Department of Aging
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Caregiver Connection

A Quarterly Newsletter for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

July, August, September 2015

The Caregiver Connection Newsletter is a free publication of the Baltimore County Department of Aging.

Stories in this Issue:

Driver Safety Seminar Offered August 27

The AARP Maryland Chapter will be hosting a free “We Need to Talk” seminar to offer resources for conversations with older drivers.

Date: Thursday, August 27
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Location: 200 Saint Paul Street, 22nd floor, Baltimore 21202
Register at least 48 hours prior to the seminar date by emailing Ted Peterkin peterkin1@comcast.net or calling 240-603-2950.

Seminar participants will learn to:

  • Recognize the value of driving to older adults and how a perceived loss of independence can affect decision making
  • Create opportunities to talk about driving safety and transportation needs
  • Make objective observations of driving skills
  • Help meet transportation needs if driving is limited
  • Develop a plan for more successful and sensitive conversations about limiting or stopping driving

AARP’s “We Need to Talk” is one of several programs that support safe driving and maintaining personal independence as people age. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people age 50 plus to have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

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Medical Foster Homes For Veterans Are Available

The Medical Foster Home program gives Veterans, who are enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System and who require hands-on assistance care, the opportunity to remain in a home-like environment as opposed to a nursing home setting. All homes designated as Medical Foster Homes are licensed by the state of Maryland and are independently operated by private owners who are caretakers. 

No more than three residents live in each Medical Foster Home along with the caretaker, and the home is equipped to provide hands-on total care around the clock. To offset the cost of room and board, this program provides additional monetary benefits for eligible Veterans. The VA’s Home Based Primary Care Team brings VA primary care to the Veterans residing in each Medical Foster Home. Additionally, the Veteran receives support and regular visits from the Medical Foster Home Team including the Coordinator, who is a social worker, as well as a Recreation Therapist.

Currently, there is availability in the Loch Raven area of Baltimore as well as in Cecil County. To learn more about this program, call Nicole Trimble, Coordinator for Medical Foster Homes at 410-642-2411, extension 6094, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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How To Navigate The Medicare Maze

Baltimore County Department of Aging and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) presents the topic “The Medicare Maze: What exactly am I covered or not covered for?” to help the public better understand Medicare benefit coverage. Join Sherry Kolbe, Baltimore County SHIP Coordinator, to find out what services Medicare does and does not cover.

Upcoming sessions:

  • Monday, August 3 at 1 p.m. at Jacksonville Senior Center, 3605A Sweet Air Road, Jacksonville 21131
  • Wednesday, September 9 at 12:45 p.m. at Catonsville Senior Center, 501 North Rolling Road, Catonsville 21228

For more information on this program, call 410-887-2040.

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Participate In An Intervention Research Study

The focus of the Maximizing Independence at Home (MIND at Home) study is to identify older adults living in the Baltimore community who may need help related to memory problems and to find out if proving person-centered care will help them remain longer at home. The MIND at Home study is an intervention research study. The goal is to find out if providing assistance in obtaining care for older adults with memory problems will help them remain at home longer, as well as improve quality of life.

If you or someone you know is having memory problems, lives at home in the Baltimore area and has low monthly income, participants will receive a free assessment and specialized care coordination services for 18 months. To find out more, please email mindathome@jhmi.edu or call 410-550-6744. Principal Investigator: Quincy Miles Samus, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Walk To End Alzheimer’s This Autumn

The Alzheimer's Association Greater Maryland Chapter encourages you to start a team and set a fund-raising goal for the annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” events. Participate on any of the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 26: Howard County Walk
  • Saturday, October 3: Harford County Walk
  • Sunday, October 18: Western Maryland Walk
  • Saturday, October 24: Eastern Shore Walk
  • Sunday, October 25: Anne Arundel County Walk
  • Saturday, October 31: Greater Baltimore Walk

For details and to register, call 800-272-3900.

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LGBT Caregiving Web Resource

Visit the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging online for timely articles, multimedia resources and training aimed at improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. On the website, you will find a featured resource section for family caregivers, including a downloadable PDF “Guide to LGBT Caregiving” available in English and Spanish.

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is supported, in part, under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging.

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Better Understanding of Family Members’ Professional Limits

Question: My sister is a nurse. But, I don’t understand why she does not help more with our mother’s medications or personal hygiene. Why doesn’t she?

Answer: It sounds like, because your sister is in the medical profession, you expect her to feel comfortable doing nursing tasks in her private life. To put her nursing background in perspective: she provides care for strangers who are “patients.” At her job, she can separate her feelings from care tasks. When your sister is with family, though, there are emotional ties and history within these relationships. It may be too emotional and close to the heart for her to provide hands-on care for her own mother.

For information about resources for family caregivers, contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) of Baltimore County by sending an email to aginginfo@baltimorecountymd.gov or by calling 410-887-2594.

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Community Resource Directory Offers Local Assistance Options

Baltimore County and Baltimore City Governments have partnered to combine resources, business listings and non-profits to create one regional publication for Baltimore communities. This revised publication has been expanded in distribution and scope with the most current resources for older adults, baby boomers, caregivers, families, persons with disabilities and professionals. Learn about the latest programs and services available in both Baltimore County and City.

Pick up your complimentary copy of the directory at your local senior center and public library. View Community Resources online. Smart phone owners can take advantage of the QR code on the publication’s cover. Empower yourself, family and friends by reading Community Resources, the directory which guides your path to resources in the region. To advertise in Community Resources, call Debbie Orlove at 410-887-2012 or email dorlove@baltimorecountymd.gov to learn more.

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Revised June 26, 2015

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