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Keyword: aging

Individuals coping with their own or a family member’s advanced illness face a difficult road and numerous challenges. Decisions about treatments can become quite complex, family members must reach agreement about the best path forward, and communication with medical providers and institutions must be done well to ensure that the patient receives the medical care he or she wishes.

The Baltimore County Department of Aging’s Family Caregivers Mini-Conference offers an opportunity to learn more. The free event will be held Saturday, April 22, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at Liberty Senior Center, 3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown 21133.

The keynote speaker, Dr. W. Anthony Riley, Chief Medical Officer of Gilchrist Services, will provide insight on how to anticipate and navigate the road ahead in advanced illness. Dr. Riley has over 35 years of experience as a physician caring for patients with advanced and life-limiting illnesses and is an expert on advance care planning.

Caregivers for older adults will also hear from other guest speakers on how to reduce stress with respite care options, what the CARE Act legislation means when a loved one goes into a hospital, and what local resources are available for seniors and caregiving families.

The event also features blood pressure screenings and emotional health education provided by University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. Resource tables will highlight programs and services for older adults and people with disabilities. A continental breakfast and beverages at the event are sponsored by AARP Maryland.

For more information, contact the Baltimore County Department of Aging Caregivers Program at 410-887-4724.

By Lynn McCamie, Baltimore County Department of Aging 

The population in need of long term care services is a growing community and they need your help to protect their rights.

The Ombudsman Program protects the rights and well-being of residents in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab units and continuing care retirement communities.

Being a Baltimore County Department of Aging Ombudsman offers a tremendous opportunity to meet and advocate for residents. Certified Ombudsmen:

  • Help residents investigate and resolve complaints through the use of advocacy, negotiation and mediation skills.
  • Educate residents, family members and nursing home staff about residents' rights.
  • Aid resident and family councils to identify and resolve group concerns.
  • Clarify and communicate concerns to appropriate staff members and help all parties involved find acceptable solutions to problems.
  • Improve the quality of life of long-term care residents.

If you are interested in making a difference, be a superhero. Put on your cape and volunteer. Call the Baltimore County Department of Aging at 410-887-4200 or email

Keywords: aging, ombudsman, volunteer

Lucia Donatelli, MD
Chief, Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
Baltimore County Department of Health

Wear a hat, sunglasses and suncreen to protect your skin.Flip flops, barbecues and trips to the beach are all hallmarks of summer. Visits to the pool, baseball games and camping trips are also on that list. Summer is here and it brings with it all the joys of long sunny days and enjoying time outdoors. While all these things are enjoyed by many, it’s important to stay safe this season. Remembering one word makes summer safety simple. Enjoy yourself, because summer will be gone in a F.L.A.S.H.

 Food Safety

Be sure to wash your hands and all food surfaces. Don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Cook to the recommended temperature and use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of foods. Refrigerate food promptly to keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying on food.

Lyme Disease

Avoid tick-heavy areas. When outdoors or in the woods, wear insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET. Once coming indoors, immediately remove your clothing and check for ticks. If you find a tick, don't panic. Remove it with fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible and pull up with steady, even pressure until the tick backs out. Afterwards, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Animal Safety

Provide your pet with ample shade and water. Never leave pets in cars.

Sun Safety

Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat and glasses to protect your skin and eyes. See a dermatologist if you see a change in any moles or freckles. This applies to all skin colors, because skin cancer can happen to anyone.

Heat Precautions

Stay indoors and use air conditioning when the temperatures and humidity are extremely high. Drink plenty of water. Check on elderly friends and neighbors.  

Following these tips will help ensure that you, your family and pets have a safe and healthy summer.

Revised September 26, 2016