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The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Tips for the Sandwich Generation

Ask the Experts by Sharon Maier and Heidi Uhlig

Q. My aging parents are in need of more help from me, plus I have two small children to take care of. I struggle to care for them both. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle caring for both my parents and my kids?

A. When caring for your aging parents, know that you are entering new territory and you will need new skills and knowledge to adapt. You can gain knowledge on resources through the web or through local organizations such as Services ...

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Talking to Kids About Alzheimer's

Ask the Experts by Barbara Roden

Q: I'm struggling trying to help my 14 year old son to understand why grandpa is being more forgetful over the past 6 months. The two of them have always had a close relationship. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's earlier this year. Might you be able to offer some suggestions as to how I might be able to help my son understand what is happening now and what to expect in the future?

A. It is important when having a discussion about his grandfather and ...

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Snowboarding Safety

Ask the Experts by Glen Clark, M.D.

Q. My friends invited me to go snowboarding, but it’s been a few years since I’ve been on a board. Any advice before I hit the slopes?

A. Get in shape. Follow a regular fitness program to strengthen muscles and build endurance to help prevent injuries. It is important to warm up and stretch before you hop from the car to the chairlift. Focus on calves, hamstrings and quadriceps, as well as your shoulders. Many snowboarding injuries are from people ...

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Sports Injury Prevention Tips

Ask the Experts by Kunal Kalra, MD

Q. What can I do to prevent injuries when my kids play sports?

A. The new school year brings the return of Fall sports and that can mean injuries ranging from sprained ankles to ACL injuries and concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds. Injuries from organized and unorganized sports also account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually. Common Fall ...

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Identity theft can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time

Ask the Experts by Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: My mom has recently moved into a nursing care facility and I have power of attorney over her finances. Do I still need to be concerned about identity theft for her?

A: Absolutely! Identity theft is rampant in today's society and has no age boundaries.

In February 2013, The Federal Trade Commission released The 2012 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Their statistics showed that the occurrence rate in the under- 20 group, which includes infants and ...

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The Importance of Monitoring Medications

Ask the Experts by Mary Ellen Brayton

Q: My 82 year old father lives alone and is doing pretty well overall. Lately, however, we’ve become aware that he is not always taking the right dosage of his medications. He forgets some days and other days may be taking double the dose because he’s unsure if he took it. What are some options to make sure he takes the prescribed amount so we don’t have to worry?

A: Staying on medication for a long period of time requires some work, ...

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The Affordable Care Act

Ask the Experts by Tom Gordon

Q: I’m confused, I’m a senior and I’ve heard a lot of things about the Affordable Care Act. Can you provide any targeted benefits for me as a senior?

A. The Affordable Care Act goes into full effect January 1, 2014. The law will expand health care benefits to the 55 million Americans without health coverage. It also increases benefits for those who are underinsured, including seniors.

Insurers are required to meet standards set in the law. There ...

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Skills for Success in Kindergarten

ASK THE EXPERTS by Dorothy Heitjan, Deb Kraft and Kristen DeVooght

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

It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school. Keep in mind the amazing developmental changes that occur in a child's body and brain during the preschool years.

In order to help your child build these neural connections, parents should provide:...

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Love and Logic Helps with Bedtime Routines and Homework Battles

Ask the Experts by Lynn Kaiser

Now that the school year is in full swing many parents might find themselves struggling, here are some tips to keep your sanity.

Q. How do I get my kids into a bedtime routine and end the bedtime frustrations?

A. Start by using a "slowdown time". A slowdown routine is essential. Children's brains operate at a high frequency and don't shut down as quickly as adult brains. Parents should announce the beginning of slowdown time about 40 minutes before bedroom time....

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The College Research, Application and Selection 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 Middle School Years: Brain Matters

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey, LMSW

Q. I have one child in middle school and another about to begin middle school. I have seen behavioral changes in both of them and don’t know what is “normal” for this age. What would be helpful for me to understand about these middle school years?

A. The pre-teen years bring enormous cognitive, social and emotional changes for early adolescents – some welcomed and others quite challenging.

These changes can be complex, sometimes ...

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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.

While each middle school student has her/his own interests, personality, and likes/dislikes, there are many developmental ...

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Reducing Stress Through Mindfulness Meditation

Ask the Experts by Maureen McKinley Light, LMSW

Q: I can’t seem to get a handle on stress. It seems to affect every part of my life, including my ability to parent. I feel overwhelmed by everyday life. What can I do?

A. There is a growing recognition that we can have more control over our emotions than we suspect. Often we fall victim to our reactions to life. In recent years new approaches to psychology such as cognitive behavioral therapy have demonstrated that we can moderate ...

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