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


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


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


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


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

Compass Regional Hospice Hosts Survivor Day at the Hope & Healing Center


On Saturday, November 19 Compass Regional Hospice will host Survivor Day at the Hope and Healing Center located at 255 Comet Drive in Centreville from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Survivor Day, an International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, is recognized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Compass Regional Hospice invites anyone in the community affected by suicide loss to join us in finding comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

This workshop will include discussions and small break-out groups lead by Compass Regional Hospice staff Rhonda Knotts, MCC, Bereavement Coordinator and Wayne Larrimore, M. Ed, Bereavement Counselor, as well as Patricia Kotzen, an affiliate of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A screening of Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss, a new AFSP-produced Survivor Day documentary that traces the grief and healing journey that follows a suicide loss over time will also be shown. A light lunch will be provided.

There is no cost for this workshop. For more information and to RSVP for Survivor Day, contact Rhonda Knotts, 443-262-4109, Learn more about the Hope & Healing Center grief support programs at www.compassregionalhospice. org/hopeandhealing.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living Honors Veterans


In honor of Veteran’s Day Homestead Manor Assisted Living is hosting a free crab cake luncheon for all veterans and anyone considering assisted living on Thursday, November 10th at noon. The luncheon will feature a short presentation along with a guided tour of the newly remodeled resident suites followed by the crab cake luncheon. Reserve your space today by calling Michelle Pepper at 410-479-2273.

This is the second annual Veteran’s Day luncheon Homestead Manor has hosted to honor veteran’s and raise awareness of their assisted living facility. “We liked to honor our veteran’s by hosting this luncheon and information session. Many veterans and their families feel they cannot afford assisted living or even know there is assisted living support provided by VA said Christine Harrington, Executive Director.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living is founded on the principles of acceptance, compassion, care, and love, Homestead Manor is an assisted living facility dedicated to providing a caring community environment across all levels of care associated with retirement living. Our 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. 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 love 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 life in full bloom. Homestead Manor is located at 410 Colonial Drive, Denton, MD 21629 For more information call 410-479-CARE(2273) or

UM Shore Regional Health Welcomes New Therapists to Rehabilitation Services


Jenny Perrin, occupational therapist

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services recently welcomed occupational therapist Jenny Perrin and physical therapist Lopa Chitalia to the outpatient rehab team. Both Perrin and Chitalia will be working at UM SRH Rehabilitation Center at Cambridge and The Balance Center.

Perrin holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee Wisconsin.She has experience in several areas of examination and treatment, and is pursuing certification as alymphedema therapist. Her areas of experience include acute management in stroke, cardiac careand oncology. Prior to her OT experience, Perrin practiced massage therapy. Perrin will split her time providing acute care therapy services at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.


Lopa Chitalia, physical therapist

A graduate of University of Pittsburgh, with a master’s in physicaltherapy, Chitalia is well versed in a broad range of examination, evaluation and management for restoring function. Her areas of experience include cardio-pulmonary, pediatric, orthopedic, neurologic and bariatric therapy. She was previously employed by Baltimore Orthopedics and Rehabilitation where she conducted monthly staff trainings for fall prevention and safe transfers

UM Shore Regional Health offers diverse outpatient rehabilitation services in Cambridge, Denton, Easton and Queenstown. For more information, contact Frank Rath, 410-822-1000, ext. 7641 or visit

About UM Shore Regional Health: As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,600 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

Shore Health Moves Forward with New Hospital in Easton


University of Maryland Shore Regional Health officially submitted the modified, updated Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) for a new hospital to replace UM Shore Medical Center at Easton on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-9-33-16-amscreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-9-33-16-amThe modified application seeks approval to replace the existing UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, updated from its original submission in 2012. It reflects the continuing changes in healthcare—particularly inpatient services—in Maryland and the nation, where hospital admissions are declining due to advanced technology, the shift of procedures and surgeries to outpatient facilities, and improvements in quality and preventive care that reduce unnecessary admissions through chronic disease and post-discharge management of care. The proposed replacement hospital will improve upon the existing hospital, which is aging and hampered by inefficiency in its design, infrastructure, space limitations and a location with barriers to public and emergency vehicles access.

Highlights of the modified CON application include:

A hospital to replace Easton on a campus three miles north of the current location, near the Talbot County Community Center just off Route 50
109 inpatient beds: 95 acute, 14 acute rehabilitation
All private patient rooms
10 observation beds
State of the art patient care units and support services
28 emergency treatment rooms
Six operating rooms
All current services offered in Easton, with the addition of new cardiac blockage diagnosis and intervention capabilities

Estimated total projects costs: $350,000,000

UM Shore Regional Health, with the involvement of members from the Town Council of Easton, The Talbot County Council, local businesses, community partners and neighborhood residents, will soon begin addressing the best use of the existing hospital site. Pending necessary approvals, funding, infrastructure and permits, a new hospital is estimated to open around 2022.

“We extend our sincere thanks to the UM Shore Regional Health Board, Medical Staff, volunteers and the entire team at Shore Regional Health, and to the UMMS Board and our many colleagues at UMMS for their diligent ongoing support, as well as to our architects and advisors who have worked on getting the project to this momentous day,” says Ken Kozel, CEO of UM Shore Regional Health.

“Our thanks are extended to Talbot County government, the Town of Easton and to neighboring counties, agencies and many community partners for their support,” he added. “Thank you for your unwavering commitment to this important chapter in the life of Shore Regional Health.”

Denton Homestead to Offer Care Tracker Technology


Homestead Manor, an Assisted Living facility on Maryland’s Eastern Shore unveiled a new system wide change to improve quality of care and increase customer service to both residents and their families. Christine Harrington, Homestead Manor’s Administrator is leading the way for technology changes at the facility. Her vision is that technology advances will allow staff more time to give hands on assistance which enhances each person’s quality of life. She also believes that the technology changes Homestead Manor installed will ensure proper documentation, reduce risk and increase profitability. Homestead Manor has become the only Assisted Living facility in Maryland offering the Care Tracker System. Homestead is also offering an electronic medication monitoring system in partnership with Craig’s Pharmacy.

Using only paper documentation, Homestead found it challenging and labor intensive to identify trends, identify changes in resident’s needs and provide timely communication with both the family and the staff involved in a residents’ care. With CareTracker we can see current information, enabling us to provide updated changes to Service Plans as trends are identified. CareTracker enables communication throughout all shifts and departments and ensures uniformity and enables us to be proactive with issues. Care Tracker enables documentation throughout the day and provides reminders to staff for any missing data. “When you have no missing documentation it makes it hard to have deficiencies in an Assisted Living survey, and Care Tracker eliminates that possibility.”

The Care Tracker implementation process includes two-days of onsite training, after which an organization is up and running. Because it provides pictures, profiles, reminders, videos and uses a touch screen CareTracker is a user friendly device for all levels of employees. Since implementing CareTracker Homestead Manor staff has been more efficient and spend more quality time with each resident.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living offers personalized care for your loved one. 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 love 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 life in full bloom. Homestead Manor is located at 410 Colonial Drive, Denton, MD 21629 For more information call 410-479- CARE(2273) or