab researchers and technicians.

If you are currently in one of these positions and want a change, there are a number of things that are important to think about, which will help ease your transition.

What specific job do you want?

It may sound obvious, but with the vast amount of different positions out there, the simple question of what do you want to do and in what capacity you want to do it, is often the hardest question to answer. A number of ways to feel out this question is to take some work placements or volunteering positions to make sure that the job you are considering is actually the one for you. For instance, if you are thinking about getting into ophthalmology, consider going down to your local eye care specialist and sitting in on a consultation.

Do you need any extra training?

If you have now figured out what area you want to move into, now you need to determine if you require any additional training. For the job you are after, it may be necessary for you to go back to university and gain a bachelor’s degree or some other form of certificate. This may require a few more years of study, but if this is a job you are truly passionate about, then what’s a few more years when you are considering a career than will span 30+ years.

Rewriting your CV / Resume

Your CV is one of the most important things to get right and therefore deserves your full attention. This is the first thing that most employers look at and they will judge you according to what they read. There are a number of CV writing courses out there that would be worth the investment.

Job hunting

Once you’ve got the above mentioned items in check, the last thing to do is to actually look at and apply for positions in your newly chosen field. For example, if you wanted to get into ophthalmology and were looking at careers at Stanton Optical you could go onto an online job website like ‘Monster’ to both upload your CV and search for potential jobs in your new field.

 

Specs have come a long way

The next time you’re considering picking up a new pair of frames, dithering between the purple pair and the slightly-less-purple pair, spare a thought for your glasses-wearing predecessors – long dash today’s dazzling array of potential choices hasn’t always existed.

Eyewear has a long and storied history. Their earliest recorded use dates back to 1286, although the Italian prototype simply consisted of thin pieces of glass placed directly on to the eyeball, which can’t have been terribly comfortable.

A 1352 portrait by Tommaso da Modena showing the cardinal Hugh de Provence in a rather fetching pair of spectacles is the first pictorial evidence of glasses in Europe.

In this period and up until the start of the 20th century, wearing glasses was considered unfashionable, as they were most often the preserve of bookish clergymen and meddling priests. However, attitudes began to change as celebrities like Buddy Holly popularised their use.

While they still didn’t have the breadth of technologies and designs that we take for granted, people in the 1960s had a number of different choices – including the perfectly round metal frames that became forever associated with Beatles star John Lennon during this period.

Eyeglass wearers demanded stylish and functional frames that offered both variety and elegance, and designers had to up their game to meet the new demand for fashionable glasses. The increasing skill and knowledge of opticians and optometrists has also played a part in this development.

Technology

While Google Glasses may not yet be coming as standard, there’s still a great deal of technology underpinning your humble frames, which might make you think twice about sitting on them by mistake.

Anti-reflective coating can be applied to lenses in order to reduce the impact of bright light, which can be helpful for drivers or office workers who spend their day in front of a computer.

Another option is anti-scratch coating, reducing the impact of hair-line fractures – long this is particularly useful for small children, whose glasses tend to endure a fair amount of wear and tear.

Photochromic lenses that darken on being exposed to light are also available.

Choices

For today’s consumer, there is a panoply of options when it comes to picking out a suitable pair of glasses. So-called ‘geek chic’ has popularised thick frames, while the retro appeal of browline spectacles has also been noted over the last few years.

Cat-eye glasses can still be a popular choice among girls harking back to the glory days of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, while horn-rimmed frames – once considered deeply unfashionable – are currently undergoing something of a revival. Glasses can be made of plastic or metal depending on your preference, as well as coming in a variety of sizes.

Ultimately, with high-end designer glasses from the likes of Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger available as well as a host of other makes, modern consumers are spoiled for choice.

Generally it’s a good idea to choose a frame that goes well with your facial shape, either accentuating or downplaying certain characteristics as you wish.

However, in the modern world of glasses, there’s no need to despair if you can’t find the perfect pair off the rack – many opticians can customise frames to suit your look, for instance by providing them in a different colour.

Contact lenses – what are the benefits?

Contact lenses offer a host of advantages for the wearer, as people who have already decided to make the transition to lenses will know.

The benefits range from simple convenience and quality of vision to more personal concerns like self-confidence and fashion.

According to the British Contact Lens Association, there are now 3.7 million people wearing contacts in the UK, which equates to nine per cent of the 15 to 64-year-old population.

Read on to find out why so many people have chosen this option and how it could help you.

Quality of vision

One of the most fundamental and important benefits of using contact lenses is the natural way in which it improves your vision.

Contacts conform to the shape of your eye, giving you a clear and uninterrupted field of view. Glasses, by comparison, are only effective when you are looking through the lens, meaning your peripheral vision can be distorted.

Furthermore, contact lenses are unlikely to be affected by cold weather. This is a significant advantage, as anyone who often has to remove their glasses to clear fogged up lenses will know.

Flexibility

Contact lenses offer great flexibility and ease of use for wearers. There are many options to choose from, such as daily disposables, which are a popular choice for people looking for cheap contact lenses to wear occasionally.

Daily lenses are ideal if you are just looking to try out contacts to see how they work for you. Take a look at this page to find out more.

People who have made the decision to use contact lenses on a long-term basis could go for two-weekly or monthly disposables, while extended wear products are also available, removing the need to remove your lenses every night before bed.

Fashion

For many people, the choice to make the transition from eyeglasses to contact lenses will simply be a cosmetic one.

Some individuals do not like how glasses look, or cannot afford to buy whatever fashionable, designer frames may be in vogue at any particular time.

Furthermore, the glasses you wear might not match some of the outfits in your wardrobe, which can be particularly problematic if you are planning a night out or a special occasion.

Contact lens wearers have none of these problems, and can even add a unique feature to their look with some coloured or cosmetic lenses.

Sport and leisure

Lenses offer the freedom to enjoy all sorts of sports, pastimes and outdoor pursuits.

Glasses can be a hindrance to various activities, from jogging and cycling to more active endeavours like rugby and football.

With contacts, you can enjoy a wide field of view and feel confident that you can get involved in your chosen activity without your lenses fogging up or getting dirty.

Most people using contact lenses for sports and leisure pursuits opt for a soft product that can be disposed of on the day.

Specialist use

As well as providing basic vision correction, contact lenses can help people with conditions such as astigmatism.

Toric lenses are designed for people who suffer from this problem, featuring a different design to ordinary lenses but the same material.

Another example is bifocal contact lenses, also known as progressive or multifocal lenses. These are ideal for people with presbyopia, a condition that occurs naturally with age and reduces the individual’s ability to focus on close objects.

Other products on offer to modern consumers include silicon hydrogel lenses, which offer a high level of oxygen permeability, and multifocal lenses.

Gum disease and poor health

For many people up and down the country, keeping themselves fit and healthy is a priority and many go to extreme measures to exercise, eat properly and keep nutrient levels up.

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However, in the rush to buy the right vitamins, eat the newest super foods and try out the latest miracle cures, simple things like gum disease can easily be overlooked.

But as gum disease is an important indicator, and potential cause, of poor general health, making sure that you keep your teeth and gums in great condition with regular brushing and professional care should be a priority.

 

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that supports the teeth and is normally the result of plaque and bacteria build up due to a lack of brushing and flossing.

The tissue becomes inflamed and painful, causing discomfort and bleeding around the gums.

 

How can it affect your general health?

Though most people should find that the inflammation dies down after a while, in some people who are especially prone to gum disease, the body can overreact to the infection resulting in increased inflammation.

In others, the inflammation may never clear up, resulting in prolonged infection and discomfort.

Research has shown that this intense gum inflammation can affect the bloodstream, slowly damaging blood vessels in the heart, brain and the rest of the body.

In the long term untreated gum disease has been linked to problems like heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

How can you prevent gum disease?

A good way to prevent gum disease or monitor it when it occurs is to see dental professionals for cleaning on a regular basis.

Procedures like professional cleaning, teeth whitening and descaling can all help to keep your teeth healthy, so don’t be afraid to contact your dentist if you think your nashers need extra attention.

If you are looking for a professional to undertake some cleaning or teeth whitening Hampshire and the surrounding area is packed with fully qualified dentists who will be happy to help.

Another important factor in keeping your gums healthy is your diet. A nutritious and well-balanced diet will help to keep your gums in good condition with foods like cheese, peanuts, yoghurt and milk being especially good for your teeth.

Keeping your gums in good condition won’t just help you to feel healthier now, it could prevent serious diseases in the long term and help you to live a happier, healthier life for years to come.

 

Top tips for travelling with a toddler

This past Christmas we were pleasantly surprised when my husband’s company announced that the financials for the year were in and that they would all be receiving performance bonuses – essentially a 13th cheque! We were thrilled and suddenly had a hundred ideas as to what we could use it for.  We have a dream to travel overseas every 5 years and since 2014 was to be 5 years since our last trip (we backpacked around Europe) we thought that we would put this money toward our next trip. The main difference between the last trip and this one is that we are now three –we now have a one year old and there is no way this mamma is going to be leaving her little one behind.   After being exposed to hours of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” we decided that perhaps it was time for that trip to Disneyland that we have spoken about so many times.

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After chatting to some friends who had recently taken a family trip to Disneyland and getting even more excited I figured the most important thing was to make sure that we booked our flights to Orlando. Once that was done the rest of the planning really fell into place quite easily.  I was just starting to feel at ease about the trip when it suddenly dawned on me – this would be the first time we would be travelling with a toddler and with that comes a host of concerns.

Here are my top tips for travelling with a toddler:

  • Request bulkhead seats or seats near an exit, so that your toddler has a safe spot to play on the floor.
  • Minimise chances of your toddler contracting travellers’ diarrhoea by avoiding risky foods such as seafood, undercooked meats, peeled and raw fruits and vegetables, and unpasteurised dairy products.  Also stick to drinking bottled water.
  • Make sure to pack sunscreen, hats and insect repellent. Use them daily even if the weather looks overcast.
  • Compile a family medical kit. Remember to include baby paracetamol, a thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral rehydration preparation and Band-Aids.
  • If your toddler struggles with motion sickness make sure to make regular stops along the way and offer plenty of fresh air and water to stay hydrated and cool.
  • To avoid ear pain as a result of change of cabin pressure during takeoff and landing encourage swallowing by feeding (breastfeeding works best).

Follow these tips and I guarantee you that half the battle is won.

Top reasons to why you should switch to E-Cigarette


Smoking can be one of the most stubborn habit to break and every smoker has tried the exit route, if not once, but multiple times for sure, and on the sad note failing to do so every time. Tobacco smoking if continued and uncontrolled has many detrimental health impacts,impacts which include higher risks of diabetes, heart diseases, joint problems and even cancer.

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So, the sooner you come out of this whirlpool, the better. Or else it might be too late before it consumes you. Easier said than done! Well yes, be smart and switch to E-cigarettes today.

E-cigarettes are one of the best nicotine replacements in the market. Studies reveal that e-cigarettes are one of the best aid for smoking cessation. It has far lesser toxic effects than traditional cigarettes. Unlike traditional cigarettes, an electronic cigarette is completely deficient of substances like anatabine, nornicotine, anabasine, and myosamine also known as Whole Tobacco Alkaloids or WTAs. Additionally they aremore versatile to use as there are no open flames which makes them much safer and easier.

The basic construction of an e-cig consists of a battery powered aerosol back, a liquid cartridge and a LED light on the tip which lights up to simulate a puff. The battery can be charged, and a fully charged e-cig can go about 700-800 puffs, and the liquid can be refilled easily.

The specialities of these cigarettes are that one can regulate the nicotine level in the liquid and can also select from a wide range of flavours, as per personal preferences. But most important of all, e-cigs are free from tar and other harmful chemicals.

Another important aspect that is of great social importance is the eco-friendly nature of e-cigarettes. It saves the environment from butt littering. The build material of the cigarette is recyclable. But the imperative feature is that it does not generate smoke and in turn saves your neighbours from passive smoking.

Almost all e-cig comes with a starter kit, which usually contains all that a smoker needs for their transition from traditional cigarettes to E-cigarettes. Though it varies from user to user, one might have to start with high nicotine containing liquids as the body is accustomed to it, and gradually reduce nicotine concentration over time, finally giving it up altogether.

So have a cleaner home with no more ash or ashtrays. Smoke free operation gives you greater freedom as it lets you enjoy your habits in public without exposing others to second hand smoke. Live a healthier life and that of others too.

Today’s market gives you a wide choice of e-cigarettes from various top manufacturers, like Halo, V2, Greensmoke, Apollo, Eversmoke, etc. along with multiple flavours, cigarette options and nicotine content to choose from. For a comprehensive evaluation byour expert team of editors and testers, visit here, the best review site about ecigs, and get complete details of the top e-cigarettes of 2014.

 

Why you need a stairlift

Stair lifts have transformed many people’s lives and are a great solution to those that are elderly or have mobility difficulties. People don’t only need to buy a stair lift because they are elderly, they will also need a lift if they suffer from bad knees, balance problems or possibly even weight issues. Custom home lifts are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people realise just how affordable they are. Here are some great reasons to invest in a stairlift sooner rather than later.

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– If you live alone, then with a stair lift you do not need anyone to be with you to help you move around or to get back upstairs. This will allow you to have much more independence and therefore be lot happier with things, it is nice to know that you don’t need anyone to help you to get up to bed evening. You friends and family will feel at ease and safe in the knowledge that you have a safe and sound way to get up the stairs, they will not worry that you are struggling to walk up which could potentially lead to you falling.

– Stair lifts are extremely safe, so this only reinforces the above point. They are designed for elderly people to be by themselves so every precaution has been taken to make sure that they are safe.

– If you are planning on buying a new home then you don’t need to worry about how many floors there are or what the stairs are like. With a stair lift you know that you will be able to get up and down any type of stairs.

– It gives more time to your loved ones. Your loved ones do not need to be with you every minute of the day just incase you need to go upstairs. This will in turn make you feel great because no one likes taking up so much of people’s time. They can now relax and enjoy their weekends rather than having to come round and look after you.

– Electric stair lifts are powered by batteries, so even if there is a power cut at any point you do not need to worry about getting stuck on the stairs with no way of contacting anyone.

– You will no longer look at the stairs and think that it is a daunting prospect, you will now feel free to move around the home as you wish.