Category Archives: ORGANIC HEALTH & HOME

4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

by Guest Blogger, Caitlin E.

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Your parents took care of you when you were a kid. They paid for your education and food. They raised you to be a good person. And while they didn’t do that expecting you to return the favor, there might come a day when they’ll need you to step in.

Of course, if that day comes, it will mean that you have to make some changes in your lifestyle, regarding your career, personal life, and finances. No one expects you to give up on your life to care for your parents. But you will need to learn to balance your responsibilities in a way that enables you to continue making an income, caring for your family, and giving your parents all the attention they need.

Because you should not be in this alone, here are a few tips that will help you get through this situation.

See if They Need Help and How Much Help They Need

It’s always hard to admit that our parents, who we considered to be our superheroes, are ill and powerless. Facing the facts early on will help you give them the best care they need. The best thing you can do is to talk to your parents first because they need to be involved in every decision that concerns them.

Then, search for the signs they need help:

  • They’re struggling with household chores.
  • Their personal hygiene is not as it used to be.
  • They’re not eating regularly.
  • They struggle to move around the house and neighborhood.
  • They’re losing hand-eye coordination, which prevents them from driving safely, using tools, and other necessities.
  • They’re losing track of their medication.

Once you determine the condition of your parents, you will know the degree of care they require. For example, they might only need you to help with paying the bills or doing household chores. In more severe cases, they will require assistance with getting dressed and moving around.

Talk to Your Employer

Trying to juggle work and the new responsibilities might be the first to come to mind when you find yourself in a situation like this. However, in most cases, this feat results in dropping one juggling ball. Your productivity will definitely suffer, and your boss will notice it. It’s better for you to tell him/her before this happens.

Be honest. Try to point out your value to the company and explain that you will still do your best to contribute. You can ask to work from home for some time or take family days. Your company might even offer some benefits you can use.

Examine the Financial Situation and Make Plans

The financial aspect of being a caregiver is not to be neglected, as it can take quite a toll on both your and your parents’ budget.

First, you need to asses your current financial situation and see if there is room for savings. As a family caregiver, you might have a chance for a tax deduction, so check that out as well.

Later, you should do the same with your parents’ retirement income, but this is a touch topic. You’ll need to assure your parents that you have their best interest at heart. If they haven’t applied for social security yet, help them do it, and look for any tax and other reliefs that can help. For example, being a member of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides various services, such as insurance coverage and discounts for certain medical equipment.

Consider downsizing their living arrangements as a way of cutting unnecessary expenses and adding to their savings. Of course, it is imperative to plan for the long term and create a budget that will cover the costs of future care.

Don’t Do Everything on Your Own

Taking on all the responsibilities alone can only cause you to burn out faster and damage your own health, which will result in a decreased ability to take care of your parents.

There’s no shame in asking a sibling or a relative for help when it comes to taking your parents to the doctor’s or cleaning the house. If your kids are teenagers or older, they can also help around the house or just be good company to their grandparents. Ask the neighbors to check up on your parents every once in a while and let you know about their condition. This way, the burden will feel lighter, and you’ll be able to balance your life more successfully.

Finally, don’t neglect your health and personal needs. You are of no use to your parents if you’re miserable or sick. Try to find the time to rest, sleep, and socialize, and when you come to their house with a smile on your face, they will feel much better too.

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Giving Your Kids Choice When It Comes to Exercise

Giving Your Kids Choice When It Comes to Exercise

Getting your kids to engage with exercise can be relatively difficult. Sure, many children will run around outside for hours of their own accord. But you want their fitness routine to be varied and incorporate all sorts of exercises that will keep them well-rounded and fit on all levels. So, how can you achieve this?

Well, the first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure your kids are actively enjoying exercise. If it seems like a chore, you’ll have an ongoing problem with essentially forcing them to do something they don’t want to – and this can end in tears and tantrums. The easiest way to find the best form of exercise for your kids is to ask them what interests them.

Many of us make the mistake of assuming what kind of sports our kids will want to try their hand at and we’ll push them to participate in these traditional activities. But as the infographic by Cisco Athletic below shows, many popular sports – like football and soccer – are actually decreasing in popularity. Activities like lacrosse, track and field, and gymnastics are on the rise – so what many kids are enjoying is changing!

So, give your little ones some choice. Take a look at the data and see what the different trends are. Make some suggestions based on what’s popular with your kids’ peers and they may be a lot more likely to have a go at some alternative sports and exercises!


Infographic Design By Cisco Athletic

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Helpful Office Cleaning Tips

Helpful Office Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning is a job which you either love or you hate, there is rarely an in between. But it is something which we all have to do now and again to maintain a hygienic home and workplace. When it comes to maintaining a clean office, it is important for us to manage time in the best possible way and to also find ways to make the process easier. This is why today we have some handy tips to help you maintain a clean and tidy office this year. 

Hire a professional

The first thing you can do, which is the easiest way to make cleaning simple as a business, is to hire a cleaner. If you have the money in your budget for it, why not hire a company such as www.crusade.com.sg    to clean your office for you? The good thing about hiring a cleaner is that you have the piece of mind of knowing that the cleaner knows what they are doing and they will save you spending too much time on it yourself. 

Cleaning the windows 

One of the more challenging jobs to do when it comes to cleaning the office is cleaning the exterior windows. If you have a multi-story office, it can be incredibly difficult for you to wash the exterior windows of the top floors. However, instead of forking out for a window cleaner, buy a magnetic window cleaner instead. This consists of two pads, one of which you place on the inside and one on the outside, and it will allow you to clean the inside and outside at the same time!

Organise your paperwork

One of the worst things you can do for yourself if you want to make it easier to clean your office is having piles of paper everywhere. It is important to organise your paperwork not only for productivity in the office, but also for the time it takes you to clean. Make things easier for yourself by clearing out your paperwork, buying some box folders, and placing them on a shelf out of the way of your desk. 

Have a kitchen rota 

One of the worst parts of the office to try and keep clean has to be the kitchen, and the kitchen is something which can be a messy area. This is why it is important for you to take the time and effort to create a rota which involves everyone in the office, including managers. It is important for everyone to feel responsible for the kitchen because this will ensure that the office is less likely to become dirty in the first place and it will also ensure that the cleaning of the kitchen is divided up fairly between everyone. 

Install wooden floors

One of the best changes you can make to the office this year is install wooden floors instead of a carpet. It will be much easier to maintain a clean wooden floor and you will be able to largely avoid using a vacuum cleaner and disrupting the flow of work for everyone in the office.

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Design The Perfect Patio Step By Step

Design The Perfect Patio Step By Step

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During the summer your garden can be one of the most fun place to be in the house. Sitting out in the summer sun and being able to relax with family is a fun way to spend the weekend and can allow us to get a great tan too. 

The most important part of the garden which you will want to decorate and spruce up this summer is the patio, and there are some really great methods for getting the best out of this space. Today we are going to have a look at some simple tips and tricks for decorating the patio and making it feel modern and fun for the summer. 

Play with paving

The first step to making a wonderful patio space this year is to nail a stunning paving design. The paving of the patio is the main design feature and it will have a huge impact on the style and atmosphere your space shows. You can hire a paving contractor and see what kind of designs they have in their portfolio to help you decide on the best design for you this year. 

Create zones 

If you are planning to create a space which spans the whole of the garden, you will want to split it into smaller zones which have their own purpose and theme. For example, if you wanted to have a patio for hosting garden parties, you can have an outdoor seating area, an area shaded with a pergola, and you can also think about having a herb garden in the middle of the paving which will add some colour to your patio as well as help to vamp up any meals you cook up on the grill. 

Pay Attention To Lighting

The patio area is likely going to be a part of the garden which you use in the evening as well as the day. If you plan to host parties and enjoy those summer nights, you will want to make the most of the lighting in the space to create a warm and magical space. For this, you can buy some solar powered fairy lights to hang as well as some solar powered lamps to give soft and warm lighting when the sun goes down. 

Add colour

 
The final touch to any great outdoor design is your plants, and adding a couple of large pots with flowers will make a huge difference to the space and the design you can create. There are lots of stunning plants you can bring into your patio space which will be fairly low maintenance and will bring you stunning flowers all summer long. For example, verbena provide you with stunning purple flowers for months and will attract bees to the garden, and you can leave them without pruning all summer long. There are also large shrubs such as hydrangeas or bulbs such as gladioli which can bring some beautiful colour to your patio.

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Caring For Yourself As A Carer

Caring For Yourself As A Carer

Image Source. Licensed under Creative Commons.

When providing care for somebody else, it’s very easy to neglect your own care. Here are several tips for looking after yourself when taking on the care of someone else.

Know what you’re financially entitled to

Caring for someone else can be financially difficult – especially if you have to give up work to provide the care that they need.

You should do some research into government benefits to ensure that you and the person you’re caring for are both getting the financial support that you need. It’s possible that you may be entitled to a carer’s allowance, which could help you to fund yourself. There may also be disability-related home improvements such as stairlifts and grab bars that you can get grants for so that you don’t have to dig into your own pockets.

Alternatively, you may be able to get help from local charities if you are struggling financially. There are charities out there that are aimed specifically at assisting carers with the financial support they need.

Share the care with someone else

Getting a helping hand could give you the break you need so that you don’t feel you’re constantly on call. This could be time to relax at home or time to go out and meet friends or partake in social activities.

Home hospice care could be an option to look into. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, it will give you the break you need. A lot of carers may hire help in the mornings and evenings when it comes to washing and dressing loved ones. You could also consider a couple days of respite care if you need a couple days’ break.

Don’t forget to also consider help from friends and family. Even if they don’t feel comfortable helping with the physical care, they may be able to help with other jobs around the home which could help to lift the burden.

Don’t neglect your own health

A lot of carers can also ignore health problems of their own, which can cause these problems to become serious. If you get ill, it could not only affect you, but your ability to care for loved one. For this reason, looking after your health should be a priority.

Make sure you’re seeing the doctor when you have a health concern and watch out for signs of health problems. Chronic stress can often trigger health problems ranging from muscle cramps to heart disease – which is why sharing out the care is so important so that you can relax. Make sure that you’re also getting enough sleep and eating healthily. Above all, try to laugh and have fun. 

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Always Invest In These 4 Areas When Renovating Your Home

Always Invest In These 4 Areas When Renovating Your Home

When it comes to renovating your home, cost will always be an issue. After all, unless you are working with an unlimited budget, you will always have to be careful that the amount you spend doesn’t get out of hand. However, it is crucial to remember that things that are cheap now aren’t always the best option in the long run. In fact, there are also things you should always invest in, no matter how small your budget. Read on to find out more. 

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Roof 

It makes sense to invest in a good roof when renovating your home. After all, it needs to be as sturdy as possible, so it is not a safety risk for those living inside the property. 

Additionally, poorly installed roofs often leak, and this can be a real nightmare for any homeowner. The reason being that when water comes in, it can easily damage your possessions, as well as the structure and decoration of the home. Something that will cost you a fortune to repair.

To that end, ensuring your roof is secure, watertight, and installed by quality contractors is something you always need to invest in when renovating a home. 

Floors 

Next, when it comes to renovating, flooring isn’t something that you should ever try and cut corners on to save money. Yes, it can be tempting as a cheap lino option can seem a smart way to save a few bucks. However, what you need to remember is the floor is the part of the room that will get more use and wear than any other. 

What that means is it’s well worth your money and time to install a more heavy-duty solution. The good news here is that you can now get residential epoxy flooring in some pretty luxe finishes. Something that will allow you to achieve an opulent, but incredibly hard-wearing look that should last for years. 

Windows 

Windows are nearly always expensive, and it’s not just the frames you have to pay for, but the glass and fitting as well. However, scrimping on the cost of the windows for your home renovation can be disastrous. The reason being that poorly fitting or performing windows will let out too much heat. Therefore you will have to spend more money on heating and cooling your home daily to ensure that it is livable. 

Of course, this isn’t just bad for you pocket long term, but terrible for the environment as well. Something that means investing in the best quality and fitting for your windows in the first place will save you money and energy in the long run.

Worktops 

Finally, if you are renovating a kitchen or bathroom, or even a utility room, you will likely want to install worktops. You will, of course, find some super cheap MDF options, that are coated with plastic that seem like a great idea. 

Sadly, they rarely last over the long term and can be hard to maintain and keep clean as well. Something that means worktops made from stone or solid wood are often a much smarter investment choice for your renovation. 

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How To Create The Rustic Chic Look In Your Home

How To Create The Rustic Chic Look In Your Home

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If you want a refreshing new look for your home, that offers character and charm at an affordable price, then why not consider the rustic look? 

Giving your home a rustic makeover is all about finding old and interesting items and putting them to a new purpose. Often it can involve upcycling, and it is a look that celebrates imperfection. 

Often, when looking for items for your home, you will find them when you least expect them. So having a long-term plan to create the look you want is critical. You can scout car-boot sales, yard-sales, second-hand stores, antique shops, charity stores or reclamation yards. If you are crafty, you can modify pieces that you find to help them fit the exact style, or even merge parts of one item and another.

Look for natural colours such as greens, tan or brown. When looking at the wood finish, look at darker woods such as oak and mahogany. Don’t worry if an item is slightly damaged, or is scruffy; this adds to the character of the piece. Look for things that look as though they have a story to tell. 

Buying Readymade

One shortcut to the rustic look is buying readymade pieces. Anteks Home Furnishings stock a range of beautiful rustic pieces that will create the desired look. With many items in one store, you can create an aesthetic that runs through your whole house.

This is particularly useful if you don’t have the time to find items, or do not feel confident in creating anything yourself. 

Buying Second Hand

Often when you look at a second-hand item, you don’t immediately see its potential. Maybe the item isn’t old enough or has a more modern look. 

With sandpaper and chalk paint, you can create some fascinating looks by sanding back the wood and painting over it. You’ll get some effortless bohemian looks going on very quickly. 

Pallets

Old pallets are often discarded around industrial units or warehouses. These can make unique items of furniture with minimal effort. You can use them for creating sofas, or futons. Make sure and smooth the wood down before using it, as pallets can often give you splinters, and you won’t want that from your sofa!

Wicker Baskets

Nothing says rustic home more than anything made of wicker. Wicker baskets can be great for storing all of your things away and creating a tidier home. They also really look the part too. 

Having a mixed selection of different sizes, colours and shaped baskets can make everything look a lot more interesting. 

Rustic Decor

When it comes to decorating your home, look for ways to bring out any exposed brickwork. If you have an older property, this will be great as there are probably lots of original design features that have been covered over during the years. You might find that under your carpets you have beautiful tiles, or behind plasterboard, there are interesting beams. Replacing door handles for iron can really add character to quite a plain door. 

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Three Essential Considerations Before You Buy a Fixer Upper

Three Essential Considerations Before You Buy a Fixer Upper

With housing prices through the roof these days, it’s not easy to get a foothold on the property ladder. Many enterprising young buyers are grabbing what they can afford and putting the work in themselves.

Whether your goal is to create your dream home or flip your property for a profit, renovating a fixer-upper isn’t as easy as you might hope. Before you put in an offer on a house that needs some love, be sure to consider these important factors that could determine the success of your renovation project

Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash

Are You a Happy Camper?

When you first lay eyes on your fixer-upper, you may be blown away by its potential. Before you buy, it’s worth asking yourself how long you’d be prepared to live in this house without the planned renovations taking place. If you’re buying a property that needs help, you may not have the ready cash to mend and upgrade everything right away. If you’re planning to do the work in your spare time, you’re unlikely to rival a builder for speed, no matter how excellent your DIY skills are. Some projects will be more urgent than others. While you may be able to live with those outdated bathroom tiles, you might want to call the roofing company right away to deal with that leak above your bed. If you’re not prepared to rough-it indefinitely, it makes sense to have a clear work plan and budget laid out before you sign that dotted line. 

Your Skills

When you imagine saving loads of cash by picking up a fixer-upper on the cheap, remember that the labour required to do the work is going to cost you one way or another. If you have enviable DIY skills and experience, you may be able to get the bulk of the work done on your own, but remember: time is money. Is affixing skirting boards the best use of your time, or are you losing income by devoting hours to this project? Likewise, the cost of hiring professionals should be incorporated into your overall budget. If you buy a fixer-upper without factoring in labour costs, you may end up shelling out more than you would have to buy a house that has already been renovated to a high standard. 

Photo by Nikolay Draganov from Pexels

Location (Location, Location)

That old adage still holds true: while you stand to make a good profit on a fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighbourhood, sinking money into a renovation project in the wrong location could be throwing good money after bad. You can renovate until you’re blue in the face—install crystal chandeliers and a basketball hoop—but you can’t move your house any closer to the school you’d like your child to attend, or any further from the noisy train station. It’s really easy to get swept up in enthusiasm when a house ticks most of your boxes except for the area it’s in. If you’re infatuated with a fixer-upper of your dreams in the wrong sort of place, go home and take a cold shower and tell yourself: no. Another gem in a perfect location will come along. 

Whether this is your first home or you’re buying to let, give some thought to these important considerations before you invest your money, time and DIY magic in a fixer-upper. 

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Do You Exercise Too Much?

Do You Exercise Too Much?

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It has a vast range of benefits from helping you to maintain a healthy weight, to boosting your immunity and fighting off disease. Regular exercise can improve your mental health, increase your circulation, improve your social life and mood, and help you to sleep. Your skin might be brighter following exercise, your muscles will be stronger, and your overall fitness will be improved. Even better, there’s no right way of doing it. Some people enjoy running, others hate it and would prefer to do an hour in the gym. Some people struggle to make time to exercise and so focus on YouTube workouts or fitting more walking into their day to day life. But, however you choose to exercise, have you ever considered that you might be doing too much?

Many people have the opposite problem, they find it hard to make the time to exercise, and they have trouble staying motivated long term. But, not everyone. Some of us are going to the gym too often, pushing ourselves too hard. Exercising too much could damage your heart, your muscles, your mind, and even leave you with a frightening exercise addiction. Too much exercise can mean that after sustaining an injury and seeking help from a personal injury lawyer, you struggle to get back to normal and fully recover. 

Do You Exercise Every Day?

Exercising every day can seem like a great idea. You’ll burn more calories and see faster results, right? Well, maybe. It really depends on what you are doing. If you are hitting the gym and working out at an intense level, you should have a day off between workouts to give your muscles the chance to repair and strengthen. If you don’t want to take entire days off, use rest days to practice yoga or go for a long walk.

Do You Ache All of the Time?

It’s normal for your muscles to ache after a tough workout, it’s good even. But, you shouldn’t feel like this all of the time. If you constantly hurt, even following days off, then you might be pushing yourself too hard. 

Have the Results Stopped Coming?

Have you reached the point where you are in the gym everyday but seeing no results? Has your progress plateaued? When this happens, it’s tempting to push harder, and add an extra workout. But, it’s often because your body has got used to the same routine. Instead of working out for longer, try something new. Change your routine, and you might find that you get better results even if you drop a workout or two. 

Are You Tired?

We all get tired sometimes, it usually just means that you are working hard and need a good night’s sleep. The tiredness that you get from exercising too much is a little different. If you feel like you are always tired like you can’t concentrate and even walking to the car is a considerable strain on your body, it’s time to cut down and give yourself a break. 

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From Run-Down To Ravishing: How To Make Your Renovation Project A Success

From Run-Down To Ravishing: How To Make Your Renovation Project A Success

There are some incredible old properties on the market but sadly, some of them have seen better days, but this doesn’t mean that they no longer serve a purpose. A growing number of adventurous investors and creative buyers are looking for a project. When you’re buying a house, it’s not always pristine showhomes that catch your eye. With a renovation project, there’s potential to create the home of your dreams. If you’re hoping to turn a run-down wreck into a ravishing retreat, here are some tips:

Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

Plan carefully

Renovation work is often time-consuming, and it requires careful planning. Before you buy a house, you’ll need to know how much the build will cost, how much value you could add, and whether it’s viable to do what you want to do. It’s wise to consult with planning officers, architects, and building firms. It’s not enough to have a vision and a rough budget in mind. You need proper plans in place to make sure that you’re making the right decision. Investing in older properties can be incredibly lucrative, but it can also end up draining your resources. It’s essential that you select 

Don’t shirk on expert help

It may seem relatively straightforward to come up with design ideas, especially if you’re blessed with creative talents. However, there’s an awful lot of work that goes into rebuilding and restoring a house. You’ll need to make sure that your plans satisfy building regulations, and seek planning permission for any structural changes you want to make, or extensions you wish to add. Calling in expert help may be costly, but it could save you significant sums in the long-run. If you get it wrong, you’ll end up paying experienced professionals to sort out a mess, which could have been prevented in the first place. You can help out with the odd job on-site, but you need people with the relevant expertise on board. Roofing jobs, for example, may look simple enough. But there’s a lot of skill that goes into fixing loose tiles, fitting a polycarbonate sheet or tending to leaks. Other jobs you might want to call the professionals out for include clearing a blocked drain, other plumbing work and electrical jobs.

Some people sail through the process of restoring an old house without any major hiccups, but it’s always a good idea to make contingency plans. You may encounter problems that have implications for the timeframe and budget. If you’ve set aside some money, and you have somewhere to stay while work is underway, this will save you stress and hassle if you do hit 

Be original

If you’re renovating a house, seize the opportunity to inject your style and personality, and be original. It can be tough to see past the decor and style in a brand new home. But with a project, you have free reign to celebrate your taste and design your ideal home. Look online and flick through some magazines for inspiration and ideas.

If you’ve bought an old home in need of some TLC, there’s probably a lot of work to do. This is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Plan ahead, work with experts, and always have contingency plans in place, just in case. Once you’ve got the major jobs sorted, start thinking about the interior, and be original with your ideas. This is your chance to create the home of your dreams!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.