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A will is the best way for elders to protect their assets and distribute their possessions to family members and friends of their choice. (Photo by iStock)
May 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Estate and Financial Planning, Fraud and Identity Theft

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Older Americans, along with their caregivers and families, can better navigate legal and financial waters related to aging by making appropriate plans, protecting their identities and being aware of scams.

David Buys, a Mississippi State University researcher in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and health specialist with the MSU Extension Service, educates community members on issues associated with food security and health. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)
May 21, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health

May is Older Americans Month …

Eating a bowl of cereal for dinner can demonstrate the many factors that contribute to food insecurity for older Americans.

“Sometimes, an older person chooses a bowl of cereal for dinner because it’s quick, easy, inexpensive, available and fairly healthy,” said Sylvia Byrd, a professor at Mississippi State University. “Convenience, cost, ease of use and access are all major factors that influence food security.”

Physical and mental activity are key components of keeping memory strong in the elderly. (File Photo/MSU Ag Communications)
May 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many jokes are made about memory loss and aging, but finding ways to combat this inevitable mental decline is no laughing matter.

Experts say time is memory’s worst enemy, and the more time has passed since a memory was made, the less likely a person will be able to recall it. Memory distortion adds another twist, as minds remember things differently over time than when the events occurred.

To make the most of their medical appointments, seniors should create notebooks that include all of their conditions, treatments for those conditions and medications with dosages. (Photo by iStock)
May 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Rural Health

May is Older Americans Month …

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The stress of managing personal health can be physically and emotionally draining for senior citizens and their families, but proper preparation for routine doctor visits can help older adults stay active and robust.

A few basic steps are essential for communicating effectively with the physician and staff, said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi State University fashion design and merchandising major Kelsie Bynum of Laurel inspects the dress she constructed for Oktibbeha County 4-H member Cassin Gant before a special fashion show in Starkville, Mississippi, on May 2, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 8, 2015 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A service-learning class at Mississippi State University taught clothing design students much more than just how to construct a dress.

Caroline Kobia’s Apparel Design 1 students joined Oktibbeha County 4-H members to learn the basics of clothing construction. This was the second semester the MSU Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence linked MSU students with community partners in a sewing project.

Walking, tai chi, weight-bearing exercises and water workouts, such as water volleyball, will improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Preventable falls can lead to catastrophic problems for older adults, so it is important to be proactive.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said falls send more than 2 million senior adults to emergency rooms every year. A fall, even for a healthy individual, can trigger a series of problems and the loss of independence.

Communication with other family members can help caregivers balance the task with family obligations, work and self care. (Photo by iStock)
May 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Caring for an aging loved one can be overwhelming, especially when balancing the task with family obligations, work and self-care.

Take proper precautions, such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat and applying sunscreen, to protect skin from sun damage and help prevent skin cancer. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- She thought the blemish that refused to heal was simply a persistent pimple.

Shelaine Pennington, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Prentiss County, said the dermatologist looked at the spot on her chin and was relatively certain of the diagnosis, but performed a biopsy to be sure.

The doctor confirmed her diagnosis: basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Milder forms of depression in older Americans responds to creative activities such as knitting or gardening as well as by getting more involved in the community through volunteering. (Photo by iStock)
May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Older Americans may become depressed as they face the many challenges aging brings, but spotting the signs and being proactive can limit the illness’s influence.

This responsibility starts with the ability of family members or caretakers to recognize early signs of depression in the seniors they know.

Horses, riders and volunteers involved in the Mississippi State University therapeutic riding program, such as these pictured in 2014, will take part in performances at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Mississippi Horse Park. (MSU Ag Communication file photo)
April 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- About 40 riders involved in Mississippi State University’s therapeutic riding program will exhibit their skills in a special event at 6 p.m. April 14.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the MSU Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, is planning this first-ever exhibition to showcase riders and volunteers. The program will take place south of Starkville at the Mississippi Horse Park, located at 869 East Poorhouse Road.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the Mississippi State University Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, runs beside Little Sam, led by Paige Davis Linley, 10, a participant in the first Therapeutic Riding Expo, held Tuesday night (April 14) at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville, Miss. (Photo by MSU Public Affairs/Megan Bean)
April 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When all else fails, try using horses.

Participants in Mississippi State University’s first Therapeutic Riding Expo on April 14 had this advice for anyone who would listen: Horses can help with physical, mental, emotional and communication skills, even when progress from other therapies has slowed or ended. The benefits are not limited to riders with special needs.

These two preschoolers play their first musical instruments in the Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University. (School of Human Sciences file photo/Alicia Barnes)
April 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

April 12-18:

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Music Monday will kick off the Week of the Young Child, April 12-18.

Families and child care centers across the nation will celebrate this special week through music, food, art and sharing. The National Association for the Education of Young Children established the annual celebration of early learning.

Louise Davis, director of the Early Years Network at Mississippi State University, identified the social-emotional connections made through music.

Kymari Young, a Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H member from Simpson County, takes a close-up photo of daffodils March 8, 2015, in Natchez during a four-day photo safari. Eleven 4-H'ers from across the state visited historic sites from Leland to Natchez to improve their photography skills. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
March 13, 2015 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Eleven 4-H members from around the state spent part of spring break sharpening their photography skills while learning about Mississippi history.

“We had interest from some of our 4-H’ers who compete in the photo track to do some in-depth training, so we decided to open it up to all 4-H members in the state,” said Kat Lawrence, a photographer with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dogs love to taste and chew on many things, so owners should take extra precautions to protect their pets from poisons, a leading cause of emergency trips to veterinary clinics each year. (File photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
March 12, 2015 - Filed Under: Pets

FLOWOOD, Miss. -- March is National Poison Prevention Month, and March 15-21 is National Animal Poison Prevention Week.

The Animal Emergency and Referral Center, an affiliate service of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is reminding pet owners to take extra precautions to protect their pets.

Most owners take precautions to keep their pets safe. Leashes, fences, microchips and vaccinations are all routine purchases for responsible pet owners. But for many pets, the average home hides many dangers that sometimes are not obvious.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Mississippi State University has partnered with the MSU Extension Service to enhance educational opportunities available to students at the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville. At the head of the table, Donae Reggans, sales and marketing administrator for Gulf States, talks with Timothy Guy (from left around the table), Aleah Graham and Celeiah Quin. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
March 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Pi Day comes around every March 14 to help emphasize the importance of math, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service works year-round to give young people the strong educational foundation that will carry them through life.

Mariah Morgan, a professor in the MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach, recently teamed up with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as part of its educational enrichment program.

Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist David Buys signs a pledge to be screened for colorectal cancer in 2015. Other representatives of the MSU Extension Service, Ann Sansing (from left), Theresa Hand and Natasha Haynes, are joining him in the awareness event at the Mississippi Capitol on March 9, 2015. (Submitted photo)
March 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Colon Cancer Screening

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When is knowing about a family history of colorectal cancer a good thing?

Clark Roman of Starkville said knowing his family’s increased incidence of colon cancer prompted him to have regular screenings. The result was early diagnosis and a relatively easy treatment. Almost five years after surgery, he is an advocate for people getting screened according to their doctors’ recommendations.

Indian mealworm caterpillars are stored-food pests commonly found in cornmeal and flour. Cooks can avoid heavy infestations of these pests by including the kitchen pantry in the spring-cleaning routine. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Jonathan Parrish)
March 3, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Insects, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The kitchen pantry is a prime target for pests looking for an easy meal, but a little spring-cleaning can stop them in their tracks.

“It’s a good idea for cooks to empty the pantry at least once a year and check items that have gotten pushed to the back of the cabinet,” said Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent and host of “The Food Factor.” “Throw out any expired food or food that has been open for several months.”

Haynes recommended storing any opened food items in airtight glass or plastic containers.

February 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The heart is the most vital organ in the body, and keeping it healthy can mean a better and longer life.

Jacob Owen, left, and his older brother, Tyler, prepare to enter the arena for the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions with their market goat, Splits, on Feb. 12, 2015, in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
February 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, Youth Projects, Family

JACKSON, Miss. -- Exhibitors in the annual Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions learn important lessons about livestock through their projects, but one family discovered just as much about people.

Tyler Owen, 13, and Jacob Owen, 10, of Jones County qualified to participate in the sale with their reserve champion light heavyweight goat, Splits. Their journey to this coveted sale of market animals began when each was about 5 years old and their parents, Jennifer and Matt Owen of Moselle, encouraged them to show livestock.

Millie Thompson of Starkville grooms her horse, Snip, before riding on Feb. 11, 2015. Thompson is preparing for the 2015 Mississippi 4-H Equine Shadow Program taking place in conjunction with the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show Feb. 16-22 in Jackson. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
February 11, 2015 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Projects, Family

JACKSON, Miss. -- When the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show kicks off during the 2015 Dixie National Rodeo Feb. 16, a group of young horse enthusiasts will have already made it through a round of competition to participate in an unusual career development program.

The Mississippi 4-H Dixie National Equine Shadow Program connects 4-H’ers from across the Southeast with a variety of horse show professionals who convene at the State Fairgrounds for several days of competition and exhibition.

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