Baltimore County Now
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.
Barbara McLean, M.D.
Chief, Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
Baltimore County Department of Health
Still haven’t gotten a flu shot? Think it’s too late in the season?
With all the news stories about the “mutated” strain and the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine, you may feel like it’s not necessary to get flu shot. The truth is—you should still get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 36,000 people die, while 200,000 are hospitalized from the flu every year.
While this year’s vaccine is not a perfect match for this year’s virus, vaccination can still provide protection and might reduce severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death. Other documented benefits from flu vaccination include reductions in the length of illnesses, related doctors' visits and missed work or school.
Now I’m sure you’re doing your best to stay healthy by covering your coughs and sneezes, and keeping your hands squeaky clean, but taking a shot in the arm is still the best defense this flu season.
So are you ready to pull up your sleeve and take a shot? If so, the Baltimore County Department of Health is holding a “last call” flu vaccination clinic just for you on Saturday, January 17, from 9 a.m. until noon. The clinic will be held on the first floor of the Drumcastle Government Center at 6401 York Road, 21212. No appointment is necessary, the flu shot is free and only injectable vaccine will be offered while supplies last.
Come on, this could be your last shot to get a free flu shot. If you have not received the flu vaccine this season, remember, it’s not too late to vaccinate!
For more information, call 410-887-BCHD (2243)
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.