HomePorts Announces New Board Members

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HomePorts, Inc., the local non-profit aging-in-place organization, has announced Board members and officers for 2012. Scott Burleson, Gerry Edwards, Herb Friedman, and Ann Murray have been newly elected to the Board of Directors.

New HomePorts board members, left to right: Burleson, Edwards, Murray, Friedman

Since receiving an MBA, Scott Burleson, of Galena, has had a 30-year career in Hospital Administration in Maryland hospitals and for the past six years as Executive Vice-President of Chester River Hospital Center. Gerry Edwards, of Chestertown, has worked both in the academic world and in corporate communications. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and has serves as a mediator for Community Mediation-Upper Shore.

Originally from New York City, Herb Friedman of Chestertown has had a career as an attorney, retiring in 1990 as Deputy Counsel to the New York State Comptroller. Ann Murray is a developmental psychologist, having received a Ph.D. from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She had taught at Kansas State University for many years and moved to Chestertown in 2008.

Reelected were Muriel Cole of Chestertown, President; Charles Hawkins of Worton, Treasurer; and Jane Hukill of Worton, Secretary. Other Board members are Bunny Adams, John Christie, Jim Donaghy, John Durocher, Nancy Holland, Sandra Willett Jackson, and Marty Knight. Members leaving the Board are Louise O’Brien and Suzanne Street.

HomePorts  is a membership organization providing access to a wide range of services designed to offer adults, age 55 and above, what they want and need to remain content, safe, and confident living in their own home. HomePorts resources include a cadre of vetted volunteers, and referrals to reliable service providers in the fields of transportation; interior and exterior home maintenance; grocery & household services; personal assistance & trouble shooting; and health & wellness.  Additionally, HomePorts members promote complementary community services and encourage access to available social, educational, and cultural activities.

HomePorts partners with Upper Shore Aging and the Chester River Health System. It also now offers a subsidy for those with limited incomes.

“HomePorts is modeled after similar organizations operating successfully in other regions of the country,” according to Karen Wright, Executive Director. “We have joined the ‘Village-to-Village Network’, a national organization of similar organizations, and exchange experiences and tips.”

“The community has shown a real interest in this concept of aging in place,” says Wright. “We are now in our fourth year and have 82 member households, many of whom do not yet need help but want to support this concept.”
HomePorts is organizing its second annual Healthy Aging Symposium to be held Wednesday, April 4, at the Gibson Center for the Arts, Washington College.

Information is available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5 pm, by calling Wright at 443-480-0940 or see www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is info@homeports.org.

Second Annual Symposium on Aging Planned

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To educate the community and to promote successful aging in Kent County, HomePorts will hold its 2nd annual symposium on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at the Gibson Center for the Arts, Washington College, in Chestertown. Co-sponsors include the local Area

Patrick Shanahan, Medical Director, Chester River Home Care and Hospice, speaking at the 2011 Healthy Aging Symposium

Agency on Aging (Upper Shore Aging, Inc.), Washington College, Kent County Health Department, and the Chester River Health System.

The theme will be ““Developing an action plan for smart aging”. The opening session will be followed by discussions facilitated by local specialists, and a keynote speaker. Discussion topics, in the form of workshops to be completed by each attendee, will be:

*Taking Charge: Your Health
*Taking Charge: Where you Live
*Taking Charge: Your Financial and Legal Affairs

During the session, each attendee will develop a personal aging plan in order to better self-manage health and safety issues to prolong independent living. Emphasis will be placed on implementation of the plan, i.e., follow-through on actions to ensure success of the plan.

A number of exhibitors are expected, with information on health care, recreation, assistive equipment, and other products and services available.

Attendees will gain knowledge to ultimately reduce the demands on the healthcare and social services systems. All will leave the symposium better equipped with tools to help themselves, their more elderly parents, or aging relatives and friends.
The event has been organized by HomePorts, Inc., the local non-profit aging-in-place organization for older adults. For those 55 or older, HomePorts members have access to a cadre of volunteers, as well as referrals to reliable local service providers for transportation; interior and exterior home maintenance; grocery and meal services; personal assistance and troubleshooting; and health and wellness activities.

For more information, call 443-480-0940, visit www.homeports.org, or e-mail info@homeports.org.

HomePorts: Helping People with Hearing Problems May 4

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Celebrate the sounds of your life! May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and to mark the occasion, HomePorts is hosting a one-hour program presenting ways to communicate clearly with those who are hearing impaired and to reduce the stress that often accompanies hearing loss.

As we get older, changes in our hearing often occur. According to experts, one-third of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 and one-half of those 85 and older experience loss of hearing.

Learn about improving verbal communications with the hearing impaired, strategies for minimizing misunderstandings, tips on identifying hearing loss, and strengthening listening skills. On Wednesday, May 4, 1:30–2:30 pm, Barbara McLendon, Doctor of Audiology, will speak on Communicating with the Hearing Impaired in the Town Hall, 2nd floor, 118 N. Cross St., Chestertown.

McLendon graduated from University of Maryland with a BS Degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences, from George Washington University with a Masters Degree in Audiology, and from Salus University with a Doctorate in Audiology.  She completed her clinical fellowship year at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She then worked 8 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and has worked in private practice for 11 years, the past eight of which have been as owner and clinician at the Hearing Center of Chestertown.

“I am passionate about educating and counseling patients who are impacted by hearing loss,” she says.

The event is sponsored by HomePorts, a local membership organization serving those 55 and older  in greater Kent County.  HomePorts helps those living in their own home through a cadre of volunteers, and provides referrals to reliable local service providers to obtain affordable delivery of transportation; interior and exterior home maintenance; grocery and meal services; personal assistance and troubleshooting; and health and wellness activities. HomePorts also promotes awareness of complementary community services, encouraging access to social, educational, and cultural activities.

For more information, call 443-480-0940, visit www.homeports.org, or e-mail info@homeports.org.

 

Healthy Aging Symposium Great Success

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HomePorts, Inc., the local non-profit aging-in-place organization for older adults, led a symposium at Washington College on Wednesday, March 30. “Healthy Aging: A Community Perspective” was co-sponsored by the local Area Agency on Aging (Upper Shore Aging, Inc.), the Center for Environment and Society of Washington College, and the Chester River Health System. The session combined nationally-known speakers with panelists of local practitioners.

A crowd of over 150 registrants confirmed local interest in becoming better educated about growing older. Noting that the Chester River Health System has “intellectual capital” as part of the University of Maryland Medical System, Jim Ross, CEO of Chester River Health System, introduced Dr. Steven Gambert, Director of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“It’s not too late to start paying attention,” he said, in a one-hour slide presentation titled Successful Aging, Medically Speaking. Confirming that normal aging is “universal, progressive, and irreversible,” he described ways to prevent the acceleration of normal aging through proper nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of environmental hazards. He pointed out the need for periodic medical screening, with those at highest risk being over 70, recently bereaved, disabled by a locomotor disorder, living alone, or recently discharged from a hospital.

Next, Dr. Allan Anderson, President of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, gave an Update on Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease is increasing in prevalence with no current curative treatment.

Dr. Steven Gambert

“Unfortunately, despite the aging of our population, medical students are not choosing careers in geriatric specialties, as indicated on the following slide. This might reach a crisis in delivery of medical care to the elderly and we need to find some solution to reverse this trend,” he cautioned. The audience was especially troubled by this situation.

An opening session was followed by discussion groups, and the keynote speaker, Joanne Grossi, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, discussing “Prevention: Improving Health Care for Seniors.” The audience expressed their concern about the lack of incentives for students to study geriatrics.

Speaking at the opening, Muriel Cole, President of the Board of Directors of HomePorts, emphasized that the topic of Healthy Aging is compelling and timely. “This is the first time that Washington College, Upper Shore Aging, and the Chester River Health System have partnered on an activity. Although these are very different organizations, the task of educating the community about growing older is a project that they all have in common,” she noted.

For those 55 or older, HomePorts members have access to a cadre of volunteers, as well as referrals to reliable local service providers for transportation, interior and exterior home maintenance, grocery and meal services, personal assistance and troubleshooting, and health and wellness activities. HomePorts also promotes awareness of complementary community services, encouraging access to social, educational, and cultural activities. For more information, call 443-480-0940, visit www.homeports.org, or e-mail info@homeports.org.