HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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at your house. For various reasons, it is wiser to get legal custody or guardianship or even to adopt your own grandchildren in some cases. Volunteer attorneys will be available to provide a limited number of free 30-minute consultations about guardianship, custody, child support and related legal issues. The lawyers will be able to help you interpret any legal documents you may have, assess your current legal status as a caregiver and offer advice regarding legal steps you can take. Call (859) 257-5582 to get on the list for a consultation. When all the time slots are filled, you will be put on a waiting list.


For more information about the conference, visit www.gapofky.org.

The 15th annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference (GAP) will be held Thursday, March 15, at the Clarion Hotel, 1950 Newtown Pike in Lexington.


Registration begins at 8 a.m. All are welcome to attend, but the conference is especially planned to help grandparents or other relatives or friends who have full responsibility for raising children not their own. The registration fee is $5 per person, which includes lunch. Registration for professionals such as social workers is $50. Continuing education credits are available.


The GAP conference planning committee has heeded the cries for help from kinship caregivers. They asked for information on how to meet the needs of children not their own who have come into their care because the biological parents have lost custody of them. Occasionally grandparents or others must step in to parent the children because the biological parents are in jail, are mentally ill or have died. In 80 percent to 90 percent of the cases, drug and/or alcohol abuse by the biological parents is the reason they cannot raise their children. Often such children have been abused, neglected or traumatized in some way, learning in their short lives adults cannot be trusted. As a loving grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative or friend, how do you deal with this situation? The conference includes nine workshops that address some parts of this issue.  

GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS CONFERENCE RETURNS TO LEXINGTON

Paris Goodyear-Brown is this year’s keynote speaker. A licensed clinical social worker, Goodyear- Brown is also a registered play therapist supervisor with 20 years of experience in treating children and families with trauma and attachment disorders. She is an adjunct instructor at Vanderbilt University and has written numerous books. Her keynote address is titled “Becoming a Safe Boss: Attachment, Trauma and Co-Regulation.” Goodyear-Brown will also lead the event’s closing workshop aimed at helping caregivers deal with traumatized children who are crying out in their own ways for their grown-ups to understand their misbehavior and fears.


There will also be workshops offering information about synthetic drugs and opiates; how to take care of yourself as a caregiver; and what to do about the autistic or homosexual child. There will be information about the Area Agency on Aging and ways to help your relative child withstand the childhood obesity epidemic. Resource tables with books and other helpful items will be open all day.


Attorney Jenny Scott will lead a workshop on how to navigate the legal path to guardianship, custody or adoption. It is not enough for your relative children to live

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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