“Advice for Aging Drivers” Talk on March 8

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Homeports presents “Advice for Aging Drivers.” The talk will be on March 8, 2018, 11:00 a.m., at Chestertown Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 118 N. Cross Street.

Join our guest speaker, Michael Sabol, Outreach Manager for the Maryland Highway Safety Office of the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Michael will discuss safe driving tips, how health and medications impact driving, how to know if someone is safe to drive, transitioning from driving and transportation options.

The talk is free. Please make a reservation by contacting Karen Wright at 443-480-0940 or email at Karen@homeports.org.

Mid-Shore Health: The Future of Memory Loss on the Delmarva with Dr. Terry Detrich

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Showing his strong native roots on the Mid-Shore, the first thing Dr. Terry Detrich notes about the establishment of the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic at Bayleigh Chase in Easton was his long-festering grievance that the center’s location had replaced his favorite goose hunting spot. Growing up as a boy in Easton, he and his friends had used the farmland east of Route 50 for that purpose before leaving the Shore to attend college and medical school to become a neurologist.

Dr. Detrich returned to Talbot County after that intensive training to become the Delmarva’s first general neurologist and since the 1960s has been watching his field go from “diagnosis and adios” to stunning new breakthroughs in eldercare treatment for cognition disorders.

And while there have been peaks and valleys in the understanding of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since the doctor started his practice forty plus years ago, he noted in his recent Spy interview that he has never been more encouraged than over the last two years as he and his colleagues began to see an evolution in how patients are treated with better results and more precise tools for prevention.

That was one of the reasons that led Dr. Detrich to join the staff of the Bratton Clinic this year and the Spy caught up with him on first day on the job late last year to talk about this new phase of Neurocognitive work and his renewed faith that real progress is being made.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic at Bayleigh Chase please go here

The Artists of Heron Point

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Members of the Heron Point Art Interest Group in front of large canvas painted by HP residents in an art therapy class. L-R Standing Joanne Scott, vice-chair; Olga Owens; Karen Fitzgerald, treasurer; Collette Moffatt, chair; Barbara Finneson, secretary; Seated – Leslie Baldwin, head of permanent collection; Linda Atcheson, studio chair & coordinator for outside artists

Chesertown is a thriving arts community, with many active and well-recognized artists. But while the local tradition of art goes back a long way, it has certainly gone to a new level at Heron Point. Shortly after the retirement community opened some 25 years ago, a group of residents formed an art group — which quickly established itself as one of the focal points of the local arts scene.  And now artists at Heron Point are looking forward to a new, purpose-built, studio, currently under construction by Yerkes construction of Chestertown and scheduled to be completed by spring 2018.

Collette Moffatt, chair of the Heron Point Art Interest Group, in the current Artists Studio.

Collette Moffatt, the current chair of the Art Interest Group, said in an interview that artists of all levels of experience are members. The gamut runs from former art teachers and professional illustrators to neophytes  — like herself — who decided to pursue an interest in art after retirement. There are classes for all levels of artists. One class is “Zen Art,” which is designed to give aspiring artists a chance to try their hands at creating work without some of the more intimidating aspects of a typical art class. Moffatt said about 16 members have signed up for space in the new studio when it becomes available.  The art group as a whole has 44 members, though not all work in the studio.

Joanne Scott with one of her paintings in the Heron Point studio

Joanne Scott, whom the Heron Point artists consider their “artist in residence” because of her extensive experience – including exhibits of her work at Chestertown RiverArts and nationwide — is perhaps the best known of the group. (Click here for a Spy feature on Scott from 2012.)

Scott, a retired professional artist and art teacher who lived in Annapolis for 30 years, has given classes to other Heron Point residents for about 5 years, and has been instrumental in encouraging other residents to take up art for the first time. She also continues to exhibit regularly, with a show, “Elements,” scheduled for Chestertown RiverArts Feb. 1-24. An opening reception for the show will take place Feb.2, First Friday.

Several Heron Point artists, including Linda Atcheson, Jack Fancher, and Olga Owens, have works in the current members’ exhibit at RiverArts.  The exhibit will be on display through the end of January.

The hallway along the administrative wing of Heron Point regularly features a rotating exhibit of Heron Point artists, including Fancher, long a fixture of the local arts community and now a Heron Point resident. While the hallway is currently being refinished, with fresh paint on the walls, a new exhibit will be up as soon as the work is completed. And there are pictures spread around Heron Point from artists who belonged to the group from the early years of the program — Anne Frye, Hilda Green and Loraine Hall among them.

Other works by the resident artists hang at various points around the facility – a large painting by Scott is above the stairway leading to the dining room, and a triptych by Fancher is on the wall outside the current studio. A large abstract canvas done by members of the art therapy program hangs at the foot of the main stairway.

As the latter painting indicates, art is a pervasive feature of the Heron Point community, with an active art program available for residents in the assisted living section of the facility. “Even dementia patients can paint,” said Scott, noting that the ability to express oneself often survives past the point where verbal communication becomes difficult.

The paintings shown here are from a display of Heron point residents’ art last fall.  In addition to regular shows of artwork by Heron Point residents, the Art Interest Group also arranges for visiting exhibits by outside artists.

All this is in addition to the permanent collection of art which is displayed throughout the main building and outside on the grounds.  While most of the artworks are paintings, there are also statues, ceramics, and large installations such as the wooden boat which sails the ceiling of the lobby and the whimsical “larger than life” Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel that currently sits beside the main staircase.

Main parlor in lobby of Heron Point with sail boat

The current studio also hosts a weekly bird-carving group led by the  Bill Reinhold. A display cabinet with some of their work is visible on one wall of the studio.

The artists are especially excited at the news that they are about to get a new, larger, purpose-built studio.  Leslie Baldwin, one of the members of the Art Interest Group, said there is now studio space for about 10 artists. Also, the limited space doesn’t allow sufficient ventilation for some media, notably oils and pastels, which can generate dust and odors that bother many people. Even so, when visitors from one of the other retirement homes in the Acts group visited Heron Point, they were “very jealous” of the local artists. Heron Point is the only facility in the chain with a dedicated studio space. Linda Atcheson said the studio is “a big selling point” for prospective residents. “Many Chestertown people see Heron Point’s art program and want to come here because of it,” she said.

At present, the art studio is in an unoccupied apartment along the river side of the complex – offering permanent working space for about 10 members, though others get to share the facility. Because apartments in the facility are in high demand, the location of the studio has changed three times since it was set up. However, about two years ago when planning began for the new permanent studio began, Heron Point’s executive director, Garret Falcone, promised the artists that they wouldn’t have to move again until the new permanent facility is completed.  And now that time is almost here.

The new studio, being built on the front of the building near the main entrance, will have room for about 14 artists at a time – and will have upgraded ventilation. It will also have generous windows in the “bump-out”, allowing plenty of “wonderful light” for the artists to work in. There will also be space for classes and other individual and group projects.

The studio space, being built by Yerkes Construction, is expected to be ready by Spring 2018.

Photo Gallery – photography by Jane Jewell.

Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel guards the staircase at Heron Point

Statuettes of herons grace the circular drive in front of main Heron Point building.

Architect’s rendering of Artists Studio at Heron Point as it will look when completed in spring 2018

Map of Heron Point main building

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio

 

 

 

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The Face of Suicide in All Seasons with Beth Anne Langrell and Lesa Lee

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For the record, there is no such thing as a “Suicide Season.” While it may be tempting to think of these long dark days of winter as a critical time for those contemplating ending their lives, this has shown to be statistically not the case.

In fact, the risk of suicide is a four-season phenomenon which makes it all the more understandable that our Mid-Shore’s suicide crisis and prevention center is called For All Seasons. A mental health agency tasked with being the community’s front line to save those suffering from these impulses, For All Seasons have significantly invested resources and public education programming over the years to provide a safe and caring place for those at risk and their families.

The Spy recently sat down with For All Seasons director Beth Anne Langrell and its clinical director, Lesa Lee, to talk about the ongoing threat of suicide in the region and their views of how best to attack this cry for help from loved ones.

As part of that interview, the Spy wanted to match some of Beth Anne and Lesa’s comments to the real and recent faces of suicide in our country that were found online.  Young and old, male or female, white or black, over one million Americans are trying to end their lives each year. Those images say so much more about these avoidable tragedies.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about For All Seasons please click here 

Senior Nation: Londonderry’s Jammers and the Power of Music to Remember

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One Jammer remembers singing for the Pope; a couple were encouraged to join when a son became a music professor, another sang professionally to pay for college, while a native Chestertownian got the itch to sing by listening to the Sutton Brothers quartet while growing up around Kent County. In total there are twenty-seven stories like these that have led them to join the Jammers singing group at Londonderry on the Tred Avon.

What first started out as a local drumming circle, the Jammers reorganized quickly into a singing group that gathered to harmonize and enjoy that special zone that only music can provide.

But recently the Jammers have taken an entirely new role. Beyond their singing get-togethers, they have started to take the “show on the road,” as they began to realize that the musical zone they enjoy could also benefit those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, allowing many in the audience to recall words and other memories that bring a remarkable level of joy into their lives.

Starting with their next-door neighbors at Heartfields, where the Spy recently caught up with them, the Jammers have scheduled a few Easton-based concerts aimed at those that suffer from these chronic memory loss conditions.

The Spy spent a few minutes talking to Jammer members Ed and Jean Brown, Nancy Burns,Peggy Sloan, Elaine Utley and Londonderry director Irma Toce about this special kind of performance “gigs” at the Londonderry dining room and wanted to share some highlights.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

 

Senior Nation: Updating Dixon House with Residents in Mind

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For Don Wooters, co-owner of Dwelling and Design, taking on a large manor house’s interior and creating a totally new environment for its occupants is nothing new. For years, Don has traveled the country doing just that for dozens of clients who have purposely sought out his unique eye for design.

What is new is that one of his most recent clients, the historic Dixon House, the assisted-living residence on North Higgins Street in Easton, was seeking more than a fresh look. With most of its residents well over 90 years old, Dixon was asking to use a new design with colors, fabrics and textured wallpapers that were both comforting but also stimulating to the eighteen men and women that call it their home.

And now that the paint is dry and the work crews have left, the Spy thought it would be a good time to check in with Don, and with Dixon House’s director, Linda Elben, to talk about this particular project.  Challenged to ensure that the non-institutional feel of Dixon was preserved, Don and Linda speak in their interview about their selection of colors, getting feedback from residents, and how the new look has dramatically changed for this group-living space.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Dixon House please go here

Inside the Sandwich: Muscular Dystrophy Carnivals and Annual Giving By Amelia Blades Steward

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During the 1960s and 70s, it wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t hold a Muscular Dystrophy Carnival in my neighborhood near the high school in Easton. A group of about 10 kids from my neighborhood looked forward to these backyard carnivals, to benefit “Jerry’s kids.” The Muscular Dystrophy Carnival kits came in the mail and included tickets, posters and an idea pamphlet to help us raise the funds to help find a cure for the disease. It was an important and noble cause. We had watched for hours the Jerry Lewis Telethons on the television and wanted to do our part to help the kids we saw in the images on the screen. We didn’t have many children in wheelchairs in our school, so it seemed particularly important to reach out to those who were unfortunate enough to be in that situation.

We used each other’s backyards to host the carnivals and rotated from house to house each year, based on the parents who agreed to having their card tables placed in the grass outside and their clotheslines strung with sheets, providing backdrops to the games we played. The O’Briant family’s yard was the most popular one in which to hold the carnivals. We each had aluminum wash tubs to contribute for bobbing for apples or for the floating duck game, where you picked a duck and got a prize based on the number on the bottom of the duck. There were magic shows, fortune-telling booths, and Kool-Aid stands. Everything required a ticket and the tickets cost about five cents each.

We assembled our props and got the carnival set up, borrowing from each other’s households. An alley connected our backyards, so it was easy to get things from one place to another. There was Kool-Aid to be stirred, cookies to be baked, and we had to get out the word so people would come to our carnival. The nearby

Elks Club pool provided the perfect place to share our news. Word spread among the kids when the carnival would take place. Of course, we counted on our mothers coming – they helped fill out our numbers and usually donated extra money.

The carnival started around 11 a.m. and went until 1 p.m., when the pool opened. We didn’t like to miss our pool time. We took our carnival jobs seriously, whether running a game, performing, or selling drinks or food. We knew the more we smiled and encouraged our patrons, the more money we would make. As the day wore on, however, so did we. The sun shone high overhead and the humidity rose. Some of the excitement waned and my friends and I grew weary.

Once we had drunk the Kool-Aid and eaten the cookies, we were ready to pack up the games, return the tables, chairs and props and head to the pool. Before we did, however, it was exciting to see how much money we had raised. If we made over ten dollars, we were excited! We weren’t old enough to have checkbooks, so one of our parents would deposit the money and write a check to be mailed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We waited anxiously for the return “thank you” letter in the mail from Jerry. It confirmed our hard work had paid off and showed we did something meaningful with our summer. These backyard carnivals instilled in us a compassion for helping others, something that still rings true today as the annual appeal letters arrive in the mail. While I no longer get that personal letter from Jerry, I still find satisfaction in anticipating the “thank you” after my annual donations are made – a confirmation that we can still make a difference, no matter how small the gift.

 

Compass Regional Hospice hosts Hope & Healing for the Holidays Workshop

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Compass Regional Hospice will host the workshop Hope & Healing for the Holidays on Saturday, December 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hope & Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive in Centreville. Come for conversation and creative activities designed to help those grieving the loss of a loved one during the holiday season. The workshop fee is $10 and is open to anyone 18 and older.

Hope & Healing for the Holidays will be led by staff of the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center. The workshop begins with a light breakfast and will include art projects and opportunities to talk about how to remember loves ones while facing the grief that accompanies their memory.

For more information and to register for Hope & Healing for the Holidays, contact Ann OConnor or Linda Turner, 443-262-4100, aoconnor@compassregionalhospice.orglturner@compassregionalhospice.org.  Learn more about the Hope & Healing Center grief support programs at www.compassregionalhospice.org/hopeandhealing.

About the Hope & Healing Center

The Hope & Healing Center is a collection of programs and services available for the family of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the death of a loved one. Services available in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties include, individual and family grief counseling, grief support groups, school‐based grief counseling, a grief retreat Camp New Dawn, and remembrance events and specialized workshops. Since most grief support programs are offered free of charge, Compass Regional Hospice depends on donations to cover the cost of operating the Hope & Healing Center.

Much like a compass, the priorities of the Charting Our Course Together capital campaign points the way toward the future of Compass Regional Hospice. In order to meet the unmet and growing needs of our community, the existing Hope & Healing Center located at 255 Comet Drive in Centreville needs to be renovated so that we can continue to expand our grief support services. The planned renovations will create the additional space needed to accommodate new support services and healing modalities. For more information about the Charting Our Course Together capital campaign or how you can donate, contact Kenda Leager, Development Officer, 443‐262-4106, kleager@compassregionalhospice.org or visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/otherwaystogive/campaign

“Gratitude and Grace” This Sunday at Unitarian Church

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Reverend Susan Carlson Browning, Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, in Chestertown

On Sunday, Nov 19, 10 a.m., Rev. Sue Browning will give a sermon entitled”Gratitude and Grace” to the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River,  914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown. In this harvest season we take time to say thank you for the abundance around us. Join us for an intergenerational Unitarian Universalist Bread Communion service where we’ll reflect on the grace underlying our gratitude as together we’ll set a table and share in the harvest. The service will include a Child Dedication service welcoming an infant into community.    

 
Childcare will be available during the service.  All are welcome! For more information, call 410-778-3440 or visit the website.