Baltimore County News
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucia Donatelli, MD
Chief, Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
Baltimore County Department of Health
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.
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.
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.
Provide your pet with ample shade and water. Never leave pets in cars.
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.
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.
Important Tips from Safety Experts
This kind of cold weather is not just unpleasant, it can be dangerous. Baltimore County’s safety experts have some important tips for protecting your home and family.
DPW Says Let Faucets Drip
Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works advises homeowners to let water taps drip during this week’s extreme cold weather. During single-digit temperatures last year, more than 500 water meters froze. Maintaining the flow with a slow drip, say County engineers, will usually keep water in the pipes from freezing, and save homeowners considerable grief.
Last February Baltimore City (which maintains and repairs the metropolitan water system) was swamped with requests to thaw frozen meters. With the County's help, water service was quickly restored. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Power Outage Precautions
Power outages can go side-by-side with winter storms. Lights go out and some lose heat. When this happens some of us turn to generators to keep warm and informed.
Generators produce carbon monoxide, CO, a deadly gas. Keep your generator at least 15 feet from the house or building. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding use and review the Fire Department’s safety tips for portable generators.
For those who have gas stoves and ovens, never use an oven to heat your home!
Ice Can be Dicey
Cold weather along with snow and ice can be dangerous. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to problems in the winter.
Beware of “black ice” when you leave your home or work. What appears to be a wet surface can be very slick ice. Be cautious and take your time walking on this winter treat. This warning applies to driving too! Many accidents occur when black ice forms.
Ice melting products should be kept near the door along with your shovel. And beware of steps and handrails; they can be treacherous if not wiped down and salted.
Don’t Overdo with the Shoveling
Anyone who has heart disease or chronic lung disease should not shovel snow or scrap ice. Shoveling is hard on the heart muscles and can cause a cardiac event. Ask a friend, neighbor or relative, or hire someone to clear the sidewalk and driveway.
Stay Warm and Dry
When venturing out in the cold, wear a hat or scarf, warm gloves or mittens, and warm, dry socks inside your boots. Wear a heavy coat, jacket or dress in layers. If the wind is blowing then wear a scarf across your face. Wind burn is hard on the skin just like sun burn. Wear sunscreen in the winter.
And last but not least, remember your pets. They feel the cold as much as you do and rely on you to keep them safe and warm.
Public Safety Office of Media and Communications