Sports Equipment – Choose Carefully For Long Lasting Sports Equipment

Whether you are a biker, a hiker or like to kayak in white water, you may be amazed at the variety sports equipment available today.

Remember that old ten-speed bike you used to ride? You will find that bike almost qualifies as an antique today. The engineering and manufacturing of bicycles has led to bikes specialized for the riding you want to do. Some years ago when you bought a bike you wanted a street bike, a dirt bike or a ten-speed. The choice of bikes today is much broader:

You may choose a road bike or recumbent bicycle, a mountain bike or a utility bike to carry items when you shop. If you choose a performance or racing bike you will have more gears than you may know what to do with and the same is true of the newly popular touring bike designed for comfort on long rides.

If you played pick up basketball games in your youth you may remember the only way to have a basketball court at your house was to find a place to mount a heavy backboard. Today you can buy a free standing basketball goal that is sturdy and portable. By filling the base with sand or water the portable goal provides a fixed and study goal and backboard.

Any parent with a son or daughter playing little league baseball has noticed the wide variation in bats at sports equipment stores. No longer are kids happy with a good old wooden bat – now they need carefully balanced aluminum or alloy bats scaled to their size. Parents will also notice the prices have scale upward quite a bit, too, for these childhood staples.

For cricket, advances in materials development have led to lightweight portable cages and to leg guards and other pads that are more effective, easier to don and provide better protection than ever. Cricket shoes utilize mesh and synthetic leather and often use a gel component to provide comfort and light weight. Gloves are more protective yet easier to wear and are often given very sporty names such as the Kookaburra Angry Beast Batting Glove.

Perhaps the most enjoyed advance in sporting equipment are the goals, golf enclosures and net systems that are now produced from newer, lightweight materials. It is no longer necessary to travel to a sports field to practice a goal maneuver as these inexpensive products can be set up on your lawn and removed easily for storage. These are not the high profile sport equipment products that are featured in commercials on television but hobby sports enthusiasts often point to these new net systems as one of the most useful pieces of sports equipment they have purchased.



Lycia – Sailing Through the Centuries – A Cultural Gulet Cruise in Turkey

Lycia in southern Turkey is packed with some of the finest wonders of the world, with a coastline perfect for sailing. Today there is a whole raft of nautical charts and coastal pilots available for people cruising there. Yet only 200 years ago this coast in the Eastern Mediterranean was a complete blank on the earth’s atlases. The man we have to thank for its transformation, for literally putting this part of Turkey on the map, is a celebrated figure in all things maritime. His name is an absolute constant on shipping forecasts and various instruments, for it became the scale on which all winds are rated: Beaufort.

Of course the coast of Lycia was well known and used long before Francis Beaufort, a British Admiral, began his survey in 1810. It was directly on one of the main shipping routes in antiquity, the way between Greece and Egypt and in Christian times on the pilgrim trail from Constantinople to Jerusalem. Anybody who was anybody in ancient times seems to have sailed along its coast or changed ships there – from Anthony and Cleopatra to St. Paul, Brutus to Hadrian.

Yet these sailors are relatively recent compared with those who were travelling on one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made. The world’s oldest shipwreck lies off the Lycian shore, revealing the extraordinary length of time that people have been navigating along this coast. When the Ülü Burun wreck was dated to 1,350 BC, it sent shockwaves through maritime history. Here was a 3,350 year old vessel – a time capsule from the Bronze Age – and no ordinary little boat at that, but one carrying an extraordinary cargo that gives some idea of the sophisticated trade going on here in the dim and distant past. Aboard were tons of copper, ingots of glass and lapis lazuli, pellets of purple dye, swords and tridents, a wax book, and even a musical instrument similar to a lyre, probably used by the crew to entertain themselves of an evening. A golden scarab of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti is a clue as to the ship’s possible origin.

Today travellers can cruise in comfort unimaginable in the Bronze Age or even Beaufort’s time. The very best way to see the Lycian shore is aboard a gulet. The word probably derives from the French goulette, or schooner. For generations these two-masted wooden vessels, sometimes also known as caiques, have been used for transport and fishing along the southern coasts of Turkey. Typically designed with a sharp bow, broad beam and rounded aft, they are now designed and fitted with comfort, not trade in mind. Hand crafted in Turkey they come fully crewed, with a captain, cook, and additional deck hands. All passengers have to do is lie back, gaze at the horizon, and relax.

Much of the Lycian coast remains completely unspoilt. Soaring limestone mountains drop sheer into azure seas, carving the shore into a cavalcade of tiny coves, hidden bays, and pristine beaches. Hillsides are swathed in pine and olives trees. The ruins of countless ancient cities, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine cram the coast, limiting development to a few isolated areas. It’s the incredible combination of historical wonders, sailing, and superb swimming that make this coastline a truly magical destination.

Back in 1952, Freya Stark, one of the greatest women travellers of the 20th century, sailed along this shore and fell madly in love with it:

‘Every bay or headland of these shores, every mountain top round whose classic name the legends and clouds are floating, carries visible and invisible signs of its past… There are not so many places left where magic reigns without interruption… and of all those I know, the coast of Lycia is the most magical.’

Where the native Lycians came from and when is shrouded in the mists of time, but the civilisation they developed is utterly unique. Set between the Persian Empire to the east, and the ancient Greeks to the west, they borrowed ideas from both, fusing them into an exceptional architectural style, best seen in the tombs they’ve left behind. There are giant monolithic pillars crowned with grave chambers made of marble dating back some 2,500 years. Hewn out of cliff faces are gigantic tombs fashioned to look like Greek temples. Other burials were fashioned from the living rock to look like houses, complete with roof timbers, exactly like the wooden grain stores used in the surrounding countryside to this very day. Most common are the Gothic looking sarcophagi, thousands of them still litter the region, some decorated with the head of Medusa or ferocious lions to ward off tomb robbers. The lids of these sarcophagi curve up to a narrow point, which if you look at them upside down, appear like a ship’s hull and keel, a significant motif for such a seafaring people.

Many of the greatest Lycian sites are directly accessible from the coast. Cast off after breakfast from Göçek, one of the main yachting centres in the region, and within a couple of hours you can have travelled back 1,400 years. Moor up at Gemiler island, less than a kilometre in length, and you’ll be able to explore the remains of a small Christian community from Byzantine times, that’s been surveyed by Japanese archaeologists over the past two decades. Clinging to the island’s slopes are no less than five churches, littered with geometric mosaics and fallen columns carved with crosses. The northern shore is packed with houses and shops equipped with cisterns where rainwater was collected and probably sold on for a tidy sum to passing shipping. Climb up through the trees and you’ll find an ancient processional way used by pilgrims en route to the cathedral church on the island’s peak. Time your visit correctly and you’ll reach the top ready to experience one of the very finest sunsets imaginable: the sea sparkling with gold as ranges of craggy hills turn into shimmering silhouettes.

Just inland from Gemiler lies Kaya Koy, a place brimming with atmosphere and mystery, the setting for Louis de Berniere’s latest novel. This is a genuine ghost town, abandoned by its Greek inhabitants when Turkey and Greece swapped populations in 1923. It’s not very old by the standards of other ruined towns along the coast, but wandering along its empty streets past crumbling houses and chapels is both pleasurable and inspiring, and makes you realise quite how well the truly ancient sites have survived.

Back on the gulet, life is like one long list of heavenly pleasures: a morning dip into the warm turquoise waters; a spot of snorkeling beside the rocky shore; an adventurous turn on the windsurfer as a breeze comes up; a short expedition in the kayak to scout out a hidden inlet. Needless to say if you want to conserve your energy, there are relaxation opportunities galore, from reading and sunbathing to a full blown snooze. Then there’s the parade of tasty treats sent out from the galley, a real cornucopia of freshly prepared mezes and main dishes; stuffed eggplants, grilled lamb, multicoloured olives, spicy meatballs, feta cheese, and a whole host of salads tossed with local lemons and olive oil. On top of that is the bounty of fresh seasonal fruit: from mulberries to melons, pomegranates to strawberries. Turkey is a gastronome’s paradise and the ship’s cook never fails to conjure up mouthwatering sensations each and every day.

As you set sail from another languid lunch stop and the boat’s captain checks his position on the GPS, spare a thought for Captain Beaufort cruising along this coast at the start of the 19th century. He complained in his diary how little he had to go on to find his way:

“the only accounts extant were those left by the ancient geographers… there was no nautical description of the coast, nor any charts whatever by which the mariner could steer”

His task was utterly painstaking. Dragging a 100 yard long steel chain marked with flags and poles on the shore, they took meticulous sightings and sextant angles, and plotted the resulting position points. Slowly but surely his team of surveyors worked their way along the coast, putting Lycia on the map, despite the heat and overgrown vegetation:

“their shoes cut on the rocks, soaked by the quagmires, or burned in the red hot sands were of but little use’.

One of the prettiest places along the whole coast is Üçağız, which means ‘three mouths’. This tiny fishing village is connected to the interior by a thin rutted road that twists tortuously through a wild landscape of knife edge rocks. Not surprisingly the village is there because of the sea. It’s beautifully protected by two giant spits of land as well as the long thin mass of Kekova Island which forms a natural breakwater. This has been a vital harbourage for some 2,500 years, and its history lies all about. On one side is an incredible necropolis (literally ‘city of the dead’) of stone sarcophagi standing up to ten foot tall and dating back to the 5th century before Christ; on the other; the storage buildings, churches, and houses of the Byzantine town a 1,000 years later. The modern village of Üçağız is tiny compared to its predecessors. Here you can find a few small places to stay; a couple of shops selling food and carpets, a tiny mosque, some restaurants and a bar. That’s it. It’s a perfect place to moor up and idle away a couple of days.

Sail east and the Taurus Mountains suddenly recede from the shore revealing a large fertile plain at Finike, which is the source of many of Turkey’s oranges. A glorious hour’s drive inland rises up and up to the ancient site of Arykanda. Set high on the side of a mountain this Greek and then Roman town literally has it all. It’s been dubbed the ‘Turkish Delphi’ because of its spectacular location and excellent preservation, but unlike the site in Greece you’re more than likely to be the only visitors there. There are all the usual trappings of a prosperous antique city – agora, stadium, temples, baths – but the setting makes it truly stand out. The view from the top of the theatre down a steep sided valley to the distant mountains is simply heart-stopping.

There is more to Lycia than sailing and archaeology. One of the great highlights of the region now is the Lycian Way, Turkey’s first long distance footpath. Rated by the UK’s Sunday Times as one of the ten best walks in the world, the trail follows 500 km of ancient tracks and mule roads that linked the region before the coming of the car. Waymarked with red and white stripes, many sections of it follow the coast, so it’s perfectly possible to drop anchor and venture off for a gentle stroll or serious hike. Some gulet operators now offer specialist walking cruises, so you can trek along some of the very best stretches of the Lycian Way, with a boat ever present offshore, providing luxurious transport, dining and accommodation. What could be finer than walking along a Roman road or shepherd’s track, discovering remote ancient cities with breathtaking vistas, and then having a swim off the gulet at the end of the day?

In many parts of Lycia you can head a short distance inland and step back in time to a simpler, pre-industrial age – to a countryside worked much as it would have been in America and Europe a few centuries back. Go in the right month and you’ll find women in colourful trousers sickling down golden wheat grown on slender hill terraces. Walk along dirt roads and you’ll hear the tinkle of goat bells filling the air, with a goatherd ushering on his flock of shiny black charges. Very occasionally you might even come across some semi-nomadic charcoal burners arriving into harbour with the fruits of their labours after several months living and working in the forests.

It’s the timeless quality of Lycia that is one of its greatest attractions. Although a lot has changed since Francis Beaufort first mapped the coast and many of its ancient cities, there’s a great deal that he would recognise today. His survey revealed a magnificent coastline and an untapped wealth of archaeological wonders. It wasn’t long before a whole army of European treasure hunters were out looking for the best ruins to ship home. When the first consignment of Lycian ‘marbles’ – statues, temples, and tombs – arrived at the British Museum in London they caused such interest and excitement among the public that there was a Gothic architectural revival. Fortunately there’s a vast amount left to be seen in Lycia, and more and more is being uncovered by archaeologists every year. These ancient sites form a perfect backdrop to a splendid sailing vacation. In many cases it’s possible to sail directly into the ancient harbour of a Lycian city and moor for the night. How much better can cruising get? Sailing the Lycian Shore really is the experience of a lifetime.



Update Your Featured Wardrobe Just Like You Update Your Fashion!

When we always think about a wardrobe the very thought that pops up in our mind would be related to a clean & clutter free environment of our room. But, have we ever wondered how untidy & disorganized the room could turn out to be when you have no wardrobes in them? Besides with an unhygienic essence, it will also project a false impression of your lifestyle. Not only this, if you have been using iron wardrobes they would rust out very soon, stand to be quite outdated and further to which there would be a need to upgrade your wardrobe with a new one.

A featured piece of furniture is anything and everything that fulfills your expectations and gives you a feeling of contentment. The price of a product does not determine the level satisfaction it would be able to provides us. So while buying a wardrobe ensure that it possess all the features you want to have in it. Refer to the points below that can guide you to some extent:

  1. Size and Space: Before browsing for wardrobes, analyze the size of it which could store your belongings well and does not occupy much space of your room. If your room is space constraint but your requirement for the wardrobe is large due to a large amount of collection, then you should opt for a cupboard which is compact but is spacious. This will help you arrange your belongings in a better way. And if you think the size of it is not much of concern but it should be spacious enough to accumulate your clothes then go for the large and spacious ones.
  2. Style of it: Wardrobes are available in various styles and types. But which one will be best for you depends on the interior decor of your room and In what quantity does modernization exist in your preference.The interior of your room will decide whether modern, contemporary, traditional or chick flick style of wardrobe go well with it. But the touch of modernization you require will decide whether the depository should have sliding doors, folding doors or swing doors.
  3. Life of material used to craft it: Ensure before buying that the material used to craft your store house for clothes is durable enough. The most trusted wood that comes with a promised durability is Solid Wood. So, make sure that your cupboard is built of the same. Otherwise, that day won’t be far away when you will have to change your wardrobe in the same frequency as you change your clothes!
  4. Shelves: Now categorize the items that you want to place in that cupboard such as a casual set of clothes, party wear clothes, formals, night dress, accessories, expensive possessions, etc. Now considering the categories made, determine the number of shelves that you would expect your wardrobe to have. Now-a-days you are provided with anytime removable and adjustable shelves which can be customized as per your needs in that present moment. This will keep your things organized, and you will be able to access them easily.
  5. Drawers: While you were making categories in the above-mentioned point, you must have also come across the small essentials that can’t be placed on the shelves as they can misplace. So, for those tiny items, you will require drawers in your wardrobe. You can store your expensive jewelry, cash, important documents related to bank, your education, property, etc. Because the drawers in the depository can be locked but shelves can’t.
  6. Hanging Rails: Hangers are an important aspect to consider because in their absence your clothes will get that shabby look. And this will increase your workload because every time you take out clothes to wear, you will first have to iron them and then wear it. But with the help of hangers, you can just take them out and wear them directly without putting in many efforts. They will enable your clothes to be uniform and keep them systematically organized.
  7. Mirrors: With this growing trend of selfies, demand for wardrobe with mirror in it, is increasing. Whenever you get ready for a party, that last glance you take in the mirror gives you confidence and that mental boost up. So, to ease and enhance your selfie sessions as well as that last glance of yours choose a wardrobe with a mirror in it. Getting a complimentary feature with all the above facilities and requirements is not a thing to easily let go off.



Brushed Nickel Bathroom Accessories

When choosing accessories for your bathroom, you may want something a bit more subdued than bright chrome for your fixtures and towel bars. While you may prefer metallic finishes, shiny gold plated or brass faucets and towel rings may be a bit too outdated for your taste. Brushed nickel bathroom accessories will give a metallic look that will go with many styles of cabinets, bathroom decor, flooring and linens.

You can purchase pieces separately or as a bathroom accessory set. You will need hardware for the sink including the drain, a towel bar, a towel ring, a robe hook, and toilet paper holder. Provided you only need one of each of those things, it is quite a bit less expensive to buy in a set than separate purchases. You can order some of the Fontaine bathroom in box items online or get them at your local home store. They come in modern as well as traditional styles and you can often find cabinet hardware to match. Searching online takes some time but will save you quite a bit of money if you have the time.

Moen makes a beautiful line of brushed nickel bathroom accessories. The Cabrina collection offers towel bars, rings, robe hooks, and toilet paper holders with a dramatically curved post for an elegant look. They also have door hardware, cabinet pulls, mirrors, outlet covers, and switch plates in the same beautiful finish to complete your remodel. Due to the popularity of the brushed nickel finish, there a quite a few complimentary pieces for your bathroom. Framed wall mirrors, shelving, hampers, shower curtain rings and waste paper baskets can all be found.

Brass and chrome have long been popular finishes for kitchen and bath accessories, but brushed nickel is now the most popular choices. It’s soft stain finish works well in modern as well as traditional homes. It is also much easier to care for. Chrome and brass are beautiful when first installed and polished but require considerably more effort to keep them looking like new and quite often the finish will come off which requires replacement.

Metallic finishes are the fashion right now and the trend has carried over into home accessories. Brushed nickel bathroom accessories will give a tired old bathroom and new modern look for much less than the cost of a complete remodeling. All you need is a few free hours a screwdriver, and some patience to transform your bathroom.



Education Software – Benefits to the Students, Parents and School Administration

Internet has spread its wings to dimensions unimaginable. As a result of which we have frog leaped a long distance within a short span of time. The internet’s incredible expansion and the augmented affordability of technology and access have united to escort them in the era of educational softwares. In the present times, the thought of giving out information and conducting educational projects online isn’t alien or futuristic. It’s rather become an everyday’s talk.

Education softwares are now a key constituent on the educational and business planets. The capability to tie to the Internet in a competent and reasonably priced way was a basic prerequisite for this software blast, and by exhibiting the same this provided totality to the entire scenario. Education Softwares offer an all inclusive ERP solution package for Schools, Colleges, Universities and Institute Offices that is beneficial to them in every way.

Educational institutions are gradually getting more multifarious and hence cannot be narrowed to just putting across education. They are dealt with a whole host of activities like admissions, placements, finance management, library management, hostel management and many other internal and external courses of action. Needless to say, that these educational institutions call for an integrated system to administer all their operations just like any other corporate house. Keeping in mind the burgeoning & instantaneous needs of schools, colleges, universities, and institutes, a revolutionary concept has been devised which is known as the Educational software. This comprehensive educational software caters to the A to Z requirements of the above concerns. Education ERP packages are well thought out softwares that automate the complete internal and external processes of an institution and also minister them in improving communication among Parents, Students, Teachers, Management, and Alumni. Not only have this, School/College Administration Softwares furnish the library requirements of these institutions through Library Automation Softwares as well.

These educational softwares are a great deal as they are one big combo of utility that delivers all. For example- Right from proffering School/College Bus Tracking System to Student Information System to Biometric Attendance Software to Library Automation Software it conveys all. It is an integrated information software suite that comprises of Student Information System that tenders the parents of any institution a real time bird watch on their children through sophisticated technology which today is no more a desirous imagination. All thanks to the Identification Technologies of 21st century. Intelligent Library Automation System is about an all-inclusive library management solution which is apposite equally for large and small libraries. Its supple design facilitates in the Library Automation System that is installed in the school Libraries.

With the commuter’s safety of schools & college’s in mind, these softwares have come up with a path breaking solutions. They offer reasonably priced real-time GPS School Bus Tracking System using chief industry technology integrating cellular GPS applications. They act as potent tools for the management and stay-at-home parents to know what’s happening on the roads, from home to college and vice versa. In nutshell, Educational softwares are superbly designed to meet the toto needs of institutions, as they encapsulate all the above features, which are surely demarcating their avant-garde presence in the market.



How to Make Fishing Lures

How to make fishing lures is one of those hobbies that is extremely fun to learn and very satisfying. There’s no feeling that can describe catching your first bass or trout on a fishing lure that you made all by yourself. The problem is there isn’t a lot of information out there in learning how to make fishing lures. Most people start off in the hobby through a lot of trial and error. I was no exception to this. Back when I was a boy I used to marvel at all the fishing and experience for a 12 year old boy, trying to carve out fishing lures out of your mom’s lures in my tackle box and wonder at how fishing lures were made.

My first few early attempts at making fishing tackle didn’t quite turn out. In fact the results were down right hilarious. Back then there wasn’t hardly any information about how to make fishing lures at all, so everything had to be learned through experience broom sticks and painting them with your car modeling testor paints. I still remember running down to the water with my first fishing lure that I had made. It didn’t wobble, I think the paint job only lasted a few minutes before starting to peel and hang off my lure like wet noodles. But it sure was a lot of fun.

Today learning how to make fishing tackle doesn’t have to be like back when I was boy. Even though there isn’t a ton of information available the art of making fishing lures has come a long way to helping the beginner.

The first step is having a basic knowledge of fishing tackle, design and function and knowing of what lure making supplies you really need. After that the fun can begin as you try your hand at making fishing lures. Here are a couple quick tips to help you out in making wooden fishing lures.

  • 1. Most wooden lures in your tackle box are made of a few different types of wood. Balsa and Basswood are the most common woods used to make fishing lures. However you can make some really great fishing lures out of more common wood found in you local home improvement store. Cedar makes some great fishing lures and you can use both red and white cedar. I have had great success using both. They carve and shape fairly easily and due to the woods water resiliency finish up nicely.
  • 2. Easy Ready to Go Painting Patterns. Did you know you can use your wife’s or mothers used nylons to get some great patterns on your fishing lures without a lot of fuss. By using an airbrush you can take advantage of some of the patterns on used nylons to make some great subtle patterns on the sides of wooden fishing lures just make sure to use an old pair or you just may find yourself in the dog house if you use your wife’s best Sunday nylons.
  • 3. Always seal your wooden plugs before painting. This was something I didn’t even know to do when I was a boy during my early fishing lure making attempts. It may sound like a small tip, but it goes a long way to making some nice fishing lures. Just use some wood sealer from your local home improvement store but here the crucial tip. After doing so sand down the fishing lure once more using very fine sandpaper, or even a brown paper bag. Wood sealers have a tendency to raise to raise the grain in wood, and this would result in an un-even paint job. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do, but it helps to create a better looking fishing lure.

There’s a lot more that can be shared about how to make fishing lures, and for most the best way to start learning is to jump in and start having some fun. I would suggest however to get the most from your first few tackle making attempts is to learn a little more about this fun hobby.



How to Become an Assisted Living Entrepreneur

Why an Assisted Living Facility is a Timely Business

Assisted living facilities, a healthy, safe and independent lifestyle for its residents, provide a combination of housing, personalized supportive services, transportation, meals, housekeeping, 24 hour supervision, and health care designed to meet the needs of people who require assistance with the activities of daily living. In the current financial crisis, healthcare businesses have emerged as one of the global top dependable business opportunities. Consequently, owning an assisted living facility is a good practical business opportunity as well as a chance to help others in need. This article will discuss why it is a timely and financially beneficial business, the population it serves, funding sources for residents, proprietors and types of assisted living.

A Timely and Financial Beneficial Business

Currently, more than one million Americans live in an estimated 20,000 assisted living residences. The Assisted Living Industry today, for the most part, caters to the top affluent 10% of the senior population of the country. This field has expanded rapidly from 1990 until 1997; then, overbuilding occurred in the field in 2002 and again in 2005. In 2007 the field started to expand again and in 2008 the field has expanded by individual entrepreneurs with smaller facilities that are in the 15-50 unit range. Niche, facilities continue to thrive and expand.  Another need which makes an assisted living facility a timely and beneficial business is the ageing Baby Boomer population. The average Baby Boomer is 65 years old today. According to the United States Census Bureau report,  We The people: Ageing In The United States – a special Census 2000 report authored by  

Yvonne J. Gist and Lisa I. Hetzel, “In 2000, the 65-and-older population comprised 35.0 million people. Within this group, 18.5 million people or 53 percent were aged 65 to 74, 12.3 million or 35 percent were aged 75 to 84, and 4.2 million or 12 percent were aged 85 and over. Women outnumbered men in this group: 20.6 million women compared with 14.4 million men. The age groups 65 to 74 years and 85 and older each had nearly 2 million more women than men, and the 75-to-84 age group had nearly 3 Million more.”

Further, according to the United States Census bureau the total population of people 65 years and older in 2007 make up 12.6% of the total US population. With Florida, West Virginia and Pennsylvania making the top three states where these residents reside. The Baby Boomers, who will not fully impact the assisted living market until 2010, are starting to enter the assisted living market. The senior citizens’ market has expanded beyond any previous experience in American or world history because of the Baby Boomer phenomena. These individuals, whose unprecedented multiple numbers will now become senior citizens, and because of the modern medical community’s efforts, and our population in general living a healthier life style, a senior citizen market that we have not prepared for nor anticipated is developing. Consequently, it is a beneficial business opportunity to own an assisted living facility due to the shear statistics of a developing older population, advances in medical technology leading to people living longer and the federal and state governments looking to reduce costs utilizing assisted living facilities and adult day care centers as a continuum of care for the elderly.

The Population an Assisted Living Facility Serves

The typical assisted living resident may be young or elderly, affluent or low income, frail or disabled. A typical resident is a woman in her eighties and is either widowed or single. Residents may suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders. Residents may also need help with incontinence or mobility. Assisted living homes are not for people who need constant professional nursing care. As we gaze into the future to prepare for the Baby Boomers, some industry insiders agree that it is difficult to predict what this new age group will look like, while others are advising providers to prepare for an onslaught of demands for convenience, luxury and location. This current group will have a significant discretionary spending capacity. They have more money to spend on travel, cars, appliances and toys than anyone else. Also, the long-term care industry will have residents who have been presidents, CEO’s, CFO’s and vice presidents of large corporations, extensive computer knowledge, financial independence all of which will lead to a higher-acuity of care. Service development, innovative facility design, product design, personalized social and memory care activities and high functioning care facilities will be things to consider no matter the size of your facility.

These facilities will provide services which include meals, housekeeping services, transportation, health promotion and exercise programs, personal laundry services, social and recreational activities, on-site salon, memory care or dementia services.  Further, these facilities may provides access to health and medical services such as emergency call systems, bathing, dressing, medication management and needed assistance with eating, walking and toileting. Some of these services are not usually paid for by health insurance or the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Not all residents of facilities need significant care or assistance. Many are there because they want a simpler lifestyle without the worry of maintaining a home and they seek the companionship of other people their own age. They also may need some minor help such as taking medication or they desire a secure environment or they may require some supervision

COSTS AND FUNDING

Resident Funding: Costs will vary depending on the level of care and services provided. Assisted living care may be paid for by a long-term care insurance policy, but most individuals pay the cost themselves, which is referred to as the term, private pay. There are still more assumptions than known facts about where the money to pay for assisted living comes from. A recent study conducted by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industries, reports that more than a third of residents receive some outside assistance, in the form of Supplemental Security Income (8.9%), Medicaid coverage (7.2%), payments from private insurance (3.2%), state assistance (2.8%), Veterans Administration supplements(.5%), or payments from Social Security, Medicare, Prisoner of War benefits, worker’s compensation, state aid, pensions, and the military. Meanwhile, federal, county and state assistance programs are shifting more Medicaid funds from home health and skilled nursing to assisted living. Further, the survey indicates that residents receiving financial assistance have longer lengths of stay than private-pay residents, and that residents receiving state assistance stay the longest, on average 4.13 years.  

Business Funding: There is a variety of funding available for individuals starting an assisted living facility.

1.      HUD (Housing and Urban Development)

2.      USDA (United States department of Agriculture) for facilities in rural areas.

3.      SBA (United States Small Business Administration)

4.      OWBO (The Office of Women’s Business Ownership)

5.      Non-Profit Organizations such as The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

6.      Community Block Grants

7.      Private Investors

  Facilities Vary in Size and Nomenclature

While assisted living is the most common term used in the nation both by industry and state regulatory agencies, assisted living settings may be known by different names, including, but not limited to, residential care, personal care, adult congregate care, boarding homes, adult congregate living, community based retirement facilities, retirement residences and domiciliary care. The difference in licensing is usually based on size of the facility or the services they offer.

Residential or board and care is usually a converted home or small facility with six to ten beds where the caregiver is a homeowner or single proprietor with little or no support staff. These facilities typically are not allowed to offer much care beyond bathing, dressing, providing meals or helping residents move around. Some of these homes however, may contract with home health agencies, home visiting doctors or nurses to provide care for their residents.

Newer facilities look more like apartment buildings with private rooms or suites with locked doors. Instead of a nurse’s desk, there is a help desk. And instead of a hospital-like lounge area and sterile cafeteria, assisted living has gathering areas with couches, fireplaces, gardens, atriums, etc. Central dining areas look more like banquet rooms and often offer entertainment during or after meal times. Meaningful activities and chats with neighbors in pleasant surroundings, keep residents active and stimulated.

More and more assisted living facilities specialize in the care of Alzheimer’s patients or individuals with memory care issues. An Alzheimer’s patient typically does not require a lot of medical attention but often requires supervision, confinement, quite calm surroundings, gardens with pathways, and locked entrance doors to prevent residents from wandering.

In conclusion, the assisted living business is continuing to grow and expand services to a escalating population which in turn lend itself to a vertical market with positive potential and growth for a business venture.



Kitchen Renovations – How to Maximize Your Resale Value

For homeowners seeking to maximize the resale value of their home, kitchen renovations are one of the best investments. Because the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home, a kitchen renovation will also improve everyday use of the room. When planning to renovate your kitchen, careful planning is essential so that you create the kitchen you want while allowing you to stay within your budget.

Below are a number of tips on how to maximize the resale value of your home by renovating your kitchen:

Hire a Professional Plumber: If you do not have the knowledge and experience, working with the kitchen plumbing system can be very technical and complex. It can also be expensive if you do not understand the various plumbing parts. To make sure your kitchen plumbing is renovated properly, it is wise to hire a professional plumber. For instance, installing the plumbing for a kitchen island may require laying pipes through the kitchen floor. As well, you will have to get a local permit to install the plumbing. The renovation of kitchen plumbing should be handled by the professionals as they not only install the pipes, but they also install fixtures and appliances to get the plumbing working properly.

Change the Colour or Stain: If your cabinets are wood, adding a new stain will add a unique charm to the cabinets. If you are planning to paint the walls, using a bright colour such as yellow and green will make the room more cheerful and appear bigger. White is also a popular choice. The paint on the walls should complement the cabinets as well as the entire kitchen.

Kitchen Countertops: Adding a new countertop will enhance the kitchen. Countertops can be stained wood, or a stone such as marble, granite, soapstone, and granite. A stone countertop with a wooden edge is very charming. Another good choice is Corian. Corian is a synthetic countertop that comes in a variety of colors and is very durable. Marble and ceramic tiles are very attractive and also come in a variety of colors and designs. Mahogany and oak are also good choices. Wood blocks are a nice accessory that looks great on kitchen countertops.

Install a Kitchen Island: Kitchen Islands are very sophisticated and elegant and enhance the design of a kitchen. There are a variety of different types of Island countertops such as granite, quartz, ceramic, and wooden. Kitchen Islands that are durable, easy to maintain, and have an open and airy appearance are a great choice.

Lighting in the Kitchen: The lighting is a very important feature of a kitchen. To make your kitchen brighter, add extra lighting. You can install an additional overhead light, under-cabinet lights, and recessed lights, to improve lighting.

Kitchen Cabinets: When choosing a cabinet, deep colour wood stains are quite popular. For instance, rosewood and cherry are very appealing. Pine and oak should have a light finish coat. Installing glass doors on cabinets gives the cabinets a more charming and modern look. They can be used to display elegant items such as fine china. The cabinets you choose will give the kitchen warmth and brightness.

Appliances: Consider upgrading appliances to energy efficient appliances. When it comes to style, stainless steel appliances are popular as they look very chic in the kitchen. They are also easy to clean.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Potential homebuyers carefully examine a kitchen before they decide to buy the house. When renovating the kitchen, make sure you do not overdo it on the details as the kitchen should fit well with the rest of the home. A functional and beautifully designed kitchen will definitely maximize the resale value of the home.



Unusual Conference Venues

Many companies understand the importance of conferences for their staff. Conferences are a chance to network, share ideas and to learn, but boy are they boring. Yes, your staff gets loads of new ideas and meet lots of interesting and useful people, but given the choice they would rather not attend again next year. Fortunately, the people who run conferences are starting to wake up to this fact and beginning to try to make conferences less tedious. This has led to some great new conference venues being held. If you are a business about to hold an in-house conference you can learn a lot from this new trend.

So the question is ‘Where can I hold a conference?’. Basically as long as they’ve got the license and you’ve got the cold hard cash, then you can hold a conference just about anywhere you like. As the legend of Kevin Costner maintains ‘If you build it, they will come’ and yes, you can host a conference at a baseball diamond!

Museums and art galleries. Being surrounded by creative exploits really stimulates the mind. Therefore a great venue for a conference has to be a gallery or science museum. Our favourite is the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology – mingling amongst ancient totem poles is quite the experience. Another great museum venue is The Science Museum in London, that even offers a IMAX cinema or a motion theatre as two of the 8 conference halls it has available.

Marinas, Aquariums and Planetariums are also great places for conferences, most have lecture theatres for the presentations, with plenty of diversions during conference breaks. In some Aquariums such as the one in Barcelona you can enjoy a spectacular conference dinner completely surrounded by fish. Although sitting down to the fish course does make you pause.

Blackpool Tower – yup sounds strange but come on, it’s also pretty exciting and sort of kitsch!

In the mountains. Being amongst inspirational landscape opens the mind to fresh and new ideas. Check out the Fairmont Springs hotel in Banff, you are literally a step away from heaven.

Want to impress, rent a castle! You can do it for weddings and you can absolutely do it for your conference!

Observatories – enjoy a daytime conference and finish with watching the stars – there’s a metaphor in there somewhere!

Middle of the Rainforest? Lots of nature retreats host conferences and events. Bali anyone?

The zoo – yes it has happened, one crazy and obviously very talented events planner held an event at a tiger exhibition.

Like we said, you get the right equipment, shelter, catering and speakers and people will come. If you have an event dream – make it happen. Your conference will be memorable and people will definitely want to come back next year. Where you hold a conference says a lot about you and your industry. Conferences are designed to stimulate people’s creativity and make them come away full of ideas. An inspirational venue is everything, so think outside the box.



Stock Your Bar Cabinet in a Laudable Way

What is life about? Working hard, earning and then spending on the things you have always yearned for? Yes, and guess what, Life is about partying too! No, you can not be happy working 9 AM to 6 PM, without having a plan for a party after 6 PM, because that can make your life boring and monotonous. Moreover, lacking the happiness in life, will eventually kill all the capabilities you have and bound your knowledge.

It is mandatory to meet people, react and interact with them. You will learn better this way, and you never know, you may get some better ideas popping from different minds. So, if you are already a socially-active being, then a bar cabinet is a must have in your home because you love to be with different people. Having a bar cabinet and having a well stocked and full-fledged bar cabinet are two different checkpoint levels. And if you only own a bar cabinet and do not know how to stow it, then reading the following tips might fetch you some help:

  • Alcohol Collection: The soul of your bar cabinet will be the lavish collection of wines that you will keep on display. So, the most important step is to maintain a rich soul, i.e., fill the spirits that you love in the first place. If you spend a whole lot of money in buying the spirits that your guests might enjoy, ignoring the fact that you have never tried them, or you do not actually like them, then you are wasting your money. This is because the primary customer of your bar cabinet is you yourself, so choose your taste and let your guests love it too. This is also not advisable to keep all sorts of cocktail drinks, in fact, just try to keep the ones you love so that you can share your taste and recipes, adding to the conversational matter. Following are the types of spirits you can stock in your bar cabinet:
  1. Vodka: Despite being a perfect mixing beverage, vodka lacks color, odor, and taste. Different vodkas vary by the taste they have like, some are oily, and some are watery. It depends on your taste and requirement that whether you want a flavored or infused vodkas.
  2. Bourbon Whiskey: Super affordable and super classic category of alcohol is the bourbon whiskey. They are the most vintage-centric drink.
  3. Scotch Whiskey: This is the most prominent one, and a must have for your bar cabinet. If you are fond of holding a glass of wine and indulging in deep thoughts as a real man, then this is your spirit. Thank you!
  4. Tequila: The party fuel in the true sense is tequila, which is consumed in the form of tiny shots and taken straight up at a go! Tequila competitions are huge party chargers, also mixing flavors into the same can earn your appreciation too!
  5. Rum: They are used as party punches, so it is all your choice whether you want to go for dark rum or a light one.
  6. Add-ons: OK! Some people might like to have a beer or red wine. So, be considerate for them too.
  • Mixers: If you have a talent of mixing and making cocktails, to serve to your guests, then there are more things that you will need, like Club soda, flavored juices and tonic water.
  • Garnishes: These are like adding topping to the serving, to impress your guests. Garnishes with the drinks make a pizzazz serving. So, the must have garnishes are salt, pepper, sugar, ice, cocktail olives, cocktail onions, lemons, etc.
  • Glasses: You have to have an exquisite collection of glass wares too because all you efforts are going to get carried in that. For tequila, you need small shot glasses, for scotch and brandy medium sized wide, round glasses would do, and when it comes to beer, big glass mugs are a must have. Shakers are imperative to complete a bar cabinet.
  • Necessary accouterments: After you mix and shake your drinks, you need napkins to keep it all neat and organized. Toothpicks and ice holder and ice bucket are also important along with the mixing spoons.

If you bar cabinet has all these things, then no one can call it unequipped. If you are just a beginner, do not worry, buy some recipe guides and practice them. Having a great collection of spirits and talent of mixing a variety of cocktails, then you are good to go. All you need is to throw a party and play some cocktail music!