Sunday, 21 April 2013

Easy guidelines for elderly care

Pallavi Prakash
It is very rightly said our elders are our treasures and their memories even after they are gone continue to bring a sweet smile on our tired faces! But are we guarding our treasure honestly, that’s a million dollar question which we need to answer our conscious, our inner self. However sometimes lack of knowledge, ignorance, lack of time, wrong attitude or over-packed schedule act as hurdles in giving our elders their due respect and time.

But the good news is all is not lost yet. With proper management techniques it becomes very easy to empathesize with our elders, read their mind, understand their thought-process and give them a golden second-innings in life! Let us pick up few easy tips to handle certain old age disorders-   

1.   Pacing :

When elderly individuals wander or pace excessively, there are a few tips to deal with this issue. Make sure the patients are getting enough exercise and eliminate caffeine from the diet. This will help burn off any extra energy that is leading to pacing. It is also important to establish a routine to make sure they are getting the care they need daily. If elderly patients are at risk of getting lost, make sure they have identification and contact information on them at all times.

2.   Incontinence:

Watch for signs that elderly individuals need to use the restroom and help them get to the toilet before they have an accident. Make sure their clothes are easy to unfasten by purchasing clothes with snaps . Keep elderly patients with this issue on a routine. They can be helped to the bathroom soon after eating and drinking. If these solutions are not helping the issue, there are adult diapers available.

3.   Aggression:

When elderly individuals start to exhibit aggressive behavior, observe any changes in their environment or daily routine. There could be something in their surroundings that is causing the aggression.  Aggression can be treated with medicines when it becomes too much to handle for the caregivers. A medical professional will make the determination of the drugs and doses that need to be administered.

4.   Suspicion or Fear:

When elderly individuals are dealing with dementia, they often exhibit signs of fear or suspicion. Arguing with these patients can be a futile effort. It is possible they will not understand your conversation. They can also be very weary of their surroundings because they are not sure of what is happening to them. Try listening to their concerns and express empathy. If possible, establish a daily routine. All caregivers should use consistent tactics when responding to dementia-related behavioral issues.

5.   Feeling of uselessness:

 Often it is observed  that after a certain age elderly individual    feel that they are no  better than any old furniture at home. It is  advisable to spend quality time with them in these cases, remind them of their past achievements and the sacrifices they made to keep their family happy and reassure them of their valuable guidance even at this juncture of their life. With time devotion a little empathy this issue can be addressed.

6.    Forgetfulness:

When elderly individuals exhibit signs of partial forgetfulness it is advisable to have an attendant or nurse by their side. They will make their life easier in coping with their daily task and routine

Hence, the bottom-line is give our seniors oodles of love and care and see that child-like smile enlightening their faces once again. A million dollar will not give you that satisfaction which a small hug or smile might. Always remember my friend all of us will be old fellows one day and this gift of love will be the real treasure which we will pass to our generation next! 

My Article >> Published in Times Of India (Delhi Edition) : 1st May'2011

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Raw Realism of Reality Shows-Myth or Truth??

- Pallavi Prakash

The Cosmo-functional aspect of our society has given rise to an entire new range of television programmers and synonymous viewership. Change becomes a welcome tool when the after effect is coupled with incentives, either material or non-material sans good socio or physco effect. However the recent onslaught of new reality programmers on general entertainment channels has once again brought this genre of programming into the limelight. Reality TV is not a new genre here; it has just become more popular and controversial in recent times.

With rising competition, however, in recent months, non-fiction-based programmes have made a stunning comeback, albeit in a new avatar—titillating reality programming. A conversation with local residents invoked a mixed bag of reactions. A Few residents feel reality shows are indeed inspiring while others share a different perspective.

“There are two things about reality shows that attract viewers and generate controversy: the concept of reality or realism and the shock effect” says Shikha, a housewife in Bhiwadi.

The million dollar question is “Are these shows a reflection of reality of just a tool to gain TRP’s”??

 “Such formats usually invoke competition and provide big money as rewards and often inspiring for new talent” says Anamika, a teacher in Alwar.

The viewing audience doesn’t realize that these reality television shows and their effects on society are reflected on how people compromise their well-being and self-worth. This observation may not seem likely but studies show that it has distorted one’s views on the “real” reality.

“More people enjoy a certain sense of pleasure and satisfaction when they watch these reality television shows and their effects on society are continuously mirrored in the way they interact with others, deal various situations, and face certain challenges and they are indeed inspiring” says Prem, an IT professional in Gurgaon.

While all the others are absorbed in the pathetic, crude and oftentimes vulgar behaviour served up to us by the television moguls as "entertainment," those of us who refuse to be duped can be doing so many other worthwhile things, such as:

  • Studying for exams
  • Engaging in meaningful conversation
  • Going out for a meal.
  • Practicing a musical instrument.
  • Visiting a relative or friend
  • Reading a book
  • Watching an educational program like a documentary.
  • Writing a letter or e-mail.
  • Seeking information on the internet
  • Attending an evening sports meet.

Hence the debate goes on and it often resides in human mind to screen or not screen what it wants to see or not!! The real censorship lies in self. Any kind of external imposition sheds away hope for new creative ideas and certainly several reality shows have given platform for unknown faces rising to fame!!!

Article Published in : Time Of India (Delhi Edition) / 1st May'2012 (Alwar Plus) by Pallavi Prakash


Friday, 12 April 2013

Mind your Pocket .......

- Pallavi Prakash
It is age-old saying money can buy one everything but it cannot buy true love and a good relationship! On the contrary to sustain that million dollar relationship one needs a decent bank balance. So basically both are synonymous but self regulatory. A good balance of one’s finances streamlines positive vibes in the household leading to marital and family bliss! On the other hand a misbalance of  green shelves can push the the red buzzer in alarming family discord. Hence, in today’s bullet speeded life proper planning and open communication with spouse can help prevent that silent disaster in household!     
Few Tips which will help you ride the tide:

1.       Monthly Budget in Place

Every healthy relationship should  start with a healthy budget.  As a couple, you should figure out how much you need to spend on necessities, such as your mortgage payments ons, and how much you can afford to put toward discretionary items, including entertainment and shopping. If you’re having trouble agreeing on how much you need to set aside for certain goals, including retirement and your kids’ education, consider hiring a financial planner.
In the context of financial infidelity, couples also need to decide how much each spouse can spend without telling the other person.

2.      End the Power Struggles

Your money or my money honey?? One way to end any sort of power struggle over money is to have separate bank accounts. One can have three accounts. One for him, one for her, and a third for  joint household expenses. This arrangement is good  and financial planners suggests couples put an equal percentage of their income into the joint account and then fund their own accounts with what’s left over. If one person isn’t working,  the one who is should fund the non-working spouse’s account.
3.      No Secrets Please

If one spouse has a spending problem and has accumulated debt, now is the time to speak up. Once the problem is out in the open, the two of you can work together to figure out a way for the bills to get paid off. If the credit card balances are very high and one person feels terribly wronged, If there is an addiction problem at the heart of the matter, help your partner get  professional help he needs.
4.      Don’t Share Debt:

It is strongly recommended that spouses should keep their debts separate. The only debt one should have in common is a mortgage. Smaller debts acquired on items for each spouse should be in that spouse’s name alone. Doing this protects you from irresponsible actions by your spouse. If your husband has a tendency to buy lots of toys on credit, let him be the one responsible for paying off that debt. If your wife loves to shop for shoes and has a credit card for every department store in town, let her be responsible for those debts.

5.      Have an Emergency Plan:
Ensure that health of entire family , house and all assets are insured.After that always have a ‘Plan B’ that is emergency plan in place. If everything fails then how much fund one should have in order to have a roof at the top and floor below! Don’t ever touch this emergency account but only in case of extremeties.

6.      Respect non-working spouse:
Always appreciate your non-working spouse for the contributions he/she is making to the family. Show respect and highlight her/his position in the family and how important it is. Your non working spouse should be given sufficient funds in order to ensure proper running of marital cart!

Hence, keeping in mind a few essentials money can be easily channelized towards fruitful goals . Also in turn it can bless us with life fuelling relationship with our spouses. Money and honey will definitely go hand in hand with a little effort. So, start practising and enjoy life!!!
Article Published in : Time Of India (Delhi Edition) / 7th August'2011(Alwar Plus) by Pallavi Prakash

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Fight Stress and Win the battle of your life!!

Pallavi Prakash              

Is it a gift to human beings that all good things are often accompanied with a condition? Or is it ironical? Well let us analyze our stakes. Good life is not a De-facto anymore nor  a combination of black and whites to suit human psyche but a major chunk of our life is grey !!

Gone are the days when we proudly boasted our picture perfect lives to our friends and colleagues. Welcome to the world of “Neo Big Money Syndrome” called Anxiety and Stress!!

Almost every one out of ten individuals are suffering from this modern day disease .Reason is simple ,we are wearing out of patience ,we expect immediate results and immediate gratification of our wants and desires .If this is not achieved we confront stress and anxiety which is an enemy to our balanced human behavior .

But all is not lost yet .The good news is we can beat this enemy and still have a luxurious life by seeding a few good habits and exercising few rules .We can fight stress and anxiety by administering few simple steps to a healthy life. 

Regular exercise is an absolute proven stress-reduction technique. But sometimes we feel even too stressed to work out on a consistent basis. Simple modifications in posture, habits, thought, and behavior often go a long way toward reducing feelings of stress and tension.

 10 quick pointers to keep the stress clock under control-:

1. Control Your Anger:

Watch for the next instance in which you find yourself becoming annoyed or angry at some minor thing, then practice letting go - make a conscious choice not to become angry or upset. Divert your thought to the last good thing that happened in your life. Effective anger management is a tried-and-true stress reducer.

2. Breathe:

People suffering from stress should always breathe slowly and deeply. Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out breathing exercises such as meditation or guided imagery.

3. Go Slow:

Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly .Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress, practice speaking more slowly than usual. You'll find that you think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations.
4 . Share your stress:

 It helps to talk to someone about your concerns and worries. Perhaps a friend, family member, teacher or counselor, can help you see your problem in a different light. If you feel your problem is serious, you might seek professional help from a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker. Knowing when to ask for help may help to avoid more serious problems later. 

5. Fresh Air:

Fresh air is great antidote for depression and stress .Reduced oxygen levels often lead to anxiety hence get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don't be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating. Outdoor exercise is also usually the best option. 

6. Physical activity:

 If you are nervous, angry or upset, release the pressure through exercise or physical activity. Running, walking, playing tennis or working in your garden, are just some of the activities you might try. Physical exercise will relieve that “up tight” feeling, relax you, and turn the frowns into smiles. Remember, your body and your mind work together.

6. Avoid Hunger and Dehydration:

Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you're aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

7.  Quick Posture Check:

Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress.

8. Recharge at the end of the day:

Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow you to fully relax. Don't spend this time planning tomorrow's schedule or doing chores you didn't get around to during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself - you'll be much better prepared to face another stressful day.

9. Discover your limits:

 If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, don’t fight the situation. Learn to accept what is for now, until such time when you can change it.

10. Group Activities help:

 One way to keep from getting bored, sad, and lonely is to go where it’s all happening. Sitting alone can make you feel frustrated. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get involved. Offer your services to a neighborhood or volunteer organizations. Help yourself by helping other people. Get involved in the world and the people around you, and you will find they will be attracted to you. You’re on your way to making new friends and enjoying new activities.

Published in Times of India(Delhi Edition)/20th Feb'2011(AP) - "Easy Ways to De-stress" By Pallavi Prakash


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Do you connect with GOD ! ! !

- Pallavi Prakash 

Since time immemorial this paradox has been daunting our grey mater……..Where is GOD??
Some call him Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva for others he smiles as lord Christ, for few he is the mighty Allah yet for others the holy gurus! But have we ever thought has ever anyone seen any of these forms?But surely all of us have seen a child blossoming inside a mother’s womb, a seedling growing in a plant and later a huge shadowy tree, a bird heating it’s eggs before hatching, a river emerging from a waterfall ,a rainbow cascading rainy blue sky…….first cry of a baby after detaching from the umbilical cord!!In all these instances and many more lies GOD!

God is that supreme power who does not require any form or any name nor any divisions. He is the one who lies within us….within the deepest folds of our heart and psyche! There is a famous tale stating conversation between god and man before mankind emerged.

Man asked God-Almighty after starting my mortal cycle on earth how will I find you and how will I recognize you because Alas my memory would be blank then and I would be totally unaware of the fact that I emerged from you.
God replied-My dear Son it is true that you would not remember a thing about your true entity but you will be very intelligent and will try to find me everywhere .For this reason I will hide myself within you so that your search ends whenever you peep inside yourself!!!

You connect with god….you touch god whenever you introspect your soul. This is the only way to connect with god ….by being a pious soul. If you wipe the tears of a distressed person you connect with god, if you help a blind person cross road you connect with god, if you help a poor puppy find it’s way back home you connect with him, if you console a mother who recently lost her child you connect with god!!These and many more instances lead you closer to god and this path is the only way to CONNECT with god. Even if one chant’s million chimes and utter thousand mantras a day but if he has not washed his soul with pious water he will never be able to connect with god!!

Go down the memory lane and examine your soul. Is it diseased or has the thick materialistic dust blackened it. Wipe that dust ….diagnose the soul and make it fully healthy and functional. Open your eyes and wake from that deep slumber .Sense the cool air, get nostalgic with the first smell of earth during rains, kiss the first ultraviolet rays of sunlight…..go back from where you emerged…..go back to life and find happiness in small happenings in life. Be contented and at peace with yourself because only if your soul has eaten happiness and drank contentment only then it can teach others how to do it. And once you master this art you will directly connect with God!

In this fast paced times, new age problems like depression, insomnia, alcoholism etc have become as common cough and cold and the medicines prescribed to fight these ailments are eating away mind and soul .Instead of wasting such precious time and energy in finding alternative treatment if the patient just spends some time connecting with god in the ways mentioned above,gradually all these new age friends of his will fly out of window.

Lastly, we should all remember that this precious life is to be utilized rightly as we all have emerged from god and we have to answer god one day for all our blacks and whites! It is very truly quoted by a famous poet of his times-“Woods are lovely, long and deep,
                                                 But we have promises to keep.
                                                 And miles to go before we sleep,
                                                 And miles to go before we sleep”!!!