Baltimore County News
New Resource Available
Planning to visit with your older relatives for the holidays? While most of us look forward to seeing our parents and grandparents, this additional family time can sometimes be stressful.
You may find that your older relative has some new health issues and may be less able to manage their daily routine. You may not be prepared to talk with them about these issues, or to find the help they will need. Where can you turn?
Addresses Challenges and Strategies
A new resource is now available to help address the many challenges family members face in caring for an older relative. Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) has produced a comprehensive booklet, sponsored by Elizabeth Cooney Care Network, focusing on tips and strategies to assist family members in their caregiving role. The booklet is titled “Family Caregiving: The Art of Caring for Your Older Relative.”
Within the pages of the booklet, readers will learn how to recognize aging-related changes, red flags indicating potentially serious problems as well as signs and symptoms of depression and dementia. Included are tips for making the most of the doctor’s visit, having difficult conversations about changing abilities and supporting when your older relative needs to move. A number of checklists within the booklet offer guidance for home safety and caregiving from a distance. Many local and national resources are listed throughout the publication with telephone and web address contact information.
Free Copy Available
Pick up your free copy of this helpful guide in all Baltimore County senior centers and public libraries. Or, to receive a complimentary copy of the booklet by mail, you may call Maryland Access Point (MAP) of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594.
Michelle Bruns, Caregiver Program Manager
Baltimore County Department of Aging
Michelle Bruns, Caregiver Program Manager, Department of Aging
Are you taking care of an older relative or friend? Feeling tired, frustrated or overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving?
After attending last year’s BCDA Caregivers Mini-Conference, a family caregiver commented, “I attended the Annual Caregivers Mini-Conference with my mother because she is the primary caregiver for my father, her husband of almost 60 years. She and I had been overwhelmed and exhausted by his care needs. At the Mini-Conference we learned about new resources and tips to make our caregiving easier. We went in the door that day feeling “burned out” and came out with new suggestions and a brighter attitude about our situation!”
Become a more resilient caregiver by attending this year’s Baltimore County Department of Aging Caregivers Mini-Conference, Saturday, April 11 at the BYKOTA Senior Center, 611 Central Avenue, Towson 21204. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the event concludes at 12:30 p.m. Guest speakers will inform the audience about stress reducing resources for themselves, as well as programs and services for older adults. Participants will receive tips for healthy living and a quick cooking demonstration. Resource tables will be available throughout the event, staffed by specialists in the field of aging and disabilities. There is no admission charge and parking is free. Continental breakfast and beverages available, sponsored by AARP.
If you are a family member caring for an older adult in the Baltimore area, you owe it to yourself to come out for half a day to refresh yourself in your role as caregiver. All are welcome. No pre-registration; just come that day!
To discover more information about the Caregivers Program or the conference, contact 410-887-4724.
Michelle Marseilles Bruns
Manager, Caregiver Program
Baltimore County Department of Aging
No doubt you know a family caregiver because there are thousands of them across our region. They are the sons, daughters-in-law, spouses, adult grandchildren, neighbors and close friends who are providing care and support to seniors in our community. They do this out of a concern for the safety and well-being of their loved one. It is a labor of love.
November is National Family Caregivers Month. It is a designated time each year to recognize the countless hours that families provide, without financial compensation, to keep seniors at home as independently as possible. In recognition of this occasion, why not give the gift of your time to offer to the family caregiver so they may take a short break from their caregiving tasks. Offer to visit with their loved one, while they go out for some “time off.”
Currently, the Maryland Caregiver Support Coordinating Council has posted a Family Needs Survey that will be posted online through December 31. In order to get an accurate portrait of current caregiving needs statewide, caregivers can take the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/dhrcaregiver to answer questions about the care provided to loved ones, how caregiving has impacted their life and various needs as a family caregiver.
Caring for a loved one can be stressful, but there are resources to help. Contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 for information and assistance related to older adults and persons with disabilities.