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Family Files 2017

Take a Stand...For Your Heart

Stroll through any store this time of year and you're bound to see the color red, valentine hearts, and love. Hearts are all around us in every shade of pink and red. This February, I'd like to encourage you to show a little love to your heart. The American Heart Association recognizes...
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Pages from the Caregiver's Guidebook

Help wanted: energetic person to provide constant companionship to someone who is unable to care for self. Position includes all cooking, housecleaning, yard work and personal care. Must be responsible, creative and alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Experience dealing with social security,...
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September is Fall Prevention Month

September is Fall Prevention Month Falls are not a normal part of aging, but they are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. That is why University of Illinois Extension is partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free®...
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Keeping an Eye on Your Child's Vision

What is more beautiful than your child's bright eyes? How well he sees with those eyes is important to his learning and development. Parents and teachers need to be aware that a child might not know if his vision is normal. Arrange for regular vision screenings....
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Learning and Fun on Family Field Trips

Learning and Fun on Family Field Trips What is a family field trip? When you and your child travel into the wide world with learning as your goal, you are on a field trip! Your destination can be as close as the front porch or as distant as a museum in another town. What are the secrets of...
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Reconnect with the world outside for optimal health

After being stuck inside from a bad winter, we often say things like, "I'm suffering from cabin fever", or after being inside all day we might say, "I need some fresh air." As usual, there is some truth to these familiar sayings that we have heard passed down from generation to generation. I hope...
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Many benefits of volunteering

As part of our community wellness effort, this month we want to talk about the importance of volunteers. What a volunteer gives to an organization in time, expertise and spirit can never be repaid. However, there are also many benefits to the individual that make it one of the most rewarding things...
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Make Fall Prevention Part of your Spring Cleaning

A fall can be a life-altering event when it comes to health, well-being and quality of life. Back in February, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jake Sosnoff of the Illini Fall Prevention Clinic speak. He is such a wealth of knowledge that I wanted to share his knowledge with all of you. This month...
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Too Much is Not a Good Thing

While on vacation a few weeks ago, I noticed there were many elementary and middle school aged children present at our resort. I also noticed that many of them had something in common.- their rudeness, lack of manners, and disrespect for others. What was interesting was that when...
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Effective Communication

  I originally wrote this article back in 2015, but felt like it was worthwhile to publish it again. People are highly passionate in their beliefs, and in our current culture, differing beliefs or views are creating quite the stir. Difficult topics can make it a challenge to get our point across...
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Ideas for keeping your holiday anxiety in check

We are in the midst of the holiday season, and many of the songs we hear are joyous and happy but this may not be a happy time for all. For some, the holidays are sad due to the absence of a loved one (because of distance or loss), a change in family life due to divorce or unresolved family issues...
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Rewarding School Effort – Good or Bad?

With the school year well underway, my children brought home their mid-term report cards last week. As we reviewed their grades and talked about areas to improve, there was a hint of expectancy in my oldest sons' voice. "Mom, I can't wait to show this to grandpa! He's going to give me lots of money...
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A Valuable Resource for Abused and Neglected Children

Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I thought it might be a good idea to shed a little light on the issue of child abuse in our communities, and highlight a resource that is available for the victims and their families. In fiscal year 2016, there were 245,388 calls to the Child...
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Caregivers Can Manage Stress with Self-Care

If you are in the habit of reading this blog, you know that I have written several times about the topic of caregiving. Having worked with older adults and their caregivers in my former career "life" and continuing to provide programs for them, I feel that they are some of the most selfless, noble...
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Handling Children's Conflict

Recently my niece posted a copy of a contract that her father developed when she and her brother were little that set out the rules for playing with Legos.  The contract has 6 (!) segments, with my favorite stating that the contract starts on February 12, 1995, it ends at the year 2002, with a new...
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Characteristics of Positive Aging

Everyone is aging, but do you ever wonder why some people seem to age more successfully than others? We all know of some older adults out there that just seem to be more "spry." But this is not always in a physical sense. They might be mentally sharp and just overall vivacious! What is their secret...
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