Thursday, February 11, 2010

Health Care and Boredom

Have you ever been bored--at home, at work, at church, at any social function? How does that happen? Is it a state of mind or is boredom based on a lack of interest in your surroundings? According to, boredom is a complex process. There are lots of reasons that one might be bored. The most common one is that you have no idea what to do. But other reasons might be you feel lazy or tired and just don't want to do the things that are available for you to do. Maybe you have ideas of things to do, and aren't feeling lazy, but you don't feel you can do the things you want to do. Perhaps you lack motivation to be involved in your daily activities.

Studies of boredom on the job indicated, according to, those who expressed severe job boredom were 2.5 times more likely to be dead of cardiovascular disease. Their conclusion: “those who report being bored are more likely to die younger than those who are not bored.” Were the victims “bored to death”? Can their employers be imprisoned for murder? In the future, can the legal system indict all droning bores on charges of “assault with a lethal weapon”? Not really, no, and no. However, boredom is not the specific cause of the victims’ demise. Nobody suddenly collapsed face-first on their keyboard, crushed by an actuarial task. Truth is — small amounts of daily boredom won’t hurt you. You can safely continue to launder your clothes and ride your exercise bike.

Accordingt to, the word “boredom” is modern. Charles Dickens first coined it in his 1853 novel Bleak House. Philosophers and psychologists have embraced boredom. Martin Heidegger wrote 100 pages on the tedious mood. Arthur Schopenhauer categorized boredom as inherent in the human condition. Soren Kierkegaard defined boredom and its cousin despair as “inner death” in The Sickness Unto Death and postulated that all human life is in motion towards boredom. Sigmund Freud theorized that boredom was the result of repressed emotions, and Albert Schweitzer concurred with this diagnosis when he compared boredom to African’s sleeping sickness. “Your soul suffers if you live superficially,” Schweitzer warns, advising readers to combat “indifference” by searching in “their inmost selves” for their “inner voice.”

Being bored is a state of mind when you are fed up and sick of what's going on or the lack of activity around you, according to Complacency also contributes to feeling bored. Boredom becomes a great concern when it results in procrastination, indecision and feeling listless and jaded. The best way to avoid feeling bored is to make your life interesting by not sticking to too many routines. Another way is by making daily progress in everything that you do. You need to pay attention to your thoughts and daily activities and find ways not to submit yourself to drudgery and taking things for granted.

According to, most people blame boredom on the circumstances, but psychologists say this emotion is highly subjective and rooted in aspects of consciousness—and that levels of boredom vary among people. Some individuals are less—and others considerably more—likely to be bored than others. Boredom is not a unified concept but may comprise several varieties, including the transient type that occurs while waiting in line and so-called existential boredom that accompanies a profound dissatisfaction with life. Boredom is linked to both emotional factors and personality traits. Problems with attention also play a role, and thus techniques that improve a person’s ability to focus may diminish boredom.

Children may become bored quickly as their attention span is very short, and teens likely will suffer the same fate as the interest levels change dramatically through the junior high and high school years. But when boredom becomes chronic, it’s dangerous, according to The numb condition lures desperate humans into “make-me-feel-alive” behavior like over-eating, alcoholism, sex addiction, smoking, drug dependency, self-mutilation, fist-fighting, off-road racing, pathological gambling, and vandalism. It can plunge one into poor grades in school or poor work performance. Boredom can spiral into depression, which carries a high risk of heart disease. Anxiety produced by boredom and depression releases hormones such as cortisol. These hormones damage the circulatory system. “Anger suppression” in boredom is also detrimental. Bottled rage increases blood pressure and weakens the immune system.

There are plenty of activities that parents, caregivers, counselors, youth workers, and teachers can do with children and teens to make sure they stay motivated to overcome boredom. If you run out of your own ideas, plenty more can be found online through various websites including and others, including tips from Julie Anderson, a Home Schooling consultant at Great advice for kids to stay active and interested, especially in a home school environment. Other ideas to keep children from being bored come from parenting magazines, travel magazine, and more that provide handy tips to combat the "Boredom Monster."

According to, your child's boredom is your responsibility. Once you teach them the value of down time, boredom becomes their responsibility. Your children often get into trouble when they look to others to remedy their boredom. The first step to eliminate boredom is to eliminate the term boredom. When a child says, "I'm bored," they are asking someone for something to do. It may also imply the desire to do something different and exciting. Children often perform acts against their character to alleviate the feeling of boredom. You can train your children to value and utilize down time. Downtime plays a very important role in our lives, if you let it. It is the time you can rest and be refreshed. You can explore and develop your talents, and this is the time where you can look at your to do list and catch up on what you did not have time to do before, or to contemplate today and strategize events for tomorrow. Youth respond to boredom in two ways. Either they project it externally in the form of mischief or reckless behavior, or they project it internally in the form of lethargy that eventually leads to depression. Some children visit both stages. They become depressed and then commit mischievous acts as a cry for help. In more advanced cases of boredom, youth become numb to any fear of discipline.

For the senior population, boredom is an even bigger concern. According to, Boredom is an important quality of life issue for many senior citizens. When it comes to elderly home care or assisted living facilities, family caregivers must ensure that the physical, mental and emotional needs of seniors are being met. Those taking care of parents at home must also strive to provide stimulating activities in order to prevent loved ones from sinking into a pit of depression that’s hard to climb out of and can have disastrous results. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), older Americans are more likely to commit suicide than any other age group. As noted by NIMH, nearly 16% of suicide deaths in the country were those 65 years of age or older. Boredom that leads to depression is a major factor in many homes, senior health care facilities and assisted living homes. It is up to family caregivers to reduce such risks when it comes to taking care of our elderly population. Boredom leads to multiple emotional issues, including:
--Feelings of worthlessness.
--Feeling that life is no longer worth living.
--Feelings of intense restlessness.
--Feeling unloved or uncared about.

More information about dealing with boredom and seniors can be found at Another timely site on this subject is . Senior citizens are the quickest growing U.S. residents sector. The needs and expectations of seniors have changed considerably lately. Increasing awareness in growing older in good health , coincides with the whole person wellness model that includes physical, emotional, non secular, intellectual, occupational, and social dimensions. More info about solving boredom in seniors can also be found at

The bottom line is that boredom can be easily solved. The motivation to overcome it may need to have some stimulus from external sources, or just from within. Capturing the essence of life is not accomplished if you intend to mirror a sofa spud. Get up and get active!

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Health Care and First Aid

First Aid is an important aspect of saving lives. Knowing how to render it is critical in the case of life threatening situations or in cases where someone is injured. Accidents happen. Someone chokes on an ice cube or gets stung by a bee. It is important to know when to call 9-1-1 -- it is for life-threatening emergencies, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While waiting for help to arrive, you may be able to save someone's life. It is important to have a first aid kit available. Keep one at home and one in your car. It should include a first-aid guide. Read the guide to learn how to use the items, so you are ready in case an emergency happens.

First aid is the emergency care and treatment of a sick or injured person before professional medical services are obtained, according to Brookside Associates. FIRST AID MEASURES ARE NOT MEANT TO REPLACE PROPER MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT, but will only consist of providing temporary support until professional medical assistance is available. The purposes of first aid are (1) to save life, (2) prevent further injury, and (3) to minimize or prevent infection. The knowledge of first aid, when properly applied, can mean the difference between temporary or permanent injury, rapid recovery or long-term disability, and the difference between life and death. While administering first aid, the three primary objectives are (1) to maintain an open airway, (2) maintain breathing, and (3) to maintain circulation. During this process you will also control bleeding, and reduce or prevent shock. You must respond rapidly, stay calm, and think before you act. Do not waste time looking for ready-made materials, do the best you can with what is at hand. Request professional medical assistance as soon as possible. A much more detailed overview about these procedures and more can be found at this site:

There are those mommy first aid skills where a Band-Aid and a kiss are all that's needed to make everything better. You can fix a cut finger or ice a twisted ankle or staunch a bloody nose, the skills you learn almost by osmosis from watching Mom or Grandma. Then there's stepping up during an emergency, the difference between life or death. Saving lives is a mindset. It's knowing how to do what you need to do and not being afraid to act, according to With the exception of using an Epi-Pen, nothing on this list requires special tools, just your brain, your hands and your quick action. Here are 9 First Aid Skills That Can Really Save a Life -- The Skills You Need to Have When Seconds Count:

1. CPR--It doesn't get any more deadly than dead. Cardiac arrest is what paramedics call the condition that is commonly known as death: the heart is no longer pumping blood. Whatever the cause, there is only one outcome if cardiac arrest is not treated with CPR - the victim stays dead.
2. Use an Epi-Pen--Anaphylaxis is a severe allergy that kills hundreds of people every year. Whether the allergy is to bees, peanuts, shellfish or antibiotics, anaphylaxis quickly progresses to death if left untreated. The best way to stop anaphylaxis in its tracks is to use an Epi-Pen.
3. Heimlich Maneuver--When somebody's choking on a piece of filet mignon, quick action is all that might stand between a minor dinner embarrassment and horrible death. Are you ready to force the offending meat out of the airway with a Heimlich Maneuver?
4. Treat a Choking Infant--Babies are built differently than bigger kids and adults. So, for the under 12 month crowd, getting something out of the airway has more options, which is good, since these guys are much more likely to have something in there in the first place. When your curious little one gets a chunk of whatever caught in his pipe, do you know how to treat a choking baby?
5. Stop Bleeding--With two steps, almost all bleeding can be controlled: pressure and elevation. Unfortunately, few things are as scary to us puny humans as letting our life-force leak out. In the midst of a nightmare, can you stop bleeding?
6. Treat Shock--After too much blood has been lost, the next step is too little blood pressure. People hear lots about how bad high blood pressure is, but while high blood pressure will kill you in a few years, low blood pressure can kill you in a few minutes. If you weren't able to stop bleeding fast enough, you'd better be able to treat shock.
7. Treat Heat Stroke--The most important step in treating heat stroke is recognizing heat stroke. Hot, dry and confused in the middle of a hot day is a combination that should make you shudder, then make you call 911 and start throwing ice on the victim.
8. Treat Low Blood Sugar--As bad as low blood pressure is low blood sugar. This is one of those special situations that doesn't affect everyone, but since diabetics don't always have their diagnosis written on them (some do, on a bracelet) it's a skill you should know. For most people, too much sugar is a problem sufferered all too often, but too little blood sugar is a killer. Everyone should know how to treat low blood sugar.
9. Treat Hypothermia--Like heat stroke, winning the battle against hypothermia starts with knowing hypothermia when you see it -- or feel it. Warming a victim of hypothermia is arguably the easiest skill on this list, but that doesn't make it any less important. In cold weather, you should know how to treat hypothermia.

A first-aid kit well stocked with the basic essentials is indispensable. According to, choose one sturdy and lightweight, yet large enough to hold the contents so that they are readily visible and so that any one item may be taken out without unpacking the whole kit. Keep a list of contents readily available for easy refilling. Keep the kit in a convenient location. Make one person responsible for keeping the kit filled and available when needed. Quantities of suggested items for your first-aid kit depend on the size of your group and local conditions. Here are the items that should be contained in a well stocked first-aid kit: Bar of soap, 2-inch roller bandage,
1-inch roller bandage, 1-inch adhesive, 3-by-3-inch sterile pads, Triangular bandage, Assorted gauze pads, Adhesive strips, Clinical oral thermometer, Scissors, Tweezers, Sunburn lotion, Lip salve, Poison-ivy lotion, Small flashlight (with extra batteries and bulb), Absorbent cotton, Water purification tablets (iodine), Safety pins, Needles, Paper cups, Foot powder, Instant ice packs. Because of the possibility of exposure to communicable diseases, first-aid kits should include latex or vinyl gloves, plastic goggles or other eye protection, and antiseptic to be used when giving first aid to bleeding victims, as protection against possible exposure. Mouth barrier devices should be available for use with CPR.


According to, there are legal and ethical concerns to take into consideration when rendering first aid:
1.) DUTY TO ACT -- No one is required to render first aid under normal circumstances. Even a physician could ignore a stranger suffering a heart attack if he chose to do so. Exceptions include situations where a person's employment designates the rendering of first aid as a part of described job duties. Examples include lifeguards, law enforcement officers, park rangers and safety officers in industry. A duty to provide first aid also exists where an individual has presumed responsibility for another person's safety, as in the case of a parent-child or driver-passenger relationship. While in most cases there is no legal responsibility to provide first aid care to another person, there is a very clear responsibility to continue care once you start. You cannot start first aid and then stop unless the victim no longer needs your attention, other first aiders take over the responsibility from you or you are physically unable to continue care.

2.) NEED FOR CONSENT -- In every instance where first aid is to be provided, the victim's consent is required. It should be obtained from every conscious, mentally-competent adult. The consent may be either oral or written. Permission to render first aid to an unconscious victim is implied and a first aider should not hesitate to treat an unconscious victim. Consent of a parent or guardian is required to treat a child, however emergency first aid necessary to maintain life may be provided without such consent.

3.) LEGAL CONCERNS -- Some well-meaning people hesitate to provide first aid because they are concerned about being sued. This need not be a concern! Legislators in almost every state in the country have passed GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS which are intended to protect good people who offer first aid help to others. Most of the Good Samaritan Acts are very similar in their content and usually provide two basic requirements which must be met in order for the first aider to be protected by their provisions:
--The first aider must not deliberately cause harm to the victim.
--The first aider must provide the level & type of care expected of a reasonable person with the same amount of training & in similiar circumstances.

Good Samaritan laws are meant to protect lay people who, for no reason other than kindness, come to the aid of fellow human beings in need. According to, in today's litigious society there can be a reluctance to help out in emergency situations. Fear of liability for any misstep can paralyze even the most helpful Good Samaritan. It's also true that not every victim wants help. In order to care for someone in need, you must have permission. In the medical field, permission is called consent. There are important considerations for would-be rescuers. Not every victim wants to be saved and not every life saved will be grateful. Know the issues before you render first aid. Good Samaritan laws protect the general public from undue liability during good faith rescue attempts. Even in medical emergencies you need to be aware of certain legal and liability considerations.

However, in most cases those to whom you provide first aid will welcome your attempt to help them; and in a life and death situation, the vast majority of people will certainly want you to assist them in staying alive. You may be their only hope until emergency services arrive on the scene. Remember to take your own safety into consideration, especially for critical cases. When you put on a bandaid for a scratch, your first aid remedy is simple. When you are kneeling on the side of the road helping a car crash victim who is bleeding to death, the stakes are alot greater. Being the hero means using your head in a crisis. Be responsive, but be careful!

Until next time. Let me know what you think.