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Facts for All Ages
Brain Health

Are you Engaging Your Brain?

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Unplug and Re-Engage in Life

Since Summer is here, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this article about unplugging from our devices and enjoying our surroundings - especially our youth!  Everywhere around us, we see people constantly checking their smartphones. You might w...

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building baby s brain

Building Baby's Brain: Attachment Relationships

The University of Illinois Extension has permission through a partnership with University of Georgia Extension to utilize information from the Better Brains for Babies website for educational purposes . What is attachment and why does...

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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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It is Brain Health Awareness Week - March 12-18

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Brain Foods - A heart healthy diet = a brain healthy diet

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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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November is National Family Caregiver’s Month and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November is National Family Caregiver's Month. In 2016, the Alzheimer's Association reported that over 220,000 people in Illinois are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In honor of all of the caregivers out there helping someone with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, this article is for you and your loved ones as we enter the holiday season. I could speak for a long time on this topic...

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Additional Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience

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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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Can Technology Affect our Memory?

I get asked by the participants of my Wits Fitness Brain Training classes "how is technology today affecting our children's memory or ability to remember?" Good question. In the Wits Fitness classes, we do many activities that "exercise" m...

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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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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 one can do. This month, Kristin Puckett, our 4-H program coordinator from Vermilion County, share...

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Think about keeping your brain strong today and every day in honor of Brain Awareness Week

Think about keeping your brain strong today and every day in honor of Brain Awareness Week Did you know that this week, March 13-19, 2017, is Brain Awareness Week? First, let me tell you what Brain Awareness Week is all about. Brain Awareness Week, the third week in March, is dedicated to promoting public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Dana A...

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brain health

Brain Health for Kids

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is true about brain health… for kids. For the last several years, University of Illinois Extension Family Life educators have been educating citizens throughout Illinois on the importance of brain health. By providing Brain Health series workshops and monthly Wits Fitness brain health exercise classes, educators have worked...

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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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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 Communit...

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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

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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Mental Challenges Help with Memory

Recently I came across an article in one of the local papers titled "No support behind brain games." I have to say that my first instinct was one of panic. I currently facilitate monthly Wits Fitness brain exercise classes in four different locations a...

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Take time to be more mindful each day

Take time to be more mindful each day. This week I want to talk about how and why we should be a little more mindful in our daily lives. But before I get started with that, here is an interesting fact on the increased popularity of the word mindfulness over the past 3 ½ years. The University of Illinois Family Life Team developed a lesson on mindfulness in late 2012. While rese...

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Aging in a Positive Light

From the time you are born, you start to age. Everyone on this earth is aging. The word "aging" is associated with positive words like "wisdom", "timeless", "experienced". But it also generates as many or more negative words and visuals. Why is there such a negative perception of...

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Marvelous Melodies! How Music Impacts Learning!

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Do I Have to do Crosswords to Stay Sharp?

  You may have noticed that all of the Family Files blog entries this month have been about brain health and memory in h...

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