The Family Center: Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

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

Aging Parents and Financially Troubled Children

Ask the Experts by Michael Kelly

Q. I am retired and my adult child is borrowing money from me. How can I get him to pay me back, or pay my other children if I die?

A. This is a common problem where adult children are forced to turn to their aging parents for financial assistance.

A written promissory note should always be used when loaning money to a family member, including a child. While it may seem impersonal and cause some tension, imposed legal responsibility is often exactly what the ...

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Art Therapy Can be Helpul for Children With Speech Delay

Ask the Experts by Theresa Quinn

Q: My child has speech delay. Can art therapy be helpful? Q: My child won't speak outside of our home. What does an art therapist do to help?

I can address both of those questions together. Speech delay, detected in early years, can have physical and/or brain circuit origins, or is part of overall developmental delay, and impacts a child's physical ability to speak and/or understand language.

"Selective mutism," apparent in early school years, and characterized ...

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Eat This, Not That!

Ask the Experts by Shirley Dunlap and Dan Kellogg 

Q: Does eating meals at regular times make any difference in making better food choices?

A: Yes, particularly when following the recommendations to "build" healthy meals and snacks. Eating at regular, consistent times - using the basic food groups - provides our bodies and brains with the energy and nutrients to perform at our best.

As we use energy, it needs to be replenished at different intervals. Meals should be eaten ...

Read more: Eat This, Not That!


Knowing the Symptoms of Heart Attack Can Save Your Life

Ask the Experts by Sarine John-Rosman, MD

Q.: My 48-year-old sister just learned she had a heart attack and needs two stents to open blocked arteries in her heart. We were young when our parents died, so we have little family medical history. At 44, I never considered I might be at risk for heart disease, especially since I am in relatively good physical shape. Should I make an appointment with my doctor, even though I don't have any symptoms?

A.: Meeting with your physician to discuss your concerns, ...

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Mindfulness Can Fit Into Anyone's Lifestyle

Ask the Experts by Lori Warner, PhD

Q: I've heard about mindfulness, but I'm not into meditation. Last time I tried it, I just fell asleep. How can I be a mindful parent?

A: Many people think mindfulness and meditation are the same. Mindfulness is a broad concept that means having nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening around you. Mindfulness can be an active, energetic process, or a quiet, thoughtful one, depending on what is happening. Some people find meditation is a helpful tool to ...

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The Dangers of 'Pharm' Parties

Ask the Experts by Beth Walsh-Sahutske, MA LPC

Q: Our family has two teenagers now and we are very careful to monitor our liquor cabinet and be aware of drugs and alcohol. I've heard about "Pharm Parties." What are these and what do I need to watch for with my children?

A: I am always glad to hear that parents are informed and aware of substance abuse trends as even very well behaved kids may experiment. A popular trend has been pilfering prescriptions from the medicine cabinets of friends and ...

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Drugs and Alcohol Consequences: Legal and Beyond

Ask the Experts by Det. John Walko and Catherine Zatkoff 

Q. A group of parents in our book club recently shared their concerns about how substance use affects the lives of students and young adults, how can we learn more? 

A. The days of drug and alcohol misdemeanors not impacting someone's future are long gone. On February 26, 2015 Detective John Walko from Grosse Pointe Farms Police Department and Catherine Zatkoff, MA LPC will be discussing the long term ramifications of these types ...

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Road to Recovery

Ask the Experts by Jeff and Debra Jay

Q. Our teenage son is on the road to recovery from problems with prescription pain killers. How can we learn how to be supportive, beyond the basics we learned from his treatment providers?

A. Your question is important, because most families (and most patients in treatment) underestimate what will be required to maintain long-term recovery. Treatment is just the beginning of the process, a launching pad for recovery.

In treatment, the acute phase of ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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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


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