Thursday, February 27, 2020

Building Blocks for a Support System with Family Members

When you are a member of the family, there are some unspoken ‘requirements’ that come along with it, and it can vary from time to time. Perhaps your family makes a big deal about birthdays or getting together for the holidays. Perhaps your family really likes to take care of each other and be supportive in all aspects of life. Perhaps you have an extended family that is quite distant, and everyone prefers it that way; all families are different. But having a support system in your family, from immediate family members to extended family members, can be something that is really helpful as we all go through life. 

There is a lot of research into this kind of thing, and that most family research does actually suggests that having healthy and supportive families, will consist of a few things. This post will delve into those things, to see if you can better improve the support system that you have in place with your family, whether that is immediate family or extended family.


Share appreciation

It is so important to show members of your family that you care about them. Thinking a little closer to home, if one of your children does something great at school or a great homeschool project, then make sure you let them know. The same goes for a spouse or partner; they get a promotion at work, tell them how proud you are of them. Expressing appreciation is something that really helps to strengthen family relationships

Improve communication

Communication is something that a lot of families do actually find hard, especially with life being busy and pulling us all in different directions. This can be even more tricky with extended family, as a result, as there is physical distance. But supportive families tend to promote some safe and direct communication. Talk to your children, partner, and even parents and siblings about how much you love them and want to support them. Then when something comes up down the line, like health challenges, for example, you’ll all be more likely to share. Then you will all be more open about talking about the issues at hand, like deciphering the facts about hearing aids together or knowing what the best course is with a sick and aging parent. Keep communication open and honest and that could be all of the support that you will ever need to have.

Problem solving skills

When you are a parent, you will have the chance to show your children some ways of doing things and how to handle certain situations. Children do learn from their parents a variety of different things, but they definitely learn how to best interact with the world, as well as dealing with challenges. So model your behavior in a positive way, and then they can learn in a positive way what they should do. You may need to help occasionally, but generally, giving them the chance to solve their own issues will help them later in life. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Top Tips For Handling Neighbors Who Are a Nuisance

When you are living around other people, you expect a reasonable level of peace. It’s a bonus if your neighbors are the kind of people to offer to invite you to a cookout or who would clear snow from your yard in the winter. Unfortunately, if you are living nearby to those who are quite happy to make life difficult, it can really put a downer on the perfect home you’ve bought. There’s nothing worse than the awkward silences, cross words and averted eyes when you are going into and leaving your home. 

The problem is that confrontation can make a situation worse and not knowing how to handle it can be a problem. Whether the issue is with overly loud music played at unreasonable hours or a dog locked into the house that won’t stop barking all day long, resentment can build to dangerous levels. In some situations, it’s easy to divert the anger and resentment and resolve the whole issue with a conversation. In others, it’s not so easy and requires the help and advice of Takajian & Sitkoff to help to mediate the discussion and keep things civil. No one has to love their neighbors, but a level of calm civility that will enable you to live side by side without any tension building up. So, how do you deal with neighbors that make you feel uncomfortable?
Dog on Concrete Road
  • Firstly, it can help to understand what your rights are. Some people have irritating behaviour, but is the behavior dangerous and becoming a genuine issue affecting your life or the life of your family? If it is, then there is a problem that may be bordering on illegal. Playing children who are screeching throughout the day may be annoying, but that’s not illegal. However, extremely loud music or noise disturbances that go long into the night may well be bordering on criminal behavior.
  • Next, the most sensible thing to do is to have a calm conversation with your neighbor. Are they deaf and can’t hear how loud they’re being? Are they aware of their behavior being annoying? A conversation can get across your point of being disturbed without any animosity. It may be a simple case that they are unaware of the situation. You don’t have to march around there; waiting for a passing opportunity equals no pressure.
  • If you don’t feel you can approach your neighbor, write them a letter instead. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it does need to be polite. It also gives you the chance to avoid a face to face confrontation. 
  • If all these lines of communication don’t work, you can take the conversation in front of a mediator and manage the dispute that way. It’s essential to seek legal advice here, especially if you feel the situation won’t change. You don’t have to live anywhere you feel uncomfortable, but you equally shouldn’t have to move away because of their behavior. 

Living in peace is the goal here, so start with the tips above and go from there.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Accidents in the Home


While domestic accidents are not an everyday occurrence for every family, they can easily happen due to carelessness. Luckily, being precautious can prevent accidents occurring to those who are most vulnerable, including children, disabled individuals and the elderly.

Electrical Safety
Our homes are our safe haven but can also unfortunately be a place where accidents can occur. While serious accidents and fatalities are uncommon, it is always important to consider the dangers and actively try to prevent them. Ensure that your wiring installation in your house is checked for safety every five years at minimum, replace worn or damaged appliances, and never overload electrical circuits.

Prevent Slips
While it may seem unlikely, slips and falls in the home can be hazardous. To reduce the risk,  mop up water that has been spilt on hard floor, and always ensure that pathways and stairways are clear of toys or clutter. This is also a useful step to take in preparation for potential emergencies such as fires and extreme weather where you need to escape quickly. 

Car Safety
It’s well known that car accidents can be devastating, and you may need a car accident lawyer to take legal action. Howr, it’s reassuring to know that you can take multiple steps to prevent any accidents. It’s important not to neglect the golden rule of buckling up, ensure your children have done the same if they are able to do so themselves, and to use a child safety seat for younger children.  Keeping your car maintained is equally as important in the prevention of car accidents. Most crucially, never drive while under the influence or allow someone to.

Safety in the Kitchen
Kitchens can pose a large threat to younger children if it is not made safe. To make your kitchen an area that is out of harm’s way, ensure that sharp tools such as kitchen knives are kept out of arm’s reach of children, such as in higher drawers. Similarly, keep medication and dangerous liquids such as bleach in a high place, or consider purchasing a container which you can lock and keep your potentially hazardous items secure. To prevent burns, always keep the handles of your cooking pans facing away from you so they can’t be easily grasped by children.

Safeguard the Risk of Fires
Fires can destroy your personal belongings, cause damage to your home, and can also be lethal. There are several leading reasons for fires, but also several measures that can be put in place to prevent them from occurring in your home. Ensure that candles, portable heaters, matches, lighters are always monitored around children, and kept away from flammable liquids and items in the home such as furniture and curtains. Be watchful of cooking pans, and never leave them unattended or overheating. You can greatly reduce the risk of a fire by installing a smoke detector ideally on each floor of your home. Additionally, if you have fire doors, check that they are shut at night, and that exits inside your house are not blocked in case you need to get out quickly.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tips to Avoid the Dread of Spring Cleaning

(image from: https://pennstatehealthnews.org/2019/05/the-medical-minute-six-tips-for-safe-spring-cleaning/)Winter has all but passed us by, and Spring is just around the corner. With the new season, it is time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home. Spring cleaning is important for everyone, especially if you are someone who is prone to suffering from allergies. You owe it to yourself and your family members to enjoy a clean that is more than just the surface. But, you do not have to dread spring cleaning. You just need to find a way to organize and implement the cleaning. So let’s look at some spring cleaning tips to get your home in shape and allergy free. 

Start with a schedule
Scope out your home. Find which areas need the most work first. What areas do you usually skip during normal routine cleaning? Those are the best places to start. Though it does not really matter where you start, having a plan in place for how and when you are going to tackle each room will help you stay focused and motivated. Try looking online for spring cleaning checklists or templates to make this even easier. 

Time to declutter
Taking some time to reduce clutter makes you more efficient and helps you to stay organized. More than that though, clutter has the ability to influence your mood. It can signal your brain that work is not done. It has been shown that a disorganized home can add to your stress level. Add the stress to how much inhaling dust is hard on your body, and it can all take a toll. If you find that decluttering is too hard, try organizing the way you are going about it. Take it one room at a time, and focus on what you really need in your home versus what can stand to be trashed or sold. 

Start from the top
Since spring cleaning is such a deep clean, it is important to start from the ceiling and work your way down. Doing so forces debris downward and keeps you from having to redo cleaning and dusting that has already been done. If you have a vacuum with an extension hose, use it to get the cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans. After the ceiling, work on tables and furniture, then focus on cleaning the dust and debris from the floor. This is more efficient and it will save you time. 

Carpet Cleaning
If you are like many other people, you probably do not have a vacuum with the capacity to deep clean your carpets. This is important because you do not want to simply vacuum and wash your hands of the situation. At least once a year (spring cleaning is great) you should get your carpets deep cleaned. You can do this through carpet cleaning services like Chem-Dry of Richmond, or rental services at your local grocery store. Whatever you choose, make sure you are able to get your carpets treated and free of debris and dirt. 

Go Green for Spring Cleaning
Your entire goal is to start spring off on a clean note, so don’t ruin that by exposing yourself to chemicals and toxins that can be avoided. A steam cleaner is a great green product for spring cleaning. You can use it to clean your microwave, tile, hardwood floors, kitchen appliances, bathrooms, and some outdoor areas. Since steam cleaners rely on hot water vapor, they are 100% natural and chemical-free solutions. If you don’t want to buy a steam cleaner, the best natural combinations for cleaning is white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water. 

Don’t forget the walls and windows
It is pretty typical for people to clean their floors, but they can easily forget about the walls and windows. But, not all dust settles on the floor and other surfaces. Take a damp towel and wipe down the walls and blinds (top to bottom). Take the screens out of your windows and wipe those down as well. When it comes to cleaning the actual window, a steam cleaner and squeegee are great for reducing water spots and keeping windows shiny. 

The kitchen and bathroom are important too
Don’t be afraid of cleaning your bathroom. There are plenty of ways to clean them quickly and hit the trouble spots. Some common trouble areas that you may run into include:
    Bathrooms:
  • Change your shower curtain (at least the liner)
  • Go through your makeup drawer and medicine cabinets and throw away items that are expired or not used
  • Clean out the bathroom fan (this can hold a lot of dust and other unpleasant items). The fans ventilate moisture during showers and remove odors and vapor. They help keep the bathroom air clean and safe for use.. 
    Kitchens:
  • Wipe down the cabinets
  • Clean out the pantry and fridge. Wipe down the shelving and throw away items that are old or expired
  • Use gentle cleaners or a steam cleaner on your stainless steel appliances to avoid scratching or marking the surfaces. 

Clean the air too
Replace your furnace and HVAC filters. This is one of the most important and often overlooked parts of spring cleaning. By replacing a standard filter with a new, more robust one, you will be healthier and happier as you enter spring. They catch small and irritating particles that can make you unhappy and cause respiratory issues. This is an inexpensive way to make sure you are breathing clean and healthy air. Also consider getting an air purifier to help get rid of the dust of winter.


Spring cleaning can be stressful and daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Organize the way you want to tackle the process and have a plan so that you can get through it without too much of a hassle. Your house (and body) will thank you.

What You Need to Get Right Regarding You Dental and Oral Health

When it comes to your health, you might be on top of your diet, exercise plenty and look after your skin and hair. But are you taking the right steps to care for your dental and oral health as well? It’s something that can often be overlooked. People brush a couple of times a day and think that they don’t need to pay any more attention to their oral health than that, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here are some of the things you’ll need to get right.

Keep Your Tongue Clean

First of all, you should think about keeping your tongue clean. Not everyone knows it, but plaque also builds up on the tongue and that can be avoided. Many toothbrushes have a tongue scraper on one side, so make the most of this at the very least. You might want to buy a better one too.

Embrace a More Teeth-Friendly Diet

Teeth-friendly eating is another thing to consider. If you want to combat acid in the mouth, there are some foods in particular that can help with this. For example cheese is very good at doing this. And foods such as nuts, vegetables and chicken are also very good for your general oral health. Foods that are good for your general health tend to be good for your oral health too, so it’s not complicated.


Know Which Dental Professionals You Trust

It’s important to have your teeth checked by a dentist regularly, but you need to know which dentist and dental practice you should turn to. Research the options such as dental lab in your area. Find the one that you feel most comfortable trusting with your dental and oral health going forward. When you feel that you have a dentist you can trust, you’ll put off visiting the dentist a little less!

Change What You Drink

Changing how you drink and what you drink can also help. Of course, it’s best to avoid drinks that are filled with sugar because they can, over time, corrode your teeth and cause all kinds of problems. But if you simply can’t stop drinking these, it’s best to at least use a straw so the drink doesn’t wash over your teeth all the time. Of course, the best course of action is to predominantly drink water.

Brush Properly and Comprehensively

Brushing is something that we take for granted. And because you do it every day, you might not pay much attention to how you’re doing it or whether you’re getting it right. Taking a comprehensive and careful approach to brushing should involve brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day. And this should be followed by flossing too.

It’s all too easy to neglect your dental and oral health, but that’s something that you shouldn’t let happen for a second longer. With the right approach to these areas of your health and hygiene, you’ll avoid health problems later in life. It’s about taking care of things now and preventing pain and hassle later.

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