Monthly Archives: October 2017

Keep Them Comfy & Refreshed: Bathing Your Elderly Parents

An elderly woman taking a bathTaking care of your elderly parents requires putting your heart into it. In one way or another, it could be one of the means to give back to them — after all the love and care they have given you. Other than feeding them, massaging their backs, or taking a stroll with them, it is an equally important task to help them take a bath.

Both of you may feel embarrassed about the prospect, but it’s okay. Do not let such feelings overwhelm you. If you want to keep them comfortable while bathing them, here are some of thcome things you should keep in mind:

Comfort first

Comfort should be the first thing you need to promote. What you can do is make sure that the water is not too cold or not too hot. Use soap that does not contain allergens or harsh ingredients. You can massage their back and muscles if you want them to make the most of their bath time. You can also use some body or calming oils to help them relax.

Promoting safety

You may install some equipment or aid to ensure safety. Grab bars and bathroom handles are some of the things you may need. Instead of showers, Heavenly Walk In Tubs noted that it is much safer to bathe your elderly parents in a bathtub. On top of these, you have to place anti-slip mat on the floor.

Privacy matters

It can be embarrassing for both of you, but there is a way to do it. Allow them some privacy by letting them wrap a towel around their waist. You can also install a curtain around the bathing area, especially if your parents just want to wash on their own.

These are just some of the ways to ensure comfort and safety when bathing your parents. Be patient and always prioritize what is necessary to keep them comfortable.

Preparation Is Key: Tips for Going on a LDS Tour in the Holy Land

A top view of the part of IsraelYou can enjoy traveling by yourself, with family or friends. Whatever your reasons are, there are some things you can never do, particularly in places such as the Holy Land. These are sacred sites you have to get permission for before you go.

There also might be many reasons you’re going to the Holy Land. It could be a personal pilgrimage. You might go as a part of a delegation. It might be for fundraising or a rediscovering of faith.

When traveling to a country like Israel, there are a whole lot of things you need to prepare for, as revealed by Cruise Lady, a top organizer of LDS Israel tours.

  • Businesses. Israel and the Palestine are mostly Jewish, but there are a wide variety of people with different religions who call these nations home. Businesses don't usually operate on their days of worship (e.g., Shabbat for Jews—Friday and Saturdays are off-days).
  • Communication. Roaming SIM cards are an advantage, but in Israel and Palestine, internet cafes are fairly common.
  • Restrictions. Documents are always important. In Israel and Palestine, there are restrictions to certain countries. For example, certain Muslim countries don't permit travelers coming from Israel.
  • Food. In any place, you should consume food in with caution. In the Holy Land, food in hostels and hotels are usually safe. Just remember to bring with you snacks for when you go hungry.
  • Packing. It’s always good to travel light, but remember to pack properly for the Holy Land. Their culture is largely conservative. Avoid wearing clothes that expose too much skin.
  • Taking pictures. While it is a must during travels, remember that taking pictures of military personnel or Muslim women aren’t allowed.

So you're ready to go on the pilgrimage you've wanted to go on for a long time. Write down all the places you’d love to visit. Usually, though, the LSD tour organizers take care of that for you. A trip to the Holy Land is a trip of self-discovery or worship. Just be respectful of the place and other people, and you’ll be fine.

5 Money Matters to Consider When Buying a Franchise

Man stacking coins in increments as a concept of investment growingIf you are planning to invest in your own franchise, one of the vital steps you need to take is a thorough due diligence exam to make sure that you’re on the right path prior to signing an agreement. You’re probably confused and inundated with millions of questions, but the following are vital money matters you need answers to before taking the leap.

1. The Initial Investment

In general, initial franchise fees differ from several thousand dollars to a couple of million dollars. You will need to get a clear understanding of fees and how much you’ll need to get the franchise off the ground and earning.

2. The Liquid Capital

Apart from the startup costs, you’ll need sufficient operating capital for a couple of months until you break even. Knowing this magic number will help you prepare financially and determine when you’ll start reaping profits.

3. The Franchise Company’s Financial Capability

Knowing how financially strong the franchise company is could lend you an idea of how successful your franchise could be. Consider asking how they experienced consistent growth and their plans expansion plans if any. You will likewise want to find out if where they get the significant portion of their income, whether from selling franchises or royalties, or perhaps because they assign a sufficient amount of funding to their operations.

4. Your Potential Profit

While the franchisor can’t possibly forecast how successful your franchise will be, they must have an accurate idea of how much their franchisees make. Make certain to ask beyond the gross sales since this doesn’t operate expenses such as rent, labor, etc.

5. The Ongoing Fees, Marketing Fees and Royalties

You need to take a step back and understand how much you’re expected to pay the franchisor with regards to miscellaneous fees like royalties, marketing, etc. You need to determine how much this would cost, so you could set the right budget and accounting for royalties.

Before you invest in a franchise and sign on the dotted line, get clear answers to these crucial money matters. Once you do and you’re satisfied with the franchisor’s answers, you’ll feel more confident about investing in and running your very own franchise.

Questions to Ask When Looking for Office Furniture

Modern Office InteriorModern furniture pieces in Christchurch-based offices come in a wide range of style and design. You can find minimalist items and also elaborate pieces, depending on the look and feel the company wants to exude.

If you are searching for brand new furniture to revamp your office space, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

What (specifically) do you need?

Think about the most basic needs of your employees for them to be able to do their work more efficiently. Consider their different work styles and the amount of space you have in your workplace before you head to a furniture store. This way, you can be smart about your finances and avoid buying items you do not really need. Learn to prioritise.

What is your style?

Typically, modern offices feature a clean design – with clear lines, simple colours and well-defined areas. Choose furniture pieces that correspond to your corporate image and branding.

There is no rule requiring modern corporate spaces to stick to the traditional ideas of professional design. Many corporate environments nowadays veer away from strictly formal options in order to make the company’s base more pleasing and inviting.

Will everyone be comfortable?

Do not also forget to consider the comfort of your employees since that affects their productivity at work. Ergonomic design, for instance, has proven to be beneficial, as it boosts the productivity and motivation of office workers. These characteristics of office furniture, however, are often neglected for aesthetic purposes. Do not make this mistake and risk the well-being of your workforce.

Discover the Power of a Great Smile

a woman pointing to her sparkling smileA great smile cuts through barriers. It is non-discriminative and knows no race, color, age, or culture. Smile expert Bellevue Family Dentistry describes it as a form of universal language. A language we all understand and that communicates happiness and kindness. There are powers that a smile yields.

Get to understand some of the powers that you can possess by just smiling.

Makes you more attractive

You want to look beautiful, right? Simple: just smile! Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, commonly known as “feel good” hormones. They help you feel less stressed, and hence you will tend to face life with positivity.

A smile is also a characteristic of a warm and a welcoming person. People love being around you when you emit positivity, kindness, and warmth. You will tend to attract more people when you smile than when your face is contorted.

Change the world around you

A great smile represents love, goodwill, affection, and openness towards each other. A warm smile is a universal language of kindness. When you smile, those around you feel good, happy, and appreciated. A smile is contagious.

This means that, even when you are around people who are in a sour mood, and you keep smiling, they will not help but reciprocate.

Helps in enhancing your success

How? Well, assume you are a salesperson. Smiling is your ultimate weapon when selling your product. When you smile, the other person gets the feeling that you like them, the reception will be equally positive hence making the business deal easy.

Smiling shows you are confident. It paints a picture of you as a happy person. A great smile mixed with your business acumen will yield nothing short of success.

Improves your social life

When you smile, you come out as more friendly and approachable. You score highly in a social circle if you are a smiling person. People feel more welcome to talk and associate with you. Smiling makes conversations easy since in a way it encourages you to keep moving.

You can smile. This means that you can enjoy the immense power that comes with it. You should make it a habit today.

Achieve Fitness through High Intensity Interval Training

Man on the gymAre you looking to add an exercise routine to your packed daily schedule? High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, might be what you’re looking for. This program is quickly becoming the activity of choice for many fitness buffs that lack the extra time to log in gym hours. Experts from MÜV Fitness Gym explain why you should give HIIT a shot.

Short Time, Good Results

Some people spend so much time in the gym but don’t get the results they want; they just drop a couple of pounds or increase their muscle strength and mass by a few unnoticeable notches. That may not be enough for some people, however. Through HIIT, you can burn calories within a shorter timeframe

Optimum Energy Consumption

There are various HIIT workouts you can utilize both at the gym and at home, and each one allows you to consume as much calories as you can within a set timeframe. Research even showed that you can burn more with 15 minutes of HIIT than an hour of jogging.

Improve Metabolism

Metabolism plays a vital role in weight loss and other fitness objectives. Experts have found that people who perform HIIT exercises burn more fat after their workout than they would after a run. That is due to the boost in metabolism people experience with constant HIIT.

Less Equipment Needed

Though it’s still better to make use of the equipment at the gym with your HIIT workout, you won’t have to hit pause on your progress just because you don’t have time to go to the gym. In fact, you’re good to go with enough room to do some plyometrics such as jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, push-ups and others.

These are some of the reasons experts agree that HIIT is an ideal program for those who want to see results within a shorter time, improve their metabolism and burn fat. Consult a personal trainer to determine which type of exercises should be part of your routine.

A Look Into the Child Custody Laws and Processes in Colorado

Child Custody and Visitation written on a paper and a book.Child custody laws in Colorado are complex. Much like everywhere else in the country, though, “the best interest of the child” takes precedence over everything else. In other words, the court determines which type of custody (joint or sole) makes most sense for the child, putting their needs on the top of the list of considerations.

Whether going through legal separation or divorce, establishing your child custody rights can be time-consuming, as well as physically and emotionally exhausting. Lewis & Matthews, P.C. notes that it’s best to hire a highly qualified and experienced family law attorney in Denver, CO. Armed with the counseling and support of such a professional, you have better chances of securing a favorable outcome.

The process of establishing parenting time and responsibilities

There are two main parts of child custody: parenting time (physical custody) and parenting responsibilities (legal custody). Physical custody refers to the amount of time you spend with your child, while legal custody pertains to the parent who should make the decisions that directly affect a child’s health and welfare.

During a child custody case, the Colorado court will give you (and your spouse) the opportunity to present evidence proving you can provide for your children, and that you are at an equal or better position to make the right decisions for them. The court will listen to you and your spouse and will grant you the corresponding level of custody based on how solidly you build your case.

Factors taken into consideration

The court considers many factors when determining the best and most suitable arrangements for a child. Your wishes play a major role here, so does your spouse’s and your child’s. The relationships your child has with you and your spouse also influence the outcome of your case. Each parent’s physical and mental well-being, and more importantly, whether abuse or neglect has already occurred, will also affect the results.

Apartment Rents in the U.S. Become Cheaper Due to Rich Tenants

An Apartment BuildingMore rich Americans joined the tenant population between 2012 and 2015, which led to a fewer number of households that are struggling with high rental fees, according to a report from New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.

The 2017 National Rental Housing Landscape report showed that the percentage of rent-burdened households in 53 cities fell from 48.9% to 47.7%. It defined a rent-burdened people as those who spend more than 30% of their income for monthly payments.

Wealthier Occupants

Sewin Chan, the report’s co-author, suggested that the entry of rich families into the rental population may be causing a spike in rents. This allowed property landlords to increase fees on units without risking payment defaults. In 2015, there were 21% of households that earned at 120% of the area median income — that's up from 15% in 2006.

However, the recession’s impact still lingers as renters who wish to own homes continue to struggle in buying their first property, according to Alanna McCargo, co-director of Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. In addition, the National Low Income Housing Coalition said that more than 7 million affordable housing units remain unavailable for the poorest Americans.

Rental Investments

Several foreclosed homes from the recession have been converted into rental properties, such as a Section 8 real estate investment. Wealthy renters are not eligible for Section 8 housing, as it caters to low-income tenants.

However, one of the benefits of this type of investment includes regular payments since the vacancy rate is often quite low. Tenants are also required to maintain the property, which protects your asset in case you decide to invest in Section 8 rentals.

Rental prices may have fallen, yet demand for low-income housing still remains high in the U.S. This situation presents an opportunity for real estate investors to unlock growth opportunities in the rental property sector.


Refinance Basics: FHA Streamline or Conventional Loan?

Jar full of coins

Jar full of coinsIf you are concerned about refinance rates increasing, but have an FHA loan and are still considering refinancing, you could reflect on transitioning to a conventional mortgage. However, this move comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so you need to determine if it is the best move for you.

Conventional Loans vs. FHA Loans

Plenty of first-time homebuyers typically lean towards FHA loans simply because of the less stringent requirements for down payment. However, the FHA typically requires homebuyers to put down a one-time MIP or mortgage insurance premium upfront that is usually 1.75% of the value of the loan.

You would likewise need to pay for a yearly premium already built in into your loan repayments. And when you refinance your FHA mortgage to a conventional loan, you will not need to pay for mortgage insurance, but only if your home equity is more than 20%, says refinance specialists in Tempe.

Save on Costs

Finance expert VIP Mortgage notes that this would result in bigger savings and reduced monthly payments. You could then use the money for repaying your other debts, putting some for your retirement fund, or for building your emergency fund.

However, you need to be prepared for associated costs when you refinance your FHA loan to a conventional mortgage. The most substantial upfront cost would come from paying closing costs that could cost between 2% and 5% of the value of your mortgage.

Insufficient equity

However, if you do not have sufficient home equity, you might get stuck paying for PMI or private mortgage insurance when refinancing. These combined costs could offset the savings you get from the lower interest if you cannot secure a significant discount on your interest rate.

Do note however that you will still need to make yearly payments for mortgage insurance premiums, which is a tradeoff if you decide to go with an FHA refinance.

Getting the Deal that Makes the Most Sense

If you are not entirely certain that a traditional refinance or FHA refinance is the ideal option for you, it is best that you look around and see what other options are available to you.

You need to estimate all associated refi costs including closing costs so that you could determine which option would give you the biggest savings.

Memphis Police to Launch New Dispatch System for Faster Response Times

Police car and a policeman

Police car and a policemanThe Memphis Police Department (MPD) expects the use of the Intergraph Mobile for Public Safety (IMPS) to improve the response time for police calls, according to the department’s director of emergency communications.

MPD Emergency Communications Administrator Michael Spencer said that the GPS-based system would allow police officers to take action more quickly by sending the nearest squad car.

GPS-Equipped Computers

While a police vehicle with an emergency vehicle led light bar lets officers to avoid traffic, further explains that the use of the new technology would make work easier for dispatchers. The MPD has installed the IMPS tool on laptops in mobile units, which would easily determine the location of squad cars and the type of emergency calls.

The technology comes at a good time, as the city’s police force grapples with fewer members. As of October, there were just 1,981 police officers that fell below the desirable 2,400 members. However, the department would likely receive fewer reports on juvenile cases as these have steadily fallen since 2011.

Law-Abiding Juveniles

Total criminal charges against juvenile delinquents in Memphis have dropped since 2011, according to an analysis of Juvenile Court figures between January and August 2017. These criminal cases included felonies and misdemeanors, which fell 59.7% versus 2011 and 25.2% compared to 2016.

Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael suggested that a further reduction of the juvenile crime rate should begin with correcting the child’s behavior. At this stage, they avoid becoming adult offenders that are “habitually tied to the criminal justice system,” according to Michael. Initiatives, like the Operation: Safe Community crime plan, are some of the solutions that could break the cycle of juvenile cases in the city, especially for repeat offenders.

The IMPS tool would be a good solution to address a need for quicker response time among police officers in Memphis. It would also prevent the further spread of crimes, particularly those involving young people.