Talbot Community Connections Holds Fourth Annual Senior Summit on Aging – Phil Burgess to be Keynote Speaker

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Phil Burgess, PhD, an award-winning educator, businessman, and writer, will be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Senior Summit, “Illuminating Your Life,” on Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Talbot Community Center on Route 50 in Easton, MD.

The day-long Summit for seniors, children of seniors, caregivers, professionals, and concerned residents will provide presentations and discussions on the issues that seniors face today, including health and wellness, technology, staying active, and transitioning in life. The event, sponsored by Talbot Community Connections (TCC) and the Talbot County Department of Social Services, helps to fund the unmet needs that are fundamental to the safety, security, health, and well-being of Talbot County’s children and adults.

Burgess, who has worked and lectured world-wide, has appeared on PBS, NPR, CNN, and CNBC, and his views have been reported in national and regional media – including “The New York Times,” “Wall Street Journal,” and “Christian Science Monitor.” He currently is President of The Annapolis Institute and a Senior Fellow, Center for the Digital Economy, University of Southern California. He writes a weekly column called “Bonus Years” – found in the Lifestyle section of the “Sunday Annapolis Capital.”

At the Senior Summit, Burgess will present “It’s Better To Wear Out Than Rust Out: How The New Longevity Is Changing Our Culture.” His presentation will discuss how the post-career, bonus years are as rich and dynamic as the years from 25-60; why the core value of continued social engagement is a key element in successful; and to review the implications of increasing longevity for aging individuals and the rapid growth of aging-in-place alternatives.

The Senior Summit will include workshops such as Rising Strength and Self-Defense, Body-Wise Gardening, End-of-Life Wishes, Increasing Resilience: Dementia; Scams, and Identity Theft, and Financial Exploitation; and Heart Health. In addition to break-out workshops, there will be the opportunity for participants to have lunch and to visit vendor tables to gather additional information on aging issues and services.

Talbot Community Connections (TCC), a nonprofit arm of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, has the mission to raise and distribute funds to help keep families together, support children in foster care, and support the elderly so they can remain independent, safe, and healthy members of our communities.

The cost of the Senior Summit is $15 for the General Public, including seniors, and $80 for Professional Social Work CEUs. A healthy continental breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee. Pre-registration is required by May 31. For further information, contact Kelley Werner at kelley.werner@maryland.gov or call 410-770-5908 or visit talbotcommunityconnections.org to download a registration form or to purchase tickets online. Registration forms are also available at the front desk at Talbot County Department of Social Services at 301 Bay Street, Unit 5 in Easton.

Platinum sponsors for the 2018 Senior Summit are the Talbot County Department of Social Services, the Talbot County Government, and The Star Democrat. Gold sponsors to date are the Talbot County Health Department, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, CareFirst, and Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Caption: Pictured is Phil Burgess, PhD, an award-winning educator, businessman, and writer, who will be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Senior Summit. Talbot Community Connections and Talbot County Department of Social Services are hosting the fourth annual Senior Summit, “Illuminating Your Life,” on Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Talbot Community Center on Route 50 in Easton, MD.

Senior Nation: Ask Irma on Leaving Independent Living Too Soon

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Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly video blog called “Ask Irma” hosted by Irma Toce, C.E.O. of the Londonderry on the Tred Avon in Easton, where we will be exploring on all topics related to aging.

This month: Prematurely leaving independent living and the challenges of falling.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Senior Nation: Ellen Walbridge Turns 100

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: Pictured is the Walbridge family. In the photo seated left to right: Ellen with daughter Lois Schall. Standing left to right son Gene Walbridge, daughter Carol Goss, her husband Jeffrey Goss, daughter Barbara McCann, and her husband Larry McCann

Ellen Walbridge of Easton turned 100 at The Dixon House on February 26, 2019. On her birthday she stated, “I never dreamed I would be 100! It is a blessing to celebrate it.” Ellen had several celebrations: a celebration at her church, the Church of the Brethren, the Dixon House Celebration, and dinner with family. She added, “Dixon House has kept me active. I walk around the block every morning with my son which gets things going for me.”

 

Ellen Walbridge with Director Linda Elben as she blows out the candles of her cake at her 100th Birthday Celebration at Dixon House

Ellen was born in West Virginia but had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton at the suggestion of her brother who knew the Fikes through church. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Bros. with two of his brothers. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy, and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty.

 

At her celebration at The Dixon House, Ellen received salutations from Governor Hogan and from the Eastern Shore Delegates. Pastor Joe Glass played her favorite hymns on the accordion. Mayor Robert Willey gave her a free parking card for the town of Easton. Sheriff Joe Gamble gave her a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, which gave her a laugh. She stated, “I will try and be good!”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Acts Retirement and Integrace Sign Agreement

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Acts Retirement-Life Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior living organizations, has entered into an agreement to affiliate with Integrace and assume management and operation of its four senior living communities located throughout Maryland. The affiliation is expected to close on May 1, 2019, at which time Integrace and its current entities will become affiliated with Acts.

Founded in 1974, Integrace is a not-for-profit system of retirement communities consisting of Bayleigh Chase in Easton; Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown; Fairhaven in Sykesville; and Copper Ridge in Sykesville, along with an industry renowned research institute, The Integrace Institute. Collectively, the four communities are home to approximately 1,080 residents and provide a continuum of services including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and specialized programming for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other types of neurocognitive disorders.

Bayleigh Chase

“Our affiliation with Integrace is an exciting opportunity for Acts as our organizations share a common mission, values and desire to enrich the lives of seniors,” said Gerald T. Grant, Acts President and CEO. “We are excited to welcome Integrace into the Acts family, further strengthening both organizations and helping to secure a positive future for all the residents and staff under our care.”

Heron Point of Chestertown

With the affiliation, Acts will be expanding its presence in Maryland, where it operates another senior living community, Heron Point of Chestertown. Acts is one of the strongest companies of its kind among not-for-profit senior living providers with assets of $1.5 billion and maintains an A- rating from Fitch Ratings. Upon regulatory approval of the affiliation, Acts will manage a network of 27 faith-based senior living communities in nine states totaling 9,504 units, maintaining its status as the third largest multi-site senior living organization according to the LeadingAge Ziegler listing of the nation’s not-for-profit aging services providers. The Acts communities are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Acts, which is one of the industry’s premier senior living organization’s that throughout its history has demonstrated a strong commitment to residents and employees,” said Jackie Harris, Integrace President and CEO. “We believe that our faith-based organizations blend very well, and that our affiliation will contribute greatly to the continued excellent lifestyle and care for residents and growth experience for employees.”

Senior Nation: The Dixon House 99ers by Amy Blades Steward

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When you meet Ellen Walbridge and Helen Crow, residents of Dixon House in Easton, you won’t suspect that they are both 99 years old. Both women are vibrant and enjoy recalling their full and rich lives. This is the case for several residents at The Dixon House in Easton.

According to Linda Elben, Executive Director, “We are seeing more and more residents coming to us later in their lives, in their 90s, still very active and living quality lives. Most just need to simplify their living and have less responsibilities.”

She adds, “These two women are remarkable. They join a number of our residents who are centenarians or who approaching 100 years of age. It is a testament to them living active lives surrounded by family and friends.”

Ellen Walbridge, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in February 2019.

Ellen Walbridge, born in West Virginia, had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she followed her brother, who came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Builders. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty. She comments, “I don’t feel real young, but I don’t feel 99.” She will turn 100 in February 2019.

Helen Crow, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in April 20.

Born in rural Ohio, Helen Crow was always physically active. Her father, a builder, was also a physically active person. Helen recalls doing handstands and headstands when she was young. Today, she doesn’t miss an exercise class at The Dixon House. She and her husband, Elmer, nicknamed “Amo” married after Amo served in the Army’s 17th Airborne Division as a paratrooper during World War II. The two had three children, and today she has three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Amo had a career as a master craftsman, training many young men who entered the flooring trade, while Helen did office work for a law firm, then a refinery.

Both Helen and Amo participated in an activities group for art in Cincinnati, where Helen enjoyed oils and watercolors and Amo enjoyed stained glass, caning, and pottery. The two also enjoyed music, attending Cincinnati Symphony concerts for 40 years. The couple retired to Florida and then to Easton, where their son, Roger and daughter-in-law Heather live. The two then came to live at The Dixon House in 2014. Crow comments, “Easton is a nice town. We were amazed at the quality of friends we have made at Dixon House.” She adds, “I have had a good life.”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Maryland 3.0: Ralph Meima Does a Start-Up Out of Heron Point

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The term “entrepreneur,” which has grown very popular these days, is a revered one in this era of the internet and creative business models. Described as one who  organizes and operates a business with financial risk, is it also a title for some of the most creative people in any community.

And that word would describe Ralph Meima to a tee. A product of the Landon School, Yale, years of university study in Mexico, and a first career in the U.S. foreign service, Ralph found himself in early retirement for family reasons and started a series of companies, beginning with a import-export business specializing in marine parts in 1982. Almost forty years later, at the age of 91, he’s still at it.

Now living with his wife, Barrie, at Heron Point at Chestertown, the urge to create is still part of Ralph’s daily routine. In fact, he’s recently launched a new specialized service where he reviews dozens of the most popular boating magazines in the country monthly, and summarizes his findings for boating trade executives, saving them countless hours of homework.

In the Spy’s continuous search to profile our unique community we talked to Ralph at Heron Point a few weeks ago about his native entrepreneurship.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. 

Senior Nation: Dixon House’s Hazel Newnam Celebrates 100 Years

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Pictured back row, left to right: Granddaughter Sheila Herbert, Sheriff Joe Gamble, Mayor Robert Willey, Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Chris Adams, Delegate Johnny Mautz, grandson Cooper Towers, and Wendy Towers. Pictured front row, left to right: Granddaughter Courtney Springer, daughter Debbie Kudner holding great-granddaughter Elisabeth Claggett, Hazel Newnam holding great-grandson Gabriel Claggett, grandson Bo Claggett holding great-granddaughter Francesca Claggett. Absent from the photo is great-grandson Cruz Springer.

She credits her long, healthy life to a good attitude, good friends and her Christian faith. Hazel Newnam, age 100, a resident at Dixon House for the last three years, embraces life. Fiercely independent, Hazel managed to live alone until coming to Dixon House. She had visited a friend at Dixon House for years and when it came time to make the transition to assisted living herself, Dixon House seemed like the logical next step. She recently gathered with family, friends and dignitaries to celebrate her 100th birthday. Newnam was honored with proclamations from Governor Hogan, the Maryland Senate, the Maryland House of Delegates, the County Sheriff’s Department, the Town of Easton, and even a letter from President Donald Trump. Music was provided by Cabaret-style singer Daryl Grant Lindsay.

She commented at the event, “It was so wonderful to celebrate with family. I think it’s wonderful they all remembered me.”

Newnam was born on August 2, 1918. A native of Clairton, PA, she met William “Bill” Newnam while he was working construction in Pennsylvania and after he had graduated from the Pittsburgh Aeronautical Institute. The two were married in 1940 and then Bill became a Marine and flew Corsairs in Japan as part of the U.S. peacekeeping efforts during World War II. The couple lived in Oxford in the late 1940s after the war ended. Bill brought a Corsair back to Talbot County to sell war bonds. Soon after, he purchased Maryland Airlines, a private charter business, where he continued his love of flying.

Bill imparted his love of flying to Hazel by teaching her how to fly when she was in her 50s. She comments, “The opportunity was there and I took it. I felt like I was doing something special and I enjoyed the whole experience. Knowing I could fly gave me confidence and Bill was really proud of me.”

The couple ran Maryland Airlines until the 1990s and during this time Bill also managed Easton’s Airport. They had two daughters, Suzanne Towers (now deceased) and Debbie Kudner. Today Hazel has four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

After her husband died in May 1991, the Airport name was changed to Easton Airport/Newnam Field, in memory of Hazel’s husband, Bill.

She states, “I tried to live the right kind of life. I stayed active with the Oxford Methodist Church, sang in the choir, lead the MYF, and served as a member of the WSCS. I also served a number of years as a volunteer for the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.”

Hazel’s daughter, Debbie Kudner, recalls, “Mother was totally independent and had lots of friends. She used to load up the Cadillac, which I called the ‘Gospel Bus,’ and take trips up and down the East Coast with her church friends.”

Today, Hazel’s days are a little quieter, but she still enjoys getting out. The recent celebration at Dixon House was a testimony to her love of a good time.

Senior Nation’s Ask Irma: My 86 Year Old Mom is Falling More Often Now

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Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly column called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

Dear Irma,

Mom has been falling more these past few weeks, should we place her in a nursing home? She is 86 and currently lives alone

**************************
Thank you very much for your question.

First of all let’s have a look in mom’s home. Are there any trip hazards? Area rugs, lots of furniture, different flooring in different rooms, stairs etc.

Secondly how is mom’s diet? Is she eating well balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

Does mom exercise, does she take yoga or balance classes?

Thirdly, and most importantly, is she drinking enough fluids throughout the day (8 glasses of water) Dehydration is a common cause for dizziness, urinary track infections etc. all of which can cause a person to fall. This is the season to hydrate even more because of the heat and humidity.

There could be numerous causes for a person to fall, I only mentioned a few but please have mom checked by her physician to rule out any medical issues.

Take care!

Irma

Irma Toce is the  CEO of Londonderry on the Tred Avon with over 25 years experience work with seniors. Her years of experience in the field is accompanied by BS in social work and an MA in health management, Irma not only leads the dynamic community of Londonderry, but she is also nationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging.

Senior Nation: A Sexagenarian’s Musings on “Aging in Place”

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One of my favorite movies is “The Thin Man,” based on the first of six mystery novels by Dashiell Hammett. Nick Charles is a retired detective who manages his wife’s inheritance; however, his wife’s adventurous spirit soon has them assisting the police in solving cases. The inspired casting of William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora made the series pure pleasure to watch.

In the first movie, “The Thin Man,” Nick and Nora are asked to help find a missing inventor who had shown signs of forgetfulness. During a New Year’s Eve party at the Charles’ apartment, the son of the inventor is surrounded by reporters asking questions about why his father would want to disappear. The overly erudite son answers “Well, he is a Sexagenarian.” One of the reporters exclaims “I can’t print THAT” and the camera pans to show Nick’s bemused face as he chuckles over the reporter’s limited vocabulary.

As this sexagenarian reaches another birthday this week, I am contemplating, even more, the challenges of “aging in place” in my early 20th-century farmhouse. Shortly after moving in, I removed the tub shower in my first-floor bath and modified the floor joists to slope the floor in the shower area. The added benefit is the extra floor space I now have in my small bathroom. I am currently designing my kitchen renovation with five feet between my galley kitchen layout for ADA clearance if that ever became an issue for me.

Whenever I design a new home or undertake a major renovation with a client, we discuss design features that would enable them to remain in their home as they grow older. Instead of the 36” wide hallways stipulated by the building code, 42” wide hallways are better for maneuvering a walker or wheelchair, and 36” wide doors make access to rooms easier. Stacking closets in a two-story house creates a shaft for a future elevator so the house could be fully accessible. Leaving space in an attached garage for future addition of a lift to the main floor eliminates the need for an exterior ramp. Many houses have three steps from a deck or porch to grade, and the code does not require a handrail. However, adding handrails is safer for people like me who need to grip a handrail for support when maneuvering steps.

I just completed a “Smart Home Technology” course as part of Continuing Education for renewal of my architectural license. This technology has had an enormous impact on home design and can be as simple or complex as you need. Voice-activated controls, security systems that can lock exterior doors and provide video of your exterior door areas, lights that can be voice or motion activated to eliminate the need of timers for lamps, etc., are all part of the technological integration of your personal devices with today’s technology to keep you independent as long as possible. It’s then easy to relax, pour one of Nick’s signature martinis and watch a great movie like “The Thin Man.”


Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

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