Reduce the risk of falling; help kids in military families

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The risk of falling and being seriously injured from a fall increases with age, but anyone can take a fall resulting in a minor or even a bad injury. I invite you to attend the program, “Don’t Let Falls Get You Down” at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at the Carroll County Extension office. Kate Vaught, our Campbell County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent will teach us how to lower our risk of falling – anywhere, anytime or at any age.
Vaught is very knowledgeable in this topic so will provide lots of excellent information. This program has been developed and based on research at the University of Kentucky and other reliable resources so you are getting the best information available.  
This is the Extension Homemakers November lesson but we invite all interested residents to attend. If you can, give us a call at 732-7030 if you plan to attend so I have enough materials ready.
Support military families
With tomorrow being Veteran’s Day, I share the following information provided by Dr. Carole Gnatuk, child development extension specialist and Kerri Ashurst, Director, Kentucky Operation Military Kids.
Veterans make up 10.4 percent of Kentucky’s population according to the 2008 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Military members, including active duty, National Guard and Reserve, are called up and deployed as the state and country need their help. Deployment may be sudden or expected. When a deployment happens, it leaves a large hole in the heart and in the family’s daily habits, tasks and activities. Sometimes even neighbors don’t realize the person is away on duty, but the families must cope with the absence the best way they can, which often puts added stress on children and spouses.
Not all deployments are combat related, but when someone serves in combat, greater issues can arise affecting a family’s well-being after they return. For returning military personnel, nightmares, sensitivity to sudden noises and physical ailments are common. To cope, many military families need ongoing support to help them lead more normal lives.
Caring neighbors and community groups can help make a difference in the lives of deployed and returned military members. Local groups are sending Christmas care packages to the deployed. Acceptable donations include personal care items, cards, puzzles, books, new magazines, drink mixes, hard candy, postage, Nerf balls, gift wrap and ribbons. Items not accepted are razors, bar soap, chocolate candy anything flammable. You can also help the family out in many ways – from helping out with work around the house and yard, to lending a hand with the children.
You can get involved with Kentucky’s Operation Military Kids (OMK) which strives to foster understanding of the unique issues facing children of military members. Operation Military Kids offers training such as “Ready, Set, Go” and “Speak Out for Military Kids” to increase awareness of the needs of military families and help them. It has educational resources to borrow to learn more about working with military families and fun, hands-on activities and games to use with a program such as a military family fun day. There is a mobile technology lab to borrow containing equipment like laptops, printers and camcorders for use with programs for military families, including photo printing on pillowcases to send to a deployed family member.
I am presently teaching an Extension Homemaker lesson based on Operation Military Kids called “Extension Homemakers help Support Military Families”. The program provides information on the military branches, what families go through when their loved one or a friend is deployed and how you can help.
For more information about Kentucky’s Operation Military Kids go to www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/statePOCHome.aspx?state=Kentucky.

Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.