Planning and Design of Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

Behavioral Healthcare Facilities: The Current State of Design

In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.

These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.

Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.

The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.

What has changed?

Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:

1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery

2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care

To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”

Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.

The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.

With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.

Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design

Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.

The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:

1. Right Sizing

2. Humanizing Materials and Color

3. Staff-Focused Amneties and Happiness

4. Security and Safety

5. Therapeutic Design Tenants

Right-sizing

Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for Uncategorized light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.

“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need Uncategorized light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand Uncategorized light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore

These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.

In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.

Humanizing Materials & Color

In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.

“Our a
pproach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.

Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.

Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness

While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.

In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.

Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.

Security & Safety

Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.

Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”

Therapeutic Design Tenants

As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.

The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.

Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:

1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body

2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff

3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness

Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.

The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.

Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.

The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:

1. Access to Nature

2. Provide Positive Distractions

3. Provide Social Support Spaces

4. Give a Sense of Control

5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress

Access to Nature

Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – Uncategorized light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).

These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of Uncategorized elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clea
r that interior designs which integrate Uncategorized elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Positive Distractions

These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.

Social Support Spaces

These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.

Sense of Control

In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and

optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.

As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.

Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress

Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.

Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.

In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.

Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.”

Conclusion and Additional Information

The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.

The ABT Sportsline Audi R8 Super Car Tuning Program

The Audi R8 has been one of the most anticipated and sought-after cars since it was first introduced by the German automaker during its tour of the world auto shows in 2006. Its sleek lines, and modern design paired with its incredible performance makes it a very competitive model in the exotic car marketplace, while its mid-engined layout and two factory engine options provide the perfect platform for a super car tuning program. The team at ABT Sportsline has developed a range of upgrades that are designed to build upon the factory platform and increase performance dramatically for the German sports car. The range of modifications includes engine tuning, chassis and suspension modifications, aerodynamics, and new wheel and tire options.

One of the most important parts of the super car tuning program by ABT Sportsline for the Audi R8 is the engine upgrade enhancements. Both the 4.2-liter V8 and 5.2-liter V10 engines can be upgraded with a host of modifications. Items that are individual but unique to each engine type include racing air intakes with carbon fiber construction, lightweight stainless steel exhaust systems with racing catalytic converters, sport air filters, new spark plugs, and also carbon fiber engine covers. New ECU software tunes that were engineered by ABT Sportsline optimize the ignition, timing, fuel injection delivery, and other parameters to produce a wider power band with a higher overall output of horsepower and torque. For customers that want an extreme super car tuning program for the Audi R8, the German aftermarket company can install a new supercharger system that will drastically increase power output.

In addition to the engine super car tuning program, the Audi R8 4.2 and R8 5.2 can be outfitted with a range of aerodynamic options that optimize downforce and drag. Upgrades range from new front spoilers and air intakes, side skirts, extended fenders, new rear bumpers and diffusers, and trunk lid spoilers. The increase in downforce helps to improve high-speed stability and handling for better performance on the race track.

There are many chassis options available from ABT Sportsline for both Audi R8 models. The factory suspension can be modified with new coilover setups with adjustable damping, camber, and ride height settings or sport springs for better handling dynamics. New brake systems can range from carbon ceramic to steel rotors with larger six- and four-piston calipers at the front and rear axles. New ABT Sportsline DR and CR lightweight alloy wheels with corresponding high performance tires can be installed for better grip and traction.

All of the new products for the Audi R8 super car tuning programs are currently available from ABT Sportsline and can be purchased as a package if customers choose to do so.

A Removal Company After Your Own Heart

It’s that time again-moving time! Headaches abound, screaming and frustration ensues. You aren’t sure if you’re going or coming, and if you are, chance is that you won’t be for long. You can be organized, clever, and have enough containers to stock Tupperware warehouses, but in most cases, that’s the exact opposite of your situation. In most cases, you’re surprised you finally make it once you get there.

Which is why hiring a removal company can come in handy. For example, say that you’re less than gifted at packing…maybe your Christmas gifts look pre-opened or maybe your containers just refuse to close and you’ve surrounded them with rolls of tape, praying they didn’t bust open during the trip. In most cases, a removal company will pack for you. Now, keep in mind that it will cost you. But it can also be rather beneficial and can help you to keep everything much more organized.

Don’t forget the actual moving services. This can help you so much! Especially if you have arthritis or a bad back or are getting up on age or are alone: you shouldn’t be moving things in these cases-it just isn’t safe and you have no business getting hurt.

But where do you choose a removal company? Surely there’s a way of picking one?

First of all, ask your friends. If they have any recommendations, keep them in mind. Compile a small list. Then, Google them.

Google may sound a bit tacky, but it’s actually a quick, easy way to search for reviews. Make sure that you are searching the right company (there are times when you go to check on a company and then discover that it’s a different company of the same kind) and check the reviews. You should be looking for:

1. Safety. If they aren’t safe, then you need to discard them. True, one employee might have made a mistake. It does happen. But, if an offense occurs over and over and over again, you need to completely toss that company out the window, so to speak.

2. Reputation. If you see more than ten bad reviews in a row, you need to seriously reconsider that project. It’s one of those cases where it goes to show-and especially if they have a recurring problem.

3. No thieves. If there are repeated cases where someone mentions workers pocketing items or searching through boxes (without instruction or if they aren’t packing), then you need to be wary or throw them away. You don’t have time to deal with removal companies that will steal your money and your valuables. This sort of falls under reputation, but, at the same time, you have to make sure that you put forth a bit of extra effort to watch out for things like this.

4. Scams. If you see ridiculously low prices or you notice many reviews that mention the company being a scam, avoid them. It doesn’t matter if they look like they have the best removal company reviews ever-they could be written by the scammers!

Hire the Right Tree Removal Company For the Job

The tree removal company offers services related to trees, including tree removal, tree trimming, stump removal, tree thinning and pruning. The companies provide services to residential as well as commercial properties. They comprise of experienced arborists or trained men who safely trim trees, saw them, remove their stump or prune them for you. They also carry out bush or shrubs clearing or clearing the mess left after a storm. Some of these companies also provide landscaping solutions. You could approach such companies in case of emergencies like storm also. Report sudden tree falls on your property immediately to these companies.

The important point is that companies that offer this kind of services ensure that work completion is safe and effective. Emphasis is on human life and taking care reduces the odds of an injury occurrence to any individual. In case there is a power cable down due to a tree fall, it is not easy to handle the situation. The power cable could be hazardous and it might be quite a task to remove it carefully, without causing a regrettable situation. The professionals working with such companies have intense training to handle situations like these.

The next priority is to save trees. Trees are very important for the environment. The professionals for any tree removal company are able to mitigate the loss of trees after a terrible storm. In case the storm continues, they know what to do to prevent a risky happening once again. It might not be possible for you to assess, which trees you could salvage without endangering the lives of people, animals and properties. You may not know which trees you should discard. Experts who are skilled in such services will advice you on how you can save trees that can grow even after the storm.

The arborists might advice you to support the tree, provide some kind of cabling, or support that would enhance the life of the tree. They try to provide alternatives to tree removal. Weak trees need to protection and intense care. If you provide adequate support, then it is possible to save them. Moreover, if you support the trees perfectly, then it is possible they will withstand a storm. This will save your property, home or cars from in case there is a dangerous storm coming.

The tree removal companies will advice you on how to prune the trees, to beautify them and make them stronger. They know which branches are dead, are broken or have diseases that you should eliminate. This will prevent unwanted growth of fungi on them. Thinning of trees is very essential to improve the landscaping. Trees that grow out of proportion do not fit well in the garden and look tacky. They need thorough trimming from different areas so that they look beautiful in the garden. There also could be situations where branches hanging from trees obstruct driveways or pathways.

You need to have the company remove them for you or to clear the pathways. Then at times, weak branches that are about to break off from the tree might just be hanging loose. This could be dangerous as it could fall on any one walking beneath, causing unfortunate accidents. The experienced companies provide all such services. As you can see, a tree removal company provides a host of services relating to trees. Its skilled manpower knows how to deal with different situations. You must hire company services for a proper and systematic handling of tree-related problems.

Healthy Diets Specifically For Teenagers

Individuals in their teens need more concern when planning their food habits. It’s critical that as a teenager that you get all the nutrients you need as you are still growing, however to prevent problems some time down the track, it can be necessary to consider doing something about it if you are overweight. Then what are the criteria for a correct food regime for adolescents? Read on for an overview…

It is always important that you eat healthy especially during your teenage years. Similar to adult diets though, losing weight can be accomplished via a calorie deficit. That is, compared to what you are taking in, you will need to burn more calories. Of course, this does not mean eating too little! Instead, it involves choosing healthful alternatives that include all the necessary nutrients.

The number of calories that can satisfy a teen’s requirements in the process of their rapid development is pretty much what they’ll continue to take in as they turn into adults: two thousand calories for girls and two thousand five hundred for boys.

Teenagers who would like to go for a slimming program are advised to abide by these basic considerations. Burning off more calories than you consume can not only be controlled by what you eat, but it can also be obtained by being more active and taking up some exercise. It is always advisable to put your safety first, so content yourself with a maximum loss of two pounds a week in order to avoid potential health concerns. By monitoring and changing your diet to eat healthy, reduce junk and picking up a little exercise, you hold the answers to losing weight smartly.

Rather than cutting out food, change your focus to choosing healthier food options. As opposed to drinking lots of soda, switch to water instead and you will be surprised just how many calories you have reduced! Have large amounts of fruit and veggies, as they are rich in nutrients.

Computer games are a lot of fun and can keep you hooked for hours at a time. Try to ensure that you have a break from these and do something active. It is recommended that you take part in school team sports or work out at some health club. These can be fun and you won’t even notice that you are helping yourself lose weight in the process. You should aim for 30 minutes of exercise, 4 times a week at least if you want to start seeing a change.

Quick fixes like severe limitation in the amount of food you consume are not suitable solutions for the majority of teenagers, unless their obesity is extreme. Since such fixes might negatively impact your health at a later time, stay away from them. You have a young body and the negative effects might not be visible when you first use them, but given a few years you might discover conditions caused by such choices.

Some eating habits are not suitable for adolescents. The Atkin’s low carb diet for example is one that teenagers should avoid. It cuts out a major food group and doesn’t support a healthy eating plan option whilst encouraging an increase of fat content to lose weight which could be damaging to a teenager.

The South Beach Diet is a finer choice because it doesn’t exclude low GI carbs, enabling you to have foods that belong to all groups.

For young people with ages between 8 and 16, a unique food regime was tailored with their needs in mind as a part of the Zone diet. It is made up of a special ratio of proteins, fats and carbs in its compilation of 3 meals and 2 snacks each day.

Even though the Zone diet and the South Beach diet are claimed to be appropriate for teens, experts prefer other alternatives. In order for the youth to develop properly, the right method is to eat healthy and work out regularly so that their bodies become balanced.

Here’s some good news for those with more dramatic slimming needs out there. Consider a teen diet camp. The advantage of such camps is that you’ll find people there who are trained to motivate and guide you through the dieting process that’s suitable for your goals. There you can be sure you will have to stick to proper nutrition and workouts throughout the duration of the camp. With camps located in the US, Canada and the UK (google it if you require another country), some camps claim that you will lose 4.25lbs per week. It is true that for most teens no more than two pounds per week is advised, but these places are different, since they provide specialized personnel to guide you.

In conclusion, while there might be various ways to reduce weight, the ones that teens will benefit from are those that rely on maintaining a healthy diet and workout. Once you change your diet approach to incorporate it into your lifestyle and throw in a little exercise to boot, you will never have to worry about gaining weight again once you have reached your target.

Cheap Car Insurance and Car Safety – Safe Speeds to Drive At

Most motorists, in fact anyone who travels in a car regularly, will be well aware that there are speed limits on most roads, in fact on every road although some roads do not actually have road signs on them showing speed limits. Different speed limits have been introduced on different roads in virtually all countries over the last few years, in large part as a safety measure in order to reduce road traffic accidents and fatalities result from such accidents.

Most motorists regard speed limits as something they observe not out of respect for the safety implications but more because of the risks involved if they get caught speeding. Some motorists will undoubtedly respect speed as an issue on the roads and will adjust their speed accordingly including regarding the proper observation of speed limits on most roads.

Speed as an issue is hugely important in road safety and correspondingly in relation to car insurance. When people are learning to drive they inevitably drive much more slowly and cautiously than they do once they had passed their test and gained some level of experience of driving on roads. Much of that driving slowly and cautiously is actually not very safe driving because it is done more out of fear than out of a respect for the need for a certain speed in relation to the road conditions being driven upon.

As people progress in terms of levels of driving experience, inevitably they tend to drive faster in large part because they feel safer within their vehicle and therefore more confident. It’s quite rare if not unusual that motorists will at a conscious level, decide what speed is relevant to the situation now driving.

Most countries will have speed limits for all roads that are being driven upon. Certain countries will have a top speed for their motorway or highway or interstate and will have much lower speeds for city and urban and metropolitan areas. Most major cities and towns will have much lower levels of speed around schools and areas where there are children present. The penalties for speeding in these areas and in other areas can be quite severe.

There will inevitably be a fine often have quite a significant and actual amount, they will normally be a number of penalty points on driving licence. There will sometimes be an automatic disqualification for a period of time depending on speed being done, and in some instances if there were fatalities a time in prison might be the punishment as well. In fact in certain states in America, in the south, as you enter the state that a large signs advising you that anyone caught speeding will face $1000 fine, loss of licence and possible imprisonment as a consequence.

The above is obviously intended as a deterrent, but is not something that should be tested. It is worth pointing out that quite often roads will not have signs up advising the speed limit, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one – there is. There will be a speed limit on every road driven upon, even minor ones, virtually wherever you live. It is quite often a national policy in a country not to display what is a normal speed limit for certain roads. It’s normally only where there is a difference in the speed limit either lower or upper that it is advised to make this by way of a road sign.

Starting a Mobile Auto Detailing Business – A Quick Discussion

If you are going to start a mobile auto detailing company, you need to find someone who is both fair and honest to buy the right equipment from, and perhaps someone who has been setting up detailing rigs for a couple of decades – basically someone who knows their stuff. You may not find someone setting up these units in California, in fact I can remember before I retired we got tired of all the over-regulation there. We had moved our training to Las Vegas and our truck bed and trailer manufacturing to AZ. Okay so, once you find a good vendor then you must decide what type of equipment to buy.

Will you get a skid unit for the back of a pick-up, try a van set up, or consider a trailer you can unhook at the end of the day? If you do get a trailer, should you get a single or dual axle trailer? Well, often dual axle trailers are better, even though sometimes they wear out tires quicker, but they are more stable and safe especially fully loaded in the rain. In the city trailers can curtail stopping distance, making an accident more likely. Remember if you are in a bigger city there is a lot of traffic and frequent need for quick stopping, and some of the dual trailers have trailer brakes or you can add them later.

Should you buy a new or used rig? Well, that’s a decent question. Yes, sometimes you can find deals on used rigs where people bail-out of the business for a corporate job, you’d be surprised that companies will try to hire away your best workers and even offer you jobs too, obviously if you can run a business, you’d make a great employee because you know how to get things done.

Now then, before you go and start your new business, especially if you are leaving a good paying job with benefits, you need to ask yourself if you can go without any income for a while, if not you; I might think twice if I were you. It’s going to be challenging at first, perhaps no real income for a while. Beware. Running a company is hard work, and nothing is guaranteed. Okay so, those are some important considerations prior to starting your own mobile auto detailing business. I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation, but more importantly, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Commercial Real Estate – Sales Success on Step at a Time

In commercial real estate agency, we tend to look at the end result of the sale or the lease with perhaps too much focus. There is a lot of work to be done as real estate agents before we get to the end result. The more effective we are with the stages leading through the sale, the easier the end result is to achieve.

To create more opportunity for yourself as a real estate agent, it is best to consider and refine at your actions one step at a time. Thinking and planning each step is a good way to go.

The real estate business is really quite simple. It does however require total dedication to the separate stages of the process in order to become the market leader. Consider these stages:

  1. A prospecting model that you use every day to generate new business opportunity with qualified prospects.
  2. Meeting lots of local people who could potentially have an interest in commercial real estate in selling, renting, occupying or owning.
  3. A presentation process that hits the mark every time with the people that you have qualified in and around the local area. Include facts about the local market and its prices, results, competition, time on market, and property solutions available.
  4. A listing model that identifies the right target market that the marketing campaign can be built around with great effect. If you do not know your target market you cannot sell or lease the property in a timely way.
  5. A marketing model that is reliable and direct to attract enquiry for the property quickly and effectively. Every property is unique so the marketing should also be specially designed for the property.
  6. An inspection process that is designed to the property and picks up the key features of the property for the buyers or tenants as the case may be. To do this you have to know the property well.
  7. A negotiation system that gets qualified prospects onto paper so you have something to negotiate with. Verbal offers are difficult to negotiate because you really have nothing to work with. Get the offer on paper before you do anything with it.
  8. Enforceable legal documentation for the deal should be accurately and quickly drawn up for the parties concerned. Slow documentation creation or completion will kill a deal faster than anything else.
  9. When the deal is signed up, it is never really finished; on that basis is pays to stay with the deal to the very end. Hurdles and obstacles will develop as you move through the time between documentation and settlement.

When you work in commercial real estate it is the levels and stages above that will bring the results for the salesperson. Refine and specialize your actions and processes in each of the stages. On that basis you will get more of the right results coming through.

How to Shop For a Woman

There’s a saying that goes, “Women are from Venus, men are from Mars;” this saying does hold true when shopping for a woman. It can get quite difficult and intimidating to buy gifts for a woman, like an anniversary present or a gift for Valentine’s Day. Many men get intimidated when shopping for women, because it’s quite difficult to know and understand what a woman really wants. There are times that even the most heartfelt and well-intentioned gifts can spark fits of the wrong emotions in a woman. Shopping for women doesn’t have to be a roller coaster of confusion; here’s a quick guide to help.

Think Like a Woman

To shop for a woman, you have to get in touch with your feminine side. Whether you’re shopping for your mother, your sister, your wife, or your girlfriend, you need to have a good idea of what she likes. Don’t go for obvious things like jewelry or flowers or teddy bears. Every woman has a unique personality, which means that what she really wants may fall under a stereotype or an idea you have of what women want.

Go for the Sale

Many women love sales. Sales are that time of the year where everything good comes cheap. The mall may be crowded during mall-wide promo sales, but the extra time and effort you spend looking for a gift is well worth the savings you get if you buy shop on a sale. Sales can be difficult to come by, and can get a bit stressful especially with a crowd of shoppers. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping at a sale.

* Holiday and clearance sales. The most expensive items usually have up to a 50% markdown during special sales, when stores and boutiques need to clear out inventory. Make sure that you’re not buying old stock, and that you’re getting the best value for money.

* Discounts. Shopping for women can get a bit expensive. Store owners know this, and try to offer discounts for gift items for women as much as they can. Discount goods need not be cheap; as long as the gift is of a good quality and has a reasonable price, then you can buy it.

* Follow the leader.

Duplicates and One-of-a-Kind Items

If you think that shopping for women won’t get any more difficult, think again. Some women prefer to have two or more items of the same variety, and some prefer to have a one-of-a-kind item that only they own. What makes it even more confusing is that many women have certain preferences on what items should be bought in duplicates, and what items should be one-of-a-kind. To make things easier for your shopping day, here’s a quick list of what can be duplicated, and what should be extra-special:

* Duplicates: perfumes, shoes, jewelry, make-up kits, skin care products

* One-of-a-kind items: clothes, bags, purses, watches, bracelets

Keep Up With Trends

While reading a fashion or women’s lifestyle magazine may sound unappealing and completely beneath your manhood, it’s always a good idea to do research before shopping. You don’t have to completely and thoroughly read the articles as much as you would a hotrod magazine or the latest video games; the least you could do is to look at pictures, memorize them, and look for similar items at the boutique or the department store. That way, you can keep your friend or significant other trendy and happy with the way she looks.

Shop, and Get It Over With

One of the reasons why men find it so difficult to shop for gifts is the very idea of shopping. For some men, a boutique or a store that specializes in women’s apparel and accessories is like a punishment for some unknown sin. While the place may seem a bit too feminine and fluffy for your own tastes, the only way you’re going to get a good gift for that special woman in your life is if you enter the store, have a good idea of what you’re going to buy, make shopping quick, and high-tail it out. Chances are, though, that you may enjoy the shopping experience more than you’re willing to admit to yourself.

Effective Bird Control For Healthcare Centers & Hospitals

It’s no secret that people who are already sick are more vulnerable to contracting diseases.And one potentially unhealthful source of disease is bird waste. As a hospital administrator, you are no doubt aware of the problems pest birds can cause. Many species of birds, including pigeons, starlings and sparrows, often gather to roost on a hospital’s roof, under parking structures, in receiving bays and loading docks, and around exterior employee lunch and snack areas. Without bird control, you soon have a noisy, smelly and potentially dangerous problem on your hands.

Keep in mind that a single pigeon can excrete up to 25 pounds of droppings per year. The bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites in bird droppings and nesting materials have been known to carry any of 60 diseases–including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, and toxoplasmosis, even the West Nile virus.

No less harmful is bird fecal dust carried into hospitals through rooftop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning ducts. Birds often build nests around air handling equipment, ducts, compressors and other vented pathways. Dried by wind and sun, this disease-infested dust gets sucked into HVAC systems. The fine particles can quickly spread diseases throughout a hospital or medical center.

Hospital administrators should also be aware of the negative visual impact bird droppings, nests and other debris can have on a hospital’s image. Finally, bird droppings can cause dangerous slip-and-fall hazards–a huge legal liability for any institution.

Today’s Bird Control Measures

Hospitals and healthcare centers are somewhat restricted in their use of pest bird control measures. They certainly can’t use firearms, noise cannons or fireworks. And poisons present too much of a liability. Besides, federal, state and local wildlife protection ordinances forbid the use of lethal or harmful bird control measures. Fortunately, there are several highly effective bird proofing solutions currently available that are safe, sane and humane.

Bird Spikes

The good thing about Bird Spikes is that they prevent many species of large birds from landing in the first place. Suddenly, rooftops, ledges, signs, light fixtures and other elevated areas are off-limits to birds. Bird Spikes come in rows of spiked strips. And you can get them in either rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate or high strength, durable stainless steel. The stainless steel spikes come in 3-, 5- and 8-inch widths; the plastic spikes (which cost slightly less) come in 3-, 5- and 7-inch widths. Plastic spikes are ideal for use near antenna arrays since they won’t interfere with radiated RF energy. You can get bird spikes in a non-reflective metal finish or a variety of colors–like white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and crystal clear. There’s also a no-gap spike that’s easy to affix to curved surfaces.

If your hospital or healthcare center is being invaded by large birds like gulls, try the Mega Spike. Its 7-inch spikes made of marine grade stainless steel will make sure these birds get the point and leave. There’s also the Gutter Spike, ideal for keeping large pest birds out of gutters or drains. Look for gutter spikes that have adjustable clamps at the base; these allow the spikes to be easily attached to the lip of a gutter.

Lastly, Birds Spikes look dangerous, but they are harmless to birds or people. They have even been approved by a number of humane groups worldwide–including the U.S. Humane Society and PICAS (Pigeon Control Advisory Service).

Sonic Bird Deterrents

Ideal for use in certain areas of a hospital or healthcare center, Typically, Sonic Bird Deterrents emit predator and distress calls that frighten pest birds but are basically just Uncategorized sounds that are not unpleasant to humans. Some highly versatile sonic systems emit distress and predator calls for as many as 22 types of birds. The sounds are cycled every few minutes to convince pest birds that they best leave or risk being attacked. Sonic Bird Deterrents are an ideal bird control solution for deterring pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many other birds.

Bird Netting

To keep pest birds out of certain specific areas–like eaves, overhangs, patios, and parking structure recesses–there’s Bird Netting. This barrier bird control measure is available in various cuts and mesh sizes. For large birds like pigeons or seagulls, use a 1-1/8-inch to 2-inch mesh size. Sparrows or starlings, on the other hand are best excluded using a 3/4-inch mesh net. The best bird repellent netting will meet ISO 1806 protocols, is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot- and water-proof. In areas where electrical conductivity or radio frequency interference is a problem, non-conductive netting is often used. Also note that netting now comes in various colors– including white, stone and black–to match a structure’s color scheme.

Electric-Tracks
A great spot deterrent for ledges, rooflines, eaves, signs and most flat or curved surfaces, Electric Tracks impart a mild electrical shock when birds land on their surface. This is an ideal bird control device for use against a wide variety of pest birds–including pigeons, sparrows, gulls, starlings and crows. The best electric tracks feature a low-profile design that makes them almost invisible. The strips of electrified track are usually powered by an AC charger or solar charger. One manufacturer uses copper knitted wire mesh in a continuous tube-in-tube stocking design. This gives the track greater conductivity, strength and reliability. The copper mesh is resists corrosion and will stand up to alkali and acidic environments.
Bird Slope
These angled, slippery PVC panels known simply as Bird Slope, won’t allow pest birds enough of a grip to land. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they just slide off like water off a goose. Bird slopes are easily installed, tucking unnoticeably into ledges, eaves, beams and other 90-degree areas pest birds often nest. The best panels are U.V. protected and sun and weather resistant. They deter a wide range of birds, including swallows, starlings, pigeons and seagulls. Some panels have a “snap-on” extender, which allows them to adapt more easily to wider ledges and coverage areas.
Bird Scare Deterrents

These inexpensive bird control devices make pest birds too nervous to nest. There’s Flash tape, an iridescent material that shimmers and crackles in the sunlight and breeze to scare pest birds. And Bird Scare Balloons, which, emblazoned with lifelike reflective predator eyes, bob and weave menacingly in the breeze to make birds really uncomfortable.