The many options available to Virginia AARP members

As an AARP member, there are more options available to you than simple car insurance or health insurance policies. In fact, you can purchase a variety of insurance premiums, for the many assets you own.

Car/RV -
With aarp insurance plans, you can insure your vehicle through the Hartford. Not only can you purchase a traditional auto insurance policy, you can insure your valuable antique car as well. RV coverage is available as well. If you drive often, or infrequently, being an aarp member will result in great savings through the Hartford.

Protect your home –
Home owners can also cover their home, as can condo owners. Renter and homeowner policies are available to customers. You can also purchase flood insurance, if you live in regions where high flood and heavy rain conditions are a problem. With the right policy you can protect your home or a property you rent, and the assets in that home.

Health –
Individual health coverage policy options, medicare and medicaid plans are all available to aarp members as well. A fee for service policy is one of the available coverage options. It pays for a portion of the medical service you are receiving. With these policies you can go to any doctor or policy, but pay a higher monthly premium. Managed care policies, where you are part of a “network” of doctors and hospitals are also available. Association policies are also available. For those who belong to different associations, professional communities, or religious organizations, these types of policies can provide you with lower out of pocket insurance policies, for every visit you have to the doctor.  The organization no longer has LTC insurance discounts but there are other good options for that at places like www.comparelongtermcare.org which just did an expose on the AARP long term care insurance plans.

Save with more –
As a current member of aarp and a craftsman, I own a couple different aarp insurance plans. Our family vehicle is covered, for a much lower monthly premium than we previously paid through an independent insurer. Not only do I pay less for protection, my car is fully covered, including tow and roadside assistance, along with professional maintenance and repair discounts. Additionally, I have a health insurance premium through aarp, which allows me to visit any doctor, for a low co pay each visit.

By bundling policies, you can save on the many different types of coverage offered. As an aarp member you receive discounted rates. You can further save on the price per premium, by simply purchasing more than one insurance policy through the network, and bundling different types of insurance policies.

The World of Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts Tree Logo, printed

For many people, arts and crafts are completely individual in nature. Members of your family might have different arts and crafts interests and these differ from each other. From example, your daughter might be into crocheting while your son might be into making decorative pens, and your wife might be into scrapbooks. It’s too easy to think that arts and crafts are purely personal and individualized. While it’s true that different members of your family may have different interests, the fact that they are interested in specific arts and crafts and hobbies give every member of the family a wide range of benefits. These benefits apply to your whole family as a whole instead of just individuals. Keep the following discussion in mind when considering adopting different arts and crafts for your family.

Gives you something positive and unifying to talk about

When your family is gathered around the dining table, there are a wide variety of things you can talk about. Your kids can talk about gossip at school. You can gripe about work. Your wife or husband can gossip. This kind of talk is actually kind of empty. If anything, this kind of talk doesn’t really build up your family and reduces everyone into petty gossips. If you want to talk about stuff that actually encourages family members and reminds them that you all care about what you’re doing, talk about your different arts and crafts activities. Not only does doing this bring home the message that you care about each other loud and clear, this also gives you an opportunity to encourage each other. This is especially important for kids. They need to know they are valued. They need to know that what they’re doing, their successes, and their challenges are important to you. Simply talking about their arts and crafts activities can achieve these objectives.

Gives you a common passion

It is too easy for the typical American family to be pulled in many different directions. It truly is. You’re concerned about stuff happening with your career or business, your kids might be too caught up about drama in school, and your spouse is preoccupied with something else. This can be quite alienating. You are all sharing the same space and living under the same roof, but you’re occupying different emotional spaces. It is too easy to fall in between the cracks when your interests are so distant and disjointed from each other. When your family adopts different arts and crafts activities, you share the same general interest and this gives you a common passion you can talk about.

Helps your family bond

When your family members work on their different arts and crafts, this is a great opportunity for parents to bond with children. One of the biggest concerns women have against their fathers is that the most important male figures in their lives are emotionally distant. Your family can avoid this problem by spending time together doing your arts and crafts together. There will be a lot of questions, comments, suggestions, and most, importantly, family presence together. You don’t even need to say anything. By simply being physically, emotionally, and psychologically present you can do wonders to your children’s self-esteem, self-conception, and self-confidence. Parents also benefit from the respect, love, and warmth of their children.

Helps build respect in the family

One of the biggest threats to the modern American family is the fact that parents are becoming so caught up in their daily routines and careers that they have compartmentalized their family roles and family life. It is too easy to think of family time as ‘something you do’ at certain days of the week or certain time frames of the day. This erodes respect. This creates an unnecessary divide between kids and parents. When your family adopts an arts and crafts program, the mere fact that the parents are spending time with their kids and guiding them goes a long way in helping establish trust and respect. Parents get an opportunity to show that they love and care for their kids and give instructions so their kids can benefit. Compare this with merely issuing orders in a very distant, hurried, and detached way. There’s no comparison.

Keeps kids away from gadgets

If your family decides that a certain time frame, let’s say Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 PM are arts and crafts nights, these are hours your kids won’t have to spend in the company of their electronic gadgets. Your kids are encouraged to socialize. Your kids get an opportunity to engage with each other and all other members of the family in the moment. This goes a long way in strengthening their social skills as well as your own skills in engaging and connecting with your children. Sadly, mobile devices and other gadgets can make children emotionally aloof, distant, and can even foster conditions like ADHD. By engaging your kids with arts and crafts they are interested in, you train them to focus on a task and keep going until that task is done. This is quite a mindset to learn in an age when people expect instant results in all aspects of their lives.

Make no mistake about it, arts and crafts can significantly impact your family’s well being, internal cohesion, and family bonds. Make it a point to promote arts and crafts to all members of your family.