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Family Files

Facts for All Ages
Healthy Aging

Staying Active with the Whole Family

As New Year's Resolutions start to fade, we hear more and more excuses for why we are not able to complete our goals. "There's not enough time in the day!" "It's too cold outside!" "It's not fun!" "I'm too old!" These are some of th...

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Generations Can Learn From Each Other

When children, teens and younger adults spend time with older adults, there are many benefits to everyone involved. Older adults can be great role models for children, while also passing on family stories, historical information and teaching the rituals and tradition...

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It is Brain Health Awareness Week - March 12-18

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Adult Day Settings: Splendid for Individuals and Caregivers

Let us start with the name "adult day care." Well, that title could turn people off from the start, but do not let it. I realize that a stigma can come with the name of a service, and, to be honest, I never really cared for the term "senior center" either, but that is an article for another day. Whether you are familiar or not with adult day care centers, we are quite lucky to have a few here i...

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Be grateful you just might age better, according to science

Many times throughout my life, I have heard and learned about being grateful. It started when I was young. It was a value that my parents hoped to teach me. "Eat your peas," my parents would say and "be grateful you have food to eat, there are starving kids in other parts of the world." I did not know there were hungry kids in my own hometown. I am not sure as I child I understood to be gratefu...

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Holiday-stress

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. For others, the demands of the holiday season cause such stress or unrealistic expectations that...

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Making the Most of Holiday Meals

  With the holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to re-share an article published a couple of years ago that was written by Extension colleague Janice McCoy.  She points out the benefits of sharing meals together: Family mealtimes during the holida...

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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® Coalition to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 22 and all September lo...

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Additional Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience

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How to Strengthen Your Resilience Capacity

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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 that with it being summer, we do not find ourselves saying them. Our bodies crave the outdo...

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Online health information - Is it reliable and still relevant?

  Many people today turn to the World Wide Web (www) as their source for information to solve problems, answer questions and even for their medical advice. You can now watch "how to" videos on so many things. Nevertheless, how do we know that the website that we land on has solid, reliable, trustworthy information? I mean, everything on the internet is true…right? No, unfortuna...

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Summer has started – What is on your summer bucket list?

We are almost two weeks in to summer, and for me that is a little sad because that means the longest day of sunlight has already come and gone. In addition, as I look at the calendar, we are in the midst of celebrating the Fourth of July. I always look forward to watching the fireworks, though! That is always on my "summer to-do list." What are the things that...

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You are as young or old as you feel

  How you feel about aging and your age can actually affect your overall well-being and health. Negative stereotypes in our media and our peers us also can affect how we feel about ourselves. However there is hope; we can turn around our negative thinking, reframe our views and, in turn, improve our health. Research over the past twenty years has shown repeatedly that having a n...

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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 Dr. Sosnoff has written a gem of an article on falls. I hope you find it as interesting and engag...

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Good Communication is Important

Good Communication is Important Good communication is essential in all aspects of our lives, but it can sometimes be hard to accomplish. In a time where people have never been more "connected" to each other w...

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Change Your Perspective on Aging

6 Ways to Age Successfully

Stroll down any greeting card aisle and you're bound to see endless images and jokes about getting older. While witty sayings about gray hair, "senior moments," and the physical changes that come with aging are meant to make us chuckle, it does cast a negative image on getting older. What if aging was associated with positive change and outcomes? Older American...

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More Characteristics of Positive Aging

In the last article I mentioned that optimism, socialization and purpose were just a few of the characteristics proven to improve quality of life. So what are the additional elements that contribute to positive aging? Of course, eati...

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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...

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Take a Standfor Your Heart

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 heart disease awareness and prevention during the month of February through their national Am...

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Elements of Self-Care

Elements of Self-Care As part of our community wellness effort, I am reprinting a blog post on self-care with permission from a colleague. Michele Crawford, is a Community Health Educator for University of Illinois Extension in Cook County. One of her areas of interest is self-care. In her role as a Health Educato...

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Fostering Resiliency in Yourself and Your Family

Have you ever known someone who seemed to go through very difficult times and left you wondering "how can they handle so much?" Resiliency is the ability to recover from life's challenges and hardships without being overwhelmed and t...

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Reach out and engage with others - isolation is a real concern

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4a) along with the AARP Foundation, recently launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness affecting millions of older Americans. This topic is the focus of the annual Elder-care Locator Home for the Holidays Campaign which will be conducted through January 2017. This is a n...

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5 Minute Mindfulness for the Holiday Season

The gifts, the wrapping, the parties…oh my! Seemingly endless holiday demands can put additional stress on our time and resources. For most people, the holiday season is the busiest time of year with extra of everything – social demands, work projects, family obligations, and holiday to-do lists. I often find myself rushing through the season to get to the "next thing" and before I know it, New...

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Take Action on Holiday Stress

It's the "most wonderful time of the year"……for stress. The busy stores, extra-commitments, social responsibilities, pressure of finding the perfect gift or cooking the perfect meal, travel realities, decorating, making family memories, and attending (or surviving!) holiday family gatherings may leave us less joy-filled and more stress-filled. Each year, the American Psychological Assoc...

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