HomePorts Reviews Annual Accomplishments

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HomePorts, Inc. held its annual meeting on February 7, with a presentation by Jane E. Hukill, President, summarizing the work during 2016. HomePorts is a membership organization helping older adults to continue living safely and comfortably in their own homes.

According to Hukill, there are now a total of 100 members, nine of whose membership fees are covered by a financial assistance program. Local transportation is the most requested service, with members offered five rides per months from volunteers. Over the past two years there has been a huge increase in requests and in the number of volunteer time donated. In 2016 members made 785 requests, with volunteers providing over 1200 hours of service.

Board 2017

HomePorts 2017 Board members are front row: Courtney Sjostrom, vice-president; Katie Davis, RN; Nancy Cowdrey; Back row: Joe Harding; Bill Cameron, Treasurer; Wayne Benjamin, MD; and Jane E. Hukill, President. Not shown: Jane Heckles, Secretary; Jean Austin; Kristie Hartman; Trish Focht, RN; Jon Hanley; and John Leek.

HomePorts maintains a list of 66 approved providers of paid services (i.e., vendors) in 34 categories of service, including interior and exterior home maintenance, computer trouble-shooting, out-of-town transportation, and pet care. The most common needs are non-medical home care, house cleaning, paid transportation, and handy persons.

Additionally, HomePorts encourages participation in social, educational, and cultural activities and expects to expand education programs that are open and free to the public. It also plans to hold a Health Fair again at the Kent County High School, on October 19, 2017, with extensive exhibits, health screenings, and expert talks.

Other plans for 2017 include working more with local agencies and organizations, increasing the membership, and recruiting more volunteers.

Those eligible for membership include anyone over 55 living in the greater Kent County area. HomePorts is modeled after similar organizations operating successfully in other regions of the country.  Founding members spent two years studying other such “villages”, which are springing up rapidly in many communities and are cited by experts as the wave of the future.  The first one in Boston, known as Beacon Hill Village, has been in operation for over ten years. There are now over twenty in Maryland, with HomePorts being the first on the Eastern Shore.

“If you have a friend or neighbor who could benefit from our services, I encourage you to call me,” says Executive Director Karen Wright. “Or if you don’t need any help now but want to get involved, we have opportunities for one-time projects and a real need for drivers to take members to local medical appointments.”

Information about membership or volunteering is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 443-480-0940 or go to www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is karen@homeports.org.

Senior Nation: A Conversation with Awul Gawande

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The public is invited to a presentation organized by HomePorts, Inc., featuring a webinar from Boston with guest speaker Dr. Atul Gawande on Monday, February 13 at 5 p.m. The one-hour event takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown.

Dr. Atul Gawande is a renowned surgeon, public health researcher, writer and author of the seminal book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.  His conversation, entitled “Villages: The Value of Community and Choice as we Grow Older,” will feature a discussion on aging, living life with purpose, and how we can transform the possibilities for the later chapters in everyone’s lives.

His book is described by Amazon.com as “riveting, honest, and humane….showing that the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life—all the way to the very end, a book that has the potential to change medicine—and lives.”

This event commemorates the 15th year of the founding of Beacon Hill Village, whose adherents want to “age in place”. They created an organization, a virtual village, which opened in Boston’s Beacon Hill in 2002 and enabled people over 50 years of age the option of choosing how and where they live as they grow older.  The concepts behind Beacon Hill Village have spread across the country, thus creating a “Village Movement” and have attracted the interest of many countries around the world.

Today, HomePorts is one of more than 200 open Villages and more than 150 in development in 45 states and the District of Columbia that serve 40,000+ members. In 2010, the Village to Village Network was formed to ensure the success of individual Villages and the Village Movement through expert guidance, resources and support.

HomePorts  is a membership organization helping older adults continue living safely and independently  in their own homes. Set up by and for local residents, HomePorts is incorporated as a Maryland nonprofit.

Those eligible for membership include anyone over 55 living in the greater Kent County area. HomePorts resources include a cadre of vetted volunteers and referrals to reliable service providers in the fields of transportation; interior and exterior home and yard maintenance; grocery & household services; and personal assistance & trouble shooting.  Additionally, HomePorts encourages participation in social, educational, and cultural activities. HomePorts offers financial assistance to those with limited incomes.

“The organization definitely fills a need in this community. We are now in our ninth year with 100 members. As we have matured, we have learned what members want and need. Many do not yet need help but join in order to support this concept, and when they do have a question or want help, they can just pick up the phone or send a quick note to me,” said Karen Wright, Executive Director.

Information is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 443-480-0940 or at our website, www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is karen@homeports.org.

Kent County Health and Wellness Expo Set for October 20

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HomePorts, Inc. and Kent County Public Schools, in partnership with the Kent County Health Department, the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and Anne Arundel Medical Center will hold a Health and Wellness Expo Thursday, October 20, 2016, 8:00 am – 1:30 pm at Kent County High School in Worton.

banner-with-jon-hanley

Jon Hanley of Hanleyman Services prepares to install a banner on the Visitors’ Center announcing the Oct. 20 Health and Wellness Expo.

The Expo, which is free and open to the public, is the largest ever held in this area. The event will highlight over 75 community resources offering the latest health, wellness and safety information. It is a one-stop opportunity for busy individuals and families of all ages. Features include:

• Free health screenings, including dental and vision
• Free Morning Refreshments
• Flu Shots
• Ten Expert Talks
• Over 60 exhibitors, both non-profit organizations and local businesses
• Car seat safety checks
• Lunch available for purchase

Expert talks, by physicians from both Shore Regional Health and Anne Arundel Medical Center and other health care practitioners, will include:

• Complementary and Alternative Medicine
• Don’t Just Sit There, Get A Move On
• Navigating Long Term Health Care
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Treatment for Gluten Intolerance
• Cancer Treatment: Recent Breakthroughs
• Weight Management, Nutrition, Meal Planning, Family Food Choices
• Is it An Addiction? Identification and Treatment in Kent County
• Vitamins, Supplements, Anti-Oxidants: Who Needs Them?
• Can You Hear Me Now?
• Diabetes: New, Newer, and Newest Treatments

In addition, at 1:00pm Deborah Mizeur, Co-Chair, Rural Health Work Group, will speak in the Cafeteria on ”Designing an Integrated Health System for the Eastern Shore”. The group was established by the 2016 Maryland General Assembly to consider how to meet future needs for hospital care in areas such as Kent County. Ken Kozel, CEO of Shore Regional Health, and Scott Burleson, Administrator, Shore Regional Health at Chestertown, will also participate, with Wayne Benjamin, President, Kent County Medical Society, as moderator.

HomePorts organized a smaller health fair in 2015, focused on seniors. Evaluations by attendees at that event were overwhelming positive, with virtually all respondents indicating they would like another one. When asked “Do you plan any changes in the things you normally do as a result of anything you learned at the health fair?”, 67% said yes.
For more information, email info@homeports.org or visit www.homeports.org.

Kent County Health Fair Set for October

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The annual event to promote community wellness will take place on October 20, 2016, at the Kent County High School.  Normally held in the Spring, HomePorts is this year partnering with Kent County Public Schools and is hold in the event in the Fall, when flu shots can be offered. Major sponsors include the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health System and the Kent County Health Department.

The health fair, which is free and open to the public, will highlight the latest health, wellness and safety information. It is a one-stop opportunity for busy individuals and families of all ages to get health information, free screenings and assessments, and to connect with a variety of community organizations and resources. Local health care professionals and community exhibitors will be on hand to provide their expertise and guidance, with a number of speakers offering valuable information on a variety of common health care concerns.

As a local nonprofit organization serving the aging population in Kent County, HomePorts understands the importance of health care, preventive medicine, and playing an active role in the community.  Kent County strives to be a “community for a lifetime.” The aging population depends on a community that maintains positive health and well-being. Having ready access to preventive health screenings, wellness programs and current information on health issues is critical for all ages.

For more information on exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities or about the event, please call 443-480-0940, email info@homeports.org or visit www.homeports.org.

Homeports Helps Sponsor Free Community Health Fair April 2

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A Community Health Fair will be offered on Thursday, April 2, 2015, from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Kent County Middle School, located at 402 East Campus Avenue, Chestertown. Organized by HomePorts, Inc., in cooperation with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, the health fair is free and open to community members of all ages, although children must be accompanied by an adult.

There will be over 60 exhibitors offering the most current information about health care, wellness, healthy living and lifestyle choices, assisted living, long-term care, identity theft, safety and emergency preparedness, and community resources available locally. There will also be food exhibitors, including the new Redner’s Market, ACME, Chestertown Natural Foods, and Pamela’s Heavenly Treats. Additionally, free morning refreshments will be provided, compliments of the Galena Lions Club and the Town of Chestertown.

Local healthcare providers and clinicians will have educational information on a variety of healthcare topics including: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, mental health and depression, home care, and women’s health. Also highlighted at the health fair will be services and programs available to help you or a loved one to manage chronic illnesses and diseases.

There will be 10 talks presented by local physicians and experts between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., each to be repeated three times, making it very convenient for health fair attendees to attend and hear multiple talks. The topics, speakers and schedule follows:

9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.

  • Diabetes, Dr. Kenneth P. Ligaray
  • Hypertension & Lipid Management, Dr. Juan M. Cordero
  • Mental Health, Patricia Dietz, LCSW-C
  • Degenerative Arthritis, Dr. Edmund J. Maclaughlin
  • Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr. Frederick W. Delboy

10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

  • Urinary Incontinence & Overactive Bladder, Dr. Christopher Parry
  • Medication Safety for the Elderly, Ken Peregoy, PharmD
  • Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines, Dr. Gerard O’Connor
  • Medicare 2015 – What You Need to Know, Michelle P. Holzer
  • Sleep Hygiene, Steve Eisemann, BS, RRT

 

Free blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings, and at-risk checklist assessments for diabetes and stroke will be available. Additionally, lab screenings for HDL and total cholesterol will be available from 8 am – 11 am for $5 per test.

The Colgate “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” mobile dental van will provide free dental screenings and dental care kits for children ages 1-12 years. All children will need to be accompanied by a parent or caregiver, and a signed release form is required for all dental screenings.

Food will be available for purchase during the lunch hours of 11 a.m. through 1 p.m., including the local food truck The Black Burro.

The health fair is fortunate to have the support of many generous sponsors. Joining the top Platinum sponsors, Kent County Government and the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health are 10 Silver sponsors, including: ACME of Chestertown; Heron Point of Chestertown; Kent County News; MDVIP/Dr. Wayne Benjamin; Novo Nordisk USA; Pfizer, Inc.; Price Rentals & Events; Redner’s Markets, Inc.; What’s Up Eastern Shore; and Yerkes Construction. The Bronze sponsors include: Allstate Building Company; Autumn Lake Healthcare at Chestertown; Comfort Keepers; Compass Regional Hospice; Craig’s Drug Store; Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam; Galena Lions Club; The Hearing Center of Chestertown; Head to Wind Publishing; Heartfields Assisted Living at Easton; Home Instead Senior Care; Kent Athletic & Wellness Center; Kent County Commission on Aging; Living At Home Health Services; Loving Touch Home Care; Maryland Relay; PNC Bank of Chestertown; Town of Chestertown; Upper Shore Aging; and Walgreens.

A limited number of free transportation vouchers are available to and from the event location, but must be reserved 24 hours in advance by calling 800-645-7111 or 410-778-0215.

For more information about the event, or for a schedule of talks, speakers, sponsors or complete listing of exhibitors, check local papers or www.homeports.org. Please call 443-480-0940, email info@homeports.org for more information about HomePorts.

HomePorts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization providing adults in greater Kent County, Maryland, age 55 and above, with a wide range of services they want and need to remain safe and confident living in their own homes. Founded in 2008, HomePorts is among a rapidly-growing number of member-driven “villages” developing around the country. HomePorts is supported by annual membership fees from more than 80 households, donor contributions and small grants. A financial aid program is available for those with limited incomes.

HomePorts to Present Discussion About Caregivers’ Guide by Sue Collins, Nancy Robson

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HomePorts to Present, “Okay, Now What?” a discussion of the Caregivers’ Guide by local authors Sue Collins and Nancy Robson

“Are you caring for a loved one whose life has been diagnosed as terminal? Are you interested in learning practical, experience-based advice and tips for care and finding the help that is needed? Do you recognize that this can be an isolating experience for the caregiver and person for whom they care?”

These questions and more will be addressed on Wednesday, October 15 at 10 a.m. in the Chestertown Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street, 2nd floor, for all HomePorts members and the community at large. The program is free.

In their book, Okay, Now What?, the authors provide a chapter-by-chapter guide of beneficial information with objectivity and humor. Sue Collins has been a nurse for 39 years with 29 of them in hospice care. Nancy Robson, the author of three books, has lost both parents and friends. Both know the painful journey of being with a dying person and the blessings they have had along the way.

Planning and being informed prove to be most helpful. Most people are able to handle a situation if they are well prepared and have accurate information.

Sue Collins and Nancy Robson will present information from their book, have books available for signing and/or sale and are willing to answer your questions.

The presentation is sponsored by HomePorts, Inc., the local non-profit aging-in-place membership organization. It provides access to a wide range of services for adults 55 and older to allow them to remain independent in their own residence. A group of vetted volunteers provide help to members and referrals are given of reliable service providers for transportation, maintenance, grocery and household services, personal assistance and trouble shooting. HomePorts partners with Upper Shore Aging, Washington College and the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are a limited number of subsidies for membership available for those with limited means.

Please contact HomePorts’ Executive Director, Karen Wright at 443-480-0940 or email her at karen@homeports.org if you plan to attend.

HomePorts to Offer Free Talk on Fall Prevention & Balance

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“Are you afraid of falling and not being able to get up without assistance? Do you worry about not being able to assist someone else who falls? Do you know safe procedures for moving or helping someone else move from a bed to a chair?”

Brooke Maier, a physical therapist with 15 years experience and a member of the staff of Chester River Home Care (part of the University of Maryland Medical Center System), will be presenting a program to help with these concerns. She has trained physical therapists, done home evaluations for local rehabilitation centers and worked with planning prior to discharge of patients.

The program will provide information about body mechanics, safe transfers from one place to another, creating a safe environment, as well as things to do to help strengthen oneself and prevent falls.

The presentation will be offered by HomePorts on Wednesday, September 24 at 10:00 a.m. at the Chestertown Town Hall Building at 118 N. Cross Street on the 2nd floor. The program is free for seniors and their families.

HomePorts, Inc. is a local non-profit aging-in-place membership organization providing access to a wide range of services designed to offer adults, age 55 and above, what is needed to remain safe and confident in their own residence. HomePorts offers a group of vetted volunteers to help members and referrals to service providers for transportation, grocery and household services, maintenance interior and exterior and much more. In addition, HomePorts offers social and educational opportunities and partners with Upper Shore Aging, Washington College and the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are some subsidies available for those with limited incomes.

Please contact HomePorts’ Executive Director, Karen Wright at 443-480-0940 or email her at karen@homeports.org if you plan to attend.

Peoples Bank Dinner to Benefit HomePorts is Sold Out

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The Peoples Bank is offering a dinner to benefit HomePorts at the Lemon Leaf Cafe on Tuesday, May 13 from 6-9pm. The dinner is now sold out.

The dinner will feature guest chef Ralph Dowling, President & CEO of the Peoples Bank.

HomePorts is a non-profit membership organization helping residents stay in their own home as they grow older.

Dinner to Benefit HomePorts May 13

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The Peoples Bank is organizing a dinner to be held at the Lemon Leaf Restaurant, 337 High Street, Chestertown, on Tuesday, May 13, from 6-9 p.m. Guest chef, Ralph Dowling, President and CEO of The Peoples Bank, will be preparing paella, accompanied by salad and bread.

Proceeds benefit HomePorts, greater Kent County’s non-profit aging-in-place membership organization. HomePorts assists those over 55 in providing access to a wide range of services in order to remain content, safe, and confident living in their own homes. HomePorts resources include a cadre of vetted volunteers to help members and referrals to reliable service providers in the fields of transportation; interior and exterior home maintenance; grocery & household services; personal assistance & trouble shooting; and pet care.  Additionally, HomePorts offers social and educational opportunities in cooperation with Shore Regional Health System. It also offers a subsidy for those with limited incomes.

Tickets may be purchased at any branch of The Peoples Bank, FAM&M, or the HomePorts office upstairs in the Chestertown Town Hall. Or call Karen Willis, 410-778-3500 (kwillis@pbkc.com)or Karen Wright, 443-480-0940 (karen@homeports.org).