How to Help Parents Grow Old Gracefully

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When your parents get old, it can be a very difficult time for you, as well as them. Seeing your parents in a condition whereby they are not able to do the things they once used to can be very upsetting. Of course, ageing is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it is someone you love that is getting old. While you want to be there for your parents and support them, it’s important to allow them to keep their dignity and grow old gracefully. This can be an incredibly sensitive subject, and so broaching it in the right manner is important. Read on for some tips to help you.

Remember, it is all about control and independence – It is important to recognise that the thing that hurts the most about getting older is that the person feels like they are losing control. The older generation puts a premium on self-reliance, and when they cannot do things themselves anymore, it can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Because of this, it is vital that you always make your parent feel like they are in control and that every decision is their own.

Do your research before starting any conversation – You need to be armed with all of the right information before you dive into any conversation about your parent’s health. It does not matter whether you are considering the option of your parent moving into a care home or you are going to suggest they get a hearing aid, you need to learn more before you broach the subject. Otherwise, the conversation won’t get very far, and you’re going to have to try twice as hard to bring it up again.

Put yourself in their shoes – The final tip for helping your parents tackle growing old is to make sure you put yourself in their shoes before you begin any discussion. As mentioned earlier, control is an important factor, but there are other things you need to keep in mind too. You are their child, and you always will be. Because of this, it can be difficult for a parent to view you as an adult who is able to offer meaningful solutions. This is simply because they have been the person that has guided you all of their life. They changed your nappies. They taught you how to walk. So, when the roles start to reverse, this can be very hard for any parent. Make sure you listen to them and that you understand where they are coming from. No parent wants to be told what to do.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for assisting your parents with the ups and downs that come with getting older. While this can be a challenging time, and some people have more difficulty adjusting to getting older than others, if you follow the advice that has been suggested, it should help the process to be easier.

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Keeping The Kids Entertained Throughout The Holidays

For parents everywhere, the school holidays are commonly going to be one of the major worries of the year. You need to be able to ensure that your children are being well looked after and that they are entertained throughout the whole time. This is something that a lot of parents dread, and it can be worrying when you don’t think you have the necessary resources to keep your children all that busy. Fortunately, you might be making it into more of a big deal than it needs to be. As it happens, it is often easier than one thinks to keep the children entertained throughout the holidays, so long as you follow some basic rules. Let’s take a look and see what we are talking about.

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Find A Balance

Although it can be tempting to just let your children do what they want during this time, so that they at least remain quiet, the truth is that you should try and find a balance. the balance you are looking for should be one between their own personal interests and family gatherings and outings. You need a little of both in order to be able to make the most of the holidays, as this is the best way to ensure that they are going to stay entertained without just wallowing in luxury. So although there is nothing wrong with letting them watch the anime Kite or another cartoon, you shouldn’t let them do it all summer, switch it up with other activities as well.

Play With Them

The more that you actively play with them, the better, and it is a good idea to make sure that you set a lot of time aside to do just that. Playing with your children is a vital bonding thing, and it means that the holidays are going to go by much faster for both you and then as well. The better you play with them in this way, the more likely it is that you will feel close, and so it is worth making the most of the school holiday time to be able to do just that. How you play and what you play are entirely up to you, but make sure it is something which the both of you enjoy equally.

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Keep The Discipline

Remember too that at the same time as allowing them a lot of fun and entertainment, you also need to make sure that you keep the discipline up throughout the holidays. Just because it is school holidays does not mean you should ignore this side of parenting, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you are not overlooking this altogether. With more discipline, you can expect your child to be more behaved when they go back to school, and in this way you are essentially using the holidays as a great opportunity to improve their life in more ways than one. This will mean you are getting much more out of those weeks, and you will be glad that you did exactly that.

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Turn A New Page… How To Start A New Life In A New Town


Sometimes we all have that hankering to start all over again, and move to a new place, and, in essence, cut all ties with your life right now. Sometimes it happens, where do we get a new job, or we just feel that we need to be someplace else, the desire to begin again is something that cannot be ignored. But the concern in this is one of practicality. Yes, you have a feeling about a new place, but what do you really need to have in place to make sure that your transition to a new life in a new place goes smoothly?

The Move

The move can be very stressful, but if you are determined to leave your old life behind, then this is a perfectly good opportunity to break with the past and sell a lot of your possessions. At the end of the day, we can get new items if we so need to. And even if our budget dictates, and we need to get a car, there are plenty of used cars for sale, you just have to look online to see something in your price range. If you really don’t have much, can you go on the train? The move doesn’t have to be stressful, but it can feel that way because of all the pressure on you in beginning this new life. But remember, it’s just the beginning.

The Settling In Period

This was never going to be easy. But the first month or so will be the worst part. Trying to get yourself settled into a new way of life, in new surroundings, with a new job or a new flatmates, these are all major shocks to the system. Settling in properly can take some time, and you just need to get your head around this. The best way for you to get accustomed to your surroundings quicker is to just get out there and explore. The more you know at the very outset, the quicker you can become comfortable. And yes, it’s likely you will feel like you are out of your depth, but do you have people nearby you can talk to? If not, go online, and chat with your friends back home.

Maintain A Positive Mindset

Remember, finding your feet is always a period of trial and error. You’ve moved to a new place for a specific reason, and regardless of the main reason itself, you know at the back of your mind that this was something that had to be done. It’s a place that is going to bring the best out in you, and this is what you feel. And remember, if it doesn’t work out, what is the worst case scenario? You end up going back home for a bit, or you try another place out for size!

A new life in a new town is the biggest of changes, and you can feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. But you had a feeling about this new place, so don’t hold back, go with the flow, it could be the best thing that ever happened to you!

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Untangling Those Crossed Communication Wires

Communication is something we could all work on. It’s essential to our relationships, and our overall levels of happiness. As soon as we’re old enough, we’re taught to share and talk things through. In fact, much of our school lives focus on communication.

And, that doesn’t change in the workplace. In fact, many companies rely on teamwork. As such, communication becomes even more crucial. And, as the boss, most of the responsibility here falls on you. If you can’t communicate efficiently, how can you expect your staff to? It’s crucial you set the right example to open communications from the off.

Of course, getting started with excellent communication is far from easy. Why else would so many of us struggle with it? To help you along, we’re going to look at the three main communicative aspects you should focus on.

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The literal

First should be literal communication. As in, how are you going to talk to staff? This may seem basic, but it’s essential. If you have a large office, walking from one side to the other isn’t practical. But, phone lines are expensive and can be unreliable. Not to mention that they’re open to breaches. Which isn’t what you want when communicating sensitive information. Instead, consider a VoIP PBX solution like those offered by This is a private connection which uses internet connections instead of phone lines. What’s more, you can use such solutions to communicate with staff remotely. You may also want to consider how you pass down jobs. You could either delegate tasks in a morning meeting or upload them to staff computers. Consider which would work best, and put a plan in place.

The disagreeable

It also falls to you to help staff communicate their way through disagreements. There are, inevitably, going to be a few along the way. But, proper communication can help everyone move forward and find a middle ground they can work with. If you notice staff disagreements, bring the perpetrators together. Get them to talk things out while you’re present. They’re likely to keep calm with the boss around. As such, they’ll be in the best position to find a solution to whatever it is they disagree about. Brainstorming sessions are always a fantastic option here. They give everyone a say and also help to develop the best ideas. And, you guessed it, they focus on communication.

The emotional

Bear in mind that you also have an emotional responsibility to your employees. If you notice someone isn’t themselves or seems to be struggling, it’s essential to address the matter. This can be difficult, so you may want to refer to guides like this one on, which can help you recognize and address problems. Make sure, too, that your staff know they can come to you with emotional issues. Leave your door open, and listen to what your team tell you, even if you don’t think it’s relevant to your business. These people are in your care, so care for them.

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Essential Considerations For Your Teen’s First Vehicle

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So, it’s finally happened. The months and years have passed in the blink of an eye, and suddenly that tiny baby you were holding what feels like only five minutes ago is on the brink of gaining their driving licence. You now find yourself faced with one of the toughest purchases you will ever make: the vehicle that your child will drive.

This is a challenging time; so challenging that many parents resist and insist that a car is not necessary for a teenager. Then, slowly but surely, the resistance begins to be futile. There’s no doubt that your teen having their own vehicle is an important part of their independence, not to mention nigh-on essential if you live in an area with poor public transport. Even more importantly, if your teen is on the verge of going to college, then you’re going to want them to be able to drive home whenever they wish.

So you need to buy a vehicle; a vehicle that is strong enough and good enough to protect your precious child. It also needs to be a vehicle that fits into your budget– and then you have to learn to live with that vehicle. Living with the vehicle is often overlooked; it’s fair to presume you’ve thought through all the questions about safety, but have you considered these other factors?

#1 – Consider your vehicle options

Many of us assume that our teen’s first vehicle will be a car. Cars are the most popular method of transport in the world, but they’re also among the most expensive. The running costs for a car can be prohibitive to both your budget and your teen’s, to the point they can seem outright unaffordable to some families.

If this is the case for you, then you should consider a motorcycle instead. The same benefits of independence can be enjoyed, but with much lower insurance and running costs. You can save yourself even more money when if you choose to opt for a secondhand buy; you can see here for used motorcycles to give you an idea of how much you’d be able to save.

So while your teen may still prefer the idea of a car, it’s essential you consider the alternative options if you’re on a budget– you might be surprised by just how much you could save.

#2 – A thorough calculation of running costs

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Whether you choose a car or a motorcycle, you’re going to need to sit down and work out the full running costs of your teen’s vehicle.

Estimating running costs is tough for most of us, as our car-related expenses are just absorbed with the rest of our household budget. As a result, it may be awhile since you have sat down and gone through the exact costs you can expect for getting your teen onto the road.

It’s best to run through running costs when you have a specific vehicle in mind, so you can accurately compile a list of what it may require to keep it on the road. You will want to include:

  • Purchase price,
  • Estimated gas usage; you can usually find the MPG of a vehicle listed on the manufacturer’s website,
  • Insurance costs,
  • Potential repair bills; the older a car or bike is, the more you should budget in this area.

When you have a full idea of the ongoing running costs, you can then move on to your next consideration…

#3 – Who pays?

Buying your teenager a car is just the beginning; the vehicle itself is then going to need continually funding to keep on the road. You have to decide how you’re going to handle this.

Below are a few different options you may want to consider:

  • You buy the car, but your teen pays for the upkeep.
  • You buy the car, the insurance, and fund any repairs, but they pay for the gas.
  • You buy the car, but everything else is their responsibility.
  • They buy the car from their savings (such as birthday money or gifts from grandparents) and you provide them with a budget for the running costs.

There is no “right” or “wrong” decision here; it’s all about what best suits your family and your budget. If your teen is working, then they may be able to take on some of the car costs themselves. On the flip side, if you want them to focus on their studies, then you may have to consider providing a budget to ensure they can keep their car running.

It’s important that both you and your teen are 100% agreed on the strategy for managing the financial side. You don’t want to be getting into “but I thought you were paying for that!” arguments in the future. It’s beneficial to write down your agreement, so that you both have something to refer back to if there are problems in the future.

#4 – Whose car is it?

You will need to decide if you own the car or whether it is registered in your teen’s name, and they are insured on it as a second driver. If your teen is soon going to college, it is better to put the car in their name.

#5 – Where will the car be parked?

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If your teen is heading to college, this question answers itself. However, when they are at home (or if they still live with you full time), you will need to make arrangements to ensure the car can be correctly parked. If you’re going to use street parking, it’s worth checking the rules and regulations regarding this with your local authority.

In conclusion

If you’re willing to search, stick to a rigid set of rules, and compromise a little, then you can be sure of finding the perfect vehicle for their teen. The first time they ride alone is going to be tough for you, but in time, you’ll find yourself delighting in their independence and ability to handle themselves on the road.

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The Unvarnished Facts About Life After Military Service

Military service is one of the most demanding and important callings in life. It’s the acid test of a man or woman; pushing them on a daily basis to be the best that they can be. It’s an enormously fast paced and stressful environment in which only those with a particular mindset thrive. Military service requires a physical and mental toughness, discipline and fortitude that many civilians just don’t “get”. When you make the transition back to civilian life, it can be tremendously rewarding as you have more time than ever to spend with your family and friends but it can also take a psychological toll in ways that nothing can truly prepare you for. Whatever you face in your civilian life, it’s important to remember that you are not alone…

Pfc. Jordan Wagner, an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, greets loved ones during a homecoming ceremony Sept. 9, 2012, at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, N.C. He and fellow paratroopers are returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

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People may see you differently

The unfortunate truth is that people have odd preconceptions about veterans that haven’t been helped much by such pop culture stereotypes as Rambo and The Punisher. They may ask questions that you find hurtful, insensitive or offensive. They may throw the term PTSD around like a frisbee without much thought of what it means or the very real effects that you’ve likely seen manifested in men and women with whom you’ve served.

If you’ve been injured in service, it may take time for people to look past your injury or service connected disability. Try not to take it personally, this is just a paradigm shift that they’re behind you in adjusting to. Be open and honest about your feelings and experiences and above all be yourself. Then you’ll see people’s anxieties just melt away.

Family interactions may feel weird at first

You will arrive back home attuned to a very different rhythm to the rest of your family. If your kids were born after you served they will be unaccustomed to living with you full-time and (because kids are kids) they may be resistant to the change. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel estranged or distant to your family. This is a perfectly natural reaction and one that will pass as you attune to domestic life. No relationship is without its problems and that goes as much for civilian relationships as it does relationships among veterans and civilians.

You will likely experience anxiety and depression

When you get home, you’ll have had a huge chunk of your life taken away from you and that loss may manifest in different ways. Statistically it’s likely that you will encounter anxiety and depression and it’s vital that you attack them head on. Be social, avoid isolating yourself and resist the urge to look at the bottom of a bottle for solutions. Turning to alcohol invariably causes more problems than it solves. Remember that help is out there and that even though they may not show it in the ways you expect, everyone is glad to have you back.

Although the road ahead may be hard, you will in time experience a kind of peace and fulfillment that comes with knowing that you served your country and played your part in making it a safer place. Whoever you are, wherever you are… Your country thanks you!

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Easy Self Care for Entrepreneurs

You would be hard pressed to find a business owner who would disagree if you said starting a business takes up all your time. When you launch a business, and as you put your energy into growing it, it feels like you need to use every available hour of the day to increase your chances of success. While you might be thriving on the effort you’re putting into your work, spending all your time working isn’t a good idea. You need to look after yourself if you want to be healthy enough to run your business. A plan for self-care helps you stay on track.

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Get the Right Business Support

If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll be doing pretty much everything yourself, by definition. However, even someone single-handedly running a business can get help in the right places. The right support for tasks both big and small will stop you taking on too much. You might start off outsourcing some of your work to freelancers. As your business grows, you might require some supportive computer services for your office, and some permanent employees. No one can do everything entirely alone, so you should look for business services that can support you on your journey, from mentors to contractors.

Give Yourself a Routine

How often do you find yourself burning the midnight oil? While you sometimes need to work a late night or two, it’s not healthy to do it all the time. Being in control of your schedule is great too, but if your days are all over the place, it might not be doing a lot for your health. Setting up a routine for yourself could be what you need. You get to decide when you do what, but you can craft a routine that helps you meet your goals and stay on track each day. The good news is, you could work from noon to 8 pm if you wanted to, and fit everything else around your work.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

Busy entrepreneurs have a tendency to forget to look after themselves while they’re working. If you’ve ever looked up from your desk to realize you haven’t moved for five hours or eaten all day, you might need to give your habits a rethink. Eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise are both important if you want to take care of yourself. A good routine can help with these things because you can schedule your exercise and healthy meals every day.

Don’t Cut Yourself Off

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Even if you’re communicating with clients or people you work with, it’s not the same as socializing. Your business might need your attention, but it’s important not to neglect your social life. Getting out and meeting people is essential. It stops you getting lonely, and if you work at home, it makes sure you leave the house occasionally too.

Self care is often something you need to work at. Not everyone realizes that they need to take better care of themselves, so think about whether you’re looking out for your own needs.

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