Ice Fishing Shelters – How To Find The Top One For Your Fishing Needs

Finding good ice fishing shelters is essential to staying warm while icefishing, and also to be effective when you’re fishing. Most people are under the impression that these ice fishing housees can be very expensive, but actually you can find these at very affordable prices when you know what to look for. Here’s some important … Continue reading “Ice Fishing Shelters – How To Find The Top One For Your Fishing Needs”

Finding good ice fishing shelters is essential to staying warm while icefishing, and also to be effective when you’re fishing. Most people are under the impression that these ice fishing housees can be very expensive, but actually you can find these at very affordable prices when you know what to look for. Here’s some important tips and information to help you find the right icefishing shelters for your next expedition.

First of all, there is a huge difference between ice fishing shelters and icefishing houses, and is certainly one worth mentioning. Ice fishing shelters are generally temporary shelters you can move whatever you want to, where is a houses one that is permanent.

These are usually much more expensive than a shelter, but can also keep you warmer, and if you plan being an avid ice fishermen, it might be worth the investment. A shelter, on the other hand, is very easily movable, and if you decide you’re in the wrong location, you can easily pack up and move it wherever you want to.

Quite simply, fishing often times and tells a lot of waiting, and ice fishing is certainly no different. Especially in the colder weather, those times of waiting can often times drag on forever, but when you have a nice icefishing house to keep you warm, it can certainly help speed up the process. You can also make the sport of ice fishing a much more enjoyable experience than if your hands were free not freezing off.

So where can you find the best ice fishing shelters? As with just about anything nowadays, the Internet offers an abundance of information on the topic, and doing a little research will do wonders helping unify the best one. Always remember, and ice fishing shelter is akin to a miniature house, and you can always sell if you are not satisfied with that.

If you do not plan utilizing the shelters too much, you can probably get most of your money back as well by simply reselling it. Therefore, even if you are not sure how much use you will get out of it, you probably will not be taking much of a risk in purchasing it, as the resale value of these is generally quite good.

First of all, the best thing to look for are portable shelters, especially if you are a more avid fisherman. This way makes the process of finding the right location much easier, because if you are at the right location, you can quickly and easily pick up and move to a different spot. Also, you can usually take it with you before the season ends, so by putting in your car or truck.

Once you try ice fishing for a while, and decided whether you like or not, now it can be time to invest in a full time icefishing cabin. These are more expensive, but you can’t movies like you can in icefishing shelter because they are much bigger and offer a lot more creature comforts than the bare bone shelters do. Therefore, be absolutely sure you are to be an avid ice fishermen before purchasing one of these.

You might also try searching for ice fishing house plans if you want to build your shelter yourself. Yes, this can be time consuming, but if you know what you’re doing, you can also save some serious cash. To find these, simply do a quick internet search, and you will find plenty of plans to help you get started.

Finally, if you plan on purchasing a movable shelter, than an ice fishing trailer will be essential in order to move it from spot to spot. Again, these can be found online for very affordable prices, and I recommend you start looking here.

While some people think the icefishing is crazy, other people simply can’t get enough of it. This is completely dependent on your own individual personality. Hopefully these tips welcome to find the right icefishing shelter to start enjoying icefishing as quickly as possible.

Tips For Successful Ice Fishing

There is very little middle ground when it comes to ice fishing; people usually either love it or hate it. But in the northern states, there is a long tradition of ice fishing, and many outdoor enthusiasts can’t wait for the winter to come so they can get out there on the ice and enjoy this sport.

But if you are new it is important to get a feel for what the sport is all about before heading out on the ice. In this article we will cover the basics of getting started in ice fishing. Who knows, you may discover that you love the thrill of getting out on the ice and catching some big fish.

The first rule is quite obvious, but it cannot be overstated in its importance; be certain that the ice you are fishing on a safe. As a general rule, you should wait until there is a minimum of 6 inches of solid ice on a pond or lake before attempting to fish on it. There are also different types of ice, and it is wise to familiarize yourself with all of them before beginning.

“Black ice,” is the name given to patches with ice that are mostly clear, and containing only air bubbles. Black ice is considered safer than the deceptively-named, “white ice,” which is not clear, and contains melted snow that has re-frozen. In general, ice fishing beginners should a void white ice altogether.

The next rule is this: always test the ice before setting up and fishing. You can test the ice by the shore quite easily — just drill two holes in the ice close to the shore where the water is shallow. This will give you a good idea of the thickness and quality of the ice. Additionally, if there are other fishermen out on the lake; ask them about the quality of the ice and its thickness.

To make choosing a spot to fish more convenient, there are access maps available online for ponds and lakes in many of the northern states. These will give you a good idea of the depth of a lake or pond you intend to fish, and suggested locations to set up your base camp on the ice.

It’s also important to remember that you need not venture out into deep water to catch a lot of fish. Many experienced ice fishermen rarely venture out beyond five or 6 feet deep in a lake or pond. As a beginner, it is usually a good idea to stay close to the shore anyway, and you can be assured that it is just as easy to catch fish at a depth of 6 feet as it is at a depth of 40 feet, so why risk it?

The next rule of for beginners should be obvious, but it is often overlooked. Never go ice fishing on your own. You should always take a partner when you venture out on the ice. This is important for safety reasons, and it will also make the entire experience much more pleasurable. Another absolute “must” is to let your family know where you will be fishing and at what time you plan to return.

Ice fishing can be a wonderful pastime, and a great way to pass those long, dark winter evenings, but remember, when it comes to ice fishing, safety should always be your primary concern.

Packing For Your Ice Fishing Trip – 5 Tips For Success

Although ice fishing is, in itself, an exhilarating and enjoyable sport, your pleasure and ultimate success can be greatly enhanced by the use of ice fishing accessories. Not only should your ice fishing accessories be those items that assist in the catching of the fish, but they should also be geared to your comfort and safety while engaged in the sport.

1. Cool electronics

There is a vast array of electronic equipment available that can be adapted as ice fishing accessories. An excellent example of this would be a global positioning system reader or GPS, which can be utilised to assist you in returning to your point of departure, or an alternative safe point, in the event of an emergency. From the sophistication of a GPS right down to the simplicity of a digital thermometer, useful for determining whether or not it is cold enough to reduce the risk of ice breaking, electronic equipment is certainly becoming an integral part of ice fishing accessories.

2. Getting hot under the collar

Unsurprisingly, a heater is the quintessential accessory of ice fishing accessories. Not only does it serve to keep you warm, it can also be of great assistance in opening the hole through which you will be ice fishing. By its very nature, ice fishing is conducted in extremely cold conditions and it is of paramount importance that the ice fisherman is able to remain warm. Naturally, there are safety precautions that one should adhere to when making use of the heater, not least of which is being conscientious as to where the heater is positioned. Should it be placed too close to the area in which you are fishing, there is a risk of the ice around the fisherman melting.

3. Dress for success

As with any sporting activity, the clothing used for ice fishing is an important element of the ice fishing accessories. The fundamental principle behind the clothing used for ice fishing is that it should be designed to keep you warm. To this end, several layers of clothing should be worn and thermal underwear will provide you with added protection against the cold. In addition, extra clothing items that can be utilised in the event of the clothing that you are wearing becoming wet should also form part of the ice fishing accessories taken on the trip.

4. Travel right – travel light

Packing your ice fishing accessories requires careful consideration and forethought. A suitable bag or container which is easy to transport should be selected and it is imperative that only essential items are selected, taking into account the duration of your proposed excursion. A bag that is too heavily laden with ice fishing accessories will be cumbersome to transport and you may also run the risk of compromising the ice.

5. Forewarned is forearmed

Research is key when considering the utilisation of, and requirement for ice fishing accessories. The weather, as an example, will be a major determinant of the necessity for certain clothing items. It is also a viable option to ascertain whether or not the area will be particularly inundated with ice fisherman, as this will have an impact on your ability to negotiate the area, and accordingly, your selection of ice fishing accessories. Furthermore, your level of experience will play a role in determining your need for specific ice fishing accessories.

Ice fishing can be an enjoyable and rewarding endeavour, which can be greatly enhanced by ensuring that you have the correct ice fishing accessories at your disposal. In addition, your understanding of your ice fishing accessories, and correct usage of them, will go a long way to making sure that your experience is a safe one.

The Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

When you think of a house plant, you probably think of a green plant that you water occasionally right? But did you know that those pretty green leaves can actually be beneficial to your health? Having indoor house plants can boost your physical, mental and spiritual health.

Many people thing growing indoor house plants is too much trouble so they turn to the silk variety for green foliage in their homes. But there really is a different in how your home feels when the plants are real. Did you know that living plants can actually improve the air we breathe? Green plants are known for removing carbon dioxide from the air, but they can also filter harmful toxins and pollutants as well. This will make the air in your home healthier for your family, which in turn can help to keep your family healthier as well!

In addition to helping to purify the air, having house plants in your home can actually help prevent allergies in children. If children are exposed early in life to things that typically cause allergy issues they will begin to develop a tolerance and immunity to the allergen. It works similar to custom allergy shots that people get from their allergist. The allergist does an allergy test then makes a serum of the things that the person is allergic to. The person gets weekly shots of this serum to help them build a tolerance. Exposing your family to house plants can work in the same way, by helping them build a tolerance to the plants in your home. It is important to note that if someone in your family has severe allergies you should talk to their doctor before introducing house plants into their environment.

In addition to the physical health benefits of house plants, they help with mental health as well. When someone is depressed or lonely, caring for a living thing can help give them a purpose in life. Many people live in places where pets aren’t allowed, so a house plant is a good choice. The person becomes involved in watering, fertilizing and trimming the plant when needed. This is a great therapy for people with mental health issues.

Being surrounded by living things is good for the soul, so having house plants is good for your spiritual health. Caring for another living thing and being exposed to the beauty can make you feel at peace with the world or at the very least your little corner of the world.

There are so many advantages to having house plants. However, there is no health benefit in a sick or dead plant. Make sure you water your plants regularly and mix slow release fertilizer in the soil about every three months. If you care for your plants, they will give you years of beauty and the added benefit of clean air, better mental health and calming peace.

Great Health

If you are looking for great  health  and you do not know where to start, then you may need to take one step back and look at yourself. This is because  health  actually starts with us, and our own determination to make it better. What you do to your body is what your body will become. This means that if you treat your body poorly and do not look after yourself, your body will act accordingly and not look after you. If you take the time to feed your body properly and look after yourself, you can expect the same in return. This is a very simple process in theory however, for some reason or another people are just not getting it.

Don’t Over Do It

Whatever you are going to do through life, you need to be sure that you do not over do it. This means that the quest for great  health  starts with common sense, and the less you stress your body and your mind out the more likely you are to move forward with your  health . Take some time to discover what works for you, and work with that. If you over do things, you will quickly find that you will become fatigued quickly. It is best to pace yourself in what you are doing, and this means that if you are trying to better your  health  this should be paced as well. There is no rush to good  health , but you can in fact harm yourself if you move too fast. Knowing what works and taking things steady, is the best and safest way.

Great  Health  Starts With The Right Fuels

If you are on a mission for great  health  for the future, then you are going to want to feed your body the right fuels to get you going throughout the day. Eating the right foods is critical in the development of good organs and muscle tone. All the important factors of your body will actually thank you for eating the right foods in the right portions. If you over do eating as like other things, you will see serious repercussions from your body. This will display itself in the way of obesity, and this will not do your body any favors. This is something that you need to pay close attention too, as you do not have many chances in life. Getting it wrong too many times can result in things not going according to plan, and you can in fact become very ill.

Get Out There And Walk

If you are looking for great  health , then you are going to need to work at it. This is something that you can work at your own pace with, and you will not be able to stall on this or you are again not doing your body any good. If you elect to go to the gym, be sure to utilize many of the great machines that the gym will have to offer. If the gym is not your style, then why not just get out there and walk? This is a great way to stay fit, and you can even have some companionship if you take your dog. You can be sure that they will not complain.

Health Care Reform – Why Are People So Worked Up?

Why are Americans so worked up about health care reform? Statements such as “don’t touch my Medicare” or “everyone should have access to state of the art health care irrespective of cost” are in my opinion uninformed and visceral responses that indicate a poor understanding of our health care system’s history, its current and future resources and the funding challenges that America faces going forward. While we all wonder how the health care system has reached what some refer to as a crisis stage. Let’s try to take some of the emotion out of the debate by briefly examining how health care in this country emerged and how that has formed our thinking and culture about health care. With that as a foundation let’s look at the pros and cons of the Obama administration health care reform proposals and let’s look at the concepts put forth by the Republicans?

Access to state of the art health care services is something we can all agree would be a good thing for this country. Experiencing a serious illness is one of life’s major challenges and to face it without the means to pay for it is positively frightening. But as we shall see, once we know the facts, we will find that achieving this goal will not be easy without our individual contribution.

These are the themes I will touch on to try to make some sense out of what is happening to American health care and the steps we can personally take to make things better.

  • A recent history of American health care – what has driven the costs so high?
  • Key elements of the Obama health care plan
  • The Republican view of health care – free market competition
  • Universal access to state of the art health care – a worthy goal but not easy to achieve
  • what can we do?

First, let’s get a little historical perspective on American health care. This is not intended to be an exhausted look into that history but it will give us an appreciation of how the health care system and our expectations for it developed. What drove costs higher and higher?

To begin, let’s turn to the American civil war. In that war, dated tactics and the carnage inflicted by modern weapons of the era combined to cause ghastly results. Not generally known is that most of the deaths on both sides of that war were not the result of actual combat but to what happened after a battlefield wound was inflicted. To begin with, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail’s pace and this caused severe delays in treating the wounded. Secondly, many wounds were subjected to wound care, related surgeries and/or amputations of the affected limbs and this often resulted in the onset of massive infection. So you might survive a battle wound only to die at the hands of medical care providers who although well-intentioned, their interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can also be ascribed to everyday sicknesses and diseases in a time when no antibiotics existed. In total something like 600,000 deaths occurred from all causes, over 2% of the U.S. population at the time!

Let’s skip to the first half of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to more modern times. After the civil war there were steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical techniques and in physician education and training. But for the most part the best that doctors could offer their patients was a “wait and see” approach. Medicine could handle bone fractures and increasingly attempt risky surgeries (now largely performed in sterile surgical environments) but medicines were not yet available to handle serious illnesses. The majority of deaths remained the result of untreatable conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measles and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had almost nothing with which to treat these conditions.

This very basic review of American medical history helps us to understand that until quite recently (around the 1950’s) we had virtually no technologies with which to treat serious or even minor ailments. Here is a critical point we need to understand; “nothing to treat you with means that visits to the doctor if at all were relegated to emergencies so in such a scenario costs are curtailed. The simple fact is that there was little for doctors to offer and therefore virtually nothing to drive health care spending. A second factor holding down costs was that medical treatments that were provided were paid for out-of-pocket, meaning by way of an individuals personal resources. There was no such thing as health insurance and certainly not health insurance paid by an employer. Except for the very destitute who were lucky to find their way into a charity hospital, health care costs were the responsibility of the individual.

What does health care insurance have to do with health care costs? Its impact on health care costs has been, and remains to this day, absolutely enormous. When health insurance for individuals and families emerged as a means for corporations to escape wage freezes and to attract and retain employees after World War II, almost overnight a great pool of money became available to pay for health care. Money, as a result of the availability of billions of dollars from health insurance pools, encouraged an innovative America to increase medical research efforts. More Americans became insured not only through private, employer sponsored health insurance but through increased government funding that created Medicare and Medicaid (1965). In addition funding became available for expanded veterans health care benefits. Finding a cure for almost anything has consequently become very lucrative. This is also the primary reason for the vast array of treatments we have available today.

I do not wish to convey that medical innovations are a bad thing. Think of the tens of millions of lives that have been saved, extended, enhanced and made more productive as a result. But with a funding source grown to its current magnitude (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) upward pressure on health care costs are inevitable. Doctor’s offer and most of us demand and get access to the latest available health care technology in the form of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic tools and surgical procedures. So the result is that there is more health care to spend our money on and until very recently most of us were insured and the costs were largely covered by a third-party (government, employers). Add an insatiable and unrealistic public demand for access and treatment and we have the “perfect storm” for higher and higher health care costs. And by and large the storm is only intensifying.

At this point, let’s turn to the key questions that will lead us into a review and hopefully a better understanding of the health care reform proposals in the news today. Is the current trajectory of U.S. health care spending sustainable? Can America maintain its world competitiveness when 16%, heading for 20% of our gross national product is being spent on health care? What are the other industrialized countries spending on health care and is it even close to these numbers? When we add politics and an election year to the debate, information to help us answer these questions become critical. We need to spend some effort in understanding health care and sorting out how we think about it. Properly armed we can more intelligently determine whether certain health care proposals might solve or worsen some of these problems. What can be done about the challenges? How can we as individuals contribute to the solutions?

The Obama health care plan is complex for sure – I have never seen a health care plan that isn’t. But through a variety of programs his plan attempts to deal with a) increasing the number of American that are covered by adequate insurance (almost 50 million are not), and b) managing costs in such a manner that quality and our access to health care is not adversely affected. Republicans seek to achieve these same basic and broad goals, but their approach is proposed as being more market driven than government driven. Let’s look at what the Obama plan does to accomplish the two objectives above. Remember, by the way, that his plan was passed by congress, and begins to seriously kick-in starting in 2014. So this is the direction we are currently taking as we attempt to reform health care.

  1. Through insurance exchanges and an expansion of Medicaid,the Obama plan dramatically expands the number of Americans that will be covered by health insurance.
  2. To cover the cost of this expansion the plan requires everyone to have health insurance with a penalty to be paid if we don’t comply. It will purportedly send money to the states to cover those individuals added to state-based Medicaid programs.
  3. To cover the added costs there were a number of new taxes introduced, one being a 2.5% tax on new medical technologies and another increases taxes on interest and dividend income for wealthier Americans.
  4. The Obama plan also uses concepts such as evidence-based medicine, accountable care organizations, comparative effectiveness research and reduced reimbursement to health care providers (doctors and hospitals) to control costs.

The insurance mandate covered by points 1 and 2 above is a worthy goal and most industrialized countries outside of the U.S. provide “free” (paid for by rather high individual and corporate taxes) health care to most if not all of their citizens. It is important to note, however, that there are a number of restrictions for which many Americans would be culturally unprepared. Here is the primary controversial aspect of the Obama plan, the insurance mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided to hear arguments as to the constitutionality of the health insurance mandate as a result of a petition by 26 states attorney’s general that congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution by passing this element of the plan. The problem is that if the Supreme Court should rule against the mandate, it is generally believed that the Obama plan as we know it is doomed. This is because its major goal of providing health insurance to all would be severely limited if not terminated altogether by such a decision.

As you would guess, the taxes covered by point 3 above are rather unpopular with those entities and individuals that have to pay them. Medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies all had to “give up” something that would either create new revenue or would reduce costs within their spheres of control. As an example, Stryker Corporation, a large medical device company, recently announced at least a 1,000 employee reduction in part to cover these new fees. This is being experienced by other medical device companies and pharmaceutical companies as well. The reduction in good paying jobs in these sectors and in the hospital sector may rise as former cost structures will have to be dealt with in order to accommodate the reduced rate of reimbursement to hospitals. Over the next ten years some estimates put the cost reductions to hospitals and physicians at half a trillion dollars and this will flow directly to and affect the companies that supply hospitals and doctors with the latest medical technologies. None of this is to say that efficiencies will not be realized by these changes or that other jobs will in turn be created but this will represent painful change for a while. It helps us to understand that health care reform does have an effect both positive and negative.

Finally, the Obama plan seeks to change the way medical decisions are made. While clinical and basic research underpins almost everything done in medicine today, doctors are creatures of habit like the rest of us and their training and day-to-day experiences dictate to a great extent how they go about diagnosing and treating our conditions. Enter the concept of evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research. Both of these seek to develop and utilize data bases from electronic health records and other sources to give better and more timely information and feedback to physicians as to the outcomes and costs of the treatments they are providing. There is great waste in health care today, estimated at perhaps a third of an over 2 trillion dollar health care spend annually. Imagine the savings that are possible from a reduction in unnecessary test and procedures that do not compare favorably with health care interventions that are better documented as effective. Now the Republicans and others don’t generally like these ideas as they tend to characterize them as “big government control” of your and my health care. But to be fair, regardless of their political persuasions, most people who understand health care at all, know that better data for the purposes described above will be crucial to getting health care efficiencies, patient safety and costs headed in the right direction.

A brief review of how Republicans and more conservative individuals think about health care reform. I believe they would agree that costs must come under control and that more, not fewer Americans should have access to health care regardless of their ability to pay. But the main difference is that these folks see market forces and competition as the way to creating the cost reductions and efficiencies we need. There are a number of ideas with regard to driving more competition among health insurance companies and health care providers (doctors and hospitals) so that the consumer would begin to drive cost down by the choices we make. This works in many sectors of our economy but this formula has shown that improvements are illusive when applied to health care. Primarily the problem is that health care choices are difficult even for those who understand it and are connected. The general population, however, is not so informed and besides we have all been brought up to “go to the doctor” when we feel it is necessary and we also have a cultural heritage that has engendered within most of us the feeling that health care is something that is just there and there really isn’t any reason not to access it for whatever the reason and worse we all feel that there is nothing we can do to affect its costs to insure its availability to those with serious problems.

OK, this article was not intended to be an exhaustive study as I needed to keep it short in an attempt to hold my audience’s attention and to leave some room for discussing what we can do contribute mightily to solving some of the problems. First we must understand that the dollars available for health care are not limitless. Any changes that are put in place to provide better insurance coverage and access to care will cost more. And somehow we have to find the revenues to pay for these changes. At the same time we have to pay less for medical treatments and procedures and do something to restrict the availability of unproven or poorly documented treatments as we are the highest cost health care system in the world and don’t necessarily have the best results in terms of longevity or avoiding chronic diseases much earlier than necessary.

I believe that we need a revolutionary change in the way we think about health care, its availability, its costs and who pays for it. And if you think I am about to say we should arbitrarily and drastically reduce spending on health care you would be wrong. Here it is fellow citizens – health care spending needs to be preserved and protected for those who need it. And to free up these dollars those of us who don’t need it or can delay it or avoid it need to act. First, we need to convince our politicians that this country needs sustained public education with regard to the value of preventive health strategies. This should be a top priority and it has worked to reduce the number of U.S. smokers for example. If prevention were to take hold, it is reasonable to assume that those needing health care for the myriad of life style engendered chronic diseases would decrease dramatically. Millions of Americans are experiencing these diseases far earlier than in decades past and much of this is due to poor life style choices. This change alone would free up plenty of money to handle the health care costs of those in dire need of treatment, whether due to an acute emergency or chronic condition.

Let’s go deeper on the first issue. Most of us refuse do something about implementing basic wellness strategies into our daily lives. We don’t exercise but we offer a lot of excuses. We don’t eat right but we offer a lot of excuses. We smoke and/or we drink alcohol to excess and we offer a lot of excuses as to why we can’t do anything about managing these known to be destructive personal health habits. We don’t take advantage of preventive health check-ups that look at blood pressure, cholesterol readings and body weight but we offer a lot of excuses. In short we neglect these things and the result is that we succumb much earlier than necessary to chronic diseases like heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. We wind up accessing doctors for these and more routine matters because “health care is there” and somehow we think we have no responsibility for reducing our demand on it.

It is difficult for us to listen to these truths but easy to blame the sick. Maybe they should take better care of themselves! Well, that might be true or maybe they have a genetic condition and they have become among the unfortunate through absolutely no fault of their own. But the point is that you and I can implement personalized preventive disease measures as a way of dramatically improving health care access for others while reducing its costs. It is far better to be productive by doing something we can control then shifting the blame.

There are a huge number of free web sites available that can steer us to a more healthful life style. A soon as you can, “Google” “preventive health care strategies”, look up your local hospital’s web site and you will find more than enough help to get you started. Finally, there is a lot to think about here and I have tried to outline the challenges but also the very powerful effect we could have on preserving the best of America’s health care system now and into the future. I am anxious to hear from you and until then – take charge and increase your chances for good health while making sure that health care is there when we need it.

Indicators of Health

The Indicators of Health provide a measure for the health status of a Individual, Group, Community or a Country and to compare it with other similar parameters which help us to understand the good and the poorly assessed areas and to allocate more resources to the ill health and also to monitor and re-evaluate whether the ill are progressing towards a healthy status and to understand what all measures need to be done. In other words we understand the objectives and targets of a particular programme being implemented towards the attainment of better health goals.

Indicators are defined as Variables by the World Health Organisation which have a Negative range and a Positive range in probable observations. This gives an idea about how the progress of a particular programme will go and when these indicators are measured periodically and sequentially over time, they can indicate direction and speed of change and can help to compare the health indications of different groups of people, communities or countries.

Characteristics of Indicators :

The Indicators which should be used in an evaluation, should have the following characteristics so that it can be used in a campaign or a survey.

1. An Indicator should be valid  and should be able to do the purpose of what it is intended to do

2. An Indicator should be Reliable and Objective. This means that when different people carry out research on a similar experiment they should, more or less arrive at a similar inference using the same indicators.

3. An Indicator should be Sensitive and should respond in variation to the situation concerned.

4. An Indicator should be Specific and should respond only to the variation of the specific situation in concern.

5. An Indicator should be feasible as it should have the functions attached to it which enable data collection concerned to it.

6. An Indicator should be relevant which means that it should be able to aid in understanding the concept in concern. It should either support the Hypothesis or discard the Hypothesis in concern.

Health is a Multi-Dimensional entity and each entity is a complex phenomenon in itself because the each entity is affected by numerous factors of which Some are Known while many are still Unknown.

Thus Health is subjected to  the following Factors :

01. Mortality Indicators

02. Morbidity Indicators

03. Disability Rates

04. Nutritional Status Indicators

05. Health Care Delivery Indicators

06. Utilization Rates

07. Indicators of Social and Metal Health

08. Environmental Indicators

09, Socio-Economic Indicators

10. Health Policy Indicators

11. Indicators of Quality of Life

12. Other Indicators

Mortality Indicators and Morbidity Indicators

A. Mortality Indicators

The indicators indicating mortality in a community are :

1. Crude Death Rate

2. Expectation of life

3. Infant Mortality Rate

4. Child Moratality Rate

5. Under-5 Proportional Mortality Rate

6. Maternal (Puerperal) Mortality Rate

7. Disease specific Mortality

8. Proportional Mortality Rate

1. Crude Death Rate:

It is defined as the number of deaths per 1000 population per year in a given community. Here a decrease in death rate indicates better health conditions in the community indicating an overall increase in the health status of the given population, which is in fact a goal of medicine.

2. Expectation of Life:

Life expectancy means the number of years a human being may live, if the age specific and sex specific mortality rates of a population are known. Life expectancy is calculated at birth, at the age of 1 which excludes infant mortality and at the age of 5 which excludes child mortality. Here also, an increase in average life expectancy is considered as an improvement in health status.

3. Infant mortality rate:

It is defined as the ratio of number of deaths under 1 year of age to the total number of live births in the same year, usually expressed as a rate per 1000 live births. This measure is able to infer upon the health status of the infants, also deductively of the whole population and the socio-economic conditions under which the infants and also the whole population lives.

4. Child mortality rate:

It is defined as the ratio of number of deaths of children 1 to 4 years of age per 1000 children in the respective age group at the mid-point of the year concerned for a particular area or community. This ratio indicates the overall health status of the early childhood in a given community and excludes infant mortality.

5. Under 5 proportionate mortality rate:

When both infant mortality and early childhood mortality need to be considered, then these statistics are used where total number of deaths of children under age 5 per 1000 population is considered. This statistical data helps in inferencing upon high birth rates, high child mortality rates and shorter life expectancy.

6. Maternal (puerperal) mortality rate:

The levels of maternal mortality differ from country to country according to its socio-economic conditions and status representing the proportion of deaths of women in reproductive age which is generally higher in the under developed and developing countries. This data has not gained much importance in terms of statistical analysis and inference.

7. Disease-specific mortality:

This statistical analysis can be computed for mortality on account of specific diseases. As communicable diseases are being extricated, other diseases like Cancers, Cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes have emerged as specific disease problems.

8. Proportional  mortality rate:

This statistical analysis takes in account the proportion of all deaths from every abouve mentioned analysis attributed to it.

B. Morbidity Indicators

These indicators indicate the burden of diseases and illhealth in a community but have there own limitations as they represent only the clinical cases and are represented as iceberg theory.

The assessing points for illhealth and diseases in a community are :

1. Incidence and Prevalence

2. Notification rates

3. Attendance rates at health services

4. Admission, Re-admission and discharge rates

5. Duration of stay in hospital

6. Spells of sickness or absence from work or school.

C. Disability Rates

These fall into two categories which are namely :

a. Event type indicators:

i. Number od days of restricted activity

ii. Bed disability days

iii. Work loss days

b.  Person type indicators:

i. Limitation of mobility

ii. Limitation of activity

D. Nutritional Status Indicators

These are namely :

  1. Measurements and proportions of pre-school children.
  2. Heights and sometimes weights of school level children
  3. The frequency measurement of babies being born under category of low birth weight. In India, Low birth weight is considered when the weight of the new born child is under 2.5 kgs.

E. Health Care Delivery Indicators

This indicator shows us the units of health system present in a given physical and geographical area which are imparting health services the data of which is grouped under the following categories:

  1. Doctor-population ratio
  2. Doctor-nurse ratio
  3. Population-bed ratio
  4. Population per health/subcentre
  5. Population per traditional birth attendant

F. Utilization Rates

These measures are used to measure the usage of the health services and is measured under the following categories:

  1. Proportion of infants who have received complete immunization programme.
  2. Proportion of pregnant women who have received complete ante-natal care
  3. Percentage of population using or adapted to various procedures under family planning
  4. Hospital bed occupancy rate
  5. Average length of stay of a patient at Hospital

The Utilization Rates can differ according to every Geographical area, the climate and the habitat and surrounding environment. The list can also be inclusive of more criteria on the basis of factors involved in the making of the area.

G. Social Health, Mental Health, Environmental and Socio-economic Indicators of Health

Positive health is a rarity, now-a-days. Thus, many a times symptoms and clinical presentations related to social and mental pathology are needed to be used. These indicators indicate the socialism in the given area or community.

We also know that every living entity needs a good environment within acceptable limits so that the living entity remains healthy. The same aoolies to Human beings. The factors which affect the Social ad Mental Health are:

  1. Pollution
  2. Radiation
  3. Solid wastes
  4. Access to safe water etc.

Socio-economic indicators do not directly measure Health but help in interpretation of the indicators of health 

H. Health Policy Indicators

This makes them the most important information rearrangement of sympoms in a present society.

I. Other Indicators may include :

  1. Indicators for quality of Life
  2. Basic needs indicators
  3. Health for All Indicators

Paying for Health Care – Health

The cost of health care in the United States is expensive and is escalating. A majority of Americans cannot afford the cost of medicines, physicians’ fees, or hospitalization without some form of health insurance. Health insurance is a contract between an insurance company and an individual or group for the payment of medical care costs. After the individual or group pays a premium to an insurance company, the insurance company pays for part or all of the medical costs depending on the type of insurance and benefits provided. The type of insurance policy purchased greatly influences where you go for health care, who provides the health care, and what medical procedures can be performed. The three basic health insurance plans include a private, fee-for-service plan; a prepaid group plan; and a government-financed public plan.

Private Fee-For-Service Insurance Plan

Until recently, private, fee-for-service insurance was the principal form of health insurance coverage. In this plan an individual pays a monthly premium, usually through an employer, which ensures health care on a fee-far-service basis. On incurring medical costs, the patient files a claim to have a portion of these costs paid by the insurance company. There is usually a deductible, an amount paid by the patient before being eligible for benefits from the insurance company. For example, if your expenses are $1000, you may have to pay $200 before the insurance company will pay the other $800. Usually the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums will be. After the deductible is met the insurance provider pays a percentage of the remaining balance.

Typically there are fixed indemnity benefits, specified amounts that are paid for particular procedures. If your policy pays $500 for a tonsilectomy and the actual cost was $1000, you owe the health care provider $500. There are often exclusions, certain services that are not covered by the policy. Common examples include elective surgery, dental care, vision care, and coverage for preexisting illnesses and injuries. Some insurance plans provide options for adding dental and vision care. Other common options include life insurance, which pays a death benefit, and disability insurance, which pays for income lost because of the inability to work as a result of an illness or injury. The more options added to the insurance plan, the more expensive the insurance will be.

One strategy insurance companies are using to lower insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs to the consumer is the formation of preferred providers organization (PPO). A PPO is a group of private practitioners who sell their services at reduced rates to insurance companies. When a patient chooses a provider that is in that company’s PPO, the insurance company pays a higher percentage of the fee. When a non-PPO provider is used, a much lower portion of the fee is paid.

A major advantage of a fee-for-service plan is that the patient has options in selecting health-care providers. Several disadvantages are that patients may not routinely receive comprehensive, preventive health care; health-care costs to the patient may be high if unexpected illnesses or injuries occur; and it may place heavy demands on time in keeping track of medical records, invoices, and insurance reimbursement forms.

Prepaid Group Insurance

In prepaid group insurance, health care is provided by a group of physicians organized into a health maintenance organization (HMO). HMOs are managed health-care plans that provide a full range of medical services for a prepaid amount of money. For a fixed monthly fee, usually paid through pay roll deductions by an employer, and often a small deductible, enrollees receive care from physicians, specialists, allied health professionals, and educators who are hired or contractually retained by the HMO. HMOs provide an advantage in that they provide comprehensive care including preventive care at a lower cost than private insurance over a long period of coverage. One drawback is that patients are limited in their choice of providers to those who belong to an HMO.

Government Insurance

In a government insurance plan the government at the federal, state, or local level pays for the health-care costs of elgible participants. Two prominent examples of this plan are Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is financed by social security taxes and is designed to provide health care for individuals 65 years of age and older, the blind, the severely disabled, and those requiring certain treatments such as kidney dialysis. Medicaid is subsidized by federal and state taxes. It provides limited health care, generally for individuals who are eligible for benefits and assistance from two programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplementary Security Income.

Social Health

Social health, along with mental and physical health, is one of the key aspects to determine the general well-being of a person. The importance of social health has not been a big focus when people talk about health. However, experts say that the social well-being of an individual is just as important. Social health refers to the ability of an individual to thrive in the society and interact with other people, a form of mental health. This incorporates different elements of a person’s character, personality and social skills. A healthy person should be able to function in society and reflect social norms. Social health could also refer to the general health of society, taking into consideration how people behave and treat one another. A healthy society is also a requirement for a person to function socially. The existence of governing law, wealth distribution, levels of social capital, and the public’s access to decision-making processes are some of the indicators of a healthy society.

According to studies and research, social interactions play an important role in improving mental and physical health. It is not enough that a person exercises every day, eats a balance diet and goes to some spa to relax. A healthy individual also socialize with the people around him and forms different kinds of relationships. A healthy person is able to keep friendship, intimacy or other personal relationships. A bond between a person and the people around them provides a positive attitude towards life and makes it easier for to cope with stress. That’s why a healthy person knows how to call their friends and ask for some advice in times of need. Popular studies also show that a person overcomes illness better when surrounded by a support group of families and friends. Isolation on the other hand can lead to mental illness. A person, who is already suffering from depression, needs people to understand what they are going through and help them recover. Being alone only aggravates the condition.

These are only a few reasons why social health have been receiving more and more recognition as a vital determinant of one’s general health. Health includes healthy social relationships for complete mental health.

Alternative Dental Health

Dental Health

Last month, I had my first dental check up in 18 months and I wanted to record my experience – a lot has changed in the last 18 months, in terms of my lifestyle and diet. So here is a report on my current dental health – the dental health of a person whose life has changed considerably for the better.

When I went for my last dental check up, I was smoking 20 cigarettes as day, I was drinking sugar filled white wine, 6-8 pints of coffee a day, I was eating sweet sugary processed foods constantly and I ate lots of jelly sweets. Like all good people though, I brushed my teeth twice a day and swilled with mouthwash – this is enough right?

How Was My Dental Health 18 Months Ago

When I visited the dentist for a check up 18 months ago, the visit resulted in me having a filling because a cavity had worsened and needed refilling, I needed a scale and polish because my teeth were brown (from nicotine and copious amounts of coffee), tartar had collected around all of my teeth and the dentist was considering capping another tooth. Not good right? There is no hiding your lifestyle from a dentist – she knew I smoked, she knew that I was drinking more alcohol than I should have been, she knew about my coffee habit and about my addiction to sugar!! I was shocked. The toothpaste I was using, was the same toothpaste that is widely available worldwide in all supermarkets, and I didn’t always buy the most expensive toothpaste either.

It was just after this visit, that I was told by my physician that I was heading for a fatal heart attack unless my lifestyle improved and when I met my health mentor and began my journey into organic life.

What Changed?

Those who don’t know my story, might be wondering what I changed in order to impact on my dental health.

• I quit smoking – something that I was worried about doing, as when my first wife’s mother stopped smoking her teeth crumbled, leaving her with dentures at the age of 40. My teeth were fine

• I stopped drinking tea and coffee, substituting it for hot water with lemon and ginger. Lemon can help to neutralize the naturally occurring acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay. To have healthy teeth, you need a neutral pH in your mouth – it should be between 6.5 and 7.5 – this is done by eating the correct foods and drinking the correct drinks. I check the pH in my mouth weekly, as it is a good indicator of overall health – papers can be purchased for next to nothing on the internet – and a healthy pH in the mouth means healthy teeth!

• I stopped eating sweets, junk food and processed foods and using refined sugars (sucrose) which meant that I was getting no refined sugars at all in contact with my teeth – these are one of the main causes of tooth decay

• I started eating natural, organic, fresh, whole foods 80-90% of the time – these contain fructose, a naturally occurring sugar that is processed completely differently by the body and does not rot your teeth (despite the popular misconception that the natural sugar in fruits is just as bad as the refined sugar that is in sweets or that you put in your drinks, or which makes up 50% of a can of soda!!) Also eating some of these raw will work towards neutralizing plaque acid and cleansing the surface of the teeth

• I began making my very own toothpaste something that the Egyptians and Aztecs did thousands of years ago and indigenous tribes still do – this is made of just 4 ingredients and is inexpensive to make – sodium bicarbonate, salt, mineral water and peppermint essential oil which is optional. Sodium bicarbonate and salt act to neutralize acid in your mouth some more. This is a gritty paste which works really well to whiten the teeth and clean off any build up of tartar. We also use an organic flouride free aloe toothpaste, which is commercially available and contains no chemicals.The toothpastes most people use contain:

– flouride (contrary to popular belief, this is not good for the body – it is actually a poisonous chemical that was a toxic waste from the production of fertilizers and such like – you only have to do a small amount of research to find out the facts about flouride and they are scary!);

– abrasives which include aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s) and silicon and are known at times to be so abrasive that they damage tooth enamel; detergents the main one being sodium lauryl sulfate which has been linked to many diseases;

– humectants – chemicals to stop your toothpaste from drying out, such as glyceril (if my toothpaste dries out then I just add more spring water!!);

– thickeners such as carageenan (a known carcinogenic);

– preservatives which stop bacteria growing in your toothpaste the main ones being parabens which are known to mimic the effects of estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer – if kept in an air tight container, then my toothpaste will not grow bacteria;

– sweeteners – saccharine is generally used, but it also has a small effect on increasing the likelihood of cavities;

– flavoring – necessary to cover up the taste of the detergents, toothpaste would taste horrible without them – the flavoring in my toothpaste is optional, it tastes fine without it;

– coloring – E numbers, to make your toothpaste blue or green or white – toothpaste would look disgusting without these

Weird isn’t it that something that is so simple and cheap to make for yourself contains so many ingredients, some to counteract the effects of other ingredients and others which damage your overall physical health. If they do this to your body, imagine what they are doing to your dental health – as we saw, some of the abrasives used can destroy the enamel on your teeth. Our abrasive is Himalayan salt, a natural substance that dissolves in water.

• The final thing that changed was, for the month before my checkup, I was doing our cinnamon and honey road test so was drinking a couple of mugs of cinnamon and honey in hot water per day. This has been used (I discovered when I started the road test) for thousands of years by indigenous people for freshening breath and maintaining oral hygiene and dental health

What Was The Result Of My Latest Checkup

My dentist did a lot of “Mmmm” ing and “Aah” ing as she poked around my mouth. She then asked me what I was doing differently – as I said, you can’t get anything past them! So I ‘fessed up – I told her everything that I have listed above, including telling her that for the most part I use my own homemade toothpaste. Her reaction was “Wow!” one of a shaking head and disbelief. She then told me that my teeth were in “better condition than ever before”, they were “the healthiest she had ever seen them” and that my gums were no longer receding and were coming back up the teeth. Tartar build up was virtually non-existent! Vindication that what I am doing is working and that my overall dental health has IMPROVED since I changed my lifestyle.

Still going to use your regular toothpaste?