Category Archives: Family

4 Considerations When Looking After Elderly Parents

Standard
4 Considerations When Looking After Elderly Parents

It can be a difficult task to take care of your retired parents, but with careful planning and execution, it doesn’t have to be. There are four essential things that you need to consider when looking after them: their health, finances, living situation, and their social life. In this blog post, we will go over each of these considerations in detail and provide you with advice on how to manage them best:

Their health:

As your parents age, their health will inevitably decline. It’s important to be proactive about their health and get regular checkups with their doctor. You should also create a list of their medications as well as hospitals and doctors that their insurance covers and keep it in a safe place. In case of an emergency, you or another family member can quickly reference this list and ensure that your parents are getting the care they need.

Their finances:

One of the most challenging conversations with elderly parents is about their financial situation. It can be hard to broach the topic, especially if they are reluctant to discuss it. However, it is vital to be aware of their financial situation for two reasons: 1) you need to know if they can support themselves and 2) you need to be on the lookout for signs of financial elder abuse.

If your parents are struggling financially, they have several options. For example, they may be eligible for government benefits or charity assistance. If they own their home, they may also be able to downsize or take out a reverse mortgage. Unfortunately, as far as financial elder abuse goes, this sadly is an all too real problem and can take form in many ways, so be sure to keep an eye on professionals dealing with your parent’s finances.

Their living situation:

Another important consideration is your parents’ living situation. If they can live independently, that’s great! But if they need some assistance, you’ll need to consider that. If they live in a retirement community, staff who can help with transportation or meals may be there. If they live in their own home, you’ll need to decide if it’s feasible for them to continue doing so. If not, you may need to help them find a new place to live.

Whatever their living situation, you’ll also need to consider how accessible it is. Can they get around safely? Do they have everything they need? Is it safe for them to be there? These are all critical things to consider when looking after your retired parents.

Their social life:

Finally, you’ll need to think about your parents’ social life. As people age, they often become more isolated and lose touch with their friends. Having a good support network and staying connected to the outside world will be especially beneficial to their mental health. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Encourage them to join social clubs or groups
  • Make sure they see their friends regularly
  • Take them out for outings and activities

These are four essential considerations when looking after your retired parents or loved ones. If you can address these areas, you’ll be doing a great job of taking care of them!

Featured Image By: Andrea Piacquadio

All In Your Own Backyard

Standard
All In Your Own Backyard

Hello!! When I first started working as an Independent Provider for people with special needs, I was mainly on the evening shift for purely social outings with my clients. For free and fun entertainment, we would often hit up the local libraries in the greater Akron area. Activities ranged from vinyl record clubs to art projects and murder mysteries and it was always a blast.

Now, I work in the mornings and afternoons and provide care under the umbrella of daily living skills. It has been a while since I scoured the library and community websites for outings and I, honestly, kind of forgot how amazing all of our local programs are until this summer. My family has certainly been making the most of them!

This past summer, people in my family have attended numerous events including a watercolor painting class and a Comicon style vendor fair. We have also loved taking my sweet niece to story time almost every week at the library. It is the most adorable little hour filled with books, songs, and crafts. My heart just melted when I took Val last week. ❤

Over last weekend, I experienced one of the best community events I have been to in a while with my dad and Val – the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival. It was held at the Goodyear Heights Metro Park and featured awesome performances by various dance groups. We got to watch a jazz and ballet troop as well as the dancers from ArtSparks, which is a dance group made up of people with special needs. It was SO cool!

The main event of the night was a performance by Pilobolus, a world famous troop. However, we didn’t get to watch them because it was getting close to Valerie’s bedtime. All of the dancers we did see were spectacular but the best part of the night was when the kids in the audience got to take the stage. Val had a blast learning different ballet and jazz moves. She also unintentionally stole the show when she was showing off her newfound skills during another performance lol it was so funny. 😀

After Val learned some dance steps, she said that she would like to take dance classes and that’s what is so wonderful about all of these community programs. Not only do you get to meet new people but you also get to try your hand at new things for free or close to it. Similarly, my mom and I now paint in our free time after the ten dollar watercolor class we took.

Children, teenagers, and adults alike can all benefit from local programs – you just need to know where to look. Library websites, newspapers, and community pages can all point you in the right direction. If you are searching for new activities with minimal funding, then this is the way to go. Explore your community and have fun!

What community events do you like to attend? Have you learned a new skill or hobby recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bubble Pop Craft

Standard
Bubble Pop Craft

Hello! This past weekend was a whirlwind because my sister just had another beautiful baby girl! I am so excited to be a TT of three and my Val Gal is over the moon to be a big sister. While the little miss was making her grand debut, my dad and I watched Val over the weekend. We had an absolute blast playing outside, going to see a dance program, and making a super fun bubble craft!

When I was little, I could stay outside picking dandelions and blowing bubbles for hours and Val shares the same sentiments. On Sunday morning, it was very dreary so we couldn’t play outside. But, in the recesses of my brain, I remembered a craft that I had seen on Pinterest by Broogly that was sure to keep her occupied. Check it out:

image_50739713(1)image_50407169(1)image_50440961(2)image_50416897(4)

What You’ll Need:

  • Bubble soap
  • Food coloring
  • Paper

What To Do:

  • Mix food coloring and bubble soap together
  • Blow bubbles over your piece of paper to create your pop art. The longer the bubble sits on the paper, the deeper the color will be.

This bubble pop craft was so easy to put together and Val and I spent over an hour and a half making six masterpieces for her baby sis, uncles, and grandma. While this is definitely a better craft for doing outside, we were able to make it work with minimal mess by placing beach towels over the kitchen floor to blow bubbles on. The mess actually came after the project was complete when I accidentally knocked into Val and blue bubble soap spilled all over the floor. WHOOPS lol.

Not only was this craft entertaining but it was educational too. I got to teach Val all about mixing colors to make new ones and she assisted in helping me make purple and orange bubble soap. I loved how her orange turned out! She would tell you that the purple was the best and, as always, it’s her favorite color. ❤

The next time we make this craft (because there will for sure be a next time), hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do it outdoors. I plan on getting bigger sheets of paper and think that it will turn out really cool if we use one of the automatic bubble blowers. Do give this craft a try if you have little ones – they will love it!

Where do you find fun crafts for your kids? What crafts have you made together this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tips On Creating A Healthy Family Dynamic

Standard
Tips On Creating A Healthy Family Dynamic

Families are the basic unit of society and, as such, it is vital that they function in a healthy way. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do. There are many things that can go wrong and create tension within a family. This blog post will discuss some tips on how to create a healthy family dynamic. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to having a happy and harmonious family:

Communicate effectively:

The first tip is to ensure that there is effective communication within the family. This means being able to talk openly and honestly with one another about what is going on in your lives. It also means being able to resolve disagreements in a peaceful and respectful manner. If communication is not happening effectively, it can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment.

Make time to connect:

Another important tip is to create a sense of togetherness within the family. This can be done by engaging in activities together, such as playing games, going on outings, or simply spending time talking and laughing with one another. Doing things together will help to create strong bonds between family members and will make everyone feel more connected to one another.

dyn1

^^^ Pexels Image

Show respect:

It is also important to show respect for one another within the family. This means listening to each other, valuing each other’s opinions, and treating everyone with kindness and consideration. If everyone in the family feels respected, it will go a long way in creating a positive and healthy dynamic.

And show love:

Love can be expressed in many different ways, such as through words of affirmation, physical touch, or spending time together. Love is what will hold a family together through thick and thin – so make sure that there is plenty of it!

Encourage a healthy lifestyle:

Create a healthy lifestyle for your family by cooking healthy meals and exercising together. Not only will this improve your physical health, but it will also help to create a positive environment in the home. When everyone is striving towards a common goal, it can do wonders for instilling a sense of teamwork in the family.

Set a routine:

Create a healthy routine and stick to it. This means having set times for meals, bedtime, homework, and other activities. Having a routine will help to create a sense of stability within the family. It can also be helpful in managing stress levels and preventing conflict.

dyn2

^^^ Pexels Image

Plan ahead:

Preparation for the future is essential for any family. This means setting aside money for savings and investing in things like life insurance. It can also mean creating a will and putting together an emergency plan. By preparing for the future, you can help to protect your family and ensure that they are taken care of financially if something were to happen to you. Click here to find out more on how to prepare for the future.

A happy and harmonious family is the foundation of a strong society, so it is important that we do everything we can to create one. With love, communication, respect, and preparation, you can make it happen!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Fun Summer Activities For All

Standard
Fun Summer Activities For All

With the summer vacation still in full swing, you may be busy thinking of ways to keep the children entertained through the summer. There are countless ways that you can do this and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune – many places will offer deals regularly to save you money. Take a look below for some amazing ideas for summer:

Theme Parks:

First on our list is theme parks! Most people enjoy the adrenaline rush they get when they attend theme parks. You could make it your mission to visit all of the theme parks around your surrounding areas by going to one per summer. Make a list and tick them off as you go. If you are venturing out with all the family, then make sure everyone is aware of what they can and can’t go on. You don’t want any last minute tantrums when the children aren’t tall enough for a ride.

Aquariums:

Something that is both amazing and relaxing at the same time is aquariums. They are full of marine life that you can spend hours watching. Watching these beautiful fish and mammals swimming around can bring you a feeling of utter peace and tranquility. Being closer to nature has this effect when you take it all in. Taking the children along to an aquarium means that they can attend the talks and feeds throughout the day. This is a great educational experience for children and they can learn all about marine life and how to play their part to keep it safe.

Museums:

If you want to do something that involves being quiet for a couple of hours, then how about a museum? Children love exploring museums and you are bound to have a couple nearby that you can take them to. This doesn’t just have to be art museums, you could also take a road trip to the natural history museum or the science museum. Both of these have exhibits that will keep the children entertained and in awe for hours on end. A lot of museums offer free entry during the summer break, which is a great way to save money.

Bowling:

Bowling can be fun and competitive for the whole family. Many places are giving families great value deals over the summer. One such example is Bowl. Dine. Unwind. Family Fun at your local arcade. The great thing about bowling alleys is that you can now wear your own shoes. Provided these are not high heels or open toed. A lot of people were very self-conscious or grossed out about the bowling shoes so many refused to go. This development means that they have opened themselves up to everyone now.

Summer break is the perfect time to make and capture memories that you and your family will remember for years to come. Have fun with the above ideas!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Standard
Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Hello!! My sister and brother-in-law will soon be welcoming another sweet little girl into their family and I am so excited!! Their oldest daughter, Valerie, is my BFF and I know that she will be the best big sister. Because they already have SO many clothes, toys, and essentials from when Val was born, Johnny and I were stumped on what to gift them for their newest addition. So, I decided to come up with a list of ideas if any of you are in a similar situation or the expecting family doesn’t have a registry. Let’s get to it:

Gift Cards:

This is the route that Johnny and I took for my sister and brother-in-law and we bought several gift cards for gas stations, Target, and a Visa gift card. Some people say gift cards as a present are thoughtless and I say: FALSE. Gift cards are great because the parents can buy the things that they know they need and won’t have to deal with the hassle of returning unwanted items. Visa gift cards are awesome because the giftee won’t be limited to what store to purchase at. Gas and grocery cards are also sure to be welcome since everything is so freaking expensive now!

Essentials:

I originally asked my sister if we could buy her a supply of wipes, formula, and diapers but she told me she was well stocked already. However, this is another gift that would be sure to please – just make sure you ask what their preferred brands are! A stock pile of baby necessities will help your giftee save money as well as *hopefully* eliminate some late night runs to the store when the last diaper is gone.

Various Clothes Sizes:

Expecting parents are sure to get a ton of clothes in newborn sizes but not be able to use them all with a constantly growing infant. You can help this situation by purchasing clothes in a multitude of sizes from six to nine months and up. Once again, this will save an errand for going to the store and exchanging sizes or finding a new item all together.

Just Ask:

If the person you are purchasing for doesn’t have a gift registry, just ask them! This is what I did with my sister and all she told me was that she needed a new changing pad. I wasn’t satisfied with just this, though, and purchased gift cards as well. Being able to get someone exactly what they need is a wonderful thing so there is no harm in asking about it.

Nursery Gifts:

If you are looking for something more personal to gift, then you can always go the homemade route to help decorate the nursery. You could paint some sweet baby animals, crochet a stuffed toy, or even knit a little sweater or hat. Not only will it be appreciated now but it will be an amazing keepsake for later! If you are not crafty, you can enlist the help of local artists for the task.

Welcoming a new baby is such an exciting thing for all parties involved and you can shake the stress of the perfect gift with the ideas above!

Do you have a new addition coming to your family soon? What do you like to gift for baby showers? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Your Kids In Check This Summer

Standard
Keeping Your Kids In Check This Summer

Summer vacation is every parent’s dream and nightmare. On the one hand, you enjoy not needing to worry about school for a couple of months. You can have a bit of a lie in every morning and avoid the extra stress of getting everyone up and ready for the mad rush.

On the other hand, you’re faced with keeping your children occupied for multiple weeks in a row. It can start off pretty easy – and there are plenty of fun activities you can do with them, but it quickly gets very challenging. The biggest challenge is ensuring your kids stay well-behaved. When they get bored they can get a bit rowdy, which is exactly what you do not need when it’s very hot and sweaty outside.

Luckily, there is one very easy way to keep your kids in check during summer vacation: create a behavioral chart:

What is a behavioral chart?

Basically, it is a chart where you make a note of your child’s good or bad behavior. When they do something bad, you put a mark on the chart to show that. If they do something good – like help out around the house or mow the lawn, they get a positive mark instead.

It’s a very simple idea and you can make your own chart extremely quickly. Just create a table on your computer with your kids’ names on it. Then, head online and make stickers that correspond to good or bad behavior. This could be a smiley face sticker for good and a frown face for bad. Once everything is printed out and delivered, you’re ready to rock and roll.

How does this encourage well-behaved kids?

You might think that making a chart and tracking your kid’s behavior is a bit weird. However, the whole idea is that you make a game out of it. Think of it this way, you’re setting a challenge for your children that lasts the entire summer. They have to avoid getting bad behavior marks, aiming to get as many good marks as possible.

I know what you’re thinking; how do you make your kids care about this? Ah, well this is where the incentive comes in! Create a challenge that ends with a reward of sorts. It can be a toy, money, a trip to an adventure park – whatever you think your kids will enjoy the most. The challenge can be a target for your children to meet or avoid. By the end of summer, they should have as few bad marks on their chart as possible so set them a limit that they cannot go past. If they pass this limit, they fail the challenge and don’t get the prize. You could even add in a bonus prize for whoever has the most happy stickers on their chart.

Your children will be on their best behavior because they know they will be rewarded by the end of summer vacation. You can enjoy a more peaceful summer with kids that are very eager to help around the house and they can enjoy a nice prize at the end before going back to school. It’s a massive win-win!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Standard
Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Hello!! Johnny and I have a little niece and nephew and my mom is always looking for fun activities for them. We are both huge fans of Pinterest and JANE truly outdid herself by making some colorful sidewalk chalk paint from this McCormick recipe. Like any kid, the littles love making masterpieces with chalk and the paint was just as fun for the adults as it was for them:

image_50442753(3)

The recipe that my mom followed to make the chalk paint was a simple one that only required corn starch, water, and food dye. It also included the formulas to make all kinds of different colors from classic shades to neon hues. My niece, Valerie, requested the colors of the rainbow and my mom delivered, which made their driveway the most vibrant one in the neighborhood!

Sidewalk chalk paint is a unique spin on a tried and true favorite childhood activity. And, in my opinion, it’s even better because you don’t get that weird feeling from chalky hands – lol you guys know how I am about certain textures! This fun activity is sure to keep your kids entertained all summer long and I think that the adults will end up enjoying it just as much if not more. 😀

What was your favorite childhood activity? What do your kids like to do in the summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

Standard
Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

Summer vacation is in full force, so your kids are home from school. You’re probably enjoying the extra time with them, but you may also be wondering how to keep their brains sharp during the break! Here are some educational activities to help your kids keep learning and have fun during the summer vacation:

Read books:

Reading is a great way to pass the time and learn new things, whether it be about other cultures, places, history, or even languages. There are many stories for kids and adults alike, so if you want an activity you can do together, this is one for you.

Reading with your kids can benefit them in several ways: it helps them improve their reading skills; it allows them to connect with others through literature; it improves their vocabulary and comprehension; it provides an outlet for creativity through writing and illustration; and much more. You can make reading fun by adding games to their reading experience. For example, you can use a word family activity sheet as reading prompts, helping them to choose books based on a word, colors, and other items.

Journal:

Summer is the time for your child to have fun and relax. But it’s also important for them to go into the next school year with new experiences and knowledge. One way to help accomplish this goal is by journaling. An activity that requires minimal supplies (if any), journaling can be done anywhere, anytime even if you’re on vacation or stuck inside during bad weather. It’s easy enough for kids as young as five, but older kids will find it just as beneficial.

Journaling encourages creativity while helping children develop other skills such as organization, reflection, and increased vocabulary through writing on topics they find interesting (and learning how to spell those words). Plus, it is excellent practice for essay assignments.

Take a field trip:

If your child is interested in a particular subject, try taking them on an educational field trip to explore it further. Field trips provide the opportunity for learning about history and culture and practical skills like cooking and art.

If you are going on vacation, you can turn this experience into not just a relaxing holiday but an educational one. You don’t have to dedicate all of your vacation to learning, but you can take your children on a trip while on vacation to learn more about the place you are visiting, whether that is going to a museum, taking a tour, or just enjoying the culture while you are there.

Learn a new skill:

Learning a new skill can be challenging, but it’s also fun! When kids learn something they enjoy, they are more likely to want to do it again and again. This makes it easier for them to get better at whatever they are doing, making learning more enjoyable. It is even better if it is a skill that they have an interest in from the beginning, like art, cooking, or music.

Go on a scavenger hunt:

There’s nothing like a scavenger hunt to engage kids around the world. If you’re doing this with younger kids, make a list of items they can find and bring them back to you. For example, a leaf from a tree or a dandelion.

It’s also important that your activity isn’t too challenging or overwhelming for their age group. If you want something more educational, consider including objects such as shapes or numbers to teach them something new along the way. It’ll also keep them interested throughout the process since it’s always lovely when an activity feels rewarding for everyone involved!

Create a learning fort:

One of the best ways to excite your kids about learning is to create a fun space to learn in. Forts are cool and can be used in different ways. You can read a book while sitting under it, play a game like hide-and-seek inside it, and let your imagination soar in its construction. Whether it’s a classic pillow fort, made of cardboard boxes, or built in nature a fort will provide lots of entertainment and opportunities to learn.

You don’t have to break the bank or travel far to keep your kids’ brains busy and sharp over summer break. There are plenty of ways to incorporate learning into everyday life, even if you’re just hanging out in your backyard!

Featured Image By: Sharon McCutcheon

Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

Standard
Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

Getting a pet is a rite of passage for many children. If you grew up with pets, you might feel like it’s an essential part of childhood. And if you didn’t, perhaps you want to give your children an experience you didn’t get. But it’s important to consider what pet ownership entails before you get one. Making sure your child is ready for the responsibility of a pet is crucial, especially if you don’t want to end up being the only one to care for it. You can prepare your child for getting a pet using a few different techniques:

Start with Toys:

Before taking on the responsibility of caring for a living thing, it’s a good idea for your child to get some practice. One of the ways children often develop key skills such as empathy is through play. Getting your child some toys to care for is a good way to practice some of the things they’ll need to care for a pet. You can get them some Schleich animal figurines or some stuffed toys to role play caring for. Baby dolls can also be an option for taking care of something without the responsibility of actually having to keep something alive.

Give Them Some Other Responsibilities:

Caring for a pet is a big responsibility, so you need to know that your child is ready to take it on. They will need to show that they can manage some responsibilities of their own and keep it up long term too. When you get a pet, your child might help with things like feeding, cleaning, or exercising your pet. But before you go out and get one, they could have a few other chores to show that they’re capable. You can get them to do daily tasks such as making their bed to demonstrate that they can build consistent habits.

Borrow a Pet:

Borrowing a pet from a friend or family member can be a great way to have a practice run. You can have their pet for a day or a few days so you and your child understand the responsibility of caring for a pet. Obviously, some pets are easier to “borrow” than others. A dog will often be happier to spend time with another family than a cat will. You could offer to pet-sit while someone you know is away if you’re looking for a way to trial pet ownership.

Teach How to Behave Around a Pet:

Children need to be able to behave well around a pet to keep both them and the animal safe. Even when they have been taught how to handle an animal, they should still be supervised. It’s crucial to teach your child important things like how to recognize when a pet wants to be left alone, how to pet them gently, and how to avoid upsetting an animal with their behavior. You can do this by talking to them, demonstrating, reading books, or watching videos.

Getting a pet isn’t something you should do lightly. If your child is asking for a pet, make sure you don’t rush into it and get a lot of practice beforehand.

Featured Image By: Pexels