2017 Spring Series by Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture

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Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture announces its new Spring 2017 series entitled “Faith And” at Washington College in Chestertown. The six-part series features:

Faith and Leadership
Al Sikes, former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission
“Faith & Leadership: A Discussion of a Life of Public Service”
6:00 PM, Wednesday, March 22
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College, Chestertown

Faith, Politics & The Ivory Tower
Josh Dunn, Director, Center for the Society of Government and the Individual, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Faith, Politics & The Ivory Tower: Conservatives and Higher Education
5:00 PM, Friday, March 24
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College, Chestertown

Faith & Science
JP Moorland, Distinguished Professor ofPhilosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
7:00 PM, Thursday, April 6
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,
Chestertown

Faith Law & Liberty
Shannon Holzer, award winning author and scholar
7:30 PM, Wednesday, April 12
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,
Chestertown

Faith & The Emotions
James K. A. Smith, Gary and Henrietta Byker, Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview, Calvin College
6:30 PM, Tuesday, April 18
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,
Chestertown

Faith & Music
Andrew Balio, Principal Trumpet, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Director of the True Symphony Institute
6:00 PM. Tuesday, May 3
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,
Chestertown

Senior Nation: Survey Shows Two-Thirds of Seniors Have Been Scammed Online

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Financial and online fraud against aging adults are now considered the “crimes of the century” by the National Council on Aging. Scammers often target seniors because of perceived accumulated wealth, and feel that seniors are less likely to report crimes due to fear of embarrassment.

In fact, a new survey[i] by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network of franchised businesses that provide in-home care services to seniors, found that two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. seniors have been the victim or target of at least one common online scam or hack. In addition, more than a third (38 percent) report that someone has tried to scam them online, and 28 percent of surveyed seniors have mistakenly downloaded a computer virus.

Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, explains that encouraging seniors to protect themselves online can go a long way in protecting sensitive identity and financial information. “Cybersecurity is about risk reduction. It’s difficult to achieve perfect security. But you can help older adults work to make themselves a more difficult target,” Kaiser said.

To help seniors understand their risks online and take steps to protect themselves, the Home Instead Senior Care network collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance to launch a new public education program, Protect Seniors Online, available at www.ProtectSeniorsOnline.com. The new program offers free resources and tips to help seniors understand how scammers operate, familiarize themselves with the most common senior scams and provides proactive steps seniors and caregivers can take to protect sensitive information. The resources include the online “Can You Spot an Online Scam?” quiz to test seniors’ cyber security knowledge.

“For seniors, this is a time in their lives when they should be able to trust that their life’s earnings are protected,” said Jennifer Marchi, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Kent and Caroline counties. “Unfortunately, we know there are people who violate this trust. That’s why we are committed to helping seniors understand the ways they are at risk online and how to protect their information to reduce their chances of being scammed.”

Research shows that more and more seniors are going online – and putting themselves at risk. According to Home Instead’s survey, 97 percent of aging adults use the internet at least once a week. They most commonly use the internet for email, with 94 percent of seniors doing so weekly. Seniors also use the internet to manage finances, with 41 percent banking online and over a quarter (26 percent) paying bills online. Seniors are also active on social media, with 51 percent using Facebook or Twitter at least once a week. All that time online – coupled with what scammers view as perceived financial security and a trusting nature – can make seniors a primary target for scammers.

Seniors are encouraged to take the following precautions, compiled from the National Cyber Security Alliance, Stop Think and Connect and the Home Instead Senior Care network, to protect themselves online:

1. Create passwords and make them strong. Lock all internet-enabled devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones, with secure passwords – at least 12 characters long and a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
2. Secure access to accounts, with two-step verification. Many online services, including apps and websites, offer free options to help protect personal information. Learn more at LockDownYourLogin.com.
3. Think before you act. Emails or messages that create a sense of urgency – like a problem with a bank account or taxes – are likely a scam. Reach out to companies by phone to determine if emails are legitimate.
4. When in doubt, throw it out. If an email looks unusual, delete it. Clicking on links in email is often how scammers access personal information. Turn on spam filters to filter suspicious messages.
5. Share with care. Be aware of what you share publicly on social media and adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information.
6. Use security software, including updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
7. Adjust browser safety settings for optimum security.
8. Use your computer’s default firewall security protection on your computer.
9. Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you’re finished using them. Leaving them open on your computer or smartphone could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.
10. Consider support. Seniors who live alone or spend a lot of time by themselves may want to consider a trusted source, such as adult family members, computer-savvy grandchildren, or professional caregivers, to serve as a second set of eyes and ears when conducting activities online.

“Our hope is that by highlighting the ways scammers can gather sensitive information, and providing seniors with cybersecurity strategies they can implement themselves, we can help ensure their personal information, financial security and independence stay protected,” explains Marchi.

Seniors can test their cybersecurity skills at “Can You Spot an Online Scam?” and view other program resources and tips at ProtectSeniorsOnline.com. Or, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office for additional resources and to learn how their professional CAREGiversSM may be able to assist. Find an office near you by visiting www.homeinstead.com/state/.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living Offering Free Crab Cake Lunch March 29

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On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at noon, Homestead Manor Assisted Living is hosting a free crab cake luncheon for anyone and everyone considering assisted living. The luncheon will feature a short presentation by our Executive Director, Christine Harrington, along with a guided tour of the newly remodeled resident suites followed by the crab cake luncheon. Reserve your space today by calling 410-479-2273. Homestead Manor, Assisted Living is the Eastern Shore’s Best Kept Secret. Those who attend the luncheon will also get a sneak peek at our newly renovated living room for our residents! A ribbon cutting will be scheduled for the general public in April.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living has a tradition of caring and was founded on the principles of acceptance, compassion, care, and love. It is an assisted living facility dedicated to providing a caring community environment across all levels of care associated with retirement living. Homestead Manor’s mission is to support independence, comfort, dignity and safety in an individualized home-like setting resulting in a high quality life experience.
About Homestead Manor Assisted Living

Homestead Manor Assisted Living offers personalized care for your loved one. There are over 50 spacious resident suites, each with their own private patio and fully accessible bathrooms. State of the art infrastructure through Care Tracker and Medication Management assures your loved one is well taken care of along with on-site doctor visits and physical therapy. Residents enjoy a full range of activities and social activities so they can live independently.

Homestead Manor is located at 410 Colonial Drive, Denton, MD 21629. For more information call 410-479-2273 (CARE) or http://www.homesteadmanoral.com/

Senior Nation: Workshop on Legal Challenges of Aging Loved Ones February 18

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Good news: there is no need to fear legal documents for aging loved ones moving into assisted living.

HeartFields Assisted Living at Easton invites you to participate in a free seminar conducted by Mid-Shore attorney Charles Capute. He will walk through a discussion on legal issues one might have in paying for care and protecting elderly parents and themselves both legally and financially. Issues such as powers of attorney, estate planning, and health care powers will be covered followed by a question and answer period.

The Seminar will be held this coming Saturday, February 18th, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at HeartFields Assisted Living at Easton located at 700 Port Street in Easton, Maryland. Seating is limited, so call 410-820-4400 to reserve your slot.

The lecture and seminar series is part of the HeartFields Lifestyle 360 Programing developed by Five Star Senior Living that centers on the Five Dimensions of Wellness. Heartfields goal is to make life meaningful and fun while giving residents the opportunity to discover new interests and pursuing new friendships. The Five Dimensions support intellect, physical, spiritual, emotional and social growth.

HeartFields Chef Gordon will present a “Five Star” breakfast, using signature items from his daily menus, following the seminar.

For more information of this program please go here

Senior Nation Tips: Do Less, But Do it Better

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A recent Washington Post Home Section had an interesting piece dealing with people, in general, having a common sense of feeling overwhelmed, all of the time. This certainly applies to those in the “older” group.

The Post reported that, “We’re driving ourselves crazy trying to do everything, instead of identifying ways to do fewer things and a few things better.”

They offered five suggestions on how one might simplify and prioritize his/her “to-day” lists as well as to think through what can be  eliminated or integrated. And, perhaps most important, when they can say no.

Turn off your cellphone at the same time each night: The endless emails and texts that arrive on our computers and phones, 24 hours a day, are a major reason we feel constantly overwhelmed. There’s never a break in the action. The Post Home Section recommends that you turn off your phone and computer each night at 9:00 PM and wait until the next day to deal with whatever may have come up.

Manage expectations about having a clean and tidy home: No matter how hard you work at keeping your house spotless and orderly, it’s a battle you’re never going to win. So think about which spaces are nonnegotiable – those areas that you absolutely need to have clean and tidy – and just let the other rooms go. It will vary from household to household. No-one’s house looks like a picture in a magazine anyway.

Don’t try to attend every social event: Many people feel guilty if they are unable to attend every social event to which they are invited. It’s okay if you are not at every event. No one will think less of you if you are not at every event.

Find at least two things you can delegate: It can be easier to do household work ourselves rather than explain it to someone else (and then worry that it’s not being done correctly). We just do it ourselves.

But it’s important that we delegate tasks when we can, even if the person doing them doesn’t do them the way we would. Asking for help, is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of leadership and efficiency.

Schedule time to do something for yourself: Make yourself a priority. This is not selfish. If you don’t schedule time to do things you need and want to do, it will make you less organized. Block off time on your calendar and commit to giving yourself at least an hour or two each week when you are doing something for yourself. If you don’t give yourself a break, no one else will.

Senior Nation Fitness: Staying Balanced in the New Year – Part Three

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There are many systems in the body that work together to maintain balance. There are medical conditions and environmental conditions that challenge the body’s ability to maintain balance and increase the risk of falling. The good news is, there are simple things that can be done to improve balance and decrease the risk of falling:

Using night lights and eliminating trip hazards will reduce the risk of falling in the dark.

Being aware of obstacles and changes in surfaces inside and outside of the home, such as curbs, walking across grass or going from carpet to tile flooring. This is especially important when carrying grocery bags, laundry baskets or boxes.

Participate in vision screenings. Wearing proper glasses can improve vision and decrease the risk of falling. Bifocals can make it difficult to walk on uneven surfaces or climb stairs, remove glasses if possible.

Discuss all medical conditions and medications with physicians to determine if they increase the risk of falling. Also discuss symptoms that can increase risk of falling such as dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, numbness in the feet, and joint or muscular pain.

There may be simple solutions that will improve functional mobility and decrease the risk of falling.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults 65 and over participate in an exercise program that includes balance exercises a minimum of twice a week. Balance exercises should challenge static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) balance. Standing on one foot for 10 to 30 sec will challenge static balance. Marching in place or alternating tapping your heel on a step for 20 or 30 sec will challenge dynamic balance.

Exercises that strengthen the legs and torso and stretching exercises will also improve posture, allow for more stable movements and reduce the risk of falling. A certified fitness professional will be able to provide specific recommendations to improve or maintain balance. A Physical Therapist could also provide recommendations to improve balance if medical conditions are increasing the risk of falling or if balance concerns are limiting mobility.

 

Kimberly Huff, MS
Fitness Director
Heron Point of Chestertown

 

Around The Senior Nation: Trump Appointees Show Age Doesn’t Matter by Bill Rolle

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Never say you’re too old. Check the ages of many of President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s in-coming administration. It’s shaping up to be the oldest administration in modern history. Trump is the oldest person to be elected President at age 70.

Other seniors in the administration will include Ben Carson, Nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (65), Gen. John Kelly, Nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security (66), Gen. James Mattis, Nominee for Secretary of Defense (66), Rick Perry, Nominee for Secretary of Energy (66), Andrew Puzder, Nominee for Secretary of Labor (66), Wilbur Ross, Nominee for Secretary of Commerce (79), and Rex Tillerson, Nominee for Secretary of State (64). Each of them has reached the age to be eligible for retirement. Does it matter? Doesn’t appear so. It’s more a state of mind.

Senior Nation: Stress and the Holidays

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It’s officially the holiday season and, according to William C. Cox of the Baltimore Washington Disc Institute and Odenton Chiropractic Holistic Wellness Center, it also can be an extremely stressful and hectic time.

Making preparations for holiday meals, planning parties, coordinating schedule and shopping for gifts must be accomplished on top of everyday tasks.

All of these things add up and can really take a major toll on our minds and bodies.

These emotional stressors don’t just affect our heads, but also lead to physical tension, pain and a whole array of other health issues. When we experience stress, our bodies react by releasing the stress hormone Cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone related to our fight or flight response. Although this response is our body’s way of protecting us in potentially dangerous situations, when activated repeatedly over a period of time, a vicious cycle in thrown into motion. When we experience repetitive stress, the protective responses in our body actually become harmful.

When cortisol levels in the blood are chronically high, inflammation in your body skyrockets. This causes all sorts of pain and muscle tension throughout the body.

One example of this that you may be familiar with is tension you might experience in your neck, shoulder and upper back when you are stressed or tense. Many people “hold their stress” in these or other areas. Then, to make matters worse, these aches and pains create even more emotional stress. Not only are you stressed out mentally, but now
are in pain. The vicious cycle begins.

Chiropractic can be a very effective means to relieve chronic pain, muscle tension, aching joints, headaches and other related problems. During this stressful time, Chiropractic care treatment can break this cycle, ensure your body is working properly and get you back on track of feeling healthy and less stressed.

Your Chiropractor may not be able to do your shopping, planning, cooking or thousand other things on your to-do list, but at least you can feel better and healthier so you can survive the holidays.

Future of Affordable Care Act in Maryland is Uncertain

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While President-elect Donald Trump vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the campaign trail, his recent promises to maintain key components of the law have reassured Marylanders, though many still feel the law’s future is questionable.

Members of Maryland’s Democratic congressional delegation have warned Trump about interfering with Obamacare, though the president-elect has said he plans to keep parts of the law that ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions and grant people younger than 26 permission to remain on their parents’ plans.

“I think Republicans need to be very careful because the reality is that the uninsurance rate in Maryland and around the country is at a low,” Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, told WBAL News.

In Maryland, 120,145 people were signed up for coverage under the Maryland Health Connection exchange as of February 2015, and people covered under Medicare have saved almost $230,365,408 on prescription drugs with Obamacare since the program was started, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2009 — before Obamacare took effect — 24 percent of people living in poverty in Maryland were uninsured, while in 2014, 15.7 percent were uninsured, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bruce Oppenheimer, a public policy professor at Vanderbilt University, said people who would be stripped of their Affordable Care Act benefits might feel more concerned.

“They do not want uncertainty, so they’re going to be asking for — where is it going to go,” Oppenheimer told the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service. “Okay, you’re stripping this away. What are we going to have left? Are we returning to health care the way it was before the Affordable Care Act, or is something else going to come in its place?”

With a Republican White House and a Republican Congress, it’s possible that legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act could be introduced as early as next year.

Medical professionals in Maryland are in favor of Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, but are looking to the new administration to consider some changes within the Affordable Care Act, said Gene Ransom, the chief executive officer of MedChi, the Maryland state medical society.

“We don’t want to keep things that create barriers between a physician-patient relationship,” he said. “We’re seeing this as an opportunity to look at it and maybe try and make things better.”

Among the components MedChi is looking to roll back include the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel responsible for enforcing a limit on Medicare spending increases.

“We don’t think the government bureaucrats should be deciding what services are delivered to the patient,” said Ransom. “It should be decided by the physician and patient, not someone sitting in an office in Washington.”

But any changes to the Affordable Care Act aren’t going to happen overnight, said Leni Preston, president of Consumer Health First, an organization launched in May to continue the work of the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform.

“When we woke up on Wednesday morning (after the election), our agendas changed completely,” she said. “Instead of continuing to move forward, we are now looking at an agenda that requires us to look carefully at those state laws and those state regulations and make sure that we can provide policies and advocacy to make sure that Maryland keeps moving forward.”

Maryland’s use of a state-based exchange might work in the state’s favor to ensure some protections under the Affordable Care Act, but nothing is for sure, said Preston.

“It’s incredibly complicated; there are a lot of players from the president-elect on down and there are a lot of moving parts that people are going to be watching out for,” she said.

If the Affordable Care Act were to be completely repealed, it could be salvaged at the state level — but only if Gov. Larry Hogan decided Maryland would cover the cost of the program.

Currently, the federal government covers 59.8 percent of the cost of the program in the state, while Maryland is responsible for the other 40.2 percent of the funding, according to data from the Kaiser Family Health Foundation.

However, Maryland is “several months out” from being able to tell just exactly what Trump’s impact on Obamacare will be, said Chris Garrett, the director of communications for Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“It’s way too premature for us to be able to lay out specific changes to the Medicaid program as it pertains to the new administration, because the president-elect hasn’t been inaugurated yet,” he said.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois and minority whip, is hoping that Trump’s softer comments about Obamacare during his Nov. 13 interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” could mean reform to the law instead of complete eradication.

In the interview, Trump called the stipulation to ensure coverage to people with preexisting conditions one of the program’s “strongest assets,” in addition to the rule that allows people younger than 26 to remain on their parents’ plans.

“If President-elect Donald Trump is serious about pre-existing conditions, he has just really taken a major step toward keeping a big element of Obamacare,” Durbin said. “You cannot have that protection without a large pool of insured people.”

By Hannah Lang and Maya Pottiger