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Pinewood Grand Prix Derby in Adams Morgan, DC

For kids of ALL AGES.

Competitive Car Racing Comes to Adams Morgan…finally!

The Adams Morgan Pinewood Grand Prix. Kalorama Park. Saturday, April 29th.

With speeds up to 8 mph, the first annual Adams Morgan Pinewood Grand Prix offers race fans plenty to get excited about when it rolls into town this month. Custom-built cars, crafted from little more than a block of wood and a dream, will forego traditional combustion engines in favor of gravity…an affordable form of clean power that reportedly creates zero emissions and is available everywhere.

Open to all ages, (though adults who win should probably give their trophies to a nearby child if it looks like they’re taking the loss hard), Adams Morgan Pinewood Grand Prix is also open to all genders — without the demeaning “powder puff” designation that female racers have been subjected to on other circuits. “Adams Morgan embraces equality. We see no reason why girls and boys — and men and women — can’t compete side by side,” said Kristen Barden, veteran race organizer and Executive Director of the Adams Morgan Partnership BID. “I’m not violating any ethics rules by competing in my own event, am I?” she wondered while carefully weighing one of her many prototypes.

For those who dodged being drafted into the scouts at a young age by fleeing to Canada or enrolling in a PhD program, the Pinewood Derby involves an elevated track several lanes wide, where cars, often built by competitor’s parents, are timed over the course of several heats to determine which is the fastest. The general idea is to create a bonding experience between parent and child, instill a sense of pride in craftsmanship, celebrate ingenuity and encourage a bloodthirsty lust for winning at any cost.

The Adams Morgan Grand Prix will have several non-traditional race categories, including one specifically for businesses in the community to compete against each other in the spirit of good sportsmanship.

Car kits are available at Adams Morgan Ace Hardware, Urban Dwell and The Brass Knob. Competitors are asked to arrive at Kalorama Park (1840 Columbia Road, NW) at 10 am.

Races begin at noon. This is not a NASCAR sanctioned event: no alcohol please and dogs must be on leashes. Registration information and complete rules are available at:

Participation is free, but a $5 suggested donation will go directly to Mary’s Center:

Recognizing Early Stage Alzheimer’s in the Washington DC area

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects each individual differently. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for roughly 80% of all new dementia diagnoses. Each stage of Alzheimer’s introduces symptoms that directly impacts the cognitive and functional abilities of the individual. In the early stage of the disease, symptoms are generally mild and may be difficult to notice. At this stage, the individual may functional independently with the ability to complete all of their own activities of daily living. However, they may begin experiencing frequent memory lapses or the inability to identify familiar words. Friends and family may notice the individual struggling with performing routine tasks or maintaining organization. During a medical examination, doctors may identify problems in memory or concentration.

Common challenges in the Early-Stage of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Difficulties with planning or organization
  • Difficulties with recalling the right word or name for familiar objects
  • Difficulties with performing social or work tasks
  • Frequent memory lapses
  • Frequently losing or misplacing valuable objects
  • Difficulties with retaining new information
  • Difficulty following storylines
  • Deteriorating sense of direction

Once medical examinations are completed and an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis is received, it’s important to optimize the safety and quality of life of the individual. Family, friends, and the care team should provide the individual with support and empathy while preparing for upcoming challenges ahead. Conversations regarding advance directives and preferred future plans of care should take place with the individual, to ensure that their wishes are upheld when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Take the time to carefully plan for comprehensive and holistic care which meets the entire needs of the individual– it’s the best way to honor their life and legacy.







Featured Caregiver: Katy T.

Featured Caregiver providing Senior Care in Washington DC

Katy T.

Have you ever gotten a mute person to talk? Well, Philia’s caregiver, Katy, has. She worked with a woman who was considered mute for no medically known reason. When she started working with a woman at an assisted living facility, everyone told Katy to not bother talking with the woman, because she can’t or won’t talk back.

But Katy understood that not talking wasn’t the same as not hearing or understanding. So, day in and day out, Katy would talk with her client. And one day, her client answered back.  Katy was so excited, she started to cry.

But that is how Katy is. She has a deep understanding of the human condition and her empathy and understanding of her clients enables her to develop deep connections with them.

Katy has been working with Philia for over two years.

Taming Temper Tantrums in Washington DC

Taming Temper Tantrums in Washington DC

Children sure can create big scenes! No matter how sweet your child is or how good a parent you are, meltdowns are a fact of toddler life. Try to remember that your child’s tantrums aren’t a reflection of your parenting skills: They simply mean you’ve got a frustrated child on your hands.

“She was completely out of control.” “His screaming was giving me a pounding headache.”

The statements above are just a few ways to describe temper tantrums, a concern for many care givers of young children. Many caregivers and parents report temper tantrums as a behavior that they have difficulty coping with in a patient and positive way. Although associated with toddlers, temper tantrums are a frequent occurrence in young children, only beginning to diminish around ages five or six. And although it is a common behavior, many care givers lack strategies for preventing and taming temper tantrums.

As with talking gestures and crying, temper tantrums are a mode of communication for the young child. Their lack of language skills mad lead to a more direct way of expression; such as throwing puzzle pieces across the room. It then becomes the care giver’s task to decipher the message and address the issue. What follows is a list of possible causes of temper tantrums and the messages they convey.

Even young toddlers and infants are prone to experience intense frustration. The child who is struggling to obtain a toy that is out of reach only needs to fail a few times before feelings of anger and frustration become overwhelming. The care giver who recognizes that providing for success in young children’s activities and environment, by supplying age appropriate toys and materials, can prevent much frustration and is well on the way to taming temper tantrums.

Caregivers will often see what can be referred to as mid-afternoon slump. During the late afternoon, young children can become over tired; resulting in crankiness, irritability and a decrease in their skills to handle strong emotions and conflict. Of course, it is wise to note, children can also become over tired from a lack of balance in the daily schedule, or a schedule that does not consider the needs of the child. Children may react in a similar manner when they are over stimulated. Field trips and holidays, where the excitement level is high, there is a change in routine, and many things are vying for a child’s attention can be particular problems. Adhering to the routine, preparing young children in advance, keeping thinks simple, providing a balance between active and inactive activities, and ensuring a time for rest; these are just some ways a care giver can prevent child from becoming over tired and over stimulated.

Independence and autonomy have long been recognized as crucial issues for young children. They can now see how their actions impact and influence events and people around them. Such is the need for independence and control, that a child who is denied may be compelled to assert their independence in dramatic or inappropriate ways. Many of us have witnessed a young child losing control because they don’t want help. Toddlers have even been known to reject snack or trips to the zoo, just to assert the power to say no! It is helpful to avoid conflict by providing opportunities for a child to feel independent. Caregivers need to allow children to make some choices, encourage independent action, and allow them to try new skills.

Temper tantrums have been associated with the child who is acting out to get attention. This seems to occur in the older child who has learned from past experiences that temper tantrums can achieve the desired result. Most likely, the older child who has a temper tantrum for attention has not been encouraged to seek attention in more appropriate ways. A caregiver must be sensitive to their response to this behavior, and consider, are they actually reinforcing an unwanted behavior. Remember, for some children, negative attention is better than no attention at all. Temper tantrums for attention can often be avoided by the care giver’s effort to give attention to a child’s positive behavior.

Appropriate caregiver interaction and response is the key to coping with temper tantrums once they occur. Frequently, a child who is in the throes of a temper tantrum is feeling out of control, both emotionally and physically. This can be frightening and overwhelming to the child, only intensifying the episode. Caregivers often add fuel to the fire by telling, or reacting in a manner that may mirror the child’s actions. It is beneficial to remain calm and speak slowly and softly. Acknowledge the child’s feelings and reassure them you are there to help them regain control. A care give may say something like, “I can see you are very angry right now. I wonder if it is because you want to go outside? I can’t help you when you’re screaming and kicking. Let’s sit down and get calm, then maybe you can tell me with words what is wrong.”

by: Kristina McCartney, Philia Child Care Specialist


Tips for Providing Anti-Aging Care

Anti-aging is a new era phenomenon that is has become a central topic of discussion as it relates to aging populations. However, considering the culmination of factors that contribute to aging including stress, poor diet and sedentary lifestyles this topic can be relevant to people

Tips for Providing Anti-Aging Care

in Washington DC

  • Incorporate more plant-based foods into a client’s dietary plan. Review a vegetable chart and learn about the client’s favorite veggies and create new recipes to incorporate them in meals.
    In cases a person is completely aversive to fruits/vegetables learn delicious smoothie recipes that make them seem more appetizing.
  • Educate seniors on ways nutrients from vegetables work in the body and reverse aging.
    Create fun exercises tailored to the person’s unique ability and interest. Don’t push clients into “overdoing it”.
  • Engage or encourage clients in activities that are distressing (i.e. nature walks, meditation, deep breathing, yoga).
  • Incorporate humor into your work with clients. Find funny jokes online and create a “joke of the day” tradition.
  • Provide clients a space to ventilate and talk about their difficulties/frustration.

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Philia Family,

Philia’s main purpose is supporting families by caring for aging parents and younger children.family_cares

Thanksgiving is truly a holiday that focuses on the family. People travel from far and wide to be with their family members. Family members who they may disagree with, may even dislike, but who are always loved. For this reason, we at Philia, think of Thanksgiving as Philia’s holiday. We close the administrative office on the Friday after Thanksgiving and pay our workers holiday pay. This is to encourage time spent with family – for both yours and our caregivers families.

Thanksgiving is also a time where we give thanks and express our gratitude. We are grateful to you, our clients, for entrusting us with your family members. We know it is a privilege not to be taken lightly. We are also grateful for our caregivers. Our caregivers work from their heart every day, caring for members of someone else’s family and take great pride in the work they do.


Thank You!! 

from the Philia Office Staffimg_5793


from left: Our mascot dog, Diesel, Kristina, Beth, Kira and from Nichole who is missing from the photo.

Tips for Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude & Thankfulness

  • Work gratitude into daily conversation with children. For example, “We’re so lucky to have a good cat like “Whiskers”grateful-child-stress-relief or “I am so thankful that we were able to spend time together”.
  • Designate a time of the day to give thanks. The best time would typically be dinner time when all member of the family are gathered together to share their gratitude. Having everyone involved increases the influential power.
  • Designate task for children to assist with and show appreciation for their help. Engagement in task helps children recognize the effort involved with various duties and promotes appreciation.
  • Be a great example in displaying gratitude with family members and friends consistently
  • Practice saying “no” or “not now” to decrease entitlement tendencies. Instant gratification of every whim decreases a sense of value and appreciation. Encourage children to use their strengths to show kindness and gratitude toward others.

Helping Your Senior Parent Beat the Holiday Blues

It’s very human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. Senior_Couple_Grandkids_Christmas_4_HAfter all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn’t that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced “season of good will.”

Senior adults can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill, or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. Often the contrast of joyous memories of families and friends in holidays past to the relative lonely and quiet is enough to bring a person down.

The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

You, the adult child of a parent who may seem depressed during the holidays, can do much to help. Yes, you are busy and stressed yourself. However, by simplifying the holiday season all around and concentrating on what really matters – people – you can offer your parent help through what can be, for some, a time of discouragement. And in doing so, you may help to alleviate any tendency you may have towards feeling blue.


10 Tips to enhance your elders’ holidays

  1. Listen and understand when they want to talk, even if the talk is negative. They are likely mourning many of the losses mentioned above. Don’t imply they are whining or that they should snap out of it. They can’t. Your empathy is vital here. Try to put yourself into their place.
  2. Remind them how important they are as a part of your own celebration and that of the entire family. Be especially careful not to act like what you do for them is a duty. This can be tough, as your tired body language can show through. However, again, put yourself in their place. They may feel useless and burdensome. Remind them they are loved.
  3. Holiday cards can be a mixed blessing. They simultaneously offer a connection with life-long friends and bring news of illness and death. Sit with your mom and help her write cards and read with her the ones she receives. This can be a time to talk with her about her past in a happy and productive way. You may even learn more about your parent through this process.
  4. Help them see that you are trying to simplify the holidays in order to bring back the real meaning of our celebrations. Let them know you are trying to ignore the hype that has increased over the years. Remind them that they taught you that it’s people who count, and thank them for that.
  5. If your parent is in an assisted living facility or nursing home, check with the local kindergarten or day care centers to see if they can bring children to visit the elders. Perhaps the older children can read to the seniors and the seniors can tell stories to the younger children.
  6. Check with your parents’ spiritual home. Visitors can visit your parents at home or in a facility. These people undergo considerable training that provides them with tools to listen compassionately and creatively. This can go a long way toward helping with depression over the holidays.
  7. Help them decorate their home or room. Make it an event with music, beverages and food. Bring your kids to help. Perhaps they have home made decorations they would like to present to Grandpa.
  8. Bring traditional baked goods or treats regularly for your parent and their friends to share. Or have your parent bake cookies at your home with your kids. Maybe that can be their new tradition of activities to do together.
  9. Spend time with them. This is the most important thing you can do. Look at holiday photos or videos with them and leave them photos in a handy place so they can walk down memory lane when they are alone. Play music. Listen to them reminisce.
  10. Have them over to your house and tell stories of holidays past. Your children can learn a lot from these stories and further enrich everyone’s life.

Your time is precious to you. You likely have a spouse, children and others who need you. However, your time is the most valuable gift you can give your elders during this holiday. Do what you can without stressing yourself beyond your limits. Your being somewhat relaxed is also important to your elders. Remember that you won’t reach perfection and you won’t please everyone all of the time. Your best efforts will be good enough.

Kira Tewalt

An Attitude of Gratitude & Heart of Thankfulness

Today we live in a society in which instant gratification is at our fingertips or just one tap of away. It can be two girlschallenging to avoid conditioning children have an attitude of expectation and entitlement. There are many great psychological and social benefits to maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Ultimately, maintaining an attitude of gratitude cultivates a conditioned heart of thankfulness.

What Have You Done for Me Lately? Teaching Gratitude

According to Barbara Lewis, young children are typically self-centered or ego-centric by nature. Their self-centered nature can be manifested in tantrums, emotional outburst and refusal to share or cooperate with others. Around age 2-3 children are able to express thankfulness for objects such as toys or food. At this age it can be challenging to help children express thankfulness or identify instances to be thankful when tangible objects are not related. By age 4, children may begin to understand the concept of being thankful not only for material things but for acts of kindness, love and caring. These attributes are fostered by consistent parental efforts to prompt their children to recognize instances in which to express gratitude.

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Fostering an attitude of gratitude in children can be quite challenging. However, the degree of psychological plasticity in children allows them to learn habits more quickly and maintain them long-term. In order to help children adopt an attitude of gratitude consistency is imperative. Many times parents prompt children to show thankfulness sporadically or whimsically. The lack of consistency in expressing gratitude can condition children have varying experiences of gratitude. Adopting a mindset of appreciation should begin the moment a child starts the day. It may be beneficial for parents to help children to recognize each day as a gift of life. Additionally, it can be beneficial for parents to prompt their children to be thankful for assistance with task throughout the day (i.e. teeth brushing, shoe tying, packing lunch). However, it is important to avoid prompting in a “nagging tone”. Finally, it is exceedingly important for parents to model an attitude of thankfulness. Children learn most of their characteristics and attitudes from their parental figures.

It is essential for parents to express their gratefulness for acts of service and kindness from their children and other adults. Children may view parents as hypocrites and be resistant to express gratitude if they rarely witness their parents modeling the same behaviors. Expressing gratefulness for their children’s compliance and acts kindness can be a great way to model an attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude & Well-being

According to a 2014 study published in Emotion, showing appreciation toward others can help foster ongoing relationships with others. Overall, showing appreciation can be an expression of love and admiration. These aspects are essential for maintaining healthy relationships. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, Individuals with higher levels of gratitude reported feeling healthier than other people. According to Dr. Emmons, a leading researcher on gratitude, individual’s with high levels of gratitude had a reduction in a multitude of negative emotions related to envy, frustration and regret. Overall, these are common emotions experienced by young egocentric children as they develop healthy self-esteem and try to meet the expectations of adult figures.

By Nichole Hawkins, Philia’s Family Support Specialist