Tip sheets highlight timely news and events at Washington University in St. Louis. For more information on any of the stories below or for assistance in arranging interviews, please see the contact information listed with each story.
Advice to the sandwich generation:
Be prepared to deal with parents’ aging before a crisis hits
November is National Family Caregivers Month
An aging parent wants to keep the car keys, while his adult daughter thinks he is a hazard to himself and others on the road. Or a widow who has lived in her home for 55 years refuses to move out, although her children worry that she’s too frail to manage the stairs. As more and more adult children face caring for their aging parents in the coming decades, an expert on the clinical psychology of aging says the key to dealing with these types of situations is to discuss them before they become a reality. “Don’t procrastinate,” says Brian D. Carpenter, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. “Start the process of talking to your aging parents early — before a crisis.”
Teens in foster care
Foster youth desire college, study shows, but face roadblocks to learning
A solid education is considered the foundation for a productive future, but for teens in foster care, education beyond high school is rarely a reality. In fact, a Westat study found that only 44 percent of 18-year-olds leaving the independent living program of the foster care system completed high school. But despite common thought, this dismal percentage is not due to a lack of educational aspirations among teens in foster care. According to a recent study at the George Warren Brown (GWB) School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, a surprisingly high percentage — 70 percent — of teens in the foster care system have a desire to attend college.
A healthier Halloween
Tips for controlling children’s candy consumption
Halloween is just around the corner, and most kids can’t wait. When else can you dress up in funny — or frightening — costumes, go door to door, and collect all the free candy you can fit in your bag? And with many kids opting to carry pillowcases instead of cutely decorated trick or treat sacks, that’s a lot of candy! While Halloween is a kid’s dream, it can be a nightmare for parents who struggle all year to get their children to eat enough fruits and vegetables and avoid excessive sugars and saturated fat. So how can parents keep their kids from gobbling down all that they bring home from a night of trick or treating — and from eating it all in one sitting? A registered dietician at Washington University in St. Louis offers some helpful tips.
Supersized servings and bigger beverages build bulging bellies
Obesity puts people at risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and cancer. It also decreases quality of life. But that’s not stopping Americans from eating and drinking more than ever before. Almost two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and a major factor contributing to increasing body sizes appears to be increasing portion sizes. Obesity researcher Samuel Klein, M.D., the Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says the obesity epidemic continues to get worse in spite of a great deal of research about the dangers of being overweight and increasing numbers of people who are trying to lose weight. Part of the problem is that many people tend to eat what is put in front of them, and serving sizes are larger than ever before.