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Caregiver Connection

A Quarterly Newsletter for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

January, February, March 2014

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

Stories in this Issue:

Nine Ways To Get Out Of A Funk

  1. Go for a walk around the block and take deep breaths while you are outside.
  2. Do a “Random Act of Kindness” by making someone else's day special and you will both feel better.
  3. Clear out clutter by throwing out or recycling materials. Space gives new energy and a positive feeling.
  4. Try a new recipe. It will put a smile on everyone's face (and stomach).
  5. Watch a movie as a family and laugh together whenever something is funny.
  6. Pamper yourself with a bubble bath, a romance novel, shopping, or a manicure.
  7. Move your furniture or art work around your home to feel refreshed and in a better place.
  8. Eat chocolate!
  9. Find support by joining a support group to meet other caregivers to feel the bond and connections. Remember you are not alone.

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Pain Management Program Begins Soon

The “Take Charge of Your Health, Living Well” series are six week workshops, that meet once a week for two hours each session. Based on a Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program research initiative, the workshops are designed to reduce the impact of chronic conditions on people’s lives and encourage a positive approach to self-management. These programs do not conflict with existing programs or treatments and are not meant to replace any professional health care services.

The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) is designed to help people over the age of 18 manage their chronic pain by providing participants with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take an active part in their health care. Family caregivers of people with chronic pain can also join to learn more about how to best care for their loved one.

“Take Charge of Your Health, Living Well” participants will learn:

  • techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, isolation and poor sleep
  • appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
  • appropriate use of medications
  • communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • nutrition
  • pacing activity and rest
  • how to evaluate new treatments

The next CPSMP workshop is scheduled for Bykota Senior Center, 611 Central Avenue, Towson. Meetings will be on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon beginning February 6 through March 15. Call Suzanne Diehl at 410-887-3094 for more information and to register.

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Resolve Conflicts Through Mediation

The Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) of Baltimore County is a non-profit community organization that offers free mediation services at convenient locations throughout Baltimore County. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which nonjudgmental mediators assist people in developing solutions that meet the needs of everyone. Mediation gives the people the opportunity to speak, to be heard, and to hear each other. It provides an opportunity to better understand each other while creating their own solutions. Mediation might be helpful with the following situations:

  • neighborhood disputes
  • community associations
  • business disputes
  • family disputes (other than domestic violence)
  • parent planning
  • employment disputes
  • interpersonal
  • school
  • inmate re-entry
  • landlord and tenant disputes

Mediators will not take sides or assess blame. In mediation, you control the outcome; no one tells you what to do. The mediator guides you through a process to develop solutions and assists you in writing an agreement that works for everyone. Contact The Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County by email or phone 410-663-7070.

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Journaling Can Be A Helpful Tool

Giving oneself permission to express feelings and emotions can be a powerful coping tool. Keeping a journal by recording thoughts, feelings and events in a blank journal or an online blog can be cathartic and can relieve caregivers of some of the emotional stress and anxiety that often accompanies caring for a loved one.

By writing about not only the challenges of caregiving, but about the days when caregiving is empowering and uplifting, one can create a chronicle of happy memories of their loved one.

In order for journaling to be most beneficial, it should be done on an as needed basis. Busy caregivers should not feel pressured to make a daily entry, unless they have the desire and the time to do so.

Written and contributed by Jill Tarnoff, retired BCDA Caregiver Specialist.

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Join A Clinical Trial About Type 2 Diabetes

The Research Program at Johns Hopkins is conducting a research study involving older adults with Type 2 Diabetes. They are in the Clinical Trial phase of their study. Those who qualify must be 65 or over with Type 2 Diabetes and be on oral medications. Clinical Trials are three visits with research that would take place at one of three Baltimore County senior centers. Each visit is about one hour each. Visits are based on your schedule. You will receive a cash incentive of $10 per visit for a total of $30 for all three visits.

If interested, please contact the senior center nearest you:

  • Overlea Senior Center 4314 Fullerton Avenue, Baltimore, 21236 Director: Laketa Davis, Call: 410-887-5220 
  • Catonsville Senior Center 501 North Rolling Road, Catonsville, 21228 Director: Nicole Sheehan, Call: 410-887-0900
  • Parkville Senior Center 8601 Harford Road, Parkville, 21234 Director: James Slone, Call: 410-877-5338

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Family Caregivers 2014 Annual Mini-Conference

Saturday, April 5
Catonsville Senior Center 501 North Rolling Road, Catonsville, 21228
Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Program concludes at noon.
Focusing on family caregivers of older adults, featuring:

  • informative guest speakers
  • resource options
  • literature
  • guidance for family caregivers

Offered free of charge to the public by Baltimore County Department of Aging Caregivers Program. For more information, after February 15, call 410-887-4724.

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Expand Your Knowledge Of Community News

The Baltimore County Department of Aging has published the award-winning Senior Digest since April 1977. Produced eight times a year and mailed to subscriber’s homes every six weeks, Senior Digest includes articles that are relevant to the lives of older adults in and around the County.

Regular features in Senior Digest include:

  • Medicare Matters, including articles from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Travel, Volunteer and Employment Opportunities
  • A Community Billboard, highlighting activities at Senior Centers and throughout the County Columns from the County Executive, County Council President and the County Police Department on current events and senior issues
  • A Food page complete with recipes and nutrition tips
  • Book reviews, an environmental column and a crossword puzzle
  • Employment information and tips

Call: 410-887-3050.

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Community Resource Directory Offers Local Assistance Options

For the second year, 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 next year's Community Resources 2015, call Debbie Orlove at 410-887-2012 or email to learn more.

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Revised March 11, 2014

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