The US birth rate has been declining since the Crash of 2008, but it took an even larger decline during the pandemic to levels unseen since the Great Depression. Today fertility rates are below replacement levels, which could have big impacts on education, employment, and the tax base years down the road. Experts discuss how people make fertility decisions and the impacts they can have on the nation.
Many of those who’ve had COVID-19 have suffered from a temporary loss of their sense of smell, but some have had what seems to be an even worse symptom weeks or months later—a distorted sense of smell, where everything, from coffee to flowers, smells sickeningly awful. An expert and a former sufferer discuss how disruptive to life this can be and what people can do to make it through to recovery.
Just about anyone can report a parent to a child abuse hotline. It’s meant to protect children, but often, parents are reported when no abuse or neglect exists in order to retaliate for a divorce or some other grievance. Some parents are reported for merely letting children play outside or walk to school without an adult in attendance, what was once thought of as normal. Some activists say this robs children of independence. An expert and a woman who went through an unjustified child abuse investigation discuss.
Getting together with family and friends over the holidays will be different this year due to COVID-19 precautions for families and governmental restrictions on restaurants and bars. The hospitality industry complains it’s unfairly targeted, but data shows it’s a COVID hotspot. Yet families in homes can repeat some of the same errors. Experts discuss how to keep gatherings safe and the consequences if we don’t.
Some nursing homes with a large number of patients with dementia have found that farm animals on-site and even in rooms can be helpful in raising spirits and reducing the need for medications. A therapist and program director at one such nursing home discusses how llamas, chickens, goats and mini horses have found a home, to the benefit of residents.
Children are living through a scary time right now and often have little understanding of why their world has been turned upside down. A noted public health expert explains what he’s found about children’s concerns of the pandemic and how parents can answer their questions.
Mental health experts once believed that children were too young to remember traumas well enough to suffer much from post-traumatic stress disorder. Now they know that children as young as 2 or 3 can be affected, often for the rest of their lives. An expert discusses PTSD in children and its treatment.
Millions of Americans are suddenly having to work from home for the first time as a result of coronavirus. Many do not have a good home office setup, tech skills, family makeup or the temperament to do it. A remote working expert discusses the do’s and don’t’s of working from home without going crazy.
Spouses of Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle with depression while caregiving and are desperate for support. Some have started new relationships while their loved one is still alive but no longer recognizes them. Acceptance of such infidelity is highly individual. Experts and a woman involved in such a relationship discuss how it can benefit even the incapacitated spouse, as long as families find it acceptable.
New research shows that most people with ADHD have a disordered body clock, prompting disturbed sleep, sleep deprivation, and a worsening of ADHD symptoms. Experts discuss how fixing the body clock could lessen the impact of both ADHD and physical diseases that result from poor sleep.
As loved ones age, tough decisions need to be made on finances, housing, and other concerns, and these decisions need to be made far earlier than they typically are. This is especially true if a person does not have family to act as support and caregiver. Two experts discuss managing the transition from complete independence as we age.
Hoarding disorder affects at least five percent of Americans, and despite TV programs showing its effects, it is still widely misunderstood. Experts discuss the danger hoarding poses to others, including neighbors, children, and first responders; why those with the disorder are so attached to things; and the right and wrong ways to address the problem.
Winter in general, and the holidays in particular, are the busiest time of year in hospital emergency departments, even in places where it doesn’t snow. Experts discuss the increase in deaths of all kinds, including the “Merry Christmas Coronary” and possible reasons those deaths bounce up.
During the holidays, reflux problems are magnified by big meals with trigger foods like chocolate and alcohol. But reflux sometimes doesn’t show up as heartburn. A gastroenterologist discusses reflux, how it may appear as asthma or hoarseness, and how it can be treated.
For those left behind when a loved one dies of suicide, recovery can be difficult. Stigma, guilt, and blame are exceptionally common. They need more support, but often get less, and their own risk of suicide is elevated. Experts—one a suicide survivor herself—discuss the difficulties and ways survivors can cope.