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Published: May 7, 2013

health in brief

Free wellness classes offered

Help prevent diabetes and heart disease by attending free total wellness classes. The classes teach how to prevent the onset of chronic diseases by changing eating and exercise habits.

Space is limited. Classes are held at Southern Oaks Library, Ralph Ellison Library and Village Library. For information, call 425-4308 or email

Support for siblings

Families of people with special needs face emotional, physical and financial challenges unique to their situations.

One group has been somewhat overlooked — the siblings of those with disabilities who are or may become their caretakers. With 20 million American families having at least one member with special needs, the chances of a sibling caring for a person with a disability are likely.

Easter Seals' Sibling Disability Study, commissioned by MassMutual, found that:

• While 80 percent of respondents expect to eventually be their sibling's primary caregiver, only 33 percent of future caregivers feel financially prepared to provide that care.

• About 60 percent of caregivers wish they knew more about planning for their sibling's care and finances, yet just over a third report that they use special needs services.

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