HomePorts Benefit Dinner April 29

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Luisa’s Cucina Italiana is the host of the annual fund-raising dinner to benefit HomePorts, Inc. The event is being held on Monday, April 29, with seatings at 5:15 and 7:30 pm. Luisa’s is located at 849 Washington Ave, Chestertown.

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.

A three-course meal will be offered with a choice of chicken, salmon, or eggplant parmagiana, coffee or tea. Tickets are $50. Call HomePorts, 443-380-0940 to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

The Connection Between Seniors and Pets

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On Thursday, March 7, at 11:00am, Jane Welsh, Executive Director, and JP Hooker, Outreach Coordinator, of the Animal Care Shelter of Kent County (formerly known as the Humane Society) will present information on the benefits of pets to older adults. The event will be held upstairs in the Chestertown Town Hall and is sponsored by HomePorts. All those interested are invited to attend.

Several studies have documented the relationship between pet ownership and cardiovascular disease, “with many reporting beneficial effects, including increased physical activity, favorable lipid profiles, lower systemic blood pressure, improved autonomic tone, diminished sympathetic responses to stress, and improved survival after an acute coronary syndrome,” according to the American Heart Association.

The talk will also touch on the option of having senior pets, pets that are not as rambunctious and can adapt to a senior’s lifestyle and needs, according to Karen Wright, HomePorts Executive Director.

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 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.

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 partners with Upper Shore Aging and the Shore Regional Health System. It offers financial assistance to those with limited incomes.

Information 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 info@homeports.org.

Health Expo on October 18

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HomePorts, Inc. and Kent County Public Schools, in partnership with the Kent County Health Department, the University of Maryland (UM) Shore Regional Health, and Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC), invite everyone to the annual free Health and Wellness Expo on Thursday, October 18, from 8am to 12pm at Kent County High School in Worton. This year’s event is reported to be bigger than ever, with health screenings, over 50 exhibitors, and 12 expert talks geared to all ages.
– Is stress affecting your day-to-day life?
– Are you worried that you may be at risk for heart disease?
– Are you having trouble sleeping?

Maybe you just want to join friends and neighbors in perusing the exhibit hall tables, collecting free samples, seeing the latest in technologies and services. If you or someone close to you has health questions (don’t we all?) or needs information on where to go locally for help, you will want to attend this event.

Wayne Benjamin, MD, event co-chair, said,“ I cannot express how impressed I am with the quality of our speakers, the appropriateness of subjects we were fortunate enough to capture this year. Kent County and HomePorts should be very proud of the quality represented. Where can you get such meaningful talks in a three hour meeting?”

“Ask The Experts” talks will last 30-45 minutes with time for questions and answers. He said that the presentations were chosen for their appeal to the greatest numbers of listeners and the speakers because of their expertise in their fields. Topics and speakers are:

*Mental Health in Later Life 10:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
Speaker: Allan Anderson, MD, former President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

*Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
*Healthy Living for Your Body and Brain 11:15 – noon
Speaker: Cynthia Prud’homme, MSW, Education Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association

*Sleep Problems, Obstructive Sleep Apnea 9:00 a.m. & 9:45 a.m.
Speaker: Fernando DeLeon, MD, Specialist in Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at UM Shore Regional Health

*Hormone Replacement Therapy: Risks and Rewards 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.
Speaker: S. Dale G. Jafari, DNP, FNP-BC, UM Community Medical Group Women’s Health

*Don’t Fall this Fall 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.
Speaker: Paul Simonetti, PT, DPT, OCS, Chestertown Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

*Facts and Myths of Hospice Care 10:30 a.m.
Speaker: Heather Guerieri, RN, MSN, CHPN, Executive Director of Compass Regional Hospice

*How Can Grief Support Help? 11:15 a.m.
Speaker: Rhonda Knotts, MCC, Supervisor of Grief Services, Compass Regional Hospice

*Urogynecology and Pelvic Health 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.
Speaker: Briana Walton, MD, Director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, AAMC Women’s Center for Pelvic Health

*Cardiovascular Health, Heart Failure 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Speaker: Juan Cordero, MD, FACC

*Diabetes: Strategies for Lowering you HA1C 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.
Speaker: Doris Tate, CNP, UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

*Pain Management in Light of the Opiate Epidemic: Overview of medications, injections, and joint replacements 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Speaker: Nathan Turner, PA, KureSmart Pain Management

*Stress Management 10:30 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.
Speaker: Patricia Deitz, LCSW, Chester River Behavioral Health and Wellness, LLC

Local health care practitioners are featured who are donating their time to answer questions and offer free guidance and information, according to Dr.Benjamin..

Free flu shots will be given by the local Health Department and Chester River Pharmacy. In addition, hospitals will have free screenings for lung function, pulmonary health, stroke risk, balance and fall risks, and pre-diabetes checks. Local vision specialists will check eye health.

In addition, exhibitors include legal and financial services, food vendors, safety advocates, and home modification companies—a plethora of information about local resources.

Following lunch from 12:00 to 12:30 the event concludes with a forum with candidates for Kent County Commissioner answering questions based on the recent United Way Needs Assessment for Kent County. The discussion will be moderated by the League of Women voters.

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, call 443-480-0940, email info@homeports.org or visit www.homeports.org.

Kent County Health and Wellness Expo Set for October 18

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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 the annual Health and Wellness Expo on Thursday, October 18, 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Kent County High School in Worton.

This year’s 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
– Free Morning Refreshments
– Flu Shots
– Twelve Talks by Local Medical Professionals
– Over 75 exhibitors, both non-profit organizations and local businesses
– 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:

– Mental Health In Later Life – Dr. Allan Anderson, Geriatric Psychiatrist
– Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Cynthia Prud’homme, Education Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association
– Sleep Problems – Dr. Fernando Cruz DeLeon, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
– Hormone Replacement Therapy: Risks and Rewards –Dale Jafari, Nurse Practitioner, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
– Exercise/Physical Fitness Programs in Kent County – Dr. Paul Simonetti, Physical Therapist, Chestertown Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
– Facts and Myths of Hospice Care – Heather Guerieri, RN, MSN, CHPN, Executive Director, Compass Regional Hospice
– How Can Grief Support Help – Rhonda Knotts, MCC, Supervisor of Grief Services, Compass Regional Hospice
– Urogynecology and Pelvic Health – Dr. Briana Walton, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Anne Arundel Medical Center
– Cardiovascular Health – Dr. Juan Cordero, Cardiologist, Anne Arundel Medical Center
– Diabetes: Strategies for Lowering Your HA1C – Doris Tate, Diabetes Management Nurse Practitioner, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
– Pain Management During the Opioid Epidemic – KURE pain management
– Stress Management – Patricia Deitz, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Chester River Behavioral Health

“This is an event people shouldn’t miss, according to Wayne Benjamin, M.D., event director.  “It is a once-a-year opportunity for free screenings and a huge variety of useful information- something for everybody. I especially want people to know about and take advantage of the classroom information sessions led by health care experts on 12 different topics. Everyone, I guarantee, will come away with new information and be better prepared to manage their own health and their family’s health.”

The school gym will be transformed into a large exhibit hall, with tables staffed by professionals offering a wide variety of information and guidance on local services. For information on exhibiting, contact Greer Davis, 410-708-2993 or ggbdavis@gmail.com. The deadline for exhibitor sign-up is September 15.

In addition, at 12.30 p.m. there will be a forum with candidates for Kent County Commissioner, who will address topics of community concern.

For more information, email karen@homeports.org or visit www.homeports.org.

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 and contributions.

Homeports Presents 9-1-1 Program on May 10

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Homeports presents “9-1-1: What You Need to Know.” Join our guest speaker, Todd McGinnis, Chief of Communications for Kent County Emergency Services.

Here’s all you need to know about calling 911. When is it appropriate to call? What information should you be prepared to give? Where should you keep important information for the responders and what information should be included.

Learn all this and more on​ Thursday, May 10, 11:00 am at Chestertown Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 118 N. Cross Street.

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

HomePorts Benefit Dinner

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Luisa’s Cucina Italiana is the host of the annual fund-raising dinner to benefit HomePorts, Inc. The event is being held on Monday, April 16, with seatings at 5:00 and 7:30 pm. Luisa’s is located at 849 Washington Ave, Chestertown.

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.

A three-course meal will be offered with a choice of chicken, salmon, or eggplant parmagiana, coffee or tea. Tickets are $50. Call HomePorts, 443-380-0940 to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

“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.

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.

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