Social Wellness is Making the Elderly Lead a Healthy, Peaceful and Long Life

Social wellness is one of the eight dimensions of wellness, which also consist of physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental, professional, financial, as well as spiritual. All these dimensions are very important for our overall health as well as welfare; but still social wellness offers diverse benefits, particularly to elders.

Social wellness refers precisely to the relations we have and how we interact with others. It consists of building supportive, healthy as well as fostering relationships and connecting with those around you. It’s vital for people of all ages to stay active on a social basis, as it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining good relations, particularly as you age, will have a substantial impact on all the other dimensions of wellness. As a matter of fact, an elderly who is involved in social interactions might even be able to live longer.

Health Benefits of being Social in the society

· Lessening the possibility of infecting diseases. Socially active elderly have a lesser risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some kind of cancers.

· Lessening signs of depression. Isolation is one of the most important causes of depression in elderly; therefore those who maintain as well as continue to build new relationships are at a low risk of suffering with depression.

· Strengthening the immune system. The immune system is likely to be stronger in senior citizens who are active socially; many studies have shown that isolated seniors had high levels of proteins related to inflammation and poor immune system.

· Improving heart health. Lonely elders are likely to have higher BP, and several studies demonstrate that a lack of social links can result in a higher risk for heart disease.

· More life expectancy. In General, elderly who remain socially active are in good health and live longer than those who are lonely.

Today’s senior citizen homes make social wellness a top priority. The destitute elderly who come to live here are able to find various activities as well as events to keep them busy with others and their minds and bodies active. It’s important to be social to live a stress-free life, as we cannot deny the fact that when we listen to the sufferings of others or when we talk about our pain, we feel light, less stressed and more at peace.

Senior citizens’ homes are run through substantial contributions from individuals like you, as well as corporates. You can make donations and offer help for the elderly and make their life worthwhile.

You are also welcome to celebrate special occasions with the elders residing in these homes spreading happiness and love they so desire. This can be done by getting in touch with the care-taker of the old age home.

Enjoy The Multiple Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy… have you heard about it before? No? Then I have a useful piece of information regarding aromatherapy. If you have fallen prey to some skin infection or mental disorder, you can take full advantage of this therapy. If you are suffering from insomnia, you feel depressed and lazy all day long just because you could not get a good night’s sleep. Then here is good news for you in the form of aromatherapy.

What is aromatherapy? It is a technique by which you can cure your mental stress, depression and insomnia in addition to skin infections with the help of natural essential oils of herbs and shrubs which are devoid of chemicals and other impurities. These essential oils like rosemary oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, chamomile oil, ylang-ylang oil, rose oil, eucalyptus oil; etc can provide you soothing experience.

It helps cure your sleeping problem by relaxing your body and mind. You can try a massage of essential oils and apply it on your body before you attempt to sleep. A thorough professional massage of your body with a mixture of essential oils can make you fall asleep, forgetting all the worries in your life. Moreover, you can take a refreshing bath before sleeping by adding a small amount of essential oils to your bath water. You will feel even better when you go to bed after such a relaxing bath. Warm water soothes your body, so it is highly recommended by medical experts that you relax your body by taking a lukewarm bath before sleeping.

You might think that this therapy is much too easy. But you cannot apply the techniques of this therapy with no preparation. It is not that simple, especially when you are suffering from acute illnesses like heart disease and lung disease. You need to have the assistance of an expert who can guide you in the right direction. Similarly, massage without the instruction of an expert may lead to muscle cramps. The working of your muscles is quite complex by nature and so you have to be careful while massaging your body.

In addition, if you are suffering from an allergy to certain scents, you have to keep it mind that it is quite possible that the fragrance of certain oils may disturb your senses even more or soothe you. So you have to use those oils which soothe rather than irritate you.

Current Economic Crisis (Bailout Or Buyout)

Lately, it seems as if we are living through history every day. Not since the Great Depression has the United States seen such turmoil in the financial markets. What started in the subprime mortgage industry has now bled over into Wall Street.

When investment houses that have been around since the Civil War close their doors, it’s a sure sign that something’s gone terribly wrong. First Bear Stearns, then Lehman Brothers and then Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual.

We all can’t help but be a little rattled by what’s going on. But while I and others have been pointing out that the markets are only going through a “correction”, you may be asking, “Denise, how much of a correction do we need to make?”

Obviously, a big one. Too much money lent to too many people who couldn’t afford to pay it back is a surefire recipe for disaster. Now it’s time to pay the price.

Some analysts are even comparing what’s going on now to the stock market crash of 1929. However, there is one major difference between then and now-we aren’t even close to being in the same economic hole our great grandparents fell into back then.

Case in point: The $700 billion bailout (or is it a buyout?) being debated by lawmakers as of this writing is a giant sum of money, the equivalent of which was not available in 1929.

Today, we are better prepared to handle such challenges as they arise-partly because we’ve learned from history. When the Great Depression began, there was no backup. The U.S. Government was in a much more “hands-off” position than today.

While some like to argue it’s a good thing for government to stay out of the free market, the new and upcoming legislation promises to bring at least some security back to the United States economy. The time for argument from political principle is over. Something has to be done-and thankfully our leaders are finally stepping up to actually do something about it. The question is will these leaders help the problem or add to it, only time will tell. As of this writing they still have not been able to get it together.

After four (or more) years of unsupervised lending, exotic loans, predatory practices, and the ensuing subprime mortgage meltdown, the government is finally taking measures to step in before it all spirals into oblivion.

Of course many are asking why Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed chair Ben Bernanke didn’t do something before this mess happened. While it’s true that nobody could predict how bad the fallout would be, it’s obvious that when banks start handing mortgages out like candy, something is amiss.

Two to three years ago, every time I heard a mortgage ad on the radio touting low numbers for adjustable rates, I winced. I wondered how long this could last. During the boom, it seemed like we could never run out. Now we’re suffering from a huge reality check.

So what does this mean for the average real estate agent? First of all, the media has it wrong. It’s not a bailout. It’s a buyout.

A bailout is when you give a corporation money while forgiving their debt. A buyout is when you come in to save the day-but there is an asset to be traded.

The latter is what the U.S. Government is proposing: supplying funds to take over the mortgages on real estate property. Real estate properties are assets. Therefore, by definition, this is a buyout.

Based on my own personal experience with the markets, I think the government could do quite well on this deal. Think about it. They step in, take over loans that are in trouble, and refinance them at a lower rate. It’s a win-win situation.

Ultimately, there is always money to be made in mortgages. Even if government restructures these mortgages, we all know that real estate is still the best long-term investment.

Which I believe will be the harbinger for the “great real estate appreciation of 2012”. Real estate will go back up again. It’s always rebounded. It always will. And all the major factors are pointing toward it going up anyway-population, immigration, migration, a senior community with buying power, higher divorce rates, and people living much longer than they used to.

Personally, I would like to see all of the corporate executives who led the failed companies down this horrific financial path be denied their bonuses. How can a CEO get a $22 million bonus when he’s bankrupted the company and left shareholders with the bag? To me, this is one of the most important parts of the mess to be cleaned up.

So only time will tell how long it takes for our leaders to get this right. What is for sure is that something has to be done!!!

And remember when the consumer gets nervous about Wall Street they tend to invest their money in real estate. So don’t jump to conclusions and believe that the real estate market is going down with Wall Street, it is the real estate market that will lead our economy back to where it should be

Why Technical Writing Jobs Are Among the Best Writing Options in an Economic Depression

I think technical writing is one of the best writing niches in an economic depression. The reason is simple. Think of all the things people quit doing in an economic depression. First of all, they stop buying and shopping. That takes a chunk out of the incomes of copy writers in general because when people start to save their money, there is less to do for most copy writers since main purpose of commercial copy is to sell something.

SIDEBAR: That actually may work well for the top echelon elite copy writers with well-established track records since, in an environment that does that forgive any mistakes, the employers would not like to take any chances with rookie writers. The business owners and direct marketers would play safe and hire only the “proven entities.” Thus, veteran copy writers may actually see an increase in their incomes. But during a recession a great majority of average copy writers may see a drop either in their business volume or the rates they are charging.

Same goes with journalism. At this writing, print journalism is in a deep decline. There are almost no daily newspapers in the United States that are turning a profit simply because people, especially the generation under thirty, are not purchasing and reading newspapers. Especially not when the average weekday edition sells for 50 or 75 cents these days and jumps all the way up to $5 for weekend editions! People don’t have that kind of money to spare in a recession for an item that you throw away within 24 hours.

And when it comes to online journalism, the alternatives are so many, it’s again hard to make upfront money as an online journalist in this new environment where every blog is a potential source of free news and commentary.

But technical writing has less (what the economists would call) “demand elasticity” in economic depressions simply because people still need to learn how to operate systems, how to take medication, what to do with their lives, health, property, and money. And it is a technical writer’s privilege to describe how a savings account works, the advantages of a new training program that one can take while the economy gets better, or how a new time-saving productivity software should be configured properly. Main purpose of technical writing is to instruct, explain, and tutor. And the need for that will never diminish in times good or bad.

Can Worker Cooperatives Solve The Unemployment Problem?

Worker cooperatives might not solve unemployment but they could go a long way in reducing it.

The recent recession was the worst since the Great Depression of 1929. It lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Today’s leading indicators show that the economy is improving, the stock market has rebounded, housing prices are going up and corporate profits are at record high levels.

Unfortunately unemployment has stayed high long after the recession ended and now hovers at around 7.3 %. What we have is a jobless recovery.

A look at history over the past eighty years shows that our leaders have not been able to find lasting answers. After the Great Depression government tried to regulate the economy and stimulate demand to create jobs (the Keynesian way). It worked for a while until the 1970’s when we had high inflation and high unemployment (stagflation).

We then had supply side economics as taxes on the wealthy were cut and the economy was deregulated. With nothing to keep Wall Street in check, we ended up with the financial crisis in 2008.

Some on the Left have suggested restoring regulations but that is hardly likely to be effective as companies will find ways of circumventing them or even getting them removed if they have a company friendly Congress as has happened in the past.

Then there are those on the Right that advocate deregulations but that was what caused the present recession.

One way a society can create jobs and socio-economic development is through the system of worker cooperatives, for example coops that are cooperatively owned and democratically managed by their worker-owners.

HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF WORKER COOPERATIVES

Cooperative efforts have occurred throughout history since early human cooperated with each other for hunting. The cooperative as a modern business structure originated in 19th century Britain when people banded together in response to the depressed economic conditions brought on by the Industrial Revolution.

The system soon spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world for example in France in the 19th century during the Paris Commune and the Kibbutz in Israel in the 20th century.

A coop is not a business unto itself but a business model that sells goods or services just as any other business does. The difference rests in the cooperative’s structure. It is democratic, for example all members are equal decision-makers and employ the one-member, one vote process of making decisions. Each worker owns a share in the coop and the enterprise is owned and controlled by the workers.

How can this make a difference in the unemployment rate?

Bob Ewing in the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs has a perspective on this i.e. people have different skills, for example some can make things, while others have math skills, still others can handle public relations. Separately they can’t run a successful business but working cooperatively they can.

Some people cannot start their own business because they lack all the skills needed and can’t afford to hire. When the circle is expanded the potential resource base widens and that leads to a stronger corporate foundation (see Workers Cooperatives Can Create Jobs by Bob Ewing, January 13, 2012, Journal of Humanitarian Affairs).

Cooperatives vary in different ways and it is helpful to look at Mondragon in Spain, the Argentine model and coops in America.

THE MONDRAGON MODEL

Probably the most famous coop is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain. In 1941 a Catholic priest went to the ‘Basque Country’ to teach in a vocational school and his students started a small coop which has expanded into a vast network of various successful businesses.

Under this model management is elected by workers and managers are part of the cooperative process. Each enterprise has a social committee that considers welfare matters; capital is borrowed and employees become worker-owners and surplus is distributed between them and consumers (Mondragon: A better way to go to work? by the Oklahoma City Catholic Worker).

Mondragon has its own bank (Caja Laboral Popular) which provides a ready supply of financing; it has its own insurance coop (Lagun – Aro) which provides social security, pensions and medical services. The enterprises trade with each other and together they form a self-sustaining economic community independent of the national economy (Mondragon- Humanity at Work).

Mondragon has generated 83,859 jobs in Spain in finance, industry, distribution and knowledge; has 9000 students and 85% of its industrial workers are members. It is the foremost Basque business and the 7th largest in Spain. (Mondragon- Humanity etc).

THE ARGENTINE MODEL

The system of cooperatives in Argentina was called the ‘recovered factories’ movement whereby workers took control of factories or other businesses where they had worked after the factories had become bankrupt or after a factory occupation to circumvent a lock out.

As a result of the severe 2002-2003 economic crisis, worker-run companies began to mushroom in a broad range of areas from car producers to rubber balloon factories. Workers formed coops and decisions are reached in assemblies, while they receive advice and support from other worker-owned companies and government institutions (cooperative economy).

According to Marcela Valente, Inter Press Service correspondent in Argentina, today there are 205 recovered companies with a total of 9362 workers and as the economy grows these coops are still growing. Fifteen percent of recovered firms export part of their output and another 60% have the potential. In the last few years the government has given them a boost by distributing more than $1 million in subsidies.

Worker coops have also been developing in other Latin American countries – there are 69 recovered companies in Brazil, 30 in Uruguay, 20 in Paraguay and a growing number in Venezuela (Big Growth of Worker Coops in Argentina by Marcela Valente).

WORKER COOPERATIVES IN AMERICA

There are 23 million people unemployed in America. Labor unions which once could raise wages have weakened with a membership of only 11.9 % of the labor force. At the same time global competition has caused corporations to flee to seek global markets.

The flight of manufacturing industry will not be reversed as overseas production costs are lower. This means that it is necessary to find new sources of employment.

The answer according to Professor Gar Alperovitz of the University of Maryland lies in looking at local communities. Over the last 3 decades more than 13 million workers have become owners of their own companies 6 million more than members of unions in the private sector. There are more than 4500 non-profit community development corporations that operate affordable housing and 130 million Americans are members of coops and credit unions.

“Social enterprises” which transform ownership of capital into businesses have been mushrooming in communities to provide community services.

Coops do make a difference so for example in Cleveland a group of worker-owned companies, supported by the purchasing power of large hospitals and universities have taken the lead in developing “green” projects capable of creating thousands of jobs (America Beyond Capitalism by Gar Alperovitz).

But a lot more needs to be done. In the private sector there are billions of dollars sitting idle in banks (testimony to the failure of trickle down economics); unavailability of capital is the biggest barrier to the formation of coops and the main reason why they have not grown more. Interest rates are very low so the government should borrow these funds and use them to provide vital start-up capital for new enterprises especially for the unemployed and minorities since these groups have difficulty in securing loans.

The concept of worker cooperatives is still in its infancy in America but they have true potential as a source of badly needed jobs.

THE CATALYST OF WORKER COOPERATIVES

The catalyst of worker cooperatives have mainly been harsh economic conditions as in Britain after the Industrial Revolution and in Argentina at the turn of the century. It is interesting to note that in Argentina as the economy grows worker- run factories are still going strong suggesting some element of viability.

In the age of nuclear power, a world war is not likely to be able to bail us out as was the case with World War II and the Great Depression.

Worker coops are not the sole answer to unemployment but they can provide for their members a good way of life, a good standard of living, job and social security.

The United Nations declared 2012 THE YEAR OF THE COOPERATIVE to raise public awareness of the invaluable contribution of coops to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The unemployed should seize the moment and adopt this alternative model of doing business. It is a far better option than waiting for government or the private sector to act.

Victor A. Dixon

September 2, 2012

Revised September 29, 2013