Thursday, September 21, 2017

Why Bella Vita Gives Back

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. ”• Henry James

Lets be grateful!

We are aware of the fact that life is better than we deserve.  The world is full of pain and suffering, hardship and lots of turmoil, disappointment and regret. So the fact that we can be thankful and mean it is, in its own way, a small miracle.

Being grateful is always a choice.

We know and continue to learning there is a responsibility that comes with privilege. That we are blessed to bless. Gifted to give. We are not lucky, fortunate, or merely disciplined; We are expected to do something with the grace we’ve been given. And so are you.

What you give always comes back to you- it never fails.

When you run your family or business to serve others, benefits will come. Instead of thinking of how you can benefit, lead with a giving mentality of serving others. Giving often ends up benefiting you financially. Take a look at Sara Blakely, entrepreneur and owner of Spanx.  She believes what goes around, comes around. She measures her ultimate impact by what she gives as well as by what she gets. She creates a giving culture at Spanx. Employees, not just executives, run the philanthropy board, research potential grantees and deliver checks to organizations the company supports. Sara shares more than company profits; she shares the spirit of giving. This kind of inclusive participation is a model families can use as well.

We give.

You’ve see in every newsletter this year the places that Bella Vita has given to. Not only are we supporting our community, we’re making smart choices when it comes to the services and products we provide.

FarmHouse Fresh, the creator of the amazing all natural products we offer in our boutique, dedicates hours towards animal rescues and funding local rescue groups that save forgotten and abused animals.

HydroPeptide gives back by providing clean water in third world countries

Giving back is also part of our new line of AG Hair Products. Their outreach extends all the way across the globe to Africa through our Every Bottle Counts campaign. AG is also active in supporting national charities across Canada and the US as well as local charities in their Vancouver community.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Emotions can run high for people whose businesses or homes are damaged by severe storms. What are some best practices for emergency storm restoration businesses approaching potential customers after devastating storms?

Restoration contractors can get ahead of most of the stress that severe storms can cause by being active participants in the surrounding community well before the severe storms hit. This establishes respect and brand trust among your community, customers, and just as importantly future customers which will ultimately keep you top of mind when a storm event occurs.  This is your company’s  opportunity to educate homeowners and business owners on what to look for in a quality contractor.  During this time it is best to emphasize your businesses’ core values and ethical standards by showing people your work ethic and being a person of your word, which can be augmented by past customer references. This is your company’s opportunity to educate and demonstrate to business owners and homeowners on what to look for in a quality contractor.  

You can further strengthen your company's image by being out in the community immediately after severe storms with tarps, water, and other essentials to offer people with immediate needs. Be honest and humble, but most importantly, let people know you are in the business of helping people restore their lives after these hard situations from severe storms.  We are in the business of serving and restoring.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

GRIEF - Talk it out!

When a loved one passes away, it has become common to send flowers with a card that says something like:
  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.
  • Thinking of you in these difficult times
  • Our hearts go out to you and your family.
While cards are thoughtful sentiments, a person can often find difficulty coming up with what to say to a grieving person in conversation. Everyone grieves differently, so finding the words to comfort them during emotional times often begins with listening actively and speaking carefully.

Speak Lightly and Wisely

When speaking with the grieving, it’s important to choose your words wisely. Remember, you don’t need to fix their pain, but just be there for them. A few helpful phrases of comfort to offer include:
  • “I feel your pain.”
  • “I’m here for you.”
  • “I love you.”
  • “When you’re ready to talk I’ll be here.”
It’s easy to get sidetracked and start speaking about your own personal life experiences.  Only make comparisons to empathize if it appears to be helping.

Be Available

It is important to remember that it can be hard for people coping with grief to find the right words to express themselves. Sometimes they just need to sit there. When they are ready, be available to listen. Offer words of validation to let them know they are being heard, such as “I understand your pain.
Don’t be afraid to bring the deceased up in conversation to promote healthy grieving. Discussing the deceased signals it is okay to express themselves and talk aloud about the person who has passed, rather than feeling it is weighing them down internally. This will also help in the coping and acceptance process, as well as allow the individual to feel comfortable sharing memories.

Avoid overused comfort phrases.

Remember to validate a loved one’s grief and to give them time to talk things out. But, at the same time, beware of platitudes and clich├ęs such as “It’ll get better over time.” This can be considered an easy way out from listening and comforting a grieving loved one.
Avoid speaking in time frames. Phrases such as, “It’s been 3 months,” are not helpful because – again – everyone heals differently. The phrase “time heals all wounds” is a common myth about grief.

Overcome distance with technology. 

In this day and age, we are fortunate enough to have technologies like Skype and FaceTime available to help us stay in touch with our long-distance loved ones. Try suggesting a conference call with a group of people close to the one in grief. Remember that they can sometimes be unlikely to reach out due to nerves and feelings of vulnerability, so taking initiative will be appreciated.
While it may seem like these efforts aren’t as impactful as they could be, they can potentially mean a lot to someone in pain. On the other hand of the technology spectrum, you can even try sending them some of their favorite things in a gift basket or simply just writing them a letter. Handwritten notes feel more meaningful today among all of the technology at our disposal.
At Crown Hospice, we are here to offer help and resources to help make end-of-life planning easier. Call us at (573) 335-4800.

Tips for writing an obituary

Writing an obituary for a friend or loved one is not an easy task.
An obituary serves a variety of purposes. It’s a notification of someone’s passing, a description of their life, a recounting of the extended family and special friends who the loved one touched, an informational notice about an upcoming funeral.
It can be an expression of thanks to caregivers or special friends who were there in a time of need. In many cases, it can also be a request for charitable donations in a loved one’s memory.

Moving Beyond the Basic

At its best, an obituary is a tribute to a life well-lived and a person well-loved.
Keep in mind that you’re doing more than just providing information. You’re also telling a story of someone’s life. Of course, in order to tell the story, you’ll need basic information.
If you don’t have that information, start by talking with their loved ones. They should be able to provide the basics: age, occupation, education, military service, where they grew up, places they lived.
From there you can begin to get more personal: What were their interests? What sports or hobbies did they enjoy? Were they a part of community involvement or church activity? Which charity events did they promote or support? What were their most important or impressive accomplishments in life?

Adding Color to Their Stories

Rather than conducting a formal interview, try to engage your information sources in relaxed, informal conversations. Give them time to think and reminisce in a relaxed setting. Try to get them to tell interesting stories about their interactions with the loved one who has passed. This will give readers some insights into what made that person special – perhaps some special trait of character, sense of humor, honesty, community-mindedness, generosity, love of travel and so on.
From there, try to paint a word picture of who this person was and what they meant to the world of their friends and loved ones. Don’t just tell the reader that so-and-so was a good person. Show the reader by describing their interactions and the energy that they put into those aspects of their lives that they held most important.
Also, you’ll need to determine how many family members to include. This includes the number of “preceded in death by” as well as surviving relatives and other loved ones. How far does the family want to go back? Be careful about leaving people out accidentally: grandparents (both sides, deceased and living), stepfamilies, aunts and uncles, significant others and of course, children, grandchildren and more, if needed.
Keep in mind that the people providing you with information have other things on their mind. Be careful that no one’s feelings get hurt by an unintended omission. Finally, determine if there is a particular charity or other cause the family wants to identify for memorial donations.

Adapting to Fit the Need

Consider developing several different lengths for the obituary – a short one for a paid ad, for example, and a longer one to give out at the eulogy or funeral service. Check with your local newspaper for appropriate publishing lengths. With genealogy growing in popularity, you might consider an even longer one to provide background on family history or to post on a website.
Also, make sure to proofread and to have a family member or other person in the know review the finished copy for accuracy and completeness.

Final Thoughts

Be careful about including information that can be used for identity theft or that might make someone vulnerable for exploitation. Depending on the community where you live, it might be advisable to avoid identifying the address of the surviving spouse or even the time of the funeral.
In short, be compassionate, complete and careful.
At Crown Hospice, we are here to offer help and resources to help make end-of-life planning easier. Call us at (361) 575-5900.

Dealing with the death of a friend and loved one

You can never really be prepared for the death of a close friend. No matter what age or stage of life, the death of a close friend is hard to handle.
After a loss, the hole in your life seems overwhelming. But the symptoms of grief are common to many people, and there are concrete steps you can take to help ease the pain as you cope with the death of your friend. Here are three things that could help:

1. Ask for Help

Unlike a physical injury where your cast or crutches are visible, it’s easy to forget that someone is hurting. Even those who remember may be worried, they’ll most likely say the wrong thing. Let friends know if you want to talk about your loss or if you’re not up for scheduled plans. If you can, take a few days off from work.

2. Connect with Mutual Friends

Sharing memories with mutual friends can help bring light in a dark time. Reminiscing and laughing over fond memories of your loved friend with other acquaintances can help with the feelings of loneliness that are sure to creep in.

3. Find Comforting Rituals

Try to keep yourself busy with things that you enjoy. Sometimes, doing activities that you and your friend liked doing together can help to work through the pain of their passing.
Dealing with the death of friend is never easy, but as the months go by, my memories will bring more smiles than tears.

Hurrican Season Tips for Seniors and the Elderly

Hurricane season is quickly approaching. Even if the elderly in your life don’t live on the coast, the heavy rains and severe storms pose a potential safety threat.
Careful planning ahead and a little organization help ensure that your loved one will be safe and ready.
Here are five practical tips to make sure you’re prepared well before a storm is on the way.

1. Get organized

Make sure you have copies of all relevant emergency contacts and medical documents in one folder. This includes detailed medication lists and an up-to-date medical history describing allergies and other health concerns.

2. Stock up

The Red Cross recommends keeping a two-week supply of water (1 gallon per person per day) and nonperishable food items in the house. Flashlights, extra batteries and a hand-crank radio are also essential. Don’t forget to stock up on prescription medication too. Keep at least one extra week’s worth of medication and medical supplies on hand.

3. Establish a personal support network

If your loved one lives alone, make sure they have a well-established network of local family, friends or neighbors. Make sure these individuals can help prepare the home ahead of time and check in during or after a storm. Exchange sets of keys, show others where emergency supplies and medical information are located and agree on ways to maintain contact in case phone lines are down.

4. Make a plan

Even if you’re organized and have a stock of supplies, it’s also important to have a well-established plan in place before a storm hits. Sit down with your loved one and talk about your emergency plan.
Make sure you have a strategy for how you’ll reunite if there is an evacuation and how you’ll contact each other if there is no phone service. Ensure you have a place your loved one can stay that’s comfortable and adequate to his or her needs.

5. Know when to evacuate

Pay attention to the local news. Leaving early means beating the rush and spending less time on the road. Pack bags ahead of time with all necessary items for a few days away.

For more tips and checklists to ensure that your loved one’s needs will be met in an emergency, go to the Red Cross’s webpage on emergency preparedness for seniors.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Life Insurance Tips Tulsa

Life Insurance Tips Tulsa

Before you go shopping for your first life insurance policy, here are a few “good to know” tips for finding the right policy at an affordable price:

1.     If necessary, take advantage of the “free look” period.

Even after your policy issues, you'll typically have what is called a free look period. During this time, you'll have a certain amount of days in which to make changes to your policy, or even reject it completely. Be sure to ask your company representative how long your free look period is and when it begins. If for some reason you don't feel the policy is right for you, this is the time when you can change your mind with no financial responsibility.

2.     Compare apples to apples.

When getting price quotes on life insurance, be sure that you are comparing similar products. Because term life normally has lower premiums than a permanent life policy, there can be a big price difference for a $50,000 term policy compared to a $50,000 permanent policy. Depending on your coverage needs, it's essential to look at every angle, not just the monthly premium.

3.     Understand that life insurance is designed for protection.

Your main purpose for getting life insurance should be to protect your heirs financially in the event of your death. While permanent life insurance policies have the potential to earn cash value over time, they are not meant as an investment vehicles.

4.     Enhance your coverage with policy riders if necessary.

When you select a policy, ask your company representative about the types of policy riders that may be available to you. Riders or endorsements are ways in which you can customize your policy to meet your needs and budget.

5.     Buy from a reputable life insurance company.

Your life insurance policy is meant to financially protect the people you love when you are no longer here to do so yourself. Do some homework on the life insurance company that you are considering buying from.