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Family Living At Its Best





February 2016 •


February 2016 •


February 2016 •





Music, sports, arts and more. Find balance, pg. 8



Consider these eight attributes when choosing your child's physician.

departments 06 WORTH NOTING Build the perfect snowman, local book club and Reading Room.



Satisfy your sweet tooth — and save your waistline — with healthier options from local eateries.



Make time to rekindle your romance with these parents' night out ideas.

08 AFTER SCHOOL Avoid over scheduling your kids by learning to “balance busy.”




Stories and events for the aging loved ones in your life featuring Memory Care Showcase.


Camp Kids — front row, Reign, 9, Drew, 10, back row, Joshua, 12, and Lona, 9, share their camp experiences with readers. Photography by Kim Stahnke Photography kimstahnkephotography. com


Family Living At Its Best

Create a social media strategy to keep your kids safe online.



Explore different types of programs through four campers' experiences, plus your guide to local options.

42 #CLEMAMA To pierce or not to pierce: Determining the right age for earrings.

44 FAMILY CALENDAR Stay busy all month long with exciting area events.





Photo by Prelude Photography

“I will not get a minivan when I have kids.” Does that sound familiar? Me too. That’s what I said, but for my family, the van purchase couldn’t come fast enough. With growing boys, larger sports bags and supersized family vacations (not to mention hockey tournaments), it was time. As I began driving our new family ride around town, I realized it was another “mini” milestone in parenthood. In fact, for this year, it won’t be the last one, as my son Noel has reached the age where overnight camp is an option. The realization started to set in as I wrote the article “Overnight Ready” for last month’s issue. Then, I met four amazing camp kids (Joshua, Reign, Drew and Lona — see their profiles starting on pg. 14) and their parents, who inspired me to look at camp as an adventure for my son instead of a teary mommy moment. Now, it’s just a matter of picking the right one — and that should be easy with so many options around the region. See our list beginning on pg. 13. Look for more places for your kids to set up camp this summer as we will be focusing on camps in upcoming issues. Most of us sometimes struggle with daily responsibilities and commitments. “Too Busy Blues” on pg. 10 is a good reminder to bring family time back into the schedule. Also, in our first 2016 Aging Answers supplement, featured in the back of the issue, we focus on memory care. There are tips on how aging loved ones can improve their mental sharpness, as well as pointers for easing the stress of caregivers. Finally, in this issue, we provide ways to spread the love — great events with kids, date night solutions and tasty treats — so, enjoy time together this month!

VOL. NO. 3 • ISSUE NO. 2

February 2016 Northeast Ohio Parent is a property of Mitchell Media LLC PO Box 1088 Hudson, OH 44236 330-822-4011 • / NEOhioParent

/ NEOhioParent

PUBLISHER - Brad Mitchell, 330-714-7712 EDITORIAL:


Sara Carnes, Kristen Gough, Alyssa Chirco, Dante Centuori, Diana Siemer and Ashley Weingart PRODUCTION ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER:


Chris Geer, 330-614-8471 Janyse Heidy, 330-671-3886 Michelle Vacha, 440-463-0146 Samantha Olp, 330-636-6127 Yvonne Pelino, 561-307-4177 OFFICE MANAGER:

Kathleen Coleman, 440-533-1208 DIGITAL ADVERTISING COORDINATOR:

Danielle Weiler, 330-819-3233 Events Coordinator Alexis White, 330-328-4869 DISTRIBUTION INQUIRIES

February 2016 •





W N S lp your kids learn he to on ss le y ow sn ri Here's a this winter. by Dante Centuo rs oo td ou g in ay pl while rees. se to freezing, or 32 deg


touch it — the perfect ou know it as soon as you that “stick together” has It w.” sno “packing makes you want to ly ate feeling that immedi en or building an start stacking up snowm what makes that But . fort w impenetrable sno can you anticipate if kind of snow stick? And g? kin pac for t just righ the next snowfall will be k into a snowball is pac w sno kes ma t tha The main thing ter that comes in the snow. Not the wa the amount of moisture between the air the in the humidity from melting snow, but re water to mo ans me air the in re snowflakes. More moistu gives you ch mu too er, ether. Howev help “glue” the flakes tog to come when w sno g kin pac d goo slush. So you can expect

6 6

Family Living Living At At Its Its Best Best Family

temperatures are clo may still for packing snow. There It’s possible to be too cold into the n dow get ps but when the tem be moisture in the air, se temperatures tho at form t tha s stal cry mid- to low-20s, the ice know so well, branching snowflakes we do not create the classic and have less tes, like tiny needles or pla but flakes that look more dery snow pow for der har it This makes surface area for sticking. ber, when em rem t all falls apart. Jus to stick, and your snowb ction or stru con fort w sno t, figh wball planning for your next sno ­ y. idit hum just the cold, but the snowman gallery, it’s not at

e productions the director of creativ — Dante Centuori is re information, visit mo For ter. Cen e enc the Great Lakes Sci

Make your own ice man If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, you can make your own “snowman” out of ice using some balloons and your freezer. WHAT YOU’LL NEED: n Several balloons n Various sized bowls n A freezer WHAT TO DO: n Start by making several water balloons of various sizes. You want their relative sizes to be like what you would want for a snowman’s body parts. Leave a little air at the tip of the balloon near where you’ll tie the knot; don’t overfill it with water! n

Editor’s Book Club Pick Monthly book club for kids The new Carried Away Book Club lets any child from age 4-11 participate at their own level. There are no meetings. Instead, kids are encouraged to read at their own pace and get to pick their own book. Each month, the Lake Branch will display books based on a theme for a range of reading levels. Inside these books, kids and their parents will find a sheet of paper with suggested activities, discussion questions and an art opportunity. Kids are encouraged to bring their art back when they’re finished so it can be displayed. February’s theme is Puppy Love, celebrating Valentine’s Day and all things canine. For more information, call 440-257-2512 or visit

n To

help the balloons keep a round shape on the bottom, place in round bowls in the freezer and place them so the knot points straight up. n When

frozen, remove the rubber balloon covering by just cutting and pulling off. n If

needed, flatten one side with a cheese grater. n To

help stick the body segments together, moisten a small square of paper towel, felt or other absorbent cloth with warm water and place between the ice balls (The tongueon-flagpole effect will stick them together). n You

can use the same method to stick pieces of felt, cloth or construction paper on the ice-snowman to decorate. — Great Lakes Science Center


I Love You, Too! By Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Melissa Sweet board book A story about relationships and love between a mom and her baby. This is a great hands-on book for ages 3 and younger, as well as a great Valentine’s Day gift for a little one. Available at all major retailers.

The Mean Girl Meltdown By Lindsay Eyre school age Fourth-grader Sylvie Scruggs finally qualifies to play for the town’s hockey team, however, she has competition: Jamie Redmond. After someone starts to prank Sylvie, she and her friends try to find the mean girl before it’s too late. Arthur A. Levine Books. Available at all major retailers.

Trapped By Michael Northrop teen A snow day goes awry after seven kids are trapped inside their high school and discover they can’t reach the outside world. Scholastic Paperbacks. Available at all major retailers.

February 2016 •





too bu sy L BLUES Find the right balance between your children’s activities, school and family life By Ashley Weingart


Family Living Family LivingAt AtItsItsBest Best

et’s face it, there always will be a class your children’s friends are taking that your kids can’t wait to try, too. Dozens of enrichment opportunities are available through school, the library, a community center or local businesses: science club, ballet classes, travel soccer, drama club, piano lessons, gymnastics, art classes, ski club — the possibilities are endless. While it’s important for our children to be involved and find activities they enjoy, there is only so much time in the day and so much money to spread around. By signing our children up for too much, are we inadvertently doing them a disservice? When it comes to being busy, how much is too much? Here are some things to consider when helping your children choose the programs that best fit their needs and schedules.


Preschoolers are learning Spanish, some kindergarteners can read chapter books and first graders are dabbling with multiplication. Kids still receive exposure to art, music and some sports during school hours, but they are limited by the amount of time they get to spend in these special areas. Allowing our children to delve further into special subject matters after school helps broaden their horizons, and open their eyes to enjoyable hobbies or even potential career choices. Enabling them to try new things and experiment with a variety of activities helps them to get a feel for what they’re good at, what they find interesting and what they are passionate about. Afterschool programs also offer new opportunities for socialization. Getting kids involved in extracurricular activities gives

them an opportunity to create another social group and new friendships, minimizing the possibility of bullying. “Kids that are involved are more likely to stay out of trouble, find a positive mentor and make healthier decisions,” says Emily Farrell, a high school guidance counselor from Chagrin Falls, who now offers private counseling services and academic coaching to adolescents in Aspen, Colo. On the other hand, kids need time to play, explore, rest and figure out who they are. Structured classes can expand their minds, allowing them to be creative and utilize their imaginations, but so can building skyscrapers out of Legos or creating a chalk masterpiece on the driveway.

Also, “overbooking” kids can impact their focus. If kids are being chauffeured from school to ballet rehearsal to swimming lessons and then to Girl Scouts, are

they really at their best in each of these places? At some point, are they still receiving any value, or are they just going through the motions? CONTINUED ON PAGE 10


However, too many afterschool activities often make sitting down for a family meal a thing of the past and force bedtime to get pushed back later. Studies reveal the benefits of eating dinner together as a family are plentiful, and include everything from children with a larger vocabulary and higher achievement scores to kids consuming more fruits and vegetables, along with reduced symptoms of medical disorders. Kids who eat a family dinner also experience less stress and a have a better relationship with parents. So of course, fewer extra activities equals more beneficial family time.

February 2016 •






Farrell suggests finding a couple of activities a child is passionate about and focusing on those. “Instead of joining every club and being part of every activity, it’s good to home in on just one or two,” she says. For children ages 4 to 10, there can be more exploration, as Farrell notes they still need to experiment and figure out which activities they enjoy most. Also, some parents set a limit regarding how many activities in which each child can participate.


Family Living At Its Best

“One afterschool program per kid per session,” says Jessica Zuik, a pediatric nurse and mother of two from Cleveland Heights. “I let them choose what they want.” Courtney Mooney, a teacher and a parent of two boys, suggests choosing activities that offer opportunities for lifelong skills like swimming, skiing, running or martial arts. “I like that they are spending the time developing their skills throughout their lives,” she says. Every child is different; some may thrive while being busy and others may become overwhelmed. Observe how your children react to too much or not enough, talk to them about their loads and trust them. Ask

yourself questions like, “Do my children have enough time to do their homework properly?” “Are they getting at least eight hours of sleep?” “Do they have enough time to be with family and friends?”

Above all, Farrell advises her clients to strive to maintain a healthy balance between family, social, school and extracurricular activities.

February 2016 •


p e m r ac s CAMP GUIDE






By Angela Gartner Photography by Kim Stahnke

It will soon be that time of year again. Your kids will be dragging out their trunks, sports equipment, musical instruments, science and art supplies to get ready for the camp season. At what camp will your child find themselves this summer? There are plenty of options around Northeast Ohio. We provide you with where to go, but also help with your decision by sharing camp experiences through the eyes of four local kids.




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Academic Fun & Fitness Camp

The camp serves the unique needs of children with learning differences. It will give your child a new perspective on learning, while developing the self-esteem and social skills needed to be successful. It’s held at Lakeland Community College from June 13-July 22 (half-day or full-day options). Kirtland, 440-914-0200,

Beaumont School - BeauArtz & Fashion Camp

BeauArtz (June 13-24) is a total immersion into the arts and creativity, friendship and fun. Campers delve into a variety of artistic mediums including fashion, cooking, drawing and clay work. Fashion Camp (June 27-July 1) teaches girls the basics of fashion design through hands-on experiences. Students will be able to design and sew their own creations. Beaumont is an all-girls Catholic school that educates women for life, leadership and service. Cleveland Heights, 216-321-2954,


February 2016 •



Lona Ann Walter 9 YEARS OLD

I have gone to Hawken Camps for 4 years. I’ve attended the Day Camp, Pottery and Glass Mosaics, Fort Builders, the Leonardo da Vinci Art and Science Camp, plus Hawklings when I was little. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS TYPE OF CAMP? I chose these camps because I really like art and science. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING THIS TYPE OF CAMP? It is really fun. You get to make a lot of things and be creative. In Mosaics, which was my favorite activity, I really like figuring out a design and then putting all the glass shapes where they need to go. It’s like solving a puzzle. I learned lots of new art and science activities. WHEN FIRST ATTENDING CAMP, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME ANY CHALLENGES? I was a little nervous at first because I have food allergies, but Hawken is nutfree, so that really helped. The teachers always made sure I was safe, too, which really made me feel good. HOW HAS CAMP HELPED YOU IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE? It helped me to be creative and get inspired. DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS THAT ATTENDED THE SAME CAMP WITH YOU? Yes, my brother Lewi goes to Hawken Camps, too. He really likes the sports stuff. I really like seeing him around so I can give him hugs. He is getting older now, so sometimes he just wants to high five.


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Beyond Camp

Julie Billiart School’s Beyond Camp provides campers K-8 with an exciting summer adventure through real-world experiences, social skills teaching and academic-boosting activities. Campers build self-confidence and embark on a journey focused on building lasting peer relationships led by intervention specialists in small groups. Campers enjoy weekly field trips and participate in activities like arts, cooking and outdoor sports. Ohio Autism/Jon Peterson Scholarship provider. MondayFriday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., July 11-Aug. 5. Lyndhurst, 216-381-1191,

Camp Invention

Since 1990, Camp Invention has taken summer fun and transformed it from ordinary to extraordinary! Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities created especially for first- through sixth-graders. Boys and girls will spend their time constructing and personalizing a DIY solar-powered cricket with a unique habitat and taking apart electronics to assemble something new. Lessons explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Locations throughout the area. 800-968-4332,

Camp Roosevelt Firebird

A caring community and amazing staff help campers develop self-confidence, leadership, respect, humor and an appreciation for the environment. Located on 103 acres of woods, hills and pastures on scenic Leesville Lake in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains, campers choose activities including: field sports, swimming, boating, creative arts, adventurecamping and community events — with a few very special twists: farming, animal care and sustainability projects; Wilderness Camping - Leadership; and Community Service - Leadership Training. Campers have fun while striving to improve themselves and the world! Just 90 miles from Cleveland. Bowerston, 740-269-0137,


February 2016 •



Camp Whitewood

For over 75 years, ACA accredited Camp Whitewood has been committed to fostering a safe, fun and engaging environment for children to learn and grow. Its goal is to provide quality summer camps at economical prices. Any child can attend, regardless of 4-H membership. Whitewood also offers day camp for children ages 6-11. Call today to schedule a personal tour. Windsor, 440-272-5275,


Champions Summer Camp will keep children laughing and learning this summer. Kids want to have fun this summer, so give them 10 exciting camps to keep them active and engaged! The camp for children ages 6-12 runs from June 6 - Aug. 19 and features a daily rate to allow families flexibility. Activities include weekly field trips, swimming, walks to the local library and speciality clubs. For more information call 330-467-8520, discoverchampions. com

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Summer Day Camp

Ages 3-14 can spend their summer days at the zoo participating in fun and educational activities with experienced camp counselors. Nature Play camp allows campers, ages 3-4, to enjoy connecting with nature and playing outdoors in Nature Discovery Ridge. Ages 5-10 can choose from three different camp themes that alternate for each age group. The Wildlife Biology program is for ages 11-12. Ages 13-14 can participate in the "Counselor in Training" camp, and Emerald Necklace Camp allows ages 11-14 to explore the zoo and go on field trips to other areas of the Metroparks. Camps run June 6-Aug. 12. Space is limited. 216-635-3391,


Family Living At Its Best

February 2016 •



Akron Rotary Camper Drew Jarvis, on right. See his story on pg. 25.

Creative Playrooms Child Care Centers

A full-day program that offers a comprehensive curriculum for ages 4-12, the Creative Playrooms summer camp calendar runs from the start of summer vacation in June and ends when school commences in August. Children will take part in activities including computer, cooking, art, music, science, sports, crafts, and field trips such as the zoo, laser tag and museums, to name a few. There will be a different theme for each week. Independence, Maple Heights, Parma, Solon, Strongsville, Westlake, 440-349-9111,

FACEtime Summer Camp at CHSC

The FACEtime Summer Camp at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center is designed for children ages 9-16 who want to communicate more fluently and confidently. Campers will participate in individual and group therapy activities at the CHSC University Circle location. They will practice their skills in real-life situations at restaurants and Cleveland area attractions. Parent education and coaching is incorporated into the program. $380 per child (other funding options may be available). Contact Lauren Masuga at 216-325-7530 or


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Fairmount Early Childhood Center Summer Camp

Fairmount Early Childhood Center Summer Camp accommodates children entering preschool to those entering second grade (ages 3-7). Weekly themes, outdoor activities, guest performers, field trips, art and the use of the Beachwood Family Aquatic Center are some of the highlights. Registration is currently open in the Fairmount Office between 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Beachwood, 216-292-2344,

Falcon Camp

Recognized throughout the Midwest as Ohio’s premier private camp, Falcon offers a beautiful lakefront setting, a talented, experienced staff and a wide variety of activities. The program includes horseback riding, sailing, swimming, mountain biking, canoeing, paddle boards, fishing, drama, video, photography, crafts, team sports, riflery, archery, nature, overnights, kayaking, tennis and much more. Boys and girls ages 6-16 are separate, with planned coed events, and choose their own activities within a general framework. Carrollton, 800-837-CAMP,

Fine Arts Association The Fine Arts Association has camps for everyone who loves the Arts and offers camps in all the Arts for the littlest campers at age three through high school grads. Camps range from 1-6 weeks long. There are theatre camps, visual arts, multi-arts, music, dance, and music therapy and art therapy camps for all ability levels. If your camper needs to arrive early or stay for lunch, Fine Arts offers Before Camp Care and Summer Lunch Bunch. Camp Open House - Feb. 20, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Willoughby, 440-951-7500 x104.,

Game On! Sports Camps 4 Girls

Since 2007, Game On! has been committed to empowering girls ages 4-14 of all abilities through sports. Learn and play multiple sports daily in a warm, fun and spirited environment with confidence-building programs shaping valued teammates and high achievers. Flexible week options. Two Northeast Ohio sites: Hathaway Brown in Shaker Heights and Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, 847-229-9959,

February 2016 •



Geauga Park District

Geauga Park District’s fourth annual adventure camps are offered in week-long forms for youth grades 5-7 the weeks of June 13 and 27, July 11 and 18, and Aug. 1 and 8. Also available is a week-long experience for teens entering grades 8-10 the weeks of June 20 and July 25; and single-day X-Treme Adventures July 5-8. 440-286-9516. Details at

Gilmour Summer Camp Discover summer fun at Gilmour Summer Camp! With more than 20 new camp experiences this summer, including web design, entrepreneurship, leadership, survival skills, camping, fly fishing, CSI Gilmour and more, Gilmour Camps have something for everyone! They offer preschool camps, day camp, weekly specialty camps and sports camps, as well as summer classes for course credit in a variety of subjects. Due

to demand, they have added additional weeks of programming, so camps will be offered from June 6 - Aug. 12. Gates Mills, 440-565-4316,

Hathaway Brown

At Hathaway Brown in Shaker Heights, campers from preschool age through college have an array of options to create their own summer adventures filled with fun, learning and memories to last a lifetime. HB is known for offering a host of summer athletics, academic and adventure programs, many of which are coed, and this summer is no exception. Registration is now open at or call 215-320-8085 to learn more about unique, flexible scheduling options.

Hawken Summer Programs

Whatever your child’s passion — from art, science, sports or cooking to music, photography, math or Legos — Hawken School has developed a summer program full of exciting adventures to interest boys and girls of all ages. Explore all five camp programs and register early as camps have limited enrollment and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Day Camps, Passport Camps, Travel Camps, Athletics Camps and Summer Studies. Lyndhurst and Gates Mills, 440-423-2940,

Hiram House Camp

Kids can join the summer fun at Hiram House Camp — enriching the lives of children since 1896. Enjoy exciting hands-on outdoor adventures that open new horizons and create great memories that will last a lifetime, all amid 172 wooded acres in Northeast Ohio’s scenic Chagrin Valley. Chagrin Falls, 216-831-5045,

Lake Ridge Academy

Open to all area students in grades K-12, the summer program includes full- and half-day experiences from June 6-July 15. Camps and classes offered include discovery and adventure camps, fine arts and technology, environmental and experiential, academic, athletic camps, and chess camp. Before and after care is available. Most programs are taught by experienced Lake Ridge Academy faculty. North Ridgeville, 440-327-1175 ext. 914, summer-programs


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Lawrence Lower School Summer Programs

Get ready to learn, grow and play at Lawrence Lower School this summer! Programs for students entering Kindergarten through 6th grade make learning fun and playtime more rewarding. Themes include kindergarten readiness, academic review, organizational skill building and study ‘tips and tricks.’ Their afternoon programs are full of exciting summer fun activities and field trips. Enhance skills, have fun, explore, create, make new friends and build confidence! Visit their website at for more information. Broadview Heights, 440-526-0717

LifeCenter Plus LifeCenter Plus in Hudson offers summer excitement and activities for your children ages 5-13. In summer 2016, your camper will enjoy weekly themes and field trips, swimming, crafts, games and much more! Camp runs Monday-Friday from June 6 - Aug. 12. Half-and full-day options are available to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Enroll before April 30 and save 10 percent. For more info, call Jessica at 330-655-2377 or JKoly@LifeCenterPlus. com. Visit,

February 2016 •



Reign Robinson 9 YEARS OLD Game on! Sports Camps 4 Girls for two years. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS TYPE OF CAMP? My camp is for every girl; we learned about working hard, working together, competing, and respecting others. We also learned about how important good nutrition is for our bodies. I chose this camp because I wanted to attend an allgirls camp. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING THIS TYPE OF CAMP? I learned to play so many sports that I never thought I could play, and everyday was a new and fun challenge. My favorite new sport is soccer, because I didn't think that I could control the ball so well with my feet (now I can). (Since my camp is just for girls) I never had to worry about boys watching us or participating. I didn’t want boys teasing me when I play. WHO DID YOU CONNECT WITH MOST AT CAMP AND WHY? I connected with Ms. Chanel (a camp counselor) because she encouraged me to try every sport. She


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gave me the confidence that I needed at camp. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR CAMP EXPERIENCE? Camp made me feel proud and strong. It taught me that if I work really hard, I can do anything. I think it is important to attend camp because it teaches you to believe in yourself. My camp skills really help me with my school’s Destination Imagination team, where I have to be disciplined, focused and a team player. I ride horses, too, and camp really helped by keeping me in shape. WHY DO YOU THINK CAMP IS IMPORTANT TO ATTEND? It means meeting new people and gaining new friends. It means that I get a new challenge every single day. What did you learn from camp that was useful for your equestrian skills? I am able to use posture techniques from camp that helps with riding.


Lil’ Sneakers University

The Summer Camp Program is filled with field trips that keep campers busy. At nearby parks, the campers enjoy swimming, hiking, playing group games and picnicking. Bowling, ice skating, laser tag, strawberry picking and trampoline jumping are a few of the other activities enjoyed by campers. Museum visits also are incorporated into the program to add an educational aspect to the camp. The busy program keeps each child actively engaged throughout the summer. Mentor, 440-255-6011,


From all-day camp options to one week of Chemistry Junior, Magnifi-Camp offers co-ed options for students in grades 1-8 from June 13-Aug. 5. Programs include day camp (games and swimming), enrichment programs (CSI: Magnificat) or sports camps (field hockey and tennis). Kids can spend all or part of their summer at Magnifi-Camp. Magnificat High School, Rocky River, 440-331-1572,

February 2016 •



Ohio Station Outlets Train Camp

Train Camp allows children to learn at their own pace as they and their parents visit various locations throughout the center. Campers learn about railroad safety and history, as well as the behind-the-scenes care and upkeep of Ohio Station’s vintage trains. Ideal for children in grades K-5. Register by June 1 to guarantee a Train Camp t-shirt, as well as a complimentary whistle and engineer hat. One day only, July 30 from 10a.m.-3 p.m. with early bird pricing at just $20. Register by emailing or calling Guest Services at 330-948-9929. Lodi

Old Trail School’s S’Camp

Old Trail School’s Summer Camp (S’Camp) is returning for another great summer filled with sun, fun, friends and nonstop activities. Camp runs June 8-July 29 with 150-plus options. Half- and full-day camps are offered with extended day (early morning and late afternoon) options for working parents. Transportation (from Brecksville and Hudson) and lunch options are available for campers. Bath, 330-666-1118 ext. 469,

Open Door Christian School Summer Sports and Drama Camps

Fun, safe, Christ-centered instructional camps for students entering grades 1-8 for the fall of 2016. Open to the public. Camps include: baseball, softball, football, volleyball (girls only), basketball, soccer and drama. Taught by ODCS head coaches/director and supported by other staff and ODCS high school students. Last week of May through July. Pricing approximately $50-$65 for each session (two or three hours for 4/5 days). Times vary. Elyria, 440-326-6386,


Pembroke Kids’ summer program is a fun, but carefully structured camp experience that is an extension of its regular programming. To add a bit of fun to the daily schedule, special weekly themes capture the essence of summertime. The program is designed for preschool children ages 3-4, pre-kindergarten (age 5) or school-age children in grades 1-6. Each of the lead teachers has at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field. Teacher-student ratio is 1:10. Avon Lake, 440-933-3782,


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Drew Jarvis

10 YEARS OLD Drew first attended Rotary Camp at Happy Day School during the summers of 2013 and 2014, says his mother, Shannon. In 2015, he started attending the Akron Rotary Camp after his family faced some adversities. This enabled Drew to attend many programs at Akron Rotary Camp, including the School Days Off Program, Weekend Respite Program, Summer Day Camp and Weekly Overnight Summer Camp.

TELL US ABOUT HIS FIRST CAMP EXPERIENCE: Drew started out by just going to the School Day Off Program to get familiar with the surroundings and counselors (Drew has a lot of difficulties with any kind of change). He eventually went to his first weekend respite overnight. I know I was more anxious than he was. After all, I was leaving him with people he did not even know for the first time, and for a whole weekend. What would they do if he had a meltdown, couldn’t sleep, got homesick, or ran off? I am sure all parents have this fear the first time they send their camper for the weekend. Drew had a blast that first weekend, and now each time he goes, he gets so excited and says, “I’m a camper.” WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING THIS TYPE OF CAMP? The benefit of Drew attending camp is that he gets to interact with all types of campers, counselors and a wonderful environment. The large, beautiful setting includes everything from a rock climbing wall, activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, a sensory room, and a large activity room where they watch movies. WHO DID HE CONNECT WITH MOST AT CAMP AND WHY? Drew immediately bonded with JD. Every time I mention he is going, he says, “JD.” Although JD

is the program director, he always takes time to wrestle around with Drew, make him laugh, and make him at ease when we arrive. Drew also mentions Allie often. He loves to give her hugs and sing their silly camp songs. I commend all of these young men and women who come from all over the world to work at Akron Rotary Camp. Anyone who would observe them interacting with the children would know they are dedicated and so excited to be working with this special group of kids. HOW HAS CAMP HELPED DREW AND YOUR FAMILY? Being a single parent of two boys, Akron Rotary Camp has been such a blessing and is important to us not only because it gives Drew the social and life experiences, but because it has impacted our whole family. On the weekend Drew goes to camp, this enables me to spend one-on-one time with his 7-year-old brother, Alex. Being a sibling of a special needs child is difficult in so many ways. Alex and I love our special “Alex and mommy weekends.” Last summer, Alex was able to attend a whole week overnight camp with Drew at Sibling Week. I was apprehensive because Alex had never spent the night anywhere. I was amazed by how much fun he had. It gave him a chance to do all the activities Drew got the chance to do all summer. February February 2016 2016 ••

25 25


School of Rock Summer Rock Camps

Spend a week in a rock band. School of Rock summer camps are five days of learning music, playing music, fun, bonding with band mates and performing in a live show. Designed for musicians of all skill levels who play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals. Through workshops, clinics and private instruction, the comprehensive camp experience is designed to hone music performance and ensemble skills in a creative and fun environment. Register by April 1 and receive a 15 percent discount. Rocky River, Highland Heights and Strongsville, 440-333-7625,

Shaker Heights Recreation Specialty Camps

Registration for Shaker Heights Recreation Department summer camps begins Feb. 29 at Thornton Park. Specialty camps are offered from June 6-Aug. 19 and include band camp, theater camp, musical theater camp, sports camp and many more. Call 216-491-1295 or visit for more information. Like us at

Shaw JCC camp Camp JCC offers exceptional traditional camp along with 20 specialty camps. Campers enjoy daily swimming, 50 acres of sprawling campgrounds, fresh snacks, and lunches on Fridays. Flexible weekly registration and caring, experienced staff – all at affordable rates. JCC camps are offered June 6-Aug. 19 from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Take a advantage of early bird discounts through April 1. Akron, 330-867-7850,


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Shipwreck Camp 2016

This two-week day camp focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Inspired by the research and exploration of Dr. Robert Ballard, finder of the wreckage of the Titanic, this camp for ages 12-15 will engage campers in field science and exploration. Campers will read a novel around exploration of shipwrecks; conduct a virtual search for a Lake Erie wreck, meet local experts, visit historical sites, build a remotely operated vehicle, and discover SCUBA. July 11-22. Fee $530. Case Western Reserve University, Leonard Gelfand STEM Center, Cleveland, 216-368-5075,


Northeast Ohio Parent magazine's expert camp panel can help. Please email and one of the experts will respond.


Sports Broadcasting Camp

Has your child ever dreamed of calling a last second, game winning shot on radio or TV? Well, now is their chance. The award-winning Sports Broadcasting Camp is coming to Case Western University July 5-8. Boys and girls ages 10-18 can learn from the pros, meet sports celebrities and make play-by-play, sports anchor and reporting tapes. Host your own sports talk radio and PTI-style shows and much more! If your child is a sports fanatic, they are their kind of kid. Cleveland, 800-319-0884,

February 2016 •



Joshua Daniel Hertz 12 YEARS OLD

Falcon Camp, this will be my fourth year. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS TYPE OF CAMP? My father and my uncles went as children and my older sister Alyssa started going when she was 10. I wanted to go, too. HOW DID YOU HANDLE BEING AWAY FROM HOME? My first year was hard, but they kept me so busy and happy that I barely noticed. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CAMP EXPERIENCE? The freedom of going from place to place by yourself, with people there if you need them, but who will always let you do your own thing. You learn how to take care of yourself for long periods of time and to grow. WHO DID YOU CONNECT WITH MOST AT CAMP AND WHY? To answer that, I would have to list so many names. I have made lots of friends with other campers and the counselors. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR CAMP EXPERIENCE? Many wilderness skills and life skills, such as independence. It has also made me much more confident in everyday life. I also really enjoy sailing, tennis, horseback riding and drama.

The trunk in which Joshua packs his belongings for his yearly trip to summer camp has a family tradition. His mother Beth says, "My husband used it for Falcon Camp in the early 70s (it was given to him by his father), and when Joshua started going to camp, his grandpa gave it to him."


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WHAT DOES GOING TO CAMP MEAN TO YOU? Growing up and learning new stuff, but mostly making new friends. I am excited that my parents are letting me go for four weeks this summer. Until now, I was only going for two weeks. DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS THAT ATTENDED THE SAME CAMP WITH YOU? Yes, my sister Alyssa went at the same time as I did. She is now a counselor and we still enjoy seeing each other there. We enjoy talking about Falcon all year and reliving some of our favorite times and talking about our Falcon friends.

February 2016 •



Photo courtesy of Musical Fingers

Summer Classic Rock and Contemporary Christian Rock Camp

The 2016 Classic Rock & Contemporary Christian Rock week-long camps for ages 10 and up are one of the best ways to experience the art of music. It’s the perfect place to learn some mad skills, create new friendships and play some terrific music for all to hear. Especially welcome are those with special needs such as autism. All the music selected is family-friendly and foot-stomping awesome. Early bird registration deadline is May 1. Musical Fingers, Mantua, 330-554-4140,

Summer Ruffing It

For camp, nothing beats Summer Ruffing It. Fun experiences abound as campers spend their days with artists, musicians and educators immersed in Spanish, extreme outdoor activities and other exciting offerings. Camps are held on the beautiful campus, with children’s gardens, an extensive playground and a LEED-Certified building, featuring environmentally-conscious design and spacious amenities. June 20-July 29. Ruffing Montessori School, Cleveland Heights,

The 12th Annual Summer Camp Convention

February is the time to research all your options for a summer camp. Meet directors, representatives and counselors who will share their programs and opportunities with you on Feb. 27, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free and open to the public. Camp participants provide unique, exciting, fun and safe programs to enrich the lives of students (elementary through high school). They also provide positive development, promote healthy risk taking and acceptance, and create unforgettable memories and relationships for kids. Solon Community Center, 216-906-1654,

The Music Settlement

TMS camps are for musicians and non-musicians alike! Enroll online before April 1 for a 10 percent discount. Music Builders campers (ages 5-12) build skills in music, drum and dance in many genres. Music Safari Camp (ages 6-9) is a fun introduction to musical instruments. TMS Suzuki Camp and Summer Music Camps (A Cappella, Chamber Music, Hip Hop, Jazz, Orchestra, Piano, and Rock & Blues) immerse campers in music making. Inclusion opportunities for campers with special needs are available. Cleveland, 216-421-5806 ext. 100,


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University School Summer of Adventure University School offers boys’ day camps, and coed sports and enrichment camps led by experienced US faculty and coaches. The boys’ day camp and sports camps teach skills, foster sportsmanship, build confidence, and create lasting friendships. Pre-K boys can enjoy an exciting three-week mini-version of day camp, specially designed to engage four-year-olds in a creative and stimulating environment. Enrichment camps are offered in space, art, robotics, rocketry, video game programming, debate, theater, songwriting, and entrepreneurship. June 13-July 29. Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley,


Photo courtesy of Western Reserve Academy

Western Reserve Academy

WRA extends its academic tradition to summer programs by striving to provide quality, fun summer experiences for children filled with more choices than there are hours in the day. Camps offer a transformational experience where students and campers alike strive for excellence, live with integrity and act with compassion. Choose from Adventure Camp (June 13-July 22), Classroom Antics Tech Camp (July 5-8), English Language Institute (July 15-Aug. 12), Game On Sports 4 Girls (June 6-July 1) and Young Scholars (July 10-29). Hudson, 330-650-9715,

YMCA of Greater Cleveland

Children enrolled in the YMCA of Greater Cleveland Summer Day Camp enjoy a weekly theme, theme-related curriculum and field trips, swimming, morning and afternoon snacks, arts and crafts, science and nature activities, large motor games, singing, clubs and much more. Camps offer part time (1-3 days per week) and full time (4-5 days per week) rates based on camp location. Each camp program has a limited number of spaces and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Cleveland, 216-344-7700

Lona Walter from Hawken Camps February 2016 •




THAT FITS YOUR FAMILY 8 great attributes of your child’s physician By Denise Koeth


hether you’re expecting your first baby or seeking a new doctor for an older child, finding the right physician is important, as they will help set the stage for future health. With the rich landscape of medical care available in Northeast Ohio, comparing options can be overwhelming. Consider the following important characteristics when choosing a doctor for your children.


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Whether you prefer a doctor with a vibrant sense of humor or one who’s a little more cut-and-dry, finding one with a personality that meshes with your own — and your child’s — is important. Gauge your comfort level and pay attention to your gut feeling when meeting a new doctor. “You should ‘click’ with your pediatrician; he or she should be someone with whom you are comfortable asking questions or raising concerns,” says Dr. Kathleen Grady, a pediatrician at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Partners in Pediatrics office in Westlake. “You should feel like your child’s pediatrician really listens to you. You should trust your pediatrician and feel good about asking and taking his or her advice.”


Common Ground

No matter what your stance is regarding vaccination and antibiotic use, for example, it’s important you ask a prospective doctor about their views on such important medical topics. Make sure you choose a physician whose views are in line with your own, advises Dr. Mark Evans from Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics in Brecksville. “Ask questions about how they approach medical issues that are important to you,” he says, adding, “then gauge the doctor’s personality and how they react to questions.”


Support Staff

After you choose a doctor, you’ll likely spend more time interacting with support staff — nurses, office staff, schedulers, etc. — than the physician themselves, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with these people. “When you go in for a prenatal visit, show up a few minutes early just to see how things are going and so you can watch the staff interacting with patients and parents,” Evans says. “Ask them questions and see how much they are willing to help.”



Consider location, office hours, parking and procedures when weighing one doctor versus another. “First, ensure practical details are satisfied,” recommends Grady. “Is the pediatrician accepting new patients? Is the pediatrician covered by your insurance plan? Is the location convenient — not only geographically acceptable, but is parking readily available and are ancillary services such as lab and radiology available nearby?” Determine which aspects are most important to you. “For example, you may not mind having to take an elevator to get to the office as long as there are separate sick and well child waiting rooms,” she adds.



While all doctors have completed medical school and a residency, there are some differences regarding training. For example, a pediatrician who has been certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) has passed a rigorous exam following medical school and residency training, Grady notes. “The ABP requires all Board certified Pediatricians to be engaged actively in maintaining their certification through various educational and practice improving activities, as well as taking re-certifying exams at regular intervals,” she says. “However, a pediatrician may practice medicine without being board certified.”Grady also recommends a pediatrician who practices evidencebased medicine (medical care that has been scientifically proven to be effective) and best practices or standard of care medicine (what is regarded by the pediatric and medical professional community as appropriate medical care in a particular situation).



or expectant parents, finding a pediatrician is one of dozens of items on the to-do list. While it’s a good idea to begin thinking about the subject early on in a pregnancy, comparing doctors and going on prenatal visits are generally done during the third trimester. “As soon as they know they’re pregnant, parents should start talking to neighbors and friends about which doctors their kids see,” says Dr. Mark Evans from Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics in Brecksville. “If the people you know and like prefer a particular physician, you probably will, too. You also can check online reviews from reputable sites like Healthgrades.” After that initial research, Evans recommends scheduling prenatal visits to prospective physician offices between 30 and 35 weeks of pregnancy. “Even before your baby is born, your pediatrician may have valuable advice for you that could help your baby’s prenatal development,” says Dr. Melissa Seifried, a Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatrician. “As a result, it is hard to think of times when it is ‘too soon’ to go for a ‘meet the pediatrician’ visit.”

February 2016 •




Since doctors often need to discuss complicated medical information, finding one who can put concepts into laymen’s terms is helpful, according to Dr. Melissa Seifried, a Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatrician. “Your pediatrician may be the Albert Einstein of medicine, but if that knowledge is trapped in a maze of technical terms you can’t understand, what good will that knowledge do for your child?” she says. “A good pediatrician doesn’t just ‘know’ medical science, but also ‘knows how’ to navigate medical knowledge in a way you can understand.”



Parents often think it is easier to go to an urgent care center and see an unfamiliar physician than to get an appointment with their own pediatrician, according to Seifried. “There are a number of pediatricians who reserve spots in the schedules for ‘same day’ sick visits so that your child can see a familiar face, even on short notice,” she says. Also, there are often times when parents have questions that might not seem to warrant an appointment. “In these situations, it is nice to be able to relay messages through nurses or use an electronic messaging system like MyChart,” Seifried explains. “If your pediatrician is a reliable communicator, you will be able to take full advantage of these resources and can take comfort in the fact that when you have urgent questions, they will be answered in a timely manner.”



It’s important to see how a prospective doctor interacts with your child — particularly in the cases of older children and teens. “Your pediatrician should engage directly with your child (rather than ignoring your child until the examination part of the visit),” advises Grady. “For older children or teens, it is important that they are also comfortable with this pediatrician.” Evans suggests bringing an older child along to meet the doctor. “With a teen, the physician should treat them as the primary patient — meet with them first and then talk to the parent. It’s going to be their doctor, so you want the child to trust them and get along with them.”


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lighter BITES Indulge in


options to satisfy your sweet tooth By Kristen J. Gough

February tends to be synonymous with sweets. From heart-shaped candies with sweet messages to oversized boxes bursting with chocolates, the empty calories

can add up over the short, wintery month. Yet there are plenty of spots throughout Northeast Ohio that offer healthy goodies that still will appeal to the most discerning of kids – even those with a serious sweet tooth. Lighten up by visiting some of these area eateries with your kids and enjoying these treats together.

oatmeal raisin cookies INSOMNIA COOKIES

Of course you could visit one of Insomnia’s stores, but they’re happy to bring warm cookies right to your door. With package deals such as The Sugar Rush and jumbo cookies in flavors like chocolate peanut butter cup and triple chocolate, these fresh-baked goodies will no doubt appeal to your kids. Skip double chocolate chunk, and order oatmeal raisin cookies instead for a little added fiber. Keep in mind that Insomnia delivers until the wee hours of the morning, so if your kids want cookies for their sleepover — at 1 a.m. — Insomnia will bring them by. Locations in: Akron,

367 S. Main St.; Kent, 295 S. Water St.; and Cleveland (opening in spring)

February 2016 •



apple galettes / muffins


Make a trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art all the more memorable for your kids by checking out its eatery, the Provenance Café (there’s a restaurant, too). The café was part of the museum’s recent renovation project, which added gallery space and an expansive, enclosed glass atrium that happens to be right next to the eatery. The Provenance Café offers a daily selection of pastries and baked goods. Let your kids take their pick among the muffin flavors or encourage them to choose the apple gallete — a small freeform tart stuffed with apples. 1150 East Blvd., Cleveland

granola cookies LUNA BAKERY CAFE

Watch the bakers turning out sweet and savory scones, buttery croissants and other pastries from the large window just before the door to go into this Cleveland Heights gem. Everything is baked from scratch, including the delicate madeleine cookies, Italian meringues and baby tartlets in combinations like caramel pecan and dark chocolate ganache. Bridget Thibeault, owner of Luna Bakery Cafe and a pastry chef says "I rarely eat or buy any processed foods for my family and I think it makes a huge difference. So if you know what is in your food and where it comes from you don't have to feel guilty about indulging once in a while (or even a little bit everyday.)" For something tasty and nutritious, pick up a granola cookie or two.

Photo by Kristen Gough

2482 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights

mango sorbet


My kids like ice cream no matter what time of year it is — it could be -5 degrees outside and they’ll still ask to stop in our neighborhood Mitchell’s. Your visit doesn’t have to bust your calorie count — Mitchell’s offers seasonal selections of frozen yogurt and sorbets along with standard flavors. Our favorite is the mango sorbet made with Indian Alphonso mangoes, which packs a sweet-tart combination that’s fat-free and dairy-free. When we’re looking for a hint of chocolate, the peanut butter chocolate pretzel yogurt, with just a quarter the fat of regular ice cream, overflows with chocolate-covered pretzels in peanut butter yogurt. Locations in Rocky River, Strongsville, Westlake, Avon, Uptown, Cleveland, Beachwood and Solon


hippie chips cookie


The shelves lining Great Lakes Baking Company are stocked with artisan breads like ciabatta, cinnamon swirl, baguettes and multigrain. On the sweet side, check out the muffins, scones, brownies and shortbreads. One of the healthiest goodies, which also is one of the most requested, is the almost 5-inch Hippie Chip cookie made with whole wheat flour, flax seed, sunflower seeds, oats, puffed rice, peanut butter and semi-sweet chips. My 12-year-old commented while we shared our cookie that the rice puffs seemed to pop in her mouth — she liked the mellow, nutty flavor, too. 85 S. Main St., Hudson


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WHIP IT UP! Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson offers a variety of sweet treats, such as its Berry Berry Strawberry Cupcake. Two sisters, Kimberly Martin and Sarah Forrer, began crafting cupcakes for hungry visitors in 2007. Try out their recipe for Skinny Strawberry Cupcakes. Visit for info about other goodies.

Looking for more recipes or cooking tips?

Visit for more ideas and ways to serve up healthy and fun food for your family this month.

MAKES 24 MINI CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS CUPCAKES 1 2 3 cups flour 1 cup sugar ¼ tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla ¼ cup milk ¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries ICING 1 cup unsalted butter 4 cups powdered sugar 2 tsp vanilla 6 T strawberry puree 1 T water INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. 3. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and milk and beat on medium speed until smooth. 4. Fold in the strawberries. 5. Use a mini cupcake/muffin pan lined with mini cupcake liners. Scoop batter and fill liners until each is just over half full. 6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. 7. Allow to cool. 8. While cupcakes cool, make buttercream icing. Beat butter until smooth. 9. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined. 10. Mix in the strawberry puree. 11. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add water until icing reaches desired consistency. 12. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe a thin swirl of buttercream on top of each.

February 2016 •





SOCIAL MEDIA Don't just snoop, connect with your teens. By Diana Siemer


hile we didn’t have social media growing up, it’s a normal part of everyday life for kids today. However, this useful tool can turn dangerous for our teens as they face the potential of being cyberbullied and lured away from their homes by online predators. Parents have to balance allowing their teens to become digitally literate people and protecting them from harm. It’s not easy, but there are tools to help.


Recently developed “secret apps,” such as Spy Calc, allow users to hide messages and photos that they don’t want seen. These apps hide on phones and appear as calculators or other normal tools. And social media tools like Yik Yak allow users to post anything they want totally anonymously. Don Stanko, a police officer in Franklin County and co-author of the book “Digital Dangers,” says online social media tools such as Kik can be on a child’s phone without the parent knowing it and it is not uncommon for complete strangers to reach out to children on Kik and start a conversation. While it may seem like parents are fighting an uphill battle and the odds are against them, there’s good news on the horizon. There’s software available to help protect children online. For example, Michele Joel is the founder of My Social Sitter, software that acts like a filter and uses a proactive approach to online activity. It targets more than 300,000 words, phras-


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es and slang and is customizable in six different languages. The software is designed to detect negative messages and to flag suicidal comments and personal information. For instance, if a teen attempts to send a bullying type of message, the software denies the message and gives the user a chance to adjust what they want to say. Once a message has been denied, the software sends a report to the parent so they can follow up and address the issue with their child. Joel says it is important for parents to talk to their kids and to teach them the value of the software, along with social responsibility and appropriate behavior. Parents should connect with their teens about all the apps —whether for online safety or those being used for fun —on their smart devices. “I don’t think kids realize (their behavior) can cost them a job or access to a college,” she says. Mary Gavriloff, 17, a student at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, says “I would have more freedom because my mom wouldn’t have to go through my account all the time.”

She adds that students being able to monitor their own behavior also encourages them to look out for each other and to take the initiative to speak up when they see red flags. Some parents also use software such as Net Nanny to block, alert and report their child’s online activity.

“People rely too much on technology to fix what is really a social problem. The best app in the world can’t protect your kids from everything.”


While these apps can be useful, parents’ awareness of their teen’s online activity is still one of the best defenses. Stanko says parents often rely too heavily on the software and they let down their guard. “These protective measures will reduce the risk, but not remove it,” he says. “Good management of your child’s online activity takes time and effort.” However, otherwise limiting access to cell phones, computers and the Internet is not practical in today’s world. One way to guard against these applications is to en-

sure that you are the only person who can add them to your child’s phone. Kathleen Stansberry, assistant professor of strategic social media at Cleveland State University, recommends keeping household devices in public and common areas and being transparent about your own online activity as a way to model good behavior. “People rely too much on technology to fix what is really a social problem,” she says. “The best app in the world can’t protect your kids from everything.”

Stanko says parents also can keep open lines of communication with their child and allow them to be the teacher when it comes to new apps. “Kids love to talk about technology,” he says. “Another tip is to have conversations about the dangers of social media in front of your children, rather than directing such talk directly at them. “If your child does have a problem or gets in trouble with social media, do not take their device away because that ‘punishment’ will cause them to be more secretive in the future,” he adds. “Instead, set parameters early on, like curfews, and watch their behavior for red flags.” It also is important to know when to let your kids handle problems on their own, when to step in and when to ask for help. Discuss ideas and options for solving a problem so they know they have a say in choosing their behavior.

February 2016 •





ike many married couples, my husband and I rarely get to enjoy a date night. Busy work schedules, family obligations and — let’s face it — sometimes sheer exhaustion all prevent us from making quality couple time a priority. According to a study conducted by The National Marriage Project in 2013, today’s parents are foregoing date night at our own peril. Researchers at The University of Virginia determined that couples who go out together at least once a week are three times more likely to report being “very happy” in their relationships. Most of us recognize that there are benefits to prioritizing time with our partner. Where we struggle, though, is in finding ways to fit those meaningful moments into the fabric of our daily lives. If you, too, are seeking the elusive date night, here are few suggestions that might help.


Who says date night has to equal dinner and a movie on a Friday night? Mix things up by going on a breakfast or lunch date instead. Daytime works especially well for parents of infants and toddlers. Little ones are often happier with a caregiver earlier in the day, and mom and dad can still be home in time for the all-important bedtime routine. EMBRACE DATE NIGHT IN

Can’t afford to pay a babysitter? Have a child struggling with separation anxiety? Too tired to dress up and go out? Bring date night into your own living room after the kids are asleep. Open a bottle of wine and catch up on a favorite show on Netflix or Hulu. Make nachos, hot dogs and cheer for your sports team. Or even play a game together on the Wii or Playstation. Whatever you do, think outside the box to create a night you will both enjoy. For


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ROMANCE When parenthood causes date nights to dwindle, find new ways to get in quality time By Alyssa Chirco

example, my husband and I love sushi, but rarely make it to a restaurant. Instead, we like to order carry out and have turned late night sushi dates into a ritual we both look forward to and enjoy. WRITE IT IN RED

Date nights don’t have to be expensive. Look on daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social — which feature deep discounts on everything from restaurant meals to local experiences — which might just come to your rescue. These sites not only save you money on activities, but it also forces you to make a commitment to dates that have already been planned and paid for — then add them to your calendar in bright red ink. EMBRACE THE SMALL MOMENTS

With so much pressure surrounding date night, it’s easy to feel frustrated when you can’t make one happen regularly. It’s

also important to remember — especially while children are young and require so much of our energy and attention — that a strong marriage or relationship is about a lot more than the occasional night out on the town. There are many ways to connect as a couple. Don’t disregard the small opportunities to enjoy each other’s company that exist in everyday life. Share an inside joke. Say thank you. Snuggle on the couch. Give random hugs. Play with your kids. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. As for my husband and me, I know that we’re doing just fine, even if our nights out together are few and far between. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the end of the world — it’s just a season of life. Eventually, our kids will grow up and move out, and we will once again have the freedom to enjoy date nights at our leisure. In the meantime, we can always order sushi.

Pa rents' night out Rekindle the fire and fun together with these Valentine’s Day weekend ideas.

Scenes of Love. The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Light Opera collaborate on an evening of scenes and musical selections from works of Shakespeare. 8 p.m. $25/single, $55/couple (includes two admissions and two special Valentine’s Day cocktails). The Music Settlement, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-231-5046,



Valentine’s Day Weekend Lunch Along the Cuyahoga. Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend! Take a romantic ride down the rails while you enjoy a four-course lunch and a complimentary glass of champagne. 12:45 p.m. $37/person. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Rockside Station, 7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence,

Sweetheart Walk. Meet at the Mohican State Park Lodge for a romantic stroll along a lit trail of luminaries. After the hike, couples are invited to enjoy marshmallows and other refreshments around a cozy fire. Free and open to the public. 7-9 p.m. 1098 Ashland County Road 3006, Loudonville, 419-994-4290,

Loretta Paganini School of Cooking Class. Romance is in the air at Sapore Restaurant. An unforgettable night filled with soft music, delicious food, superb wines, rose petals, candlelight and chocolate. 6 p.m. $75. Sapore Restaurant, 8623 Mayfield Road, Chesterland, 440-729-1110,

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: Love & Longing. Guest artist Dominick Farinacci will share tunes from his latest recording along with Paul Ferguson’s original arrangements and familiar swoon-inducing favorites to make it a night to remember. 8 p.m. Hanna Theatre at Playhouse Square, 2067 E. 14th St., Cleveland,

Addicted to Love. Get your “fix” this Valentine’s Weekend with a couple’s treat featuring fondue appetizers and dessert with a full meal in between. Dance to your heart’s content to the saucy spins of Nikolina, our favorite DJ. 7-11 p.m. $75/couple. Fieldcrest Estate, 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE, North Canton, 330-9662222,

ThornCreek Valentine’s Escape. A uniquely romantic Valentine’s Day dining experience at ThornCreek Winery. Enjoy a beautiful evening with music and a delicious dinner. 155 Treat Road, Aurora, 330-562-9245,

13-14 Saturday & Sunday The Love Holiday Valentine’s Party. A four-course dinner, champagne toast, a couples photo and dancing. A fundraising event to support Supermoms Association Organization Inc. (“Where Mothers of Special Needs Children Matter”). 7-11 p.m. The Willoughby Hills Community Center, 35400 Chardon Road, Willoughby, supermomsassociation

Valentine Tea at the Hickories. Enjoy an entertaining program followed by high tea, sandwiches, scones and an assortment of sweet delicacies. $25. The Hickories Museum, 509 Washington Ave., Elyria, 440-322-3341,

Oddmall Expedition Elsewhere. If it’s fun, artsy, geeky, crafty or odd, chances are it can be found at Oddmall, the “Emporium of the Weird.” 10 a.m-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Cultural Center for the Arts, 900 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton, 330-899-1017, expeditionelsewhere.

14 Sunday Bobby Collins at Hilarities. Unlike many comedians who rely solely upon the clever use of words and ideas to engage an audience, from the moment Bobby hits the stage, he lassoes the crowd and pulls them ever closer to him while they cry from laughter. Hilarities 4th Street Theater, 2035 E. 4th St., Cleveland, 216-241-7425,

Orchid Mania. At Orchid Mania – Cleveland Botanical Garden’s most fragrant and fanciful plant show – you can take an enchanting tropical escape without ever leaving Cleveland. Free for members, $11 for non-members. Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-721-1600,

Hike with Your Honey. Bring your date for a hike through the hills. Don’t have a date? Join us anyway and fall in love with the beauty of nature. 1-2:30 p.m. Brecksville Reservation Nature Center, 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, 440-526-1012,

Vicki Chew’s Valentine’s Day Concert. Folky and funky with a smart sense of humor and a heart full of tender emotion. 2 p.m. Lakewood Library Auditorium, 15425 Detroit Ave., 216-2268275,

Valentine’s Day at the 100th Bomb Group. Romantic Atmosphere, breaktaking views and special Valentine’s menu. 20920 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, 216-267-1010,

Winter Bird Walk. Enjoy a walk through the Nature Center grounds and around Lower Lake looking for birds. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Cleveland, 216-321-5935,

Valentine’s Day Special: Lock 3. Bring your sweetheart and enjoy two skate rentals, two games of Putt Putt, a $10 gift card from Barley House, and two Dairy Queen ice cream cupcakes. $20. Lock 3 Akron, 200 S. Main St., 330-375-2877,

Dirty Love 10K. Grab your Valentine and spend this romantic morning breathing heavy and romping through the snow. The scenic trail through North Chagrin Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks is the perfect romantic setting complete with a view of Buttermilk Falls. 9:30 a.m. River Grove Picnic Area, Chagrin River Road, Willoughby Hills, 216-635-3200,

February 2016 •




Is Your Child Ready for


Sara Carnes provides a glimpse into what earrings her daughter is wearing.

By Sara Carnes

W SARA CARNES • Facebook = Sara Carnes • Twitter = @SaraCarnes

One question that has come up a lot with my mama friends is “What’s the best age for ear piercing for your child?” I think we can probably all agree that it’s a personal decision. I still remember the day I got my first earrings. I begged my mom long enough that she finally caved; I had my surgical steel posts and couldn’t have been more excited — until they became infected. I don’t even truly remember how old I was, but I obviously wasn’t old enough to take care of them on my own. As a mom, I’ve always said my two girls had to be old enough to take care of their ears if they want to get them pierced. My oldest daughter was 8 when she got her ears pierced and only had a few small issues (mostly, remembering to turn and clean them), but overall, she did great. I believe this was the right age for us to take the plunge and let her get earrings; I think waiting as long as we did was a big part of the success. My younger daughter, who is 5, has only mentioned wanting them a few times, but I’m already prepared with my answer of telling her she has to wait until she’s at least 8 years old, just like her sister. One of the benefits of holding out as long as possible with the older kid means the younger one has to wait that long, too...because we know that’s only fair, right?! So, how do we as mamas make sure this is a happy memory and not a painful one? Here are five tips that I’ve compiled from my friends and family over the years. Brace yourself, mamas; if you’re anything like me, this whole experience may be harder on you than it is on the kiddos.




Some practices now offer a safe, professional, medical environment in which to have your child’s ears pierced. Even if they don’t offer it at their practice, they may be able to refer you to a recommended location. You want to make sure you’re getting them done in a safe and clean environment.

It can seem like fun to have this experience while on vacation, but this is something you’ll want to have done somewhere local, somewhere you’ve had experience with or that has been recommended. You don’t want to add tears or a painful experience as a memory to your vacation.



You know what’s best as a parent and sometimes we just have to live and learn. Kids mature at different ages and can handle different things. I chose to wait until my daughter was old enough to decide for herself if she wanted her ears pierced or not. My girls also know this means they, not me, have to take care of their ears. My oldest daughter did a great job, cleaned them, turned them and had no problems.

Talk to your pediatrician.

Do it when your child is able to handle the responsibility. This is just based on my own experience and so many stories I’ve heard from friends. It’s a great opportunity for your child to learn more responsibility, but if they’re not ready it can be a very stressful and painful experience for everyone.

Don’t do it on vacation.

Use the buddy system. My oldest daughter had her ears pierced (again) with two of her friends. We had a little moms’ and daughters’ day out and they all had them pierced together. The girls loved having their best friends there with them and we got a ton of cute photos to remember the day.

Sara Carnes' daughter Makayla and friends, (left to right) Alison Kosinski, Makayla Robertson, and Anna Rini.


Family Living At Its Best

Trust your gut.

February 2016 •


FEBRUARY More events at

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For the Love of Chocolate Festival. Enjoy chocolate sampling, a bake sale of prize-winning desserts, Candy Land, children’s games and more. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 120 W. Washington St., 2A, Medina, 330-952-0342,


Candy Olympics. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, test your skills with candy-themed challenges and games. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mentor-onthe-Lake Branch, 5642 Andrews Road, 440-257-2512,


A Candy Land Valentine’s Day Party. Families of all ages are invited to play a giant version of Candy Land, decorate a candy treat, win prizes and make valentines. 3-4 p.m. Avon Branch Library, 37485 Harvest Drive, 440934-4743,





Preschool Storytime. Enjoy a 40-minute program of stories, songs, rhymes, colors and counting. 10:30-11:10 a.m. Chardon Library, 110 E. Park St., 440-285-7601,

Anime Club. 13 and older. Join your fellow Otaku and enjoy anime, second Tuesday of each month. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Lorain Public Library, 351 W. Sixth St., 440-2441192,

Storytime: Babies and Twos. Enjoy a 30-minute program of stories, songs and rhymes with lots of participation. 9:30-10 a.m. Chardon Library, 110 E. Park St., 440-285-7601,

Belly Dancing Class. Beginner class consists of dancing set to authentic Middle Eastern music. $8/residents, $12/nonresidents. 7-8 p.m. Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls, 330971-8225,

Tiddlywinks. Interactive story time filled with songs and rhymes. 10-10:25 a.m. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811,

Bow Wow Books. Stop by every Thursday and sign up for a reading time with a therapy dog. 6:30-8 p.m. Westlake Public Porter Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-871-2600,

Saturday Gym Nights. On the third Saturday of each month, leave your kiddos in the hands of caring and fun gymnastics coaches while you enjoy a night out! 6:30-9:30 p.m. Olmsted Performing Arts, 611 W. Bagley Road, Berea, 440-2390300,

Monday Fun Days! Children from birth to age 4 come for a variety of activities including music and story time. 10-11 a.m. Gross Schechter Day School, 27601 Fairmount Blvd., Pepper Pike, 216-763-1400,


Family Living At Its Best

TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS Kids Cafe After School Snack. Stop in for a free, nutritious snack courtesy of the Cleveland Food Bank. 3:30-5 p.m. Noble Neighborhood Branch Library, 2800 Noble Road, Cleveland, 216291-5665,

Free Thursdays. Akron Art Museum. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St., 330-3769185, Tween Zone. Grades 3 through 5. Come for experiments, crafts and other fun! 7-8 p.m. Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St., 330-6734414,

Super Saturdays @ Beck Center. Free, interactive art experiences for children ages 1-7 years, with siblings and friends up to age 10. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-5240, Family Story Time. For children 5 and under with a caregiver. 9:30-10:30 a.m. Bainbridge Library, 17222 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, 440-543-5611,


Russian Story Time. Children of all ages. 4:30-5 p.m. Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road, 330-425-4268,

Some Like it Cold. Learn more about some of the animals at the zoo who love the cold of winter. 11 a.m-2 p.m. Akron Zoo, 504 Euclid Ave., 330-375-2550,

2/6 Main Street Kent Chocolate Walk. Stroll through downtown Kent, collecting chocolate delicacies at each participating business. 2-5 p.m.

Twinkle Tots. Ages 0-3 enjoy a light show set to lively music and learn what we can see up in the sky! $2/person. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, 440-871-2900,

Fancy Nancy Tea Party. Pre-K and school-age children bring your mom (or dad!) to a very Fancy Nancy tea party. 2-3 p.m. Avon Branch Library, 37485 Harvest Drive, 440-934-4743,

SUNDAYS Sunday Funday. Every Sunday, come for an afternoon of fun. 2-3 p.m. Elyria North Branch Library, 1005 N. Abbe Road, 440-366-4919,

ONGOING THROUGH 2/15 Winter Blast Weekends. Enjoy the snow by strapping on snowshoes and striking out on the farm. Warm up with cocoa and cookies in the J & J Cafe. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122, Akron Children’s Museum Pop-Up Site. Young visitors and families will enjoy Giant Light Bright, Wind Tube, Quake Table, Jumbo Blocks, Derby Town and more! Lock 3 Akron, 200 S. Main St., 330-375-2877,

THROUGH 2/28 Island of Misfit Toys. A special exhibition that showcases artwork from local school children and professional artists. Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St., 330-376-9185,

Through 4/24 The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not!® Marvel at how science can unlock secrets and explain the unexplainable from the world of Robert Ripley. From the largest man to the smallest insect, from albino to melanistic, there is a scientific explanation for everything. Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 216-694-2000,

2/2 The Edible Groundhog. Make an edible pop-up groundhog cookie. Will he see his shadow? 6:30-8 p.m. Highland Library, 4160 Ridge Road, Medina,


in women. 10-1 p.m. Cleveland Convention Center 300 Lakeside Avenue East. clevelandgored.

Sky Zone Open Jump. Exclusively for children with special needs and their siblings. 4:30-6 p.m. 750 Alpha Drive, Highland Hts., 440-596-3400 and 31500 Viking Pkwy., Westlake, 440-414-0444,

Kick the Cold. Fed up with the cold? Take a brief hike around Maple Loop and enjoy a campfire in the new shelter. Marshmallows provided. 6-8 p.m. Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg,


Movie Night: ‘Frozen.’ Enjoy an indoor movie with the whole family! Bring a blanket or camp chairs and watch “Frozen,” beginning at 7 p.m. Exploration Gateway, 5710-5712 12th St., Canton, 330-409-8096,

Ohio Winter Special Olympics. Cheer on these fine athletes. Skiing events are at Brandywine Ski Resort and ice skating is at Kent State Ice Arena. 440-717-3829,

2/4-14 The Three Little Wolves & The Big Bad Pig. Turning the familiar story upside down in this fun musical version. TrueNorth Cultural Arts, 4530 Colorado Ave., Sheffield Village,


Cleveland Go Red For Women Luncheon and Conference. A life-changing experience that focuses on three areas to support the fight against heart disease

Pizza and Pajamas Ages 3-7 with an adult can wear pajamas and slippers andbring a flashlight for some after-hours fun. Search for animals in galleries, enjoy family games, watch star show and more. Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, 216-231-4600, Toddler Block Party. Ages 2-5 come stretch your imagination and build with life size foam blocks. 11-11:45 a.m. Elyria North Branch Library, 1005 N. Abbe Road, 440-366-4919,

Ballet Excel: Pinocchio. Families are invited to come and see a sneak peak of Ballet Excel Ohio’s Pinocchio. 11 a.m. Hudson Library & Historical Society, 96 Library St., 330-653-6658, Magician Michael Mage. This two-time national award winning magician incorporates comedy and endless audience participation into his hilarious show. 11-11:45 a.m. Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville, 440-352-3383, Family Fitness Fun. The program is perfect for parents/guardians and their children of any age. 10:30 a.m. Green Branch Library, 4046 Massillon Road, Uniontown, 330-896-9074, 7th Annual Legacy Gala ‘The Stars Are Out Tonight.’ You won’t want to miss this great evening of fun and fellowship — all to support the mission of Catholic Montessori School. 5:30-11 p.m. LaMalfa, 5783 Heisley Road, Mentor, 440-2561976,

2/7 Frozen Fest. Live ice carving/ sculptures, guest appearance by a “winter snowman,” snowshoeing, crafts, face painting, green screen photos, refreshments and more! Noon-4 p.m. The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell, 440-286-9516,

February 2016 •





Love Letters. Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the museum with a dramatic reading of affectionate correspondence between lovers, parents and children, spouses, and special friends. 7-8 p.m. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, 800 McKinley Monument Drive NW, Canton,

Warm Up Akron. Knit and crochet to help the needy. Just one rectangle can help the needy in Akron keep warm. 3:30-5 p.m. Mogadore Branch Library, 144 S. Cleveland Ave., 330-628-9228, Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. Teens, un-celebrate Valentine’s Day with moody music, grumpy games and spiteful snacks. 6-7 p.m. Columbia Branch Library, 13824 W. River Road, North Columbia Station, 440236-8751,

2/10 Valentine Craft. Make a valentine for someone special. 3-4 p.m. Wickliffe Public Library, 1713 Lincoln Road, Wickliffe, 440-944-6010, Intro to 3-D Design for Kids and Families. Explore software used to create 3-D Designs. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Garfield Heights Branch Library, 5409 Turney Road, 216-475-8178,

2/11 Creative Writing for Homeschoolers. Grades 3-6 let nature serve as the inspiration to improve your writing skills. Free/ residents, $3/non-residents. 2-3:15 p.m. Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road, Wadsworth, 330-722-9364,


Ring in the Chinese New Year!

Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr. A curious mermaid falls for a handsome prince and agrees to a dangerous bargain with a sea witch. Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, 440-951-7500, fineartsassociation. org

Year of the Monkey 2/6

Lunar New Year Celebration. The Lunar New Year is the most celebrated of all holidays with family reunions, good food, and good company. Performance is free to the public. 10:30 a.m. Chinese Academy of Cleveland, Shaker Heights Middle School, 20600 Shaker Blvd.,


Lunar New Year. Celebrate with the Kwan Family Lion Dance Team. Hosted by Asian Town Center and OCA Greater Cleveland. Noon. 3820 Superior Ave. E, Cleveland, 216-621-1681, AsianTownCenter


Family Night - The Year of the Monkey. You are invited to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Monkey for families of all ages. 6:30 p.m. Nordonia Hills Branch Library, 9458 Olde 8 Road, Northfield, 330-4678595,


Celebrate Chinese New Year. Join 8th grade students from Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School to celebrate the “Year of the Monkey.” Learn some Chinese words and enjoy a story, a craft and other fun activities in this introduction to Chinese Culture. Parents are invited, too! Brecksville Branch Library, 9089 Brecksville Road, 440-526-1102, cuyahogalibrary. org

Homeschool Days: Wildlife Detectives. Children ages 8-12 explore indoors and out to discover the signs animals leave behind. 2-3:30 p.m. The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell, 440-286-9516, Family Valentine’s Day Party. Family Valentine’s Day Party for those touched by cancer. 5:307:30 p.m. Stewart’s Caring Place, 2955 W. Market St., Suite R, Akron, 330-836-1772, stewartscaringplace. org

2/12-15 22nd Annual Medina Ice Festival. The four-day ice event will showcase nearly 100 ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses. Main Street Medina, 5 Public Square, 330-952-0910,

Catch the

team at this year's KidShow on April 9 & 10! See more information on page 52 46

Family Living At Its Best

February 2016 •




County Central Y, 933 Mentor Ave., Painesville, 440-352-3303,


Stars Wars Lego Club and Craft. Have your Star Wars fans create with Legos and do a craft. 2-3:30 p.m. Willowick Public Library, 263 E. 305th St., 440-943-4151,

2/14 Hearts & Stars Planetarium Special. Step inside a portable planetarium to explore the night sky and hear stories of love and water that are written with the stars. 1-1:45 p.m., 2-2:45 p.m., 3-3:45 p.m. Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek, 2277 W. Ridgewood Drive, Parma, 440-8871968,

Valentine’s Day Fun. Join the Youth Department for a fun-filled day of crafts and activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-871-2600, Library Love Bugs. Come for a special Valentine’s Day story time and celebration. 2-3 p.m. Garfield Heights Branch Library, 5409 Turney Road, 216-475-8178,


2/15 Fun Day Monday Stop by the Nature Center for free indoor and outdoor activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland Chardon Road, Willoughby, 440-256-1404,

No Bake Desserts. Stop in to create your own no-bake dessert treat to celebrate Valentine’s Day and National Bake for Fun month. Library will supply ingredients. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Avon Lake Library, 32647 Electric Blvd. Avon Lake. 440-933-8128,

Fancy Nancy Tea Party. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Fancy Nancy! Enjoy tea, treats and make a special craft. 1 p.m. Seville Library, 45 Center St., 330-769-2852,

Valentine Love Lights. Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with a lovely valentine tea-light craft. 1-4 p.m. Headlands Branch Library, 4669 Corduroy Road, Mentor, 440-257-2000,

Father/Daughter Dance. Dads, grandpas, uncles and others are invited to accompany the little girl in their lives to an evening of dancing and pizza. 7-9 p.m. $9/members, $11/non-member


Family Living At Its Best

residents and $13/ non-member non-residents. Strongsville Rec Center, 18100 Royalton Road, 440580-3260, Annual YMCA Teddy Bear Ball. Young girls, ages 6-15, are invited to bring their father, uncle, grandfather, etc. for a dance that includes a DJ, special keepsake and snacks. A photo booth will be open all night for keepsake photos. 7-9 p.m. at the Lake

2/15 Cabin Fever. Come to Lorain County Metro Parks Sandy Ridge Reservation for scavenger hunt, snow games, campfire with cooking demos, sled demonstrations and more. Noon-4 p.m. 6195 Otten Road, North Ridgeville, 440-327-2626, Free. Ohio Presidents. Adults and families with school-age children and teens celebrate Presidents’ Day and learn about the lives, wives and presidencies of the eight U.S. presidents from Ohio. 7-8 p.m. Avon Branch Library, 37485 Harvest Drive, 440-934-4743,

February 2016 •




Fairytales and Frogs. Dress up the kids as their favorite prince, princess or frog and visit The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. 10 a.m-1 p.m. 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, 216-661-6500, Make a Snowman Luminary. Make a snowman that will light up. Bring an empty milk jug and $1. 1-2 p.m. Miller Nature Preserve, 2739 Center Road, Avon, 440-937-0764, Free Admission to the Maltz Museum. Celebrate Presidents’ Day with hands-on, leadership-inspired activities and a chance to hear from past presidents. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216593-0575, Presidents’ Day Camp. Action-packed camps with an exciting and creative experience

using Lego bricks. The threehour camp is $35. Bricks 4 Kids Creativity Center, 961 N. Court St., Medina, 330-722-2223, Teen Un-Valentine Party. Celebrate with other teens who think Valentine’s Day is so overrated. Crafts and treats. Not too many hearts. Willowick Library, 263 E. 305th St., 440-943-4151,

2/15-20 It’s all Good with Pete the Cat. Activities, games and crafts all week about your favorite cat. Be sure to register for the storytime on Friday morning, as well. Best for ages 2 and older. Brunswick Library, 3649 Center Road, 330-273-4150,


Pint-Sized Science. Introduce your child to science with stories, games and exciting hands-on activities. Ages 3-6. 6:30 p.m. Eastlake Public Library, 36706 Lake Shore Blvd., 440-942-7880,

2/17 Family Literacy Night: Apps for Engagement. Apps can be useful tools to keep kids engaged outside of the classroom. Learn about the variety of iPad apps that the library uses in its after school programs. 6-7 p.m. Richmond Heights Branch Library, 5235 Wilson Mills Road, 440-449-2666,

Book Buddy Helpers. Sixth grade and up. Team up with a younger student to help them build better reading skills through reading aloud, activities and games. 7 p.m. Willoughby Public Library, 30 Public Square, 440-942-3200,

2/18 Origami for Teens. Learn the art of paper folding and design. Bring friends and enjoy snacks! 4-5 p.m. Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville, 440-352-3383, Homeschool Art Adventures. Learn about an artist or art technique and then create your own works in that style. Dress for making a mess. Ages 5 and older. 10 a.m. or noon. Willoughby Public Library, 30 Public Square, 440-942-3200,


Family Game Night

Treasure Quest will take you around the world without leaving the museum. $24 per family. 5:30-8 p.m. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2483,

2/20 Pancake Breakfast with the Birds. An all-you-can-eat breakfast, guided hikes, crafts and a bird-related show. $9 adults; $5 ages 4-10; free 3 and under. 8 a.m.-noon. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Cleveland, 216-321-5935,


Family Living At Its Best

Les Delices Family Concert. 45-minute, interactive program designed for families. 3-4 p.m. The Music Settlement, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-231-5046, Crafting for a Cause. Come to make items to donate to local community organizations. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Garfield Heights Branch Library, 5409 Turney Road, 216475-8178,

2/20-21 Home & Lifestyle Expo. The event is designed to bring together exhibitors, demonstrations, presentations and entertainment while providing ideas, inspiration and solutions. Hosted by Lake County Chambers of Commerce. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Great Lakes Mall, 7850 Mentor Ave., Mentor. FREE

2/21 Couch-to-5K Info Session. Learn about running programs that, in just 10 weeks, will get you off the couch and completing a 5K. Meet trainers and ask questions. 2-3:30 p.m. Sand Run, Mingo Pavillion, 1501 Sand Run Pkwy., Akron, 330865-8065,

Maple Town Tune Traders. Singers and musicians (school age and older) sign up for one of six 15-minute informal performance spots followed by a jam session. All musical genres, instruments and musicianship levels welcome. 7-10 p.m. The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell, 440-2869516, Is Your Child a Target of Bullying? Gain an understanding of the different types of bullying, symptoms that children display when they are being bullied and the characteristics of a bully. 6-8 p.m. Free. Aultman N. Canton Medical Complex, 6046 Whipple Ave. NW, 330-493-6082,

Radically Repurposed T-Shirts. Give worn-out, wrong-sized or extra t-shirts a second life! Bring a pair of scissors and any t-shirts you would like to re-use. 7-9 p.m. Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, 330-865-8065, Techno Tots Preschool Storytime. Experience our new class that incorporates just a tiny bit of iPad fun. Ages 3-6. 10 a.m. Willoughby Public Library, 30 Public Square, 440-942-3200,

2/26-27 Gateway Golf for Teens. Swing through the stacks at the library and play through the Congressman Ralph Regula Canalway Center Putt-Putt courses after hours. 6-8 p.m. Exploration Gateway, 5710-5712 12th St., Canton, 330-409-8096,

2/25-27 The Big Red Wagon Consignment Sale. Huge selection of new and like new baby, kid, maternity, designer woman and teen items all under one roof. Medina County Fairgrounds Community Center Building, 735 Lafayette Road, Medina,


Friends of Mentor Library $5 Bag Sale. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Read House, 8245 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-255-8811

Peter and The Starcatcher. A Starcatcher apprentice and a young orphan boy take to the high seas in this whimsical Peter Pan origin story. Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, 330-836-2626,



Hopping Good Time. Children ages 5-10 learn about local amphibians and make a craft. Find out where these critters go and when we should expect to see them again. 6-7:30 p.m. Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, 330-865-8065,

Connecting for Kids Fundraiser. The evening will feature a grand raffle with Florida and Cancun vacations, a silent auction, wine pull, DJ and dancing. 6:30-10 p.m Ahern Catering & Banquet Center, 726 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake 440-250-5563, connectingforkids. org/2016fundraiser.

February 2016 •




Western Reserve Warehouse Sale. The place to find gently used home furnishings, accents and accessories at a fraction of their original retail prices. 17876 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, 216-255-9090,

2/27 Winter Re-Tweet. What kinds of birds visit our feeders in wintertime? What types of bird feeders and seed work the best? Susan Hambley Nature Center, 1473 Parschen Blvd., Brunswick, 330-722-9364, 12th Annual Summer Camp Convention. Learn about unique, exciting, fun and safe summer programs that will enrich the lives of students in elementary school through college. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Solon Community Center, 35000 Portz Pkwy., 440-248-5747,

Internet Safety for Families. Empower yourself and your child online. Identify and reduce risks while promoting courteous and age-appropriate Internet use. For families with children in grades kindergarten through 12. 11:15 a.m. Walz Library 7910 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216623-2800,

Techno Tweens. Your kids can come

and challenge their friends to a quest in Roblox. On the last Saturday of the month, kids can join their friends for gaming fun. For ages 10-14. 1-3 p.m. Headlands Branch, 4669 Corduroy Rd, Mentor, 440-257-2000,

2/27-3/20 Maple Sugaring Weekends. Take a wagon ride to witness the maple process as sap is collected, boiled, and turned into maple syrup and other products. Discover how trees are tapped, sample maple syrup and candy, make a maple craft and help gather sap. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122,

2/28 7-Mile Isle Steel Drum Band. All ages will enjoy the warm sounds of Trinidad and Tobago in the midst of Ohio’s wintertime. 3-4 p.m. North Ridgeville Branch Library, 37500 Bainbridge Road, 440-327-8326,

2/29 Teen Clubhouse. Make a craft while listening to music and chatting with friends, or share a snack and chill out. 4:305:30 p.m. Lorain Public Library, 351 W. Sixth St., 440-244-1192,


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A Supplement to

February 2016

Look Inside for Special Section

Memory Care Showcase

Improve Mental SHARPNESS Caring Faces: Helping Family Members with Memory Loss Photo courtesy of Montefiore February 2016 •


Financial Planning

How to Pay for

Long-Term Care By Laurie G. Steiner, Certified Elder Law Attorney


ong-term care will be needed for many aging loved ones. While nursing homes, assisted living centers and other care options are available, they are an expense and could drain your assets unless good planning is undertaken. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor views long-term care expenses as the greatest uninsured risk Americans face today. There are viable alternatives that help ensure assets are preserved for a loved one in need of such care. Here are some examples: Long Term Care Insurance: Did you know that your private health insurance or Medicare will not help pay for nursing home care? You may want to consider buying a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy. A LTCI policy can significantly reduce the burden on paying for long-term care, as it pays a daily amount to you to help defray the out-of-pocket cost. A new type of plan is a LTCI Partnership between insurance and Medicaid. For example, let’s say you are single and you go to a nursing home. You can’t get Medicaid normally until you’ve “spent down” assets to $1,500. With a LTCI Partnership policy, if your long-term care policy provides $300,000 in benefits, this amount is protected from Medicaid spend down — meaning you can keep that amount. That’s a great relief, especially in the case of couples who have a spouse still at home. Reverse Mortgages: A reverse mortgage is a government insured home loan for ages 62 or older that lets you tap the equity in your home in order to pay for long-term care costs you may incur, especially if you want to remain in your home. You still own your home; you are only drawing out your equity. You can take a lump sum — a line of credit that you can draw upon as needed — or monthly income payments. You are charged interest, but the interest accumulates. You don’t have to pay the loan or interest until one year after you permanently leave the home. HUD insures reverse

mortgages, which means that if the home sale proceeds do not cover the amount owed to the lender, HUD will pay the difference. VA Benefits: VA Aid and attendance monthly check payment is a wonderful program for veterans and their spouses to help pay for long-term care at home or in assisted living. You do not have to have a service-related disability in order to qualify. You or your spouse must have served in the military for 90 days, at least one day during wartime, and must not have been dishonorably discharged. You must be 65 or older with a need for help with daily activities like dressing or undressing, cooking meals, or using the toilet. Your annual income, after subtracting all medical expenses, assisted living fees and caregiver costs, must be less than $21,466 for a single vet, $25,448 for a married vet, and $13,744 for the surviving spouse of a vet. Assets apart from your home and car must be less than $50,000 if you’re single or $80,000 if married. Medicaid Eligibility: One final option to pay for long-term care, especially in a nursing home, is Medicaid. This is a federal/state-funded program that can pay most health care costs, including monthly room and board in a facility. You must reduce your assets to a very low amount, such as $1,500 if you are single, and between $23,844 and $119,220 plus a house and car if you are married. The rules are complex, especially the gifting rules (including the five-year look back), but if your loved one must remain in a nursing home for life, the program is essential. You need not spend down all your assets to qualify for Medicaid. Many planning options exist to protect assets, even after someone enters the nursing home. Taking advantage of one or more of these options does require planning — the sooner the better. However, you need to consult a qualified, certified elder law attorney for help, as a mistake can be very costly. February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers


Improve Your Mental Sharpness Bridge and other activities help to boost brainpower


xercising the brain can have some important health and disease-prevention benefits. In fact, a 2014 study conducted by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center found that participants who reported playing memory games at least every other day performed better on standard memory tests compared to those who played less frequently. The study assessed 329 older adults who were free of dementia, but at increased risk of Alzheimer’s based on family history.

TRUMPING ALZHEIMER’S According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people with the disease may nearly triple to 16 million by 2050, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease. For older individuals, getting involved in social and cognitively stimulating activities, such as the game of bridge, is more important than ever.


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“In our study, we found that individuals who participated more frequently in activities such as card games, checkers and crossword puzzles have increased brain volume in areas that stimulate memory and affect the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Ozioma Okonkwo, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BRIDGE The card game of bridge is one of the most popular games of skill and memory, involving math and social skills as the players deal the cards, auction, play the hand and score the results. According to the American Contract Bridge League, Bridge is played with four people sitting at a card table using a standard deck of 52 cards (no jokers). The players across from each other form partnerships. Each deal consists of three parts—the auction, where

the four players bid in a clockwise rotation describing their hands, the play, where the side that wins the bidding auction tries to take the tricks necessary to fulfill their contract, and scoring. The aim is for each partnership to win (or take) as many tricks as possible. Many American Contract Bridge League members have been playing at local bridge clubs for most of their lives, such as 103-year-old Lily Hansen of Ludington, Mich. Hansen, who serves as a director of her club, recently told AARP Bulletin that playing twice a week helps her stay sharp and active. She has been playing bridge for nearly nine decades. “Duplicate (the most popular form of bridge) is competitive," she says. "It keeps your brain working. I honestly believe that.”

or a peaceful crossword puzzle alone, engaging in such activities can help sharpen your mind, which can help you to better enjoy life for many years. With more than 167,000 members and 3,200 clubs nationwide, the ACBL offers a number of programs developed to make learning the game simple. Visit for sessions on how to play or to find a club in your area. —Article and photos courtesy of Family Features

OTHER MIND-SHARPENING ACTIVITIES In addition to card games, research shows there are a number of other activities that help boost brainpower. For example, a game of checkers or a crossword puzzle can offer plenty of mental exercise, forcing the brain to be curious and engaged. Remember to mix up these mental exercises often, which will call on different parts of the brain. Whether you prefer a rousing game of cards with friends

February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers


Furry Friends

Pets, Wildlife and Camp By Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, MS, DVM Founder, President & CEO of One Health Organization


hile winter finally arrived, you may be planning ahead to find the perfect camp, many of which have wonderful outdoor activities. This means you need to be mindful of the risks that are associated with the great outdoors. Knowing your risks and how to reduce them are your best bet for a safe summer. Many times, you’ll want to take the family dog along with you to the camp during drop off and pick up time. Are you aware that pets are in contact with wildlife every time they step outdoors? For those of you who let your pets outside without a leash, they are in even closer contact with wildlife. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen many photos and videos of pets interacting with wildlife. While it may seem endearing (we should all get a healthy dose of the outdoors), it can pose a health risk for your pet and even your family members. There are several kinds of risks, including, but not limited to: • Diseases that can be transmitted from wildlife to your pets (and to you!) • Injuries from bites, kicks, scratches and more Luckily, there are some simple precautions you and your family can take to reduce your risks. To prevent injuries, keep a safe distance from wildlife (for both you and your pets). At One Health Organization, we remember these disease prevention measures by the 3UP© method:


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VET UP: Take your pet to the

veterinarian to make sure they are current on all of their vaccinations and on monthly parasite control. (Did you know that mosquitos can be found any month of the year?) This time of year can be slower for veterinary clinics, so now may be the ideal time to take your pet to the veterinarian.

PICK UP: Pick up your pet’s

waste promptly to reduce the spread of intestinal parasites. (Did you know that some parasite eggs can be nearly impossible to kill?) While no one enjoys this job, especially in the cold, it’ll reduce the number of piles to clean up during spring time cleaning.

WASH UP: Wash your hands

after picking up pet waste and being outdoors, and before preparing a meal. Bacteria and parasite eggs that are found in fecal material can cause serious health effects on animal and human health. While you may or may not be ready to think about camp for you or your loved ones, it’s always a good time to be prepared to stay healthy with some simple precautions. If you need more information on this topic and others, contact us at 216.920.3051 or

Support Services

The Connection Between

Hearing Loss and Dementia


By Dr. Karen Kantzes

or many years, researchers have been studying the link between people aging with and without hearing loss and people aging with dementia. Although there is still no clear cause between the two, the research findings indicate there is a definite connection between those with untreated hearing loss and those with dementia. While more research is needed to determine why this connection continues to develop, the findings show that the greater the hearing loss, the higher the risk of developing dementia. “Because hearing loss tends to creep up on you slowly over time, many people ignore hearing issues or (realize) the condition has become so severe that they can no longer ignore it,” says Dr. Karen Kantzes, senior audiologist at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. “By having your hearing evaluated periodically as you age, your audiologist can watch for signs of hearing loss. Those who address their hearing loss at an earlier stage are more likely to embrace treatment options and thus are more likely to ward off dementia.” Otologists and geriatricians agree that one possible cause for the link between hearing loss and dementia may be the brain itself, says Kantzes. “It is already well-known that we ‘hear’ with our brain,” she adds. “The ear collects and transmits sound up the auditory nerve to the brain. However, the brain is responsible for interpreting the sound as a ringing phone, a car horn or our grandchild’s voice, thus giving the sound meaning. If, over time, the brain no longer receives sound because of untreated hearing loss, it may be that the brain loses the ability to identify the meaning of sounds altogether.” Another potential cause may be the person’s change in lifestyle. Kantzes clarifies, “As hearing loss increases, people tend to withdraw from social interaction. They disconnect from friends, family and activities where they may feel frustrated by their inability to hear and understand what is being said.” This social isolation has been shown to be a factor in developing dementia and other cognitive disorders. “People who are proactive about their hearing loss have the best chance at continuing their hobbies and lifestyle well into their senior years,” Kantzes says. “Start by developing a relationship with a highlyqualified audiologist and follow his or her recommendations. Your audiologist will advise you on your

choices, which may include strategies for coping with difficult listening situations, assistive devices like an amplified telephone, or hearing aids. If hearing aids are recommended, your audiologist can help you determine which type is best for you based on your lifestyle and budget.”

For more information, contact Dr. Karen Kantzes, Au.D. CCC-A, Senior Audiologist, Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, at 216-325-7506.

February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers



February & March 2016

MONDAYS Speak Easy Stroke Support Group. Therapeutic activities, social connections, events and more. 1-3 p.m. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, 11635 Euclid Ave., University Circle, Room 140, 216-231-8787,

Senior Happenings. Attend this weekly lecture series sponsored by the City of University Heights. Open to residents of all communities. 2-3 p.m. University Heights Branch Library, 13866 Cedar Road, 216-932-3600,


Senior Coffee Hour. Coffee, light refreshments and a different topic of discussion, event or presentation on the second Monday of each month. 10:3011:30 a.m. Columbia Branch Library, 13824 W. River Road, North Columbia Station, 440236-8751,

Healthy Strides - Come Walk with Us! Casual 2-mile indoor walk with a brief informative talk by a Cleveland Clinic Physician or Caregiver. Strongsville Recreation Center, Twinsburg Fitness Center or Beachwood Place Mall. 8:30-9:30 a.m. 216-3125620,



Geauga Walkers. Join other active seniors on the first and third Tuesdays of the month for hikes in Geauga County and the surrounding area. Hikes are typically 1-1 ½ miles. 440-279-2137,

WEDNESDAYS Tango Wednesday. Learn Argentine Tango. No partner required. 7-10 p.m. The Tavern of Richfield, 3960 Broadview Road, Richfield, 330-554-8462, $10 Social Networking for Beginners. On the fourth Wednesday of each month learn about different social networks like Facebook and Twitter. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. North Canton Public Library, 185 N. Main St., 330-499-4712,

THURSDAYS Camp Wired. Adults and Seniors learn or brush up on computer skills and software. 9:30 a.m. Medina Library, 210 S. Broadway St., 330-725-0588,


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2/1 Super Heart Hike. Hit the trails with a naturalist to celebrate American Heart Month. This hike offers a steady pace from Lake Isaac to Fowles Marsh and back, while maintaining your upbeat heart health. 9-11:30 a.m. Big Creek Reservation, Lake Isaac Waterfowl Sanctuary, 440-8871968,

2/3 Financial Wellness. Join Julia Boron and Carl Brewer from Western-Southern Financial and learn how you can become “fiscally fit” in 2016. 6-7 p.m. North Canton Public Library, 185 N. Main St., 330-499-4712,

experiences are meant to be told and passed on to future generations. Bring a pad of paper and photos. 2-3:30 p.m. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811,

a heart full of tender emotion. 2 p.m. Lakewood Library Auditorium, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-8275,

Ballroom Dance Classes. Taught in a progressive format with singles and couples welcome. 6:30-8:45 p.m. Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-971-8225, $10

Promoting Wellness and Preventing Illness. A special event for older adults that provides health information and handson experiences that can help prevent and manage chronic illnesses. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Benjamin Rose, 11890 Fairhill Road, Cleveland, 216-791-8000,

2/9 Bistro Art Night. Painting class and dinner with “Wine & Canvas.” Sign up with your friends for a great time! 6-9 p.m. Gervasi Vineyard, Vetrina Room at The Bistro, 1700 55th St. NE, Canton, 330-497-1000, $65

2/10 Why Am I Forgetting Things? Do you know the difference between dementia and memory loss? Representatives of Kemper House will be here to answer your questions and give a brief presentation. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811,

2/11 Yoga in the Park. Join a certified yoga instructor for an energizing practice to help us make it through the long Ohio winter. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and drinking water. Nature Realm Visitors Center, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, 330-865-8065,

2/14 Winter Bird Walk. Enjoy a walk through the Nature Center grounds and around Lower Lake looking for birds. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Cleveland, 216-321-5935,


Hike with Your Honey. Bring your date for a hike through the hills. Don’t have a date? Join us anyway and fall in love with the beauty of nature. 1-2:30 p.m. Brecksville Reservation Nature Center, 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, 440-526-1012,

Seniors - Write Your Own Story. Have you ever thought about writing your life story? Life

Vicki Chew’s Valentine’s Day Concert. Folky and funky with a smart sense of humor and

Medicare Basics. Learn details about how Medicare works. 6-7:30 p.m. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811,


2/20 Travel Affordably. Join Joe Daugirdas as he shares how to travel affordably, including how to find inexpensive 7-day cruises. 2 p.m. Independence Branch Library, 6361 Selig Drive, 216-447-0160,

2/23 Papermania. Organizing 4U will show you how to process incoming paper and how to develop a system of where to put papers that need to be accessed in the future. 7 p.m. Independence Branch Library, 6361 Selig Drive, 216-447-0160,

2/24 Memory Cafe: An Early Stage Dementia Program. Memory Cafe offers a relaxing and comfortable way for people living in the early stages of memory loss to build a social network and connect with like individuals. 1 p.m. Ellet Branch Library, 2470 E. Market St., Akron, 330-7842019,

2/27 AARP Tax Preparation Assistance. Volunteers from AARP will be on hand to help you file your 2015 federal and state taxes. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Appointments required. Bainbridge Library, 17222 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, 440-543-5611, Lake Erie Birds & Ice Bus Trip. Local bus trip to Headlands Beach State Nature Preserve in search of hardy winter birds and amazing ice formations! 9 a.m.-1 p.m. West Woods Nature Center parking lot, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell, 440-286-9516,



Fly Fishing Film Festival. 5 p.m. Cocktail Reception. Films begin at 7 p.m. Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, $20

Avoiding Scams. A representative from Cuyahoga County Consumer Affairs will discuss scams that target seniors. 2-3 p.m. Olmsted Falls Branch Library, 8100 Mapleway Drive, 440-235-1150,

3/6 Irish Sundays: We Banjo 3. The Award-winning quartet from Galway, Ireland, delivers a mixture of Irish music and old-time American and bluegrass influences with virtuosity and passion. 4 p.m. Music Box Supper Club, 1148 Main Ave., Cleveland, 216-242-1250,

3/7 Start Skyping. Learn more about Skype and how to set up your own account. Bring your own device. 2-3:30 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, 440-871-2600, Social Security Explained. Learn the types of benefits you are eligible to receive and how working while retired affects your benefits. 7-8 p.m. North Royalton Branch Library, 5071 Wallings Road, 440-237-3800,

3/14 Music as Healing. Learn how experiences in music, both listening and participating, make a difference in our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 7-8:30 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-871-2600, Meditation. A Certified Life Coach will teach the benefits of meditation and two mindful meditation techniques will be practiced. 6-7 p.m. Willoughby Hills Public Library, 35400 Chardon Road, 440-942-3362,

3/16 Assisting Families with Health Care Planning: Advanced Directives, New Guardianship Rules,

and Palliative Care Continuing education program for social workers, counselors and attorneys. Families also welcome. $65 ($30 for students). Sponsored by Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in collaboration with Visiting Angels. 8:30 a.m.2:00 p.m. Conference Center at Benjamin Rose, 11890 Fairhill Road, Cleveland, 216-791-8000,

3/17-4/3 The Man Who Came to Dinner. They say that fish and house guests stink after three days. That is proven true indeed in this delightful comedy from the late 1930s. Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, 330-836-2626,

3/22 Tiny House Movement. Hear about the first permanent Tiny House in Cleveland, EcoVillage brand, sustainability-based housing and the movement toward living smaller and more efficiently. 7-8 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, 440-871-2600,

3/24 Women’s Megillah Reading. Women of all denominations are invited to come hear the story of Esther. Dress in your “Purim best.” 8:45 p.m. Mandel JCC of Cleveland, 26001 S. Woodland Road, Beachwood, 216-831-0700,

3/25 Grandparents in the Park: Spring Break. Grandparents and their grandchildren are invited out for a day of fun indoor and outdoor nature activities for all ages. 10-11:30 a.m. Big Creek Park, 9160 Robinson Road, Chardon, 440-286-9516,

3/29 Introduction to EFT: Emotional Freedom Techniques. Open to all those touched by cancer. EFT may help you deal more effectively with anger, anxiety or food cravings by gently tapping on specific energy points. 6-7:30 p.m. Mercy Cancer Center, 41201 Schadden Road, Elyria, 440-324-0488,

February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers



Family Living Living At At Its Its Best Best Family

February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers



Ease the Stress of Family Caregiving By Linda Artis, Senior Independence Executive Director Nationally, family caregivers provide 80 percent of care to their older relatives. It’s no wonder caring for an ill or aging loved one affects life on every level. The stress, frustration and the physical and emotional toll associated with family caregiving now has a name: caregiver syndrome.

If you or someone you know cares for an older family member, here are some tips to ease the stress: v Exercise to energize. A regular exercise routine is ideal. It will not only keep you in top physical shape for the physical demands of your role, but it is also a great stress reliever and endorphin releaser. v Meditate. Practice being absolutely still, focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind.

v Keep the faith. Continue to practice your spiritual life. For many of us, our faith sustains us and gives us the strength to continue with our responsibilities. You may even want to talk with your clergy member regarding your situation.

Increasingly, there are resources for family caregivers, including, a place to turn for family caregivers feeling the strain of their undertaking. If you care for an aging family member, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

v Join a support group. Many are available in your community, and it’s reassuring to know that you aren’t alone in your feelings.

Through all of the stress and strain, you and other family caregivers are to be commended — you are helping your loved one when they need you the most.

v Maintain social contacts. Spending time with friends is often the first thing to go, but make a commitment to yourself to keep “friend time” sacred. v Look for community resources. There may be a time when you’ll need additional support on an ongoing basis.

Senior Independence is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services providing affordable, comprehensive programs that give older adults the help they require and the confidence they need to stay at home living the life they choose. See more at:

For additional information or to schedule a tour, please contact or call 330.867.2150 ext. 201.


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February 2016 • Northeast Ohio Parent | Aging Answers



Montefiore Launches In-Home Memory Care Program By Susan Lieberman, director of marketing and public relations

Montefiore, a leader in senior healthcare, announces the launch of its new In-Home Memory Care Program designed to provide memory care services and support at home so individuals can live independently in their residence as long as possible. Montefiore’s In-Home Memory Care Program offers a coordinated approach to helping those with memory impairment live independently. This easy two-step process begins with a comprehensive assess-

ment to evaluate the capabilities, functionality and safety of the individual. The first step includes a nursing assessment with a medication review and vital sign evaluation, home safety review, nutritional assessment and a life enrichment evaluation. Additionally, the assessment covers core functional and cognitive skills to help identify areas of need along with conversations with caregivers to provide a clearer insight. The team then identifies specialized needs

and coordinates services. In the second step, the In-Home Memory Care team reviews the information collected in the assessment and develops a full report and plan of care tailored to the individual and consistent with current routines. In addition to medical and nursing care, our expert team offers a menu of care options and strategies to address unmet needs, provide referrals and arrange for services including, but not limited to private care/ homecare, safety improvements, medical and nutritional services, interest and activity stimulation and any further support services. They also identify when individuals can no longer remain safely at home and support them through a care facility transition. For more information contact Kristen Morelli, program manager, at (216) 9102323 or email kmorelli@montefiorecare. org or visit us online at

RESOURCES The following resources may be of assistance as you and your family navigate the memory care journey

W  estern Reserve Area Agency on Aging  Alzheimer’s  Association, Cleveland Area Chapter  Direction  Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging

Medina  Office for Older Adults

 Cuyahoga  County Division of Senior & Adult services

G  eauga County Department on Aging  National Institute on Aging  L ake County Council on Aging  Memory Fitness Matters


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February 2016 •


February 2016 •


Northeast Ohio Parent - February 2016  

Family Living at its Best in Greater Cleveland

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