Decorating the Nursery

You want your nursery to be as special as the little one that’s on the way, but choosing décor for the baby’s room can be overwhelming.  Here are a few tips to streamline the process.

First, choose your color palette.  Experts recommend painting the room in a calming, cool color, such as deep blue, green or purple.  And keep in mind that it’s cost-effective to choose a color that older kids would like as well, which will cut down on future repainting costs. 

Overall, experts suggest matching the décor of the nursery to the rest of your home.  If you have a living room and kitchen that feature lots of vibrant greens and blues, consider softer tones in the same color family for the nursery.  Try to avoid reds; this is the first color (aside from black and white) that babies can discern and might be too harsh on an infant’s eyes.

Consider neutral walls – beige, white or taupe – accented with colorful furniture treatments that lend a youthful vibe without being too bold.  Think painted doorknobs, dresser legs or even tabletops in primary colors.

Be sure to build in plenty of storage for extra diapers, toys and clothes.  Experts recommend reserving open floor space to give your baby plenty of room to roam.

To add a person touch, get creative and paint a scene from a favorite nursery rhyme on a blank wall – anything from Jack and Jill to Alice in Wonderland or Cinderella.  Not so artistic?  Simply frame some illustrations, or the pages of the books themselves, and hang them in groupings on the wall.

Another idea is to consider adding monograms to the room.  By looking through design books, you might find a monogram that fits the mood of the nursery (contemporary rather than Victorian, for example) and paint it on the headboard of the crib, a tabletop or the wall to create an overarching motif for the room.

WNY Foreclosures Remain Far Below the National Average

The most recent data on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) web site indicates that the rate of foreclosure in Western New York is 1.6% of all outstanding home loans, whereas nationally the current rate is 2.73%.  Realty Trac, a national, web-based information clearing house, issued ominous warnings this week about an expected upswing in foreclosures in 2011 especially in the hardest hit areas. Realty Trac pointed out that 51% of all current foreclosures are in 5 states, Florida, California, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan.  A pertinent side note is that values have plummeted so drastically in Michigan that NAR removes that state when reporting national data to better represent what is happening throughout the country.

Careful Assessment Helps Seniors Maintain Quality Living

In 20 years, the population of the United State aged 65 and older is expected to double in size. In that same year—2030—almost one out of every five Americans, some 72 million, will be 65 or older. Those statistics come courtesy of the National Institute on Aging. And here’s one more: the fastest growing segment of the American population is the age 85 and older group.

In Western New York, our numbers are higher than the national averages, with the population over the age of 85 rising at a rate of more than 10 percent per year in Erie County alone. This tremendous shift in demographics will require new techniques and tools to help seniors maintain  quality living with as much independence as possible.

One response to this growing need is the www.WNYSeniorCare.org website that was launched four years ago. This tool helps seniors and their families make educated choices about services available through the community or through senior care providers that can help seniors to maintain their home or apartment or transition to another residence that provides more care, such as a senior community or assisted living residence. The site features an interactive tool to aid families in assessing caregiving challenges. This online assessment was developed by the Western New York Association for Homes and Services for the Aging (WNYAHSA), a not-for-profit, all volunteer, regional advocate of quality senior care in our region. WNYAHSA is made up of nearly 70 member providers and affiliates throughout the area, and is one of the largest regional networks of its kind in the country.

The assessment tool will not only determine what additional services an individual will need now or in the near future, and will also suggest an array of providers that may be of assistance. These providers include home care services, senior apartments, assisted living residences, nursing homes and other options.  The assessment tool is free of charge, according to Michael Helbringer, immediate past president of  WNYAHSA and president of Bristol Home/Bristol Village. “This unique assessment tool is provided as a public service by the association; it is not a revenue generator,” he said. “It was developed from scratch and includes input from doctors, discharge planners, registered nurses, home care providers, social workers and others,” explained Helbringer. “The sub-committee conducts ongoing review and maintenance to ensure that it remains as comprehensive and accurate as possible.”

The other purpose of the website is to educate families about senior care options and where to access more information. Links to the site are updated annually with new content added periodically. The innovative website has proven popular since it was launched in December 2006. More than 2,500 families have visited the site to complete a senior care assessment. Many families who live in other states but have elders who reside in Western New York have found the site especially helpful. More than 95 percent of the website’s quality surveys have positive reviews. Creative interventions like these will be needed if we are to constructively move forward as a society while maintaining the highest quality of life for all of our citizens.

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Michael Olear

is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

with MJ Peterson Real Estate