Someone Sleeping In My Office?

By Kathryn Wilking

There seems to be a problem in many homes: one room short! Many families are trying to accommodate a guest room, TV room, and a home office all in one space.

A large percentage of families are spread out as jobs and opportunities send them out to the four corners of the earth. And when the extended family comes to visit, well, they need a place to sleep!

So, there goes the office!

If this scenario happens once in a while, perhaps it can be tolerated. An extended house guest, such as a returning child who needs to regroup, can take over the space for months on end!

When you have a room assigned for ‘double duty’ you need to, take a reality check before this totally disrupts your life.

Questions to consider:

  • Who (any and all possibilities) would you invite/accommodate as an overnight guest should the need be?
  • Then, what are the odds of that happening?
  • In addition: What time frame would be appropriate? Set limits for the visit.
  • How difficult is it to convert your office to a guest room? (ie: set up bed, make bed, clean the room, put away your projects, hide private papers and still leave room for a guest’s suitcase and toiletries to come into the space?

In my case, we downsized considerably from a large 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom house in Vancouver after our boys moved away. The dilemma was how to utilize the extra room: Who gets the spare room for the office, guest room, storage and more. Also: Where do we put the spin bike?

Since I work out of the house, it made sense for me to take the extra room, but I declined. The odds of family and friends coming for a weekend could be accommodated, but if one of the boys decided to bunk in with us for a summer or a chunk of time, it would be total disruption for me!

I relinquished the ‘spare room’ to my husband as a part time office, long term storage and work out room for 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, we get the odd house guest. If we need a house sitter they can stay in the ‘spare room’. No disruption for me!

So, where do I work? Lucky for us, there is a sizable alcove off the master bedroom. I’ve commandeered this as my own space and no one will arrive to disrupt my papers, projects and train of thought. This is very important to me to have a special, office space carved out for me. Yep, if I didn’t have a room divider, extra plants and my things hanging up in my space it could be part of the master. But I’ve managed to make it work. (Some days, it is hard to resist joining the cat on the bed for a nap!)

If you need help coordinating the function of your ‘spare room’, I have many more ideas. Take the time to do an assessment of the space, and you can make a solid decision about what is best for you and your family.

Kathryn of Kathryn Wilking Designs is a Professional Member of the IFSG (International Feng Shui Guild) Author, Teacher and Feng Shui Consultant.

Kathryn is available for innovative talks for workshops and Lunch ‘n Learn programs. Contact her to discuss a topic for your group:

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How To Decide Which Nursing Homes To Visit

How To Decide Which Nursing Homes To Visit
By Andrew Stratton

According to a recent report, about 1.3 million elderly Americans live in nursing homes. The number one reason these residents require full-time care is that they have chronic health conditions that cannot be managed at home. The medical treatment they receive at these long-term care facilities helps lower their risk of premature death.

Finding A Home

When searching for a facility for an elderly parent or loved one, answering a few simple questions should help you shorten your list of nursing homes to visit. Here are four common ones you should always answer in advance.

Is It Too Far Away?

If you intend on seeing your elderly parent more than once a month, you don’t want to spend more time driving than the visit will last. While there is no set amount of time, driving more than one hour may be too much for the average family to handle on a weekly basis. As such, we strongly suggest limiting your search to homes that are within easy driving distance.

It is also important to consider how distance might affect you and your family member in the event of an emergency. Should your loved need you by his or her side as soon as possible, you don’t want to have to make a long, hurried drive in a fragile emotional state.

What Do The Surveys Say?

Most nursing homes are required by law to undergo annual inspections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The findings of these inspections are a matter of public record. Where can you find them? Survey data, reports, and ratings should be posted at the care facility. If you do not see it, simply ask. (A home that cannot provide a report probably isn’t worth considering.) What to look for?

Reports about mistreatment and actual harm are the most pressing issues you should consider. It is also important to take a look at the ratings of the actual facility. Perhaps it has outdated medical or HVAC equipment that makes providing first-rate care difficult. If so, the home may have received a lower-than-average rating for specific deficiencies.

What Is The Staffing Ratio?

Because the level of care your elderly loved one receives is often related to how many patients there are for every employee, it is imperative that you ask about the staffing ratio. This is particularly true when it comes to a specialized facility that caters to folks with dementia. Because diseases like Alzheimer’s require a much higher level of individual attention, lower staff ratios are essential.

How Many Nurses And Doctors?

Although aides and orderlies are invaluable employees at nursing homes, if your loved one has a serious health condition, you want to know that a medical professional will be there to attend to their needs. At the very least, the facility should have a doctor or nurse on staff at all times.


You can find the answers to most of the questions we have asked today without actually visiting prospective nursing homes. Most reputable facilities have a website that addresses common queries. You can also call or email the provider directly with any question you might have.

When searching for nursing homes, Sterling Heights, MI residents visit Oakmont Communities. Learn more at

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Aluminum Gates for Enhancing Your Property Value

By Irona Sefen

Aluminum gates are one of the popular metal products installed at a property. Whether you are adorning a home or business, they always have a special place as protection for driveways, curbs, pavements or as barriers at your garden entrance or backyard exits. There are many ways of ensuring that you have a beautiful and secure residence and business area.

Artistic Ornamental Garden Gates

Your garden is the best place to spend your weekends and holidays. A perfect retreat for your Sunday afternoons with your kids and pets around you, nothing matches to the bliss of a garden ambience! If you can add artistic and stylish aluminum gates to your garden, its beauty is enhanced manifold. You not only protect your children indoors and keep the trespassers away; you also add a touch of elegance to the exterior d�cor of your home.

Protective Security Gates

If you think iron is a better variety for security gates, there are a number of homeowners vouching for aluminum varieties for their elegance and wide variety. Aluminum varieties come in a variety of designs and appeal to the delight of the exterior designers. They are used for security purpose and require less maintenance and are more durable than other metals.

Sturdy Driveway Gates

Driveways need protection from trespassers, easy access and also ensure that your children or pets do not move out from the premises on to the driveway. Durable aluminum gates ensure that your vehicles and loved ones are safe within the premises and no stranger encroaches on your property.

Functional Pedestrian Gates

Pedestrian pathways or pavements are also protected with the help of small gates. These can also be adjacent to the main entrance. They provide entry and exit for pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicles/ bicycles.

Classic Front Yard Entrance Variety

Your front yard, front lawn or garden makes the first impression on the visitor. Apart from the beautiful plantation and your gardening skills, the other aspect that catches their attention are the entrance gates. If you use aluminum for them, you are sure to give your front yard a classic and contemporary touch. Most modern homes use aluminum over other metals for fences and railings as well for their front yard and gardens alike.

One can enhance the value of their property by adding stylish and chic aluminum gates to their property. As discussed above, they perform a specific function for your home as well as your business. One can add more varieties to their property to enhance its security and overall beauty as well.

Touch of Class Aluminum & Ironworks is a gate manufacturer in Vancouver. It offers full-service gate designing, production, installation and maintenance for iron and aluminum gates, railings, fences, metal doors etc.

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