Now though December 31, 2018, every dollar will be matched. Donate today!
Now though December 31, 2018, every dollar will be matched. Donate today!
Ask the Experts by Dana Constand and Carolyn Van Dorn
Q: My husband and I are getting older. We realize that there are healthcare, financial and lifestyle plans that we should put in place now as a protective measure for our future. Where do we start?
A: There are many things to consider as we age. Will you stay in our home or do we want to downsize? Who will make healthcare decisions if you are both unable? Who will manage your money? How will your bills be paid? What happens when one of you is gone— perhaps one spouse handled the finances and the other cooked, one handled car maintenance, the other plumbing snafus, etc. Will you be able to take care of the things your spouse/partner handled? Who will show you? It is best to think about what you may need and put plans in place while you are healthy and have the time to carefully consider your options for these important life decisions.
There are legal solutions to address healthcare and financial decision making.
Ask the Experts by Gary and Janice Abud and Amanda Be
Q: My 8-year-old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Besides following up with his doctor, what else can I do to help him?
A: ADHD is a neuro-behavioral condition that, while it is chronic, is treatable. While working with your doctor is always the first approach to treatment, there are other things that should be considered to make sure your son is managing the behavioral side of ADHD. Here are three important areas to consider: Read more: Helping Your Child After an ADHD Diagnosis
Ask the Experts by Mark Aiello
Q: How does my special needs child qualify for supplemental security income (SSI) and what can I can do to get these benefits for my child?
A: If your child is under age 18 and has major health problems affecting his/her functioning, either physically, mentally or both, the first thing to determine is whether the family unit where the child lives meets the income threshold for benefits. If the parent’s monthly income plus existing assets are above the threshold set by law, it won’t matter how seriously disabled the child is. The claim will be denied. Typically, if the household is eligible for state assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid, the financial threshold is met.
Assuming the financial limits are met, just how seriously disabled must the child be to qualify for benefits? The child must be suffering from a condition that is both marked and severe lasting or expected to last one year or more. There are two ways to prove a condition is both marked and severe. First is through the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. This Listing sets forth exact proof that must be met for the specific disease or condition of the child. The second way is to show the child’s poor health is so severe it is functionally equal to the Listing.
Ask the Experts by David Gilboe
Q: My body gets really sore during the holidays and I feel a lot of stress. What do you suggest I do to help reduce the pain?
A: While there is definitely more bending, lifting, reaching and standing during the holidays (which can result in physical pain), many of us forget the toll that stress can place on our bodies and how this by itself creates or increases pain.
More times than not, we aren’t aware of the tension we are holding in our bodies. For example, when traffic is backed up or you are standing in a long line at the store, do you make time to notice your feelings? If you are feeling frustrated or anxious this will often create tightness in your muscles and rigidity in your posture. The first step towards easing the stress, begins with you making the decision to pay attention to what you are feeling in your muscles.
Ask the Experts by Dan Tripp
Q: I’ve been looking at getting long-term care insurance but I’m wary of the cost; won’t Medicaid take care of me if I don’t have insurance?
A: Yes, you can receive care under Medicaid, but remember that Medicaid is basically welfare coverage and is based on financial eligibility. In other words, you must have limited income and assets.
Your income will most likely consist of Social Security payments, VA benefits, if any, pensions, any salaries or wages, interest from bank accounts and CDs and any dividends from investments. Assets that are counted are checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds, CDs, any real property aside from your primary residence, and any motor vehicles if you have more than one. You can exclude your home, personal and household belongings, life insurance if the face value is under $1,500, up to $1,500 in burial expenses, and assets held in certain trusts (see your attorney for the details).
Ask the Experts by Aimee Fluitt
Q: When you talk about safety concerns, are you trying to dissuade people from traveling?
A: Absolutely not. In fact, that’s the last thing I want to do. International travel is an enriching, enlightening experience, and I believe everyone should explore the world as much as possible. My goal is simply to encourage everyone to be more knowledgeable of what’s going on around them and more able to plan for the unexpected. There are some things we will talk about in this presentation that are definitely pertinent to domestic travel, too.
Q: What’s the biggest issue American tourists face when traveling?
Read more: Security Awareness for the Savvy International Traveler
Ask the Experts by Amy McIntyre and Michelle Harr
Q: I’m a parent of two teens who couldn’t be more different. My daughter is my “social butterfly” and I can’t keep up with her social calendar, while my son seems to struggle interacting with peers, and doesn’t have one “real” friend. He has trouble with maintaining attention/focus. What can we do to help him succeed with everyday social situations?
A: Pragmatic language therapy in an individual therapy situation would be a great start for your son. After comprehension of the ins and outs of social interaction is solid, grouping your son with another peer(s) in a “social group” for practice would be the next step. From there, when the time is right, the group of peers then go out to practice being social together, in other environments. Peer social groups are an important component in the transferring of skills across environments.
Ask the Experts by
Sean Cassleman, M.D.
Q: I overheard my teen daughter and her friends talking about another girl at school vaping. I am concerned that my daughter will try vaping, should I discuss it with her? I know almost nothing about it, how can I approach her about my concerns?
A: Vaping is raising anxiety levels for parents of adolescents everywhere. There is reason to worry because vaping is a new delivery system for nicotine – an adversary that parents have struggled to keep their children away from for decades. Although e-cigarettes and tobacco products like cigarettes both contain nicotine, there are differences between the two. An appropriate response to the threat of vaping – and a quality discussion with your kids about it – is dependent on knowing the basics of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are electronic devices powered by batteries that deliver a nicotine-containing vapor. E-cigarettes do not all look the same, nor do they all have the same components. But they have some common functional parts, including a mouth piece, microprocessor/sensor, liquid cartridge, battery and atomizer. Inhaling at the e-cigarette’s mouthpiece signals the microprocessor/sensor to activate the atomizer, which turns the liquid into a nicotine vapor which is inhaled by the user at the mouthpiece. Although there are no standard ingredients for the liquid or “juice”, they are usually made up of nicotine, propylene glycol/glycerol, flavoring and water. There have been similar nicotine products in the past, but the modern e-cigarette was invented by a Chinese pharmacist in 2003. One of the most popular e-cigarettes is called the ‘Juul,’ which was released in 2015 and is extremely popular among teens. If no one told you, you might mistake the sleek design of the Juul for a usb flash drive.
Ask the Experts by Mary Petersen
Q: My child just left to go away to college, and I am struggling with the adjustment to an empty nest. What would make this easier?
A: Parents put so much into the raising of children, and yet they are still surprised to find that once they are launched it can leave a big hole in their lives. But this transition is also a beautiful thing that allows children to spread their wings in the way they have been prepared to do. It also gives parents a new freedom they haven’t had for many years – but now with the wisdom of maturity to enjoy it more richly.
We all want our children to succeed, but some deliberate about the best way to help them do that, and in what time frame. Some believe in protecting children as much as possible and limiting their exposure to things that might harm them. Others (myself included) believe that we cannot (and should not) shelter children from everything. We must give them reasonable precautionary measures and life skills, and then teach coping and resilience so they still thrive even through the normal life challenges. Our goal is to raise confident children who are functional, adult members of society. Then let them fly! Realizing that you have completed your mission can make the transition easier.
Ask the Experts by The Family Center
Q: I heard September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. What can I do to learn more about suicide prevention and mental health?
A: September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month and is meant to unite community members with prevention organizations, survivors, and allies to promote suicide prevention awareness. In our community, there are a few different ways you can learn more about suicide prevention and mental health.
Mental Health First Aid Training is being offered for individuals working/interacting with youth, to learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. The course is an eight-hour training, given in two four-hour sessions, on September 19 and 26, 5:30pm-9:30pm, at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church. The training is limited to 30 participants and you must attend both sessions to receive the 3-year certification.