Family

BGSU Optimal Aging Institute looks variety of issues affecting elders

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University faculty and students are working to improve the lives of people across the lifespan, through teaching, research and engagement. To help expand our understanding of the needs of the older generation, the University’s Optimal Aging Institute is supporting research projects related to the health and well-being of older adults. The institute is funding four internal BGSU grants this year that look at a range of timely issues, from LGBTQ individuals in senior living facilities to people who had planned to retire but who for financial reasons cannot. “We’re seeing dramatic cultural and societal changes,” said Paula Davis, director of the institute. New needs are being revealed, along with the appropriate ways of addressing them. This is nowhere more apparent in nursing homes and other senior-living facilities, she said. One of the OAI grants is focused on helping these facilities better serve LGBTQ individuals, a population not previously acknowledged. Moving into such a facility is a dramatic change for all people, and LGBTQ individuals may face additional challenges and stress. “For many LGBTQ seniors who have lived openly, moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility may mean going back into the closet,” said Dr. Laura Landry-Meyer, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences. She and Dr. Elizabeth Holman, an assistant professor of human development and family studies, are examining how best to provide diversity training for employees of senior living centers so that they can understand and be sensitive to non-heterosexual residents. Holman and Landry-Meyer are partnering with Brookdale Bowling Green to pilot an educational program and…

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Michigan author Patricia Polacco Literacy in the Park guest

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s annual Literacy in the Park event will feature popular children’s author Patricia Polacco. The Lansing native has written and illustrated more than 115 books for children in addition to being a playwright and penning for adults. She is a much-sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker. Some of her most popular books include “The Keeping Quilt,” “Thunder Cake” and “Thank you, Mr. Falker.” Presented by BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, Literacy in the Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29, at Perry Field House. The event is free and open to the public. Last year, more than 2,000 people attended the event. Literacy in the Park, which has taken place for more than a decade, promotes the importance of literacy in the lives of children and features more than 40 interactive exhibitor booths and displays. The focus of the event has been expanded to address all of the different ways literacy is important in our lives. In addition to reading and writing activities, families will have opportunities to engage in activities about digital literacy, science and environmental literacy, financial literacy, nutritional literacy, physical education literacy and many other forms of literacy that can be found in their lives and communities. In addition to these literacy-related activities going on throughout the day, there will also be entertainment on the main stage and two presentations from Polacco. Born in Michigan, Polacco’s family on her mother’s side were Jewish immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine, and her father’s people were from the County of Limerick in Ireland….


Funding defended for programs Trump wants to slash

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   While President Donald Trump’s administration is attacking the value of federally funded community programs, the proof is right here in Wood County. Local officials suggested the administration look at the seniors kept in their homes by the Meals on Wheels program, the children nourished through the WIC program, and the small villages improved through the CDBG program. When Trump’s budget proposal was unveiled Thursday, the winners were the military and border control. The losers were the arts, the environment, the poor, the elderly and the very young. And the cuts weren’t made with a scalpel, but with a guillotine. Local officials who normally make tempered responses to hot button political issues could no longer bite their tongues. When Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, said the Meals on Wheels cuts were justified because the program was “just not showing any results,” the comments pushed Denise Niese past her normally polite poise. “I heard that last night and I was appalled,” said Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging. The local Meals on Wheels program is not as dependent as some areas on the federal funding, but it is vital to local residents, serving 132,000 meals last year. Sometimes it’s difficult to collect hard data on social services, but Niese said the proof is in the pudding – and all the other menu items. “We do know that people with home-delivered meals can maintain themselves in their homes at a much lower cost than going into long-term care,” she said. Considering the fact that the local Meals on Wheels cost…


Citizens sick about losing health insurance

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 20 local citizens crowded into U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office on Thursday to tell the congressman they are sick with worry over the looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Latta’s staff listened politely and said they would pass on the concerns. But that wasn’t good enough. “I really want to talk to my representative about the Affordable Care Act,” said Sheri Wells-Jensen, who organized the meeting. Others joined in pushing for a face-to-face with Latta. “Rep. Latta needs to have a public town hall meeting. I think he needs to listen to what’s going on locally,” said Laura Landry Meyer. “He needs to get out of Washington.” His staff stressed that Latta has held close to 700 public events during his terms in Congress. “I understand that, but things are changing by the hour now,” Landry Meyer said. Tim Bosserman, Latta’s district representative, said he did not have a current schedule for the congressman. If a local meeting is scheduled, it will appear on Latta’s website, he said. But the group was persistent, and continued asking for a commitment for a town hall meeting. Wells-Jensen offered condolences for the “poor staffers” in the Bowling Green office who weren’t equipped with the congressman’s schedule. Melanie Stretchbery put the staff on notice that this is no longer business as usual. “We are voters. We are taxpayers and we’re not sitting down anymore,” she said. “We want to be heard,” Landry Meyer said. The biggest concern in the room was the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being repealed with no replacement…


Child abuse cases increase locally by 25% last year

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Child abuse investigations increased in Wood County by nearly 25 percent in 2016 – a jump never seen before by the staff at Children’s Services. The number of cases went from 718 in 2015 up to 894 in 2016 – meaning 176 more child abuse investigations. Cases of abuse were reported in every community in the county. The increase is being attributed to more people reporting child abuse or neglect cases when they see them, and to the rising opiate epidemic. The numbers were presented Thursday to the Wood County Commissioners. The number of physical abuse cases investigated in 2016 was 224, the number of sexual abuse cases was 142, the number of neglect cases was 439, and the number of emotional abuse cases was 19. Drugs were involved in 212 of the cases. “The drug cases are much more difficult,” and take longer to resolve, according to Sandi Carsey, director of Wood County Children’s Services. “It’s normal for people to relapse,” added Brandy Laux, assessment supervisor at Wood County Children’s Services. When investigators arrive at homes with drug problems, “there are bigger issues,” of finances, eviction, utilities and loss of employment. Nearly every month last year saw more child abuse reports than the year before. “Every month last year, except for December, we increased,” Carsey said. And this January is seeing the same uptick. “I would hope we wouldn’t have as big of a spike, but we never know,” Carsey said. In expectation of the increases, the county commissioners approved an additional staff person in Children’s Services last year. “That helps…


BGSU sociologists’ research garners close to $2 million in grant funding

By BOB CUNNINGHAM BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University recently was awarded three grants for sociology research totaling nearly $2 million. The largest grant is $1.1 million from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health (NICHD/NIH) for the support of the Center for Family and Demographic Research. The center was formed on BGSU’s campus in 2000, and has been continuously funded by NICHD since 2002. There are fewer than 25 universities that are funded for a population research center in the country. The other two grants are for the studies “Pathways Linking Parental Incarceration and Child Well-being” for $500,000, funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ); and for the “Social Influences on the Long-term Cessation of Violence” for $384,000, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grants were written by Wendy D. Manning, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, Peggy C. Giordano, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology, and Monica A. Longmore, Professor of Sociology. The three professors, who also are close friends, have been working together on research at the University since the late 1990s. “We are happy to have support for the Center for Family and Demographic Research,” said Manning, who is the director of the CFDR and the principal investigator (PI) on the NIH grant. “The Center grant is an infrastructure grant that provides work space, security, conference rooms and skilled staff to support research at Bowling Green on health and well-being of children, youth and families.” Since its inception in 2000, research at the Center has aligned with the Population Dynamics Branch scientific mission with a…