Department of Aging
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Health and Wellness Programs: 2016

brain segmented into body, emotion, environment, technology

BCDA Initiative: Brain Matters

As we age we want to remain as healthy and independent as possible. Along with keeping our bodies fit, it is important to take steps to sustain brain health and fitness. Brain Health refers to one’s ability to learn, remember, organize, focus and maintain an active mind. In 2016 the Baltimore County Department of Aging’s initiative, Brain Matters, will educate older adults about successful aging and brain health. Throughout the year resources and activities will be offered to enhance brain function, provide strategies to care for those facing dementia or mental health illnesses, identify possible risk factors and improve the quality of life for older adults. 

Learn why in 2016…Your Brain Matters!

Health Programs and Screenings

A doctor is performing vision screening on a patient.

Baltimore County Department of Aging offers evidence-based programs, health education presentations and screenings emphasizing wellness and disease prevention at senior centers throughout the County. Some programs are federally funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act. Topics include:

  • Vision screening
  • Chronic disease self-management
  • Hearing screenings
  • Medication management
  • Bone density screenings

Blood pressure screenings are held on a regular basis at most senior centers.

Stepping On: Fall Prevention Education

'Stepping On' empowers older adults to carry out health behaviors that reduce the risks of falls, improve self-management and increase the quality of life.

The program includes individual fall risk assessments with recommendations and educational sessions on:

  • Risk factors
  • Balance
  • Staying active
  • Home and community safety
  • Feet and footwear
  • Managing health and medication

Instruction includes lecture, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, exercise participation, small group discussions and games. This class meets for two hours over a seven-week period. A follow-up session for reassessment of risk factors will be done after three months.

The next workshops will be held on Wednesdays, April 6 to May 18, 2016, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Reisterstown Senior Center, 12035 Reisterstown Road, 21208. To register, contact the center at 410-887-1143.

Tai Chi for Better Balance

Image of Tai Chi class.

Tai Chi for Better Balance is a program that empowers older adults 60 years and older to carry out health behaviors that:

  • Improve balance, strength and physical performance for older adults
  • Improved postural stability and walking
  • Reduce the risks of falls
  • Improve self-management
  • Increase quality of life

Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health behaviors, increase physical activity to improve balance and strength and to reduce the risk of falls and to maintain active and fulfilling lives. Classes are offered at the following senior centers: Arbutus, Edgemere, Fleming, Liberty, Reisterstown, Rosedale, Victory Villa and Woodlawn. For more information on how to register for a class, call the Health and Wellness office at 410-887-2040.


In a typical class, participants will experience:

  • A certified instructor with special training in bringing out the physical best from older adults
  • A five-minute warm up to get the blood flowing to the muscles
  • A 20-minute aerobics workout that gets participants moving, or a walking workout to lively music that the class chooses
  • A five-minute cool-down
  • A 20-minute strength training workout with soft ankle and wrist weights (zero up to 20 pounds)
  • A 10-minute stretching workout to keep the muscles flexible
  • Balance exercises throughout the class
  • Lots of opportunities for participants to make new friends and acquaintances

Each class may include up to 25 participants. Depending on the class, participants may either be among peers of their own level of fitness or a group of various fitness levels from the frail to the fit older adult.

EnhanceFitness classes do not require any special or expensive equipment. A certified instructor, who has completed the EnhanceFitness training, will safely lead the class through an hour of dynamic exercises at a pace that’s right for the participants.

Participants' progress can be followed with fitness checks completed at the time the individual joins EnhanceFitness, again at four months, and then as often as needed. EnhanceFitness Classes are offered at the following Baltimore County senior centers: Bykota, Parkville and Seven Oaks. For more information on how to register for a class, call the Health and Wellness office at 410-887-2040.

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Take Charge Of Your Health: Living Well

This program is being offered free of charge by the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) in partnership through a grant with the Maryland Department of Aging. The program is modeled after the Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) and Diabetes Self Management Program (DSMP) from Stanford University. The next CDSME workshop will be held at Ateaze Senior Center, 7401 Holabird Avenue, 21222, Phone: 410-887-7233, Wednesdays, March 2, 2016 thru April 6, 2016 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Learn how to register for a class or call the Health and Wellness office at 410-887-2040.

Transitioning To Medicare

Turning 65 years of age or disabled? Are you ready to enroll in Medicare? The Baltimore County Senior Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) will set you on the right course. Find locations and get directions to library branches.

  • Wednesday, January 20, at Catonsville Library
  • Monday,February 22, at Cockeysville Library
  • Thursday, February 25, at Owings Mills Library
  • Monday, March 21, at White Marsh Library
  • Friday, April 12, at  Pikesville Library

The program is from 6 to 8 p.m., and you can register by calling 410-887-2059 or email:

Medication Check-ups

Student pharmacists from Notre Dame College - School of Pharmacy, will conduct a complete medication history, answer questions regarding medications, review their medical history and provide blood pressure screenings.

Medication Safety 101

A pharmacist from the Maryland Poison Center will discuss the safe use and storage of medicines.

Communication: A two-way conversation with your healthcare provider

Learn how to prepare for the doctor visit. Leave with checklists, communication guides and the best ways to make sure all of your
doctors know all of your medicines.

Your Meds and Your Memory: Better or Worse?

Do you ever feel like your memory is slipping?  There are several commonly used medicines that can slow your thinking, make it harder to think clearly, or make you sleepy.  Join Michelle A. Fritsch, Pharm.D., to find out if this is related to the medicines you take before you give up on your memory.

Preparing to Quit: It's Never to Late

Participants are provided with information on personal reasons to quit smoking, benefits of cessation, use of medications and behavior change strategies.

Eye Health Talks

Join Dr. Samantha Dougherty, with Omni Eye Specialists, for an educational presentation on Diabetic Retinopathy or Glaucoma.

Foot Health Talks - Bunion and Hammertoe Deformities

Come join Dr. Jay Seidel to learn how the normal balance of the foot becomes disrupted with bunionsand hammertoes​, which can lead to instability in the joint and cause deformity.  

Parkinson’s Disease 101

An educational presentation for seniors and caregivers to provide information on Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. The presentation will cover: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and community resources.

Brain Fitness: Use It or Lose It

Karen Kansler, Wellness Coordinator from MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital will review the six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle: regular exercise, healthy diet, mental stimulation, quality sleep, stress management and an active social life.

Revised January 14, 2016

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