When a Babysitter Is No Longer Enough

Having a family includes supporting those who depend on you. Working pays the bills but also requires time away from home. During your absence, who takes care of the children matters. A babysitter typically does not engage children in educational activities, leaving many hours wasted that could otherwise be used in more constructive and productive ways.

When the issue comes up, you might be thinking anything from ‘how can I find a preschool near me that I can rely on?’ to ‘how much more is a preschool going to cost than what I’m already paying?’

Finding a preschool that matches you on every important point might be difficult, which makes good preschools worth their proverbial weight in gold. The more important issues should be your main focus when choosing which preschool is right for your family.

Many preschools become so structured that they no longer hold any joy in them for the children who attend. Others, mainly Montessori preschools, remain vibrant and creative places where children can learn about themselves, their abilities, and how the world around them works. While these preschools hold academics in high regard, they also cherish the abilities and strengths of the children.

Learning at a young age about personal gifts and strengths in different areas can help channel energy into the ones most inclined to grow the fastest. It’s also important to spend time working on areas where a child is not as strong, decreasing weak areas and building skills, confidence, and knowledge. Experienced teachers can help with this and ease a child through any frustrations. Encouraging a child to keep trying is often sufficient to help him or her continue learning something that they may have avoided in the past.

However, it is important to know that even if a preschool is not of the Montessori variety, it can still provide an educational setting for your children. Observing how staff and children interact can help you decide on which preschool you want to try. Remember that once enrolled, changing your mind can confuse your children and disrupt their sense of continuity. Preschool experiences can set the stage for how a child views education later in life. Making your children’s experiences positive includes constant and honest communication with them and their teachers.

When It’s Time to Start Asking Questions: 7 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

The residents of nursing homes are usually dependent upon the staff for service and care and thus, they are often prone to exploitation due to their frailty. A resident of a nursing home who suffers from neglect or abuse may be incapable of speaking up due to the fear of what might happen to them in the absence of their loved ones. For that reason, it’s often advisable to watch out for signs of nursing home neglect or abuse whenever you visit your loved ones in their nursing facilities. Here’s is what to look out for.

1. Poor Personal Hygiene

In any nursing facilities, nurses are expected to help with the basic hygiene of the residents. Many people residing in these facilities require assistance getting dressed, clipping their nails, brushing their teeth, and combing their hair. A neglected individual is often left doing these things alone, and more often than not, they are not able to maintain their hygiene.

2. Changes in Mental Status or Consciousness

Sometimes, nursing home staff members utilize chemicals restraints to make the work easier for them. If your loved one has a change in their mental status ranging, from stupor to confusion, then you need to be careful. If you notice a difference in their functionality, take immediate action to determine why that is the case.

3. Poor Living Condition

Nursing facilities should offer residents with a clean and safe environment. Failure to do so indicates that the residents are being neglected. The law indicates that nursing homes ought to establish and maintain a program that would control infection so as to provide a safe environment for residents. Moreover, the facilities need to meet the safety and security requirements provided by the state.

4. Lack or Loss of Mobility

When a resident is neglected, they may be left in bed for long, risking the loss of mobility. In the absence of routine movement, residents may end up facing other health complications such as infections and bedsores.

5. Fear or Avoidance of Nursing Staff

If your loved one has stopped speaking to a nurse or looking at a particular staff member, then that is a sign they are being abused. If there is a look of fear in their eyes when a particular nurse or doctor enters the room, then you need to find out what the problem is since that is a sign of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.

6. Unexpected Injuries

Bruises, broken bones, or head injuries could indicate that an individual is being neglected or abused in the nursing facility. People who aren’t given any assistance may end up doing everything for themselves and this may result in their injuries. Slips and falls among the sick and the elderly are clear signs of neglect.

7. Rapid Weight Loss

Rapid weight loss is a clear sign of abuse or neglect. Under the right care plan, a resident in a nursing home should maintain or gain weight. Weight loss may signify depression, poor balance of medication, or even withholding of food.

Take Action

Neglect and abuse are tragic as they can result in severe physical and psychological trauma for residents in nursing homes. Knowing which signs to watch out for will go a long way in helping you to protect your loved ones. Renowned legal professionals such as Hupy and Abraham can help you file a claim against the nursing home if you feel your loved one is being abused or neglected.

Turning a New Page: Learn to Differentiate Between These 4 Types of Divorce

Deciding to proceed with a divorce is a major decision. It requires a lot of thought and consideration, but once that decision has been made research needs to be done. When beginning that research, it is helpful to know that a divorce is also referred to as a dissolution of marriage. These four types of divorce will bring you more information so you can choose the one that pertains to your specific situation.

1. No-Fault Divorce

California was the first state to pass a law stating that there could be no-fault divorces . Now a majority of the states have no-fault divorce laws. This means that a divorce can be granted for even the simplest of terms, such as incompatibility or if it is irreconcilable. With the no-fault divorce laws in place, there is no need for an explanation as to why a couple would like to get a divorce. It is supposed to be a simple process, but it can also end up being the opposite because one party may want to hold the other party responsible for any wrongdoings.

2. Simplified Divorce

Simplified divorce is the path to take for those couples who have no children and no financial ties with each other. Most couples who file for a simplified divorce also have not been married for a long period of time. These divorces are usually less expensive and are granted quicker, typically within 30 days of filing the paperwork. It is important to keep in mind that each state may have slightly different laws in regards to a simplified divorce so thorough research is recommended before filing for this type of divorce.

3. Uncontested Divorce

The uncontested divorce process can be done with a family law attorney and it involves both parties coming to a mutual agreement before even coming before a judge. The agreement will include any separation of finances, property, or anything involving children. This paperwork and the discussions are all completed before filing for the divorce, so hearings and settlement negotiations are not necessary. The process can go rather quickly due to each party already agreeing to terms.

4. Limited Divorce

A limited divorce gives couples more time to discuss and divide their assets. This divorce process is not allowed in some states because it is very similar to that of a legal separation. Under a limited divorce, each party is required to live at different locations and they are not allowed to have sexual relations with each other or anyone else. A limited divorce is granted in order for couples to come to an agreement on finances, property, alimony, and custody over the children.

With these brief overviews of four types of divorce, you will have a starting point for when you begin to do more research on your own. There is a lot more information out there that pertains to each of these types of divorces. Each bit of information will bring you closer to deciding which type of divorce is going to be best for you and the new life you will embark on once it is filed and said and done.

The Subtleties Reveal the Big Picture: 5 Symptoms to Be on the Lookout for If You Want to Save Your Elders from Abuse

We can’t always keep an eye on our elderly loved ones. Sometimes we leave them in the care of other relatives or take them to a nursing home. We hope that they will receive the best of care but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they are neglected or physically, sexually, psychologically or even financially abused. Statistics from nationalhomeabuseguide.org show that in excess of 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse.

If an elderly relative reports abuse, you should consult an attorney who handles elderly abuse claims . However, like many victims, elderly people are often reluctant to speak up. That’s why you need to know the signs of abuse so you can get help for your relative when necessary. Let’s go into more detail about the varying types of elder abuse and their signs.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves any behavior that causes bodily harm. It includes kicking, hitting or burning the individual or tying them to their bed or wheelchair. If your elderly loved one has been physically abused, you may notice visible injuries. You should look out for burns, cuts or unexplained bleeding, sprains or fractures and recurring injuries. The individual may refuse to see a doctor about these issues.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse refers to unwanted sexual contact with another person. The perpetrator can be a nursing home worker, visitor or even another patient. It includes inappropriate touching, rape and forcing the elderly person to watch pornography. You should look out for torn or bloody underwear, bruising around the genitals, sexually transmitted diseases and bleeding from the vagina or anus.

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse hurts an individual emotionally. It may occur along with physical abuse. It involves threats, yelling or calling the person names. It can also include ignoring the individual, controlling them or withholding their personal items. The symptoms of psychological abuse may include withdrawal or fright, sudden changes in behavior, depression, loss of interest and trouble sleeping.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse involves misuse of the individual’s money or property. It includes forging their signature, using their credit or debit cards without their permission or forcing them to change their will. Over-charging for a service or charging for a service which wasn’t rendered is also considered financial abuse. Signs include unexplained withdrawals from a bank account, a new friend who the individual seems to be giving money, signatures that seem to be forged and sudden changes in wills or power of attorney.

Neglect

Neglect is when a caregiver doesn’t take care of an older person’s needs. They may not give them enough food or water. They may not ensure they are warm, dry and taking their medication. Abandoning an elderly individual completely is also considered neglect. Symptoms include dirty clothing and matted hair, an illness that isn’t treated, sudden weight loss and inadequate aids likes glasses, dentures or hearing aids.

If you notice any of these signs, ask your elderly relative gently if anything is wrong. Consult an attorney who handles elder abuse or call Adult Protective Services . You can’t change what has already happened but you can protect them from future abuse.

A Culture of Dialogue: The Psychology Behind Family Disputes and How to Resolve Them

Some families are toxic. They pass poisonous habits, attitudes, and values onto others in the family, business, or other relationships. Toxic personalities injure, weaken, and destroy others. And, such families need focused and long-term professional help.

But, family disputes are not necessarily toxic. Most family disputes are common and natural. Just think of those with adolescents in the house! Most family disputes are healthy. As Psychology Today notes, “When you come to think of it, an essential part of marriage is quickly resolving the endless difference of opinion about everything from decorating to how to manage the children.”

Of course, the rate of divorce proves how difficult it can be to resolve family conflicts. So, it’s important to understand the psychology of family disputes and how to resolve them.

A culture of dialogue

Typical family disputes lead to behavioral changes like anger, avoidance, jealousy, and passive/aggressive responses. If they worsen, family members may pursue substance abuse or develop anxiety, depression, or other psychological disorders. And, the circumstances and conditions spread their influence to other family members.

Faced with family disputes, families should turn to counseling sooner than later because these problems do not get better with age. A solution to these negative behaviors and seemingly impossible resolution lies in advice from a professional mediator.

Mediation calls on a neutral mediator to assist clients in finding unique resolutions to their own distinct conflicts. And, it’s this advice that creates a culture of dialogue.

The mediator is trained to facilitate discussion and collaboration among the parties to the family disputes to help them discover and craft the best possible resolution of the conflict. If the dispute has approached litigation, the respective lawyers may participate. But, the mediator keeps the parties to the dispute involved in a culture of dialogue in a process that makes them part of the solution as well.

Because the disputants craft the outcome, it is more satisfying than legal settlement.

How to resolve family disputes

Perhaps, the ideal is to create a family environment in which disputes don’t happen or members resolve their own problems. For instance, the Dalai Lama is credited with creating the idea of “a culture of dialogue.” He taught, “A culture of dialogue is one in which people habitually gather together to explore their lives, their differences, their dreams. Every facet of such a culture would contribute to people learning together, building healthy relationships with each other and the natural world, and co-creating better prospects for their shared future.”

Sadly, most family disputes start and end without such sentiments. However, a professional mediator is trained and experienced in structuring, facilitating, and monitoring the same process. Mediation helps people explore their lives and differences. It encourages them to build healthy relationships. And, they do it by co-creating better prospects.

The lesson learned is, before you let a family dispute reach a violent stage, a hostile divorce, or estrangement from your children, it makes sense to seek the advice of a qualified mediator committed to resolving the situation that created the tension and to structure a solution with the full participation of the parties. Good lawyers will suggest the mediation route even if it avoids divorce or other final but emotionally costly solutions.