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A Guide to Healthy Web Surfing, Taking Steps to Getting Help, and Financial Wellness Tips.

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Volume 15, Issue 2

Financial Wellness Tips

Know where your money is going

  • Write down everything you spend for 4-6 weeks.
  • Include specific details about each purchase.
  • At the end of every week and every month, add up how much you have spent by type of expenditure.
  • Do the math—if you are spending

$10 every workday on lunch, you are spending over $2000 per year!

  • Look for easy ways to cut back on spending—a lunch brought from home every other day will net you

$1000 in cash at the end of the year.

Health Education: A Guide to Healthy Web Surfing

The very best way to manage your health and well-being is to educate yourself about your specific health conditions. Knowledge on your part helps you to build a partnership with your doctors and health professionals to improve your overall personal wellness. The Web provides a wealth of health information at your fingertips. But be a cyberskeptic—quackery abounds on the Web. Adapted from the

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, here are some suggestions on what you should look for when evaluating the quality of health information on Web sites:

Consider the source

  • Use recognized authorities—know who is responsible for the content.
  • Look for an “about us” page and check to see who runs the site. Is it a branch of the Federal Government, a non-profit institution, a professional organization, a health system, a commercial organization or an individual?
  • There is a big difference between a site that says, “I developed this site after my heart attack” and one that says, “This page on heart attack was developed by health professionals at the American Heart Association.”
  • Web sites should have a way to contact the organization or webmaster. If the site provides no contact information, or if you can’t easily find out who runs the site, use caution.
  • Protect your privacy. Read the privacy policy to see if your privacy is really being protected. For example, if the site says “We share information with companies that can provide you with useful products,” then your information isn’t private.

Focus on quality—All Web sites are not created equal

  • Does the site make health claims that seem too good to be true? Does the information use deliberately obscure, “scientific” sounding language? Does it promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results? Is this the only site making these claims?
  • Beware of claims that one remedy will cure a variety of illnesses, that it is a “break- through,” or that it relies on a “secret ingredient.”
  • Use caution if the site uses a sensational writing style (lots of exclamation points, for example.)
  • Get a second opinion. Check more than one site.

Look for the evidence—Rely on medical research, not opinion

  • Look for the author of the information, either an individual or an organization. Good examples are “Written by Jane Smith, R.N.,” or “Copyright 2012, American Cancer Society.”
  • If there are case histories or testimonials on the Web site, look for contact information such as an email address or telephone number. If the testimonials are anonymous or hard to track down (“Jane from California”), use caution.

Beware of bias

  • What is the purpose of the site? Check to see if the site is sup- ported by public funds, donations or by commercial advertising.
  • Look at a page on the site, and see if it is clear when con- tent is coming from a non-commercial source and when an

advertiser provides it. For example, if a page about treatment of depression recommends one drug by name, see if you can tell if the company that manufactures the drug provides that information. If it does, you should consult other sources to see what they say about the same drug.


The very best way to manage your health and well-being is to educate yourself about your specific health conditions.

The Hardest Part about Getting Help is Asking for It

“Everyone for themselves”—it’s a common theme in today’s society. We are taught and society applauds independence and individual achievement. Of course, the satisfaction we feel

when we accomplish a goal on our own is one of life’s sweetest joys.

But sometimes we don’t have all the necessary skills or tools to meet the challenges that we face. No matter what we do, we

aren’t able to make progress. At those times, deciding to ask for help may be the first step in achieving our goal or meeting our challenge.

In reality, a lot of people have difficulty knowing when to ask for help, whether from friends, family, a professional, a social service agency, their supervisor, etc. Why is that? There are many reasons. People may avoid asking for help because they:

  • feel embarrassed because they have the problem in the first place;
  • don’t like to admit they don’t have the resources to solve it themselves;
  • believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness;
  • don’t want others to judge them;
  • are afraid to burden other people;
  • think they may “owe a favor” down the road, or be obligating themselves;
  • are proud of their independence;
  • consider themselves “very private”;
  • are concerned that those who help won’t help in a way that they are comfortable with;
  • are concerned that those they ask for help won’t keep the request confidential.

When you face a problem that you realize you will not be able to solve alone, ask yourself, “What keeps me from asking for help?” Review the list above. Do any of the reasons sound familiar?

One of the most important aspects of asking for help is having someone you can confide in. Identify someone you can talk with to help you overcome your obstacle: a friend, sibling,

parent, spouse, counselor, or other professional. Speaking with someone you trust can help you:

  • gain some perspective on your problem,
  • see options you may not have thought of before,
  • explore solutions and plans to achieve them,
  • feel less alone in your struggle, and
  • make it possible to receive help from trustworthy sources.

PAS provides confidential consultation with counselors and coaches who can help you sort through challenges and design a personalized action plan to achieve your goals. All services

are confidential and provided at no cost to you. Some areas that PAS professionals can help with are: child care resources, elder care management, financial concerns, legal issues, parenting

questions, time management, organizational skills, marital and relationship problems, stress management, job-related concerns and many, many more.

There are times in life when no matter how independent, determined or private we are, we still can’t manage alone. And then it really is better to ask for help. When we take a step outside our comfort zone to ask for help, we open ourselves to big changes in our lives. It may be a tough decision, but worth it in the end.

When life gets tough, asking for help may be the best decision you make!

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PASWord Express © 2012 is published by Personal Assistance Services, 9735 Landmark Parkway, Suite 17, St. Louis, MO, 63127-9968

(800) 356-0845. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.