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Why is Fashion So Important?

June 21, 2018

Source: Throughout history, society has turned to the latest fashion statement as a mark of social status. Why is fashion so important? Why do so many people pay attention to it, and why does it even matter?

Fashion in clothing has always stood as a social economic symbol for individuals that were in tune with the times. For some, clothing is just fabric that serves the purpose of covering and protecting the body. For others, fashion is a form of living art in motion.

It is believed by many in the fashion industry that fashion is a way for individuals to express themselves. Each color and type of fabric has a meaning, and matches a personality type. When colors and fabrics are mixed, each combination tells a story about the person wearing it, much the same as it does of the person or company that designed it. Each fashion trend has a “look” or style that best reflects individual personality and demeanor. Every person contributes a personal touch to each day’s outfit.

For instance, navy blue and a mixture of gray colors for business suits and outfits are considered the professional in the office environment; however, if you are at a trade show trying to attract attention, you might wear white or bright colors to get noticed by people. Such “rules” for fashion usually come from corporate dress codes, with the intent of being neutral and objective to the audience you are trying to communicate with.

Fashion itself has always been a reflection of the sign of the times. Whether it is for a social economic reason, political statement, or within a culture’s tradition, fashion has always played a role in communicating the “message” of a people or a message of the times. Each culture has its own unique traditional dress that reflects its community’s belief system, whether it be philosophical or religious. As technology has improved manufacturing capabilities, fashion has gone from being “homemade” to more mass-produced, thus more audiences may wear similar clothing than in the past.

A newer trend in clothing fashion goes beyond purpose, function and the traditional forms of influence to include becoming mobile billboards for the fashion brands themselves. If you take a look at fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, GUESS and Juicy Couture, their signature brands have become the focus, not the people wearing them. Their ad campaigns can make people feel that if they do not own a Hilfiger or GUESS article of clothing, they are not part of the cool crowd. Other clothing brands focus on becoming high energy, luxury life style brands, thus owning their clothing becomes a status symbol.

For others, fashion, style and choice of brands are determined primarily by an individual’s personal passion, hobby or cause, making their clothing into their own personal billboard. Some examples of this are seen in sports apparel, racing, motorcycle apparel and brands committed to environmental sustainability and human rights.

Fashion has become a living art form, and though most average working class individuals may never spend thousands of dollars on one single article of clothing, individuals have come to appreciate the many artistic designs presented on the runway or showcased on models in department stores. This work of art says something to each person that views it. Some of these designs may be ridiculous to wear in any daily situation, however, the design itself may spur off other creative ideas because of the shapes, colors, or materials used to create the living art.

It has also been said that we feel the way we look. As human beings, we are very visual people. How we see ourselves in the mirror before leaving our homes for the day may be a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Have you ever put on an article of clothing such as a suit and tie or a dress and instantly felt better about yourself? Showing that we are willing to invest into ourselves before we leave home for an important meeting, or for a family or social event, usually will reflect the response that we demand from others on how they view us. Though we are taught not to judge a person by their appearance, we do; and it’s the first impression that lasts the longest in our mind.

Fashion is not just clothing. It is a representation of an industry that employs millions of people. From designers to production line manufacturing, from marketing and advertising to retail workers, many jobs and economic foundations are based on the fashion industry. The next time you choose a piece of clothing from the rack, ask yourself how many people were involved with the final product you can touch and see in the store. Even the raw materials had to be grown or harvested by a farmer or field hand.

Ultimately, fashion is a personal choice, whether you chose your style to serve a specific purpose or it’s to impress others around you, fashion is meant to be the personalized message you dare to share with others. For some, fashion trends are not that important, but rather a matter of form and functionality. Whatever your view, it is reflected in how you present yourself.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns.  Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who currently lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, and Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.

 

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Bug Off, Mosquitoes!

June 19, 2018

While walking through one of our serene Milwaukee County Parks over the weekend, it wasn’t long before I became a feast for the mosquitoes that seemed to arrive from out of nowhere—and during mid-afternoon! As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I shouldn’t have been surprised (locals often joke that Wisconsin’s unofficial state bird is the mosquito) but I was upset with myself that as of mid-June, I had yet to whip up a batch of my all-natural mosquito repellant. Early summer rains, combined with the region’s signature humidity, created the perfect breeding grounds for the little bloodsuckers, and they apparently took full advantage of it.

As itchy welts surfaced on my legs, I left the park, headed home and immediately grabbed my trusted essential oils to make my natural insect repellant. Like many people, I used to use the chemical-laden commercial bug repellents, until I began researching what was in them (which likely explained the mild headaches I occasionally suffered from after using some of those products).  So for the past decade-plus, I’ve turned to natural remedies such as this easy-to-make mosquito repellent:

4 oz. with hazel or distilled water

2 drops peppermint essential oil

2 drops rosemary essential oil

2 drops lavender essential oil

2 drops tea tree essential oil

2 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to blend. Spray on the body before heading outdoors, avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth. Reapply as needed.

Tip: be sure to use good quality essential oils; many cheaper oils sold at discount stores contain synthetic fragrances and fillers.

You can also adjust the ratio of essential oils to suit your preference, but I’ve found the above combination to be effective.

Other mosquito prevention tips:

Remove any standing water from your yard. Empty your pet’s water dish into the garden whenever the pet is not outdoors, and check the saucers under potted plants for water accumulation. Clogged rain gutters or buckets left outdoors can also collect standing rain and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Change water in birdbaths regularly. If you have a rain barrel, be sure it has a screen.

Incorporate mosquito-repellent plants into the garden. Rose geranium, lemon balm, catnip and basil are good choices.

Burn citronella candles.

If you have room on your property, install a bat house. Although these winged creatures are usually associated with creepy Halloween images, bats are our most useful, natural allies in controlling pests such as mosquitoes.

Notice how mosquitoes are never present on breezy nights? The small, light-bodied mosquitoes cannot fly against even lighter winds, so create your own breeze. You’ll have to use a small amount if electricity, but this method is chemical-free and works well, especially for larger backyard get-togethers: bring a box fan or an oscillating fan outdoors, and plug it into an outdoor outlet or run an extension cord outdoors. Turn on the fan, and just blow the mosquitos away.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

 

 

Crowdfunding Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

June 6, 2018

Source: Many small start-up businesses and tech ventures in search of capital turn to popular online platforms for crowd fundraising of financial resources to get their concept off the ground and launched into market. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, to name a few, offer solutions in generating cash to fund new ideas. How do you get people to contribute to your cause? We take a look at some of the most effective crowdfunding techniques.

In the last decade, there have been a number of crowdfunding platforms that offer a menu of fundraising options, including the launch and growth of Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe. A potential campaign contributor can find a variety of crowd fundraising campaigns that range from an inventor who is in search of a few thousand dollars, to a large, corporate-backed venture that is accepting pre-market orders for their new value creation. Each platform specializes in their own niche offering and provides a formatted recipe for what works in getting campaign contributions.

For instance, Indiegogo mandates that campaigners build and maintain a very aggressive plan that engages with multiple audiences from the campaign’s inception. As a part of the Indiegogo playbook, campaigners must make weekly posts and provide monthly updates for campaigns that have transitioned from either a 30- or 60-day campaign to their long-term product, called InDemand.  Indiegogo shares that campaigns must include video and photo content as part of their message in sharing their offering with potential contributors.

Kickstarter is also a leader in assisting with the introduction of innovative products and new books, music and other forms of art to market. What makes Kickstarter so successful for some entrepreneurs are the tools available that Kickstarter offers to promote their campaigns. Crowdfunding campaigns that have the highest rate of success with Kickstarter are those that offer something that is new, solve a problem, and offer something practical that people are willing to buy. Most products presented on Kickstarter are beyond concept and are ready for manufacturing and delivery. Kickstarter has helped products get more traction online, and has served as an interim online e-commerce site for product sales while entrepreneurs are setting up a permanent place to market their value proposition.

Most people use GoFundMe as a social cause donation site. For many individuals and groups needing only a few thousand dollars of funding for a personal project, GoFundMe has become the crowdfunding platform of choice. From setting up and taking donations for a funeral, to sponsoring a local sports team which is trying to obtain funding so they can travel to an event, GoFundMe has provided millions of individuals and nonprofits the ability to quickly gather up a few extra dollars in a time of need.

So what are some of the most effective practices for marketing your crowdfund project? When marketing to potential funders, social media has become the mainstay platform to inform your audience of close friends and connections about your cause or value proposition. Facebook gives you an opportunity to spread the word to your friends, family and extended connections. To get a better reach of your program, you can ask and encourage your network to share your post and provide feedback about the reason why they chose to help your campaign. If you desire to connect with professionals in a specific industry, LinkedIn provides the ability to syndicate and share your post with people from several related market segments. You can also promote your campaign through Twitter and Instagram, redirecting raving fans to your campaign page.

So what will donors get for their money? A donor should have the ability to choose perks in return for their donation, especially if the campaign is not solely philanthropic. “Perks” are the benefits that an individual can expect in return for the donation. The more creativeness and value you can squeeze into each perk package, the more you can request per perk level. By adding in a free copy of a book or promotional materials, you can provide additional added value for your donors. Perks are generally pre-orders for the specific market product you desire to launch. You can, however, provide add-ons for each level of donation.

Two methods you can employ for increasing how many people see your perks are:  1) holding a contest for most shares of your post with friends on social media, and 2) asking people who are not in a position to contribute to your campaign to help by spreading the message about your campaign story with people they feel would be interested in your project.

Having a few endorsements either by written or video testimonial will provide additional credibility to your offering. You can ask satisfied customers to give testimonials, or, if you know a celebrity, sports figure, or public figure, you can ask them to share a few words about your project, edifying the project and the product.

Lastly, you must monitor your results on a daily basis and make campaign adjustments accordingly. Having the ability to tweak your project’s campaign as you obtain feedback from donors will help you make changes to your campaign and provide updates that may increase traffic to your campaign’s page. Most crowdfunding campaigns can extend as long as 60 days, thus giving you time every few weeks to add to your campaign content and promote it online.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who currently lends his expertise as a consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, and Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.

Giving Up Social Media: Five Surprising Discoveries

May 30, 2018

Summer is around the corner and people will no doubt be sharing pictures of vacations, at the beach and with family and friends. But what would your summer look like if you gave up social media?

I gave up social media because, like so many people, I was spending too much time on it. I wasn’t necessarily posting a lot, but I would mindlessly scroll throughout the day: while pumping gas, in line at the grocery store, at my desk and while walking my dog. I started to wonder what my life would be like without the constant attachment to my smartphone. I decided to find out.

After giving up social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), I not only broke my smartphone addiction, but I also made five surprising discoveries:

  • I didn’t feel as stressed: Social media is supposed to be fun, so why did it stress me out? Well, I didn’t realize it, but routinely checking my social media accounts ended up feeling like another “task” on my daily to-do list; if I hadn’t checked my social media accounts in a few hours I could feel my anxiety level go up ever-so-slightly. Now I don’t worry about checking my accounts—it’s simply not an option anymore.
  • I lost weight:Yes, I actually lost a few pounds! Believe it or not, all those chunks of minutes that you spend looking at social media actually add up to a solid amount of time each day. Now that I had more free time, I found myself going for a walk during my lunch breaks instead of looking at my smartphone at my desk. Getting in the fresh air and walking amongst nature encouraged me to eat healthier, and I found myself cooking new recipes and craving fresh greens.
  • I woke up earlier (and enjoyed it!):I used to hit my snooze button several times each morning and finally drag myself out of bed. Now, I wake up around 5:00 a.m. naturally. The reason? I don’t look at social media before bed. Before, I would go to bed but then be looking at my smartphone for anywhere up to an hour. Now I have more energy to wake up earlier and have a peaceful morning to myself.
  • I cleaned out my house: Giving up social media inspired me to clear out the other unnecessary aspects of my life. I started with my closet and donated clothes I no longer wore and then I ended up moving to the rest of my house. Before I knew it, I had a carload of items that I’d accumulated over the years that no longer served a purpose in my life. It’s nice to know that someone out there is getting use out of those pieces rather than just collecting dust in my closet or basement.
  • I honored my own values:This is perhaps the biggest shift I noticed. You may feel like you know your values already, and maybe you do, but I challenge you to step away from social media for a week and see if you notice any changes in yourself. When we scroll through social media every day, we internalize the images that we see and start to believe—subconsciously or not—that they align with how we want to live. Without social media, I feel no social pressure, I don’t crave validation in the form of “likes” and “retweets” and I feel at peace with the choices that I’ve made.

Our modern lifestyles are so stressful and sometimes the key to addressing those stressors is through one simple change that can have a wide-range of lasting benefits. For me, it was giving up social media. Without social media, I feel that my emotional, mental and physical health are better and that helps me be a better wife, daughter, friend, colleague and neighbor. I believe that if you decide to give up social media this summer, the next few months will be more fulfilling and enriching.

Barbara Alvarez is a freelance writer in Wisconsin. Connect with her at BarbarAlvarez.com

Money Saving Tips Any Business Can Put into Practice

April 13, 2018

Source:There is an old saying, “To be profitable is to save money.” A small business needs every advantage it can get when it comes to trimming expenses and unnecessary cost. Here are a few savings tips for every business.

During tough economic times and a very competitive business climate, small business owners are doing all they can to conserve cash and increase accountability of the best use of their working capital so that they avoid watching their margins of profit from slipping away in between the floor boards. “A penny (or dollar) saved is a penny (or dollar) earned,” so here are a few tips a small business can adopt in order to save on fees, interest payments, and other bills that seem to cut into an owner’s profit margins.

1). Do away with debit/credit card use-switch to a reimbursement system. Banking institutions have switched their business model to a fee based revenue generation machine; which is different from when banks mainly profited from interest payments and fees attached to loans and loan servicing. Every time you use your debit/credit card, there is a transaction fee, either at the merchant and/or at the bank, and sometimes both. Ever use an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank? You will find in those cases multiple usage and service fees from ATM Vendor, the bank it is associated with and your own bank. Some of these fees range from mere twenty or thirty cents upwards to three or four dollars.

To avoid watching these fees and service charges cutting into your profits, stop using debit/credit cards for every little business transaction. Also, if you have multiple employees, you will want to limit their usage of these cards as well. Use a draw of petty cash that is withdrawn from the bank in-person. Use cash on smaller transactions under $100 when applicable. As it relates employees, you can set up a system in which they front the initial expenses they incur on behalf of the business, such as tolls, parking, gas, lunch or dinner meetings with clients, postage, and other purchases that make up the vast amount of small transactions. Once a week, have each employee submit their receipts to the company accountant for reimbursements and issue them a check for these expenses. Less usage of debit/credit cards means less fees you are charged.

2). Pay your vendors and/or suppliers early. Many of your vendors and/or suppliers may be on 30, 60, or even 90 day-payment terms with your business. This allows for your business to have the time it may take to sell inventory or service a client account before you have begun covering your cost of goods sold. Many distributors, vendors, and/or suppliers do offer a discount if payment is received before the 30 day window. Usually the offered amount is 2 percent discount if a bill is paid within 10 to 15 business days. If such terms are offered, pay your bills early to take advantage of these discounts.

If your business has a burn rate of say $10k per month, two percent is $200 saved per month ($2400 a year). That is $200 that is found money which can be applied to other parts of your monthly budget, such as marketing and advertising. If your vendor and/or supplier does not yet offer you early payment terms, negotiate this upfront with them. This is a small concession they will be glad to offer in keeping you as a client. It is of no risk to them. Most vendors or suppliers are accustomed to not receiving payments until 30 days after they are due.

3). Pay your credit card balances on time and/or in full. Most small business owners utilize credit cards as a form of business credit to keep their business afloat in between getting paid by clients. Most small business owners and managers often take credit card offers that provide “interest free,” or “low-interest” on credit that is borrowed. Many of these deals are contingent on payments being made on time and/or in full. When only the minimum balance is paid, a small business owner now loses the low interest deal they first had when they acquired the card. To avoid these increases in interest rates and service fees, pay the balance off in full and on time.

Another practice you can try in saving money when using credit cards is to call the credit card provider themselves and negotiate a “one time balance paid in full” when you have a high balance and are looking to close your account. Credit card companies would rather receive payment on an account that is closing than have it sent to collections. Usually if you get a manager or supervisor on the phone, you can ask to negotiate a final settlement offer. This saves you money in fees, interests, and charges, and clears the credit card company of the account.

If you are using credit cards to make purchases for business growth needs, consider joining a barter exchange that has a multitude of businesses connected to their network in which you can engage in. Barter is interest-free.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who currently lends his expertise as a consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water.

The World’s Demand for Alternatives to Traditional Currency

April 4, 2018

Source: With technology ten steps ahead of the market, even more options for paying bills have become readily available for both the consumer and for the merchant. We explore the many options payment options a business may choose to accept.

Two factors have changed the way we conduct commerce and financial transactions in the world over the past fifty years. The leading factor is the faith that people now have in traditional currency. For many countries, their money supply is based on one factor—faith; the belief that the value of the piece of paper or coin is a true representative of the value of good and/or services they wish to purchase.

Prior to what is known as “fiat currency,” money supply that is backed by no hard good, commodity, or tangible asset that is widely accepted as a mark of trade, such as precious metals like gold or silver, most countries would back their value of their currency on tradable commodities which had a real market value.  In recent years, crude oil and petro chemical fuels were used to support currency, while these same currencies were used as the preferred measuring stick against oil. Such is not the case anymore, now that even tying the U.S. Dollar to fossil fuels has become volatile.

With such conditions changing, more individuals are sharing their concern, vocalizing how they have less faith in a piece of paper, which is backed by nothing.

Another trend that is leading people to explore other currency options is the development of technology. Today there are more options on how to make a financial transaction for a good or service. Beyond credit and debit cards, e-wallet and electronic paying systems such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay are used. Crypto-currencies are also on the rise. Bitcoin and One Coin have become the top ranked electronic currencies, and merchants are racing get their business into the fold into accepting these new forms of payment.

However, one form of a financial transaction that is as old as men and trade itself is also still on the rise. Barter is growing at a faster pace due to advancements in technology, organizational set-ups, wide-spread networking, and oversight from two leading barter-industry trade organizations.

With the improvements into accountability and infrastructure, barter has never been easier. Traditionally, one business or individual would trade services or products with another party that may too have a product or service to offer in the actual exchange. This limited barter, because if one party did not need the other party’s offering, then the exchange could not take place. Today the use of a credit system has widened up the scope in the barter arena. Barter exchanges have made it easier to use barter for many business to business purchases.

Exchanges such as Badger Barter, located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, offers a barter exchange that includes well over 600 business ranging from auto repair to graphic design; from legal counsel and services to website creation. These types of exchanges have evolved over time to include many member benefits in which traditional barter did not offer.

As a small business, you should be exploring all payment options, in addition to traditional payments of debit, credit, cash, and check. Barter is a viable way to conduct business to business transactions and opens the door for new business relations to develop within barter exchange networks. Some retailers are now accepting Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Onecoin. However, barter is considered one of the best options since most barter exchanges offer a credit system, allowing you to use the barter on a wider selection of products and/or services.

Barter is not only a form of payment; it is also a marketing tool. There are businesses that seek out other businesses that offer barter payment options. You should notify your clients about all of the payment options you offer in multiple touch points, including but not limited to a placard at the cash register/counter; logo of the barter exchange on your website, social media, and e-mail newsletters; logo on a storefront window; print advertising; business cards; invoices; and other forms signage a client may see at your establishment.

Bloomberg Business had researched and found that in 2012, over $12 billion dollars in goods and services were traded without any currency changing hands. Research showed that not every transaction conducted was on business essentials however the barter was still utilized. Even when the most obscure product or service was offered, the bartered item eventually would find a relative home. Another part of the study revealed that small businesses mainly spent their barter in exchange for marketing and advertising; legal and professional services; facilities maintenance; office supplies; and construction/renovation services; which are many of the same expenditures a small business might use proceeds from a working capital loan for.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who currently and lends his expertise as a consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water.

How to Prepare a Loved One for Residence in an Assisted Living Facility

March 27, 2018

Source: Getting an elder loved one prepared for the transfer of residency from their current home into an assisted living facility can come with its challenges; including debate from the very family member you are trying to help. Here are a few practices to consider in helping a senior individual transition into their new assisted living situation:

Transitioning to an assisted living facility can be challenging for both the senior who is transitioning from their current home to a new environment, and for the family member or friend that is helping their loved one. There are a few things to consider during the transition and move in process that will help reduce part of the stress of this life event.

Having a positive attitude about the lifestyle change is the first place to start in preparing for the move. You and your loved one should take some time out to review all the positive benefits available when moving into an assisted living facility. A clear understanding of what the available services and amenities are should be made known in the beginning to dispel any stereotypical views one may have about assisted living facilities for seniors.

It’s highly recommended to have a strong support structure of family and friends in place when transitioning a senior loved one into an assisted living center. Families need to continue scheduling regular visits with their elder family member or friend now living at an assisted living facility. Many seniors feel abandoned in their new setting, as if the family “dumped” them at the facility. They can be unable to understand the benefits of the change, where there is to be an increase in the quality of life for the aging family member. Visitation will help the senior individual feel more at home and comfortable with their new surroundings. Many assisted living facilities now are designed with family rooms and visitation areas that are semi-private; allowing for family to gather and visit, even hosting birthday celebrations and gatherings.

The senior family member should be reminded about the importance of privacy. During the day, the new resident will at times dine and join in activities with other residents, yet the senior should be made aware that their apartment is their own privacy space and they retain full control of who enters. Just like living at a resort or apartment building, a resident reserves all their privacy rights. Shared community spaces are just that; however, separate areas are designed to provide private rooms and spaces that a resident can enjoy with family outside the common jointly used areas of other residents.

When moving physical things into the assisted living space keep in mind the facility will usually provide furniture, including bed, chairs, lamps, and other fixtures. If items are brought from home to help make their stay more comfortable, residents are advised to inform administrators ahead of time. A new resident is encouraged to bring their personal effects—pictures, clothing, etc., however; it is best to be selective of items they may use on a less frequent basis because storage is limited, and assisted living facilities and living quarters are designed to limit clutter.

Moving day helpers are important to the actual transition. A host of family and friends are encouraged to sign up for moving day, so this relieves the stress of the loved one having to handle heavy items on their own. The quicker the assisted living space is set up for the new resident, the better, so it can begin to give the sense of feeling at home. A slow move in or a move where a resident feels they do not have everything they need to call their new space home, will create feelings of alienation for the new resident.

The emotional stress that occurs during the move into an assisted living facility can come from the emotions a senior feels when leaving behind their former possessions or home. It is wise not to discuss the sale of the loved one’s home upon the arrival of the move in date to the assisted living facility. Be mindful that this life-changing event is about them and their health and well-being. Encourage your loved one that even though their address has changed, their family has not. Help refocus the attention from the stress to getting involved in activities and making new friends at the facility. Send post cards and letters to your loved one at their new address so they can feel the placement is a healthy transition.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who currently lends expertise as a consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water.