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Archive for the ‘Healthy Relationships’ Category

Does your home fit you? It is the pivotal question asked when takitchenlking about the concept of Universal Design. So what is Universal Design? It is a worldwide movement based on the idea that all environments and products should be usable by all people, regardless of their ages, sizes, or abilities. Because this movement applies to everyone, the concept of Universal Design is known around the world as “design for all,” “inclusive design,” and “life-span design.”

An important component of Universal Design is the maintenance of aesthetics. In other words, to create something that is still “visually pleasing” to others despite being accessible to everyone. Function does NOT have to sacrifice beauty. As a result, universally designed homes and public buildings can be just as beautiful and welcoming as any other design approach. Increasingly, experts are referring to the concept of Universal Design as the “wave of the future.” It is the hope of Universal Design advocates that eventually all buildings, homes, and products will be designed to meet the needs of everyone.

WHY HOME MODIFICATION?

Whether you are building a new home, or repairing or renovating an existing home, you too can incorporate characteristics of Universal Design through home modification. These modifications can vary from building a new home with universally designed features, to simple installation of lever door knobs on an older home, to more complex structural changes in an existing home, such as installing a walk-in shower or an accessible ramp. The goal of home modification for existing homes is not to entirely redesign the home but to make a range of changes or repairs that result in your home being a comfortable, user-friendly, and safer place to live.

bathroomImplementing Universal Design home modifications can result in a home that you can remain in as you age. This concept is often referred to as “aging in place.” The idea behind “aging in place” is to enable individuals to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. The goal is to avoid having to relocate simply because one’s home is too difficult to get around in.

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN?

A group of Universal Design advocates from the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University have developed seven principles of Universal Design. These principles can be applied to evaluate existing environments or products, serve as guidelines in the development or renovation of existing environments, and serve to educate consumers and professionals wanting to understand the characteristics of this design approach.

Principle 1: Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

Principle 2: Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

Principle 4: Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions of the user’s sensory abilities.

Principle 5: Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

Principle 6: Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.

Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

The American Association of Retired Persons provides a Home Fit Quiz which gives suggestions on home modifications that can make your home safe and comfortable for years to come

Remember, a home that has universal design features is a home that fits everyone’s needs whether they are young or old, short or tall, with physical limitations or without.

Writer: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educatore, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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Last week, we wrapped up another successful county fair.  I am always so impressed with the way that so many people work together to make the county fair a success.  From crowning the royalty to recycling the recyclables, from  show choir  to  demolition derby, from  open class competitions to livestock shows from  food tents to 4-H projects,  volunteers and fair staff come together to insure that it all gets done.Group of youth at fairgrounds smiling

But what I really love most of all is the community that I witness as I walk through the buildings, barns, and on the midway.  It’s a time when people are engaging with others in face to face conversation, catching up with friends over some delicious food, and children are laughing and playing together.  It is truly a place where for a week we celebrate one another, jump in and assist as needed, and seem to go back in time to another era.

Building community is a vital part of our development.  A community can be defined as “emerged as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.” Where is your community? Where do you find others who support you, help you, laugh with you, cry with you?

Girls standing in a line at a county fair with girls on their shoulders

GirlsHealth.gov offers some suggestions to become a better member of your community.

  • Treat others well.
  • Show other people respect even if you have beliefs that are different
  • Get to know people before making up your mind about them
  • Stand up for your beliefs
  • Be someone people can rely on to do a good job
  • Volunteer at places like a nursing home, homeless shelter, food pantry, or humane society
  • Help a neighbor or someone else who could use a hand

Each night as you go to sleep, can you look back on your day and be happy with your actions towards yourself and others? Being a part of a community, whether small or large, is a sign that you are never alone. I hope you have found a community that brings a smile to your face and fills your heart with laughter like I have.Male and Female youth smiling holding sticks

Written by: Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator,Wood County

References:

MacQueen KM, McLellan E, Metzger DS, et al. What Is Community? An Evidence-Based Definition for Participatory Public Health. American Journal of Public Health. 2001;91(12):1929-1938. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446907/  

Girlshealth.gov, Office on Women’s Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.girlshealth.gov/relationships/community/

Photo Credits:

Kim Wooley Camper, Cheap $hots Photography, https://www.facebook.com/Cheap-hots-Photography-Kim-Woolley-Camper-138367259532875/ 

Kolt Buchenroth, https://www.facebook.com/hardincountyfair/

 

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Star_Spangled_Banner_Flag_on_display_at_the_Smithsonian's_National_Museum_of_History_and_Technology,_around_1964One evening, while walking down the midway at our recent county fair, I stopped when I heard the start of  “The Star Spangled Banner”.  People around me also stopped and stood quietly, some with their hands over their heart.  Another night, when I happened to be in our OSU Extension booth talking with two FFA members, it started to play, and without saying a word we put our hands over our hearts and listened.  The gentleman in in the booth next to me, after realizing what was happening, stood quickly and took his hat off.

As this nightly occurrence of hearing the national anthem continued on throughout the week, I started to realize how much of an impact it was having on me, and what was going through my mind while it played.  The germination of an idea about writing a blog article on the topic started to form, and I decided to ask other fair-goers if they stopped during the playing of our national anthem.  If so, why, and what were they thinking (if anything), while it played?

Everyone I interviewed at the fair that week reported they stopped what they were doing and listened to the national anthem.  Below are some of their responses:

  • One of the Farm Bureau Ambassadors stated she is too young to vote or serve in the military, but this was one thing she could do to show her respect for her country.
  • One lady stated she was thinking about “the United States Daughters of 1812” an organization for descendants of patriots who aided the American cause during the War of 1812.
  • One gentleman stated what many others also shared – that he was thinking about unity, recent events in America, and those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

We celebrate many occasions in this country, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.  We also celebrate our country/patriotism on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Patriot’s Day (9/11), and Independence Day.  Nationally, we may not be in agreement about whether, or how, we celebrate those holidays, but the main takeaway here is that we have the freedom to choose without censure.

One constant, however, we’ve always pretty much shared is that when we hear “The Star Spangled Banner”, we Americans halt what we are doing and become united.  That response factors in to why there has been so much discord over the last year about respect (or perceived lack of) for the national anthem.

Defence_of_Fort_McHenry_(Broadside_1814)A recent study conducted by faculty at Princeton found that banding together as a nation is often lauded for getting through challenging times, but that both harmony and conflict unify nations’ identities.

“In the United States, a nation of immigrants, we have a much more complex national story to tell,” senior author Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Public affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public International Affairs, says.  “Because we are pluralistic, our society requires a balancing act.  We can’t achieve unity through homogeneity, because we aren’t.”  “We can however view multi-ethnic intergroup relations in our unequal society as complicated and sometimes ambivalent.”

The Takeaway
Whether or not you agree with that assessment as it relates to the national anthem, it is important to recognize that this is a complicated issue because not everyone expresses social connectedness in the same way.  However, if you treat everyone with courtesy and respect, the only commitment you will have to make to them is behaving well (which is the Golden Rule).

View these well-known renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lCmBvYMRs Whitney Houston
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0GFqrCcwes National youth Orchestra of the USA/NY02
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPKp29Luryc Themes & Variations

Resources:
<ahref=”https://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/starflag.htm”>https://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/starflag.htm
http://www.usdaughters1812.org/
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2017/01/09/friend-or-foe-each-creates-national-unity-mix-creates-divisions-study-shows

Photo Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institution_Archives
Defence of Fort McHenry, By Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons

Written by:  Candace J. Heer, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County
Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

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opioid picReaching a national emergency, the opioid crisis is affecting communities from the smallest burg to the largest urban setting. Approximately 90 people in the United States pass away daily from an opioid-related overdose, and the numbers are increasing.

There seems to be a story in the news every week showing addicts slumped over in their cars or a young child in the street seeking help for a parent that has overdosed in the home. Ohio estimates the state will see 10,000 overdoses by the end of 2017.

Opioids are medications used to relieve active or chronic pain. These prescription medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin) and codeine. When abused, even a single large dose may cause an overdose or death.  Regular, long-term use of opioids can lead to physical dependence and/or addiction.

Prescription opioid addiction may then lead to heroin addiction, which is easier to obtain and cheaper to purchase. Heroin is a very addictive drug and is processed from morphine. Many heroin addicts turn to the narcotic drug after losing access to prescription pain medication.

Signs of opioid or heroin abuse include:

  • Constricted, pinpoint pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Nodding out
  • Itching and scratching
  • Use of laxatives
  • Weight loss
  • Track marks on arms
  • Unhealthy appearance
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Problems in school
  • Loss of interest
  • Time away from home
  • Finding Ziploc bags
  • Finding spoons with burn marks
  • Disappearance of spoons
  • Aluminum foil with burn marks
  • Purchases returned for refund
  • Bottles of vinegar and bleach
  • Cotton balls
  • Missing money
  • Theft of household valuables

What can you do?

Be proactive. Lock up your medications and take inventory to record the name and amount of medications you currently have in the house.  Check regularly to make sure none is missing.  Educate yourself and your child about the most common abused medications, sedatives, stimulants and tranquilizers.

Communicate with your child the dangers of abusing these medications. Set clear rules and monitor frequently.  Be sure your child understands they are not to take prescription medications without a prescription.  Lead by example!  Share your knowledge, experiences and support with friends and parents.  Work together to ensure the safety of your children.

Last, but not least, dispose of old, leftover medications correctly. Many police departments have disposal bins for those types of medications.  Don’t just throw medications in the trash, down the drain, or flush down the toilet. Water treatment plants can’t remove all traces of drug residue from your drinking water.  A 2008 Associated Press investigation found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans in 24 major metropolitan areas.

Dealing with the addicted person.

If you suspect your loved one may be using opioids, be open and non-judgmental in your conversation. Treat them as individuals, do not make assumptions, and do not move too fast.  Remind them you love them, are concerned, and are here to listen. Encourage them to seek treatment from professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in treating drug abuse problems.

References:

https://whttp://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/narcotic-pain-medications#1ww.asam.org/advocacy/toolkits/opioids

https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/whatarethey/unwantedmedicine.cfm

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County, Stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

 

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all-is-wellWhat comes to mind when you hear the terms well or wellness? For most people, these words bring thoughts of physical health. Some of you will think about mental health. Most people, when given time, realize that there is more to being well than just physical and mental health. Some may even be able to name several areas of wellness. Many people may not realize that there are actually eight dimensions of wellness, though.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the eight dimensions of wellness are:

  1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

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For about a month, I have been participating in a program offered through my employer/health insurance to help increase my emotional well-being. There are up to five areas that anyone who participates can choose to complete. Each area has suggestions for things you can do. For example, one challenge is to find. Some things listed include: going to the library to check out a book or DVD, attending a live event or stopping by a new coffee shop. It is fun trying to complete each challenge. It also helps remind me that even on those hectic days, I need to take some time to take care of myself.

There are small and simple things you can do to help become more well in each area. Here are some examples:

  • Emotional—unplug from phone, social media and your computer for 10 minutes each day, light your favorite candle and make time for friends and family
  • Environmental—keep your office and home clean and organized, find a favorite place or spot to visit and get involved in cleaning up your community or neighborhood
  • Financial—shop at thrift stores, limit unnecessary spending and develop a budget
  • Intellectual—read for pleasure, choose creative hobbies and participate in local/community events
  • Occupational—attend conferences to stay current in your profession and explore opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Physical—participate in regular exercise/physical activity that you enjoy, eat balanced, nutritious meals and snacks and get adequate sleep
  • Social—be genuine with others, join a club or organization and use good communication skills
  • Spiritual—volunteer, pray, meditate or find a quiet place for self-reflection

You may be wondering how well you really are. Take this assessment to get a better idea. After completing it, you can figure out which areas you need to work on and in which ones you are already strong. Click here for additional information and resources on how to strengthen your dimensions of wellness.

Author:  Misty Harmon, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016). The Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Available at https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness

http://umatter.princeton.edu/sites/umatter/files/media/wellness-self-assessment.pdf

Roddick, M. (2016). The 8 Dimensions of Wellness:  Where Do You Fit In? Available at https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/8-dimensions-of-wellness-where-do-you-fit-in-0527164

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While on a recent family vacation in another state, my sister ended up in the Emergency Department at a hospital. She had multiple fractures in her foot and ended up in a cast up to her knee. This injury was the result of her long term Type 1 Diabetes. She recently had a heart stent put in and had been walking about a mile a day – for her heart health. Little did she know that she had multiple fractures in her foot. Now it made sense that her foot swelled so much each evening.

This experience showed us the kindness of strangers that I want to share. We experienced several random acts of kindness during this time. Research shows that random acts of kindness and generosity increase happiness in the giver. The medical staff fit her with crutches and instructed her to keep weight off her foot. This sounds like an easy task but it can be challenging to maneuver crutches. She was able to get around but still struggled with the crutches.

Kindness

The next day she wanted to sit at the pool by the beach to watch family members parasail. If you are mobile, this is easy, just walk in and sit by the pool. It isn’t so easy if you are on crutches. But…. we experienced another act of kindness – a little boy (approximately 10 years old) stood there holding the gate until my sister could get in. A puddle of dirty pool water was inside the gate; his sister saw it, took her towel, and dried the cement so that Debbie didn’t get her cast wet. I looked at the mother and said she doesn’t have to do that with her towel – their mother said, “that’s ok” and let her do it. I was so touched that they knew the importance of being kind to a stranger. Someone in their family taught them to think of others.

Another instance we experienced included having a Physical Therapist Assistant ask if we needed help with the crutches as my sister made her way to the restroom on our drive home. She said the crutches are not the right height for her and asked if we wanted her to adjust them so that they fit. We said, “of course, we need all the help we can get” and she sat down on a bench, took the crutches and adjusted them on the spot. This made it so much easier to maneuver. We told the PT Assistant thanks for asking and she said sometimes she isn’t sure if she should interfere – we told her, yes! Her act of kindness helped us and we were grateful.

Another act of kindness included people holding the doors open as we struggled to move around with the crutches. This happened many times over our last few days of vacation.

Why is it important to share these experiences? As parents or grandparents, you can foster kindness in children. This short YouTube video featuring Dr. Christine Carter, “Raising Kind Kids” from Greater Good Science Center UC Berkeley shares a few key suggestions to encourage kids to be kind.

Are you ready to experience happiness by giving to others? Take this “Random Acts of Kindness” Challenge by doing 5 random acts in one day. Record how you feel and comment on their page. Another fun option is to pass out these Smile Cards. Complete an act of kindness, leave the Smile Card and keep the spirit going!

What are you waiting for? Try kindness today!

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Tammy Jones, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Sources:

Breines, J., Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness into Your Life, retrieved from: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/three_strategies_for_bringing_more_kindness_into_your_life

Carter, C., Raising Kind Kids, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley, YouTube retrieved from: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/video/item/raising_kind_kids

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge, Greater Good in Action, University of California – Berkeley’s Greater Good Center, retrieved from: UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.  http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/random_acts_of_kindness

Smile Cards, KindSpring.org retrieved from: http://www.kindspring.org/smilecards/

 

 

 

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It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end.  The family day trips to the amusement park or zoo, and our time lazing around the pool will soon be over until next year. Do you find the transition from summer into the routines of the school year school-1549880_1920difficult? I find that I sometimes struggle with the back-to-school schedule more than my two children (who are now a freshman and a sophomore in high school). Because of my struggles, I want to share some tips from Kids.gov  and USA.gov. Both sites create and organize timely, needed government information and services that is accessible anytime, anywhere, via your channel of choice.

  • Ease into the School Routine
    • Start going to bed and waking up on a schedule similar to the school year. Remember that teens need 9-10 hours of sleep per night, school age children need 10 hours and preschoolers need 11-12 hours.
    • Make a family docking station in the living room or kitchen for mobile phones and electronics.  By not allowing these in the bedrooms, teens and pre-teens will get a better night’s sleep.  You can also set a house rule that phones may not be checked until the morning routine is complete. Purchase a cheap alarm clock if you hear,  “I need to have my phone/tablet/etc. in my room because it has my alarm on it.”
  • Teach Time Management
    • Routine is very important. Talk to your children and set a daily schedule together and follow it.  Don’t forget to include wake-up, showering, teeth brushing, homework, (outdoor) play time/physical activity, screen-time, reading together, family meals, and bed time. If something unscheduled comes up, see if other things can be adjusted to accommodate it.
    • Use pictures for your preschoolers and early readers and a checklist for the pre-teens and teens. Don’t forget to agree upon the outcomes if the schedule is followed (a special privilege) or if it is not (a consequence). Your weekend schedule will most likely be different so map that out too.
  • Pack a Nutritious Lunch
    • A well-balanced meal will help provide the nutrients to get through the long days.
    • It helps to allow your children choices when packing their lunch.  Allow them to pack their lunch (and even yours), so that together your family is making the choice to eat healthier.
  • Listen
    • Talk to your children about what’s coming up in the next few weeks.  Talk through the schedule and the changes that will be happening as school starts. Listen to their excitement and their fears. Make a plan together for having the best school year yet.
    • Don’t forget to check in with them each day and listen for what they say (and what they don’t say, especially with the pre-teens and teens).
  • Shop Smart
    • Pick up the school supply list now and take advantage of the many sales and coupons that are available.  Use your mobile device to download coupons and always ask if a store has any coupons available.  Check the closets before you head out shopping and only purchase what you need.  
    • Take advantage of  Ohio’s tax free weekend for more savings: August 4-6.

Good luck getting back into the swing of the school year. May your school year be blessed with many wonderful memories! Enjoy every teachable moment and find something fabulous in each day!

Written By: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hardin County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County

Sources:

https://kids.usa.gov/parents/health-and-safety/back-to-school/index.shtml

https://www.usa.gov/features/get-ready-for-school-8-tips-for-parents-from-kid

s-gov

https://www.freetaxweekend.com/ohio-tax-free-weekend/

http://health.uncc.edu/news/electronic-devices-may-hamper-teens%E2%80%99-sleep

https://www.cps-k12.org/families-students/health-wellness/healthy-lunches/teens/lunches

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/school-holidays-recovery-leisure-1549880/

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