How to facilitate your ageing parent’s life

How to facilitate your ageing parent's life

Our parents are amongst the most important members of our family; they gave birth to us and raised us to become strong and independent people. Therefore, it’s essential to offer parents our full support. There are lots of practical ways in which we can make sure that they have a safe, comfortable life; especially if we can’t be around as much as we’d like.

One of the main things that relatives need to think about is loneliness. Our ageing parents and grandparents sometimes consider themselves a burden and begin to isolate themselves. It’s important to take steps to facilitate and encourage their interaction with other people.

Furthermore, ageing parents and relatives face other daily difficulties at home. Some of these problems may be related to the fact that they begin to lose their mobility, vision, mental abilities or a combination of these. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which we can make their life easier and show them that they can always count on our help.

Elderly woman using a mobile phone

Independent living products

Seniors often experience a sudden change in their physical abilities – their hearing, dexterity, eyesight etc. Therefore, some tasks that they once found easy and took for granted can become truly challenging for them. Regardless of that, there are certain technical aids that can help them to remain self-reliant and retain control of their daily care tasks. Examples include safety kettle tippers and ergonomic tin can and door openers. You could also swap microwaves, telephones and clocks for examples that have bigger displays.

Man sitting on his own looking out to sea

Prevent loneliness

Most elderly people prefer to remain in their own homes, maintaining their independence, even when they find it difficult caring for themselves. Unfortunately, even when family members try to remain involved, it can be difficult to look in on ageing parents as often as they’d like – especially if they don’t live nearby. This can sometimes lead to a lack of social interaction for the aged. They may become lonely and depressed due to the passing of a spouse, neighbour or friends. Fortunately, there are a growing number of opportunities for social engagement these days. The most obvious one is definitely care homes. However, in home care for seniors is a preferred alternative for elders who would rather remain in their own home. With this option, they can receive assistance according to their individual needs.

Man walking with mobility aid

Mobility aids

Currently, there’s a wide variety of mobility aids available to the elderly and infirm. Some of the most popular include power scooters and four-wheel frames. These accessories can help seniors remain independent, allowing them get around and keep mobile. In addition, it may be necessary to improve the layout of their home. Too much clutter or furniture can impair their movement. If they use a scooter or frame, ensure there are ramps installed so they don’t slip or trip. There should be ample floor space to get through doorways, to their bed, toilet and bath. Moving around the kitchen and lounge needs to be made as simple and smooth as possible. Removing some internal doors and having a more open-plan design should be considered.

Besides this, make their home safer and more accessible by improving the lighting – especially along corridors, in hallways and above external doors. Lay down non-slip mats in the bathroom and make sure stair and handrails are well-maintained and secure.

These are just a few ways of ensuring that your ageing parents enjoy a safe and comfortable life.


The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

Moving into your new home will be an incredibly exciting time, as it will mark a new era in your life. Yet, there’ll be things you’ll need to do to freshen up the space and put your own stamp on the property. For a smooth transition, have a look at these five things to do after moving into your new home.

Wet & dry vacuum cleaner

  1. Clean the carpets

Does your new property feature the previous owner’s carpets? While they might look in perfect condition, they could be housing dirt, stains and odours. Make the property feel brand-new by turning to professional carpet cleaners to eradicate stains and smells. For instance, Technicare can remove pet stains and unpleasant aromas from a carpet, so the house feels like your home.

Rafters in a loft space

  1. Review your crawlspaces

It’s hard to take a thorough look at a property during a viewing, which is why you should carefully review all the crawlspaces across the home as soon as you move in. This means getting into the attic or basement to check for potential problems such as mould, pest infestations or leaks. You can then make the essential repairs or install a vapour barrier within a space. By doing so, you can prevent bigger household problems occurring in the future.

Water stop cock

  1. Identify the mains water shut-off valve

If you weren’t informed during a viewing, you should identify the location of the main water shut-off valve, which you’ll need to know if there was ever a water leak the home. It could be located in an underground box with a removable lid within your garden, or it could be attached to your exterior wall. Only ever turn off the water in the event of an emergency.

Smoke alarm

  1. Check or replace smoke and CO detectors

Every home in the UK must have a working smoke detector which can save your life in the event of a fire. In addition to smoke detectors, a CO detector can also identify a carbon monoxide leak within the home. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, as it’s invisible and has no odour. If your home features smoke and CO detectors, it’s important to check they’re both in full working order to ensure the health and safety of your family. If they’re not functioning or appear faulty, you should immediately replace the alarms and regularly check they’re operative.

Wall-mounted burglar alarm

  1. Install wireless alarms onto your windows & doors

It’s important for both you and your family to feel immediately safe and secure in your new home. As well as checking the smoke and CO detectors, you should also install wireless alarms to your windows and doors. The small devices will be activated if a person attempts to open a door or window, meaning they can deter a burglar from trespassing in your home. It will provide you and your family some peace of mind that you’re all safe and secure in your new property.


Unique décor ideas for a small apartment

Unique décor ideas for a small apartment

When it comes to decorating a small apartment one has to focus on creating a perfect balance between functionality and design. Often, people tend to concentrate exclusively on the functionality angle – however, that doesn’t need to be the case. Although your apartment is short on space that doesn’t mean that is has to be short on style. You might prefer an all-enveloping cosy feel or something a little more light and airy – there are stylish, functional solutions for both.

The way you style your home is a means to defining your personality, taste and creativity. Follow these decorating tips to incorporate unique items into your compact space, letting your personality shine through.

Area rug in a small apartment

Delineate & separate areas

Open-plan living has become increasingly popular, and at first glance you might think that these spaces are easy to decorate. However, in many cases, people get overwhelmed by the lack of definition which can make a space look untidy. It’s not that hard to decorate an open-plan space once you understand a few key concepts.

Start by creating zones, giving each area a specific purpose – whether it be cooking, dining, lounging, working or sleeping. You could use room dividers or screens, perhaps plants, lighting or wall colours. Delineating separate areas of the house by using rugs is an easy and effective way to give structure without compromising on flow. Rugs can be found in a great variety of shapes, colours and prices – they’re definitely one of the first items of to consider for your open plan space.

Sitting and dining areas in a small apartment

Invest in furniture

Another important element of any living space is the furniture. These items play a vital role in the process of transforming a plain space into a unique and personalised room. When it comes to making a tiny apartment functional, you can make use of flexible furniture that has a dual-purpose. Whichever items of furniture you choose, you need to make sure that their size compliments or is suitable for the space.

No one says that if you’re working with a smaller space you need to opt for plain and basic furniture. If you’re looking for unique Italian furniture for either large or small homes, you might want to check out Mondital. They provide all kinds of classic and contemporary pieces; and have furniture for bedrooms, living room, office or hallway that bring style and elegance to your home.

Curved under-seat storage

Rethink unused spaces

After living for a long period of time in the same place, people might get a little stuck or unadventurous when it comes to redecorating their surroundings. Often, when living in compact homes, people try to compensate for their lack of space by hiding pots and pans in the oven – or storing shoes and clothes under their bed. It pays to to rethink all areas of the home in order to find out whether or not they’re being used in the most effective way possible.

A simple first step is to take a short ‘stroll’ around the apartment and observing any ‘dead’ space that could in fact be serving a useful purpose. Perhaps you could re-arrange furniture or acquire pieces that fit into spaces more precisely, freeing up space for more storage or extra relaxing space for you and your visitors. A feature mirror could complete the design adding light, reflection and the illusion of space. If you’re feeling creative you could opt for mixing vintage and modern accessories for that timeless eclectic feel in your home.

Under-stairs area with bookshelves and sofas

Add curves with décor

Most people who live in tiny apartments know that they tend to be a little box-shaped. Perhaps incorporate some curves to add interest. A round table or organic shaped lightshades are both great ways of transforming a space in a blink of an eye. If you don’t feel like spending a lot of money on expensive lighting fixtures, the great news is that you can DIY your own vintage-inspired lampshade at home. Strikingly shaped accessories that incorporate the curved form will help to create continuity. Once you’ve found items that match your personal tastes in style, make sure that functionality follows for the key areas of the home. 

Layered pink & white patterned bedding

Layer to add depth

You can create depth & extra dimension to a small space by embarking on some layering around your home. Everyone loves a home that’s warm, cosy and inviting. Add multiple blankets, throws and cushions to beds & sofas, transforming the feel of your home without having to spend too much time or money. Shadow boxes are one of the easiest ways of adding definition and interest to your walls. They can house personal collections such as photographs and mementoes picked up travelling. They’ll provide a unique display that reflects your own personality and experience.

Lastly, keep in mind that layering doesn’t just mean placing different design elements on top of each other. It also refers to creating contrast. Opt for different materials, patterns and textures when adding depth to your apartment.

There are lots of ways to turn your small apartment into a unique space where you can enjoy spending time. Be creative, have fun and let your personality shine through.


The ideal room for football viewing

The ideal room for football viewing

With the World Cup rapidly approaching (it starts in June!), we’ve already written about how to create a perfect atmosphere outside. We pointed to some outdoor furnishings and accessories that can essentially allow you to put together a viewing area in your garden, where you can really enjoy the matches in style. In case there’s bad weather however, or you just don’t want to risk that kind of thing, it’s not a bad idea to design a perfect football viewing room in the house as well.

Working on an indoor room is a little bit less about buying new furnishings, assuming you already have some kind of TV room or den. Rather, it’s about putting together an ideal atmosphere for a month’s worth of football. So let’s get started, shall we?

International football scarvescredit

Load up on scarves

As you may well know, a lot of football fanatics express their team allegiance via their scarves. These don’t have to actually be worn, and often aren’t. Rather, they’re held aloft like signs, or used to decorate rooms. Loading up on several of them is a nice way to adorn a TV room for the World Cup season. The official FIFA World Cup scarves are actually surprisingly affordable (about $17 each), which means they’re pretty easy decorations to stock up on and hang around the borders of the room. It might be tacky during other times of the year, but for the World Cup this summer it’ll add a fun, football atmosphere to the room.

Playing football video game

Bring In FIFA

This is less of a design tip, but it’s still a necessity if you or anyone you might be watching matches with enjoys gaming at all. EA Sports’ FIFA franchise has established itself as the king of football gaming, and is all the more enjoyable to play during the World Cup. You may just want to be sure you have an up-to-date console stashed in the TV room so you can play a few rounds of FIFA in between big matches, or to unwind after a day of football viewing.

Football key on a computer keyboard

Devote a screen to in-play markets

If you and your friends aren’t at all interested in betting on the football matches, this might not be necessary. If you are, however, in-play betting can make things a lot more fun. Regarding Champions League activity (which is extremely active in online markets), it’s been said that people can wager on first, last or next goal scorer, as well as other in-match developments. Having a screen devoted to showing the betting options here (just an iPad or laptop open to a suitable platform) can add excitement for you and the friends you watch with. Just remember to be responsible about your activity.

Sonos PLAY:1 speakercredit

Beef up your sound system

We’re operating under the assumption that the fundamentals of the TV room are already in place, but it definitely can’t hurt to beef up the sound system (and the TV itself if necessary, but there isn’t much more to say on that). In particular, surround sound is a great addition for the World Cup, as it can at least somewhat simulate the feeling of being in the crowd with rabid supporters on all sides. Sonos seems to be the biggest name in home speakers these days, and their surround sound set-ups are known for being simple and flexible, which makes this a quick way to upgrade the room. However, if you’re a stickler for sound quality you may want to compare a few options.

These are just a few tips, but they can give your TV room a real boost for a summer of football. And a few of them may even have a lasting impact on the quality of the room. Will you be watching any of the World Cup this summer?


What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

Dry rot has the potential to ruin any wooden structure. You’ve probably heard of dry rot even if you’ve never encountered it. However, you might not know exactly what it is, how to spot it, or how to treat it. Given how common dry rot is, and how much damage it can do if left unchecked, it’s worth understanding exactly what it is and how you can prevent it.

Wood with dry rot

Identifying dry rot

Also known as ‘brown rot’, dry rot is caused by fungi and leads to wood decay. Where dry rot occurs, these fungi break down cellulose and hemicellulose, both of which are important for giving wood its strength and resilience. When these components are depleted, the wood will become brittle and take on a ‘blocky’ appearance.

The fungi responsible for dry rot like a damp environment, so where you have wooden structures and damp there’s a danger of dry rot forming. Some types of wood are more susceptible than others. For dry rot to break out, the moisture content needs to rise in excess of 20%. In most cases, dry rot can be treated by removing the source of the moisture, as well as any wood that’s already been affected.

Dry rot fungus growing on wood

How does it spread?

As with other types of fungus, those responsible for dry rot spread via the spores that they produce. When these spores are released, they become airborne and are easily spread owing to their tiny size and weight. This means that dry rot tends to spread as far as the ideal conditions for dry rot exist.

There are three common sources of the moisture that allows dry rot to spread. The first is due to the wood not being correctly kiln-dried prior to being used for construction, a process which would usually reduce the moisture content to make it more resistant to rotting. The other two common causes are exposure to highly humid conditions and exposure to large volumes of water.

Serpula Lacrymans, the fungus that causes dry rot


If dry rot does take hold then you have a number of different treatment options. Epoxy treatments will kill the rot and also reinforce the structure of the wood, they involve filling in channels with an epoxy resin. Commercial antifreeze has sometimes been used as a treatment for wood rot, as it’s effective at killing the fungus responsible, as well as preventing dry rot forming in the future.

If you encounter a particularly serious outbreak then you might want to hire a professional service to remove it.

Wood with dry rot


Preventing dry rot is pretty simple. As you may have guessed, it’s mostly a case of ensuring that moisture and damp aren’t allowed to accumulate around any wooden structures on your property. Whenever you paint wood, make sure that you prime it first, as this will prevent moisture becoming trapped underneath the paint and leading to dry rot breaking out.

Keeping the issue at bay is a case of keeping any wood and wooden structures on your property away from excessive moisture. If you can do this, then you should be able to remain free of the condition.


4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom

4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom | H is for Home

If you’re a home bird who loves cosy nights in, it’s important that you invest in your bathroom and turn it into a place in which you enjoy spending time. This will come in handy whenever you’re trying to unwind with a relaxing bubble bath or indulge in a home spa day. Investing in your bathroom is also a fantastic opportunity for you to impress your guests and to increase the value of your property. That’s why you should do everything in your power to create a stunning bathroom in which to be proud. Below are four tips that will help you to do this.

Modern bathroom with wooden vanity unit

Do your research

Before you make any important decisions, it’s vital that you do your research. This will help you save on time, money and effort. If you’ve never renovated a bathroom before, it will also give you the chance to feel confident in your choices. Why not take it one step at a time? You could read up on the pros and cons of installing a bath instead of a shower. Then, you could look into the best ventilation systems for keeping your bathroom clean and fresh. Finally, you should find reviews that explore specific pieces of equipment such as hand basins and toilets. Simply visit the plumbing info to find out more.

Modern bathroom in neutral colours

Get inspired

If you’re struggling to get excited about your bathroom transformation, you should constantly be on the lookout for sources of inspiration. This could involve flicking through magazines that are dedicated to covetable bathrooms. Or, as a cost-effective alternative, you could read online blog posts and scroll through relevant Pinterest boards. Another great idea is to stay alert when you’re visiting other people’s homes. Make sure that you pay a visit to their bathrooms and keep your eyes peeled for interesting ideas. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find out what you like and what you’re trying to avoid.

Bathroom decorated with accessories in shades of blue

Choose the right colour palette

One of the biggest decisions that you’ll make, when it comes to designing your bathroom, is your choice of colour palette. Instead of opting for a simple white or beige, it’s vital that you explore all your options. If you’re trying to create a relaxing room, you’ll need calming tones such as a pale blue or a mint green. Or, if you’re aiming for a feeling of luxury, you’ll need rich shades such as amber or a deep purple. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you find a paint that’s specifically designed to work for bathrooms. This will help you to prevent mould, damp and water staining.

Fancy hand wash and moisturiser, brushes and cosmetics

Have fun with your finishing touches

Once you’ve mastered the basics, have fun with your finishing touches. Even if you’re dealing with a regular family bathroom, it’s still important to put in the effort. You could do this by purchasing a luxury robe to hang on the door, finding a gorgeous diffuser to place on a shelf, and investing in high-quality towels to brighten up the space. You could also take inspiration from deluxe hotels and include a luxury moisturiser alongside your hand soap.