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AUGUST 15, 2010 UNION T I D E E A CR S O O H ED • C E ACHES N D U A O E Y H RCISE SLEEP E E X H E T T T N REVE UNITY N • GE P M O • E M G R O E R C LAWY MENT SIK SU Y E A R R L I U T J A E N E ERVICE SE A R ONAL I S CHOOS O S L O R • A H E R O E C P T UL FUN HOW IST • OSE A F T : O G E N N H I E D C I N D S A • IN OSE A N A ME BANK O A L A H P C E E S • R O CHO LITY • P I OLLEGE C C A F A G E D LIVIN E CHOOS T S I S S AN A CHOOSE


AUGUST 15, 2010 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 3

HOW TO CHOOSE A CREDIT UNION

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HOW TO Prevent Exercise Headaches

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HOW TO CHOOSE AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

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HOW TO CHOOSE A COLLEGE

PAGE 10 HOW TO CHOOSE A RETIREMENT COMMUNITY PAGE 12 HOW TO CHOOSE A BANK PAGE 14 HOW TO CHOOSE A LASIK SURGEON PAGE 16 HOW TO CHOOSE A DENTIST PAGE 18 HOW TO GET THE SLEEP YOU NEED PAGE 20 HOW TO PRE-PLAN A MEANINGFUL FUNERAL SERVICE PAGE 22 HOW TO SELECT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

IMPORTANT NOTES ❒ Credit unions offer many of the same services as banks, usually at better rates and terms: checking, consumer loans, mortgages, and investment accounts.

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CHOOSE A CREDIT UNION

WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION? the law places some limits on the people they may serve. A credit union’s A credit union is a cooperative fi- charter defines its “field of membernancial institution, owned and con- ship,” which could be an employer, trolled by the people who use its church, school, or community. Anyservices. These people are mem- one who lives or works in a commubers. Credit unions serve groups nity, for example, is eligible to join a that share something in common, community-chartered credit union. such as where they work, live, or If you don’t belong, here’s how to ❒ Credit unions are not go to church. Credit unions are find a credit not-for-profit, and exist to provide union to join: for- profit, and exist first a safe, convenient place for memand foremost to serve bers to save money and to get loans 1. Contact the Minnesota Credit Union Network. Dial (800)477-1034, their members. at reasonable rates. or visit www.mncun.org on the web to Credit unions, like other financial in- search for credit unions in your area. ❒ Credit union stitutions, are closely regulated. The 2. Ask your family. One in three members are also National Credit Union Administra- Americans belong to a credit union. owners. Members tion (NCUA), an agency of Chances are you have a family memelect a volunteer the federal government, ber that uses credit union services. Board of insures credit union de- And most credit unions allow memA credit Directors to posit accounts up to bers’ families to join. union is a strategically $100,000. 3. Quiz your friends and neighbors. guide the What makes a Many credit unions have a “commucooperative, organization. credit union dif- nity” field of membership, serving a not-for-profit ferent from a region defined by geography rather bank or sav- than by employment or some other financial instituings & loan? association. Ask friends in the comtion. It is owned Like credit munity if they know of a credit union unions, these you may join. and controlled financial in- 4. Read the yellow pages. Some by its members, stitutions ac- credit unions rarely advertise, so you and organized cept depos- might not know about them unless its and make you look them up. A yellow pages to bring savings l o a n s - - b u t display ad may state a credit union’s and give credit unlike credit field of membership. If not, at least unions, they are in you’ll know what number to call to to those who business to make a ask about membership eligibility. belong. profit. Banks and sav- 5. Contact the Credit Union Nationings & loans are owned al Association. Dial (800)358-5710 or by groups of stockholders visit www.cuna.org and check their whose interests include earning a online database of credit unions. healthy return on their investments.

owned and controlled by its members, and organized to bring savings and give credit to those who belong. Proponents of credit unions say earnings are returned to members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates, fewer fees, and expanded services. In contrast, a bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits and makes loans to corporations and individuals for a profit. A savings and loan institution is in business to accept deposits and make loans, primarily for first and second mortgages, at a profit. Credit unions see healthy returns on investments in order to help their members, while other financial institutions send investment returns to their stockholders. Credit unions give members a voice. Members vote for a board of directors from the general membership. Directors serve on a voluntary basis and hire a Chief Executive Officer, who in turn hires staff to manage the credit union. All members receive information on the state of the credit union, generally in the form of newsletters and other periodicals, such as the credit union’s annual report. U.S. credit unions have a flexible, highly organized cooperative network - the Credit Union System. The system works at the local, state, and national level. There are over 10,000 credit unions throughout the country serving over 80 million members. Minnesota is home to nearly 200 financial cooperatives which serve well over 1,000,000 members. CREDIT UNIONS VS. BANKS Founded on a philosophy of service, FIVEWAYSTOFINDACREDITUNION A credit union is a cooperative, not- credit unions adhere to the pledge of Credit unions are for everyone, but for-profit financial institution. It is ‘People Helping People.


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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

Prevent Exercise Headaches

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ou are having a great run and then Boom! – the dreaded exercise (exertion) headache occurs. This type of headache occurs in one out of 100 people during some point in their lives, usually occurring during or after sustained, strenuous exercise. The types of exercise most often associated with this type of headache are: running, rowing, swimming, tennis, and weight lifting.

4. Primary and secondary brain tumors Secondary exercise headaches are more common if you are over 40, usually don’t have a history of migraine and last 24-72 hours. Both types of exercise headache have symptoms such as: 1. Throbbing/pulsating 2. Affecting both sides of the head 3. Made worse by continued exercise 4. Usually occur during or after strenuous exercise

In addition, secondary exercise headaches may cause: This headache syndrome is sub- 1. Neck stiffness divided into primary and second- 2. Severe vomiting ary. 3. Double vision 4. Numbness or weakness on one side of Primary exercise headaches are not the body associated with any underlying problems, are more common in your 20s, If you have any of the symptoms of last 5 minutes to 48 hours, and more secondary type exercise headache, if the common if you have migraine or his- headache strikes suddenly like a thuntory of migraine in your family. derclap, if you are 40 or older, or this is the first worst headache of your life, you should seek medical attention as soon Secondary exercise headaches are as possible to exclude a life threatening those caused by an underlying prob- problem. lem. Primary exercise (exertion) headache Some of the problems are: may respond to some common preven1. Bleeding in the area covering the tion measures in our day to day work-out brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage). schedules. The following have been the 2. Bleeding into the brain caused by seven most successful changes in trainabnormal blood vessels within the ing that have reduced or eliminated these brain (arteriovascular malformaheadaches. tion). 3. Intermittent stoppage of spi- 1. Start slowly. If you are beginning to nal fluid flow exercise, walk before your run and if

you are a seasoned runner, don’t increase your distance or speed by more than 10%. 2. Make sure that you warm up and cool down. Beginning with easier exercise at the start and ending with some stretching often reduces or prevents the headache as well as sore muscles! 3. Stay well hydrated! This means water, more water and more water. These headaches are much more common in hot and humid weather and at high altitudes. 4. In hot, humid weather bring a towel soaked in ice and water and place it around your head/neck as you cool down. 5. If you feel you have low or dropping blood sugar, take a glucose tablet prior to exercise and have a high carbo snack or better yet, a full meal within one hour of your finish. 6. If you have no medical contra indicators and suggestions 1-5 are not working, try taking a couple of your favorite NSAIDs 15-30 minutes prior to starting to your exercise. If none of these suggestions are helping with your headache problem, then it is time to consult with a headache specialist who is familiar with this type of problem. If your headaches are predictable, a medication that can be taken prior to exercise may be recommended. If, on the other hand, your headaches are frequent or unpredictable, a daily preventative may be given. Exercise (exertion) headache should not stop you from a healthier, more active lifestyle if you recognize it and work with your physician to prevent or control it.


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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Tips: Choosing an assisted living facility

The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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hoosing an assisted living PLANNING facility can be ❒ Begin discussion and a difficult but imporresearch early. Don’t wait tant decision, one often for an emergency. complicated by emer❒ Determine the type of care needed. What do you gency situations that or your loved one need help rush decision-making. with? Is specialized care However, according to needed? Robert Stein, general ❒ Look for facilities in your counsel for the Michigan area.To contact the nearest Assisted Living AssociaAgency on Aging and tion (MALA), making a other services for adults, positive transition to an call Elder Care Locator assisted living facility only at (800) 677-1116 or takes careful research. check its Web site: The main goals of assistwww.elder care.gov. ed living are to aid residents — often the elderly — in tasks, and provide a living experience RESEARCH where the mind and body are kept ❒ Examine the active. Assisted living facilities genfacility’s physical erally provide housing, group meals, features: Is it personal care and support services, clean? What facilities are and social activities in a residential available? setting. According to Mary Sieger, Where do executive director of the Farmington residents eat? Hills Inn, in Farmington Hills, the staff Where do they assists residents with simple household interact? tasks, getting dressed, dietary needs, ad❒ Examine ministering medication and more. the staff. Do TAKE THE FIRST STEP they greet The first step is to determine the faresidents? Are cility characteristics you or your loved they attentive? one may benefit from. According to the Do they treat AARP, formerly known as the Ameriresidents well? Are they well can Association of Retired Persons, asgroomed? sisted living facilities best serve those ❒ Examine the who don’t require skilled nursing or residents. Are long-term assistance. Would your they well-cared loved one enjoy a larger facility with for? Are they many new people or a more intimate active? Do they setting? Do you have any specific seem happy? medical needs? Some facilities in❒ Talk to residents clude special programs and facilities to aid residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s, for example.

CHOOSE AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

Once you’ve determined your needs, compile a list of facilities to visit. The AARP recommends a number of sources, including the local yellow pages; state agencies and your local area agency on aging. Make sure to ask friends or relatives for advice as well. LOOK AROUND Visit several facilities. Sieger recommends touring at least three. Beware of facilities that require appointments to visit. She says reputable establishments should allow you to visit anytime during visiting hours. When visiting, make careful observations. As Sieger suggests, check for cleanliness — in bath-rooms, public areas and dining rooms. Is the atmosphere friendly? How does the facility assess and meet residents needs? Does the staff seem attentive and polite? Observe and talk to the residents. Do they seem well-cared for? Check for safety measures. As the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging suggests, look for well-lit stairs and halls, handrails in bathrooms and ways for residents to summon help if needed. Check to see if smoke alarms are installed in each room and hallway, that halls and passageways are clear and that exit doors are clearly marked, not locked and operate freely — especially disabled assist doors. Facility staff should know evacuation procedures, and emergency numbers should be prominently posted. CHECK CREDENTIALS Find out if the facility is properly licensed by the state, and if there is any history of problems or disciplinary actions related to the licensee. In Georgia, the Department of Human Resources is the licensing agent for assisted living facilities. Through the DHR, you can find out information about assisted living facilities and their compliance with state licensing requirements. The DHR also is active in investigating complaints about assisted living facilities

and working with the facilities to make improvements for residents. Within the DHR is the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which has responsibility for investigating complaints and resolving problems affecting residents of long-term care facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program in Georgia is more than 25 years old. In 2002 it was established as a separate office within the DHR’s Division of Aging Services. The Office of the State LTCO works through Area Agencies on Aging to address needs of residents in care facilities. In addition to investigating complaints, Ombudsman work to promote community and family involvement in facilities, provide information on how to select a facility, and educate communities about the needs of residents in assisted living facilities. For more information, visit www.georgiaombudsman.org, call 888-454-5826, or contact your local aging program. CONSIDER COSTS Sieger advises families to thoroughly examine all the costs involved. Are costs itemized or is there a flat fee? Some facilities may cost several thousand dollars per month. Ask for all charges up front and in writing to avoid surprises. EASE THE TRANSITION If looking for a loved one, involve him or her in your search process. Once you decide on the facility, bring your loved one for a visit. Keep lines of communication open to ease the transition. Find out what customizations you can make to the new space to make it feel more like home. Find out about social activities. Activities are essential for preventing boredom, loneliness or depression. Activities at some facilities include: shopping trips, Bingo, dance therapy, movies and arts and crafts. Finding something to enjoy and people to do it with can make the move to assisted living a positive experience.


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

CONSIDER THESE FACTORS WHEN DECIDING WHEN TO GO TO COLLEGE:

❒ When getting started in final decision process, start planning early. You’ll need plenty of time to gather information, visit campuses, apply for admission and secure housing. ❒ Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college. Meet with your counselor and research scholarship books to check what scholarships might be available for you.

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he high school years are often regarded as a time of carefree enjoyment, and little or no responsibility. But what many students don’t realize is these are critical preparatory years for college. Academic performance in high school, including the rigor of courses taken, continues to he the most important admission factor, followed by standardized admission tests, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). And in an economy where jobs aren’t as plentiful as they once were, two- and four-year degrees are becoming increasingly vital, which is making college admission increasingly competitive. The good news is that while the number of students enrolling in college has grown by 39 percent in the last 30 years, the number of institutions of higher education has grown by 44 percent, says the NACAG So, there are plenty of options available to you, even if you don’t get into your first-choice school

❒ The top 10 criteria to consider when choosing a college are: a school curriculum, quality of instruction, average class size, admission requirements, quality of facilities, campus life, location, transferability, graduation rates and cost.

It’s never too early As juniors, most students will take the ACT and SAT admission tests, which 90 percent of universities require in order to be considered for acceptance, according to the NACAC. This is a good time to get into the college groove and start looking at your options. The first step is to consider what attributes you’re looking for in a college. Do you want a large campus or a more intimate one? Does the college offer a reputable program in the major you

CHOOSE A COLLEGE plan to study? Prioritize a list of the attributes most important to you. If you need guidance, ask someone who’s already been through the application process, such as college students who went to your high school, suggests The College Board. Get to know your counselors, ask a career planner at a local college or get advice from a teacher. College fairs are great sources for gathering materials. The NACAC says a very high percentage of admissions officers continue to make frequent visits to high schools. Visit with recruiters and take this opportunity to learn about different schools. Visit schools’ web sites and check features, such as size, academic reputation, admission standards, majors available and scholarships available. Make a second list and match it with your first — note which schools fit your needs and narrow your options down to five to seven schools. The right fit It’s critical to visit all of the schools so you get an accurate feel of what each campus is like. You may be a fan of an institution since you were 3 years old, but you might realize it’s not the right fit for you once you’re a [high school] graduate. Summer is a great time to visit because it’s quiet. Decide which schools you feel most comfortable at. Hang out in the student center tour the dorms, check out what extracurricular or oncampus activities are offered, and even sit in on a class. Many colleges host visitation days for potential students. It’s a great way to feel the spirit of the campus. Some students prefer the or-

ganized group visits where they can meet faculty and tour with current students. After a thorough review, decide which campus styles fit yours. Make sure to note important dates, such as application deadlines, housing deadlines and enrollment deposit deadlines, and meet them. You have one chance to make a good first impression and often a late application won’t even he considered. Apply to your top three choices to keep your options open. Choosing a major If you’re not sure what you want to major in, check out the career centers of colleges you visit to see if you can narrow down your interests. Many offer testing to pinpoint your strong suits and secondary skills, which may help you make a decision. College counselors are also available for assistance. Look for a college that offers a wide variety of general studies to take first These courses may lead you to a career choice. Making the grade If you don’t have the best grades in high school, or don’t get into your college of choice, consider attending a community college first and then transferring. It’s a fantastic option. Because you can start over. After 30 semester hours at a community college, schools are no longer looking at high school grades and scores. Remember, choosing a college is an important decision and an individual process — start planning early to find the institution that can give you the most satisfying college experience.


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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Engage in

student focused, learning centered education

www.gsc.edu


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The Top Five Things You Should Know..

The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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he first thing is to find out what retirement communities are located in the area where you or your relative(s) prefer to live. The weather is ❒. Interview key an important factor and staff, including the proximity to hospimarketing, dietary, tals, doctors, pharmahousekeeping, security cies, retail malls/stores and transportation is important. managers and It is a good idea to ride directors, to name a around to the various refew. tirement communities to get your first impression of ❒. Tour the property the appearance, architecture to assess the and location. It is also good to living conditions, check the internet Web site of safety features each area retirement community. and handicap The Web site will provide key inaccessibility. formation about the services that are offered and the accommoda❒. Become tions. informed Other pertinent information may about be obtained from the Department of services, Human Resources Licensing and Suramenities vey reports. This information may be and obtained via the Internet, at the local continuum Department of Human Resources or of care. at any retirement community that has a licensed nursing wing or assisted living ❒. Commuunit. The Dunn and Bradstreet Finannicate with cial rating, the State Nursing Home Asthe resisociation, The Better Business Bureau dents, their and Long-term-Care Ombudsman are families and four additional agencies where retirefriends. ment community stability and historiPlan an cal information may be obtained. overnight stay at the faINTERVIEW WITH KEY STAFF cility. Call for an appointment and meet the staff; each retirement community is run by an executive director and managers of multiple departments. These include nursing, ❒ Find out what retirement communities are located in the area where you or your relative(s) prefer to live.

CHOOSE A RETIREMENT COMMUNITY marketing, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, social services, recreational activities, maintenance of the physical plant and the grounds, security, business and transportation. Make an appointment with the director of marketing or the admissions coordinator. The marketing director will show you around the property and introduce you to the staff and management who will answer any questions you may have. It is important to assess the length of employment of the executive director and key managers, their educational credentials, experience and licenses. TOUR PROPERTY, ACCOMMODATIONS A tour of the retirement community is imperative to assess the types and sizes of cottages, apartments and rooms associated with each level of care. Safety features, emergency response equipment and handicap accessability are important features of the tour. The tour allows a potential resident to evaluate the size or space needed for their furnishings, the closets and storage space. The cleanliness and maintenance or upkeep of the property may also be assessed on the tour. Staff-resident interaction, social activities and residents’ appearances may also be observed. BECOME INFORMED ABOUT SERVICES, ETC. During the initial and follow-up interviews and tour, it is vital to be informed about the amenities, services and levels of care that are provided and included in the admission contract. It is imperative that a potential resident be advised about whether the retirement community is a buy-in or lease arrangement, the price, refund policy, pet policy, etc. All amenities

such as meals, housekeeping and laundry/ linen service, telephone, cable television, transportation and social activities should be explained. A full service, multilevel continuum of care retirement community offers levels of care that range from independent living in villas and apartments, to assisted living or personal care to skilled nursing care. It is preferable to move into a retirement community where a resident may “age in place” and not have to relocate to another property or facility if they should have changes in their condition or require personal assistance or nursing care. The social or recreational activity program should be assessed when making the decision about your future lifestyle. An activities or social calendar should be available for you to study. A varied program of activities offering mental or sensory stimulating activities, physical activities and cultural entertainment should be included so that a resident has multiple daily options and may be as active as they choose to be. Examples of popular activities include bridge and other card games, movies, bingo, aerobic exercise classes, exercise equipment for individual or group use, birthday parties, special theme parties and seasonal or holiday celebrations. Also, outings with provided transportation that include tours of the area, lunches at local restaurants and trips to cultural events should be included in the social calendar. Arts and crafts classes should be available for those who enjoy creative pursuits. A transportation program should be provided to assure transportation to doctor’s appointments and other essential pickups, deliveries or personal transportation to shop, obtain medications and other essentials since many senior citizens choose to stop driving.


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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Consider these factors when choosing your lifelong business partner:

The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

CHOOSE A BANK

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hen you choose a bank, you choose what could ❒ When checking out banks, review the fees be a lifelong personal for various services and and business partner. transactions, advises the That’s why a little American Banking homework can go Association, but remember, along way in deciding price isn’t the only — or even most important what financial institu— factor. ... Take a tion will best fit your minute to think about needs. how comfortable you “Before people confeel at each institution. sider choosing a financial ❒ Ask yourself some institution, they should basic questions: Is the realize it’s a decision that staff friendly? Do they should not be taken lightly try to get to know especially in light of the ecoyou by name? Are transactions hannomic impact of the past few dled efficiently? If years,” says Dave Huiskens, first there’s an error, vice president of Retail Product how is if hanManagement for Comerica Bank, dled? Does the with headquarters in Detroit “Many bank stand by its customers? people tend to focus on transaction prices, high rates of deposit and low ❒ What is rates on loans. I think that’s a trap. your goal in There are other elements that need establishing a banking to be considered.”

you keep on deposit each month and how many checks will you write? That information determines how complex or simple your hank account needs are, from multi service packages to no-frills accounts. • Will you be buying a home or car, or making another large purchase in the near future? You may need to investigate loan products offered. • If you’ll be saving for a big expense or your child’s education, review the institution’s savings products. Many banks. offer additional investments, such as mutual kinds, in addition to traditional savings accounts. • Do you prefer using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Internet banking services, or would you rather bank with an extensive branch network with regular, evening and weekend hours?

Banking convenience The institution’s locations, hours, and proximity to home and work are important to consider so you can easily balance your banking with your busy schedule. ATM, Web and telephone services relationship? should also be readily available so the Saving monMaking a financial customer can access them conveniently, ey? Using a friend says Huiskens. “Think about what you checking acTo narrow your choices, you must will utilize. There may be a branch nearcount? Getting a loan? first assess your individual needs and by, but if you do most of your banking All of the identify your “banking personality” on the Web or over the telephone, the above? advises the American Banking As- place may not be that important” For sociation (ABA), which suggests those who like to have face-to-face in❒ Will you be buying a home the following questions to ask: teraction with their financial institution, or car, or mak• What is your goal in establish- “look at the people aspect, the service ing another ing a banking relationship? Sav- you expect. Are transactions handled eflarge purchase in ing money? Using a checking ficiently and without error? If an error the near future? account? Getting a loan? All of does occur is it resolved quickly and to You may need to investigate loan the above? your satisfaction?’ products offered. • How much money can Then take a close look at the fees asso-

ciated with the services you require, suggests the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Do you use ATMs frequently? Does the bank charge you for ATM transactions at other banks? How much? Compare that to another bank’s ATM charges. Many banks require minimum balances for free checking or savings accounts. The BBB suggests you look at the cost of the fees saved with a $1,500 minimum balance, and compare that with the interest you might earn on the same $1,500. If it was invested in a Certificate of Deposit (CD) or other savings instrument Which is more beneficial to you? Use the same comparison to assess the benefits or costs of interest-bearing checking accounts. Also, a bank may want you to keep all your accounts — including credit cards, mortgages and loans — at the same institution, often called “relationship banking,” says the BBB. Ask if you can combine balances to meet fee-free minimum balances or if there are other incentives, If no incentives are offered, you may have to keep your accounts at different banks to get the best deal. Perhaps most important in choosing a bank is the institution’s longevity and durability, says Huiskens. “There have been a lot of consolidations and transitions, and that may have changed that services offered. Look into its financial strength. How dues it manage through the tough times, and dues it stand by its customers?” Finally do a gut check: Allow yourself a moment to measure your comfort level with the bank, Huiskens says. “Do the employees at the bank know you? Do they try to identify your needs over the short term and. the king term, or are they simply marketing products to you?”


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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The Eye Surgery Education Council recommends asking surgeons these questions when considering LASIK:

The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

CHOOSE A LASIK SURGEON

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ired of your contacts and glasses? LASIK may be for you. While LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) ❒ How many LASlK doesn’t always result in procedures have you perfect vision, says the performed? Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC), it ❒ Do you provide a can allow people to list of patients I can more freely pursue contact? their hobbies, physical activities and careers. ❒ What’s your It’s a lifetime investment complication rate? — and one with many benefits. In order, to ❒  What laser do successfully free yourself from contacts and glasses, you use? Is it it’s important to know what to FDA-approved? expect, and to find an experienced surgeon whom you can trust with ❒  What preyour windows to the world. operative diagnostic What is LASIK? tests will you The Food and Drug Administration perform? says LASIK is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of ❒ May I the cornea ��� the clear covering observe a on the front of the eye that helps surgery? focus light to create images on your retina — by using an excimer laser. ❒  Are you During the surgery, a knife is used licensed to cut a flap in the cornea, revealing and board the middle section of the cornea certified? (stroma). Pulses from a computerAre you a controlled laser vaporize a portion member of the stroma, says the FDA, and of any the flap is replaced. The result is professional corrected vision. associations? The speed and development of the computers that run the lasers ❒ What’s your is a huge advantage today. Lasers re-treatment are much safer today than they rate? used to be.

Am I a candidate? Patients can be 18 or 80 years old, as long as they’re healthy. The ESEC says an ideal LASIK candidate is at least 18, with a stable contact or glasses prescription for at least two years; has sufficient corneal thickness; is affected by a common vision problem; and doesn’t suffer from a disease (vision-related or otherwise) that could complicate the surgery. As with any surgery, there are risks and complications to consider. Some patients can lose vision; develop glare, halos and/or double vision; be under- or overtreated, requiring additional treatment or the continued use of contacts or glasses; develop severe dry eye syndrome or have results diminish with age, according to the FDA. Finding a surgeon Become a critical consumer of health care in your search for an experienced, qualified surgeon. Do your homework. Research Web sites about LASIK, such as www.lasikinstitute.org, and schedule consultations with a few surgeons. Where you feel comfortable is where you should go. But there’s no substitute for experience: According to the ESEC, several studies have shown there’s a learning curve associated with the surgery. The more procedures a surgeon has done, the better he or she will beat it. A surgeon who’s done 30,000 surgeries, and has eight or nine years of experience is a lot better than getting a cheap fix. Check surgeon credentials — you’ll want to go to a certified, licensed ophthalmologist who’s had extensive training in refractive surgery. The surgeon should also have manufacturer certification on lasers, which should be FDA-approved. Contact the American

Board of Ophthalmology at www.abop. org, for information on certified surgeons in your area. Interview possible surgeons to see who suits your preferences: Do you prefer going to a strictly refractive surgery center or a full-service ophthalmic practice? Do you feel comfortable with the surgeon, and his or her staff ? Is the facility comfortable and clean? Does the surgeon offer patient references? What to expect Once you find a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, the first step is to schedule a preoperative evaluation, during which you’ll receive a comprehensive eye examination. You can’t wear soft contacts for two to seven days (depending on the type of lenses), or hard lenses for a minimum of four to eight weeks prior to the visit. The surgeon will perform a number of tests to determine if you’re a candidate. Many surgeons allow patients to observe the procedure from a viewing room to get a better idea of what to expect. The surgery lasts approximately 15 minutes and, on average, costs $4,000 for both eyes. Discomfort is minimal and you should be able to get back to normal life within a few days. And with the technology today, many walk out with 20/20 vision or better — and no contacts or glasses in sight. Remember that perfect vision isn’t guaranteed. About 56 percent of patients achieve results of 20/20 or better, and more than 90 percent achieve 20/40 or better according to the ESEC. You may still need to wear glasses or lenses for some activities such as reading. Ask your surgeon what results he or she plans to achieve with your eyes.


The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

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Stephen J. Farkas, M.D. • Jack M. Chapman Jr., M.D. Clayton G. Blehm, M.D. • Lori C. Lebow, M.D. S. Michael Veach, O.D.

A clear vision of the future A Gainesville G i ill Eye E Associates, A i At weare arededicated dedicated exceptional patient we to to exceptional patient care care and personalized treatment. With three of servand personalized treatment. Withdecades three decades ing Northeast Georgia, Georgia, Gainesville Eye Associates of serving Northeast Gainesville Eyeis the largest ophthalmology practice in the practice area. Associates is the largest opthamology in the area. Thanks to the latest advances in technology there Thanks to theoptions latest advances in technology are numerous to allow patients to leave there are numerous options to patients their glasses and contacts behind.allow The priority of to leave their glasses and contacts behind. our premier physicians and staff is helping youThe priorityyour of our premier physicians and staff is achieve personal best vision. helping you achieve your personal best vision. • Modern cataract surgery with premium lens implant options Freedom from reading glasses for ages 55 and up. • Specializing in custom LASIK with iris recognition Unprecedented precision and accuracy. • Botox cosmetic Non-surgical treatment with dramatic results for the reduction of frown lines. • Droopy eyelid repair Eyelid lift to make your eyes look more youthful. • Latisse New prescription treatment used to make longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. • Visian implantable contact lens For patients who are not a LASIK candidate. • 18 month interest free financing available We believe nancial barriers should not prevent you from reaching your vision goals.

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The eight recognized specialties are: ❒ Dental public health: Prevention and control of dental disease and promotion of community dental health ❒ Endodontics: Prevention and treatment of diseases of the root pulp and related structures (root canal therapy) ❒ Oral and maxillofacial pathology: Diagnosis of tumors, other diseases, and injuries of the head and neck ❒ Oral and maxillofacial surgery: Tooth extractions; surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth, jaw, and face ❒ Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: Diagnosis and correction of tooth irregularities and facial deformities ❒ Pediatric dentistry: Dental care of infants and children ❒ Periodontics: Treatment of diseases of the gums and related structures ❒ Prosthodontics: Treatment of oral dysfunction through the use of prosthetic devices such as crowns, bridges, and dentures

The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

CHOOSE A DENTIST

D

entists are licensed practitioners who hold either a doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) degree or the equivalent doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree. Becoming a dentist requires a minimum of two years of predental college work followed by four years of dental school. However, almost all students entering dental school have a baccalaureate degree. The first two years of dental school consist largely of basic and preclinical sciences. The last two years are spent primarily in dental practice under faculty supervision. State licensure is then acquired by passing national and state board examinations. Dentists who wish to specialize spend two or more years in advanced training. To become boardcertified they must then pass an examination administered by a specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association.

can often avoid costly repairs. The frequency of maintenance care (including calculus removal and x-ray examinations) should be based on an assessment of the frequency of cavity formation, the rate of calculus formation, the condition of the gums, and any other special problem. Once current treatment has been completed, the patient should be placed on a recall schedule and notified when the next checkup is due. High-quality dental work usually lasts a very long time, whereas low-quality work may fall out or decay out in a few years. The price of dental work is not the best way to judge quality; rather, pay attention to the time the dentist takes to do the work. High-quality dentistry cannot be done assembly-line style; it takes time and meticulous attention to detail. Before embarking on treatment, get a clear understanding at your own level of what is to be done and what the outcome might be. Consider treatment opPositive Signs tions, because there may be more than Good dentists take a personal interest one way to accomplish a goal. For exin patients and their health. They are ample, a removable bridge, fixed bridge, prevention-oriented but not faddists. or an implant may all be acceptable ways They use x-ray films and probably sug- to replace a missing tooth; but they have gest a full-mouth study unless suitable different advantages, disadvantages, and films are available from the patient's cost. previous dentist. A thorough dental examination in- Negative Signs cludes inspection of the teeth, gums, When the fees charged per service are tongue, lips, inside of the cheek, palate, low, the number of services performed and the skin of the face and neck, plus may be greater than needed, resulting in feeling the neck for abnormal lymph higher overall cost. nodes and enlargement of the thyroid A small percentage of dentists espouse gland. In adults a periodontal probe or engage in unscientific practices. You should be inserted between the gums should avoid any dentists who: and teeth to detect abnormally large •Automatically recommend replacecrevices. Good dentists also chart their ment of amalgam fillings or removal of findings in detail. teeth that have root canals Regular check-ups can detect problems •"Specialize" in treating headaches, early. Routine tooth cleanings, bite eval- backaches, myofascial pain, or TMJ uations, periodontal examinations, early problems interventions, and fluoride treatments •Allege that fluoridation is dangerous

•Diagnose neuralgia-inducing cavitational osteonecrosis (NICO) •Go beyond dentistry by diagnosing "heavy metal toxicity" or diseases other than those of the mouth, gums, teeth, and associated tissues. Other Tips It makes sense to become acquainted with a family dentist before an emergency arises. Suitable prospects can be identified by asking among friends, acquaintances, and local health professionals. Additional recommendations can be obtained from a local dental society or a dental school if one is located nearby. A good first step is to schedule a "get acquainted" visit to see whether your personalities and philosophies of health care are a match. Ask about fees and payment plans. Most dentists prefer patients to initiate discussion of fees because patients know more about their own financial situation. Where large fees are involved for major work, it is best to have a written understanding of what fees will be charged and when payment will be due. Consumers Research offers these questions for judging a dentist's skills after you have received treatment: •How does your bite feel? •Is any of the dental work irritating your gum? •Does the treated tooth look like a tooth? •Does dental floss or your tongue catch on the tooth? •Did the dentist take time to polish your fillings? •Do you feel pain when drinking hot or cold liquids? •Was any debris left in your mouth after treatment? •Does the dentist use a water spray to cool your teeth while drilling?


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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tips for sleeping soundly:

GET THE SLEEP YOU NEED

• Create a sleep routine and stick to it.

F

or many of us, getting a good •  Avoid alcohol and night’s sleep is the real caffeine after 5 p.m. American- Dream. A recent National Sleep • Make your bedroom Foundation (NSF) is appropriate for sleeping: Reduce noise by survey of more than using a tan or “white 1,500 people, ages 55 noise” generator, reto 84, found nearly place an uncomforthalf able mattress or bedding, use curtains to of the respondents block outside light from suffer from sleeplessseeping in through the ness. window or use a sleep The NSE, a Washingmask (available for ton D.C.-based non-profit about $4 at many retail outlets). organization focused on sleep research, education and • If you exercise, advocacy, also found Amerifinish your workout cans, ages 18 to 84, get an avwell before bedtime. erage of about seven hours of sleep each night. Those under 55 • See a sleep are likely to sleep less during the specialist if week, while older people have betyou suspect ter sleep routines and tend to wake you have a medical earlier. problem. It’s a myth you need less sleep as you age: Chronic pain, obesity and trouble walking — at any age — are linked to poor sleep. What’s normal sleep? Specialists say a good night’s sleep ranges from six to 10 hours. You may be sleep deprived if you doze off in meetings or have trouble concentrating. Some people simply can’t sleep; others are kept awake by television or work requirements, according to Thomas Roth, Ph.D., director of Henry Ford Health Systems Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit. He says

sleeplessness can be caused by biological problems, bad bedtime habits or the kind of lifestyle, such as shift work, that turns the body’s clock on its ear. Sleeplessness can be compared to drunk driving, Roth says. “They also interact. If you have a couple drinks, you’re impaired. If you have a couple of drinks and you’ve only slept four hours, you’re five times as impaired.” Sleep hygiene Healthy people can sleep better by making two simple changes: don’t oversleep and don’t nap. If you do nap, don’t nap dose to bedtime. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages near this time, either. You may also consider moving the television out of your bedroom. “It’s not a hard and fast rule,” Roth says. The question to answer is whether a few minutes of the tube will arouse and stimulate or soothe and relax you. Sleep disorders If you’ve made the lifestyle changes and are still falling asleep in mid-conversation, while reading or driving, see your doctor to rule out a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders range from something as transient as jet lag to chronic conditions. Insomnia is marked by a difficulty getting to sleep,staying asleep or waking up too early and being unable to fall back asleep. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) entails such discomfort the sleeper must move around during sleep. Narcolepsy is a condition in which the body’s messages about sleep and wakefulness are. misrouted in the central nervous system. It causes sleep at inappropriate times, and vivid, frightening dreams or longer-thannormal periods of sleep paralysis. With sleep apnea, the sleeper experi-

ences repeated spontaneous pauses in breathing, sometimes caused when the muscles at the back of the throat relax, partially blocking the airway. An estimated 18 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea. Putting disorders to bed Insomnia has been linked to depression, and is now treated with behavior modification and short-term medication. Roth says depression affects people with insomnia five times more than people who sleep well. Consult a specialist to get to the root of your sleeplessness. The specialist will conduct a physical examination and evaluate your medical history. Some clinics allow people with sleep apnea to be observed in a laboratory sleep environment for a comprehensive evaluation. At Henry Ford’s Multidisciplinary Sleep Apnea Clinic, physicians from different disciplines — sleep medicine, oral surgery and otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) — work together to develop a course of treatment for the patient, taking into account all possible treatment methods. Treatments vary and can include behavioral modifications, medical treatments and/or surgical procedures. Medication is the first line of defense against narcolepsy and RLS. Apnea treatment includes losing weight, surgically removing excess tissue, or using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. CPAP is activated when the sleeper stops breathing; it gently forces air into the nostrils, keeping airways open. Untreated, some disorders, such as sleep apnea, can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; in some cases they can even be life threatening. HTG


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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

ISSUES TO CONSIDER WHEN PREPAYING

❒ What happens to the money you've prepaid? States have different requirements for handling funds paid for prearranged funeral services. ❒ What happens to the interest income on money that is prepaid and put into a trust account? ❒ Are you protected if the firm you dealt with goes out of business? ❒ Can you cancel the contract and get a full refund if you change your mind? ❒ What happens if you move to a different area or die while away from home? Some prepaid funeral plans can be transferred, but often at an added cost.

W

hen a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral – all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost? Each year, Americans grapple with these and many other questions as they spend billions of dollars arranging more than 2 million funerals for family members and friends. The increasing trend toward pre-need planning – when people make funeral arrangements in advance – suggests that many consumers want to compare prices and services so that ultimately, the funeral reflects a wise and well-informed purchasing decision, as well as a meaningful one.

❒ What are you paying for? Are you buying only merchandise, like a casket and vault, or are you purchasing funeral services as well?

PRE-NEED To help relieve their families of some of these decisions, an increasing number of people are planning their own funerals, designating their funeral preferences, and sometimes even paying for them in advance. They see funeral planning as an extension of will and estate planning. PLANNING Thinking ahead can help you make informed and thoughtful decisions about funeral arrangements. It allows you to choose the specific items you want and need and compare the prices offered by several funeral providers. It also spares your survivors the stress of making these decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions. One other important consideration when planning a funeral preneed is where the remains will be buried. In the short time between the death and burial of a loved one, many family members find them-

PRE-PLAN A MEANINGFUL FUNERAL SERVICE

selves rushing to buy a cemetery plot or grave – often without careful thought or a personal visit to the site. That’s why it’s in the family’s best interest to buy cemetery plots before you need them. You may wish to make decisions about your arrangements in advance, but not pay for them in advance. Keep in mind that over time, prices may go up and businesses may close or change ownership. However, in some areas with increased competition, prices may go down over time. It’s a good idea to review and revise your decisions every few years, and to make sure your family is aware of your wishes. Put your preferences in writing, give copies to family members and your attorney, and keep a copy in a handy place. Don’t designate your preferences in your will, because a will often is not found or read until after the funeral. And avoid putting the only copy of your preferences in a safe deposit box. That’s because your family may have to make arrangements on a weekend or holiday, before the box can be opened. PREPAYING Millions of Americans have entered into contracts to prearrange their funerals and prepay some or all of the expenses involved. Laws of individual states govern the prepayment of funeral goods and services; various states have laws to help ensure that these advance payments are available to pay for the funeral products and services when they’re needed. But protections vary widely from state to state, and some state laws offer little or no effective protection. Some state laws require the funeral home or cemetery to place a percentage of the prepayment in a state-regulated trust or to purchase a life insurance policy with the death benefits assigned to the funeral home or cemetery. Be sure to tell your family about the plans you’ve made; let them know where the documents are filed. If your family isn’t aware that you’ve made plans, your

wishes may not be carried out. And if family members don’t know that you’ve prepaid the funeral costs, they could end up paying for the same arrangements. You may wish to consult an attorney on the best way to ensure that your wishes are followed. CHOOSINGAFUNERALPROVIDER Many people don’t realize that they are not legally required to use a funeral home to plan and conduct a funeral. However, because they have little experience with the many details and legal requirements involved and may be emotionally distraught when it’s time to make the plans, many people find the services of a professional funeral home to be a comfort. Consumers often select a funeral home or cemetery because it’s close to home, has served the family in the past, or has been recommended by someone they trust. But people who limit their search to just one funeral home may risk paying more than necessary for the funeral or narrowing their choice of goods and services. Comparison shopping need not be difficult, especially if it’s done before the need for a funeral arises. If you visit a funeral home in person, the funeral provider is required by law to give you a general price list itemizing the cost of the items and services the home offers. If the general price list does not include specific prices of caskets or outer burial containers, the law requires the funeral director to show you the price lists for those items before showing you the items. When comparing prices, be sure to consider the total cost of all the items together, in addition to the costs of single items. Every funeral home should have price lists that include all the items essential for the different types of arrangements it offers. Many funeral homes offer package funerals that may cost less than purchasing individual items or services. Offering package funerals is permitted by law, as long as an itemized price list also is provided. But only by using the price lists can you accurately compare total costs.


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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010

How-To Tips: ❒ Don’t talk about it: Do not discuss your case with strangers, insurance adjusters, other curious people or by telephone. Do not permit the tape recording of your voice by anyone — insurance adjusters, the person who caused your injury, or others — without first obtaining permission from your lawyer. ❒ Don’t sign anything: Do not sign your name to, or initial any papers, without first consulting with your lawyer.

L

ook under “attorneys” in any printed or online business directory or Yellow Pages and the choices are likely to be overwhelming. There are many different facets of the law, both criminal and civil, and many attorneys and legal firms specialize in handling particular kinds of cases.

You don’t necessarily want an expert in civil law handling a criminal case, nor are criminal attorneys necessarily the best bet for personal injury litigation.

❒ Contact your lawyer: Notify your lawyer and report any changes in your telephone number, address, and place of The decisions you make after a employment, personal injury can impact your condition or overall quality of life for years to the discovery come, both medically and finanof other injuries cially. Also, attempts by others to So what do you do if you need to obtain your know if you are injured in an acsignature, cident or suffering a work related initials or other information. illness? For example, if you were in Get the name, an automobile accident, what would address, and you do? telephone number of any First, do not discuss your case with such person, strangers, insurance adjusters or and advise your other curious people by telephone. lawyer of that Do not permit the tape recording information.

of your voice by anyone – insurance adjusters, the person who caused your injury, or others – without first obtaining permission from your lawyer.

SELECT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER Do not sign your name to, or initial, any papers without first consulting with your attorney. Do, however, notify your lawyer and report any changes in your telephone number, address, place of employment, medical condition or the discovery of other injuries. Also, report to your lawyer attempts by others to obtain your signature, initials or information. Get the name, address, and telephone number of any such person and advise your lawyer of that information. Do call your lawyer if you have any questions about your case or want to make an appointment, and see your doctor if you have pain or discomfort. Send all bills, receipts and canceled checks related to your injury to your lawyer promptly. Keep a journal for yourself, recording and copying this information. Tell your lawyer the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to your injury. When you’ve been injured, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. You may have unexpected medical expenses or may have had to miss work or not fulfill your obligations. If you are injured, however, you are not alone. Trained legal experts with experience in the field of personal injury law can help you to navigate through the often confusing maze of legal, insurance and medical issues that might arise as a result of your injury. In selecting a law firm to help you with your personal injury case, you should look for knowledgeable lawyers who have a proven track record in the field and who have credibility in the community. Make

sure that they will devote their time and efforts specifically to you and your case. If you have been injured as a result of negligence or malpractice, you may be eligible for collect significant financial compensation. Since most personal injury cases have statutes of limitations (the time in which you may legally commence a lawsuit), time is of the essence when seeking legal representation for a personal injury claim. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more likely it is that the firm will be able to represent you. It is essential that a lawyer get to work before the statute of limitations runs out. Also, facts need to be gathered, witnesses interviewed and statements obtained while the details of your injury are still fresh in mind. The more time that passes between accident and when you contact a lawyer, the more people will begin to forget what happened. In personal injury cases, it is important to have accurate descriptions of what happened and exactly how an injury occurred. The faster necessary information is compiled, the stronger a case will be. No one plans on being injured or suffering an illness related to their work environment, but if it happens to you, don’t try to handle complex legal and medical issues alone. A reputable law firm specializing in personal injury litigation can provide the advice and counsel you need. Don’t make short-term decisions that may have long-range ramifications for your quality of life without the advice of experts in the field.


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The Times How-To Guide Advertising Supplement | Sunday, August 15, 2010


How To