Monthly Archives: January 2020

What to Watch for in Aging Parents During Visits

As parents get older, they often remain in a state of denial regarding their diminished abilities. They don’t want to become a burden or lose their independence. Because of this, they may not be entirely honest. When you visit their home, look for clues to determine if they are keeping quiet about problems they’re having.

Home Upkeep

Upon arrival, take a close look around the property. Pay attention to the need for yard or home maintenance. They might have difficulty mowing or trimming hedges. Determine if their housekeeping habits have changed? Sometimes older people have a hard time keeping up with normal chores and let clutter and dirt build-up. Disorder is another sign that something isn’t right. Check appliances to ensure they are in working order and don’t have damage. Examine vehicles for dents and scratches. According to US News the elderly might justify dents and scratches. They avoid telling adult children because they do not want to lose their driver’s license.

2. Heath Deterioration

As you visit with your elderly relatives, look for changes in their moods or extreme mood swings. These might indicate a larger problem. Watch them perform simple, familiar tasks. If they experience difficulty or confusion, they might need assistance to continue performing these tasks. Ask questions if you notice they have low energy or show signs of depression. They might be lonely, but often there is another more concerning explanation. Focus on their eating habits. Do they have a poor diet or unexplained weight loss? The Mayo Clinic indicates that weight loss might come from difficulty cooking, loss of taste or smell, or an underlying condition.


Forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging. However, it is often one of the first indications that your loved one might need additional care, such as in-home services from Tandem CarePlanning. Late payments, and bounced checks might reveal difficulty keeping track of financial matters. As you visit, check cabinets and refrigerators for spoiled or expired food that they forgot to throw away. Ask them about their medicine routine and if they forget to take dosages. Listen in the conversation for indications that they missed important appointments or forgot important details. Go with them to familiar places to see if they get lost or disoriented. Many older people will forget somethings, such as why they walked into a room. However, be aware of more concerning areas.

Appearance and Behavior

During your time with your elderly parent or loved one, look for changes in their appearance and behavior. Were they previously a neat person but now seem unkempt? Often aging individuals will neglect personal hygiene. They either forget when they last bathed or think that it takes too much effort. They may have trouble getting in and out of the shower or are afraid of falling. Talk with your loved one about the reasons they may not be bathing as often. Be supportive and help them find solutions. Be on the lookout for a loss of interest in hobbies, which frequently signals depression.

As your parents or other relatives age, they will need more and more help. By being proactive, you can step and slow the aging progression. Many adult children are apprehensive about getting help for their parents. However, failing to step up only allows things to get worse.

A Guide to Digital Marketing for Solo Entrepreneurs

Running an online business as a solo entrepreneur is really an awesome experience and lifestyle. Thanks to the internet, laptops, smartphones and other digital and mobile technology, you can literally operate a business from anywhere in the world. And you can launch and grow your business with very little money.

Still, despite all the perks of running an online business and all the freedom this lifestyle can bring, it still takes some work. And just like every other business out there, you’ve got to market your products and services and get customers in order to succeed.

Digital marketing is actually a massive topic. But here are four basic ways to market your online business.

1. Create High-Quality Content for Your Blog Readers

Content marketing is generally the first step for most soloprenuers.

You’ll need to pick a niche, start a website and then create blog posts that give valuable information to your readers. Focus on them and on their needs. Try not to write blog posts just for search engines or just to put out some content. But really put thought and effort into helping your subscribers solve their problems by giving them in-depth information and pointing them to products that will benefit them.

2. Promote Your Blog on Social Media

Then next way to market your business is to create content on social media.

You’ll want to build an audience across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok and Youtube by sharing content that they’ll love and that they’ll want to share.

Some social media sites make it easy to sell directly to your audience on the platform, but others don’t make it so easy. So ultimately, you want to drive traffic from your social accounts to your blog and landing pages where you can convert readers into customers.

3. Grow Your Email List Using Automated Sales Funnels

Once you get people onto your blog and landing pages, don’t try to push them into buying your services and products just yet. First, get them onto your email list so that you can build a relationship with them. Then you can promote and sell to them over and over for little or no additional cost.

The great thing is that you don’t have to build that relationship one person at a time. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do that. Instead, use simple automation and content distribution systems to do your marketing for you.

Set up an email marketing funnel with a series of emails that combine valuable free information with occasional sales pitches for progressively more profitable products.

4. Create PPC Ads and Custom Landing Pages

While you can build a successful business using only free marketing methods like social media, email lists and blogging, many solo entrepreneurs accelerate their business growth by investing in online ads.

There are many ways to advertise online – Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Youtube Ads, for example – and there are tons of ways to target those ads to your viewers to increase your conversion rate and lower advertising costs.

Marketing your online business is the key to your success as a solo entrepreneur. It can take a lot of work, but by investing time, energy and resources into these four digital marketing strategies you can grow your business and scale it up to achieve financial freedom.

4 Cost Effective Ways For People to Remember Your Brand

Not everyone has a ton of cash saved up to launch their brand initially. At the get-go, it is not unusual for company owners who are just starting out to take full advantage of any way to market themselves that they can with as little to no money as possible. What you may not realize is just how much money can be spent when you run ad campaigns on social media sites and through search engines. Here are just a handful of inexpensive ways to make the world aware of who you are and what you do.

Involve Yourself

By involving yourself with the community that surrounds the theme of your brand, you will be able to better reach those who would be interested in buying into your brand. Whether you sell an actual product or are attempting to sell a service of some kind for people, you will find that being a participating member of any forums on the topic will show the world that there is a face to the brand. Being someone that people can relate to will pay itself off in spades, especially if the product you are trying to sell is yourself.

Social Media

This brings us to the next very important cost effective way to spread brand awareness. There is no reason why you should not have a social media account created on all of the major social media websites. Even if you do not post very often on these sites, there are still those people who will attempt to look up your brand on them. If you are not at least present when they search for you, that can be a red flag for some people. It may give them the impression that you are not in touch with today’s media, which can, in turn, sour their idea of what you represent. At best, this seemingly innocuous mistake could cause people to think you are simply out of touch. At worse, it can make your company seem sketchy or too mysterious to keep their interest.

Wear What You Sell

Wear your brand wherever you go. That’s right, you can achieve completely free advertising by showing off your brand through branded merchandise. If you are actually selling clothing, then wearing what you are selling is an absolute necessity to get your name out there. Even if only one person per day goes to your website from a hoodie you were wearing walking around town for a few days, that is still one more person who may not have heard about your business otherwise. The reason this is so cost effective is due to the fact that you don’t have to have a whole lot of merchandise on hand. All you need are a few articles of clothing with your logo and website or phone number printed on it for you to personally wear in your free time. If you can afford it, you can go the extra mile and get hats or tees made to give to your friends and family too for free or a small fee to support your brand.

Keep Things Memorable

Having a great name and impressive logo is just part of the battle. Other things that companies should try and invest in is a memorable toll free phone number that people customers can easily remember. Owning a toll free number that is synonymous with your brand can give the impression that you are a large company that can be better relied upon, since it shows that you provide strong customer service resources for customers to rely upon.

The Importance of Shipping When Scaling Your Online Store

Operating an online store requires delivering goods to your customers across the globe. The best part is that you can employ various strategies to make the shipping process seamless. Also, you should choose a shipping company that has a good reputation. This way, the products will arrive safely in good condition. The secret also lies in meeting your customers’ expectations regardless of their locations. Please have a look at why shipping is vitally important as you scale your online business.

Customer Retention

You can retain customers with sheer simplicity if you deliver their goods to their doorstep. Many people are busy at work, and when you ship the items, they will be happy that they got them. When it comes to international clients, you will have saved them the cost and time in picking up the goods from your store. For this reason, you will satisfy all their needs, and in turn, they will want to do more online shopping in your store.

Safe Delivery

When it comes to packaging items, some standards need to be followed before delivery. If your business meets the specifications, you are sure of safe delivery to your clients. Therefore, you can invest in stretch wrappers that guarantee secure packing. Global shipping will become seamless if you have quality tools to facilitate the process. In the end, you will meet the needs of your clients once the products arrive in perfect condition.

Tracking Option

With shipping, you can track the package when it’s in transit. The customer also has the possibility of checking the progress and how far it is before arrival. As a business owner, you will be safe from losing your items on the way. On the flip side, the buyer takes it easy since he or she can monitor the details online. They will be aware of the exact delivery date and time, as well. You should indicate their names well and location to make sure that it gets to the recipient.


Over time, delivering goods to clients comes with pocket-friendly rates. Furthermore, if you have a substantial client base, the chances are high that you will be delivering vast products. Hence, you will get discounts on delivery fees depending on the location. It applies if you are keen on doing free shipping to boost your business. Also, you need to set appropriate shipping rates to your buyers based on location, weight, and size. The elements come in handy as you explain the costs to your clients.

Minimizes Returns and losses

It’s no secret that shipping is designed to mitigate returns to your online store. If the delivery is successful, and the product is satisfactory, the client will not feel the need to give it back. This way, you will not incur losses that come from damaged items. Plus, if you work with the right company that transports the items, you will have more gains than worries.


Your online store attracts profits through shipping in many ways. The best approach is to offer discounts on shipping when clients buy items to an absolute value. Plus, they can benefit from free delivery if they purchase products up to about $100. Your business will grow exponentially and become more lucrative than before. Customer loyalty and satisfaction will develop, and you will be glad that you employed the strategy.

Things to Consider When Transitioning Your Parents to In-Home Care

There comes a time in life where our parents are no longer able to care for us as they did when we were younger. In some cases, they aren’t able to care for themselves, and it becomes necessary for us to step in and get them the care they need.

Moving your parents to a care home might feel cruel since they will be in unfamiliar territory and surrounded by unfamiliar faces most of the time. While you may consider moving in with your parents to ease the burden that aging has placed on them, this might not always be an option.

Luckily, options such as in-home care exist. This is a way to get your aging parents the care they need in the comfort of their own home. While they may need to get used to a new face, the environment does not change. Here are some things to consider when transitioning your parents to in-home care:

What is in-home care?

In-home care means that you hire a qualified healthcare provider, such as a nurse, to provide care to your aging parents in their own home. Services provided by these caregivers will vary, and you can choose the right caregiver and services for your parents’ needs.

Home care provides numerous advantages. You get to decide how much care your aging parent receives. If your parents only need help around the house when they are awake, you can schedule your caregiver in this way. Similarly, if your parent needs to be cared for 24 hours a day, you can find caregiving services that provide for this.

Finding a caregiver is made much easier by Tandem Careplanning. You are able to find the right caregiver for your needs through the agency. All you need to do is supply the information about what you are looking for, and the agency does the rest. This includes finding the right caregiver, offering support, and taking care of the payment. You do not need to hand over cash to the caregiver you choose.

Budgeting concerns

Something to consider when getting in-home care for your aging parents is whether you can afford it. Often medical insurance will not cover the full cost, and that becomes someone else’s burden.

Rearranging your budget may not be a simple process, but it is necessary. Choosing the right care package to best balance out your budget and your parents’ needs might be necessary.

If you want 24-hour care, but can only afford a dayshift caregiver, it might be necessary for you to take on the responsibility of the additional hours by moving in with your parents. While it might restrict your freedom, it might not be for a long time and it is important to cherish whatever time you still have with them.

Physical, mental, and emotional preparations

While you might be ready to bring in a caregiver, you need to prepare your parents. They need to know that you will no longer be the primary caregiver. Speak to them about your plans and your reasoning.

Allow them time to transition. Having a new, unfamiliar face around the house every day might not be a big deal for you, but for older parents, it may take some time to adjust. Allowing your parents the time to adjust is what will help them build a positive relationship with the caregiver.

Finally, make sure the house is safe for your elderly parents. Remove all trip hazards and make sure every slippery surface has a grip-mat. Even with round-the-clock care, accidents can happen and you want to make this as unlikely as possible.

What are the Most Common Dental Emergencies?

Sudden issues with teeth, gums and even jaws can catch anyone off guard. The most diligent dental hygiene regimens may fail to prevent emergency conditions. However, the right open treatment center and trained acute care team can tackle these concerns 24 hours a day.

Here is what you need to know about common dental emergencies, how to prevent them and how to address them if they happen any time of day or night.

Common Dental Emergencies

Impacted and Infected Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth may not have room to fully emerge or may crowd other teeth in the mouth when they do. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult or impossible to reach to clean. They put sufferers at risk for tooth decay, infection and more.

Unpleasant symptoms can land you in dental emergency care for solutions and procedures after hours:

  • Pain and swelling in the gums and jaws
  • Bleeding, itching and irritated gums
  • Foul mouth odor, beyond normal bad breath
  • Accidental scrapes and lacerations on the tongue and inner cheek areas
  • Infection from improper cleaning, with fever and fatigue

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Common teeth injuries range from small enamel cracks to severe fractures. These breaks can reach sensitive nerves in the tooth’s dentin. The pain can be incredible.

Household accidents, rough sports and sudden falls can injure teeth. Severe incidents can dislodge or fracture jaws and require immediate medical attention. Take preventative steps.

  • Wear a mouthguard for sports like hockey, baseball and boxing.
  • Open nuts with nutcrackers, not your teeth.
  • Be cautious about eating almonds, popcorn (kernels) and hard candies.

Old Cavities, Fillings and Crowns

A cavity may flip from a mere nuisance to a raging pain in a matter of days. Even non-sugary foods can become unbearable. People also wind up in unimaginable pain if old fillings and crowns come loose or wear down from time or bad habits like chewing ice and hard candies.

Emergency dental care is necessary when sufferers simply can not wait to fill cavities or restore worn-out fillings and crowns.

Handling Dental Emergencies

You want to have a regular care regimen to maintain healthy teeth and gums so emergencies are kept to a minimum.

  • Brush your teeth in the morning, at night and after meals.
  • When brushing after meals is not possible, rinse mouth with plain water to remove food particles and bacteria.
  • Chew sugar-free gums and avoid sugary candies.
  • Use dental floss and alcohol-free mouthwash every day.

Always have a regular dentist near your primary residence for routine checkups and maintenance. However, also keep a list of trusted offices to visit wherever you may travel frequently or plan to travel in the near future.

It pays in the long run to use an affordable emergency dental office rather than wait, because a problem may worsen. These professionals are trained in emergency practice just in case you experience pain, discomfort or injury outside your regular doctor’s hours.

If you live in the Houston area or plan to be here soon, consider us when you need an “emergency dentist near me.” We are are ready to service you at a moment’s notice.

Is Long Term Food Storage Right for You?

You might be wondering what the hype is about stockpiling food for emergency preparedness and survival. In fact, long term food storage has been in practice for a very long time. There is a real art and science to the preservation of food dating back thousands of years. Think of eras when there was no refrigeration.

In modern times, food storage techniques are quite sophisticated and can result in foods that can last many years if sealed properly. So, why would you want or need to put food away for another time? Let’s explore the most common reasons for long term food storage.

Reasons for Long Term Food Storage

Natural and Man-Made Disasters

One of the more common reasons for stockpiling food is so that you are prepared in the event of a devastating storm that knocks all power and roads out for days or longer. This can also be useful in the event of a man-made disaster, such as a fire or even war. Armed forces troops rely on preserved Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) kits for sustenance while in the field.

Economic Hardship

Imagine unexpectedly losing your primary source of income and facing the prospect that you can’t put food on the table for your family for some time. This is when canned and jarred goods, pasta, grains, and dried produce can get you through the rough times.

Extended & Remote Travel

When trekking through the great outdoors or visiting remote destinations you will likely have to rely on prepared meals and beverages to survive. If you are an avid hiker, you might have noticed outposts along trails where packages can be delivered for pick-up. These are often food items that have been preserved and mailed by backpackers to themselves for replenishing their food stores.

Food Storage Methods

As mentioned earlier, food storage techniques are fairly sophisticated these days. You can obviously pick up canned and jarred items at your market. Or, you can order dehydrated prepared meals from reputable companies that specialize in survival. You can also prepare your own foods for storage using some of these techniques and equipment.

A dehydrator is a wonderful low temperature oven with mesh shelves that allow for air to circulate around food for drying it. Dehydrators are best for drying fruit, vegetables, nuts, and animal protein to extend their shelf life.

Pressure canning is a method of preserving fresh produce and protein in glass jars. Sterilized jars containing foods in a bath of brine or syrup are sealed via steam under pressure. This is something you can do at home.

It is possible to freeze dry food in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. This involves freezing fresh foods on trays to remove as much moisture as possible, including fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, and tofu. Once the moisture has vaporized, place the food in vacuum sealed bags for best storage results. Store freeze dried foods in your freezer or pantry.

Food storage buckets with gamma seal lids are ideal for bulk items, such as dried beans, grains, sugar, salt, and powdered milk. The buckets must be food grade. Gamma seal lids are designed to keep moisture and pests out of the containers.

Common Food Options for Long Term Storage

While there are really few limits on what you can store long term, there are some staples that you might want to include in your preparedness stash. The goal is to choose foods that will last for at least 3 to 5 years. Just remember to store them by date and replenish as you use the foods. Here are the top choices:

  • White rice
  • Rolled oats
  • Pasta
  • Dried fruits and vegetables
  • Dried beans
  • Canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups
  • Peanut butter
  • Jerky
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Powdered milk
  • Bouillon packets
  • Coffee and tea
  • Powdered electrolyte drinks
  • Energy bars

Final Thoughts

Long term food storage is a smart way to extend the shelf life of foods that may come in handy in an emergency, times of economic hardship, and for camping trips. It is always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Hopefully, this primer has given you some tips for long term food storage. And don’t forget to enjoy the foods before they expire.