Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Birthday Goodie Bag Perfection

5 simple tips for the perfect birthday goodie bag

Birthday parties are an exciting time for all, from the party games to the presents and delicious cake, birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to come together and celebrate. There are so many ways to make a birthday party special, but why not kick it up a notch and make your next birthday party even more memorable?

Just because the party is over, doesn't mean the fun has to stop. Send your guests home with a fun and specially-crafted goodie bag. All it takes is a little creativity and some custom supplies to match your theme. Send guests home with the ultimate party favor. Your guests will thank you for the surprise and you can be sure they will be looking forward to your next party!

Keep it simple, that's the secret to the most successful goodie bag. Try these five tips for your next birthday party:

  1. All in the family. Party favors are more exciting when they involve the whole family. Include an activity that everyone will enjoy like a classic card game or a packet of flower seeds to plant as a family.
  2. Follow the theme. You've managed to successfully bring your child's birthday theme to life at the party, so why end it there? Pair a party treat with your themed decorations to give each partygoer a treasured memory in their bag. For example, Hershey birthday products, available at Wal-Mart retailers nationwide, come in a variety of fun colors to match your child's birthday bash. Whether it is pink for a princess theme or blue for an astronaut theme, you can choose from a variety of colored treats to send home with your guests.
  3. Keep contents age appropriate. Make sure to tailor goodie bag contents to match the age of attendees. While 5-year-old party guests might appreciate stickers and pencils, older children might prefer something more high-tech, like a gift certificate to a mobile app store. If you have a mix of ages among your party guests, choose items that can be enjoyed by all ages, such as craft kits.
  4. Include an engaging item. Rather than including trinkets that may get thrown out, choose items that your party guests can actually use. Bubbles are a crowd-favorite for all ages, and coloring books are great to have on hand for long road trips.
  5. Seal it with a "KISS." Make your guest feel appreciated by including a hand-written thank you note paired with some of the new HERSHEY'S KISSES Birthday Cake Candies. Nothing leaves you with the top hostess title quite like a well-crafted thank you and a sweet treat to take home.

To find all the supplies to make your next birthday party a hit, stop by the Hershey Birthday display in the Celebrations aisle at your local Wal-Mart and visit for recipes, crafts and other sweet birthday inspiration.

Courtesy of BPT

Friday, October 14, 2016

Heimlich Maneuver Anyone Can Learn

Learn the Heimlich Maneuver life-saving skill with these 4 steps

Choking is the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the Unites States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

While choking is more likely to occur in children 3 years of age or younger, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, choking emergencies can happen to anyone, at anytime.

Choking is unpredictable, but preventable with the right tools. Heimlich Heroes, a Deaconess initiative based in Cincinnati, Ohio, trains young people ages 7-14 how to recognize, respond to and prevent a choking emergency.

"We have trained more than 40,000 kids to date since our inception in 2013," says Program Manager Terri Huntington. "Our specially-designed 42-inch training dolls give kids hands-on practice to help cement the steps when performing the Heimlich Maneuver."

Here are four simple steps to properly administer the maneuver from the experts at Heimlich Heroes:

1. Make a fist with one hand.

2. With the palm-side of your hand facing up, place your hand at the belly button, and then roll your fist up. This places your fist correctly at the diaphragm.

3. Place your free hand around your fisted hand.

4. Begin thrusting inward and upward, like a "J" stroke. Repeat thrusts until the blockage is removed.

Heimlich Heroes' mission is to equip young people with the skills and knowledge to reduce preventable choking deaths. And that's what they did when Taylors Creek Elementary in Hinesville, Georgia, used their training program.

Putting new skills to work

In August 2015, fourth graders Mariyah Carter and Ryan Lippy went through the training program alongside 250 classmates. Several months after the training, Mariyah put her new skills to work.

"Ryan was choking. He started gagging and his face was turning red," Mariyah said in a statement made to personnel at Taylors Creek Elementary.

When Ryan began choking on a piece of bread at lunch, Mariyah asked him if he was choking, walked around the table and performed the Heimlich Maneuver on him.

"Mariyah saved my life," Ryan says. "I think all kids and adults should know how to do the Heimlich."

School nurse Melissa Lanier ran the program with help from the school's PE Staff: Coach Brennan, Coach Polk, and Coach Flowers. When news spread about Taylors Creek very own Heimlich Hero, Lanier took pride in her student.

"Aside from just being super proud, I was humbled by her actions," Lanier says. "She just blew me away and showed me how young people can change the world in the blink of an eye with the right tools."

Heimlich Heroes is now used as part of the school's ongoing curriculum to teach students preparedness for a choking emergency.

"We have had two teachers save someone using the Heimlich and one student save a friend," Lanier says. "Those three lives saved are why we will continue to train as long as we can. We all benefit."

The Heimlich Heroes program is accessible to anyone in the world through their training-in-a-box. It provides all the necessary materials, including a video lesson and training dolls for hands-on practice.

To expand the program's reach, Heimlich Heroes also has released a Spanish program translation.

To learn more about Heimlich Heroes or how to register your group for training, visit

Content courtesy of BPT

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Finding The Best Medical Alert Systems for You

Choosing the best medical alert systems for your needs depends on your activity level

Advances in modern medicine have helped retirees to stay healthy enough to go on living at home longer than ever before, and this means they also enjoy a higher level of activity. The only problem with elderly people continuing to living alone is that they are particularly at risk for accidents that include falling, a home invasion or a fire. Fortunately, acquiring one of the best medical alert systems for their circumstances increases the safety of an aging parent while living alone.

Several decades ago grandparents often moved in with one of their children rather than live alone, but both parents of modern families often work full-time. This means that Grandma or Grandpa would be spending several hours a day alone, so an accident could clearly present a serious health risk. Many families feel their best course of action is to purchase one of the best medical alert systems available, ensuring their loved one is able to call for help immediately if needed. The specific needs of a senior should be identified before the right medical alert system can be purchased.

Traditional In-Home Medical Alert Systems

When medical alert systems were originally developed, the systems were for in-home use only. While these systems have likely saved many seniors who needed help when an in-home emergency occurred, the initial expense and long-term contract was a concern for many. The best medical alert systems available today offer automatic fall protection from a small, wearable alert device. Some of these systems work through a traditional land line, but this limitation is not an issue for seniors with severe limited mobility. One important consideration is that automatic fall detection is essential for elderly people with severe hearing loss.

Portable and Mobile Medical Alert Systems

Modern medical alert systems use technology that allow the devices to operate on GPS technology, so more active seniors are protected wherever cellular service is available. Most of these alert devices are waterproof and offer fall detection with no monthly contract and minimal service charges. The best medical alert systems offer several layers of protection at home and away, and caretakers can choose who should be called in case of an emergency.

Seniors who wish to lead an active lifestyle with greater independence can do so without causing undue worry to their loved ones. Seniors and their families have the ability to choose the medical alert system best suited to their needs whatever their level of physical ability or living arrangements.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Call Button For Elderly At Home

Today, more elderly adults are choosing to age in place at home with the help of their family and friends.

elderly woman
While living alone offers seniors an opportunity to enjoy their independence, it also poses a few risks. Fortunately, a call button for elderly adults provides families with the security of knowing that their loved one can simply send an alert for help should they experience an emergency.

Risks for Seniors Living Alone

When a senior lives alone, their changing health needs and abilities put them at risk for emergencies. For example, a new medication could cause a senior to become dizzy and fall. Seniors are also more vulnerable to house fires if they struggle with memory loss. For seniors with lowered immune systems, even a small cold could lead to them developing serious symptoms that requires them to use their call button for elderly adult assistance.

Affordable Monitoring

call button worn by elderly woman gardening
Seniors often live on a fixed budget after retirement, which makes it important to find care options that are affordable. A call button for elderly adults only costs one dollar a day, and the benefits it provides are priceless. Just knowing that they have a way to instantly receive help in an emergency gives seniors the confidence they need to enjoy living independently. A senior can wear the small, portable call button at all times, and it does not interfere with their mobility. This means that a senior has access to this lifesaving alert system no matter where they go in their home, and it even works outdoors.

Increase Quality of Life

When a senior has a call button for elderly adults, they are able to bathe, prepare meals and complete household chores without worrying about what could happen in an emergency. Family caregivers can also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is protected from harm when they are alone. This eliminates the potential of developing caregiver guilt, and many families find that promoting independence for their elderly loved one improves their relationship.

Access to prompt emergency monitoring services is essential for seniors living alone since all it takes is just one fall to leave them vulnerable to long-term injuries. Fortunately, a call button for elderly adults grants immediate access to a lifesaving alert system that will ensure help arrives within minutes. By equipping seniors with this easy-to-use and comfortable device, families never have to worry about their loved one’s safety at home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Does Your Car Insurance Cover You, Or The Car?

Is Car Insurance Tied To the Car, Or The Driver?

So you lend your car to a friend, and he gets into an accident. Who's financially responsible -- you or the friend? 

What about a situation when you need to rent a car? Should you opt for the rental car insurance or will your existing insurance cover you in the event of an accident? Put another way, is your car insurance tied to you or your car? The answer: It depends.

Who's responsible if your friend crashes your car?

Let's tackle the first scenario when your friend crashes your car. Personal auto insurance is attached to the vehicle in this case. If your friend is found liable, you would likely be responsible and your car insurance would then apply.

Your friend's insurance would be secondary, and his provider would only step in if the damage exceeds your insurance limits. If your friend is uninsured, however, and the damage is extensive and involves other vehicles, the affected parties could look to you for property damage reimbursement and medical expenses. And note that even if your friend didn't have permission to use your car, this can be difficult to prove.

Do you need rental car insurance?

Now let's talk about the second scenario: renting a car. In this case, most personal auto insurance policies go with the driver. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to liability coverage, you may not need rental car insurance.

If you damage a rental car, the rental car company could charge you for loss of use since a vehicle in repair isn't rent-able. This may not be covered by your insurance policy. And if you need to rent a car while traveling for work, be sure to check your coverage with your employer.

Understanding the scope of your current coverage is key before lending out your car or booking a rental. Make sure you're familiar with your policy and coverage and get in touch if you have any questions.

- Guest post by Shawn Iverson of The Insurance Center in Ogden, Utah.  Learn more about Shawn and coverage options here

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Peek Inside Consumer Review Site

New Consumer Review Website Brings Clarity To Consumer Safety Products

It can be tough to find unbiased, objective reviews online when comparing products and services.  Breaking out from the pack is a new review site focused on consumer safety products including home alarms, medical alert systems, and identity theft:

Created by a group of technology, security, and testing experts, uses a combination of experts and web algorithms to deliver in-depth and unbiased reviews. Real people testing real products while also scouring the marketplace to bring you reviews on products and services to help keep you and your family safe, healthy, and secure at home.

We caught up with founder John Clinton to find out the inside story at and how Thrive! readers can use the site.

What is all about?

IHSG is a website dedicated to providing reputable, unbiased buying advice to keep you and your loved ones safe in your home. 

How are you different from other review sites?

We keep our editorial teams completely separate from our business units. Our rankings are never influenced by paid sponsorship deals.

How are your medical alert ratings determined?

Our medical alert ranking criteria are based on 5 key components that can be found here:

What are the top questions consumers ask when looking for a medical alert system?

Some of the most popular questions are: which medical alert system should I buy? How much does it cost? Will medicare/medicaid/insurance pay for it? and How does automatic fall detection work?

How important are reviews for consumers?

You won't find a lot of people that know too much about the medical alert industry. It's not as sexy as a new car or a the lastest smartphone. Reviews help a consumer narrow down their buying decisions so they can quickly find the best solution for their loved ones.

What are the top 3 requirements for consumers? (i.e. price, warranty, etc)

We have a list of 5 requirements that can be found here:

What is a medical alert feature many consumers overlook?

In our opinion, the most overlooked medical alert feature is if the equipment is water-resistant or 100% waterproof. Most senior-related falls happen in the bathroom and it's extremely important to have the button on (with you) while in the shower/bathtub. Having a 100% waterproof pendant is often overlooked by customers.

Why does a consumer need to check before making a purchase?

We're the most robust medical alert review site on the web.

Medical Care Alert is one of your top rated companies – how did they achieve this?

While Medical Care Alert easily achieved excellent ratings to be a certified company by us, they also stood out by doing some unique things that truly helps their customers: staff is based in U.S.A., customer service representatives are EMT-certified Life Safety Agents and will stay on the line with the caller until help arrives, company has an A+ rating with the BBB. This set of high standards made it an easy choice to place Medical Care Alert as a top rated company on our site.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Technology Tools for Seniors

Remember the days when the being tech savvy meant knowing how to program the VCR?

There’s no shortage of technology these days, but new technology can also be overwhelming and difficult to figure out how to use. However, technology can have a lot of benefits when you know how to use it. Check out these easy to use tools that are fun to use and have a lot of benefits.


Samsung Breezie Tablet
Everyone has a tablet these days. While Apple iPads are known for being designed to be intuitive, they can get confusing for people who aren’t used to Apple products. Samsung’s Breezie tablet is specifically designed for seniors. It has a simple interface that is easy to use and allows you to do all of the same things you can do on a normal Samsung Galaxy tablet. It can be customized to have the settings and apps you want and has a support service in case you have any questions. Tablets are a great way to enhance your brain fitness through apps, games, reading, and more.

By now you’ve probably seen people with some type of fitness tracker on their wrists in place of a watch. But these are for people who run a lot or always go to the gym right? Think again. A lot of fitness trackers can track everything from steps to sleep quality to heart rate (and they tell you the time like a normal watch would). You don’t have to run a race for these to be effective. These devices are meant to help you lead a healthier, more active life. Try one out and head over to an adult playground to see how you like it!

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)

Safety matters, but you also want to be able to maintain your independence. Personal Emergency Response Systems, or PERS, allow you to call for help whenever you need assistance (not just when you fall) wherever you are. It gives families peace of mind knowing you are safe. Some systems also have GPS tracking which is great when someone is out and about and loses their way or needs assistance away from the home.

The Medical Care Alert Home & Away system combines all of these features and is small and water resistant, allowing you to keep it with you wherever you go.

Video Games

Who said you can’t have as much fun as your grandchildren with video games? Many studies have found that people who play video games for mental exercise experience a boost in memory and brain function. If you have a Wii, you also get in some light physical activity as well. Grab a few games and practice and then challenge the grandkids!

Have some other types of technology you’ve found useful? Let us know in the comments!