Who Needs Home Care? When to Make the Call

by admin on June 25, 2014

Facing up to the reality of needing the services of a care giver is pretty unpleasant for all involved. Whether it’s you yourself that’s in need of help or any close friend or loved one, it often represents one of those turning points in life nobody wants to face.

Of course, once the call has been made and the provision of care begun, the individual or couple in question will find their lives, their wellbeing and their overalls happiness enriched in such a way they’ll be wishing they signed up much earlier. Care provision has stepped up in a big way for the 21st century and is almost impossible to compare in any way with that of years gone by.

Home care has been steadily growing in popularity for some time now as a welcome alternative to the standard care home. Being able to stay at home and still receive elite professional care is for most much more appealing than moving into a care home on a full-time and permanent basis. Even so, it can still be difficult to admit that you – or perhaps a close family member – really is in need of this kind of care.

It can be hard decision but it is an important one to make.

All cases vary in accordance with personal circumstances of course, but there are certain signs and signals to be aware of that could indicate the need to at least speak to a care professional.

So if any of the following ring true, it might be time to pick up the phone if for nothing more than an obligation-free chat:

Growing Mobility Problems

Most people are guilty of becoming rather stubborn when it comes to mobility problems – especially in their own home. There are thousands of citizens all over the UK that haven’t used or visited the upstairs of their homes for years now, having found themselves unable to climb the stairs but refusing to move or ask for help. When and where mobility around the home becomes a problem, it can take little more than the occasional visit by a professional care giver to help anyone regain full and comfortable access to every room of the home, while at the same time looking after those rooms and areas that are hardest for the resident to get to.

Simple Trips Have Become Difficult

If and when it has become apparent that simple trips out of the home have become a challenge, it might be time to think about asking for help. One of the most common and helpful duties performed by care givers across the UK today is that of grocery shopping or a bill paying on behalf of their clients. The difference made by no longer having to make tiresome trips to the supermarket alone can be huge – all of which can be organised to suit the needs and desires of the resident, right down to the finest detail.

Health Problems Growing in Severity

Health problems are of course the primary reason why the elderly often make the move to a care home, but in many instances the same care could easily be provided in the comfort of their own home. In any case though, if it’s apparent that existing health problems are getting worse or new health issues are beginning to have an impact on a person’s life, it’s a good idea to make the call and seek a little advice.

Hygiene and/or Sanitary Problems

The same also goes for those facing any general hygiene or sanitary issues. It could be that cleaning the home as a whole has become too difficult to manage alone, or perhaps that bathing has become a painful and potentially dangerous process. In all such cases, there’s really nothing to gain from suffering in silence when there’s friendly, affordable and accessible help out there waiting to be called upon.

Loneliness or Depression

And it doesn’t have to be any specific physical or logistical issues being faced either – loneliness and depression can be even more debilitating. Home care giving isn’t all about cooking meals and cleaning rooms – it’s also about a friendly face providing welcome company and companionship to those who need it most. It’s amazing the difference a genuinely wonderful care giver can make to the life of an individual who really needs nothing more in life than a new reason to smile every day.

Home care can help with loneliness.

Family Dependence

Last but not least, when and where an individual or couple begins to put a strain on both the time and the finances of their family and friends, it could be time to call for some advice. Home care provision isn’t only the ideal solution in instances where dependency has become problematic, but it can also be massively more affordable than most realise.

Written by Chris on behalf of the K2 Care Agency, a care and support agency in Peterborough, England.

Image credits: Tonyhall and FixersUK


How To Value Your Luxury Watch

by admin on June 19, 2014

Luxury watches are something very special; an investment in quality which you can’t simply pick off the shelf in a supermarket or regular high street store.

A high quality luxury watch is likely to last a very long time so there may come a time when you opt to sell it to buy a different model instead.

If this is the case you will undoubtedly want to get the best possible price but how do you know what it is worth? Here’s a guide to how your luxury watch might be valued.

Model and serial number

Luxury watches are a booming market and there’s an increasing number of fraudsters churning out realistic-looking fakes and trying to sell them at a huge cost.

Although counterfeit watches are usually obvious to experts, to the average man on the street they can look very convincing, particularly if they come with a serial number.

Serial numbers can help to measure a watches value.

Each luxury watch will have its own unique serial number; you should never give this away to anyone before you sell your watch. This can be used by fraudsters to validate a counterfeit watch and help pass security checks.

When an expert values your watch they will look for not just the model number, but also the serial number.

The model number identifies factors which are generic to a particular period of production; it gives away the materials which were used, where the watch was made as well as the type of movement. The serial number is specific to the actual watch itself.

Both of these numbers are very important to an expert when determining the overall value of your luxury watch.


Although it may seem obvious that the condition of the watch would have an impact on its overall value, there’s more to it than simply being well presented.

Of course any superficial damage or dings could reduce the value of your luxury watch, but there are a number of other factors to look for too.

One of the first signs that a watch may be starting to deteriorate is if the bezel and crown are loose; these should be tight fitting and in pristine condition.

The bracelet is another place where the first signs of wear and tear can be seen; over-stretching and dirt collecting between each link can result in the price dropping. If you have had any of the links removed from the watch, providing you have kept them, the value will be unaffected. If you have had links removed but have not kept them, this will reduce how much you will get as the bracelet itself is part of the intrinsic value.

Type of movement

This is arguably the single most important part of the watch and has the largest influence on its overall value.

There are two types of movement: quartz and automatic.

A quartz movement is arguably more accurate but is not as valuable as an automatic movement, which is typically what is sought after by watch enthusiasts. Quartz movements last for approximately 15 years and watches with these are valued based on their metal composition rather than the internal mechanisms.

Automatic movements are an entirely different matter and have quite literally hundreds of tiny moving parts. Some are produced entirely by hand in-house by the watch manufacturer whilst others are shipped in from elsewhere. Unsurprisingly those watches with in-house produced automatic movements are valued higher as a general rule. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron are a few of the watch makes which provide these type of unique bespoke movements.

What not to do

Don’t be tempted to value your watch by looking at models being sold on EBay. General auction sites aren’t the best place for high quality specialist items such as luxury watches.

In addition, there’s the chance that some of the watches which are up for sale may not be the genuine article so the price will be lower as rogue traders try to hook innocent buyers.

A specialist luxury watch buyer (e.g. we buy any watch) will be able to give you an accurate and honest opinion of the true value of your timepiece, and if you are looking to sell will be able to complete the transaction for you too.

Make sure you get your watch valued.


There are a number of different factors which influence the value of your luxury watch so it’s important to understand where it comes from and how it was made before you can start to estimate what its worth. You can also play your part by keeping it in immaculate condition and retaining the box and the authentication paperwork to pass on to the buyer.

Image credits: Foeock and PRIM hodinky


Taking the family away for a holiday is exciting but finding the right destination that offers the kind of outdoor activities everyone enjoys can be a bit of a challenge. That’s the beauty of the French Alps, not only can you get there in record time, but the region offers a myriad of exciting and thrilling fun things to do in the great outdoors that will keep every member of the family happy no matter what age the youngest happens to be. The choice of places, chalets, camp sites and hotels is brilliant and it goes without saying the hospitality of the region is as warm as a lovely summer’s day in the Alps.

Kayaking is a great outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy is superb settings

A Great Summer Destination

Spending a few weeks during the summer in the French Alps with the family means guaranteed sunshine and a choice of brilliant things to do outside from kayaking to mountain biking through some of the most beautiful high altitude and valley sceneries on the planet. The weather tends to get pretty hot during the months of July and August but the rivers and lakes boast nice, cool waters. Taking a break for a picnic and refreshing swim is a must. The summer is the best time of year to really enjoy the mountains, landscapes and gorgeous lakes of the region.

A Superb Choice of Outdoor Activities

No matter where you choose to spend your time in the French Alps, you’ll find there is a superb choice of outdoor activities close by which families can enjoy together. Checkout this site for some good examples – http://www.alpineelements.co.uk/activity-holidays.html

Activities include guided or unguided walking tours through the surrounding areas. You might prefer a cycling adventure which means exploring the many valleys and mountain routes all of which are extremely well sign-posted.

Depending on the age of your children will obviously dictate the type of activity the family would be able to enjoy together. If your kids are on the young side, kayaking and wind surfing on the lakes offers a great all round fun experience for all family members. However, if your kids are that much older, there’s white water rafting and paragliding which will give everyone the kind of adrenal rush they love.

The beautiful French Alps, the lakes and brilliant water sport experiences

Finding something for the Whole Family to Enjoy is Easy

With this said there are so many other outdoor activities that families can do together including the following:

• Canyoning

• Rock climbing

• Water skiing

• Wind surfing

• Sailing

• Kite Surfing

• Lake swimming

• Horse riding

Wonderful Camp Sites Dotted Around the Region

If you love the idea of a camping holiday, again the region boasts some of the best camp sites on the planet and they all cater extremely well for families travelling with children of all ages. Most of the bigger sites boast swimming pools, tennis courts and some even cater for people who enjoy pampering themselves with spa therapies.

Local Festivals Not to be missed

The region is renowned for local festivals where you can really get a taste of the Alps in all senses of the word. There are food and drink festivals, music extravaganzas and art exhibitions showcasing local and international talent. Again there’s something to please everyone when it comes to spending a thrilling day or evening at one of the many festivals organised in the region throughout the summer months.


One of the best things about choosing to holiday in the French Alps as a family group is that you can choose how you would like to get there. Some families find it that much easier to drive to their holiday destination whereas other people prefer to catch a flight. But whichever way you do decide to get to where you plan to go, the one thing you can be sure of is the whole family is in for a very exciting time in a region of Europe that boasts some of the best scenery and outdoor activities on the planet.

Image credits: undiscoveredalps and Matija Potocnik


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How to Clean Marble Countertops

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There are plenty of folk out there that think marble countertops are marble countertops…end of story. Sadly though it isn’t quite as simple as this as in reality, the difference from one product to the next can be quite enormous. If you decide to used a professional cleaning service like Proclean domestic cleaning Glasgow, they [...]

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