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Family Files

Facts for All Ages
Healthy Aging

Dangers of Tobacco Use

Tobacco has been found to be the greatest preventable cause of illness and premature death in the U.S. There is a laundry list of dangers and health issues that are directly linked to tobacco, and at least 70 of the 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Smokeless tobacco has been found to have at least 30 chemicals known to cause cancer and is not a safe alternative. You a...

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Would You Want to Know?

There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) being the most common, accounting for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Although the biggest risk factor is increasing age, Alzheimer's and other dementias are not a normal process of aging....

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Tips from the Latest Research on Alzheimer's and Dementia

  Last month I attended the Healthy Brain Aging Risk and Prevention Conference sponsored by Southern Illinois University (SIU) Medicine and their Neuroscience Institute. Conferences and workshops like this one is a great way to get the latest infor...

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Connect, Create and Contribute for Older Americans Month

We traditionally celebrate Older Americans Month each May. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. By 2017, around 47 million had reached that milestone. Why not obser...

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Creating Healthy Eating Habits

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The Importance of Stress Relief

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Generations Can Learn From Each Other

  Since Older American's Month is coming up in May, wouldn't it be great to get our younger generations involved with our older generations in fun and meaningful ways? When children, teens and younger adults spend time...

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Fighting the Post-Holiday Blues

  The flurry of wrapping paper has settled, the holiday meal leftovers are a memory, decorations are packed away, New Year's resolutions have been made and broken, and family and friends...

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Holidays and Traditions ~ tis the season

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Mental Illness Awareness Week - Be a part of the solution not the problem

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Two Heads are Better Than One

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Take a Stand to Prevent Falls

  Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans and are costly -...

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Are you Engaging Your Brain?

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The Importance of Health Screenings

Regular preventive care exams are key to identifying risk factors and health problems before they become serious. Many diseases and deaths can be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right...

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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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