Family Decisions: Your Parent Is Declining

Share Button

By Ryan McEniff

seniormanIt eventually happens, you and your siblings notice that your mom or dad is not acting the way they once did, maybe memory impairment has increased, or someone is still mentally sharp, but they are not stable when walking and standing. When the family is together as a whole, it provides a great time to starting talking about what the options are.

So what are the options when it’s clear that someone is steadily declining and needs help?

Your Senior Care Options

This article will go through the options most families have when looking for senior care. It will provide the pros and cons of each service and the monetary costs associated with each type of care.

Family Members

Family members are great to be able to help someone who needs a small amount of assistance. Maybe your parent can’t drive anymore but just needs to get out twice a week. Or if the family is large enough, different people can help out for a few hours per week, and all share the responsibilities of helping out.

Cost: Low/Free
Time: Medium/High
Cons: Loss of time. Often one person becomes the main caregiver sacrificing more and more of their own time than other families do and can become burnt out.

Adult Day Services

Adult day services can be an alternative to having private caregivers come in. It allows seniors, especially those with dementia, to be stimulated through physical and mental activities while a family member has time to go to work or get important errands and tasks done.

Cost: Nation average $70 per day
Time: Low
Cons: Adult day patients can often suffer from dementia, so depending on your location, it might not be a right fit for non-dementia seniors who are looking for activities a few times a week. Additionally, care is provided from 9 am to 3 pm M-F, so there needs to be someone available to drop off and pick up. So it might not be ideal for families working full time or those who work on the weekends.

Private Home Care

Private home care services can provide peace of mind knowing that there is a dedicated caregiver that is there only for your loved one. Caregivers assist with ADLs (activities of daily living) and are flexible with their hours to cater to your schedule.

Cost: $20-30 per hour all private pay (no insurance coverage available)
Time: None/Low
Cons: It is expensive. Many families cannot afford the services. Additionally, families and seniors can be very nervous letting caregivers into their home.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)

Assisted living facilities provide an active social environment for senior who wish to interact with people their age. The services provide a private or shared room, meal services and transportation services. Additionally, many assisted living facilities have included a dementia unit, which, as the name implies, is for residents who have developed dementia and needs to be in a secure unit with dedicated and trained staff.

seniorwoman2Cost: $3,300 per month depending on location (no insurance coverage available)
Time: Low
Cons: Expensive. What you are paying for are room, food, and transportation. The personal care hours included are minimal, usually 2-5 hours per week. So if your family member ends up needing more care than that, it will be required to get additional attention, usually from a private home care company that will be an out of pocket expense. Finally, assisted living facilities are private pay, and once the money runs out, then you will be asked to leave.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes help people who need more complicated care that they cannot get at an assisted living or through private home care services. Many are new, provide outstanding care, good food, and activities. Nursing homes have a stigma attached to them of places you go to die or once there, no one visits you, but for many places, it is just not true.

Cost: $6,500-7,000 per month depending on location.
Time: Low
Cons: Expensive & Spend downs. Stigmas are a problem. Quality can range drastically, and some nursing homes will try and only accept spend down patients first.

Pro-tip: Nursing homes are not automatically paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, spending down is required (which is when the patients assets are “spent down” with a seven-year look back before Medicaid pays for the services). So if mom or dad is a resident at an assisted living or using private home care, my suggestion is to start looking for at nursing homes when you have over $50,000 left. Reason being, higher end nursing homes will be more accommodating to private pay customers than those that have no money and will be coming to them on Medicaid.

– The author of this guest post is Ryan McEniff, owner of Minute Women Home Care, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

10 Parent Do-Overs For 2015

Share Button

By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

familydrivewayWhen my first daughter was six and my youngest was two, I came to a realization that helped me parent in a much different fashion. You see, I’ve always been a neat freak and I prefer structure and order in my home. Beds made, no dust, and I’m happy. No one told me I couldn’t have that and kids too, but it wasn’t long before I realized I would stress myself into a heart attack if I continued.

When you have kids, you should actually think of living in a barn because kids are hoarders; they’re messy; they spill anything they carry; and they are curious and forgetful. They don’t close doors, clean up toys, worry about mud, clean up art supplies or Cheerios. And, unless you pacify them with electronic gadgets (which don’t stimulate their creative ingenuity as well as hands on manipulating things), your home will be full of rocks, leaves, sand and bugs.

Every parent I know who has a teenager or college-bound child reminisces about what they would do differently if they had a baby or small children now. Many of the things they say are enlightening and helpful when you are sure you’re losing your mind with the little ones. I have come up with a list of ten things for parents to consider for 2015 as they continue raising their children.

I’ve found that hindsight gives you great insight, and if you hang in there a few more months, what drives you mad now will be gone with the next thing your child finds interesting. So, stay curious and take naps.

1. Play with your child every chance you get. Instead of putting them in front of the TV or iPad, get down on the floor and play with them. Your child’s brain is developing at a speed you cannot understand. Every opportunity to play is an opportunity for your child to connect with you and their environment.

2. Work on your relationship with your spouse or partner. Your child will be far better off if you keep your marriage intimate and close. They need your marriage more than they need you 24/7. Dads give children something moms cannot, and visa versa.

3. Power nap with your child. Instead of thinking about all the things you can get done at naptime, lay down and nap. Your power nap will give you more energy and clearer thinking, and both of those will benefit your child more than cleaning.

4. Forget the electronics until your child is in kindergarten. Coloring, gluing, and cutting are much more important for your child’s motor and cognitive development than an electronic alphabet game. Being able to create new ideas with art supplies and blocks is not only a way for them to develop motor skills, but it also builds confidence and cognitive skills.

5. Go to the park any and all chances you get. Being outside and running, swinging, jumping, and observing is everything to your child. You playing with them helps them grow closer to you and the wonder of all they see. Talking on the phone or distracting yourself with work is not worth it when you are at the park with your child. Take the time…and be there.

kidseatinghealthy6. Make lunches and cook with your child. Yes, it will be a mess, and yes, you will have to clean it up, but children who touch food and learn to make healthy food choices are also at an advantage as they grow older and become more independent.

7. Quit stressing over what is normal for your child. Kids grow at different rates and no two children are at the same height and weight at the same time. Relax. Use your intuition and parent sense to help guide you.

8. Your child is not going to go to prison because they won’t share their toys. New parents make mountains out of molehills, and if their child is more stubborn or temperamental, they make the issue worse than it is. Staying structured with rules and following through with discipline is important, but don’t stress over the little stuff.

9. Hug your child EVERY chance you get. Someday you will miss when they no longer want you to carry them, and they will grow out of wanting to sit in your lap during story time.

10. Never parent with guilt. Sometimes you have to be firm and that means teaching your child there are consequences for their actions. But, yelling or screaming at your child should never be done, and they are very forgiving; so always apologize.

No one tells us how to parent, and kids don’t come with an instruction manual. So, it is wisdom of hindsight that helps new parents feel comforted during the rough times…and there will be rough times. Kids get sick, they don’t sleep, they like bugs and messes and spill water, milk and anything liquid. Love them anyway.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

The Role Model In You – Mary Ellen Ciganovich – Author, Holistic And Spiritual Educator, Life Coach

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Mary Ellen Ciganovich

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Mary Ellen Ciganovich – author “Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire”, Holistic and Spiritual Educator, Life Coach.

In the past I taught middle school for over 14 years in 4 different states – North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia and Connecticut before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1986. (Not to worry I am fine) I now teach Holistic Healing , Spirituality and am a Life Coach.

Note to you before I go further: Although today I consider my self healthy – my doctor records read otherwise: At the age of 6 yrs old I was diagnosed with epilepsy – I never let it hold me back. I was fortunate that my mother was a school teacher and she could instruct the other school teachers to treat me normally. I was a varsity cheerleader and a teen model in Atlanta. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Education from the University of Georgia – married and had one daughter who is now a Physician’s Assistant in Arizona. After a difficult divorce I moved back to Atlanta and took up playing tournament racquetball. This is when my MS was diagnosed because when I would get hot I would lose my balance and I would start seeing 2 balls?????!!!! Didn’t know which one to hit – I finally quit this sport and play now on occasion for fun or to teach someone the sport. Since I was diagnosed with MS in 1986 I have never taken any of the Multiple Sclerosis medications as they were not available then and since I am doing so well now I do not wish to take anything I do not KNOW I need. My neurologist is very supportive of me and my self-healing philosophy. I am very strict about what I eat and drink – I take work out classes daily varying from aerobics to power flex to yoga and pilates.

I apologize for adding this information and I did not think you would understand me – if you did not know what I have been through.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My entire family inspired me to be healthy because they “saw” me as sickly – due to my diagnosis – so I always worked hard to be healthy. I just wanted to be normal. I guess if I had to pick one person it would be my mother.

She always told us to drink milk so our teeth and bones would be strong and healthy. Mom also encouraged us to go out an play ride our bikes etc… Soda – like Coke and Pepsi – were forbidden in our home. It was either water, organge juice or milk.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Mom was the oldest of 7 brothers and sisters in an all Polish family. They never had enough money for milk and eggs – or the foods she considered healthy – she mad it her mission to make sure her children had these good foods. I think it worked as I have a great smile and have NEVER had braces or anything!

4. How did their lesson change your life?

My mom taught me discipline, responsibility and very healthy eating and living habits. She made us responsible for our rooms being neat and organized. We could not go out to play unless all homework, housework and chores were completed.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I brought me daughter up in essentially the same way – with a little bit more compassion and friendliness thrown in. She is very responsible, very neat and organized. She graduated from Northwestern Medical school with honors and is now a practicing Physician’s Assistant in Arizona. Stephanie – my daughter – has decided to become a vegetarian which is fine with me. I am not a vegetarian and I eat very little meat – almost no red meat and NO pork.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

My message to kids would be to go outside play and have fun! Put your video games away until the power goes out or late at night. I miss seeing kids jump rope, play kickball in the streets or just run in the yard catching lightning bugs! Also put away the carbonated beverages – carbonation is one of the worse things a kid can consume – not only is the sugar bad the carbonation is horrible for anyone kid or adult! Also read – not on a kindle – hold a book in your hands and read! Go camping or make a fort in the woods – be childlike – have FUN!!!!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.askmaryellen.com or friend me on facebook under Mary Ellen Ciganovich

The Role Model In You – Ann Marie Sochia, Certified And Licensed Hypnotherapist And Mental Health Counselor

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Ann Marie Sochia

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Ann Marie Sochia, LPCA, MS, CHT, NLP age 43. I used to manage an LA Weight Loss Center, Inc. and am now a certified and licensed hypnotherapist and mental health counselor.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My mother was. She cooked the family meals when I was a young child, most of which were from scratch. My father and neighbors grew fruit and vegetable gardens that helped us eat healthier and appreciate gardening.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

They inspired me to be on healthy living plan. I now have my own vegetable and fruit garden and often cook from scratch. The inspired me to teach others about gardening and eating healthy.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Because of the struggles I have seen my mother and siblings go through trying to lose weight, I am determined to get my weight back in control and exercise more. To be frank, I am determined to be healthier because I want to live longer. Also, I should note as a counselor I help people struggling with weight control issues and I want to be a good role model for them.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

A few years back I started a gardening project with a group of children and young adults I was counseling. Most of them had never grown anything and were excited to be able to grow something and then eat it. The program included lessons on eating healthy (sampling foods they may have never had such as blueberries, melons, and cucumbers), writing assignments about what they learned, visiting local farmers markets and meeting the farmers, and most of all learning to grow vegetables.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

If you start good eating habits now it will be easier as an adult to stay healthy. If you don’t like something now, try it again in the future, you may in a few years decide you like it. I would also encourage everyone to learn to grow their own produce. It is very rewarding, and fresh picked produce tastes the best and often has more nutritional value than store bought!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.wavesofchangenc.com

The Role Model In You – Gerry Prince, Member Of The Commons of Evergreen, NuStep Success

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Gerry Prince

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Gerry Prince, age 69, NuStep user and a member of The Commons of Evergreen, a community center for active living in Holland, Michigan. I’m a former sales professional and professional truck driver. More importantly, I’m married and have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

Now, I fill my time working out at the Commons of Evergreen to keep me healthy and active for my family for years to come.

2. What inspired you to make fitness such an important part of your life?

In 2005, I had both knees replaced. And in 2007, a severe staph infection ravaged my body and forced me to have both knees removed. My doctors were surprised that I’d survived at all and told me I’d never walk again. Despite the odds being stacked against me, I told myself I wasn’t going to give up and I was determined to walk away from it stronger.

3. How did you embark on your recovery?

When the doctors told me that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, it was a tough reality to swallow – frankly, I didn’t want to believe them. And now I’m glad I didn’t!

In 2009, I learned to drive a car with hand controls and began to go to The Commons of Evergreen, a fitness and community center in my hometown of Holland, Michigan. With the support of the Evergreen staff, my family and my faith in God, I embarked on my recovery and journey to restore my active life once again.

3. How has exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle helped your recovery?

Following the staph infection, I was confined to a wheelchair and was unable to move my legs. I needed to first build strength in my upper body in order to eventually begin rehabbing my lower body.

At Evergreen, I came across a NuStep recumbent cross-trainer machine that provided an upper-body workout while simultaneously generating low-impact leg movements. This machine enabled me to completely isolate my arms, chest and shoulders and use the strength of my upper body to activate my legs. After working out on the NuStep for 7 months, my upper body was much stronger, and to my surprise, so were my legs.

Shortly thereafter, I went to see my doctor for a check-up and reminded him that he told me I would never walk again. After he looked at my chart, I moved my legs in a bicycle motion. I’ll never forget the look on his face – his mouth dropped completely open and he said, “That doesn’t normally happen!” As a result of the rehabilitation of my legs, in 2010, my doctor recommended that now it was ‘worth it’ to have two new knees again.

Through continued use of the NuStep, the support of my friends and family at the Commons and the power of prayer, I’m now able to walk using a walker.

4. How did exercise change your life?

When I was in a wheelchair, I had limited mobility and I was dependent upon others. Because of exercise, I eventually graduated from the confines of a wheelchair and onto a walker, which restored independence and more importantly, confidence, in my life. I’m inspired to continue my exercise regimen so that one day I can get around without the assistance of a walker.

6. What would be your main message to seniors that face similar limitations?

No matter your age or physical ability level, it’s never too late to make a commitment to exercise. At the age of 63, I was told I would never walk again, but I didn’t let that to stop me. I’m a firm believer that maintaining health and wellness provides the physical and emotional benefits for a long and happy life. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way. You have the power to take control of your life with exercise, and it should start now. And never give up!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://www.NuStep.com/

The Role Model In You – Dr. Abigail Allen, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Dr. Abigail Allen

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Abigail Allen, MD, Director, Pediatric Orthopaedic Clinic Leni & Peter May Department of Orthopaedics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Age 36. I am a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Indirectly speaking though, I would definitely say my dad inspired me to be active.

To be completely honest, no one directly inspired me to ‘eat healthy and stay fit.’ Those were words that just weren’t uttered in the 70s and 80s in central Pennsylvania where I grew up. As children, we just played. All day. Every day. We didn’t have X-Boxes and Nintendo DSs — OK — eventually we had an Atari 2600 — but even when we had the Atari, we weren’t glued in front of it for 7 hours at a time. We played outside for the most part.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My dad would take my friend and I to the local high school basketball games when we were younger. Not only was it great father-daughter bonding, but it also got my friend and I into the game and we both went on to play high school basketball ourselves.

As another example, I also remember him having the “Tour de France” on the television as a young child and I would ride tirelessly around the block over and over again — pretending that I was Greg Lamonde — winning the yellow jersey!

My dad himself was a competitive wrestler when he was young — so I think that competitiveness wore off on me a bit.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

His influence was just the start — I have become more and more active as my life has progressed — no matter how busy it gets, staying active has and will always play a role in my life.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I convey the importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle every day at my job since I work in the field of children’s orthopaedics. I all too often see childhood ailments caused by being overweight. They even need surgery in some cases to help them — but surgery should not be interpreted as a quick fix — they will likely have repercussions stemming from their obesity for the rest of their lives.

As for my own daughter, she is not yet old enough to dribble a basketball or ride a bike — but in the meantime, we get outside: we make daily trips to the park and this summer, we plan on swimming on the weekends!

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

I focused a lot of my previous answers on being active, because the questions were asking about my own childhood and diet never really came into the equation then. Being active and maintaining a healthy diet usually go hand in hand, but not always. To be truthful, now that I have more knowledge than I did when I was in grade school, diet is is probably 5 times as important as exercise. So I make sure parents and children know that when they come into my office.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://www.mountsinai.org/profiles/abigail-k-lynn

The Role Model In You – Rashad Jennings, Running Back, NFL Oakland Raiders

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Rashad Jennings

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

My name is Rashad Jennings. I am 28-years-old and this is my 5th year in the National Football League (NFL). I am currently a Running Back for the Oakland Raiders (#27).

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child or adult to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Many people have inspired me to stay fit and healthy along the way. My family, and my dreams as a kid are two factors that served, and still serve, as my main motivation in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I was an overweight, short, dorky kid with glasses and asthma that wanted to be a Running Back in the NFL. Given the situation I was in, it was clear that I would HAVE to change some habits to achieve my childhood goals and make my dreams a reality. After one of my breakout games my junior year in high school, a scout approached me and told me I had a good chance to play college football. That was the catalyst to my taking charge and stepping up my game in regards to my health. I lost weight, transferred schools, and adapted a lifestyle that would enable me to be in the position that I am today and play in the NFL. Once a professional athlete, I was fortunate to meet two people who have helped provide direction and inspiration for me to keep up my healthy habits. The two people I’ve had the privilege to work with are my trainer from Miami, Pete Bammarito, and a Doctor from Ponte Vedra, Dr. Julie Buckley.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Both, Pete and Julie, have invested quality time educating me on everything I need to know to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sustain my dream of playing in the NFL. Pete, my trainer, customized an entire workout program tailored only for me. Through proper screening, and training 2-3 times a day, he really helped reconstruct the way I consciously train my body. Doctor Julie Buckley also serves as one of the greatest inspirations in my life – so much so that I see her as a second mom. I’ve watched her single-handily beat cancer the natural and holistic way, raised a child with autism, and manage a home. That alone speaks for itself. Her dedication and passion for the human body and its chemical responses to medical consumption while researching and developing nutritional diet plans for her family and all her patients is highly admirable.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

rj-nflThrough working with Peter, I learned about Muscle Activation Therapy (MAT), the importance of a quality massage therapist, and chiropractic work. I eventually explored yoga, acupuncture and Pilates. I consider them vital to keeping my health at the optimal level and staying competitively ready. Through Pete’s motivation and help, I’ve also become faster through fine-tuning my speed mechanics, and have had a huge increase in my explosiveness and endurance. Doctor Buckley’s influence in my life has been incredible. Her understanding of the human body and the knowledge she has shared with me regarding nutrition has enabled me to develop and establish a relationship with my body, my most important and valuable tool as a professional athlete. Doctor Buckley, my family and Pete have inspired me to continue in my healthy lifestyle, stay strong in my faith, and have given me wisdom and the knowledge I will need to stay on top of my health every day.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes, of course. Every Tuesday is a day off in the NFL so I always dedicate 1 to 2 hours of my time in the local community. I visit schools, hospitals, youth programs, charities, events etc. I always use those opportunities to tell the kids my testimony, primarily so they can understand and see that I’ve been exactly where they are. I have been in their shoes. One of my greatest passions is speaking life into people, and highlighting characteristics and traits that they have not yet recognized on their own. With the kids, they always ask me about how I got into the NFL, and one avenue and important factor that I always highlight is my health. It’s amazing what kids soak in. If I can encourage and motivate just one kid or one person, if I can plant one seed with words through this humbling platform I’m blessed with, I can redirect a life just like that college scout changed mine.

6. What would your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyle

Stay actively involved in outdoor activities. Laugh, pick up a sport, walk, ride your bike, smile, play tag, or duck duck goose … ANYTHING! People think exercise has to be this brutal, difficult, “you can only do it in the gym” kind of thing. The truth is, it’s not. Kids can just go outside to play. The technology developments are great, but unfortunately it’s making things like playing outdoors, and catching a game of football a rare thing. The greatest piece of advice I can give to children is to be active and go against the grain.

I always leave this thought with male teens. I’m 28 years old. I’ve never had an alcoholic drink a day in my life; I’ve never smoked or done any drugs. I’ve never been arrested, nor do I have kids out of wedlock. I play in the NFL. You ‘can’ do things the right way and still be successful.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

Twitter: @RashadJennings, or find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rashadjennings23

The Role Model In You – Sheenie Ambardar, M.D., Psychiatrist, Writer, And Mental Health Advocate

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Sheenie Ambardar

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Sheenie Ambardar, M.D., psychiatrist, writer, and mental health advocate. I maintain a private practice in West Hollywood, CA called ‘The Happiness Psychiatrist’, which combines Eastern and Western philosophies in the treatment of mental disorders.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My wonderful parents, Om and Veena Ambardar, inspired me to eat healthy and stay fit. Both my father and mother would make delicious, home-cooked Indian meals every day. Dinner was always tasty and healthy- the perfect combination! They also encouraged me to be physically active as a child by enrolling me in ballet lessons at the age of 5, classical Indian dance lessons at the age of 10, and tennis lessons starting in elementary school. And I’m still a pretty good dancer and tennis player because of that!

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My parents were incredibly hard-working, forward-thinking professionals who placed great importance on both work and family. They were always loving, caring, and devoted to their children’s well-being. They taught both me and my younger sister to dream big and to reach for the stars. I was always encouraged to do well in school, to believe in myself, and to care about the world.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Because of their support and belief in me, I was able to get a great education and to become a doctor. I hope to give back to others the same way my parents loved and gave to me.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Well, I wouldn’t consider my younger sister a kid anymore, but growing up, I was like her 2nd mom (I’m 5 years older). I tried to encourage her to follow her heart, have confidence, dream big, and to be authentic. As a big sister, I’m proud that she’s grown into an intelligent, accomplished, witty, and beautiful young woman.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

As a psychiatrist, my main message to children and teens today would be to stay far away from drugs and alcohol. Sounds a bit cliche I know, but in my line of work, I see the effects of drug use every day, even supposedly “harmless” drugs like marijuana. The fact of the matter is that even sporadic, recreational drug use can have a long-lasting impact on brain function and can lead to worsening anxiety, panic, depression, paranoia, and mood swings many years down the road. Please don’t do it, you will regret it!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.happinesspsychiatrist.com

The Role Model In You – Anthony Dorsett Jr., Former NFL Player

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Anthony Dorsett Jr.

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Anthony Dorsett Jr./ Former NFL Player/ 39

I played 8 years in the NFL, 4 with the TN Titans and 4 with the Oakland Raiders. Currently, I provide skill training for high school students through Camp Deep Threat as well as host the Dorsett Health Spectacular, a national tour that coordinates free health screenings in under served communities.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

As a child it was easy for me to stay fit because I loved to be outside playing. All the kids in the neighborhood would be outside playing ball, riding bikes and running up and down the street. As far as food goes, we lived with extended family. My aunt Chookie did most of the cooking and she had a garden so she made EVERYTHING from scratch. I grew up on good home cooked food, someone in the house cooked everyday.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My aunt and the rest of my family inspired me in many ways but when it comes to health and nutrition I think we were more health conscious because there are so many athletes in our family. The terrain also had a lot to do with it and the fact that we did so much walking. I spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If you have ever seen that part of the country you know it has a lot of hills. We used to walk and run hills for fun and to stay fit. Growing up it seemed normal but I now realize how fortunate I was to have a family so focused on living a healthy lifestyle, even if that wasn’t their direct intention.

adNFL4. How did their lesson change your life?

My family taught me what good food was all about and they never cooked with salt. That was the best thing my aunt Chookie ever did for the family. As African-Americans we don’t always eat healthy due to some generational bad habits. She found better ways to cook things that were not always the most healthy to eat. I still enjoy eating soul food but I know that there are healthy ways to prepare it. To this day I don’t cook with salt and prefer others don’t use it when preparing my food.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I try to instill these lessons in the kids that I coach as well as when I organize the health fairs. It is important for people to realize the impact their diet not only has on their weight but also on their overall health. A lot of student athletes think that being bigger is better but they don’t realize the overall effect that high sodium intake or too much cholesterol can have on their long term health. I try to educate them about working out and staying fit in the gym but I also help them to understand that they have to have the same discipline with their diet.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Kids today need to put down the video games and get outside and play! That is one of the biggest things that has changed over the years, kids don’t play outside. When kids lead an active lifestyle, it is easier to combat some of their bad eating habits but the combination of eating junk food and not being active is going to hurt them in the long run.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

Follow me @dorsettjr on twitter. Hit me up on FaceBook, Anthony Dorsett, Jr. NEW website coming soon.

The Role Model In You – Max Rava, Communications Director

Share Button
Role Model

The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Max Rava

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Max Rava, 25 years old. I am the Communications Director for FwdHealth, a healthcare technology company that seeks to lower health insurance premiums and improve individual wellness management.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My father had a great impact on my dietary choices from a young age, and also inspired my interest in exercise and team sports.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

He taught me to cook starting at the age of five, and that fresh ingredients and healthier choices could yield better tasting food. My father was also extremely supportive of most any physical activity or sport I chose to pursue.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Anytime I feel like taking a shortcut and stopping for fast food or skipping a workout, I remember what he taught me and usually make the healthier choice.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes, try to pass along the message through my role as a volunteer basketball and soccer coach for the youths in my community. At FwdHealth we are also in the process of starting a mentoring program.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

I would tell the children of today that I’m thankful for the lessons my dad taught me. Part of what makes each one of my days so enjoyable is the healthy choices I make.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://www.fwdhealth.co