Long Journey in to the “Stroke World” Sans Enough Insurance

by Lynn Cardarelli

It seemed that it was a typical day. But, it wasn’t. March 8, 2016 at 10 in the morning would start off being the worst of worst days. My name is Lynn Cardarelli and among other hats I wear, I am an insurance agent. When you work in this profession you know that bad things can happen to great people, but I didn’t expect that it would be “my turn”, let alone that of my long-time beau, Joe.

So, here is how my “worst day” began… I am working in my home office. Joe comes in says he isn’t feeling well and wants me to make a doctor’s appointment for him. While an unusual request, it didn’t seem too “odd” as I suspected he was not well. He would normally goes to the gym at 4:30 AM to work out, however that morning he had crawled back into bed and said he wasn’t feeling well and needed to sleep. For him to miss his workout is atypical so I figured he must be getting sick and I was going to call the doctor. Then I took looked at him. He wasn’t sick. He was staggering as if he was drunk. He acted disoriented and was holding onto the wall trying to put his clothes on. I knew then… Joe was having a stroke.

I called 911. (Commence solemn music) This is where the nightmare truly beings. Hours spent in the ER as hordes of medical professionals determine treatment and finally find a bed for him. Then starts the ongoing days and nights in the hospital room waiting for him to wake up. Praying that he would come out of it all right. And, once he woke up, a blessing, we began to discover the extent of the damage.

The long journey now becomes longer…

From the hospital Joe went into a nursing facility only to be back to the hospital again. Rinse and repeat for seven months. That is what it feels like, but not in a good or cleansing way. But, more futile as the challenge is where does beloved Joe go next? More care facilities? Remain in the hospital?

A stroke can make someone feel like they are in prison. And, their caregivers like they are helpless.

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Joe does not have use of the right side of his body and there is no way of knowing if this his new normal or if it will come back. Mentally he is like someone who has suffered PTSD.  And, I continue to pray.

Our future is uncertain and the fears, the tears and the prayers take their toll.

 Joe has good medical insurance. I am an insurance agent and I know the policies. I know what medical insurance policies including Medicare and policies that supplement or replace Medicare do and do not cover. Most policies cover a 100 days in a skilled nursing/rehabilitation center, so many hours of speech, physical and occupational therapy, home health care etc. If durable medical equipment is needed, the recipient normally has a 20% coinsurance. Most policies do not cover retrofitting the house for an individual who is immobile.

I know I must not be alone – there are others who have their “Joes”.

Being struck by a critical illness – stroke, heart attack, cancer, ALS, MS, Dementia etc. – cost money and if a Boomer is not properly insured the illness will destroy their retirement funds.

Boomers should know what their health insurance policies covers or if on Medicare, what Medicare covers. And, to protect the home and financial future you should have policies such as…

  1. Long Term Care
  2. Critical Illness or a Cancer/Stroke/Heart Attack policy
  3. Hospital policy
  4. Disability Income policy (if still working)

These policies provide for money to cover the costs that medical insurance, including Medicare, does not cover. They provide money to live on while recovering, money for additional time in a skilled nursing facility, money for additional days of therapy and money to cover alternative treatments.

Many have bought policies through their work and will let them go when they retire. You should review the policies you own with a trusted Insurance Agent. Sometimes, if the company allows it, it is better to keep those policies in place during retirement. Regardless of age, individuals should look at acquiring additional protection against critical illness. In my Stroke Support group, I am always surprised by the number of stroke survivors who are in their 20’s and 30’s.

Joe’s stroke has cost over a half million dollars. The insurance company is bearing the majority of the cost. We are responsible for a portion of the cost. A Long Term Care Policy would have significantly reduced the financial burden of his recovery. There are options every Boomer should discuss an insurance agent.

Joe and my journey is long on a road we did not want to discover. He was healthy. I am healthy. And, now we are both severely impacted physically and emotionally from the toll a catastrophic illness can impart on its’ victims.

I wish we had better options… and a different road.

For more information: Stroke.org

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Planning for 2017 – Is your business ready?

Are you ready for 2017? Is your business plan prepared for the New Year? Have you thought of your 3-6-12 month goals to help keep your business growing or jumpstarting a business that may be floundering.

Here are some suggestions to help you gear up for when the calendar goes from 16 to 17!

  1. Think long and hard. Is your business working? Are you excited to be working as an entrepreneur? Do you believe you can maintain enthusiasm for another year? Do you need help to promote or grow your biz? Or, are you tired and just want to be “done”? There is no shame in doing what is best for you as long as you are true to your self when evaluating your business.
  2. What are your plans for the next year? A good business person has a one year (or more) plan in place.  Breaking it down to 3-6-12 months is often recommended. What do you need or want to do in the first quarter of 2017? The first half of the year? Do you need to expand your business? Do you need to have employees in stead of trying to “do it alone”? Do you need mentoring by say the Small Business Association (SBA)?
  3. What are your challenges? What is holding up progress? Is it time management? If so, use a good calendar or planner to help you stay on track.
  4. Do you need help? Many people can really focus on the nature of their business if they get some simple help, even virtually.  Consider doing that to free up time.
  5. Be creative. Many of us tend to get “stuck”. Order the same products.  Do the same approach to our work day.  Switch it up!

What do you expect in 2017? Let us know! The graphic below if for you to download and organize your year! Good luck!

2017-goals-setting

author: Louise Masin Sattler, owner of 411 voices media

 

SAFE HEARTS

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  Here is a PSA video that is produced by DAMSEL in DEFENSE and brought to our attention by their representative, Linda Benecke of Damsel Pro Gal.

Please take time to discuss the tough issues spotlighted in this video with your loved ones.

Being Balanced with Water

What do Arianna Huffington, Brendon Burchard, and Eben Pagan have in common? If you answered an amazing amount of wealth along with millions of social media followers you would be correct.

There is another commonality among these three contemporary thought-leaders that has contributed to their success. They each speak about the importance of bringing balance into your life through daily morning rituals; the most important of these is drinking water! They recommend drinking water first thing in the morning and continue with lots of quality water throughout your day.

Learning through personal experience of body fatigue and sickness by not giving the body its most important nutrient, water, we go into dehydration. When the body dehydrates, even just a little, it’s like letting parts of our brain dry up. Dehydration dulls our alertness, lowers our energy, allows toxins to build, and slows our metabolism.

If we don’t give our body its most basic needs, our body will start failing us when we need it most to show up.

In fact, the aforementioned powers in business and media had this to say about the importance of hydration and balance in their lives:

Arianna Huffington starts her day every morning with a glass of hot water with lemon and she continues saying, “I drink tons of water with lemon throughout the day.” *

Eben Pagan’s morning success ritual includes drinking a half liter of water, doing several minutes of meditation, drinking a green smoothie using his custom recipe, and doing a morning walk to get exercise while spending time with his daughter. Moreover, Eben’s ritual over time has resulted in dropping 20 lbs. of excess weight, making him healthier, and more productive throughout his day.

Pagan shares, “I have found that the first action I do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. When I have a great morning, I feel the rest of the day is great too. I can concentrate and get things done and feel a fulfilling satisfaction at the end of the day.” – Excerpt from Wake Up Productive  webinar.

Brendon recommends that we set a trigger. You wake up in the morning and your first action is to drink water, get dressed for exercise, and workout. Bam! Nothing interrupts those actions. Plan for success by starting your day, every day, with a routine you do not question.

Brendon Burchard says, “ I’ve spent my entire career helping high performers basically set up better habits in their lives, better routines, better strategies that they could run on a continual basis -to keep them energized, to keep them in a good space, to keep them engaged, to keep them enthusiastic.

If we can’t have the right habits in our daily life, we’ll never reach high performance.”

Read more about Burchard and his recommendation regarding water consumption in his New York Times best-seller ,  The Charge. 

More about the value of water

Drinking water first thing in the morning jump-starts your metabolism. Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and the author of The One One One Diet, explains how the essential carbohydrates and proteins that you consume on a daily basis are digested, assimilated, and transported by way of water throughout the body. “When we are not adequately hydrated, we can mistake thirst with hunger, which leads us to eat more,” she says. 

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 My personal journey…

Just like cute puppies and chicken soup, water can be “man’s best medicine”.  Through years of my intensive study of seeking health and well-being, I’ve experimented on myself and I completely agree with the aforementioned thought –leaders who emphasized the importance of water in our diet. Along that path for wellness inside and out, I have chosen to drink Kangen water.

Why Kangen? Simply, this water is restructured water and cannot be bottled and stored on a shelf because its greatest benefits must be absorbed and assimilated fresh (just as eating fresh-made food is always the healthiest and more tasty.) Kangen water is made by attaching a medical grade ionizer to your kitchen faucet. The medical grade ionizer cleans and restructures your tap water into high-quality energy equal to fresh mountain running water as nature intended. In my opinion, it is the most delicious, fresh, anti-oxidant water you’ll ever taste without being in the high mountains drinking from a running stream of active, alive water!

Last words, please seek out the healthiest water you can find and drink, drink, drink to your health!

__________________________________________________________

*Arianna Huffington, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

About the author:

Debbie D’Aquino is associated with Kangen Water. She is available to connect with those interested in learning more here:

Debbie@debbiedaquino.com

You may also learn more about this multi-talented dynamo at DebbieD’Aquino.com

Opinions expressed here are hers alone. She received no compensation for writing this article.

 

Health Care for Dogs in Need

Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, owner of the Country Hills Animal Clinic, is one special lady.  Once a  month she and staff members dedicate a Saturday to provide vaccines, flea and tick prevention and other health care measures to animals that may have otherwise gone without.  Helping dogs from owners who are struggling financially or those who are seeking a forever home is why this team donates so much of their time and efforts. Each month over 100 dogs and cats are cared for with little to no cost.

To learn more about DOGTOWN RESCUE please click here including their list of adoptable animals.

Please visit CountryHillsAnimalClinic.com and you will find out they are a comprehensive team of veterinarians who offer laser surgery (less invasive), online pharmacy options, comprehensive veterinary services and much more. They even have a REWARDS program.

Enjoy these photos from past Dogtown rescue veterinary service day!

 

15th anniversary party celebration

15 years ago Maria West and Anita Garcia (along with a few others no longer with BCBC) had a golden idea to start an ALL WOMEN’S networking group. The group switched venues (more times than they would like to count) and the women who attended have changed. Although their remains many “mainstays” with Linda Hirsch, Linda Kahn-Ferrell and Debbie D’Aquino being members with many years of attendance.

This year at the annual Summer picnic we toasted to 15 years of BCBC and here is to 15 more!

 

Fabulous Resources for Network Groups

Looking to be part of a woman’s business leads – generation network group?! We hope that if you are and live in the Beach Cities area of Los Angeles you will consider BCBC. But, regardless we would love to share with you a few of our favorite resources.

MEETUPMeetup.com is a great resource for those looking to associate with people with like interests or to venture in to learning something new!

MASHABLE:  Mashable.com  When it comes to learning about social media and marketing news of the day many industry specialists look towards Peter Cashmore and Mashable. Not only do they report on the newest in technology but also share worldwide information about the “goings on” in the business world.

Read about women involved in networking via Mashable link

FACEBOOK:  Facebook.com  I know you are probably saying to yourself, “DUH!” – but seriously FACEBOOK  is a great way to search local / regional groups that provide resources for lead network groups.  Do your due diligence before you venture out to participating in these groups- whether virtually or IRL (in real life).  Click here for a list of groups with the search words BEACH CITES + NETWORK GROUPS.

LINKEDIN:  Linkedin.com  This is the “grand-daddy” of all business oriented networking opportunities worldwide. The only deal with Linkedin is lately it has been saturated with people who are “less than reputable”- so again, due diligence when interacting online.  Also, if you are seriously seeking employment or enhancing your business consider the premium account offered. (Added payment will be needed.)

The take-away? Read. Learn. Engage. Interact!

 

 

Bio: Louise Masin Sattler is the co-founder of 411 Voices – a media marketing group providing services nationwide.

 

 

 

The Aviva Center – Where Kids Matter Most

The Aviva Center just celebrated its’ 100th birthday! This center is dedicated to helping give children from 2-21 a chance in life. Known for taking “hard cases”.  They offer a multitude of services, including  safe harbor and housing  to tween and teen girls who have  experienced more in their formative years than most adults have ever known. The Aviva Center provides in a structured environment,  24/7 services to girls who have been abused and neglected.

From their website…

“Residents come to Aviva through the Juvenile Court System or Los Angeles County Department of Family and Children’s Services, having experienced horrific physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. Many have substance abuse issues; histories of being commercially exploited; or criminal records. Aviva staff is specially trained by the Department of Probation to work with commercially, sexually exploited children to support these teens and help them process and heal from their past experiences.”

This month the members of the Beach Cities Breakfast Club participated in a campaign to help provide the AVIVA CENTER youth by providing wardrobe for their end of the year gala aka “The Prom”.

As a group, BCBC collected more than 40 evening dresses and accessories to match.  We had the opportunity to present them to Melissa Tillman from the AVIVA CENTER and learn about the amazing work this organization conducts to not only help youth at risk, but  also offer “foster care to adoption” services and community based wraparound mental health care.

Learn more about how you can help the AVIVA CENTER here.

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Lynette V. and Debbie D. showing off some of the lovely gowns

 

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DL Sweet photographed with one of over 40 dresses contributed to the AVIVA CENTER from BCBC members

 

How to build your home-based company

There are many great resources to build a home based company.  In fact, the reason so many of the women who participate in the Beach Cities Breakfast Club is to share information and  learn from the more successful and seasoned entrepreneurs.

Here are some helpful tips that have been shared during our meetings that we wish to pass on to readers of the BCBC blog:

1: Have a website. You can’t build a company in 2016 without a website presence. Even if you are involved in direct sales, such as AVON or TUPPERWARE, you need to be part of the company with your own online page.

2. Use local small business resources such as the SBA (Small Business Association.)

3. Consider going to business oriented meetings that are offered via Meet-up or EventBrite. Both are excellent places to learn about upcoming events that are geared to learning about starting, growing and maintaining a business.

4. Watch TEDtalks. There are some excellent TEDTalks videos via YouTube.   You will find a lot of inspiration and reasons to be motivated as an entrepreneur via these dynamic speakers, as well.

The 20 most watched TEDtalks

5. Read business oriented content. Huffington Post offers everything from small business and start up features. Sandy Abrams , author of YourIdea,inc. often interviews up and coming companies – her information is well worth a look!  Don’t dismiss other great print and online media available via Inc., Forbes and among others.book

6. Learn from trends in social media. Wade through all the family pictures and rhetoric people post and you WILL find some excellent content on social media that is business oriented.  Linkedin will give sage biz advice, while infographics that are very helpful can be found on Pinterest. And…Twitter chats can also be fabulous resources.  To find a list go here.

We hope these resources help and be sure to let us know if you have any questions!

 

Do you have a marketing budget?

 

I am often bewildered by people who are enthusiastic rookie entrepreneurs with great ideas, tons of money for research and design but little to no bucks for marketing! It simply floors me that many do not see the value of putting marketing in to their budget. That, my friends, is a HUGE mistake.

A business plan without marketing included is like writing a travel book that you want to sell, but failing to tell anyone it is available.  No one will know your great thoughts and suggestions because their is no pipeline for advertising!

Success Tools Toolbox Skills Achieving Goals

 

There is a lot of opinions as to where to spend your marketing dollars and why.  This article by Grow with Trellis suggests dumping your money in to social media platforms, such as advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Also, Google Ads are highly touted. I can’t disagree- Google is the granddaddy of marketing and one would be silly to try to avoid them. If nothing else, be sure that your website is optimized for “Google friendliness”.  Cabbage suggested why people should involve social media in their marketing plans – hint – it is all about ENGAGEMENT!   Read here.

Inc. magazine suggested these five tips  for start-ups on growing their biz.  Notice that conferences and expos also are recommended in addition to more traditional and digital strategies.

The Small Business Association (SBA) is chocked full of resources for new and growing companies to learn how to market their goods and services.  They are reputable and FREE. Check out the articles and recommendations here. They suggest the following for start-ups to allocate for marketing: “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.”

Wishing you much success with your business!

by Louise Sattler of 411 Voices