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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: health

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.


jigsaw puzzle piece printed with Lynn McCamie, Conference Chair and Manager, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Baltimore County Department of Aging

One of the important trends in health care and human services is the empowerment of the individual.   Increasingly, we have opportunities to take charge of our health care, our careers and our finances, rather than allowing the “experts” to dictate our choices. 

How can we bring empowerment to seniors and people with disabilities? 

Teaching individuals to advocate for themselves is an important way to ensure that consumers can be in charge of their lives.  Social workers, case managers and other professionals can support consumers to identify their strengths and take charge of their lives rather than “doing for” them. What a refreshing change!

Whether you are a professional, a consumer or a citizen with a passion for social change, the tools you need to empower yourself or others include legislative advocacy, knowledge of the legal system, techniques to avoid fraud and scams, and hands-on tips from consumers who have transformed their lives. 

Learn all of this and more at the 12th Annual Advocacy Conference “Learning from the Leaders: Models of Advocacy for Older Adults and People with Disabilities.”   The conference will be held on November 13, 8:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m., at the Hunt Valley Inn at Cockeysville. This dynamic day, presented by the Baltimore County Consortium for Professional Education in the Field of Aging, offers cutting-edge presentations on topics that will equip professionals for the future. Along with the featured sessions the conference will offer a 3 hour ethics session, “Dignity of Risk; Balancing Safety and Personal Choices,” which meets the social work requirement for ethics CEUs.  The entire conference offers 5 Category I CEUs for social workers. Registration is $65.  For day’s agenda and registration form, go to

 http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/aging/advocacyconference.html, or call 410-887-4200.

Take a welcome break, earn CEUs and learn about advocacy from inspiring leaders! Hope to see you there.


photo of a woman receiving a flu shotDella J. Leister, R.N.
Deputy Health Officer, Baltimore County Department of Health

When you think about fall, what comes to mind - colorful leaves, cooler temperatures, getting a flu shot?  For those of us at the Baltimore County Department of Health, fall is the time when we promote the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of flu.

The best way to prevent the flu is by knowing the flu FACTS.

Frequently wash your hands.

Washing hands with soap and water at for 20-30 seconds is the best form of protection to reduce the spread of germs.  If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always get an annual flu shot.

Flu viruses are always changing, last season’s flu vaccine may not protect against newer viruses, and an annual vaccination is the only way to maintain protection each season.

Cover your cough and sneezes.       

Use a tissue to cover your coughs and sneezes; then throw it away.  If you do not have a tissue, cough and sneeze into the crease of your arm (elbow area) to prevent your droplets from spreading. Never cough or sneeze into your hands. 

Take time off from school, work, and social activities if you have symptoms.

People who have the flu often have these symptoms:

·         Fever or feeling feverish/chills

·         Cough

·         Sore throat

·         Runny or stuffy nose

·         Muscle or body aches

·         Headaches

·         Fatigue (tiredness)

Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse.

If your condition does not improve after taking over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms, and then call you doctor.

If you are looking to “stay in the game,” then plan to get flu shot. The Baltimore County Department will offer free flu shots on Saturday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at seven locations across the county. For more information, go to http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/resources/flu.html or call 410-887-BCHD (2243).


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