The Family Center: Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

Serving our community through programs and resources vital to today’s families.

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER: Dealing with feelings

Ask the Experts by Sean Hogan-Downey

Q: I feel tapped out being a 24/7 care-giver, but I often refuse help when I most need it. Why do I do that? How can accept the help I am offered?

A:  Caregiving often brings out the need to stay in control, to "keep all the balls in the air." This is important to self-esteem. Caregivers believe "I am OK if I can do it myself."

Accepting help is wrongly seen as a sign of failing - of being unable to provide all the needs and requests ...

Read more: CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER: Dealing with feelings


Household Downsizing in Later Life

Ask the Experts by Cathy Lysack and Tam Perry

 Q. My mother is over 80 now and she having difficulty managing the house and yard since my father passed away. I have encouraged her to downsize into a smaller place but she is resisting that. I am concerned that the household chores are too demanding and this older two-story home with stairs isn't suitable for her. The last thing I want is for her to fall and break her hip or worse. Is household downsizing a good option for older adults facing ...

Read more: Household Downsizing in Later Life


Personal Positioning for the Caregiver

Ask the Experts by Jill L. Gafner

Q: My parents are aging quickly and I'm finding myself overwhelmed with decisions and difficult tasks on top of my already stretched schedule. I'm feeling sad, mad, guilty, jealous, depressed, and angry all at the same time! What can I do to manage these emotions?

A. Hopefully the following suggestions that I am able to offer will help you manage your emotions during this challenging time of your life.

Recognize yourself

We "caregivers" tend to overlook ourselves. ...

Read more: Personal Positioning for the Caregiver


Collecting Treasures: Understanding Hoarding Behaviors

Ask the Experts by Joanne Corbo Cruz

Q. The time has come for my elderly mother to downsize from her home and move into a condo. She has so many possessions and is having a hard time letting go of items that belonged to my father and other family members that have long passed. How can I help her prepare for the upcoming move? I'm not sure if it's just clutter or she might be a hoarder?

A. I'm sure some of us have closets full of clothes, some may be too big or too small. We're hoping to fit ...

Read more: Collecting Treasures: Understanding Hoarding Behaviors


Discussing Estate Planning With Aging Parents

Ask the Experts by Michael Kelly

Q. My aging parents have made no arrangements regarding their property when they die or become incapacitated (unable to make decisions regarding care and finances). How can I get them to see this as important?

A. A good first step is to educate yourself on the importance of making arrangements for death or incapacity. If this type of planning is not done it can create chaos for those who are left behind.

A good estate plan, tailored to your family's circumstances, ...

Read more: Discussing Estate Planning With Aging Parents


Are Your Kids Eyes Being Affected By Constantly Staring At a Screen?

Ask the Experts by Danna Haba

Q. I am a concerned parent and learned that recent studies indicate, "Young Americans are spending almost every waking hour absorbed in some form of entertainment media":  iPhones, tablets, handheld gaming units, iPads and computers. Will these hours staring at a screen cause vision problems?

A. We have patients who complain of eyestrain, blurry vision, dry or irritated eyes, redness, headaches and neck and shoulder pain from spending many hours looking at a ...

Read more: Are Your Kids Eyes Being Affected By Constantly Staring At a Screen?


One in Six Men has Been Sexually Assaulted

Ask the Experts by Mary Petersen

Q: My husband recently disclosed to me that he was sexually abused. I don't know what to think. How can I help him?

A: The best thing you can do is listen to your husband, believe him, and make efforts to comfort him. Ask what he needs without assuming. Assure him he's not alone, and the assault was not his fault - no matter what. Acknowledge how much strength it took him to open up to you, and encourage him to keep talking about it, as much as he is able, in his ...

Read more: One in Six Men has Been Sexually Assaulted


Your Disabled Child's Special Needs and Adulthood

Ask the Experts by Michael Kelly

Q. My child with a disability is turning 18. Can he continue to get the publicly funded services we were able to get for him as a minor?

A. Once your child turns 18 your legal authority over him ends. For example, you were able to get involved in his education through development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to assure that he received public benefits that enabled him to succeed at school. Now that he is an adult his financial and care needs are his legal ...

Read more: Your Disabled Child's Special Needs and Adulthood


Children Need To Play

Ask the Experts by Mary Milkovie

Q. How does play prepare children for later academic learning and provide a foundation for developing vital social skills?

A. A Child processes the world he or she lives in during play. The young child, up to age seven, learns about the world through imitation and through engaging in artistic and practical activities. During play, children imitate everything in their environment; the adults they encounter and the language they hear.

It is our task as parents ...

Read more: Children Need To Play


Geriatric Health Evaluations

Ask the Experts by Christine Chelladurai, D.O

Q.: I visit my parents, who are in their late 80s, at least once a week. Lately, I have noticed a difference in their behavior. Often, their refrigerator is nearly empty or the food is outdated or moldy. When I ask them about it, they seem angry and respond they planned to shop that day. Their home is unusually cluttered with old newspapers, sometimes the trash is overflowing and their mail goes unopened for days. My mother has always been meticulous ...

Read more: Geriatric Health Evaluations


Senior Housing Options

Ask the Experts by Karen Adair

Q. I'm feeling confused and overwhelmed in my search for the right senior living community for my loved one's needs, can you offer direction?

A. It's important to learn the terminology and the differences between the senior care solutions available so you can make the right choice for your family. As you begin your search, use the following guidelines to learn more about the different types of senior housing options available in the United States. 

Independent ...

Read more: Senior Housing Options


The College Preparation Process

Ask the Experts by Beth Walsh-Sahutske & Milissa Pierce

Striking the right balance in helping your child through the college preparation process is no simple task.

Parents want to instill a college mindset and encourage their child to maintain high standards while still keeping an eye on family/life stability. The potential to disrupt home with stress to child and parents is great.

The optimal solution is to reframe the approach that the whole family takes towards the college investigation ...

Read more: The College Preparation Process


The Road to Reading Success

Ask the Experts by Stephanie Cork

Q. Is it too late to help both my middle and high school students with reading?

A. There is a misconception that older students aren't able to learn to read if they didn't master it when they were younger.

Some reading difficulties don't present themselves until the child is middle school or even high school. The difficulty may appear as a struggle with reading comprehension but often it's an issue with fluency. As the words in text becomes more complex, the ...

Read more: The Road to Reading Success


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