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Caregiver Connection

A Quarterly Newsletter for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

October, November, December 2016

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

Stories in this Issue:

November Outreach Addresses Challenges

  • Are you caring for an older relative having increased difficulty with safety in their home?
  • Are you facing changes in your marriage because your spouse has declining health issues?
  • Do you face challenges in caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease?

Baltimore County Department of Aging is pleased to address these issues with the Mental Health Players leading community presentations in November.

  • Monday, November 7, at 12:45 p.m. Catonsville Senior Center, 501 North Rolling Road, Catonsville 21228
  • Monday, November 14, at 1 p.m. Essex Senior Center, 600 Dorsey Avenue, Essex 21221
  • Monday, November 28, at 12:30 p.m. Bykota Senior Center, 611 Central Avenue, Towson 21204

Using role play and interactive audience participation, the Mental Health Players troupe of volunteer actors expands awareness and educates community members. Conflicts are presented through dialogue between actors, with a narrator facilitating audience responses. This flexible, spontaneous format allows the actors to tailor performances to address specific challenges.

The Mental Health Association of Maryland will be providing these programs free of charge for the community. Baltimore County Department of Aging appreciates this unique opportunity to partner with the Mental Health Players in November, to commemorate National Family Caregivers Month.

Brain Exercise Combats Memory Loss

When it comes to memory, it’s “use it or lose it.” Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower the risk of mental decline. The more pleasurable an activity is to you, the more powerful its effect will be on your brain. Try these brain exercises:

  • Play games that involve strategy, like chess, bridge and Scrabble
  • Try crossword or other word puzzles or number puzzles such as Sudoku
  • Read newspapers, magazines and books that challenge you
  • Learn new things like recipes, driving routes, a musical instrument, a foreign language
  • Take a course in an unfamiliar subject that interests you
  • Take on a project that involves design and planning such as a new garden, a quilt or a koi pond

For more ways to keep your brain healthy, go to your local Baltimore County senior center to pick up a free copy of the Baltimore County Department of Aging’s newest publication “Brain Matters.” This information is from chapter thirteen of the publication.

Free Memory Screening Clinics Available

If you are concerned about an older adult you care for, you can encourage them to attend a Memory Screening clinic at one of six Baltimore County Senior centers in November. The screening is for those concerned with memory loss, who may be experiencing warning signs of dementia or who may have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Screenings are also appropriate for anyone who does not have a concern right now, but wants to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.

Appointments are required by calling the location you wish to attend:

Wednesday, November 16 screenings

  • 9 to 11 a.m. Cockeysville Senior Center Phone: 410-887-7694
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Catonsville Senior Center Phone: 410-887-0900

Friday, November 18 screenings

  • 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pikesville Senior Center Phone: 410-887-1245
  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Parkville Senior Center Phone: 410-887-5338
  • 10 a.m. to noon Edgemere Senior Center Phone: 410-887-7530
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Seven Oaks Senior Center Phone: 410-887-5192

A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.

These clinics are offered free of charge by the Screening Provider, Senior Helpers in recognition of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Memory Screening Month in November.

Annual African-American Forum on Memory Loss

Saturday, November 5 is the date set for the annual Pythias A. and Virginia I. Jones African-American Community Forum on Memory Loss. The goals of the event are to:

  • inform the community about memory loss
  • support caregivers
  • share the promise of research
  • learn how to get involved in helping conquer this disease

Learn more about this event from the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland chapter.

Give Yourself A Gift

How do we tell others that we love and appreciate them? We may give them a unique gift, write them a note or do a special favor for them. We express love and friendship to others in countless ways, but we sometimes find it hard to love ourselves. We need to develop the daily habit of telling ourselves that we are important. Start with these ideas:

  • Write yourself encouraging notes and place them around your house
  • Memorize one encouraging saying every day or week
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Treat yourself to a present once in a while, as your budget allows
  • Prepare your favorite meal or order out from your favorite restaurant
  • Buy or pick yourself flowers

This information is shared by the Caregiver Action Network.

Veterans Service Program Information

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) proudly serves Maryland Veterans. Programs and benefits are available to all veterans by contacting the Veterans Service Program Claims Assistance office website or by phoning 800-446-4926.

A Helpful Guide For Family Caregivers

Baltimore County Department of Aging has produced a booklet titled “Family Caregiving: The Art of Caring for Your Older Relative”. Paper copies are available in Baltimore County senior centers and public libraries. This informative booklet is offered free of charge, through the generous sponsorship of the Elizabeth Cooney Care Network.

Community Resource Directory Offers Local Assistance Options

Empower yourself, family and friends by reading Community Resources, the directory which guides your path to programs and services in the region. Baltimore County and Baltimore City Governments have partnered to combine resources, business listings and non-profits to create one regional publication for Baltimore communities.

Pick up your complimentary copy of the directory at your local senior center and public library. Smart phone owners can take advantage of the QR code on the publication’s cover.

To advertise in next year's guide, call Debbie Orlove at 410-887-2012 or email dorlove@baltimorecountymd.gov to learn more.

 

Revised October 5, 2016        

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