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The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

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 Often, their refrigerator is nearly empty or the food is outdated or moldy.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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Tips for Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Ask the Experts by Dorothy Heitjan and Kristen DeVooght

Q. How can we as parents help our preschooler make a successful transition into Kindergarten?

A. It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school. 

Kindergarten bridges preschool to elementary school. Your child moves from working one-on-one with parents and preschool staff to working together with peers in small and large groups with ...

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Our Toxic Stuff

Ask the Experts by Melissa Sargent

Q: What is environmental health and how does it affect my everyday life?

A. We might think of trees, parks, and wild animals when we hear the word, "environment." But the study of environmental health-how the environment affects human health-often focuses on the built environment-our homes, schools, and offices. We spend 90% of our time indoors, amongst couches, desks, carpet, curtains, paint, windows, electronics, toys, etc. Therefore it's important to consider ...

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What you Need to Know about Enteroviruses and Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

Ask the Experts by Prashant V. Mahajan, MD, MPH, MBA

Does your child seem to be suffering from respiratory illness?

If so he or she is not alone. Respiratory illness is a major cause of hospitalization for children.  One of the viruses that causes respiratory illness is called Enteroviruses.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses and are the second most frequent cause of the common cold. One type of strain that is making news is called Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). This strain causes mild to ...

Read more: What you Need to Know about Enteroviruses and Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

   

Time to Take Away the Keys?

Ask the Experts by Mary Ellen Brayton

Q. My mother is a very independent woman but she’s not as mentally sharp as she used to be. It took her getting lost for me to realize that we needed to hire someone to help drive her around. It’s hard for me to take off work to take her to doctor’s appointments during the day. What can I do?

A. This is a common issue facing the children of aging parents. It's not an easy time for you I'm sure because this decision affects your mother'...

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Executive Functioning: What is it & What Can I do to Help?

Ask the Experts by Dona Johnson-Beach

Q: My child is bright but lives in the moment. My teen completes homework and then forgets to turn it in and gets frustrated. I don't understand what the problem might be. Can anything be done to address these issues?

A: Your child's difficulties could involve executive skills deficits. Executive functioning allows people to problem solve and engage in goal-directed activities. In other words - the control processes of the brain.

The frontal lobe is considered ...

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Finding "Normal" in the Middle School Years

Ask the Experts by Michael Dib

Q: What is considered a normal middle school student?

A: Many times parents are worried by changes in their middle school aged child. Please keep in mind that there will be many internal chemical and hormonal changes that occur during adolescence. You will experience behaviors that were not prevalent or observable during elementary school. 

Adolescents are constantly struggling with their sense of identity as they move toward independence. Middle school students ...

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Overcoming Grief in a Healthy Way

Ask the Experts by Mary Petersen

Q: We have had a recent loss in our family. What will help us all recover in a healthy way? 

A: Every human being eventually will suffer some sort of loss, and the grief that results is normal. How we process that grief will determine how healthy we are as we come through the recovery. Additionally, processing sooner rather than later lends itself to the best outcome. 

It is imperative that we allow ourselves to move through the many stages of grief ...

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Hope and Healing with a Faith Community

Ask the Experts by Rev. Peter J. M. Henry

Q: What role can a faith community play in my life if I am not really that religious?

A: I can't speak for every faith tradition, but in many congregations one does not have to be a member to attend worship, educational, pastoral and fellowship events. Most faith traditions have a interest in and commitment to the health of all people. This includes mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and the desire to support others extends to anyone seeking ...

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Self-Care Skills for Coping with Grief

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey

Q: I've recently had a loss in my life and I'm getting a lot of advice about how I should be coping. Despite good intentions, people don't know what I'm experiencing or what feels right for me. Is there a "right way" to deal with grief?

A. There are many misconceptions about the grief process, but there are some basic self-care skills which are beneficial for anyone who is coping with a loss. 

It is particularly important to attend to your physical health...

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