Memory Care Units Focuses on Some of the Most Painful Concerns

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 4/22/2018, www.SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: New facilities specializing in memory care are being designed to handle some of the most complicated mental health senior care concerns. These new designs focus their efforts on therapeutic modalities and facilities that aim at assisting senior residents cope with Alzheimer’s and dementia, loss of memory from an accident or injury, and other concerns that effect one’s mental well-being in their senior years.

Memory care facilities are assisted living facilities specially designed to care for individuals that have degrading mental awareness. Two of the most common memory loss diagnoses are Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease where an individual’s mind will begin to lose short term memory of recent events, people’s names and dates. As the disease progresses, the individual will begin to have changes in behavior and mood, problems with language and disorientation, loss of motivation, and other slowing patterns.

In many cases, the individual is initially aware of their condition, and out of frustration, will slowly alienate family and care givers. Even care givers find it difficult to administer care to a person with Alzheimer’s, due to the continued behavioral changes and out lashes that the patient displays. Once Alzheimer’s is in its final phases, the body begins to shut down and fails to function as it should, leading to the individual passing. Care for an individual with Alzheimer’s takes a special provider that has plenty of patience as well as the ability to not be easily offended.

Senior elder persons with dementia suffer from and experience many of the same symptoms as folks with Alzheimer’s do. However, there are a few major differences between the two diseases. Dementia is considered a neurocognitive disorder that speeds up the aging process and affects the body more so than other mental disorders and illnesses. People with dementia are usually either chemically or physically restricted so they are not a danger to themselves or others around them. Human rights groups advocate that individuals with dementia should not be restrained, stating they need additional specialized care, including the use of alternative modalities and therapies, as well as individual in activities that are constructive, giving the person a sense of daily purpose.

Memory care services also provide on campus services in conjunction with rehabilitation centers for head injuries where blunt trauma has caused a person to lose their short-term memory.  This care focuses on helping the patient restore their short-term memory along with the individual’s physical health.

Memory care facilities offer around the clock supervised care. The floor plans of these facilities are designed to cater to someone with a memory care concern. They include easy to find central service areas such as a dining hall and activity centers. There are additional security measures at a memory care unit so patients cannot just wander off on their own outside the center’s grounds and limits the risk the patient may be to themselves or others. A memory care facility will usually have additional therapy rooms and places on campus designed to be therapeutic. They may even have a central court yard so residents can spend time outside without leaving the environment and security of the memory care unit.

Assisted living centers that include memory care are changing the model for senior health care in the industry. Memory care units that are added to either a traditional assisted living center or are integrated into the design of a new assisted living facility provide an advantage for senior health care facilities. These duel service centers help families with the continuity of care. If a loved one needs additional care services for memory care, the patient is transferred just down the hall or to a neighboring building. Knowing the same staff will be continuing to serve their loved one’s needs without having to move them to an entirely different facility provides tremendous reassurance during a vulnerable time. A family can count on maintaining the same relationship with the same senior health care provider; eliminating the doubt one would have about having to deal with a new staff or administrator.

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

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Money Saving Tips Any Business Can Put into Practice

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 3/22/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Small Business

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% 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, 2% 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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

 

The World’s Demand for Alternatives to Traditional Currency

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 2/5/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Small Business

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. 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 US 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 Pay Pal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. 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 so much 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, Badger Barter offers a barter exchange that includes well over 600 business; range 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, Pay Pal, 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 store front window, print advertising, business cards, invoices, and other forms signage a client may see at your establishment.

Bloomberg Business had researched and found that over $12 billion dollars in goods and services were traded without any currency changing hands in 2012. 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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

8 Ways to Build Your Business Name in Your Local Community

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 2/1/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Business, Community, Economy, Finance, Healthy Living, Small Business

Source: As the cost of marketing and advertising continue to rise and become out of reach for the average locally owned small business; business owners need to consider alternative community outreach efforts in getting in front of their next potential client.

Any proven marketing and advertising medium needs about ninety days in order to create top of the mind brand awareness with potential consumers who come in contact with marketing and advertising pieces. The cost of an effective marketing and advertising campaign can range tens of thousands of dollars, when including a mix of print, radio, social media, direct mail, and online advertising. Most small businesses cannot afford an effective comprehensive advertising campaign long term. On the other hand, small businesses cannot afford being seen by potential consumers.

So what does a business owner to do to get in front of people? There are many community oriented relationship building opportunities within the business’s local surroundings. Here are eight methods of reaching potential customers in place of expensive advertising campaigns.

One way a business can connect with the local community is to get involved in sponsoring local youth sports. Whether is sponsoring a local team or youth league, your business can benefit from being seen in the local youth sports network. Options include soccer, little league baseball, football, softball, and basketball. Most of the time, a business’s image and name can be found on player’s uniforms, on sports fields billboards, are mentioned in press releases, are mentioned by the game’s announcer, and are thanked on social media and in the media. Many parents will usually patron businesses that support their children’s interest.

2). Hold a free seminar at local library, VFW Hall, or Senior Facility Center. The great thing about hosing a free seminar at the local library, VFW hall, or local senior community center, is that in most cases, there is already a captive audience which can be notified about your event. Usually, these organizations will provide a monthly calendar of events for their constituents, which may have interest in the subject matter you desire to present. You will want to present an informative seminar on an industry topic you are an expert of knowledge in. Include in your presentation some facts and history about a leading concern, then present ideas and trends that are taking place to solve the issue. This is a place where you present as an expert, as an authority, without directly selling your products or services. In these cases, you’re providing a public service, where at the end you can hand out your contact information if anyone may have further questions or suggestions for you.

3). Volunteer for a good cause in the neighborhood (fund drive for local fire department or first aid squad; or raise money for an individual or family hit by a devastating life event). Volunteering is another way to build a bond with the community. You can sponsor a fundraiser, or just show up to support as many of the local fundraising efforts which benefit the community. When others see that you are generous with your time and your money, it will be notices. Whichever you give, money, your time, or both, make sure you do it from a place of sincerity, from the heart. People can spot fake intentions from across a room.

4). Get involved in your local church. Your local church can be a place where you can get to know others who share in the same values which you have in common. Whether it be to support their events, fundraisers, community outreach to the needy, or just make yourself available for set up and tear down of events, helping your local church can help you connect with others.

5). Get your business listed on Manta, Merchant Circle, and Yelp- as clients for them to leave a review and rate your business. Customer reviews and ratings rule the internet when grading a local businesses’ dedication or lack of customer service. You will want to ask your customers to leave a positive review on your Manta, Merchant Circle, or Yelp profile, after they have had a positive customer experience. Building a legion of online positive four and five star ratings and personal experiences by your clients can help spread the word of the great products and/or services you provide.

6). Join a local business or trade organization. Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, BNI, LeTip, are all business to business environments. By joining these groups allow you to network and connect with fellow business owners and leaders within the community. These networks offer a number of opportunities, including but not limited to sourcing new vendors and suppliers, connecting with prospective clients, acts as a support system, and even provides educational resource tools to build your business.

7). Show up to other community events and town meetings. Getting involved in local politics can either hurt or help your business. It is wise to take some time to understand the legislative climate your business is subjected on a local, regional, and even state level. Showing up to a few meetings will provide you first hand insight to the challenges your business may face as a member of the tax paying community. Other attendees will take notice that you have an interest in the interworking of the local government, which a dialog can then be created.

8). Write a blog of how to tips for your clients. Public awareness and public education are methods for informing your clients on subject matters important to them. You can share how to do something or how to fix something. If you own a hardware store, you can discuss how to do a particular home project, and then at the end of the discussion, provide a parts list and a coupon for potential readers to patron your store. If you are into health and wellness, you can share recipes for healthy meals, or a fitness regiment that has helped your own health situation. Blogging allows for you to connect with potential customers by sharing your expertise from the comfort of your living room.

Most of these practices only require your time. If you are to be noticed and remembered by your local community, then you need to be proactive in providing an extra value service that is important to them. Done with sincere intention, potential consumers will take notice of your noble efforts.

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

The Manawa Community Living Center Difference

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Written by Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and Author

So you have just retired from your career; the kids have all moved out of the home; you may have lost your spouse or loved one; and you may no longer have all of the mobility that you once had. What do you do next? You begin to make lifestyle changes and choices. You may choose to let go of the house you called home for most of your life. Where do you go? Do you choose to find residence at an assisted living facility, or do you find yourself in need of more in-depth services of a nursing home?

Or what if you are the family member of the loved one who can no longer make these decisions on their own? You have come to the realization and conclusion that your loved one, whether it is a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even a spouse, will receive better care and attention than what you may have to offer. Your loved one may be at a point in their lives where they need round the clock care, if they are trying to cope with a major chronic illness or physical disability. So you turn your research efforts to the internet and stumble upon a few choices.

One of those choices may be the Manawa Community Living Center. So you decide to investigate, and take a tour of the facility. Then you may explore other choices for employing senior health care services for either you or your loved one. So how do you know which facility to choose?

Understanding what matters in providing excellence in senior health care, such as a facilities low rate of employee turn-over; how the facility ranked in its last state inspection or CMS rating; or even the facilities policies themselves in how they handle risk such as infection control or out of control patients; are all important deciding factors in choosing a facility. What type of care do you need; Assisted living, intimate nursing home services, or rehabilitation center? Can you afford the price of admission, and maintain a standard of living that is relative to your budget?

Once you have been able to answer all of these questions, usually a major deciding factor is the overall feel of the staff, their ability to meet the needs of residents and patients, under a strict code of conduct that benefits them. After visiting a few facilities you return to the idea of the Manawa Community Living Center. So what is it that makes Manawa so special?

For starters, the Manawa Community Living Center is not corporate owned. In order to be competitive against the typical “chain” of nursing home facilities that are corporately owned, they must pride themselves in other areas of competency that are lacking elsewhere. They pride themselves on being your community senior health care center; totally focused and devoted to the health and well-being of the residents that are considered part of the “Manawa Family.”

Proprietor Phil Castleberg explains, “In part of what is the Manawa Difference is people. The majority of our staff lives within the surrounding area. They most likely grew up around some of the patients and now have an opportunity to serve them as they enter their elder years. Being a part of the community of Manawa, allows our staff of nurses, aides, and administration to be more attentive and respectful of the needs patients here at the center. As a result, our staff have a higher regard for life, and treat every patient with respect, honor, and love,”

Manawa Community Living Center has adopted the latest trend of offering multiple services under one roof. They offer assisted living quarters and nursing home services. Rehabilitation services and therapy are also available on campus. Manawa provided for continuity in care, having these services in the same location provides a resident or patient the ability to have all of their needs met, regardless of what phase they may be in their lives. This removes the stress of moving from one facility to another, and creates a friendly environment that you are being attended to by the same trusted nurses, therapists, and aides no matter which division of the facility you call home.

Manawa has a unique atmosphere to it. When you first pull up to the facility you have the feeling you have just arrived to the doors, you automatically feel at home. There are no fences or walls that block the sights and sounds of the surrounding community; and is located a short distance from the Main Street of Manawa. When you enter inside of the facility, you can view the many visiting areas and sitting rooms that give this facility the look and feel of a country bed and breakfast. If it were not for the usual tile flooring found in most facilities, in order to create a sterile environment, one would think they had entered a small country retreat. Residents get a full view and can stay in touch with the outside world just outside their window, even if they are physically confined to their spacious room. They can still open the window and hear the community around them.

“We wanted to create the sense of being home. All of our patient rooms have been renovated and decorated with the assistance and input of our staff that live in the surrounding area. I asked them to design the look and feel of each room as if they were going to be the occupant of that room. As a result, each room has small touches that make them unique from one room to another. Our staff did a great job in making this facility feel like home,” Castleberg continued.

Manawa’s culture focuses on personal health and wellness. When you first meet the staff, you get the sense that they really care about the people who enter Manawa. Their attentiveness to detail and ability to recognize that life, regardless of age, is valuable reflects in the way they serve guests, residents, and their families. The smiles of the staff and their welcoming demeanor inform us that the employees of Manawa Community Living Center enjoy their profession and more so they enjoy being a part of the Manawa team.

“Being here at Manawa is a choice and a lifestyle. We are a smaller family ran local operation. One must understand what it means to be a member of the community of Manawa and have a love affair with Main Street to truly appreciate what we have to offer.”

Other factors that make Manawa special is that they operate above industry standard. Having doubled the nurses and aides ratio to every patient versus the industry norm allows Manawa to provide immediate care and expedient services. The strict discipline and commitment to excellence in senior health care have actually assisted Manawa to be more affordable for the average senior or family member in search of senior health care accommodations. So if your decision to enter a facility is strictly based on price, Manawa has you covered.

Manawa also knows the pain experienced in the last moments of life. Our specialized team of hospice care experts treats every patient and their families with comfort in their bedside manner. Life at Manawa is valued from the time you enter to the time you depart, and no matter, will always remain in the hearts of the staff that make up the Manawa team.

“That is the Manawa Difference.”

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Learning from Adversity

Source: Good small business owners are recognized for overcoming challenges; however, great small business leaders are recognized for their ability to capitalize on adversity. Adversity provides the average small business owner the chance to see what their business and character is made of, and if handled appropriately, you can the lessons learned from the adversity to grow your small business.

Not all business owners handle adversity the same. Some business owners have closed their doors because what was deemed a crisis at the time by the business owner, was too much risk to bear. Some business owners have an innate natural ability to shrug off just about any business catastrophe, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, and begin marching again. So, what can adversity teach us? How can adversity work to our advantage? As a small business owner, will you allow for adversity to challenge you or will you conquer it?

Before we can review external factors and challenges to our business, we must first look inward. Some adversity is of our own doing. It is impossible to be right all the time, however, when we fail in business or make a bad business decision, we must own it. It’s your mistake, and it’s time to tackle it. How do you tackle your mistakes? By learning from them.

Adversity builds character. Out of the ashes of adversity, you will develop an iron stomach for negative commentary. Whenever your business experiences something positive, it may be months or even years before your accomplishment is recognized. This is due to society’s love affair  with failure. For some strange reason, when someone fails, society wants to celebrate it. The King of NASCAR, Race Car Legend Richard Petty said it best,

“No one wants to quit when ‘he’ is losing, and no one wants to quit when ‘he’ is winning.”

During your bout with adversity, every critic will be at your door with no short of unsolicited opinions on what you did wrong for your business to fail. Adversity provides another opportunity for you and your business to prove them wrong. Adversity will test the character of those around you. Do you have true friends and colleagues that support you, or are they fair-weather friends? Everyone says they are there for you, and want to be there when things are “okay,” however when things get hard, people seem to change their mind. Adversity will provide you the answers you seek when testing who you are surrounded by.

Adversity is the ultimate test of time. Will you have what it takes to wait out the challenge and fend off adversity? Will your personal ability to be patient grow, or will you become even more frustrated when things don’t work out exactly to your demands? Adversity will help you improve your patience through your small business. You are going to need a lot of patience, because in business you are dealing with people. Not all people will understand you, especially new vendors, employees or clients that come to the table with their own expectations. Patience will become your best friend.

Adversity will help develop your judgment in making better business decisions. Guided by the lessons learned from mistakes, and having a better understanding of timing (patience) your ability to see the signs of what is next in a business cycle, and being able to head disaster off at the pass, comes with experience. Business owners who never have to face a crisis never get a chance to develop better judgement. During the process of adversity, your senses and awareness will sharpen and heighten, as you will always be looking for trouble before it happens, enabling you to successfully mitigate risk, and keep your business on the desired track.

Your business has flaws and weaknesses – no business is perfect. Adversity will show you your business’s flaws, allowing you to take action in making improvements where ever it is needed. This will require you to be specific and disciplined in your focusing on what matters most.

After successfully navigating through several adverse challenges, you will become better at handling a crisis and managing problems. Adversity will allow you to manage future crisis, where you will find yourself less frequently hitting the panic button. Eventually, as a great small business owner, you will be able to manage the problem, instead of the problem managing you. Leadership during handling an adverse situation reflects your ability to identify the source of the challenge, envision a viable solution to the problem, and then the implementation of the solution in such a way that to everyone else, it seems like an everyday part of doing business.

Surviving adversity sends a powerful message to your clients, and staff, as well as the competition. When your business can still deliver to its clients, regardless of the business disruption, it tells the story to your clients that they matter the most. Most people understand if your business experiences such, however, you will always want to communicate the status of the challenge, what you’re doing to tackle the challenge, and the results of your plan. Your clients will know that you are willing against all odds to overcome issues in meeting their expectations, and this sends the message that your business has the skill of resiliency.

Resiliency is the one skill set and trait your competitors will come to envy as you begin to champion every challenge that comes your way. Nothing can stop you when you begin to perceive adversity as an opportunity. No other business owner will ever wish the worse on you, because you like eat problems for breakfast, and doing so only make your business a bigger better competitor.

As a small business owner, you are the captain of the ship. Remember to take a breath—a deep breath—and don’t react or make any decision on the spur of the moment. People will be shouting, demanding, and pressuring you to make decisions without yourself even knowing all the facts. You must become the voice of reason. You must be the steady rock during the turbulence – the captain who can navigate through the storm. But first, you must not do anything except breathe.

Next, I put a silence to all the noise and static, and then remove myself from the fury and the fire. This enables me to approach the matter with a clear head. I do my best not to allow the panic of others to wash over me, which would only hurt my ability to see the situation with clarity. Then I can proceed in taking on the challenge head on without the opinion of others that in many cases do not have all of the facts.

When you first find out about the challenge, it’s important to know the situation and work through the emotional shock yourself. I have felt a series of emotions at the same time when seeing the challenge ahead, face-on. Feeling the emotions of anger, frustration, anxiety, fear and doubt are a normal human reaction; however, you must get command of your emotions. Much like a general on the battlefront, you must put the emotion aside and take command of the situation.

I inform my closest circles that I am aware of the situation and I am in process of gathering all the facts. As a small business owner, your support system may be comprised of a manager, your spouse, your accountant, your attorney, and close mentors and advisors. It is important to demonstrate to them that you are aware of the situation and are willing to deal with the matter head-on.

Before I make any decision, I collect all pertinent information. I take out a sheet of paper and write down the facts. I make two columns: facts that support our ability to overcome the issue, and facts that are outright against the business. I further dig for the source of the issue. Sometimes the motive of where the challenge stemmed from will provide great insight on your ability to discern what are the facts, and the rumor. Knowing the source of the issue and the facts places you in a position to develop a plan for combating a challenge.

Next, I put together a battle plan based on a few scenarios. Just as with life, rarely do things go according to plan, and so I prepare a few options that I could be comfortable with depending on any change in circumstances.

I also research what other business leaders have done in the past in a similar situation. I compare the severity of their business crisis to my business crisis. I compare the choices they made as well as the results. If the results were positive, and in the direction of the business’s vision, then I enhance my action plans based on proven results.

Once I have a set of battle plans drawn up, it is time to propose them to my team. Then it is time to sit back and listen. Your team may have a different perspective which is based on their experience. Their vantage point and wisdom will help you to remove poor choices and options, scaling down the battle plan so that it can be as effective as possible. New ideas may also be proposed, and so you must be flexible in changing the plan if the ideas are more relevant to the situation. As a collective, ask the question, “is this attainable?”

Once a plan has been decided on, invest the time to implement it. Set up meetings with staff and managers, and assign tasks. It is important to also assign yourself some tasks to handle, for your role in taking action is the example of true leadership others will follow. If you are passing the plan to others without yourself having any role in it, you will send the message that you are just trying to shift the responsibilities down the line, which others will resent and feel like the scapegoat if the plan fails.

While explaining the plan to overcome the challenge, you must transfer a sense of confidence so others will also have faith in the plan. If you have no faith in the plan or its potential outcome, then others will be hesitant to take action. The ones that do, will be acting from a place of feeling obligated. Not because of their personal connection to you, or because they believe the plan will provide a positive result. This means you will want to provide supporting facts to your plan.

Once the challenge has been conquered, review with your team about what practices were the most effective. This will allow for your team to be empowered for solving challenges. It is very important that you and your team reflect on what they have learned from the adverse experience. As a business owner, you will want to reward your team for doing such a great job.

While handling the challenge, I still always have a focus with the bigger picture in mind. Knowing your why and having a love affair and obsession with your vision will help you see past the adversity, where some of your energy is always being directed toward your vision, your chief aim, your goals. Challenges are short-term interruptions you and your business experience in its long-term business plan. You must see adversity as an opportunity to strengthen your business, your character, and your market presence.

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

The History of Senior Health Care in Manawa

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Written by Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and Author

Manawa Community Living Center was originally founded and built in 1971 as a retirement-nursing home. In the early days of senior care, there was not much regard for privacy, individual patient quarters, or special amenities, for Manawa Community Nursing Center (then known as) was a 60 bed unit with three patients to a room. The facility remained much the same for over fourty years until the Castlebergs (originally from Wood County, Wisconsin); purchased the facility in June of 2011.

The Manawa Community Living Center would undergo a major renovation, which included bathrooms, dining facilities, every individual patient and resident room; visitation rooms; and administrative offices. All of the buildings core systems including heating/air conditioning, safety and sprinklers-fire prevention, plumbing, and safety and security alarm systems, water received major upgrades and/or were replaced, bringing the building into compliance, meeting today’s strict local, state, and federal building standards and codes. Well over $700,000 was reinvested into Manawa Community Living Center, as small improvements to curbside appeal are ongoing.

“We wanted to create an environment in which promoted wellness and positive health; a facility that would be worthy of memorializing the lives of each individual that would come through these doors and call Manawa their next home,” —-Phil Castleberg, proprietor.

“We utilized all local contractors, labor, vendors, and suppliers, to demonstrate our commitment to the community that we were serious about investing our financial resources in local business development, added Castleberg, “Having a local supply chain to provide us our needs in our renovation was very important to us.”

Manawa Community Living Center today accommodates just 15 nursing home beds and 10 assisted living beds. Each room has been totally renovated, retrofitted with private bathroom facilities and upgraded decor. Located at 400 East Fourth Street, the Manawa Community Living Center is now a cornerstone of the community of Manawa.

“We downsized the number of beds to just one patient per room. It was our objective to provide personal care and quarters for each resident, allowing for seniors who needed special care and services to receive them in a dignified manner.”

Castleberg continued, “We spared no expense to recreate the experience one would have in their youth of visiting say a bed and breakfast. Manwa is more than a nursing home or assisting living facility; Manawa is a place which individuals in their golden years whom have lost their ability of mobility can still relive the memories of their youth. We welcome the faithful traveler of life…”

Manawa Community Living Center offers multiple services under one roof, including nursing services, assisted living, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, respite care, and hospice care. Manawa not only provides all of the traditional amenities, but it is one of the first its industry to institute multi-media two-way information-communication technology as part of its practice; connecting staff, residents, and family regardless of their location. This new system allows for staff to release the latest news, updates, information, and emergency alerts to residents and families of patients direct to their mobile device.

Manawa recently adopted its Employee Creed, with the core focus and mission of Manawa in uplifting its residents and patients to the best quality of life it can offer.

“We are absolutely devoted to the health and well-being of our residents. We consider them respected members of the community and will offer them nothing less than the highest level of dignity, honor, grace, and love when they are under our care. We have created a different kind of senior care facility, which extends far beyond the building itself; it’s an attitude and culture where people are first, profits are second, and peace rules all…that is the Manawa Difference,” Castleberg concluded.

In 2013, Manawa Community Living Center (then known as Manawa Community Nursing Center) received a 3-star rating (out of five) from CMS of Department of Health and Human Services, on April 24th. This score means that Manawa Community Living Center slightly above average overall based on health inspections, nursing home staff, and quality measures.

The City of Manawa was originally founded in 1871, with the City officially named in 1874. Manawa relied mainly on the timber industry and local agriculture for its economic development. Today, almost 1400 people call Manawa home, and maintains a strong Main Street presence. More about Manawa can be found here: http://cityofmanawa.org/

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Taking Pride in Senior Health Care

PrintWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published by   www.SamBurlum.com

Source: Whether it you are in search of an assisted living facility, nursing home, rehab center, or memory care unit; there are few facilities that offer all of these services under one roof located in central Wisconsin that can provide all of your needs with a staff capable of helping you navigate the twist and turns of an already complicated health care system. We take a look at one facility aimed at providing service for your loved one with tender loving care and dignity, putting pride back into senior health care.

So your loved one is in need of a facility during their rehabilitation transition back to good health; or maybe your parent, grandmother, aunt or uncle has become too frail and is unable to manage all of their own day to day needs and affairs.  Most families try to take care of their aged loved one, sometimes splitting shifts of care for the elder family member with the help of a spouse or sibling. In today’s very busy and complicated post-modern world, usually both spouses are working full time to meet their own household needs; in some cases, still have to manage their own children’s health care and education.

You try to partner with your siblings in caring for grandma or Uncle Joe, however your siblings now reside further away from their former childhood home, leaving few or no one to care for the aged in your family. You even resorted to hiring an assisted living nurse to frequent the love one’s home on a weekly or daily basis. It turns out your loved one is very particular and sometimes become frustrated with the level of care provided by the assisted living nurse; sometimes because they are not as well trained about your loved one’s conditions or they are not properly skilled in taking care of people with pride and dignity.

So now you turn to the internet or look up in the phone directory, in search of a nursing home, assisted living facility, rehabilitation center, or memory care unit, in hopes of locating a center that you feel comfortable will provide the level of care for your loved one that you would expect for yourself. After a few tours and visits of the traditional facility; you have to make a decision of where to place grandma or even your own parent, until they either get well enough to return to their home; or find a more permanent setting they call home.

What you have seen so far is far from something you can call home. Usually very sterile and industrial appearance, you come to realize the ideal of a stereotypical senior facility serve you right. Long white hallways, with little or no décor; minimal staff, takes minutes to locate; and when you do find a staffer; your questions go unanswered because they are not as qualified to care for your loved one as you are. The one thing you can count on is the unfriendly nurse who makes no personal connection, which rolls their cart from room to room, administering medications as prescribed by the patient’s doctor. Yes that seems the choices you have for grandma; where you must chose the worst of evils; a place for grandma to just be until her health takes a direction for better or worse…

Until now…

Changing the way patients are cared for while creating new standards in senior health care quality of life is a modeled destination designed to uplift individuals seeking elder care, and making them feel they are at home, regardless of their condition.

Located in Weston, Wisconsin, Pride TLC Therapy and Living Campus is restoring faith in senior care. Setting new standards in facility design and quality in staffing, Pride TLC has done the unthinkable. They have transformed the typical stereotypical senior care housing unit to an all in one inclusive full service full care campus, improving the quality of life for patients, staff, and the community.

When you first walk into through the doors of Pride TLC, you immediately take notice of the design of the facility, which was designed to mimic the Main Street setting of your loved one’s youth. Completely equipped in house with a full service salon-barber shop, chapel, movie theater, dining areas, meeting areas, fitness room, and wings with their own libraries and family meeting rooms, Pride TLC has set the pace for other senior care facilities to follow.

The quality of staff at any facility will command the quality of care your loved one will receive. Pride TLC has taken the industry by storm, by recruiting the most qualified of care takers to assist your loved one, so your time with your parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even your spouse which calls Pride TLC home, can spend more time with you when you visit than worrying about the business of health care. From the administrators to the nurses and facility staff, each team member is waiting for the opportunity to make your loved one’s stay the most comfortable and enjoyable experience, regardless of their individual condition or diagnosis.  Pride TLC, is restoring faith in senior health care by providing you the best short term/long term senior health and rehab care; treating you and your family with tender loving care and dignity that you deserve.

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Signs of Assisted Living Facility Quality of Life Standards to Look For

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Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative  author, Published by   www.SamBurlum.com

Source: Searching for an assisted living facility that offers a quality standard of life, one that your loved one may be use too, can be a daunting task. There are some considerations to keep in mind when searching for the ideal residency to help care for your loved one, including how much tender loving care (TLC) is reflected in the staff’s service and the facilities/grounds themselves.

There are several styles and levels of quality when a family member is shopping for the best assisted living facility to suit their loved one’s needs; including the provision of personal care and facility amenities. Most seniors in their golden years are hesitant of taking residence at an assisted living facility due to the stereotypical stigma of the traditional “old folks home.”

Initially, a family member needs to define what the standard of quality of life should be for their loved one. These preferences will vary person to person based on several factors. Ask yourself these questions about the individual which you are trying to help find new residency in an assisted living facility:

Q. How active of a life style does my family member currently have? If your loved one is a busy bee, engaged in many activities and hobbies, and still wishes to enjoy spending time on these things, you will need to locate a facility that has plenty of hands on things to do.

Q. How mobile is my loved one? If your family member is still able to get around on their own, or has a restless personality where they must stay on the go, then you will want to search for a facility that offers transportation off the grounds to local venues. Also, the facility should be situated on grounds that offer many walking paths inside as well as outside to accommodate for inclement weather.

Q. Is my loved one ready to experience a life style without so many possessions? Most assisted living facility rooms are much like hotel rooms, providing just enough space for what you need. You may want to search for a facility that provides larger living spaces for your loved one’s things.

Q. Is my loved one a social butterfly or do they like to keep to themselves? If your loved one enjoys being around other people, you will want to locate a facility that offers social engagements and group activities.

Q. Is my loved one a private person? If they are, search for a facility which offers entry to their rooms which provides privacy from main halls and social areas of the facility.

Q. Does my loved one have a large family and do they intend to visit on a regular basis? Not every loved one is so fortunate, however if they are, then you will desire to find an assisted living facility with plenty of family rooms reserved for visiting.

Q. Does my loved one celebrate their youth? If your loved one is still celebrating their youth, then an assisted living facility should be your target. Many families confuse the term nursing home with assisted living facility. These two health care units differ in the level of care residents need on a daily basis.

Q. Will my loved one need to transfer to a rehab, nursing home, or memory care unit in the future? If the answer is yes, then you may want to consider a facility that offers continuity in care where residents, as they become patients, can be rest assured to receive the same quality services from the same quality staff.

Not many facilities offer an all exclusive, multi-care service units, one under the same roof. Health care administrators and innovators have found value in offering total continuity of care, so now new senior health care facilities are being designed to include rehab services, nursing home, memory care, and assisted living all on one campus.

An example of this type of facility is located in Weston, Wisconsin. Pride TLC Therapy and Living Campus serves as a model facility in the industry as one of the fully equipped, total encompassing centers that offer services and accommodations for all four types of senior care, while preserving a quality of life that most individuals in their golden years may not have opportunity to experience.  These residents won’t have to travel far, but just down the hall to enjoy many of the same amenities their main street had to offer, including: full service salon-barber shop, chapel, movie theater, dining areas, meeting areas, fitness room, libraries and family meeting rooms.

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 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, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

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