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Senior driver, police motorcycle

Are you worried about an older family member who's still driving?

When you see an older person behind the wheel, what is your reaction? Are you happy they can still get around? Or concerned for them and everyone else on the road? It’s a big question. For example, there are more than 5.5 million drivers over the age of 55 in California, and more than 2.5 million are 70 or older.

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Here are the facts about how hospice and palliative care can give your family help and hope when they need it most.

Hospice and palliative care services focus on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a person with advanced illness, and also provide support for the patient's loved ones. Care can be provided wherever the patient resides, including the person's home, residential or skilled nursing facility, or assisted living environment.
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Young people need to understand dementia and share their feelings about it. These tips will help the entire family.

Alzheimer's disease can have a big impact on every member of the family, including children. Each child reacts differently to someone who has Alzheimer's. The young people in your life might have questions about what is happening. It's important for you to take the time to answer these questions openly and honestly.

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As mother of the bride or groom, you can stay true to wedding attire tradition, while making a statement all your own.

There's something magical about a wedding -- especially if the bride or groom is a child of yours. It is powerful to experience these two people sharing their love and commitment with you and others who are beloved to them, and observing celebration with basic elements of tradition. The wedding day is an extension of the bride and groom, and the styling (decor and attire) of the event plays a primary role in the couples' self-expression.

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AnnMarie Garcia and Edward James Olmos

The Vital Aging Conference provided valuable resources for Boomers and Seniors, and brought a visitor to inspire us.

Actor Edward James Olmos is a vitally aging Boomer, so I enjoyed his inspiring keynote at "Vital Aging Conference: Caring for Yourself and Others" held in San Diego in 2007. The event featured information on important health concerns for older adults and family caregivers on topics, such as diabetes, nutrition, fitness, legal issues, and stress management.

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Master these basic commands to have an obedient, happy dog.

There are many reasons to want a calm, obedient and faithful dog. For one thing, obedient and trained dogs are happier dogs, less likely to get into tussles with people or with other dogs. Another reason is that many communities require that the dogs living in their neighborhoods be well trained. This is especially true for many breeds thought to have aggression and behavior problems, such as pit bulls and rottweilers.

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Rent the room or keep the light on?

Q: I'm a mom of three boys and my youngest son graduated from college last year. I'd finally gotten the "empty-nest" syndrome out of my system when my son moved back in after having his first career crisis in the real world. Can you give me some tips for coping?
-- Sammi W., Dana Point, California

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Meeting

During the care plan meeting at your loved one's skilled nursing or other care facility, make sure your voice is heard.

When you have a loved one in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility, you'll often be asked to participate in a "care plan conference," or a "quarterly care conference." Unfortunately, family members usually go to this meeting with little understanding of what a care plan document should provide, or what the goals of an effective care plan conference should be. This article helps you be prepared.

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ADVISOR ANSWERS

Q: What is pre-diabetes? How is it different from Type 2 diabetes?
-- Malcolm M. in Boston, Massachusetts

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What can you do to maintain the dignity of your loved one during a hospital stay?

As a nurse, I make it a priority to maintain the dignity of my patients. But to my shock, I was faced with a whole new situation when my mother was hospitalized several years ago and was not able to care for herself.

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