The Family Center: Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

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

When to Choose Elder Care Options

Ask The Experts by Kris Scarfone and Kristin Whitney

Q: My elderly mother is forgetful at times. Recently I visited and noticed mail piling up on her table. I'm concerned about other things as well. When/how will I know it is time to get help for her - either in her home or consider a move to an assisted living facility?

A: The decision to help an aging parent get in-home care or move to an assisted living facility is a difficult one, both practically and emotionally. There are some common indicators ...

Read more: When to Choose Elder Care Options


The Danger that Opiates Pose to our Youth

Ask the Experts by Sam Quinones

Q: I've been hearing so much these days about opiates and the dangers they pose to our youth. What should I look out for as a parent of teenagers?

A: You are right to be concerned about this epidemic. Opiates are highly addictive and recent years have shown that addiction to them can lead to heroin use. Awareness is an important first step for most communities. 

The epidemic has spread largely because doctors have prescribed pain pills aggressively, but ...

Read more: The Danger that Opiates Pose to our Youth


What are the best learning tools to start using with my toddler?

Ask the Experts by Jill Kloster

Q: I recently bought alphabet flash cards for my 13 month old son. He seems interested in them, but are flash cards the best way to prepare him for reading and communicating?

A: In today's modern world, there seem to be endless gadgets and programs promising to accelerate language development and help children, even babies, learn to read. It can be tempting to use a combination of flash cards, mobile apps, DVDs and other devices to help give our children an early ...

Read more: What are the best learning tools to start using with my toddler?


Medicare Limitations for Long-term Care

Ask The Experts by Suzanne Antonelli, CFP®

Q: My mother is starting to have more health issues and care needs than I am able to provide. I need help.  Will Medicare pay for home health care or an assisted living facility?

A: Unfortunately many people believe that Medicare will cover home health care expenses or the expense of an assisted living facility; but the coverage is very limited, short-term, and only if your mother meets certain conditions. Medicare does not pay for what generally ...

Read more: Medicare Limitations for Long-term Care


Managing Emotions as a 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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Is a Safe Deposit Box a Good Idea?

Ask The Experts by Mike Kelly

Q: Should a will and other important legal documents and property be kept in a safe deposit box?

A: Individuals often keep their most important documents, property, even cash, in a safe deposit box at their local bank. A joint renter is often named to provide convenient access if the true owner of its contents dies. This approach makes sense for preventing loss due to theft or other causes like fire or flood.

However, there are many pitfalls to this approach as ...

Read more: Is a Safe Deposit Box a Good Idea?


Connecting with Professionals

Ask the Experts by The Family Center Professionals

Q. As an attorney, my clients often trust me with other concerns in their lives - they may be experiencing depression, issues with their children in school/learning, concerns about their aging parents, and many others. I am not sure where to refer them but don't feel comfortable telling them I can't help. What can I do?

A. As a trusted advisor, people feel comfortable going to you for advice. And you want to feel comfortable with the information ...

Read more: Connecting with Professionals


Positive Discipline: Practical Strategies for Peaceful Parenting

Ask The Experts by Susan Radzilowski

Q: I feel like all I do is yell at my kids without results. I'm not sure how to get them to listen to me otherwise. Can you help?

A: This is a common parental issue - and many parents would rather not yell all the time. There are ways to change.

Learning to use positive discipline strategies when your child's behavior is a concern can help transform problem behaviors into teachable moments. Your child will learn improved problem solving and enhanced communication ...

Read more: Positive Discipline: Practical Strategies for Peaceful Parenting


Co-Parenting During the Holidays and Beyond

Ask The Experts by Annette Benson

Q: "Getting through the holidays with my ex-spouse and our children was very difficult. We fought about who had them when, who bought them what, and I was miserable. I don't think my children enjoyed it either. I would like to be able to do this better, for their sake. Are there ways we can make it easier on everyone?"

A: The holidays are generally a wonderful time of the year. Children love engaging in family traditions like decorating the tree, baking treats ...

Read more: Co-Parenting During the Holidays and Beyond


Healing After Loss

Ask The Experts by Marla Ruhana, LMSW

Q: My brother died a few months ago and I am always exhausted. I have heard that grief can cause many different feelings and responses, could this be why?

A: Yes, grief can make us feel exhausted as it's all consuming. There are different types and stages of grief. Anticipatory grief is when someone we love has battled a disease for a long time and we know the death is coming. Complicated grief comes after a death with no closure; sudden, tragic deaths, ...

Read more: Healing After Loss


Annual Appeal

The award-winning Family Center celebrated 15 years of service in 2015. Ask the Experts Talks, Articles and Videos reached a wide audience; provided one million page views in the past 12 months; and nearly 100 Association of Professionals members formed a valuable referral network.

Whether caring for newborns, young children, teens, loved ones, elderly parents or yourself, The Family Center serves as a compass to guide you to the resources needed when navigating life's challenges....

Read more: Annual Appeal


The Power of Winter Play

Ask The Experts by Mary Cryderman

Q: I'm curious about schools letting children play in the cold, snow, wind, etc. - should I be concerned about this when I send my little ones?

A: Bundle up your children before they go to school this winter because playtime outdoors is as crucial to their development as taking tests at desks.

Inspired by research from Finland, the top educational system in the world, where school children have 20 minutes of recess every 45 minutes throughout the day, the Detroit ...

Read more: The Power of Winter Play


Why is my elderly parent so different when I visit in the evening?

Ask The Experts by Dr. Christine Chelladurai

Q: "My elderly parent has been diagnosed with dementia and has moved to an assisted living facility. The transition was difficult, but lately things have been going pretty well. I do notice, however, a significant change in his behavior late in the day and when I'm visiting, I'm not sure what is happening or how to help him settle down. What is this about and is there any way I can help him?"

A: When a person with dementia experiences changes in behavior ...

Read more: Why is my elderly parent so different when I visit in the evening?


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