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So they began Pets with Disabilities, a nonprofit organization that now houses up to 25 dogs and a handful of cats and seeks to find them appropriate homes. The dogs with the most severe disabilities, like Ernie, live with the couple in their house, which is handicapped accessible. Generally, those are not available for adoption. However, the majority of the pets may be adopted. While some dogs are placed with families with children, Darrell said she thinks older adopters who have more time to devote to the animals make an

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When Fido needs a wheelchair By Barbara Ruben Ernie, a fluffy white Samoyed, bounds across the field, a buff-colored German shepherd named Annie at his heels. Megan, a tan and white hound, leaps in the air at the sound of visitors. Neither Ernie nor Annie have the use of their hind legs. But special adapted “wheelchairs” that attach to the dogs’ hips allow them to run through the large yard of their home in Prince Frederick, Md. Affable Megan, who is blind, serves as a kind of one-canine welcome committee for Pets with Disabilities — the only shelter in the country that exclusively houses dogs and cats that are paralyzed, missing limbs or blind. Pets with Disabilities was founded 10 years ago by Joyce Darrell and her husband Michael Dickerson. At the time, they had a German shepherd named Duke who, like Ernie, broke his back and became paralyzed merely as a result of landing wrong while playing as a puppy. “During surgery, the vet kept calling us and telling us it would be better to put Duke down. But there was no way we planned to do that,” Darrell recalled. As Darrell and Dickerson learned how to care for Duke, they came to meet other dogs like him, languishing in shelters because they were deemed unadoptable. Ernie, in fact, was just a couple of hours from being euthanized when Darrell first met him. “I saw that big white face, and when they said he was gong to be put to sleep, I just turned to Michael and said, ‘I don’t think so.’”

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SEE SPECIAL INSERT on Housing & Homecare Options following page 14

Joyce Darrell (right) established Pets with Disabilities, a nonprofit shelter that helps find loving homes for dogs and cats who are blind, paralyzed, missing limbs or have other impairments. Sharon Sirkis is the group’s director of fundraising. The dogs in “wheelchairs” (left to right), Annie, Ernie and Dixie, can run as fast as dogs having the use of all four legs.

ideal match. The adoption fee is $275. Darrell said that although she receives inquiries from across the U.S. and even internationally, she limits adoptions to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. She said that’s because she wants to be able to drive to a home to retrieve a dog if an adoption doesn’t end up being a good match. But most are. Take Karen Omohundro’s blind dog named Faith, a spitz mix, who “looks like an Arctic fox.” “She has a very brave soul and simply ‘sees’ the world with more than her eyes,” said Omohundro, who lives in Owings Mills. “She has taught me resilience and the fact that despite the many setbacks you may have, you’re able to get up and go

about your day. You’re stronger than you think. Almost every day she learns something new and comes through.” Omohundro said the biggest challenge for Faith was learning to negotiate the many steps in her home. But Omohundro patiently walked the dog up and down the stairs, telling her to “step up” or “step down” at each stair until she learned. She also placed textured stair treads at the top and bottom of the steps to alert Faith that the steps are coming. Omohundro’s chow mix named Raven has adjusted to her new canine companion as well. And Raven may be catching on See PETS, page 14

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What’s private anymore? Yes, we voluntarily use the cards. They The recent revelations that our government collects telephone records and inter- aren’t forced upon us. But our consumer buying habits are easily bought, cepts Internet communicaand they are directly used to intions have led to a great hue fluence us. and cry throughout the world. Do we buy GPS devices and I don’t deny the revelations cell phones with GPS functionare shocking. But what’s ality? How about smartphone shocking to me is that the apps that help us navigate trafprograms have been revealed, not that they are takfic, find nearby stores and hoing place. tels, and choose our music and I am also shocked by how news for us based on our past surprised so many people “expressed preferences”? seem to be that privacy and FROM THE Again, we willingly, even secrecy aren’t valued the way PUBLISHER eagerly, seek out these useful they used to be. Our privacy By Stuart P. Rosenthal services. But all of them are is no longer valued or prokeeping close tabs on our tected by our government, by businesses, every movement — where we drive and by journalists — or by the rest of us, really. when, what we read and listen to, where If we just look around, we can see evi- we shop and what we spend. dence of this in nearly every aspect of our Today’s businesses know more about each daily lives. of us than ever before. And if you read the Do we join frequent flyer and frequent fine print of their “terms of use,” you will see buyer clubs? Use grocery store and drug- that this information is available as well to store discount programs? Sign up for cred- other businesses they choose to work with, it cards that offer small refunds? and to all levels of government investigators All of these track every purchase we whenever there’s a potentially reasonable make and use that information to spit out need for it. The same certainly goes for phone call competitors’ coupons at the cash register records, and that should not be news, either. and to bombard us with offers to buy.

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Baltimore area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Howard County, Md., Greater Washington DC and Greater Palm Springs, Calif. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail for $12 or via first-class mail for $36, prepaid with order. MD residents add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President, Operations........Gordon Hasenei • Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Contributing Editor ..........................Carol Sorgen • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Advertising Representatives ............Steve Levin, ........................................................................Jill Joseph • Publishing Assistant ....................Rebekah Sewell

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Don’t we regularly read news reports indicating that wrongdoers (bribed officials, philandering husbands, thieves) were caught by police or private detectives who searched through their phone records? And what about the Internet searches we do at home or work? The “cookies” planted by every site we visit are not to satisfy our hunger, but that of those who own or manage the sites and search engines. We run a light at an intersection, and we get a ticket in the mail. How long might it be before speeding tickets are issued to us automatically based on what our GPS measures as our traveling speed? Two fellows casually put down their backpacks at the Boston marathon and walk away. Within hours, a video of their actions is splashed on television screens around the world. Is it a revelation that all of us are similarly being filmed whenever we do nearly anything outside our homes? We used to be able to choose, for the most part, what aspects of our lives were lived in public. But it has become more and more difficult to even function today without “choosing” to lose our privacy. We can no longer walk down a sidewalk, enter a building, drive in our cars, shop in a store, or surf the Internet with a reasonable expectation of privacy. I don’t point this out to indicate a categorical objection. On the contrary, I am generally pleased that our law enforcement officers are able to so readily locate my fellow Americans who steal credit and ATM cards, rob banks, and plant bombs on the street. Furthermore, there’s no denying that we

live in dangerous times. There are many groups and individuals throughout the world who publicly announce their intention to try to kill and maim as many Americans as they can. I have every reason to believe they mean what they say, and if there are ways to detect and prevent them from doing so, I think we should be pursuing them. But there is definitely a trade-off going on here, and I am surprised that more Americans don’t seem to have realized it before. I guess it’s time we started talking about it. Different people will have different opinions regarding how much general snooping they are willing to tolerate, and how much they trust those institutions — including Congress and the courts, as well as attorneys and investigative journalists — who provide some checks and balances to protect citizens from government overreaching. In the end, it all comes down to whom you trust. I invite you to share your thoughts on this subject through a letter or email to the editor. I leave you with one last thought. This whole debate has been sparked by high-level secrets published in a British newspaper and the Washington Post. There used to be a time when reputable news organizations consulted with the U.S. government before revealing state secrets that might conceivably undermine citizen protections. The days when our government had such privacy rights seem to be gone as well.

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or e-mail to barbara@thebeaconnewspapers.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: I look forward to reading the Beacon each month, but was so disappointed when I could not locate your advice columnist in the May issue. Her advice was always intelligent and full of common sense. We frequently cannot see beyond our problems, but she always did so in her column. Although I find most articles in the Beacon enjoyable, interesting and informative, her column was my favorite. Is there any possibility that she will return? Mary Anne Dupon Columbia Editor’s note: We’re glad you enjoy Solutions columnist Helen Oxenberg. Because we want to provide a variety of articles in each month’s issue, we can’t always fit her column in. But you will find it in this issue on page 15. Dear Editor: My elderly mother, now deceased, struggled with failing eyesight caused by macular degeneration.

Gradually losing her sight was very difficult, but in my mother’s case, the problem was compounded by the visual hallucinations she also experienced. For several years, until she died at the age of 98, she had periods of several weeks’ duration when she would “see” yellow curls on everyone in the restaurant, nests of straw on our heads, four women standing by her bed, a sink full of flowers, etc. These were not dreams; she described what she saw in real time. Fortunately, my sister happened upon a book that identified such hallucinations as Charles Bonnet syndrome. Knowing that my mother’s experiences were not a sign of impending dementia was an enormous relief to her. It is sad to think that many folks with low vision are keeping such experiences to themselves for fear that they will be thought to be See LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 27


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MEDICARE’S CATCH-22 Be sure you’re “admitted” to the hospital, not just “observed” A HEART-HEALTHY STUDY Join a study about the effects of resveratrol, found in grapes, on the heart A SAFER SLEEP AID A new sleep drug will have fewer side effects, such as memory loss FOODS THAT FIGHT BAD BREATH Some foods promote bad breath, but others destroy mouth bacteria

A healthy long life? It’s all in our heads Hypothalamus may hold keys to aging well By Douglas Heaven A mechanism that controls aging, counting down to inevitable death, has been identified in the hypothalamus — a part of the brain that controls most of the basic functions of life. By manipulating this mechanism, researchers have both shortened and lengthened the lifespan of mice. The discovery reveals several new drug targets that, if not quite an elixir of youth, may at least delay the onset of age-related disease. The hypothalamus is an almond-sized puppet master in the brain. “It has a global effect,” said Dongsheng Cai at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Sitting on top of the brain stem, the hypothalamus is the interface between the brain and the rest of the body. It is involved in, among other things, controlling our automatic response to the world around us, our hormone levels, sleep-wake cycles, immunity and reproduction.

Important research done in mice not only increased their lifespan but also While investigating aging processes in the brain, Cai and his colleagues noticed that aging mice produce increasing levels of nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) — a protein complex that plays a major role in regulating immune responses. NF-kB is barely active in the hypothalamus of 3- to 4-month-old mice but becomes very active in old mice, aged 22 to 24 months. To see whether it was possible to affect aging by manipulating levels of this protein complex, Cai’s team tested three groups of middle-aged mice. One group was given gene therapy that inhibits NF-kB, the second had gene therapy to activate NF-kB, while the third was left to age naturally. The last group lived, as expected, between 600 and 1,000 days. Mice with activated NF-kB all died within 900 days, while the animals with NF-kB inhibition lived for up to 1,100 days. Crucially, the mice that lived the longest

remained mentally and physically fit longer. Six months after receiving gene therapy, all the mice were given a series of tests involving cognitive and physical ability. In all of the tests, the mice that subsequently lived the longest outperformed the controls, while the short-lived mice performed the worst. Post-mortem examinations of muscle and bone in the longest-living rodents also showed that they had many chemical and physical qualities of younger mice, according to a study published in Nature.

Hormones also play a role Further investigation revealed that NFkB reduces the level of a chemical produced by the hypothalamus called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) — better known for its involvement in the regulation of puberty and fertility, as well as the production of eggs and sperm.

To see if they could control lifespan using this hormone directly, the team gave another group of mice — 20 to 24 months old — daily subcutaneous injections of GnRH for five to eight weeks. These mice lived longer too, by a length of time similar to that of mice with inhibited NF-kB. GnRH injections also resulted in new neurons in the brain. What’s more, when injected directly into the hypothalamus, GnRH influenced other brain regions, reversing widespread age-related decline and further supporting the idea that the hypothalamus could be a master controller for many aging processes. GnRH injections even delayed aging in the mice that had been given gene therapy to activate NF-kB and would otherwise have aged more quickly than usual. None of the mice in the study showed serious side effects. So could regular doses of GnRH keep See AGING, page 4

Vision loss may lead to hallucinations People with Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) can vouch for the cliché that things aren’t always as they seem. This syndrome, named for the 18th century philosopher who first described it, is characterized by the periodic occurrence of hallucinatory visions. People with CBS may see anything from abstract patterns to birds to babies to white sandy beaches. Sometimes the hallucinations are very animated and detailed. They tend to occur when a person is awake, alone and in dim light, or when he or she is physically inactive or lacks distractions, such as television. They also frequently occur during down time — say, while getting a haircut or waiting in line at the store. Those who have these visions know they’re just mirages. That is, the images are illusions, not delusions. The difference is that a person with delusions is convinced that what she sees is real. Patients with CBS may initially second-guess themselves, but they ultimately accept that their perceptions have no substance.

The cause of this disorder is thought to be a misfire in the brain similar to the neurological mixup that occurs in patients with phantom limb syndrome. As vision wanes, the brain continues to interpret visual imagery in the absence of corresponding visual input, just as it sometimes continues to process pain signals from a limb that’s no longer there.

May be quite common When a person first has such visual illusions, he may wonder if he’s becoming mentally ill or developing senile dementia. He may hesitate to tell his doctors or loved ones about the problem for fear they’ll draw that very conclusion. For this reason, it is difficult to estimate how common the condition is, but it has been reported to occur in 10 to 40 percent of older patients with low vision, such as those with age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and other eye disorders. Turning on an extra lamp or two, staying physically and mentally occupied,

spending time with family or friends, and participating in social activities can reduce the frequency and vividness of the hallucinations. Each patient must learn what works for him or her. A positive attitude is the key. Your eye care professional is the best healthcare professional to diagnose this condition. In addition, your eye care provider will already be aware of any underlying vision disorders you have that may be associated with the syndrome. A thorough eye examination to rule out additional problems and a few targeted questions about your symptoms are usually all that’s needed to diagnose the syndrome. Sometimes consultation with a neurologist or other specialist is necessary to rule out any serious disorders that may mimic CBS, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. The diagnosis may be complicated by the fact that many patients have multiple medical problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, for which they take several medications.

Usually temporary Fortunately, the saying “This, too, shall pass” is also true for those with CBS. After a year or perhaps 18 months, the brain seems to adjust to the person’s vision loss, and the hallucinations generally begin to recede. In the meantime, of course, the underlying visual impairment should be treated or monitored. Idle time should be kept to a minimum. If the person is found to be depressed, therapy or pharmacologic treatment may be in order. Anti-seizure medications have been shown to calm the hallucinations in some patients, and anti-anxiety agents can be used in those who find the visions upsetting. For most patients, though, just knowing that they aren’t becoming mentally ill and that the symptoms will eventually subside is all the treatment they need. Based on information from Lighthouse International, an organization that fights against vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowering those with low vision or who are blind. For more information, see www.lighthouse.org or call 1-800-829-0500.


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Aging From page 3 death at bay? Cai hopes to find out how different doses affect lifespan, but said the hormone is unlikely to prolong life indefinitely since GnRH is only one of many factors at play. “Aging is the most complicated biological process,” Cai said. “There are dozens of pathways that people will look at thanks to this work,” said Richard Miller at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Miller has previously demonstrated that an immunosuppressant drug called rapamycin can also extend life in mice. Since the hypothalamus — and GnRH in particular — regulate several major biological processes, it may be possible to influence aging through related mechanisms, said Miller. He wants to look at possible dietary interventions, such as the in-

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

direct effect that spikes in glucose may have on the hypothalamus. Stuart Maudsley at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore agrees that the hypothalamus could be the route in for age-controlling drugs. “The body is all one big juicy system,” he said. The ideal drug would hit that system at its center. “Activate that keystone and everything falls into place,” he said. Though this is the first time that an explicit role has been found for GnRH in the aging process, previous studies in humans have hinted at a link between longevity and fertility — in which the hormone is known to play a significant role. As GnRH levels drop, so does egg production and fertility. In a study presented in May at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in New Orleans, Graziella Caselli at the University of

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Rome, Italy, and colleagues found that mothers in Sardinia who’d had their last child over the age of 45 — so were still fertile at a late age — were significantly more likely to reach 100 than those who’d had their last child at a younger age. Since late fertility could be linked to higher levels of GnRH, Cai said those findings are a good match for his own. “There is likely to be some kind of biological correlation between aging and reproduction,” he said.

So can we delay aging? “There are maybe 10 steps to controlling aging,” said Miller. “We’ve taken the first two or three.” The first is simply accepting the idea that aging can be slowed down, he said. “Many think it can’t. They are wrong.” Maudsley said that we could see drugs that slow aging in the next 20 years. Initially, though, research is likely to focus on delaying the onset of age-related diseases. “That could solve some real problems,”

said Cai. But since the hypothalamus has an effect on every cell in the body, Maudsley warns that interfering with it could lead to unwanted sequences of events. “You’re playing with fire,” he said. Tweaking the hypothalamus isn’t the only way to extend lifespan. Researchers are investigating several other avenues in their quest to defy age. The immune system may be a good place to start. Rapamycin — a drug produced from bacteria discovered on Easter Island — is commonly used to suppress the immune system of transplant patients. It also increases the lifespan of yeast cells and mice. Alternatively, resveratrol, found in grapes, is thought to stabilize DNA and has been used to extend the lifespan of yeast by 70 percent. It seems to work for worms and fruit flies, too. See AGING, page 5

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The Union Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing offers diabetic foot care screenings the third Wednesday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m. The next one will be July 17. There is no fee. The screenings are for diabetics experiencing foot problems and include an examination of the skin, circulation, sensation, pain and shoes worn. A free parking voucher will be provided at time of appointment. Call (410) 554-2969 to register.


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Restricting calories is another option. Macaques given 30 percent fewer calories significantly outlive peers on a non-restricted diet. Rather than dieting, it might be possible to develop drugs that trick the body and brain into thinking it has consumed less. “It may be possible to fiddle with the amount of food we absorb or how the hypothalamus monitors intake,” said Richard Miller, who researches aging at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Finally, on the principle that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, small doses of toxin may promote cell growth by rallying the body’s defense mechanisms.

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For example, garlic and chili contain components that induce a mild stress response. This opens cell membranes and lets in calcium, driving growth factors. Some researchers suggest that it is this principle, known as hormesis, that is behind the health benefits of exercise and restricted diets. The scientific director of the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, will be the keynote speaker at the Beacon 50+Expo on October 13, 2013 in Silver Spring, Md. He will discuss the latest research on aging and address the topic, “What we’re learning about how to live longer and better.” © 2013 Reed Business Information UK. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.

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Medicare often won’t cover skilled care Lawsuits, appeals aim to change policy By Susan Jaffe After Lois Frarie, a 93-year-old retired teacher, spent four days at a California hospital while being treated for a broken elbow and pelvis, she went to a nearby nursing home to build up her strength. But her family was stunned to find out that they would have to pay thousands of dollars up front since she was considered to be “under observation” for two of the days she spent in the hospital. Under federal law, Medicare won’t cover a skilled nursing and rehab stay unless it follows a minimum threeconsecutive-day stay as an “admitted” patient. “I assumed I was under the hospital’s

care” for the whole four days, said Frarie. Advocates for seniors say the distinction is not fair to patients, especially since they are typically not informed by hospitals either of their status or of the Medicare rules. In May, the Center for Medicare Advocacy took their argument to federal court in Hartford, Conn., for the first hearing on a lawsuit on behalf of 14 seniors seeking to have Medicare eliminate the observation label.

A hollow “right” to appeal Government lawyers argue in court filings that Medicare considers observation care an outpatient service, and if elderly pa-

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tients think they should have been admitted to the hospital, they should file an appeal. Federal records and interviews with patients and advocates across the country show that many observation patients who call Medicare about the billing problem find out there is nothing that Medicare can do to help — as Frarie’s and other persistent families have learned first-hand. “People are often told there is nothing to appeal,” said Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. In April, Medicare sought to help observation patients who have lost nursing home coverage and who also pay higher hospital costs than admitted patients. The agency proposed changes to the hospital payment system that would require, with some exceptions, patients who stay in the hospital two days or less to be classified as observation patients, and those who stay longer would have to be admitted. However, the proposal has been criticized by patient advocates, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association because it would still maintain the three-inpatient-day requirement before patients would be eligible for nursing home coverage.

Frarie’s nursing home bill for nearly three months of care came to $19,000. Her family took the first step in the appeals process, asking Medicare to count all four days in the hospital as inpatient so that she would have the minimum required for Medicare coverage for her nursing home stay. Then they hit a dead-end. A Medicare appeals coordinator, writing to Frarie’s niece Sherry Smith in February, said the agency could not accept the appeal because “the claim(s) or date(s) of service identified in your request have not been denied.” In other words, Frarie received, and Medicare paid for, the care the hospital determined she needed, including her two days as an observation patient. The letter didn’t say how to challenge this determination, information that is required whenever an appeal is denied. The government’s lawyers say the plaintiffs must go through the appeal process — all five levels if necessary — before they can file a lawsuit. “Indeed, to challenge coverage and payment determinations, the Medicare statute and regulations afford program beneficiarSee MEDICARE, page 7


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Medicare From page 6 ies extensive opportunities for review, including several levels of administrative review, and, potentially, judicial review,” government lawyers write in papers asking a federal judge to dismiss the suit. But hospitals are not required to tell patients they are under observation, Medicare officials have said. Another obstacle for seniors is that the three-day requirement is part of federal law. Once patients leave the hospital and then find out they were receiving observation services — when a bill arrives — it’s too late: Hospitals and physicians are prohibited from reclassifying observation patients as inpatients once they’ve been discharged, according to Medicare rules. If the federal judge won’t eliminate observation care, the seniors’ lawyers are asking that hospitals be required to tell patients when they are in observation and allow them to appeal that decision before they leave. [Marylanders have recently won some of these protections through state law. This spring, the Maryland legislature passed, and Gov. Martin O’Malley signed, a bill stipulating that hospitals must provide oral and written notice to patients of their outpatient status and the billing implications if the patient has received services at the hospital for more than 23 hours.] A Medicare spokeswoman declined to

answer questions about appealing observation care because it is agency policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Observation cases skyrocket The number of Medicare patients receiving observation care jumped 69 percent in only five years, to 1.6 million in 2011, according to the most recent federal data. Even though Medicare recommends that hospitals decide within 24 to 48 hours whether to admit a patient, observation stays exceeding 24 hours have nearly doubled to 744,748. Few of those patients turn to the appeals process for help. Medicare officials would not disclose how many beneficiaries file observation care appeals. But buried in a document the agency submitted to Congress in April explaining its proposed budget request is a revealing figure: out of 3.2 million appeals received last year, seniors filed less than 10 percent. The rest come from hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and other providers. When seniors call Medicare to complain about observation status, the option to appeal is rarely mentioned. According to records of 316 complaints — the total Medicare said it received from beneficiaries or their representatives about observation since 2008 — a typical response was that Medicare “cannot intercede with hospital/physician regarding change of status.” In a response to one of dozens of con-

gressional inquiries, officials “advised senators [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services] cannot change a hospital stay classification.” In addition, information provided by officials about the scripts used by the 800MEDICARE call centers to answer observation care questions also do not mention that callers can appeal the denial of nursing home coverage or their extra hospital charges, including non-covered drugs. “I called everyone and their grandmother,” said Arlene Roach in Lynn, Mass., who is trying to appeal her mother-in-law’s $33,000 nursing home bill after she spent

7

three nights in the hospital for observation. She was eventually referred to Diane Paulson, senior attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, who is trying to get Roach a definitive decision from Medicare. “This is a basic denial of due process,” said Paulson. “People are entitled to a written, timely decision and notice of the right to appeal.” Provided by Kaiser Health News, www.kaiserhealthnews.org, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpar tisan health policy organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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Health Studies Page

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

THE PLACE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON AREA CLINICAL TRIALS

NIA studying resveratrol for heart health By Carol Sorgen Resveratrol is a compound found in the leaves and skin of grapes, in peanuts, and in the roots of the plant Japanese knotweed. Although resveratrol has long been used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, it became popularly known in the 1990s when researchers began to

suspect that resveratrol may be the major reason for the positive effect of red wine on cardiovascular health. Since then, studies have found that resveratrol has a number of biological effects on blood vessels, cancer, blood clotting, blood sugar control, muscle activity and inflammation.

Studies are also being conducted to explore whether resveratrol may produce some of the same beneficial effects as decreased food intake through its action on enzymes in the body called sirtuins, which might have a positive effect on the aging process.

Study seeks volunteers Though resveratrol has been extensively studied in test tubes, cells and animals, it is only now being explored fully in people. The National Institute of Aging (NIA) is currently conducting a study at Harbor Hospital, 3001 Hanover St. in Baltimore, to test the effects of different dose levels of resVida (a commercially available resveratrol supplement) on heart and blood vessel health. In a prior animal study of resveratrol conducted by NIA in monkeys, there was a reduction in the stiffness of blood vessels over several weeks. Earlier studies in healthy human volunteers or in patients with type II diabetes mellitus have also begun to identify possible roles for resveratrol as a nutritional supplement. The compound appears to have no harmful effects at doses up to 5 grams per day. For the current study, researchers are seeking overweight but otherwise healthy nonsmoking volunteers who are at least 50 years old.

What the study entails This 12-month study of resVida will involve a screening visit and four study vis-

its, some of which will require overnight inpatient stays. Participants will undergo a screening that includes a physical exam, medical history, and blood and urine samples. They will also be given a list of foods to avoid eating while on the study. Those taking part in the study will be separated into three groups. Two groups will take different dose levels of the study drug. The third group will take a placebo. Participants will not know which group they fall in. At the first study visit, participants will stay in the clinical center overnight for two days of tests. They will provide blood and urine samples and undergo body scans to measure fat and muscle mass. They will also have exercise tests and a muscle biopsy. At this visit, they will receive their dose of the study drug. They will continue to take this dose for as long as they are on the study. The second visit will take place 16 weeks later and will take only two hours, during which most of the tests from the screening visit will be repeated. The third visit will take place 16 weeks after that, and will again involve an overnight stay. The fourth and final visit will take place in another 16 weeks and will also involve an overnight stay. Most of the tests from the initial study visit (including the scans and the exercise tests) will be repeated. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Vickie L Schaffnerat at (410) 350-7319, schaffnervl@mail.nih.gov, or Dr. James B Strait, (410) 350-3989, straitj@mail.nih.gov.

STUDIES ON ANEMIA Are you 65 years or older? Have you been recently diagnosed with anemia? OR Have you had anemia in the past? en you may be interested in: “THE JOHns HOPkins registry of older adults with anemia” • Several new research studies are being designed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University specifically for older adults with anemia. • By volunteering to join our anemia registry, you will be kept up to date on anemia research studies that match your situation. at 410-601-4795

Call us at 410-550-2113 to join the Anemia Registry today! We can conduct the study in your home. No travel is required. If you choose to come to Bayview to participate, your parking will be paid.

We look forward to hearing from you! Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeremy Walston, MD. IRB application No: NA_00035307


BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

9

New sleep aid takes a novel approach Dear Pharmacist: lems, full-body muscle relaxI have taken Ambien for ation, daytime fatigue and years, but I still can’t sleep bizarre hypnotic events. well. What else do you recSuvorexant doesn’t affect ommend? GABA at all. Rather than in— F.T. ducing sleep, it turns off the Dear F.T.: switch that keeps you awake. If you can’t sleep on Ambien, It does this by reducing a I’d try something different. If hormone called orexin (a.k.a. you have sleep deprivation, it inhypocretin). Interestingly, elcreases the risk of depression, DEAR evated orexin levels are comheart disease and infection, so PHARMACIST mon in those prone to panic sleep any way you can. But re- By Suzy Cohen attacks, and Suvorexant may member: Sleep aids are for help with those as well. short-term use, they are not a forever thing. But Suvorexant is now being tested and A novel sleep drug is coming to the mar- marketed as a prescription sleep aid and ket called Suvorexant, and so far, I like it. should do very well. There are well-designed, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unbiased clinical trials to show orexin blockis evaluating it right now. ers improve sleep (and reduce panic). Merck & Co. manufactures the new Orexins keep you awake. If orexin levdrug, which supposedly does not induce els suddenly drop, so do you, meaning you memory loss, daytime fatigue or attention go to sleep! People with narcolepsy have difficulties — all common side effects with swinging orexin levels. Contrarily, if orexbenzodiazepines and Z drugs, which domi- in is high, you might feel panicky, anxious, nate the multi-billion dollar insomnia mar- wired or have insomnia. ket. You know these other drugs by names Suvorexant reduces orexin levels. It’s like Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, Xanax, Vali- categorized as a “dual orexin receptor anum and Halcion. tagonist” or a “DORA blocker” for short. These drugs increase GABA levels — a “Dual” because it blocks both OX1 and neurotransmitter that induces sleep. Tick- OX2 receptor sites. le those GABA receptors, and you will fall How do you feel if you wake at 4 a.m. on asleep, but also likely have cognitive prob- your sleep medication? Researchers com-

pared conventional GABA blockers to DORA blockers to find out. Monkeys given popular GABA blockers were much foggier, confused and slower to respond compared with monkeys given a DORA blocker. We’re not monkeys, though the point is made. Is Suvorexant the next best amazing sleep drug? Time will tell. So far, headache is the most commonly reported side effect. Always use the lowest effective dose and for short terms. Never combine sleep

drugs with sedatives or alcohol. Also, clean your bedroom, turn off lights and implement healthier sleep hygiene practices. Go to my website to read about natural remedies if those interest you. One theoretical concern with Suvorexant is narcolepsy, since if you reduce orexin levels, you will go to sleep. Fortunately, late-stage clinical trials have not reported this side effect. However, more adverse reSee SLEEP AID, page 11

Participate in Memory Studies The Neuroscience of Memory in Aging and Dementia Lab is seeking healthy adults for a research study investigating age-related changes in memory. •Must be between the ages of 60 and 89 •Computerized tests of memory and paper/pencil tasks. •1 or 2 sessions lasting a total of 3 hours. •Compensation for time and travel expenses. •Located on the JHU Homewood Campus.

For more information, contact Liz Murray at (410) 516-3813 or email jhumemorylab@gmail.com Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Yassa Protocol: HIRB00000753


10

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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Foods and drinks that fight bad breath By Gretel H. Schueller There’s nothing worse than meeting someone and realizing that your breath smells like the tuna you had for lunch, stale coffee, or worse. What you eat and poor oral hygiene are the main causes of halitosis, or bad breath. When you think about it, the mouth is a dirty worksite: More than 600 kinds of bacteria live in the average mouth. Many produce smelly gases as they digest the tiny food particles lodged between your teeth and on your tongue. Some of the most offensive gases produced by mouth bacteria are sulfur compounds, which are formed during the breakdown of proteins. Garlic and onion

A proper oral-hygiene routine, which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to the dentist, is an important first step to beating bad breath. But even with good dental hygiene your breath can still stink. About $1 billion a year is spent on breath-freshening products like gum and mints. However, these only work to temporarily mask odors. Fortunately, there are a few foods that fight the odor-causing bacteria promoted by other foods. Consider adding these to your arsenal in the battle against bad breath: 1. Tea For tea-rific breath, try a cup of tea. Studies suggest that drinking unsweet-

black or green tea may help ward off Gentle Foot Careenedin Your Home

also contain many sulfur compounds.

Diabetic foot exams Corns/calluses Wound/infection care Toenail fungus Dr. Richard Rosenblatt DPM

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Treating Difficulty Standing or Walking, attributed to Arthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Neuropathy, Poor Circulation or Poor Balance How fortunate I feel to have found a doctor who could not only diagnose an underlying problem that many specialists missed, but who has been able to find a painless and rapid method of relieving the worst symptoms.

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As a podiatrist with over 30 years experience, I have always focused on non-surgical treatment of foot and leg pain. I find that most people with foot or leg symptoms (arthritic, aching, burning, cramping or difficulty walking) , even those who have had other treatments, including surgery of the foot (or back), can be helped, usually in 1or 2 visits.

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the bacteria in your mouth that contribute to bad breath. Accumulation of plaque and development of periodontal disease were also reduced in the study’s yogurt eaters. Eat a cup of plain yogurt with active cultures and make sure to avoid varieties with added sugars. (Sugars allow for bacterial growth in the body and especially the mouth.) 3. Water Wet your whistle — often. Most odorcausing bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in a dry mouth. Drinking water helps flush out food particles and bacteria stuck in your mouth. Drinking water also promotes the production of saliva, which acts as a cleansing agent. 4. Parsley and basil See BAD BREATH, page 11

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bad breath. Both types of tea contain antioxidants called polyphenols that can help destroy the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath, although green tea contains more because it’s processed in a different way. A study conducted at Pace University in New York, for example, found that green tea extracts were effective at fighting several types of oral bacteria by preventing their growth. Polyphenols also reduce those nasty sulfur compounds. 2. Probiotic yogurt Recent studies show that eating 6 ounces of unsweetened yogurt every day can reduce the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in your mouth. The reason is that active cultures in yogurt, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, compete with

— Dr. Stuart Goldman Fellow American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare Author, multiple articles on Foot & Leg Symptoms

H elP F orYour F eeT.C oM

Our breath may be unique, just like our fingerprints. Compounds in exhaled air produce a molecular signature or “breathprint,” one that could be used to monitor disease or track how we respond to medication. Renato Zenobi at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues sampled the breath of 11 healthy people four times daily over nine

days. Using mass spectrometry, they identified minuscule amounts of metabolites in the breath that remained “constant and clear” for each person, said Zenobi (PLoS One, www.doi.org/k3j). Early results from another study by the team show that breathprints can be used to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. — New Scientist

BEACON BITS

June 22

MEET THE WRITERS Meet members of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland on

Saturday, June 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Herring Run Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library, 3802 Erdman Ave. The writers will read excerpts from their works and also answer questions about the writing process. Members include fiction and non-fiction writers, as well as poets. For more information, visit www.prattlibrary.org/calendar/series.aspx?folder=610.

July 10

BLACKTIP REEF EXHIBIT On Wednesday, July 10, the National Aquarium will open “Blacktip Reef,” a breathtaking exhibit of color, light and movement. This

coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs, is active with 1,000 animals, like Calypso the 400-pound turtle, and a dozen sharks. The aquarium is located at 501 E Pratt St. The exhibit is included in the admission price of $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for seniors age 65 and older. For more information, visit www.aqua.org.

July 16

HEAD TO LANCASTER Tour Amish Farms, visit Amish quilt and craft shops and much more on this day trip to Lancaster, Pa., sponsored by Liberty

Senior Center on Tuesday, July 16. Trip cost is $75. Call (410) 887-0780 to reserve a spot.


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BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Bad breath From page 10 Nothing says stinky breath like garlic and onions. That’s because there are roughly 33 different smelly sulfur compounds that naturally occur in garlic and onions. They linger in your mouth and are absorbed in the bloodstream and expelled when you exhale. But parsley and basil help kick garlic breath. The polyphenols (compounds that act like antioxidants) in these herbs break down the sulfur compounds in garlic. For the biggest benefit, combine garlic and either basil or parsley in the same dish (think pesto!), though it may be possible to get the garlic-breath-fighting benefits of polyphenols by eating the herbs in dishes separate from the garlic, as long as they’re consumed during the same meal. 5. Apples and spinach While we can’t guarantee that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, research has shown that eating apples at the same meal as garlic can mitigate garlic breath. (Think pork chops with apples and garlicmashed potatoes. Or if the thought of garlic and apples together doesn’t sound appealing, follow a garlic-heavy dish with an apple.) The polyphenols found in apples break down the smelly sulfur compounds. Spinach is another polyphenol-rich food

that’s good at breaking down stinky sulfur compounds. According to Sheryl Barringer, Ph.D., professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University, the polyphenols in foods like spinach and apples should be mixed with garlic to break down the sulfur compounds. Luckily, spinach and garlic are delicious together. 6. Cherries and lettuce According to nutritionist David Grotto, author of The Best Things You Can Eat (Da Capo Press, 2013) cherries and lettuce can also beat back bad breath. Studies have shown that these two foods help remove the smell of methyl mercaptan, another odorous gas released by mouth bacteria as they digest bits of food. If halitosis is a persistent problem, talk with your doctor. It could be a sign of a more serious condition. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com. © 2013 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Sleep aid From page 9 actions may come to light after the medication is launched and more widely used. [Ed’s Note: An advisory panel of medical experts recommended last month that the FDA approve Suvorexant as safe and effective. The FDA is expected to issue its final decision on the drug later this year.] This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit www.dearpharmacist.com.

Have You Fallen? Seeking Men and Women to participate in a research study at the University of Maryland & Veterans Affairs of Baltimore to better understand balance and the prevention of falls in aging individuals.

you will receive: • Health evaluation • Balance, step, strength, and/or flexibility exercises • Compensation for your time If interested call: 410-605-7179 & Mention code: LIFT Baltimore VA/University of Maryland Gerontology Recruitment Line *You must be at least 65 years old and in good health *Participants will be seen at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine *You will attend approximately 41 visits for 1 to 4 hours of time per visit

CALL TODAy!

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BEACON BITS

Ongoing

FITNESS CENTER AT THE MYERBERG

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation fitness center at the Edward A. Myerberg Center is specifically designed for those 55 and over. The fitness center features strength training equipment, cardio equipment and free weights. The cost is $85 for 13 weeks or $300 for a full year. Myerberg Center membership is required for membership in the fitness center. For more information, call (410) 358-6856. The center is located at 3101 Fallstaff Rd.

Ongoing

HOPEWELL CANCER SUPPORT

Hopewell Cancer Support in Lutherville offers various support groups for those with cancer. Networking groups bring together people with the same type of cancer and offer an active exchange, the chance to make new friendships, and the flexibility to drop in. These groups meet once or twice each month. Participant groups meet weekly and include people with different cancers and at varying stages of their illness. Groups often discuss ways of dealing with the stress of cancer, provide camaraderie, and explore how to be an effective part of your healthcare team. For more information, visit www.hopewellcancersupport.org.

Diabetes Research Study 50-80 year old men & women with Type 2 Diabetes are needed to participate in an exercise research study at the University of Maryland/Baltimore VA Medical Center. Call 410-605-7179. Mention code: EPC-DM.


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You’re on top of your medications. But we make a good back up. You know it’s important to stay on your medications exactly as prescribed. However, if you miss a dose, want a lower-cost alternative, or experience any side effects, we can answer any questions. Speak to your local CVS Pharmacist to learn more. Find a store near you at www.cvs.com

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BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Say you saw it in the Beacon

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Does your organization use senior volunteers or do you employ a number of seniors?

Careers Volunteers &

If you do and you’d like to be considered for a story in our Volunteers & Careers section, please send an email to info@thebeaconnewspapers.com.

Advance your career for less than $1,000 For as little as $1,000, you could see a big payback — and maybe even a bigger paycheck. Build your brand. Job hunting or not, you can stay poised for new opportunities — and boost your standing at the office — by polishing your professional image. A career adviser, such as a counselor or coach, can help with matters such as updating your resume, networking, and identifying strengths you can showcase in the workplace and in interviews. Costs vary by region and adviser, but you might pay about $500 for a few sessions with a career coach. Consider hiring a photographer to take professional headshots (about $200). Use your favorite photograph

on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for a cohesive online presence. Want to share your expertise on a blog or personal website? You can create one free using a platform such as WordPress.com. But for $99 a year, you can upgrade to the WordPress Value Bundle, which includes a domain name of your choice, high-definition video uploads and custom design options. Those looking for work may want to invest in a LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium account ($180 for six months). Among its benefits are five monthly “InMail” messages, which you can use to contact anyone on LinkedIn. Awaken the geek within. Many community colleges offer classes that could help

you learn the technical skills you need to get ahead in your job (or find a better one). For example, Montgomery College, a community college with three campuses in Montgomery County, Md., offers more than 100 technology classes, ranging from digital literacy to programming for mobile devices. Prepare for a post-retirement career. If you’re already doing taxes for family members, consider becoming an enrolled agent — a licensed tax professional who has the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS. For $995, you can take an online course that will prepare you for the exam you must pass to obtain the designation. For more information, go to the website of the National Association of Enrolled

Agents, www.naea.org. There’s a certificate program for just about every second-act career imaginable, from landscape design to writing grant proposals, said Kerry Hannon, author of Great Jobs for Everyone 50+. For example, you could find a second career as a geriatric care manager, a person who helps seniors navigate their healthcare options. The application, handbook and exam to become a certified care manager costs $270. You can use the rest of your money to buy two years of membership ($345 per year) in the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (www.caremanager.org). © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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Pets

ties, such as writing thank-you letters to donors and preparing grant applications. There is also a small cadre of volunteers who work in the shelter, helping Darrell with the day-to-day chores of mopping the floors, doing laundry and washing dog dishes. Darrell quit her job as a gym manager to run Pets with Disabilities. She now rises each day at 6:15 a.m. to care for the animals, often working until after sunset. She does not take a salary from the organization either — she is a more-than-full-time volunteer. Her husband drives to downtown Washington each day for his job as an elevator engineer, but he also helps out with the pets when he returns home every night.

From page 1 that Faith is blind — she recently has been stealthily stealing nearby bones away from her.

Many ways to help out While Sharon Sirkis, of Silver Spring, Md., doesn’t have room in her houseful of pets for one with disabilities, she was so drawn to Pets with Disabilities after reading a story about the organization in the Ladies Home Journal five years ago, that she offered to volunteer immediately and is now the group’s director of fundraising. “All I could focus on — almost to the point of obsession — was how could I raise money to help these beautiful animals that had such a zest for life despite their disabilities,” she said. Pets with Disabilities costs more than $100,000 a year to run, with more than half of that going for veterinary care. Sirkis, who retired last year from a 35year career in communications with the federal government, organizes several fundraising events each year, including an annual Toast to Pets with Disabilities dinner and auction held in June. Sirkis and Darrell are seeking volunteers who can help in other fundraising capaci-

Devices help overcome disabilities The dogs that aren’t able to walk are strapped into their wheelchairs, which provide two wheels in place of hind legs, for several hours each day. They propel themselves with their front legs and can run like the wind. “The younger they’re introduced to the wheelchair the better,” Darrell said. “Ernie had to have one of his legs amputated, but we got him in a wheelchair as soon as he got here, and he’s running all over the place.” While Tammy Linden’s dogs don’t need

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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

wheelchairs, both Patch and Trixie have a condition called valgus deformity in one of their front legs. “I call it a crooked leg. It doesn’t hurt their mobility. When people see them, they make these faces and say, ‘Oh, does it hurt?’ I forget it’s even there. I say, ‘No, he’s fine, they’re fine.’” Linden, who lives in Sykesville, adopted Patch first. She recalls emailing Darrell with numerous questions before meeting Patch, and Darrell wrote back with a twoword reply: “He’s wonderful.” “And he is. I just adore this dog,” Linden said. Also bonding with their pet is a Centreville, Va., family that in May adopted Heidi, a large white dog with a sprinkling of brown patches. She is missing toes on her left front paw. “Her paw looks deformed, although she is bubbly and happy, so it’s is not noticeable right away,” said owner Laurie Lett, in an interview conducted by text message because she is deaf. “I know how often dogs with disabilities get overlooked by society because they are not perfect, just like some people do with me because I am deaf,” Lett said. Lett does not know if Heidi is missing toes due to a congenital deformity or because of abuse, but says the dog is adapting to her family well and already has learned two commands in sign language: sit and down.

Helene Jorgensen adopted a blind dog, Riley, a collie mix she describes as “sort of looking like a modern-day Lassie.” Riley, who is about 9 years old, lost his sight to untreated glaucoma. “At first he was pretty stressed and kept bumping into things in our house,” she said after adopting Riley 1 ½ years ago. Jorgensen, who has two other dogs and lives in Washington, D.C., said she covered the corners of chairs and the coffee table with blankets to help Riley avoid injuries. She blocked the entrance to the stairs, helping guide him up herself. Working with Riley has inspired Jorgensen to contemplate a career change. Currently an economist, she’s now thinking about using her experience with Riley to start her own dog training business. For Sirkis, caring for dogs who are blind and that have other disabilities is a joyful experience she hopes more will get to share. “How heartwarming to see a blind dog running toward your voice, tail wagging; the deaf dogs watching you move as you throw them that ball for the 20th time; the wheelchair dogs as they race around….In our eyes, they are handicapped, but to them they are just living a different type of normal.” For details about individual pets available for adoption, or how to become an “angel” and support one for a month or a year, see www.petswithdisabilities.org or call (443) 624-9270.

A HOME-STYLE RESIDENCE WITH A FAMILY FEEL

APARTMENT HOMES FOR ACTIVE ADULTS 62 OR BETTER Regency Crest is an extraordinarily carefree community because of the convenient lifestyle enjoyed by those who live here. We go the extra mile to provide our residents with distinctive amenities and service that cannot be found in ordinary active adult communities. COMMUNITY AMENITIES • Beautiful club room with theatre and demonstration kitchen • Salon • Indoor saltwater pool • Yoga studio & classes • Bingo, and many more planned activities • Movie theatre & Billiards Room • Business center – 24 hours • Incredible courtyard and meditation garden with koi pond and gazebo • Guest suites PLANNED ACTIVITIES SUCH AS WATER AEROBICS, RESIDENT MIXERS, COOKING CLASSES, ZUMBA, MOVIE NIGHTS, BBQ’S AND MANY MORE!

Family Operated Since 1952 Spacious private rooms Nutritious and delicious meals Compassionate Staff Gorgeous 11-acre campus Stimulating fun activities

Please accept my personal invitation for a complimentary lunch and a personally guided tour of College Manor.

6

E XTENDED FAMILY

A SSISTED L IVING

Jane Banks, Owner and Administrator

You can reach me by calling 410-252-0440

3305 Oak West Drive Ellicott City, MD 21043

855.446.1131 www.RegencySeniorApartments.com

College Manor provided just the environment we were seeking for Mom. Residents, staff, friends and visitors are all part of the College Manor family. It is so comforting to know even when I am not with Mom, I am assured another "family member" is always there with her. – daughter, Martina

300 W. Seminary Avenue Lutherville MD, 21093 | 410-252-0440

www.collegemanor.com


BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION

Say you saw it in the Beacon

B-1


B-2

Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

ASSISTED/INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

The Maples of Towson 410-296-8900 7925 York Road Baltimore, MD 21204 www.themaples-towson.com Upon walking through the door at The Maples one can see that it’s a superior community – beautifully decorated, impeccably maintained. “What really makes us unique is our dedication to personalized care, customized to each resident’s needs and preferences,” says owner and founder Kelly Cook Andress. Setting their sights beyond simply “assisted living” has been the key to their success. With gourmet meals and room service, a programs calendar tailored to residents’ needs and desires, and a physician on call around the clock, The Maples continues to earn its spot as Towson’s premier senior community. We're big enough to count on and small enough to care. Call to schedule a visit today.

CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

North Oaks 410-486-9090 725 Mt. Wilson Lane Pikesville, MD 21208 www.northoaks.net North Oaks is a warm and welcoming, newly renovated Life Care living community conveniently located in Pikesville, Maryland. When you live here, you are thoroughly connected in all the ways that really matter. Connect to a rich cultural, social and intellectual environment that distinguishes life at North Oaks. Connect with a community of interesting neighbors and a skilled and supportive professional staff. Expect to remain wonderfully connected to family and friends, and to the broader community outside North Oaks. Expect to make many new friends right here. When you live here, you enjoy not only a comfortable, secure and maintenance-free apartment home, but also the security of our Life Care program, offering peace of mind and financial predictability should your care needs ever change. Call today for your tour.

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Baltimore area is among best for aging By Rebekah Sewell Last year, the economic think tank the Milken Institute created the first Best Cities for Successful Aging Index, which analyses and ranks the metropolitan areas that are best for older adults. Its definition of successful aging includes safe, affordable and comfortable living; institutes and organizations that encourage health and happiness; areas that encourage financial security and economic success; an age-appropriate environment and living conditions; mobility and access to public transportation; and seniors who are respected and connected as an integral part of the community. Cities are given three main rankings: one for the overall aging population, one for those 80 and over, and one for residents 65 to 79. Eight other rankings compare specific factors, such as healthcare, wellness, financial and living arrangements.

Baltimore is ranked 13th The Baltimore-Towson area ranked number 13 on the index’s “Top 20 Large Metros.” This ranking reflects the high quality of healthcare in the area, which is slightly offset by high housing costs and other factors. For those 65 to 79, the Baltimore-Towson area was ranked number 14. For ages 80 and older, the area was deemed less successful with a placement of number 19. This lower ranking is probably due to the high cost of assisted living, hospitalization and nursing care, which residents may need as they age. “Greater Baltimore enjoys the benefits of Johns Hopkins University and its proximity to Washington, D.C., offering residents opportunities in education, retraining and cultural fulfillment. However, liv-

Overlook at Monarch Mills 410-381-0769 7570 Monarch Mills Way Columbia, MD 21046 Overlook at Monarch Mills offers those 62 or better a beautiful and convenient place to call home. Residents can enjoy musical entertainment at Merriweather Post Pavilion, shop at The Mall in Columbia, and dine in the most popular local restaurants. This amenity-rich facility has an exercise room, beauty salon, arts and crafts room, library and cyber-center, as well as a community room featuring a fireplace and kitchen. Call 410-381-0769 or email monarchmills@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to meeting you!

Other top communities The top-ranked large metropolitan area in the index is Provo-Orem, Utah. The report says that area’s “learning environment and vibrant economy provide opportunities for a second career and retraining. The presence of Brigham Young University, one of the largest private universities in the U.S., and a pro-business environment make Provo the No. 1 city on our list. It also boasts a low incidence of chronic disease, thanks to healthy lifestyles and a focus on wellness.” Madison, Wisc. ranks second among large metro areas, while Sioux Falls, S.D. and Iowa City, Iowa are the first and second ranked small metro areas for successful aging. For more information about the Milken Institute’s Best Cities for Successful Aging Index, visit http://bit.ly/BestCitiesforSuccessfulAging.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

ing arrangements are expensive, and small-business growth is sluggish,” according to the index’s “take away” for the area. Nearby Washington, D.C. ranked ninth on the index. In addition to Baltimore’s highly ranked healthcare facilities, the area also features a low number of fast-food outlets, which suggests healthier eating. There are also many job opportunities for residents 65 and older. The Baltimore area has a strong transportation system, and most residents do not need to travel far for grocery shopping or entertainment. This area was ranked 14th for transportation. On the other hand, many Baltimore residents 62 and over have a reverse mortgage, which could be considered a sign of financial problems. Taxes are also quite high.

VOLUNTEER AT SUMMER MEAL SITES

Maryland Hunger Solutions is looking for friendly, enthusiastic individuals who are interested in nutrition, enjoy working with children, and love being outside to volunteer at mobile meal sites one day a week, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City. Mobile meal sites provide free, nutritious meals and nutrition-based educational activities to children under the age of 18 during the summer. Volunteers are asked to commit to one shift, one day a week, Monday through Thursday. For more information, contact Sarah at (410) 528-0021 x24.

Ongoing

MIDDLE RIVER VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE AND RESCUE

Volunteers are now being recruited for Middle River Ambulance and Rescue. Free courses, which are starting soon, include EMT, scuba diving, diver rescue, diver recovery, and emergency vehicle operators. Visit http://mrvar.org/ to apply.

Ongoing

ALZHEIMER’S HELPLINE SPECIALISTS SOUGHT

Families who receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s from their doctor are often sent on their way with few resources or assistance. The volunteer-driven Alzheimer’s 24/7 Helpline offers support. For more information, contact Sally Drumm at (410) 561-9099, x 210 or sdrumm@alz.org.


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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; JULY 2013

Baltimore-area housing market heating up By Carol Sorgen Bobbie Dillow lived in a Columbia townhouse for 30 years. But last year, Dillow decided it was time for her and her mother, Emma, to simplify their lives. Bobbie, 70, and her mother, 92, looked at both 55+ and retirement communities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still pretty active,â&#x20AC;? said Bobbie, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so I thought a 55+ community might be a good interim move.â&#x20AC;? In the end, they chose the retirement community of Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster because they had friends who had already moved there and were pleased with their decision. Bobbie thought the home-selling and moving process was going to take some time, but much to her pleasure, the experience couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have gone more smoothly. Carroll Lutheran Village had an unexpected opening for a two-bedroom residence, and Bobbie was able to sell her townhome in just two weeks â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and got her asking price. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was nervous because the market had been down, and I thought it would take a while. But it was quick,â&#x20AC;? Bobbie said. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a reflection of where the housing market is in the Baltimore area today â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on the upswing.

Home sales up, inventory down According to the Long & Foster Companies, whose Market Minute reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions (not just Long & Foster sales), the greater Baltimore region saw an increase or remained the same in the number of homes sold in April compared to a year ago. Baltimore City experienced an increase of 19 percent in homes sold, compared to a year ago. Baltimore County experienced a

15 percent increase year-over-year, and Anne Arundel County reported an 11 percent rise compared to April 2012. Harford County saw an increase of 5 percent, and Howard County saw no change compared to a year ago. On the other hand, the number of houses for sale declined in April, with double digit decreases throughout the region. According to April data, Howard County saw an active inventory decrease of 38 percent, and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties experienced a 28 percent and 21 percent decrease, respectively. The rest of the region saw decreases in inventory that ranged from 17 to 20 percent. Not surprisingly, with home sales on the rise and inventories declining, median sale prices increased through much of the greater Baltimore region compared to April of last year. Baltimore City saw a 5 percent increase in median sale price compared to April 2012. Anne Arundel and Harford counties also saw increases of 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively. And sales are happening relatively quickly as well. In April, houses continued to sell in less than three months on average in the Baltimore region. In Howard County, the average number of days a house remained on the market (DOM) was 53, while Baltimore City and Harford County had DOMs of 71 and 74 days, respectively. On average, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties experienced DOMs of 76 and 82 days, respectively.

A sellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market â&#x20AC;&#x153;The residential real estate market continues to bloom in the Baltimore region this spring. Market conditions remain on the upward trend â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including job growth, home affordability and consumer confidence â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and those interested in the local

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market are researching what it has to offer,â&#x20AC;? said Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer of the Long & Foster Companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although housing inventory is still low, limiting buyersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; options,â&#x20AC;? Detwiler continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Baltimore market continues to show a number of positive trends, such as appreciating home prices, an increasing number of homes sold, and decreasing average days on market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These indicators are all good signs for the Baltimore regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local housing market, and just go to show itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great time for those considering home ownership,â&#x20AC;? he said. Wayne Curtis of Charm City Real Estate, affiliated with RE/MAX Advantage

Realty, puts it more succinctly: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The market has gone nuts.â&#x20AC;? Expanding on that, Curtis said that in the last three months buyers have started coming out in droves, looking for â&#x20AC;&#x153;niceâ&#x20AC;? houses in good condition, in a good location. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The problem is, there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough of those â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;niceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; houses currently for sale!â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have an inventory problem, which means that there are multiple buyers pursuing each â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;niceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; house that comes to market, bringing back memories of the housing boom all over again.â&#x20AC;? In a poll taken recently by Internet real estate company Redfin, 82 percent of See HOUSING MARKET, page B-4

PICKERSGILL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Value. Independence. Confidence. Common threads in the fabric of retirement freedom For more than two centuries, Pickersgill Retirement Community has had one visionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;providing value, independence and confidence for seniors. We are the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only rental, continuing care community, with no entrance fee or turnover of assets, and a not-for-profit mission that allows us to deliver extraordinary value. Access to onsite rehab and two levels of assistance promotes ongoing independence, with the confidence of knowing that higher levels of care are available right here on campus, if and when needed. Value. Independence. Confidence.

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B-4

Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITY

Meadows of Reisterstown Senior Apartments 410-526-3380 300 Cantata Court Reisterstown, MD 21136 www.firstcentrum.com Enjoy carefree leisure living at The Meadows—an affordable senior apartment community for seniors 62+. Each spacious one- and twobedroom apartment features a fully equipped kitchen, roomy closets and a balcony or patio. You can exercise the mind in the library and media room or the body in our fitness area. Keypad entry and the emergency response system provide peace of mind. The atmosphere is filled with gracious living. Here, you will appreciate not having to worry about maintenance chores. At the same time, you can take advantage of nearby shops, library, banks, postal services, grocery store and convenience to I-695. We invite you to tour The Meadows of Reisterstown.

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Oak Crest 1-800-986-0859 8820 Walther Boulevard Parkville, MD 21234 www.ericksonliving.com Retire in style at Oak Crest! We have floor plans to match your taste and budget. When it comes to maintenance-free retirement living, one size doesn’t fit all! Oak Crest offers over 20 unique apartment designs with a variety of exciting features. Looking for a cozy studio or onebedroom home? We’ve recently upgraded several floor plans with gleaming granite countertops, stackable washers and dryers and other premium finishes. Is a large, luxurious home more your style? Then tour our spacious two-bedroom, two-bath apartment homes, featuring elegant hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, crown molding and more. Only a handful of these larger homes remain. Call 1-800-989-0859 for your free brochure and schedule a personal tour!

SKILLED NURSING AND REHABILITATION

White Oak Health Care 410-979-4822 921 E Fort Avenue Baltimore, MD 21230 White Oak Health Care is a premier Nursing and Rehabilitation Center consulting company. The company manages seven facilities in Maryland and West Virginia. Blue Point, Northwest, and Holly Hill are conveniently located in the Baltimore region. These facilities specialize in short-term nursing care after hip, knee, and any joint surgeries. They can also assist in rehabilitation after a stroke or accident. These centers pride themselves on the great therapy and nursing care given to their patients. If you are considering a joint surgery, or find that it becomes necessary, call the admissions department for more information on scheduling a tour, selecting your room, and meeting the therapy staff prior to your surgery. For a rapid response, please call Julianna Hawthorne at 410-979-4822.

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Technology enables safer aging at home By Barbara Ruben From pill bottle caps that record the last time medication was taken, to touchscreen monitors that connect older adults and their families, to apps for smartphones and tablets, new inventions make aging in place safer and easier. Here is a sampling of products that have come on the market recently. Rx Pill Timer. Did you ever stop and say, “Wait, did I take my pills today?” A helpful tool that displays when you last took medication can put a stop to the frequently asked question. Patients replace the lids on their pill bottles with the Rx Timer Cap, which works like a stopwatch. Every time the cap is replaced onto the bottle, the timer automatically resets itself and then begins counting the hours and minutes since medication was last taken. The pill caps come in several sizes, and their use leads to a 34 percent improvement in taking medicine at the proper time, according to its manufacturer. For more information: www.rxtimercap.com, 1-800-428-7537. MedCenter System. This talking system, which stocks up to a month of medication at a time in an organized fashion, also reminds you to take pills up to four times a day. It displays the date, as well as the day of the week. After taking a dose of a medication, the device tells you when it will be time for the next pill. “My father would forget to take his necessar y medication, which would result in him fainting and passing out,” said Martin Cooper, the inventor of the MedCenter System. “Coming up with a way to organize my parents’ medications and encourage their adherence was the true motivation behind creating the system.” To learn more, see www.medcentersys-

Housing market From page B-3 agents now say it’s a good time to sell, but only 57 percent now said it was a good time to buy, Curtis reported. According to Curtis, one reason inventory is so low is that property owners have been frightened in the last five years, hearing stories about dropping prices, lack of buyers, difficulty for buyers to find a mortgage, etc. But both sellers and buyers need to get

tems.com or call 1-866-600-3244.

Monitoring systems VideoCare connects people and their caregivers with easy-to-use touch-screen technology. The system doesn’t require a keyboard, mouse or technical skill to use. A simple touch opens a two-way video connection with a professional caregiver, family member or friend, through which they can chat face-to-face, much like with Skype. The system also allows users to access photos, videos and music just by touching the screen. In addition, the VideoCare system helps keep track of medication, appointments and other activities of daily living. Reminders will pop up on the screen and caregivers will be notified if there is no response. For more information, see www.videocare.com or call (650) 933-5150. Lively is a device that uses sensors placed on objects in a person’s home to monitor their daily activity. The easyto-install sensors are placed on objects such as the refrigerator, the front door, etc., that then relay activity messages to a computer monitoring daily activity. So when the refrigerator door or medicine cabinet is opened, that movement is recorded. Lively, however, is not a video monitoring or emergency alarm device. An activity report is delivered regularly in the mail to adult children or caregivers to update them on the resident’s daily activities. Activity can also be displayed on a smartphone app or customer login website. For more information, see www.mylively.com/ or email info@mylively.com. The Ambio Remote Health Monitoring System monitors weight, blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Using compatible blood pressure cuffs, scales and glucose meters, these devices See TECHNOLOGY, page B-5

the updated message, said Curtis. “If sellers own a well-maintained, attractive home in a decent location, and they price the property appropriately, they will be able to sell now without too many problems. “And, buyers have to realize this is no longer a market where the buyer reigns supreme,” he continued. “The days of the rock-bottom bargains may be gone. Buyers no longer have the leverage over the sellers that they have enjoyed for the last few years. Negotiate to a reasonable price, and then say ‘yes!’”


Technology From page B-4 wirelessly send vital sign readings to a health portal. Caregivers can log onto a website or use an app to monitor the information and get notifications when the numbers fluctuate or are a cause for concern. To learn more, see http://ambiohealth.com or call (203) 612-5600.

Apps for phones and tablets Earl is a voice-activated app that users with low vision can activate without needing to read small print on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. With a few spoken commands, the Earl app will read aloud news articles or other content from 250-plus newspapers, magazines and websites from around the world. Material can be read in one of five voices.

Newspapers include USA Today, The New York Times and The Huffington Post. Three articles can be accessed each day for free. Unlimited articles are available with a $9.99 per month subscription. For more information, see www.earlspeech.com or call 1-866-811-2343. A new free iPad app designed for seniors called ConnectMyFolks delivers email, texts, photos and videos in a simple format to make it simple to keep in touch with children and grandkids. Arriving emails and texts land in the “Mail” box, photos land in “Pictures,” and videos land in “Movies.” Bright yellow flags appear to alert of new items. Buttons are large, and prompts are clear. A “home” button that appears on every screen makes it easy for the user to return to the home screen. Photos and messages

can’t be lost because they can’t be removed. Learn more at www.connectmyfolks.com or email support@connectmyfolks.com. The BugMe! Stickies app updates the age-old jotting of reminder notes. The app allows users to type in reminders on colorcoded “sticky” notes that pop up on a background that looks like a bulletin board. Alert tones can also audibly notify users that there is a reminder. The app is available for iPhones and iPads, as well as Android-based phones and tablets. Wello. Don’t want to leave the house to go to a gym? Wello lowers the barriers to getting healthy by delivering a convenient

AVIATION MUSEUM HOSTS SPEAKER Loyola University professor and aviation history expert John Brei-

fitness solution to a computer. Clients can find qualified trainers in an online marketplace, and schedule, pay for and interact over live, two-way video, either one-on-one or with a group exercise class, using a laptop and webcam. Wello offers a number of different search options to narrow down the field to the right trainers or classes. For example, you can search by schedule, price, workout type, trainer style, gender, reviews, etc. One-on-one training starts at $19 for 30 minutes, and group classes of three to five participants start at $10. Learn more at www.wello.com.

Trusted care in the comfort of home

BEACON BITS

July 1

B-5

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

BAYADA Home Health Aide Vida Okine with client Virginia S.

BAYADA Home Health Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our thoroughly screened health care professionals provide:

han will speak at the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum as part of its

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free monthly aviation speaker series on Monday, July 1 at 7 p.m. Breihan will dis-

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um, 2323 Eastern Blvd., Middle River, Md. A photo ID is required for entry. For more information, visit www.marylandaviationmuseum.org/events/index.html.

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Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Roland Park Place 410-243-5700 830 W. 40th St. Baltimore, MD 21211 www.rolandparkplace.org Roland Park Place is the only fullservice CCRC in Baltimore City. Located in a beautiful park-like setting in northern Baltimore, just minutes away from Johns Hopkins University, Centerstage, the Meyerhoff, Camden Yards and so many of the other wonderful attractions Baltimore has to offer. The intimate size of Roland Park Place means never having to walk too far to reach any part of the community for dining, exercise or stimulating conversations. Offering beautifully renovated Independent Living apartments, full-sized private Assisted Living apartments and all private Health Care Center rooms for skilled nursing or rehab, Roland Park Place has everything you need just where you want it.

ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITY

The Greens at Irvington Mews 410-644-4487 4300 Frederick Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21229 The Greens at Irvington Mews offers charming new, affordable one and two bedroom apartments for seniors 62 and over located in beautiful historic Irvington, Baltimore City Maryland. Our professionally managed community features exciting amenities, as well as a convenient location near parks, shopping and medical services. Our residents enjoy the many amenities we have to offer such as Community Room overlooking Mount St. Joseph High School Football Field, Inviting Hospitality Suite, Relaxing Library and Business Center. Residents can also enjoy Shuttle Van trips to local retail shops and restaurants and numerous and diverse activities with the community including seasonal celebrations, arts & crafts, and much more. An Equal Opportunity Community

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Bay Forest Senior Apartments 410-295-7557 930 Bay Forest Ct. Annapolis, MD 21403 www.firstcentrum.com Love to be close to the water? Then you will love it at Bay Forest Senior Apartments. An affordable independent community for persons 62 years of age or better! A beautifully landscaped country setting with plenty of parking for you and your visitors. Only 10 minutes from Annapolis Historic City Dock, which offers a variety of stores, restaurants, banks and the Watermark Cruises boat tours. Just a few minutes’ drive from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and walking distance to the Quiet Waters Park. You’ll love the 24-hour emergency maintenance service, many activities hosted by the resident association and the convenience of joining fellow residents at the nutrition site located in the community room for a hot lunch Monday through Friday. Come visit Bay Forest soon. We’re waiting for you!!

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Sometimes it’s OK to want to be alone By Gretchen Tucker Most adults in our society value independence and the ability to make our own decisions. However, as we age, the ability to preserve one’s autonomy is often challenged by physical and cognitive losses. The Center for Aging Studies at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) is currently examining this topic within assisted living (AL), funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. I began working on this study about the same time my husband’s grandmother began to lose her independence. I knew Grandmother for 23 years. She was active, social, independent and eternally optimistic. She lived alone in the home that she had shared with her husband until she was 95. She participated in activities at a local senior center, went on bus trips, even a cruise with her daughterin-law. If I invited her to go somewhere, she’d ask, “What time are you picking me up?” She never hesitated. I would ask her how she was doing; she’d respond, “I’m still kicking, not as high, but I’m still kicking.” Her goal was to live to be 100. She drove until her early 90s, when her eyesight declined. Eventually, it became difficult for her to take care of her home, meals, finances, and to manage her health. In 2011, she became ill, was hospitalized, and then admitted to a nursing home for rehabilitation. She would have required daily assistance in order for her to return home, but she refused to have a stranger watching her in her house. And so Grandmother moved into an assisted living community. I knew more about the aging process than your average granddaughter-in-law. After getting my M.A. in sociology with a concentration in aging, I worked in an assisted living facility and conducted research at UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies. I knew from my work that moving from

independence into an AL setting could be an extremely difficult transition. I knew, too, that the AL and my husband’s family would want Grandmother socializing as soon as possible. Despite encouragement from family and staff to go to the dining room for meals or participate in activities, she refused. In the course of a month, Grandmother had been hospitalized, admitted to a nursing home, moved to an assisted living, and would likely not be returning to her home. She had been social, active and independent for so many years. It was understandable that she would now need and want time to herself. For staff and family members, this presented a conflict. Was Grandmother still capable of making informed decisions and would her decision to eat alone negatively affect her health? Fortunately, the AL honored her personal autonomy and allowed her to eat meals in her room; eventually she ate in the dining room. Being alone is often seen negatively. Some believe a lack of socializing may lead to worsening feelings of depression and isolation. However, each situation is unique, just as each individual is unique. Gentle encouragement and socialization may be helpful for some residents, whereas for Grandmother, being alone didn’t mean she was lonely, but rather, it was what she wanted. It was her choice, her decision. In April, Grandmother’s health declined further, and she was placed on hospice at the assisted living. Before she passed away she told me, “I’m tired out. I just want to be a lazy critter.” Making it to 97 is just as good as making it to 100. We should be able to choose how and with whom we want to spend our time, maintaining our autonomy even up to the end. Gretchen Tucker is a research assistant at the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

HOST A HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENT

Local families are invited to “Share Your America” with a high school exchange student from one of 70 European, South American, Asian or African countries during the 2013-2014 school year. Sponsored by PAX-Program of Academic Exchange (PAX), these students arrive to the U.S. in August. PAX students are 15-18 years old and have studied English for at least three years. All types of families, including retirees, are welcome to host. For more information, call Vicky at 1-800-555-6211 x359 or email VickyC@pax.org or visit www.pax.org.

June 29

JUNE 29 SHARE YOUR GREEN THUMB

Take part in Cromwell Valley Park’s Drop-in Gardening Day on Saturday, June 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join park staffers for some routine maintenance of the Children’s Garden vegetable and native plant beds. Instructions, gloves, tools and ice water are provided. The park is located at 2002 Cromwell Bridge Rd. For more information, call (410) 887-503 or email info@cromwellvalleypark.org.


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

B-7

How to choose a long-term-care facility By Cameron Huddleston Making the decision to move a loved one to a long-term-care facility is never easy. Finding the right facility is even tougher. I know because I made the decision recently to place my mother, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, in a memory-care residence that specializes in caring for people with the disease. After spending months agonizing over whether it was the right time to move her to a facility where she could receive 24-hour care, I spent just as long trying to find a residence that would best suit her needs. I believe, though, that all the time it took me to research and visit facilities was worth it because I did find the right place for my mom. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other disability, that person might someday need to move into a longterm-care facility. Although the majority of Americans who need care receive it at home from family or friends, those with Alzheimer’s are much more likely to receive care in a nursing home. According to a 2012 report by the Alzheimer’s Association, 75 percent of people diagnosed with the disease will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, compared with 4 percent of the general population. That’s why it’s important to know how to choose a long-term-care facility if the need arises for someone you love.

Step 1: Determine your needs Before you can select a long-term-care facility for a loved one, you must know what sort of care he or she needs. There are several levels of care that senior-care properties provide: Assisted living for those who need help in one or more activities of daily living, such as dressing or bathing. Skilled nursing for those who need the attention of a nurse every day, who are bedridden, or have more complicated behavior issues. Memory care for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some properties provide varying levels of care under one roof. That can be a good option for people who want to move to a seniorcare residence when they’re just starting to require help, then stay in place (by simply moving to another wing or floor) as their needs progress, said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom, a senior-care adviser service. Kell said that, in addition to considering the level of care, people need to think about where their loved ones would want to be. That is, would they prefer living downtown or in the suburbs? In the same city where they currently live or closer to family in another city? Do they need a place that allows pets or accommodates special dietary needs, such as a kosher diet? These questions need to be addressed before you start

your search in earnest.

Step 2: Assess your ability to pay Your options may be limited if your loved one does not have long-term-care insurance or other financial resources to pay for care. Assisted living costs $3,600 a month on average, according to Kell, and memory care runs about $4,700 a month on average. (Local prices are often higher.) Skilled-nursing facilities cost an average of more than $6,700 a month and can reach as high as $12,000 a month.

Health insurance and Medicare do not cover this sort of long-term care. If you’re a veteran, you might be able to get help paying for long-term care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicaid rules vary by state, but in general this government program does pay for long-term-care services (primarily nursing-home care). However, your loved one basically has to deplete his or her assets to become eligible. See LONG-TERM CARE, page B-8

!"#$%& '( )*&+ $+ '(,-!.*/$01,2!+0$'13 – 45100,67/25(

Broadmead Resident

Now that Mom’s at The Maples, our time together is all about the good stuff. Rhett has a passion for exploring the great outdoors with his four-legged friends. • • • • • • • • fun-loving… • • • • •

• • • •

• • •

• • • •

• •Nature-loving, • • • •people like you.

Someone you love needs care. Getting them the support they need in a place they’ll be comfortable can feel like you’re adrift in uncharted territory; facing overwhelmingly complex decisions and endless obstacles. We want to help. We’ll listen and we’ll tailor solutions just for you. Helping families navigate the frustrating maze of senior health care is not just our job, it’s our passion and we do it better than anybody else. You don’t have to do this alone and it doesn’t have to be hard. Stop in at the big yellow house on the hill. We’ll show you how easy the next step can be.

Just come in. •

• • • • •• Reserve your seat at our next complimentary Luncheon and Seminar Series. Call 443.578.8008 13801 York Rd. Cockeysville, MD 21030 TTY/Voice - Maryland Relay Service 1.800.201.7165

Visit during an Open House: Sunday, June 23rd or 30th from 2:00 to 4:00.

We’re big enough to count on and small enough to care. Tour Towson’s finest assisted living community: call 410-296-8900. 7925 York Road, Towson, MD 21204 | www.themaples-towson.com The Maples of Towson is a Sage Senior Living Community


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Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Long-term care From page B-7

Aigburth Vale Senior Community 410-698-4749 212 Aigburth Road Towson, MD 21286 Looking for convenience in a peaceful setting? Aigburth Vale Senior Community is nestled on a quiet neighborhood street ideally located in the heart of Towson. We offer modern onebedroom apartments for moderate income seniors aged 62+ renting for only $743 per month. All units in our secure building feature fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning, carpeting and walk-in closets. Residents have access to laundry facilities, a game room and a party room. Professionally managed by St. Ambrose Housing and subject to annual income limitations of $36,000. Call us today for your tour.

ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITY

St. Mary’s Roland View Towers 410-889-8255 3888/3939 Roland Avenue Baltimore, MD 21211 www.smrvt.com Located in the heart of Hampden, St. Mary's Roland View Towers is a complex of two, high-rise apartment buildings exclusively for households that are 62 years of age or older. Since 1964, SMRVT has provided affordable, comfortable and safe apartment living. There are 360 apartments at the property, including efficiencies, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, at a rent structure that is lower than comparable apartments in the Baltimore area, and utilities are included in the rent! SMRVT is within walking distance to grocery shopping and pharmacies. An impressive list of features include- 24/7 on-site maintenance, library, beauty/barber shop, social activities, church services, rooftop restaurant, and 24/7 reception desk. Call Arthur or Laura Ruby for your personal tour.

CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Broadmead 410-527-1900 13801 York Road Cockeysville, MD 21030 www.broadmead.org Nestled amid 94 acres in the picturesque Hunt Valley countryside, Broadmead offers gardenstyle courtyard homes with a variety of floor plans, including private patios or patio enclosures and personal gardens. Broadmead offers exceptional dining venues, a vibrant lifestyle and community amenities, including a fitness and aquatic center, trips and transportation, entertainment, activities and more. We offer an all-inclusive healthcare program, including an onsite medical center with physicians available 24 hours a day, pharmacy services and continuum of care for the ultimate peace of mind.

Medicaid may cover assisted living or home care in more than half of the states if the cost is less expensive than a nursing home, said Byron Cordes, president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. But the waiting list to get such Medicaid coverage (known as the Medicaid waiver in Maryland) is often long.

Step 3: Start your search Once you know what type of facility would be the best match for your loved one, you can start your search. Ask doctors, as well as friends and family, for recommendations. There also are several resources to help you develop a list of senior-care properties that might fit the bill: Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.gov) is a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. It provides links to Area Agencies on Aging, which can provide a list of facilities and information about long-term-care options in your area. To reach them by phone, call 1-800-677-1116. A Place for Mom (www.aplaceformom.com) is the nation’s largest seniorcare adviser service. It has a directory of about 19,000 senior-care properties, including facilities specializing in dementia care, and its advisers provide free assistance in finding care options. (The senior-care properties in its network pay A Place for Mom a referral fee when a senior moves in. The fee is a percentage of the first month’s rent, and all properties pay the same percentage.) Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare tool (www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare) lets you compare skillednursing facilities based on the quality of care they provide, find out what special services they offer, and see results of health and safety inspections. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers’ member directory (http://memberfinder.caremanager.org) can help you find a care manager in your area. Professional geriatric care managers can help families evaluate care options and select a senior-care residence. They charge $100-$150 an hour, on average. Create a list of properties that best meet your loved one’s needs and wants. Make sure each is licensed by checking with your state’s health and human services department or Medicare.gov. Use the Eldercare Locator site to get contact information for your local longterm-care ombudsman, then ask him or her if there have been any citations at those properties, said Linda Fodrini-Johnson, executive director of Eldercare Services in San Francisco. Nothing will ever be perfect, but you don’t want to see significant lapses in patient care, such as serious injuries because of neglect or errors in medication management. Also ask whether the properties have recently had a change of ownership or management turnover. Fodrini-Johnson said that you can mark off such properties from your list because a “facility in transition is not the place you want to go.”

Step 4: Visit prospective facilities Internet and phone research can only get you so far. To know whether a facility is right for your loved one, you need to visit it. Try to inspect at least three. “You have to get in there and look at it, walk around, meet the residents, have a meal,” Kell said. Fodrini-Johnson recommends making an appointment to tour the residences and speak with administrators during the week. Then you should plan to make an impromptu visit to each on a weekend to see how the facility operates when the administrator isn’t there.

What to look for: • Pay attention to overall cleanliness. Does it meet your expectations of what “clean” should be? • Follow your nose. Are there strong, offensive odors in common areas or emanating from residents’ rooms? • Watch the residents. Make sure they are in common areas and are active. If not, ask where they are and what they’re doing. • Watch employees. Do they smile and say hello? Do they look like they enjoy their jobs? How do they get residents to participate in activities — by command or social invitation? Are nurses behind their stations, or are they engaged with residents (which is where they should be)? • Observe an activity. The residence should have a list of daily programs posted. Make sure those programs are actually occurring. • Look at the physical setup. It should look like a residence, not a hospital. That means it should allow residents to bring their own furniture or other belongings to make their rooms or apartments feel more like home. And make sure that the property is secure so that residents can’t wander off. If it’s a memory-care facility, the layout should be simple — such as a single hallway that encircles a common area — so that residents don’t get confused or lost. • Look for life, such as fish tanks, caged birds, potted plants and a garden — something to give residents a reason to smile.

What to ask: • Can my loved one’s needs be met here? Be explicit about what the person requires. Don’t hold anything back. • What is the basic monthly cost? What are the added costs if a family member needs extra help with medications or incontinence? There are often several levels of care, and even little things have additional costs. • Is there a community fee (a one-time payment that covers the administrative cost of moving someone into the facility and refurbishing a room for that person)? If so, is it refundable if your loved one doesn’t want to stay? • What kinds of activities are provided? • Are religious services held at the facility, or are residents taken to services off-site? • What is the ratio of caregivers to resiSee LONG-TERM CARE, page B-9


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

B-9

Consider selling or donating to declutter By Jessica Anderson and Patricia Mertz Esswein If you’re in the process of downsizing, many of your castoffs could find great second homes and net you some cash in the process. And for the things that you can’t sell, donating them to charity can make you feel good and offer a tax deduction.

Some ways to sell eBay. Go to eBay.com and register for an account. Then click “Sell” and select “Sell an item.” The site walks you through options for categorizing, pricing and shipping. Focus on small items that are easy to price and pack, such as designer clothes, baseball cards and jewelry. It costs nothing to list up to 50 auction items each

Long-term care From page B-8 dents? It should be no less than 1 to 15 for assisted living and 1 to 8 for memory care. • What conditions would cause a resident to need to move to another level of care? • Does a doctor make regular visits to the residence? • Specific to Alzheimer’s and dementia, what sort of training does staff receive for dementia? • Is the facility licensed to provide de-

month and add “Buy It Now” pricing; you’ll pay 9 percent of the total sale amount (up to $250) for each item. Craigslist. Larger items, such as furniture and appliances, are perfect for Craigslist because buyers come to you to haul them away. The listings are free for a week in big cities (45 days in smaller cities). Insist on payment in cash to avoid bounced checks. Specialty sites. Sell designer clothing and accessories at the Snob (www.thesnob.biz) and Snobswap (www.snobswap.com). For vintage clothing, try Etsy (www.etsy.com) and Fashiondig (www.fashiondig.com). Sell your smartphones and other tech products on sites such as Gazelle.com, NextWorth.com, USell.com and BuyMyTron-

ics.com. Just log on, get an offer and mail in your item. You will receive a check or a deposit to your PayPal account. Consignment shops. Shopowners will sell your clothing or household furnishings for you. They’ll price your items based on their experience, and will reduce the price over time. They typically take one-third to one-half of the final sale price. Yard sale. For stuff that’s not worth the trouble of listing, try a one-day-only yard sale. For extra appeal, get your whole block to participate. Not into pricing everything? That’s okay. Aaron LaPedis, author of The Garage Sale Millionaire, recommends that you put a price tag on anything you want to sell for more than $25 (so people don’t waste your time with low-ball offers), but let people

make an offer for anything else. “There’s a 50-50 chance they’ll offer you more than you were looking for,” said LaPedis. Attract more visitors by listing your sale at Tag Sell It (www.tagsellit.com). And when the day is done, donate what’s left to Goodwill. Estate liquidators. Call a “clean-out” company if you have a lot of stuff that you need to get rid of quickly. Some liquidators will conduct a “tag sale” in your home or off-site; they generally take 25 to 40 percent of the proceeds. Others buy your stuff outright, haul it away and sell it.

Donating your belongings Many people can benefit from your See DECLUTTER, page B-10

mentia care, and is there a special unit for people with dementia? • Is there a daily routine for people with dementia? (The answer should be yes.) • Finally, ask residents if they like living there, and ask any of their friends or family who might be visiting what they think about the facility. Most important, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. © 2013 the Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.

The Meadows of Reistertown offers the maintenance-free, independent lifestyle you’ve been looking for in a retirement community. • Social, Educational and Recreational Events • Patios or Balconies • Individual Climate Control • Convenient to Shopping, Banking and Restaurants

• Emergency Response System • Controlled-Access Entry • Hair Salon • Elevators • Smoke Free • Small Pets Welcome

Live the carefree life you’ve been waiting for, and let us take care of all the details!

For more information call

410-526-3380

300 Cantata Court • Reisterstown, MD 21136

www.firstcentrumcommunities.com

930 Bay Forest Ct. • Annapolis, MD 21403

410-295-7557

7975 Crain Hwy. • Glen Burnie, MD 21061

410-969-2000


B-10

Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Declutter

BEACON BITS

June 22

JULY 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BALTIMORE BEACON

BALTIMORE DRAGON BOAT CHALLENGE

The Baltimore Dragon Boat Club will host a mix of corporate and cause-supported dragon boats in a series of 500-meter races. There will also be a special endurance 1,812-meter race to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The races will take place at the waterfront at Under Armour Headquarters, 1010 Hull St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.baltimoredragonboatclub.com.

From page B-9 castoffs, and that way less stuff ends up in a landfill. The easiest way to donate clothing, housewares and furniture is to contact a nonprofit organization that will send a truck to pick up your things (the driver will leave a tax receipt) and offer it for sale in its thrift stores. Two major players are Goodwill (www.goodwill.org) and the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org). Veterans organizations that provide a similar service include Amvets (www.amvetspickup.org), the Military Order of the Purple Heart (www.veteranpickup.org) and Vietnam Veterans of America (www.clothingdonations.org). Check with the charity to verify what it is willing to take â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially if the items are large. â&#x20AC;˘ Electronics. You can donate your cell phone to a victim of domestic violence through Verizonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HopeLine program (http://aboutus.verizonwireless.com/co

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mmitment/community_programs/hopeline) or to support troops overseas at CellPhonesforSoldiers.com. The National Cristina Foundation (www.cristina.org) will connect you with local nonprofits that will take your computer and tech accessories, including scanners, digital cameras and modems. Before you donate tech gear, be sure to erase any personal data. â&#x20AC;˘ Clothing. Look for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;free clothing closetâ&#x20AC;? in your community. Soles4Souls (www.soles4souls.org) collects new and gently used shoes for people around the world. â&#x20AC;˘ Books. Some public libraries accept donations. Or look for charities that accept books at the American Library Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website (www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet12). â&#x20AC;˘ Collections. If you have collectorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; items that you would like to donate to a historical society or museum, visit the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website or call to ask for its guidelines for donation. If your stuff is in good condition, you can donate it and claim a charitable contribution â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as long as you itemize deductions on your federal income taxes. Most tax-preparation software will help you value your donated items. (With TurboTaxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ItsDeductible.com, you can track contributions throughout the year so that the information is ready come tax time.) The Salvation Army and Goodwill offer valuation guidance on their websites. Or you can assign value based on what items would sell for at a local thrift store. Make a list of everything you donate, and be sure to get a receipt from the charity. For you to claim a deduction, the charity must be nonprofit and exempt from federal income taxes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a 501(c)(3) organization. If your noncash contributions total more than $500, you must complete Form 8283 and attach it to your tax return. Single items valued at $5,000 or more require a written appraisal, but you can deduct the appraisal fee as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. Š 2013, Kiplingerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Personal Finance

BEACON BITS

July 4

CELEBRATE THE FOURTH AT THE HARBOR

Celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic Inner Harbor. The Ports America Chesapeake

At North Oaks, we never stop improving on our ability to keep the people who live here connected to the best in life. Now, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the midst of some exciting renovations that will add a new look and an exciting new dimension to daily living at this LifeCareâ&#x201E;˘ retirement community. Other features, including new amenities, are being added to help promote health and wellness, which are, of course, hallmarks of life here. While itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true that many things are changing, the important things are staying the same.

Fourth of July Celebration takes place Thursday, July 4, from 7 to 10 p.m. The holiday celebration features live music starting at 7 p.m. with U.S. Naval Academy Band Electric Brigade performing Top 40 tunes, fol-

Visit www.NorthOaks.net/Rejuvenation to download a copy of our successful aging brochure or call (410) 486-9090 today to schedule a personal appointment.

lowed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Entertainment takes place at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, located at

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Pratt and Light streets.


BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

B-11

FREE HOUSING AND OTHER INFORMATION For free information from advertisers in this special section, check off those that interest you, and mail this entire page to the Beacon. Please do not request info if you are not interested. All replies will be entered into a random drawing for Toby’s Dinner Theatre tickets to be held July 19, 2013.

HOUSING COMMUNITIES:

❑ Glen Forest . . . . . . .B9 and B14 ❑ The Greens at Irvington Mews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B6 ASSISTED LIVING ❑ Meadows of ❑ Charlestown Assisted Living B17 Reisterstown . . . . . . .B4 and B9 ❑ Charlotte Hall . . . . . . . . . . . .B5 ❑ Oak Crest . . . . . . . .B4 and B13 ❑ Maples of Towson . . . B2 and B7 ❑ Overlook at Monarch ❑ Oak Crest Assisted Living . . .B17 Mills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B2 ❑ Weinberg Assisted Living . .B20 ❑ Park Heights Place . . . . . . . .B15 ❑ Park View Dundalk .B16 and B19 CONTINUING CARE ❑ Park View Ellicott ❑ Augsburg Lutheran Village . .B18 City . . . . . . . . . . . .B18 and B19 ❑ Broadmead . . . . . . . .B7 and B8 ❑ Park View Fullerton .B12 and B19 ❑ Heartlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B9 ❑ Park View Laurel . B18 and B19 ❑ North Oaks . . . . . . .B2 and B10 ❑ Park View Rosedale .B12 and B19 ❑ Pickersgill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B3 ❑ Park View Taylor . .B16 and B19 ❑ Roland Park Place . . .B5 and B6 ❑ Park View Towson .B14 and B19 ❑ St. Mary’s Roland INDEPENDENT/ACTIVE LIVING View Towers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B8 ❑ Aigburth Vale . . . . .B8 and B15 ❑ Walker Mews. . . . . . . . . . . . .B3 ❑ Bay Forest . . . . . . . . .B6 and B9 ❑ Westminster House Apts. . . .B13 ❑ Charlestown . . . . .B13 and B16

❑ Weinberg Independent Living . . . . . . . . . .B14 and B20

HOME CARE SERVICES ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Bayada Home Care . . . . . . . .B5 Comfort Keepers . . . . . . . . . .B3 Options for Senior America .B15 P-B Home Care . . . . . . . . . . .B7 Progressive Home Care . . . . . . . . . . .B10 and B12

NURSING/ REHABILITATION ❑ Charlotte Hall . . . . . . . . . . . .B5 ❑ White Oak Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . .B4 and B17

MISCELLANEOUS ❑ New Lifestyles . . . . . . . . . . .B13 ❑ Sanford Kramer Plumbing . .B17

Check the boxes you’re interested in and return this entire coupon to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227. You may also include the free info coupon on page 5. One entry per household please. Name __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________E-mail_______________________________________________ City _______________________________________________________ State ______________________ Zip ____________________ Phone (day) _______________________________________________ (eve) ________________________________________________ Please provide your telephone number and e-mail address so we may contact you promptly if you win the drawing. BB 7/13


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Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Rosedale 410-866-1886 1315 Chesaco Ave. Rosedale, MD 21237 parkviewrosedale@sheltergrp.com Park View at Rosedale is newly renovated and offers tremendous value in carefree living for those 62 or better. Our residents appreciate acres of greenery in a quiet residential neighborhood, yet are just minutes away from everything they want and need. You too can enjoy a stunning community room with fireplace, computer center with free Internet access, fitness center, salon, and many social activities including bus trips. Our apartment homes feature stylish kitchens, new baths, and Energy Star appliances. Our controlled- access elevator community has so many amenities to enhance your living experience, you need to call today and see for yourself. Call 410-866-1886 or email parkviewrosedale@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to meeting you!

HOME CARE

Progressive Home Care 410-337-5200 1407 York Road, Suite 207 Lutherville, MD www.progressivecareathome.com Progressive Care at Home is a private duty non-medical home care agency serving seniors in Harford, Baltimore and Howard counties with Companions and Certified Nursing Assistants. Care at Home is a division of Progressive Nursing Staffers, offering compassionate, quality health care services for 25 years under one committed owner. Our caregivers are screened beyond industry standards. Our employees must pass rigorous screening and recruitment processes. We are available 24/7/365 and can customize schedules to meet your unique needs. Call today to set up your FREE consultation with a Registered Nurse so you can see firsthand the quality and integrity we bring to your home and to your life. There is no obligation. Call for an appointment at 410-337-5200. Let our family care for your family.

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Fullerton 410-663-0665 4300 Cardwell Ave. Fullerton, MD 21236 parkviewfullerton@sheltergrp.com Park View at Fullerton is newly renovated and simply offers the best in carefree living for those 62 or better. Located just north of 695 off of Belair Road in Fullerton, this community is convenient to everything you want and need. Residents enjoy a stunning community room with fireplace, computer center with free Internet access, fitness center, salon, and many social activities including bus trips. Our apartment homes feature stylish kitchens, new baths, and Energy Star appliances. Our controlled-access elevator community has so many amenities to enhance your living experience, you need to call today and see for yourself. Call 410-6630665 or email parkviewfullerton@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to meeting you!

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Remodel your home to age in place better By Brent Coleman David Clarke’s career as a corporate executive took him around the world, and he collected a lot of artwork and furniture along the way. He had to give up some of it when he and his wife, Margaret, retired into smaller quarters, and then again when he moved into a retirement home in Cincinnati following her death in 2006. After he suffered a stroke in 2008, Clarke balked at making the next logical move. “He had asked us before that he never go into a nursing home or a hospital,” said his son-in-law, Jeff DeVol. And Clarke didn’t want to give up any more of his belongings. Luckily, Clarke had money — and the right son-in-law.

Adding a place for dad Jeff DeVol owns Design, Build Remodel and has an associate’s degree in construction management. He’s also a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS), meaning he’s trained to alter homes so that people with special needs can live in them safely — potentially until the end of their lives. With the support of his wife, Evangeline, DeVol invested $250,000 of his fatherin-law’s money to design and build an 800square-foot, energy-efficient apartment off the side of their 1865 farmhouse in Loveland, Ohio. He used universal design and CAPS principles. Clarke’s apartment has three rooms. There’s a floor-level foyer off a carport DeVol built that has stairs and a chairlift to carry Clarke to his front door. Inside, the main room features a railed bed, big-screen television, fireplace, easy chair and wide door that leads out to the backyard deck. The bathroom includes a roll-under sink and walk-in bath tub (with air jets and grab bars and a pole for safety), among other aging-in-place technology. Clarke requires 24-hour care, so DeVol converted his own basement to living quarters for an attendant. To have all these luxuries in an assistedliving facility, said DeVol, would have cost Clarke $60,000-$70,000 a year or more, and he would have received less care. So financially, the apartment unit makes sense.

Many benefits But there are other benefits.

The apartment has greatly improved the quality of Clarke’s life, his daughter said, and they’ve grown closer as a family being under one roof and eating meals together. “His health has improved,” said DeVol. “He has lost 20 pounds, and his vitals are better. He gets to spend time with his grandson every night. This has really forced us to spend time together as a family.” DeVol wanted to share his story to spread awareness of what aging-in-place remodeling can do for people. “One of the things I’ve come to learn is that people in their 80s never spend money unless they have to. When push comes to shove, it’s their kids,” who get the aging-in-place remodeling rolling, he said. “What we’re trying to do is educate the kids, to let them know it’s a safety issue. If [their parents] fall, there’s a very, very good chance they’re not going to come home from the nursing home.” The long-term utility of the DeVols’ addition is certain. It could be converted into a typical apartment, a studio or a family room. The use of universal design will allow for that, said DeVol. But for now, it’s where David Clarke sits and watches television, wrapped in a cozy blanket, often with the fireplace blaring in cold weather. It’s his home sweet home, and he appreciates it. “My dad always says to Jeff: ‘Thank you for making a home for me,’” Evangeline DeVol said. — Cincinnati Enquirer. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

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BEACON BITS

Remodeler’s advice Certified Aging in Place Specialist Jeff DeVol and his wife, Evangeline, share these tips they developed over the course of constructing an apartment off of his home for his father-inlaw: • Talk to your loved one and really listen to what they want. • Research local land-use restrictions. • Determine how the remodel/addition will affect the value of your home. • Establish how the remodeled space/addition will be used when the loved one is gone. Use that information to establish the size of your project. • Create as much of a separate space as possible to allow for independence for you and your loved one. • Consider how the addition will affect your living in the existing house, especially traffic patterns, access to outdoors and natural lighting. • Take the opportunity to install a more energy-efficient heating system, if possible.

The National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program suggests people considering modifying their home ask themselves: • Do I want to add a bathroom and possibly a bedroom to the main level? • How can I make my kitchen more functional? • Am I worried about preventing falls? • How much money can I budget for this project? • Will I need to get a home equity loan? • Will other members of my family benefit from modifications? • Will remodeling increase the energy efficiency of my home? • Where do I find a professional I can consult about my needs? For more information, contact NAHB at CAPSinfo@nahb.com, call 1800-368-5242, ext. 8154, or visit www.nahb.org/CAPS. — Cincinnati Enquirer

Ongoing

CIVIL RIGHTS ART

Evergreen Museum and Library presents “In Each Other’s Shoes: The Art of Loring Cornish,” 12 sculptural panels that illustrate the struggle for civil rights in America and honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Evergreen Museum and Library is located at 4535 N. Charles St. The exhibit is open until Sunday, September 29. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.museums.jhu.edu.

June 30

SUMMER CLASSIC ROCKCONCERT

Ladew Topiary Garden’s annual summer concert series continues with classic rock band Time Will Tell on Sunday, June 30, at 3525 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton. Tickets cost $15; $13 for those 62 and older. Concert begins at 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.ladewgardens.com.

Features for aging-in-place • Accessible bathrooms with barrier-free showers and tubs • Wider, zero-threshold entryway and interior doors • Aesthetically pleasing grab bars

• No-step entries and ramps • Raised dishwashers • Mid-wall electrical outlets • Bedside light switches — Cincinnati Enquirer

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INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Glen Forest Senior Apartments 410-969-2000 7975 Crain Hwy Glen Burnie, MD 21061 www.firstcentrum.com Glen Forest is centrally located to the numerous conveniences of the region, including Baltimore Washington International Airport, the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail and North Arundel Hospital. This independent living community for persons 62 years of age or better is also convenient to local shopping and dining that can be found throughout the Glen Burnie and Baltimore area. A shopping mall is located right across from the property that includes grocery, clothing and other stores, banks and restaurants. While living at Glen Forest, you will enjoy many activities hosted by the resident association, a senior center nutrition site that serves a hot lunch Monday through Friday for a nominal fee and carefree 24-hour emergency maintenance service. Come visit and see why our residents love it here at Glen Forest.

INDEPENDENT SENIOR LIVING

Weinberg Village Campus 410-581-7878 3430 Associated Way Owings Mills, MD 21117 www.weinbergvillage.net This lovely campus of five buildings offers you the opportunity to maintain your healthy and active lifestyle. While living in one of the spacious apartments, you will have access to many amenities, which include a convenience store, hair salon, and community rooms that are supplied with computers, games, community garden, televisions and books. In addition, residents take part in daily activities planned by resident volunteers and staff members. Located in a quiet corner of Owings Mills, you will have easy access to many shopping, dining and entertainment businesses. Weinberg Village has a community shuttle bus that makes regular trips to many local attractions.

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Towson 410-828-7185 20 Dunvale Road Towson, MD 21204 parkviewtowson@sheltergrp.com Park View at Towson offers carefree living for those 62 or better. Located in the heart of Towson, this community is convenient to Dulaney Plaza and Towson Town Center, as well as the specialty stores and restaurants Towson offers. Residents enjoy many social, recreational and educational activities including bus trips. Our controlled-access community offers lounge areas for socializing, multiple clothing care centers, and a lending library. Our residents receive up to four hot, nutritional, low-cost meals per week in conjunction with the on-site Baltimore County Eating Together Program. Call 410-8287185 or email parkviewtowson@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

How to select the right personal care aide Home care is health and/or supportive services delivered to people in their homes. The goal of home care is to enable a person who needs care to remain at home, while maintaining or improving the quality of life. Home care can: • help preserve the care recipient’s sense of independence and security, • relieve stress for the care recipient and family members or caregivers, and • prevent unnecessary hospital or nursing home bills. Home care services include supportive services, skilled care and infusion therapy. Supportive services include help with bathing, dressing, shopping and meal preparation, as well as light housekeeping and basic companionship. Skilled care services, ordered by a physician, include services provided by registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), physical therapists, registered dietitians, speech therapists and occupational therapists. Infusion therapy is specialized therapy used to feed, hydrate, or give medication to a person who has difficulty taking food, liquid or medicine by mouth. Skilled care agencies often work with pharmacy companies to provide infusion therapy. Should you use an agency? You have the option of hiring an individual yourself or going through a home care or home healthcare agency. To help make that decision, consider the following: Home healthcare agencies pros: • Screening, hiring/firing, pay and taxes are handled by the agency. • Provider receives in-service training and supervision by professional home care staff. • If the worker is sick, a substitute can be sent. • Can provide individuals with a variety of skills to meet varying needs (e.g. skilled nursing care, physical therapy, etc.) • May be partially covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. • Home care agencies must be licensed and have a criminal records check for workers. Cons: • Usually cost more • Several workers may be used, which can be confusing and distressing for the person receiving care. • Less individual choice in workers. Privately hired home care provider pros: • Usually cost less • A strong relationship can develop between the worker and the person receiving care, although this can also happen through an agency when there is a commitment to continuity. • You get to choose the person you think will be the best to provide care. Cons: • If the home care worker is sick, no

substitute is readily available. • Screening, hiring/firing, pay and taxes must be handled by you. • Services may not be covered by Medicaid or private insurance. • No state or federal standards or laws cover independent home care providers.

Questions to ask an agency If you choose to use an agency, determine if you need a home care agency with skilled medical care services or if an agency that only offers non-medical services will meet your needs. Call several agencies for information. Compare services and cost, also consider the answers to the questions below. During your conversation, evaluate how helpful and open the staff is in answering your questions and whether you get a good impression from your first contact with the agency. 1. Can this agency provide you with the kind of care you need? 2. Can this agency meet your scheduling needs? Are there minimum hours and days of service you must accept? 3. Can this agency meet your budgetary needs? What is the cost of care? If you have Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance available, does this agency accept those? 4. How long has the agency been in business? In your community? 5. Will you receive all agreements in writing, including services to be performed, cost and payment information, company policies and procedures, a Client’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities? 6. How does the agency hire and train staff? What types of background and reference checks are done? Are the employees licensed and/or bonded? 7. Do agency workers have liability insurance? 8. Does a supervisor make an initial visit to assess needs? 9. How is the quality of care monitored? How often does the supervisor visit to evaluate the home care provider? 10. Are nurses required to evaluate the home care needs? Do they consult the client’s physician? 11. Are the client and family included in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in care plan changes? 12. Whom do you call with questions, problems, or complaints? 13. Are all records kept confidential? 14. What procedures are in place for handling emergencies? Are caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? 15. What is the holiday policy? Is care provided? Are there additional fees? 16. Can you cancel service at any time? Next, ask for references and contact them. These references might be from physicians, social workers, hospital discharge planners, clients or family memSee HOME CARE AIDE, page B-15


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Home care aide From page B-14 bers. Ask questions such as: • Do you frequently refer patients/clients to this agency? • Do you have a contractual relationship with this agency? • What feedback have you gotten from patients/clients who have dealt with this agency? • Were you satisfied with the care given? • Were there any problems, and how were they handled?

Hiring a private caregiver You can find privately hired home care providers through referrals from friends, family, or other trusted individuals, community contacts and advertisements. When hiring a provider, you are responsible for negotiating all terms of the services, pay, tax and Social Security withholding responsibilities, etc. with each provider. The family/client is responsible for supervising the provider’s work and may be considered to be the employer by the Internal Revenue Service. Follow these steps to help you identify a qualified provider and maintain a good relationship: 1. Prepare your list of needs. 2. Screen applicants by phone first. If the applicant sounds reliable and it feels good to you, set up an interview time. If the phone screening doesn’t go well, don’t make an appointment for an interview. Just say “I am doing other interviews, and I will get back to you.” Do not give out any personal information, such as your name, address and location, to those you do not intend to interview. Give a brief description of your needs, stating the number of hours you need help and the amount you can pay. Give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions about your situation. Obtain their name, phone number, experience and training. If you feel the applicant is suitable, make an appointment to interview them in person. Request that the applicants bring two or three work-related references and a copy of any certificates or licenses with them.

Thank all applicants for calling, even those you think are not suitable. 3. Meet with selected applicants. The initial meeting should include the person who will be receiving care and a family member, trusted friend, or neighbor whenever possible. You may ask to see identification with a picture of the applicant on it. Get to know the applicants. Let them tell you about themselves. Show interest in them as a person. Review your needs with the applicant. Give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Restate responses so you are sure you understood correctly. Take notes! Write down your impressions, information you want to remember, and any concerns you want to check on. Interview as many applicants as you want or need to in order to find a suitable provider. Tell the applicants you have other appointments and will call when you have made your decision. Select the applicant you feel most comfortable with and who you think can best help you with your needs. Possible interview questions: What kind of work have you done, other than what is listed on the application? What kind of training have you had? What types of work do you enjoy, not enjoy? What are your interests? Why did you choose this type of work? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Details? Are you allergic to smoke or animals (if applicable)? Do you have a driver’s license and insurance? Would you be willing to take me places? Would you cook or plan meals for me? Do our needs include anything that you can’t or won’t do? How long do you plan to stay on the job? Would you ever need to bring someone to work with you? Are there any problems with the days or hours we need? We can pay ___ per hour, is that agreeable to you? Are you willing to agree on a trial period for training and getting acquainted?

If you have special needs, such as memory loss, abusive behavior, or incontinence, be sure to question the applicant’s ability to deal with these. 4. Check references Questions to ask in conducting a reference check: • How long have you known the provider and in what capacity? • What qualities, as you view them, are the provider’s strengths in dealing with people? • What qualities, as you view them, are the provider’s weaknesses in dealing with people? • To your knowledge, has the provider worked with persons like the person needing help and in what setting or capacity? • Would you hire this person again? Why or why not? • Are there other comments or information that you would like to share? 5. Hire the provider of your choice. Once you have selected a provider, be sure to call all the other applicants and let them know you have hired someone. You may want to ask qualified applicants if they

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would be interested in working as an emergency back-up. Keep applications on file. Contact Social Security and the IRS to determine what your tax responsibility is. Develop a written agreement that spells out specific duties, hours and days of care, fees and when payments will be made, whom to call in case of emergencies, who will be responsible for transportation, any arrangements for sick or annual leave, who will pay Social Security and other taxes. After a trial period, for example, one month, evaluate with the provider the services you are receiving and make any needed changes. For more information about home care, contact the following: National Association for Home Care, (202) 547-7424, www.nahc.org; Family Caregiver Alliance, www.caregiver.org, 1800-445-8106; and Family Care America, www.familycareamerica.com, (804) 3271112. Excerpted with permission from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Division of Adult and Aging Services and Fairfax Area Agency on Aging.


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Housing Options | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Taylor 410-663-0363 4102 Taylor Ave. Baltimore, MD 21236 parkviewtaylor@sheltergrp.com

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

House calls by doctors find new support

715 Maiden Choice Lane Catonsville, MD 21228 www.ericksonliving.com

By Glenda C. Booth The image of the caring doctor making a house call, black bag in tow, to help a sick person was common in America before World War II. From 1930, when house calls constituted 40 percent of physician encounters, they plummeted to only 10 percent in 1950, and to less than one percent of all outpatient services for Medicare patients today. But there’s a new trend. “We’ve seen a slow yet steady resurgence of doctor house calls,” said Gary Swartz, Associate Executive Director of the American Academy of Home Care Physicians. “The number of house calls under the Medicare program doubled from 2005 through 2011.” The change in delivery of care is coming along with other changes in the healthcare profession. Over the last few decades, healthcare moved into office suites and hospitals loaded with sophisticated technology and an emphasis on efficiency. Today, getting medical care often starts with a frustrating call to a faceless “care center” and having to answer rapid-fire questions from a screener. But there’s a move afoot to upend this model. Some programs are hospital based and go by names like Johns Hopkins’s Hospital at Home (HaH) in Baltimore, or Independence at Home (IAH) at the Washington Hospital Center. Some are private practices like Dr. Amy Schiffman’s in Bethesda. She makes 250 house calls a month in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and in Washington, D.C. As the population ages and more people live longer with multiple conditions, the demand for doctor house calls will grow, most experts predict. Three to four million seniors now have multiple chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis and lung disease, a number that will likely reach six to eight million by 2025. These patients represent approximately 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, but account for two-thirds of Medicare’s expenditures, according to Medicare officials.

Charlestown has a brand new look!

Better care, lower cost

The best destination for a vibrant retirement just got even better. Charlestown has now been Catonsville’s premier location for a maintenance-free retirement for 30 years—and we’re celebrating with a multimillion-dollar renovation! Discover the beautiful new apartment homes in the Edgewood building—plus a newly renovated clubhouse featuring a pool, fitness center, marketplace and restaurant opening later this summer. Don’t wait to experience Charlestown’s stunning additions. Call 1-800-554-9865 to schedule a tour or request your free brochure today.

Proponents of house calls, like the American Academy of Home Care Physicians, argue that seeing patients in their homes will cut costs and keep people out of hospitals — especially emergency rooms, the most expensive care. (Emergency room care can cost 10 times more than home care, some say.) The goal of reducing Medicare expenditures is a major driver. Medicare patients with multiple chronic illnesses are 100 times more likely to have a preventable hospitalization than someone with no

Park View at Taylor simply offers the best in carefree living for those 62 or better. Located just north of 695 off of Belair Road, this community is minutes away from everything you will want and need. Our residents appreciate our community room with fireplace, computer center with free Internet access, fitness center, salon, and many social activities including bus trips. Spend an afternoon chatting with friends on the veranda, reading a book in the library or join an exercise class. You have so many choices. Our controlledaccess elevator community is designed for you. Call 410-663-0363 or email parkviewtaylor@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to serving you!

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Dundalk 410-288-5483 103 Center Place Dundalk, MD 21222 parkviewdundalk@sheltergrp.com Park View at Dundalk offers carefree living for those 62 or better right in the heart of historic Dundalk. Just a block from Dundalk Avenue, this community has easy access to public transportation, shopping and restaurants. East Point Mall and Johns Hopkins Bayview are just minutes away. Residents enjoy many social, recreational and educational activities including bus trips. Our residents receive up to four hot, nutritional, low-cost meals per week in conjunction with the on-site Baltimore County Eating Together Program. This controlled-access elevator building offers such amenities as a community room, clothing care center, and fitness center. Call 410-288-5483 or email parkviewdundalk@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. Come see what you’re missing!

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Charlestown 1-800-554-9865

chronic conditions, reports Medicare.gov, and the top 5 to 25 percent of the most costly Medicare beneficiaries account for 43 to 85 percent of Medicare costs. Drs. Jennifer Hayashi and Bruce Leff, with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, cite multiple benefits of the HaH program, including increased patient, caregiver and doctor satisfaction. Writing last year in Generations, the journal of the American Society on Aging, they said: “Compared with patients treated in the acute hospital, those treated in HaH suffered fewer clinical complications, including use of sedative medication, chemical restraints and incident delirium... “The HaH patients improved in the ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living compared with usual care patients. And the average amount paid for HaH patients was lower, the savings resulting from reduced use of laboratory and high-tech procedures.” Others promote house calls because hospitals can pose risks to vulnerable patients. Medical mistakes occur and patients can get serious infections. “From a medical standpoint, it is important to see patients in their own environment,” agreed Dr. Robert Kaiser, with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s homebased care program in Washington, D.C. “We can get a good read how they are doing medically and psychologically, try to look at how well they are functioning, their social support system, how they interact with caregivers, and the medications they’re taking, all gauged better by going to the home.” Furthermore, they are able to check out the home environment. “We do a ‘refrigerator biopsy,’ with permission, to better understand their nutrition. We have more time to spend with the patient and caregiver. It’s not quite as rushed.” Also, many patients are more comfortable asking questions in their home than in a hospital setting. Dr. Schiffman added.

The full range of care at home Physician house call programs usually provide a range of medical services by a multi-disciplinary team. Most providers are primary care and family doctors, internists, geriatricians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, according to a 2012 Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine study. Social workers, nurses and physical therapists might also be on the team. Patients receive the same care they would receive in an office, from diagnosis to management of illness, for conditions like pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary embolisms, dehydration and urinary tract infections. See HOUSE CALLS, page B-17


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; JULY 2013

House calls From page B-16 Teams can also provide pharmaceutical, laboratory and basic radiology services. The home care doctor may be the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main source of care or not. Either way, Medicare covers physician home visits as long as the services are medically necessary and the same services would be provided in an office visit because of the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condition, Swartz said. Medicaid and most private insurance plans have similar coverage. However, Medicare does not cover the physicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transportation costs, and some doctors bill patients directly for those.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ahead? The number of house calls will grow, Swartz predicts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest challenge is not enough clinicians. We need to encourage growth of the house call workforce. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, it has to be viewed as financially viable. Medical professionals need to be compensated commensurate to working in an office,â&#x20AC;? he explained.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Caring for people in their home requires a lot of coordination with family and caregivers. These clinicians are asked to do a lot thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not explicitly medically based, yet impacts the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medical condition â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such as care coordination and addressing the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental and financial concerns. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Medicare program and other payers would be well served, in addition to patients, by providing payment for such coordination services.â&#x20AC;? Doctor house calls are a win from every perspective, supporters say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love making house calls,â&#x20AC;? Kaiser said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It allows you to build great relationships with patients and to help someone stay in the community. It provides a more personal exchange than I would usually have in a clinic, and building that relationship is important.â&#x20AC;? Leff, of Johns Hopkins, has similar sentiments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Folks who are too sick to come to the clinic have many different problems. They need care that is very coordinated from a team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[House calls] help the doctor create the right plans to take care of the person. It is

extremely patient-centered care tailored to the needs of the patient in their own environment. It can really make a difference.â&#x20AC;?

For more information Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Johns Hopkins Health System has two programs: home-based primary care, a house call program for people who are too sick to go to an office and live within a few miles of Hopkinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bayview Medical Center, and the Hospital at Home program, under which eligible patients receive hospital-level care in their homes. Visit www.hospitalathome.org. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home-Based Primary Care Program,

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operating since 1972, has 350 VA sites in the U.S. serving over 31,000 veterans daily. The program provides in-home care by a multidisciplinary team for veterans with chronic, complex illnesses. VA officials say the program has reduced hospital inpatient days by 78 percent, shaved overall costs, and has received a patient satisfaction rating of over 82 percent. See www.va.gov/geriatrics/guide/longtermcare/Home_Based_Primary_Care.asp. Visit the American Academy of Home Care Physicians to find a provider near you who makes house calls: www.aahcp.org/associations/11307/files/ ProviderLocator.cfm.

BEACON BITS

July 4

CATONSVILLEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S JULY 4 CELEBRATION Celebrate the Fourth the old-fashioned way with a family-friendly

day of games, races, parade and fireworks at the annual Catonsville Fourth of July festivities from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit http://catonsvillecelebrations.org.

July 11

WINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Enjoy a beautiful sunset overlooking the water while tasting wines from six different countries on Thursday, July 11, at 3301 Edwards

MOM STAYS SAFE & HAPPY

Lane in Middle River, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free for seniors. For more information, visit www.conradsvilla.com or call (410) 375-0515.

with Nursing Care at Charlestown and Oak Crest

Looking for a Skilled Nursing/Rehab Facility? Here is just some of what we offer. Orthopedic Surgery Rehab â&#x20AC;˘ Cardiac Surgery Rehab Dialysis and TPN therapies for Long-term care â&#x20AC;˘ Therapy Gym Mental health wing for younger people â&#x20AC;˘ New Renovations New Fine Dining Program â&#x20AC;˘ Family Reception Areas TV, cable, wireless Internet â&#x20AC;˘ Private bathrooms. Social events Locked dementia and Alzheimer's care â&#x20AC;˘ Buffet-style dining Private bathrooms â&#x20AC;˘ Private and 2 person-only rooms

Let her know she taught you well. Choose Nursing Care at Charlestown or Oak Crest and give your mom the advantages she deserves: t 0OTJUF GVMMUJNFQIZTJDJBOT BOEOVSTFQSBDUJUJPOFST t "QSJWBUFSPPNGPSDPNGPSU and dignity t &  YDFQUJPOBMDBSF FWFOJGTIF is not a Charlestown or Oak Crest resident For more information, call for your free brochure today.

Towson

Baltimore

Baltimore

410-823-5310

410-367-9100

410-664-5551

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances accepted.

Charlestown

Oak Crest

Catonsville, MD

Parkville, MD

410-737-8922

410-882-3295

EricksonLiving.com

9296616

Call Julie today to schedule your personal tour at 410-979-4822.


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CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Augsburg Lutheran Home and Village 1-888-347-7008 6811 Campfield Road Baltimore, MD 21207 www.Augsburg.org Augsburg is a nationally accredited, non-profit, continuing care community, featuring independent living, assisted, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. Nestled on a beautiful 52-acre campus in Baltimore County, we have been a leader in providing affordable quality senior living since 1892. Our apartment-style independent living allows you to enjoy the comforts, privacy and independence of your own home without the concern of home ownership. We offer spacious studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with a variety of floor plans. For those needing assisted living, Augsburg residents enjoy private rooms, an individualized care plan and a bed-and-breakfast style setting. Skilled nursing services with various levels of care are also available in a progressive neighborhood style model designed with comfort in mind. Call today for your tour!

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Laurel 301-490-1526 9000 Briarcroft Lane Laurel, MD 20708 parkviewlaurel@sheltergrp.com Park View at Laurel is newly renovated and simply offers the best in carefree living for those 62 or better. Located just off of Route 198 in Laurel, this community is convenient to everything you want and need. Residents enjoy a spacious community room, mail delivery lounge and media room with library, as well as a computer center, fitness center, salon, and many social activities including bus trips. Our apartment homes feature stylish kitchens, new baths, and Energy Star appliances. Our controlled-access elevator community has so many amenities to enhance your living experience you need to call today and see for yourself. Call 301-490-1526 or email parkviewlaurel@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to meeting you!

INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY

Park View at Ellicott City 410-203-9501 8720 Ridge Road Ellicott City, MD 21043 parkviewellicott@sheltergrp.com Park View at Ellicott City I and Park View Ellicott City II extends an invitation to those 62 or better to enjoy a carefree lifestyle. The communities are conveniently located near shopping, Historic Ellicott City, and local senior centers. The buildings have electronically controlled access, elevators for the residents’ convenience, plus many amenities for social and recreational activities. Call 410-203-9501 or email parkviewellicott@sheltergrp.com today to arrange for your personal visit. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Personalize a rental space by decorating By Melissa Rayworth It’s yours, but it isn’t. A rented apartment or house can be a wonderful place to live, and a challenging place to decorate. The restrictions are many: Landlords often want their white walls to stay white. Many won’t let you do even the most minor construction. Some even ask renters not to nail anything to the walls. Complicating things further, many rental properties have small rooms and no-frills, builder-grade light fixtures, doors and cabinetry with little personality. How can you inject some of your personality into a rented space without enraging your landlord? The first step is to go all in. “So often people think of their rental as not theirs, and therefore go through life not creating a beautiful home or nest,” said designer Kyle Schuneman, author of The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces (Potter Style, 2012). “Life is too short to not create a sanctuary that represents your unique vision.” Home decorating blogger Wanda Hoffs gives the same advice to her readers at recreateanddecorate.com. As an Army wife, Hoffs has lived in many rental properties around the country and has learned to decorate each one as if it were truly hers. Here are five ideas from Hoffs and Schuneman that can help you embrace your rented space.

Plan carefully “Usually rentals are small, and I am a firm believer in function before form,” Schuneman said. “Sometimes it’s a puzzle piece to get those `must haves’ into your space — the desk, the bed, the couch.” He suggested using old items in new ways: Does the desk become a footboard? Should a small bookcase from your old living room be tucked into the corner of your new kitchen? If your current furniture doesn’t fit well into a rental, Hoffs suggested spending wisely on new items. Rather than buying an expensive new piece that fits your rental perfectly, “use thrift store furniture and paint it yourself,” she said. Used furniture can be “so inexpensive that you can sell it at a yard sale if need be” when you decide to move out of the rental. “It’s not about where you buy it,” Hoffs likes to tell her blog audience. “It’s how you use it.”

Change walls with little or no paint “Wallpaper used to be only for the homeowner crowd,” Schuneman said, “but now with companies like Tempaper, you can put up temporary wallpaper that peels on and peels back off when you’re ready to move.” Hoffs suggests using wall decals, which now come in a huge range of styles and

sizes, or even duct tape. “It comes in many great colors and patterns,” she said, “and can be used on a wall in many different patterns, such as the trending chevron pattern, stripes, or even to create a border around a wall grouping.” If you want to do just a bit of painting that could be easily repainted before you move out, Hoffs and Schuneman both suggest painting a stenciled design on one wall. Or paint a band of bold color along the top of your walls. To make the eventual repainting easier, Hoffs said, “always know the original color and brand of paint.”

Infuse with color “If you’re afraid to touch your walls or have a really difficult landlord,” Schuneman said, “bring in the color through fabrics and textures around the room. If you leave your walls white, hang a bold curtain on the windows and a coordinating couch that really pops.” Hoffs agreed: “Fabric can be a great, inexpensive way to add color, pattern and texture to a room. It can be framed or stapled to a large art canvas to be hung on the walls,” to add a burst of color. You can also attach fabric temporarily to a wall using spray starch. Lush plants are another option: “Bring in plants to add life, color and to warm up your home,” Hoffs said. Even if you’re not a gardening expert, “there are many lowmaintenance ones for those who do not have a green thumb.” When it’s time to move, they’re easy to take with you.

The floor is your fifth wall “Your floors are a blank slate for design,” Schuneman said. “Treat it as your fifth wall and find a beautiful rug to ground the whole space.” Schuneman is a fan of FLOR carpet tiles, which can be arranged to make what appears to be a rug of any size. “I love using FLOR tiles for rentals because they can be put together in different configurations and can be personalized, so only you have that certain pattern that represents your style,” he said.

Make temporary swaps Although you can’t change the cabinets in your rented kitchen or bath, Hoffs points out that you can swap out the hardware on doors and drawers at a very small cost. “You can always change these back to the original ones when you move,” she said, as long as you remember where you’ve stored the originals. The same goes for light fixtures. A change of lighting can add “instant drama” to your home, Hoffs said, so consider swapping out the current fixtures with ones that reflect your taste. Just be sure to store the landlord’s fixtures carefully and reinstall them properly before moving out. — AP


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

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Make your own custom fabric and wallpaper By Melissa Dutton When Renee Pedro bought a house with mid-century décor, she decided to embrace the look. Drawing inspiration from the 1963 Philco oven in her kitchen, she began hunting for towels and table linens with a mod `60s vibe to complement the appliance. “That oven was my style. My thing,” said Pedro, of Philadelphia. She was disappointed by the lack of choices, and in 2009 began looking for a way to create her own textiles to decorate the kitchen. “I couldn’t find something that fit my aesthetic, so I decided to make it,” she said. After a year of looking online, she found a company that would allow her to design her own fabric. Now she runs her own online business, Crashpaddesigns.com, selling tea towels, pillow cases and table linens in mod, bright, geometric or flowered patterns that she designs herself.

Spurred by printing advances Many companies have begun to offer consumers the chance to create custom fabrics and wallpapers. Advances in printing have made it more affordable to create small runs, and to make high-quality products faster and cheaper, said Aaron Kirsch,

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

TOUCH ART “Do You Feel What I See?”, the latest

show by semi-abstract painter Calvin Coleman at Galerie Myrtis, 2224 N. Charles St., encourages both the visually impaired and the sighted to experience the artist’s paintings through touch. The exhibit is free. Coleman will speak on Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.galerie-Myrtis.net.

July 10

VISIT OUR STATE CAPITAL Senior Box Office

hosts this trip to Annapolis on Wednesday, July 10. The trip includes a boat and trolley tour of Annapolis with lunch at Reynolds Tavern. Trip cost is $87. For more information and reservations, call (410) 882-3797.

July 11

SPEND THE DAY IN UPPERCO Enjoy a family-style

lunch at Friendly Farms, along with bingo and a trip to the Amish market and Browns Market on this outing to Upperco, Md., hosted by Essex Senior Center. The cost is $50. Reserve a place by calling (410) 687-5113.

president of Astek Wallcovering Inc. in Van Nuys, Calif. He sells directly to consumers via his company’s website, Designyourwall.com. The company also makes custom products for the fashion, hospitality and motion picture industries. Demand for the custom products has been steadily rising, Kirsch said. “Custom wall covering ... has gone ballistic,” he said. Homeowners can create their own wall covering for about $6.50 a square foot, he said. Custom fabrics run about $18 to $30 a yard, said Rysa Pitner, founder of Fabric on Demand in Los Angeles. Custom options appeal to “individuals who love to author their own stuff,” she said. You can upload photos, original artwork or computer-generated designs on her company’s website, Fabricondemand.com.

Quick turnaround Some manufacturers have designers who help customers develop the look they want. Do-it-yourself designers can usually preview the order online or order a sample piece. It normally takes less than a month for orders to be processed. The websites also have a wide variety of premade patterns available. Nile Johnson of Nile Johnson Interior Design in Kennett Square, Pa., said custom pieces help his firm accomplish its goal of creating spaces that reflect a client’s personality. “It really helps the interior show and breathe who they are,” he said. “It’s not just pretty. It’s not just functional. It really tells their story.” Johnson has used the custom printing process to create a window shade depicting a child’s favorite story book. He is currently creating wallpaper that corresponds

to a client’s checkered dishes. Creating rolls of wallpaper for an accent wall or producing yards of fabric to make curtains, bedding or furniture covering allows homeowners to create layers of design that contribute to the look they are after, added Los Angeles designer Kate Albrecht, who runs the website Mrkate.com. “It’s a layered look where they feel like each little element of a room speaks about their personality,” she said. “As a designer, you have this idea for a perfect fabric in your mind, and sometimes you can’t find it. Sometimes that fabric needs to be created.” Other online sites to unleash your creativity include: www.crashpaddesigns.com, www.designyourwall.com, www.fabricondemand.com. www.nilejohnson.com and www.mrkate.com. — AP


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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Your Life,

COMMUNITIES S

Enriched

Perfectly designed residential communities for seniors and younger residents with disabilities* located in Northwest Baltimore: Weinberg Village Community 3430 Associated Way Owings Mills, MD 21117 410-356-4660 weinbergvillage.net Weinberg Gardens 1500 Bedford Ave. Pikesville, MD 21208 410-602-8200 Weinberg House 16 Old Court Road Pikesville, MD 21208 410-602-2405 Weinberg Manhattan Park* 5715 Park Heights Ave. Baltimore, MD 21215 410-466-8080 Weinberg Manor East* 3601 Fords Lane Baltimore, MD 21215 410-358-5581

Weinberg Manor West 3615 Fords Lane Baltimore, MD 21215 410-358-9393 Weinberg Park Assisted Living* 5833 Park Heights Ave. Baltimore, MD 21215 410-664-0100 Weinberg Place* 2500 West Belvedere Baltimore, MD 21215 410-542-4111 Weinberg Terrace 1450 Bedford Ave. Pikesville, MD 21208 410-602-3950 Weinberg Woods 3211 Clarks Lane Baltimore, MD 21215 410-318-6625

ENJOY THE BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE in one of our communities designed just for you. Weinberg Senior Living provides quality, affordable apartments for seniors and younger residents with disabilities*. Our residents will make you feel at home, and the friendly staff will be there to answer any questions that you might have. You’ll enjoy getting to know your neighbors and making new friends. In addition, you will find residents who take active interest in their community and meet regularly to discuss ways to improve their campus, inside and out. They work together to keep Weinberg Senior Living beautiful and accommodating to your lifestyle. You owe it to yourself to see how good the best years of your life can be. Weinberg Senior Living apartments are owned by CHAI, a local non-profit organization. CHAI’s mission is to develop and support thriving stable communities in Northwest Baltimore. In addition to constructing new housing and renovating existing housing, CHAI promotes many programs and services that help seniors to continue to live independently.

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BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Money Law &

15

TALK IS CHEAP A number of smartphones with many features are available for $50 or less MISPLACED TRUST Living trusts are often sold to people who don’t need them SHOULD YOU CO-SIGN A LOAN? Ways to protect your own credit when asked to co-sign a loan

Stable value funds help preserve capital dicting higher interest rates Long-term investors should for many years and they obvinot have a significant amount ously have been wrong. Beof money invested in Treasury cause of the weak economy, bills, money market instruthe Federal Reserve has ments or garden variety savadopted an easy money poliings accounts. The reason is cy, and as a result interest simple: These options return rates have remained very less than 1 percent per year, low. which means they don’t keep pace with inflation. However, there is no doubt Yet many people still park THE SAVINGS that rates will rise at some their money in these vehicles, GAME point, and there is no doubt simply for the sake of preserv- By Elliot Raphaelson that, when they do, investors ing their capital. They rememholding intermediate and ber 2008, when practically all other invest- long-term bonds and bond funds will take ments lost significant value. a hit. What about bonds and bond funds? For Are there other decent investment opthe last few years, most bonds and bond tions for those who want to preserve capifunds have performed very well. tal? However, many analysts have pointed out that interest rates have nowhere to go Higher than money market yields but up. When rates do eventually rise, One option is a stable value fund. The bond prices, with the exception only of objective of stable value funds is to prevery short-term bonds and short-term serve the value of invested capital, perform better than money market instrubond funds, will fall in price. In many of my columns, I have recom- ments, and earn consistent, reliable remended that bond investors steer clear of turns. all long-term bonds for this reason. (I do The managers of stable value funds acso in my own portfolio.) complish this by investing in high-quality Of course, many analysts have been pre- fixed-income investments and investment

contracts with insurance companies and banks. Such contracts are designed to preserve capital regardless of market conditions. The investment portfolio consists of investment-grade securities — such as U.S. Treasuries, government agency bonds, mortgage-backed securities, other assetbacked securities and private-placed mortgage debt. Individuals who invested in these funds in recent years would have received returns much greater than the return of money-market instruments, but less than the returns from the majority of most intermediate and long-term bonds and bond funds. For example, over the last five years (as of December 31, 2012), the return of T. Rowe Price Stable Value Common Trust Fund F was 3.79 percent; for three years, the return was 3.36; for one year, 2.51 percent. According to Hueler Co., a Minneapolis research firm, at the end of March 2013, the average stable-value fund yield was 2 percent. The industry’s Stable Value Investment Association has indicated that these accounts are available in half of all definedcontribution retirement plans.

Some transfer restrictions It is important that investors review the restrictions associated with transferring funds out of stable value accounts. For example, you cannot transfer funds out of a stable value account into a money market investment unless you have maintained the stable-value account for at least 90 days. Generally, there are fewer restrictions if you want to transfer funds into an account other than a money market account. Long-term investors should not have a large amount invested in ultraconservative investments such as money market instruments. Investments in stable value funds will provide you with greater returns than a money market fund, allow you to earn consistent reliable returns, and avoid the short-term risks associated with long-term and intermediate-term bonds if interest rates do increase. However, investments in stable value funds will not provide you with long-term capital growth. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at elliotraph@gmail.com. © 2013 Elliot Raphaelson. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Index funds often superior to managed ones “What does your fund manager agers beat the index. Howdo?” screamed the headline of the ever, after investor fees April 8 edition of Barron’s. All I were included, only 31 percould think was, “What, indeed!?” cent beat the index last year. The article said some superAnd it gets harder to beat star fund managers “fly around year after year, because inthe world, they crunch reams of vestors tend to pile into the data, they dissect industries” — good funds only after they and, for good measure, ultimatehave beaten their relative ly beat the index against which indexes. Once new money their funds are measured. RETIRE SMART flows into these funds, Here’s the problem: Even if By Jill Schlesinger costs tend to rise and the there are some diamonds in the funds can get too large and rough (and believe me, it’s rough out there cumbersome for the manager, which toin managed mutual fund land), it may not gether make outperformance more diffieven be worth trying. The reason is that it cult to achieve in the future. is very difficult to beat the index after facFund fees fall a little toring in costs and fees. There has been some good news on A recent survey by the London investment firm Style Research analyzed 425 fees. According to the Investment Compaglobal equity funds versus the MSCI World ny Institute, mutual fund fees have been index. Without fees, 59 percent of the man- trending lower. The average expense ra-

tios for equity funds have fallen from 0.99 percent in 1990 to 0.79 percent in 2011, a 20 percent decline. But a good chunk of that decrease may be attributable to the shift toward no-load (no commission) funds. Actively managed equity funds still have average fees of 0.93 percent, while index equity funds have average fees of 0.13 percent. How do you find the good ones? It will take some work. You will need to identify active investment managers with a proven track record who can consistently stick to an articulated and prudent strategy. You will also want to look for a fund with low investment costs as well as low administrative and advisory fees. Also watch out for costs due to portfolio turnover, commissions and execution.

ways and want to make your investment life a little easier, there’s a simple solution. Instead of trying to beat the index, just buy the index! Last month, index fund pioneer Vanguard issued a research report comparing index versus managed funds and noted “persistence of performance among past [managed fund] winners is no more predictable than a flip of a coin....Low-cost index funds have displayed a greater probability of outperforming higher-cost actively managed funds.” Index funds have been around since the early 1970s, but suffered from a definitive “un-cool” status for a long time. It was much more fun to think that some manager held the keys to the investment kingdom than to imagine that all you needed was a few index funds in different asset classes. And there was no massive brokerage

The index fund alternative If you prefer to spend your time in other

See INDEX FUNDS, page 17


16

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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Why you probably don’t need a living trust By Sandra Block Living trusts are typically marketed as a way to avoid the cost and hassles of pro-

bate — the legal process used to determine that a will is valid and to ensure that your property is distributed according to

We specialize in short-term rehabilitation and long-term relationships. Mary came to ManorCare Health Service – Woodbridge Valley debilitated from an infection. Mary couldn’t even get out of bed! didn’tknow know She told us ‘Ididn’t what to expect. I’ve never been hospitalized.’

“Everyone was so wonderful. I’m glad I came here.” - Mary

After our rehab team worked with Mary, she was up on her own two feet, managing all of her own needs and, in no time, was discharged and back to her regular routine. As an added bonus, ManorCare’s exercise regimen jump-started a weight loss which helped her to resolve her diabetes. Mary says, “Thanks to ManorCare, I feel great!”

your wishes. All too often, though, they’re sold to people who don’t need them, said Sally Hurme, a project adviser for AARP. An estate plan that includes a trust costs $1,000 to $3,000, versus $300 or less for a simple will. What a living-trust promoter may not tell you: You don’t need a trust to protect assets from probate. You can arrange for most of your valuable assets to go to your heirs outside of probate. A home or other property that’s owned jointly with the right of survivorship goes directly to the joint owner when you die. More than a dozen states allow transfer-on-death deeds for real estate, said Mary Randolph, author of The Executor’s Guide, by Nolo. Likewise, pensions, retirement accounts and life insurance policies automatically transfer to the beneficiary. You can keep bank accounts out of probate by setting up payable-on-death accounts, which give the recipient immediate access to the money. Probate doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Many states have streamlined probate for small estates. In the District of Columbia, estates are considered small with less than $40,000 in assets; in Virginia, with under $15,000; in Maryland, with less than $50,000 (or $100,000, if the spouse is the sole heir). You must transfer property to a trust. For example, if you want your home to be included in a living trust, you need to

record a new deed transferring ownership to the trust. This can be a hassle, but if you overlook this step, the living trust is a “worthless piece of paper,” Hurme said. There may be unforeseen consequences. When you create a trust, you name yourself as trustee so you have control of the assets. Most married people name their spouse as joint or successor trustee. This could create problems if you become incapacitated and your spouse develops, say, dementia. Randolph recommends naming another successor, such as an adult child, as trustee. Don’t believe anyone who said a living trust will make it easier to qualify for Medicaid. Assets in a living trust are “countable” for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. Sometimes a living trust makes sense. For example, if you own out-ofstate property, such as a vacation home, putting it in a living trust will save your heirs from probate in that state. And Danielle Mayoras, an elder-law lawyer, recommends living trusts to clients who want to leave more to one child than the others. Sandra Block is a senior associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Kiplinger’s has a new service to pinpoint the ideal time to claim Social Security to maximize benefits. Visit http://kiplinger.socialsecuritysolutions.com. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

BEACON BITS

June 28

RECORD-KEEPING WEBINAR The Small Business Administration will host a webinar on Friday,

June 28 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Sign up for this overview of record-keeping to benefit your small business. To register, email William.hardin@sba.gov.

Let Nursing Home Costs Take Every Dime You’ve Worked For. Medical Assistance Planning and Eligibility Advance Medical Directives / Living Wills Trusts / Estate Planning Administration

For more information, please call the location nearest you or visit www.manorcare.com: Dulaney

Ruxton

410.828.6500

410.821.9600

Roland Park

Towson

410.662.8606

410.828.9494

Rossville

Woodbridge Valley

410.574.4950

410.402.1200

Wills / Powers of Attorney Disability Planning / Special Needs Trusts Guardianship

&

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Elder Law, Estate & Special Needs Planning 410.337.8900 | www.frankelderlaw.com | 1.888.338.0400 Towson | Columbia | Easton


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

17

What to consider before co-signing a loan By Kaitlin Pitsker When all it takes to lend a hand to your child, relative or close friend is a few strokes of a pen, it can be difficult to say no. But co-signing for someone else’s credit card, lease or loan can pose a high risk to your hard-earned credit history. Co-signers are on the hook for repaying the debt if the primary borrower defaults. Late or missed payments would appear on your credit report and ding your score just as they would with any other debt. Even if the payment history is flawless, your higher debt-to-income and credit-utilization ratios after co-signing can affect your ability to get a loan.

credit. “The bank is asking for a co-signer because it’s not comfortable doing business with that person,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com. The borrower may have a thin credit report, bad credit or not enough income to meet the repayment criteria. If you decide to take on these risks, review the documents before signing and discuss your expectations with the primary borrower. Ask the borrower to refinance the loan or close the credit card (the only ways to get your name off the account) as soon as the borrower’s credit score improves or income rises.

Minimize your risks

Stay on top of payments

If the request comes from an adult child — say, to co-sign a car loan — the answer depends on your philosophy of children and money. Are you willing to support them, or is it time to let them sink or swim? If someone other than your child asks you to become a co-signer, consider why that person hasn’t been able to secure

After signing, closely monitor the account (you should have online access to statements) to ensure that payments are being made. If the primary borrower misses a payment, the lender typically contacts both borrower and co-signer almost immediately, said Ulzheimer. (It won’t affect your credit scores until the payment is more

Index funds

to start the investing year with the extra 0.80 percent in their own pockets. According to fund-tracking firm Morningstar, assets in U.S. index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) accounted for 34 percent of equity and 18 percent of fixed income funds as of year-end 2012. My hope is to see those levels steadily rise, as do-it-yourself investors wise up, or as investors who work with advisers choose fee-only or fee-based professionals who adhere to an indexing strategy. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

From page 15 sales force and marketing campaign blazing the trail for the stodgy index fund. Of course, the commission-based brokers who were touting managed mutual funds had a great incentive — only the expensive, loaded mutual funds would pay them. But in the aftermath of the financial crisis, boring has become more attractive. Many investors dumped their managed funds and decided that they would prefer

than 30 days overdue.) If the borrower stops making payments, be prepared to step in and make the payments in order to avoid marring your credit. Parents may be able to avoid the cosign question in the first place by helping their children build a solid credit record. For example, adding a child as an authorized user to one of your credit cards builds credit in the child’s name, even if

your child doesn’t use the card, said Ulzheimer. Other ways to build credit are with a secured card, which generally requires a deposit of $300 to $500 (usually equal to the card’s credit line), or with a retail credit card in the child’s name. Kaitlin Pitsker is a reporter at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS OFFER LEGAL REPRESENTATION

MVLS provides free (in some cases low-cost) legal representation to Marylanders with limited income. The volunteer lawyers also provide free legal help for community-based nonprofits that are working to strengthen low-income communities in Maryland. Each eligible individual client is matched with a volunteer lawyer who has the appropriate skills and expertise to provide quality representation. With a volunteer pool of 3,000 lawyers, MVLS provides services in every jurisdiction in the state. Call (410) 547-6537 or 1-800510-0050, Monday-Thursday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

NOTICE TO SENIORS, VETERANS AND THE DISABLED What would you say if we told you – you don’t have to pay your credit card or medical bills? Most of our clients say, “ank you.” Living on Social Security, disability payments, pensions or veteran’s benefits? Federal law states that your income cannot be taken to repay debts, even some student loans. Don’t endure frustrating calls and letters from collection agents. You can live worry-free as thousands of our clients do. DCSD shelters you from harassment DCSD protects your income DCSD is not a bankruptcy Stop creditors from breaking the law by collecting debts you can’t pay. ere is an affordable alternative to bankruptcy. For as little as $20 per month you can employ a DCSD Attorney to deal with your debts.

Call Debt Counsel for Seniors and the Disabled For a Free Consultation at 1-800-992-3275 EXT. 1304 Founded in 1998 Jerome S. Lamet Founder & Supervising Attorney • Former Bankruptcy Trustee www.debtcounsel.net info@lawyers-united.com


18

Law & Money | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

You can buy a smartphone for $50 or less By Jeff Bertolucci Not long ago, cheap smartphones were, to put it not so mildly, junk. For less than $100, you pretty much got what you paid for: a low-resolution screen, a crummy camera and poky performance. No more. Today, you can find some excellent smartphones for $50 or less — as long as you’re willing to sign a two-year telephone service and data plan contract. If that’s a trade-off you can live with, these bargain handsets are worth checking out.

The thin-and-light HTC One VX (99 cents in red, $50 in white with a two-year AT&T contract) features a 4.5-inch highdefinition display; it runs Android 4.0, which may not be the newest version of Google’s mobile software but is almost as fast and powerful. In addition to 4G LTE wireless and 8 gigabytes of internal storage, the One VX has a microSD card slot for adding as much as 32GB of memory. It sports a decent 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a

low-resolution camera on the front. The Samsung Galaxy Victory ($50 after rebate with a two-year Sprint contract) is also a 4G phone that runs Android 4.0. It has a 4-inch HD display. Its 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera is fine for video chats, and the 5-megapixel rear camera is acceptable for casual shots. The Galaxy Victory boasts a few cuttingedge tools, notably Samsung’s S Beam, which in combination with the built-in Android Beam lets you share contacts, photos, videos and links by simply tapping two comparably equipped phones together. The Motorola Droid Razr M ($50 online with a two-year Verizon Wireless contract) packs a vibrant 4.3-inch HD display; an 8megapixel rear camera and low-res front camera; and 8GB of internal memory. Surprisingly sleek and slim for a low-end phone, the Razr M runs Android 4.1, supports 4G LTE and includes Android Beam for wireless sharing. The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE ($50 online with a two-year Verizon Wireless contract) runs Android 4.0, has a 4-inch LCD display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a low-res front-facing cam. De-

spite its advanced age (in phone years) — Verizon launched the Droid Incredible in July 2012 — it is a solid, dependable phone. Carriers’ so-called free handsets are usually older models making a final run before departing for handset heaven. (Of course, they’re not really free because the price of the phone is amortized over the life of the two-year contract.) Verizon’s menu of free phones includes the venerable Apple iPhone 4. Ahead of its time when it launched in 2010, the iPhone 4 is now old hat, with its 3.5-inch display and 3G performance. Still, it’s a beautifully designed phone, and Apple’s App Store is stockpiled with hundreds of thousands of helpful applications. [Ed.: Remember, what makes these phones “smart” is their Internet access, which requires a data plan typically running $20 to $50 per month on top of your telephone and texting services.] Jeff Bertolucci is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Travel

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Leisure &

Chincoteague and Assateague islands are home to more than 300 wild ponies. See story on page 21.

Portland’s small-town yet urban waterfront U.S. for Second Acts.” Bon Appetit dubbed it “America’s foodiest small town.” Never mind that Men’s Health listed it “dead last” on their tabulation of 100 hotbeds of sex.

Waterfront city Portland, the largest city in the Pine Tree State and founded in 1632, is known for its working waterfront. It sits on a peninsula jutting into Casco Bay and includes five islands that are part of the city. Mainers, mariners and non, promote the deep harbor that is ice-free year round. (History footnote: Canada had to use Portland for shipping before ice-breakers were invented.) You can stroll from a Picasso at the Portland Museum of Art to harbor seals near the ferry terminal. Compact, pleasant and easily walkable, Portland offers an urban-smalltown-waterfront experience, all in one. Local resident Sophia Booth, says “It’s impossible to be bored here,” citing events like the First Fridays Art Walk and GreenDrinks, a social networking group focused on environmental concerns. “And where else can you rent a ukulele from the public library?” she asked.

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By Glenda C. Booth From my sixth floor hotel room in the middle of Portland, Maine, I stared at the waters of Casco Bay gently lapping the harbor and was 99 percent convinced I had a blurry sighting of the legendary Casco Bay Sea Serpent porpoising across the bay. I had just come from the International Cryptozoology Museum, where for two hours I pondered arcane objects and fuzzy images of Bigfoot, Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster and other mysterious creatures. Roaming around downtown, I had contemplated a snazzy purple chapeau at the Queen of Hats, savored an Eritrean lamb stew at Asmara’s Restaurant, and toured Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s boyhood home. Such is Portland, Maine, city of 70,000, a rich mix, pedestrian-friendly, urban center on the water and full of surprises. You might talk lobster prices with a crusty sea captain at Becky’s lunch counter or world events with a Somalian refugee at a fish market. You might be drawn into analyzing the feats of the Seadogs, Portland’s minor league baseball team, or guessing the essential ingredients of a true whoopee pie. Forbes magazine labeled Portland one of the country’s most livable cities, which is perhaps why actress Bette Davis had a home on the outskirts. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance said last year that Portland’s “the best city in the

Eclectic tours A bus or trolley tour (www.PortlandDiscovery.com) is a good starting point for getting to know the city. You’ll roll through stately Victorian neighborhoods and two parks designed by Frederick Law OlmTHE GREATER PORTLAND + CONVENTION CENTER

Boats dock in Casco Bay along Portland’s waterfront. Portland, the largest city in Maine, dates back to 1632, when it became a British fishing and trading settlement named Casco.

The historic Portland Head Light overlooks the rocky entrance to Portland, Maine’s harbor. The 222-year-old lighthouse is the oldest in Maine.

stead that capitalize on scenic water views. No visit to Maine’s rocky coast is complete without a stop at the 80-foot Portland Headlight and Museum, Maine’s oldest lighthouse dating from 1791 and authorized by President George Washington. When the lighthouse was built, Portland was the closest port to Europe. Or try the Wicked Walking tour (www.WickedWalkingTours.com) for legends of haunted Portland. On the Culinary Delights (www.mainefoodietours.com) taste tour, you’ll sample local specialties like fiddleheads, seafood chowder (“chowdah”), clams, mussels, whoopee pies and, of course, the king of crustaceans — the Maine lobster. The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad (www.mainenarrowgauge.org) has daily summer trips along Casco Bay. You can while away a day in the Old Port area, especially along Commercial Street, one of the country’s most successfully revitalized warehouse districts. With gulls squalling overhead, ever ready to swoop down and steal morsels, you’ll find around 160 locally-owned shops and no chain retail stores (except one Starbucks that “snuck in”). Pick up some “moose poop” treats for your pup, or all things blueberry: jam, pancake mix, candy, even barbeque sauce featured on television’s Travel Channel. In the Maine Pantry, you can buy Cajun seasoning mixed in Maine. “Go figure!” says a sign.

Be sure to duck into the no-nonsense Harbor Market for the real coastal Maine, human and piscine, where brawny seafood merchants help eager customers select fish fresh out of the ocean, from eels to haddock. It’s real.

Cultural pursuits Designed by I.M. Pei, the Portland Museum of Art (www.portlandmuseum.org) has more than 17,000 fine and decorative works of art, including paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics and furniture dating from the 18th century. Works by Mainer Andrew Wyeth are favorites, but you can also see art by Rockwell Kent, Louise Nevelson, John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. There’s a Winslow Homer collection, and the museum arranges trips to his Prouts Neck studio where he painted many masterpieces. This summer, the museum will feature an exhibit titled “Shangaa: Art of Tanzania.” The federal-style Longfellow House was built in 1786 by the poet’s grandfather and was the first brick house in the city. The Maine Historical Society, the third oldest in the country and dating from 1822, has 15,000 photos and thousands of maps. The Portland Observatory Museum, a NaSee PORTLAND, page 20


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Portland From page 19 tional Civil Engineering Landmark that has withstood many fierce storms, is the only remaining historic maritime signal station in the U.S. The 50-ton Kotzschmar organ in Merrill Auditorium can replicate virtually all the sounds of a symphony orchestra. Built in 1912, it has pipes ranging from the size of a pencil to some 32 feet long, plus 100 miles of wiring that connects the pipes to the keys. The study of the unknown, the un-

proven, the anecdotal and the supposed at the International Cryptozoology Museum (http://cryptozoologymuseum.com/) entices. There’s a model of the Feejee Mermaid, which turned out to be a hoax, a monkey sewn to a fish and mummified. There’s film footage of a big hairy, gorillalike beast loping through dense vegetation, and “evidence” of more mysterious Maine cryptids beyond the Casco Bay Sea Serpent.

Food and drink For thirst quenching in a local brewery, tour the Shipyard Brewery Company, a microbrewery that flies a beer keg on the

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

roof instead of a flag. It’s hard not to eat well in Portland. DeMillos on the harbor is a floating former car ferry loaded with nautical imagery where “diners are passengers.” Fresh lobsters, mussels and clams practically jump off the menu. “The clams you eat here today slept last night in Casco Bay,” the restaurant touts. J’s Oyster Bar on the waterfront is always crowded but worth the wait for oysters “raw and nude.” J’s makes chowders, lobster rolls and a scallop casserole to die for. Family-owned, downhome Becky’s Diner has whole-belly fried clams, clam cakes, homemade soups and freshly-made pies. A waitress told me the banana cream pie “weighs 20 pounds.” A regular customer commented, “The food is consistently good, and the waitresses are sweet.” If you really want a fresh lobster, catch one. Sail out with Lucky Catch Lobstering (www.luckycatch.com) and haul traps. You’ll learn all about hardshells, softshells, shedders, shorts, culls and keepers. The Portland Lobster Company restaurant on the pier will cook them for you. Prepare for drippy elbows.

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After traipsing around the city, relaxing on Great Chebeague Island is a refreshing respite. In 2006, Chebeaguers voted to secede from the town of Cumberland, and they carefully nurture a year-round community esprit de corps. “We don’t want to be a snooty, touristy Nantucket-type island,” the town historian told me, so they killed the construction of a bridge to the mainland. The island is four miles long and 1.5 miles wide, and the speed limit is 30 mph all over. There’s one grocery and one restaurant, sort of. Historically known for stone sloops, boats that carried granite from quarries,

Chebeague has 350 year-round residents. Proud islanders view Casco Bay as “the moat.” It separates and protects them from the city. While Chebeaguers eschew the touristy, locals are welcoming. Everyone waves to you. I arrived at the dock with a suitcase and no arrangements for transportation to the Chebeague Inn. As I watched my suitcase hoisted up and down by a crane, I befriended a woman waiting for her groceries to come off the ferry. When I asked how to get to the inn, she offered me a ride in her rusty 1970s Ford station wagon with floor “ventilation.” The Chebeague Island Inn (www .chebeagueislandinn.com), dubbed the “11th Best Small Hotel in the U.S.” by CondéNast Traveler, is a restored, Greek Revival-style 1920s hotel with wide relaxing porches and sweeping water views. From a comfy wicker chair, you can watch terns dive and great blue herons fish. If you need to move around, poke around in the tide pools. Rooms start at $166 per night, including breakfast. Casco Bay Lines (www.CascoBayLines.com) makes frequent daily trips from the ferry terminal to six Casco Bay islands. You can cruise around and absorb the scenery, day trip, or stop at one for a stay. For downtown lodging, the Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn by the Bay are the most reasonably priced hotels. United has July flights from BWI through Cleveland for $199. You can tour much of the city over several days without a car, but you need a car to venture beyond downtown. For more information, visit the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.visitportland.com, and the Maine Office of Tourism, www.mainetourism.com. Glenda C. Booth is a travel writer based in Alexandria, Va.


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Leisure & Travel

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

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Chincoteague known for ponies and more By Victor Block Mention Chincoteague Island, Va., and you’re likely to be asked, “Isn’t that the place where those ponies are?” The answer is “yes.” The narrow spit of land, and the larger Assateague Island nearby, became known to people around the country as home to a herd of wild ponies in 1947, when the popular children’s book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry was published. A 1961 movie based on that story spread the ponies’ fame even further. The attention of the country was focused on the area again in March 1962, when a devastating hurricane flattened oceanfront dunes, crashed onto Chincoteague Island (pronounced Shink-a-tig by locals), and flooded the town beneath a wall of sea water. Misty, pregnant at the time, was saved by being sheltered in her owner’s home, which stood on high ground. The foal she delivered, appropriately named Stormy, served as the main character in another book by Henry.

Pony paradise During our recent visit, my wife Fyllis and I were immersed in stories about Misty, Stormy and the other ponies as soon as we arrived. Although known as Chincoteague ponies, two herds today actually roam free on Assateague Island — a wildlife refuge that is protected from development. A fence marks the Maryland-Virginia border that bisects that barrier island, and one group of the ponies hangs out in each state. The shaggy, sturdy animals, which are slightly smaller than horses, have adapted to their harsh seashore environment by learning to subsist on dune and marsh grasses and drinking from fresh water ponds. Pony lore begins with the mystery of how their ancestors came to the area. One scenario thought to be likely by many historians is that the horses are descendants of domesticated stock that farmers grazed on Assateague Island during the 17th century to avoid taxes and penning regula-

BEACON BITS ENJOY PHILADELPHIA’S ART Parkville Senior Center invites you to join their tour of Philadelphia murals tour and lunch at Moshulu Restaurant at Penn’s Landing on Tuesday, July 16. The cost for this excursion is $95. Call (410) 8826087 for a spot.

July 16

July 18

A DAY AT THE CASINO

Spend the day on Thursday, July 18, at Delaware Park Casino, courtesy of Bykota Senior Center. The $26 cost includes a $30 coin return. Call (410) 887-3094.

tions on the mainland. Another is that Native Americans had ponies when the first European settlers arrived. More intriguing, but more in doubt, is the colorful legend that the ponies’ forebears swam to shore from the wreck of either a Spanish galleon or an English vessel that sank offshore. No matter how they arrived, the animals’ fame has been spread not only by the books about Misty and Stormy and the subsequent motion picture, but also because of the annual pony penning and sale. Each summer since 1925, the ponies on the Virginia end of Assateague Island have been rounded up, and those strong enough to swim are herded into the narrowest part of the channel that separates Assateague and Chincoteague. After See CHINCOTEAGUE, page 22


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From page 21 swimming across, they’re led through the Chincoteague town streets and into pens where they spend the night. The next day, the foals — those less than a year old — are sold at auction during some spirited bidding. The remaining ponies spend another night in town and swim back to their home on Assateague Island home the following day. The money earned from the auction — which this year will take place July 24 and 25 — benefits the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

Observing the ponies If you’d prefer to see the ponies in their natural setting (and are willing to miss the large crowds that gather for the annual swim), there are plenty of opportunities to do so. For example, they often may be watched as they graze near designated viewing areas in the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge (which, despite its name, is on Assateague Island). Fyllis and I also enjoyed sightings from the water on Captain Dan’s Around the Island Tours. In addition to learning about the history of Chincoteague and Assateague from a waterman whose family has lived in the area since 1780, we passed clam and oyster beds in the shallows, spotted bald eagles and other birds circling in the sky overhead, and saw a number of ponies on land. Captain Dan pointed out individual hors-

es by name and explained the reason for each moniker. He noted that Woeful Willy, a somewhat depressed looking pony, usually hangs out alone. Rambling Rose, on the other hand, “keeps company” with several stallions. A dark tan horse with an unkempt blond mane is known as Surfer Dude. There also are other ways to get close up and personal with the ponies. At the Chincoteague Pony Center, descendants of Misty are among horses available for riding and lessons, and they star in occasional shows. Wildlife bus tours offered from April through November, which carry passengers into areas of Assateague closed to other vehicles, include pony sightings on every trip. Misty fans also won’t want to miss the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Exhibits there explore the local history, culture and people. They include what Fyllis and I found to be interesting stories about the oystering industry, which employs many island residents, and even more fascinating descriptions of ornamental waterfowl and land bird carving for which the area is equally well known.

Oysters and duck decoys Our introduction to the oystering industry came during a visit to the Chincoteague Shellfish Farms. Mike McGee, the jovial proprietor, explained that dredging for oysters as was done in the past has pretty much

PHOTO BY DIANE GINSBERG

Chincoteague

JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Wild ponies swim across the channel that separates Assateague and Chincoteague islands in an annual event. The young foals are auctioned off the next day. This year, the event takes place on July 24 and 25.

given way to present-day aquaculture. He proclaimed that the local waters surrounding Chincoteague and Assateague islands are “God’s country for the oyster.” In order to experience and enjoy their full flavor, Mike recommended eating the bivalves “raw and naked,” without sauce. A visit to Mike’s or any other oyster operation, and viewing the beds in the shallow waters surrounding the islands, provides an introduction to the process that transports oysters from their environment to dinner plates all over the country. And if you’re as lucky as I was, you may be treated to a tasting. Fyllis and I found equally engrossing the story of ornamental bird carving which, we were told, still has about two dozen practitioners on Chincoteague Island today. Long before European settlers arrived in the New World, Native Americans fashioned floating decoys from reeds and grasses that they used to attract waterfowl within reach of arrows and nets. Those lures gave way over time to simple carved wooden decoys and, later, manufactured plastic models.

Some carvers began to fashion much more elaborate waterfowl, and what had begun as a craft evolved into an art form. The best examples display every feather and other feature in intricate lifelike detail, and can take months to complete. Decorative carvings are available to see and purchase at a number of places around town. The best collection we discovered is at the museum-like store named Decoys, Decoys, Decoys, where more than 2,000 birds produced by both local artists and others from around the country surround visitors like a colorful aviary. While the highest known price paid for a decorative bird is $830,000, you won’t have to pay nearly that much to take home one of the magnificent figures. If you do, you’ll have a treasured keepsake to remind you of a very different kind of destination where life definitely moves at a leisurely pace. For more information about visiting Chincoteague and Assateague islands, visit www.chincoteaguechamber.com or call (757) 336-6161.

BEACON BITS

June 27

DOES YOUR CAR FIT? A free, quick, comprehensive check of your vehicle’s adjustable

seats, mirrors and other parts to accommodate physical changes with aging is available on Thursday, June 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. To schedule a 20-minute appointment, call (410) 313-1400.

July 20+

HELP WITH FAMILY HISTORY The Howard County Genealogical Society is offering a free help

desk on genealogical research in the U.S., Europe and other countries on the third Saturday of the month from 1- 4 p.m. at the Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. For more information, call the Howard County Historical Society at (410) 480-3250.


BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

23

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Style Arts &

An exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society explores the life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, the “Notorious Belle of Baltimore.” See story on page 24.

How to become more creative later in life

Brain research Toder has divided the book into three sections, and even suggests that they do not need to be read in order. The first, and most research-oriented, part

of the book focuses on the development of our brain from babyhood on. It also describes how and why many of us give up the artistic pleasures of our childhood (finger painting anyone?) — from inhibition to attention to career, children, etc. For readers already familiar with the subject of creativity and aging, these first few chapters may not offer much new. Toder discusses the research of well-known names in the field, from geriatric psychiatrist Gene Cohen, a pioneer in the study of creativity and aging, to Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of such books as A Psychology for the Third Millennium: The Evolving Self and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. But for those new to the topic, Toder does a good job of turning scientific jargon into a readable explanation of not only why it’s never too late to take up a creative pursuit, but why there’s a very good chance we can become successful enough to derive great pleasure from the pursuit itself, and perhaps even garner external acclaim. (On the other hand, most of the later-inlife artists Toder interviewed for the book had little interest in receiving payment or recognition for their efforts, even if those happened to be the unanticipated and unsought results.) This brings us to the second part of the book — the stories of more than 20 “budding late-blooming” artists, including musicians, visual artists and writers. Their individual stories range from simply interesting to downright compelling and inspiring.

Some, like Toder herself, stumbled upon their new passion shortly before or after retiring. Others faced life crises, notably health-related, that compromised their ability to make a living or pursue former interests and led them to recalibrate their lives in some new ways. All, though, extolled the virtues of their creative endeavors and credited them with contributing to their health, longevity and ongoing participation in the world around them. In the final section of the book, Toder offers a road map to “making it happen.” She addresses how to decide whether or not to retire (for some it’s not an option, and if they can’t, how they can still bring artistic endeavors into their life). Also, she discusses creating a “decision tree” that can help you narrow down the possibilities by See CREATIVITY, page 25

Now thru July 14

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After retirement, psychologist Francine Toder took up two new hobbies: playing the cello and creative writing. Her experiences led her to write a new book, The Vintage Years, about how creativity can flourish later in life.

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By Carol Sorgen It’s never too late to develop your creativity, and two new books show you why and how. Contemplating life after retirement and its inevitable question of “What’s next?,” psychologist Francine Toder impulsively, and almost simultaneously, took up cello lessons and creative writing classes. What those two seemingly random events led to was an exploration of late (or later in) life creativity, the focus of her new book, The Vintage Years: Finding Your Inner Artist (Writer, Musician, Visual Artist) After Sixty. Only recently, writes Toder, have neuropsychologists and other scientists confirmed that age 60 and beyond may be the best time in life to take up an art form like writing, playing a musical instrument, or a visual art like painting, sculpting or ceramics. Contrary to what we might think, not only does the brain continue to grow new connections and become more efficient with age, but wisdom amassed over the years greatly enhances the expression of art. Add to that, reports Toder in this engaging book, the increased focus made possible by lifestyle changes and you have the ingredients for more satisfying, meaningful and creative “vintage years.”

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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Spotlight on Baltimore’s bell of the ball By Carol Sorgen Long before there was a Grace Kelly, Princess Diana or Kate Middleton to capture the world’s attention, there was Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte, the “Notorious Belle of Baltimore.” She was the young socialite who — despite disapproval on both sides of the Atlantic — married Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. It was a short-lived marriage (18031805), annulled by the disapproving and all-powerful emperor of France, but it was a union that set the stage for the rest of Elizabeth’s long life. Now Elizabeth is once again in her hometown’s public eye in “Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy,” a new exhibition presented by the Maryland Historical Society.

“Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte brought Napoleonic Europe to Baltimore, along with the celebrity that reminds us of a modern-day jet setter,” said Burt Kummerow, president of the Maryland Historical Society. Culled from the 600-plus objects and documents that the Historical Society has devoted to Elizabeth in its collection, this exhibition marks the first time that the Society has devoted a show exclusively to an historical female figure.

mate exhibit. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was born in Baltimore in 1785, and was the oldest daughter of 13 children. Her father, William Patterson (for whom Patterson Park is named), was an Irish shipping merchant and one of the wealthiest men in Maryland. As a young girl, Elizabeth studied history, culture, mathematics and French (which, unbeknownst to her at the time, was certainly to prove useful later in her life). In both the portraits and lifelike mannequins in the exhibit, it is clear why she was considered such a great beauty. She was known for her slim, petite stature, porcelain complexion, and much gossiped about bosom, which she accentuated in European gowns considered risqué by America’s puritanical standards. Even as a young woman, Elizabeth was

19th century femme fatale Though she lived in pre-TV, pre-Internet and pre-reality show days, Elizabeth still garnered enough recognition and fame to be considered one of the world’s great femme fatales in the early 19th century, explained Mark Letzer, chief development officer, as he offered a preview of this inti-

known not only for her beauty, but also for her wit, charm and independence, all of which made her one of the most eligible young women in Baltimore. She turned down many an amorous suitor, on both sides of the Atlantic, once writing in a letter to her father that “Nature never intended me for obscurity.” Meeting and marrying Jerome Bonaparte ensured that that would never happen.

A fractured Bonaparte connection Jerome Bonaparte was an officer in the French Navy and, unlike his serious-minded brother, was attracted to pretty girls and spending Napoleon’s money. Jerome served in the Caribbean in the early 1800s, but when war broke out, fled to the U.S. to avoid capture from the British. His goal once in the States was to meet the “most beautiful woman in America.” It’s not clear how the two first met, but See BONAPARTE, page 25

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

Creativity From page 23 considering such factors as your personal style, resources and opportunities. The book has already garnered positive reviews, with Publisher’s Weekly writing that “…Toder’s scientific acumen and the inspiration of these exceptional — yet everyday — elders will be sure to kick-start readers’ explorations of their own late-in-the-game creative potential.” For Toder, her own creative explorations that inspired this book continue. She is planning a sequel and still practices the cello every day.

From page 24 apparently it was love at first sight (at least for Jerome), and the young couple was married in 1803 by John Carroll, the Archbishop of Baltimore. It was not, however, a cause for celebration for the families. Both Elizabeth’s father and Jerome’s brother were against the union. William Patterson was so upset that he eventually left Elizabeth only a pittance of his substantial estate. Across the Atlantic, Napoleon ordered his brother back to France and forbade Elizabeth from setting foot on French soil or ever using the Bonaparte name (both of those dictates she continued to ignore throughout her life). Jerome was told he must give up Elizabeth or be stripped of all his titles and left penniless. Despite Jerome’s proclamations of love for Elizabeth, he followed his brother’s orders and, following the dissolution of their marriage, married German Princess Catharina Wurttemberg. Elizabeth spent the rest of her life trying to secure the imperial title for herself and the son she had with Jerome, whom she

In another new book, Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice, artist, writer and textile designer Marisa Anne Cummings, who goes by the name Marisa Anne, offers a colorful guide to developing your creative muscles. (The book is liberally illustrated with her many whimsical drawings and designs.) Unlike Toder’s work, Cummings’ book is not necessarily aimed at the older generation of budding artists. And unlike Toder, Cummings is a

nicknamed “Bo.” According to Letzer, that may have been one reason Elizabeth never remarried, or was even known to have any other relationships for the rest of her long life (she lived to be 94). She returned to Baltimore but made eight crossings back and forth to Europe throughout her life, remaining a favorite of both American and European society. First Lady Dolley Madison, for example, was a close friend, as was Irish-born Lady Sydney Morgan, one of the 19th-century’s greatest feminist writers, who remained one of Elizabeth’s closest confidents throughout her lifetime. Elizabeth lived in Baltimore on and off until her death in 1879. Despite the fact that Napoleon was against the marriage, he did give Elizabeth an annual annuity which, through her own business acumen, she transformed into a significant fortune that eventually included over $1 million and interests in more than 40 houses throughout Baltimore, making her one of the city’s wealthiest female landowners.

“professional creative,” having always earned her living in one creative endeavor or another. But if you’re looking to expand your creative horizons, whether professionally or personally, Creative Thursday is an enjoyable, informative guide to getting started. Interspersed with Cummings’ own personal anecdotes (many of which she shares on her blog and social media outlets), are very practical suggestions for developing a more creative life, from how to get started

second floor of the museum and includes nearly 130 objects of silver, porcelain, paintings (including a unique, triple portrait of Elizabeth by the renowned artist Gilbert Stuart), textiles, jewelry, manuscripts and furniture associated with Elizabeth and her descendants (her remaining living descendants, from her great-granddaughter, Louise Eugenie, live in Denmark). Particularly noteworthy is a collection of still impeccable French porcelain purchased by Elizabeth in Paris around 1815, 40 examples of silver by noted Baltimore silversmith Samuel Kirk, used by Elizabeth and her descendants (including her son and his two sons), Elizabeth’s pearl and garnet tiara and other jewelry, and one of her “scandalous” dresses in the French Empire style. An added dimension to the exhibition is a photographic backdrop against one wall that shows many of the items on display as they were used in Elizabeth’s own home here.

Living in two worlds Porcelain, paintings and more The current exhibition — “an intimate jewel box,” said Letzer — is located on the

Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch explains that the exhibition has been designed to expand people’s idea of Elizabeth beyond her being ever so briefly the sister-in-law of Napoleon, and emphasizes the “two worlds” that Elizabeth inhabited. One example of the dichotomy of her two lives is evidenced by a painted leather traveling trunk; on one side is stenciled “Elizabeth Patterson,” and on the other are two labels that read “Madame Bonaparte, nee Patterson.” Similarly, on one side of the gallery space is Elizabeth’s American world, with portraits of the Patterson family, a dress owned by Elizabeth’s much-beloved mother, Dorcas Spear, the French dictionary she used as a girl, and her writing desk. “Writing was an important part of Elizabeth’s life,” said Deutsch. Though her 13volume memoirs don’t survive, her account books, letters and journals do. “This was a woman of letters…a woman of intellect,” said Deutsch. On the other side of the gallery is the European world, which displays the elegant accoutrements of Elizabeth’s life following the end of her marriage. Although her frugality moved her to devote most of her money to her son’s education, Elizabeth always had a taste for elegant fashion

(“start by starting” and “be willing to not make a very good start”), to finding inspiration (yoga, exercise, change of scenery, learn something new, and more), to learning to share your work (take classes, avoid comparison). While Cummings’ suggestions come from her own personal experience, and Toder’s from her research and interviews, many of the ideas echo each other (for example, the importance of exercise, the willingness to not care whether you’re good at first, the value of taking classes). But they each offer a different style and approach that make them both a worthy addition to your own personal creativity library.

PICTURE COURTESY OF THE MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Bonaparte

Getting the creative juices flowing

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A new year-long exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society explores the life and times of the glamorous Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. This unusual triple portrait of the “Notorious Belle of Baltimore” is by Gilbert Stuart.

and accessories. Her silk and cashmere shawls, velvet turbans, lace cuffs, exquisite jewelry and elegant gowns are evidence, said Deutsch, that Elizabeth not only appreciated the finer things in life, but also paid great attention to her appearance. Interestingly, there are no portraits or photographs of Elizabeth from the age of 53 on, perhaps because her vanity didn’t make it easy for her to accept growing older. On display, however, is a series of age-progressed photographs indicating how she might have looked in her later years. ”Few historical figures I have studied intrigue me as much as Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte,” said Deutsch. “Every time I read her letters and account books I discover another twist in her very complex story. “Too often she has been remembered for her [brief] marriage, but...she went on to live another seven decades, charting her own course, amassing her own fortune and making a life on her own terms.” “Woman of Two Worlds” runs through June 9, 2014. The museum is located at 201 W. Monument Street, and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults. More information is available at www.mdhs.org or (410) 685-3750. For a further look into Elizabeth’s life, and the behind-the-scenes-details of the exhibition-making process, visit Alexandra Deutsch’s blog, “Woman of Two Worlds,” at www.mdhs.org/betsy-bonaparte.


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JULY 2013 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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Puzzle Page

Crossword Puzzle Daily crosswords can be found on our website: www.TheBeaconNewspapers.com Click on Puzzles Plus Stringers by Stephen Sherr 1

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1. Regard 5. Citric Bacardi flavor 10. Model 14. Sea eagle 15. Addis ___ 16. Circle around the moon 17. Stringer on summer hiatus 19. “Pronto!” 20. Regular customer’s request 21. Jab at a stringer with flammable f lannels (with 30 Across) 23. “___ whiz!” 24. Pinnacles 27. They will really curl your hair 28. Memo heading 29. Meter starter 30. See 21 Across 35. Market measure, briefly 38. Flat line, to a mathematician 39. ___ asada (Mexican steak) 40. Good name for a DNA researcher 41. Mo. with the shortest days 42. Result of stringers gone amok 44. Singer Kristofferson 46. Big heads 47. The first hurricane of 1972 49. “Slowed to ___” (downshifted a horse) 51. Participated in Thanksgiving 54. Slogan for all of the stringers in this puzzle (with 59 Across) 56. Home to three NBA teams 58. Type of apple 59. See 54 Across 62. Where witches put kids 63. System of belief 64. Theater box 65. Egg container 66. Puts chips in the kitty 67. He puts chips in the cookie

Down 1. Correct a programming error 2. Correct a math error

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3. Come next 4. Arizona’s third-largest city 5. SoCal team in box scores 6. Corp. founded in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company 7. Maine ingredient 8. Plays “Simon Says” 9. The POV in first person lit. 10. Harpoon holder 11. Vehicle which produced Jack Nicholson’s first Oscar nomination 12. Unit of chili strength 13. Restrains cattle 18. Extended families 22. Fencing sword 25. Early spring bloomer 26. ___ work 28. “___ alive!” 29. Expecting 30. Tablet computer 31. Take off the payroll 32. Tom, Dick, and Harry 33. Part of TGIF 34. Type of beauty 36. Insufficient quantity for 52 Down 37. Itty-bitty 40. Nav. aid that came 500 years too late for Columbus 42. Naughty/nice identifier 43. ___ voce (softly) 45. Not from yore 47. It may say “Kiss the cook” 48. Fruit farm 49. Item in a squirrel’s stash 50. Core belief 51. “All men are created equal”, for example 52. Ballroom dance 53. Requirements for Superman costumes 55. Early Peruvian 57. Scat-singer Fitzgerald 60. Peace sign 61. Security guard’s request

Answers on page 24.


BALTIMORE BEACON — JULY 2013

CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/ Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box on the right. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment. EMPLOYMENT & REAL ESTATE ADS: We will not knowingly or intentionally accept advertising in violation of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap in connection with employment or the sale or rental of real estate.

Caregivers NURSING STUDENT AND LICENSED, bonded, highly experienced CNA seeks fulltime, overnight caregiving position. I’m pet friendly, with an extensive resume, stellar references and solid background check. If interested, kindly call Jacqueline at 301-787-3555.

For Sale MACULAR DEGENERATION READER – Retain reading enjoyment and independence. Magnifies newspapers, letters, books, medicine bottles. Aladdin 13-inch screen with glare shield. Originally $1,845. Now $650. 410-3632151. SAVE ON MAILINGS. Postage at 20% Discount. Call Now and Start Saving! 410-247-4169. DULANEY VALLEY MEMORIAL Gardens. Top and bottom burial lot at Abbey Gardens Area. Crypt #114. Asking $2250. Contact, 410655-1439.

Letters to editor From page 2 mentally as well as physically impaired. Because there seems to be so little awareness of this problem, at least among patients and families we know, I have been writing people who may have contact with low-vision patients to ask for their help. The staff of the Beacon came to mind. Please consider publishing information about Charles Bonnet syndrome. You may well be helping many anxious folks feel more at ease with these strange experiences of visual hallucinations. Donna P. Mergliano Woodbine, Md. Editor’s note: Thank you for bringing this relatively unknown condition to our attention. Look for an article on Charles Bonnet syndrome in our Health section this month.

Say you saw it in the Beacon

For Sale ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED? Lovely items for newlyweds and others. Dishes, pictures, cookbooks, stemware, ornaments, clothes (size 12-14), health books, silver plate trays, jewelry, cookware, phonograph, etc. Phone, 410-5801140. Email: Deborahcb@verizon.net. 2 SALVADOR DALI woodblock prints from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Signed and framed. Asking $900 for the pair. Can email pictures if desired. Call Steve 410-913-1653.

Home/Handyman Services BALTIMORE’S BEST JUNK REMOVAL – Clean Outs: Whole House, Emergency, Attics/Basements. Furniture and Junk Removal, Yard Waste Removal, General Hauling, Construction Debris Removal. Free estimates. 10% Senior Discount. Licensed, Bonded and Insured. Call Jesse, 443-379-HAUL (4285). HANDYMAN MATTERS will help you stay safe in your own home. Professional, Reliable Skilled Craftsmen. Grab bar Installation, Bathroom Modifications and your to-do list! 410549-9696. MHIC # 89094. SANFORD & SON HAULING Trash removal, house & estate clean-outs, garage cleanouts, yard work & cleanups, demolition, shed removal. 410-746-5090. Free Estimates. Insured. Call 7 days a week 7am – 7pm.

Personals SM, 50, GOOD LOOKING, Honest, Intelligent Looking for SF 30-50 Friendship/more. Nice, Honest, Caring, Loving, Down to Earth, Passionate, Nice Personality and Educated. Write: P.O. Box 33471, Baltimore, Md. 21218.

Personal Services $$$$$ NEED CASH $$$$$ We help clear out and conduct sales for: Estates, Down Sizing, Clutter Clearing, Divorce, Moving, Rental Properties, and More. We Buy, Sell, and Trade Items. Free Estimates. Call David @ 443-514-8583 davidbalt7@aol.com. ESTATE SPECIALIST Experts in estate clean-outs and preparing your house for sale. Trash removal, house cleanouts, light moving, demolition, yard work, cleaning. 410-746-5090. Free estimates. Insured. Call 7 days 7am - 7pm.

Dear Editor: Thank you for printing in your May edition the article, “Some of the best urban areas for retirees.” A factor NerdWallet failed to take account in choosing its 10 best urban retirement cities is the environmental quality — overall cleanliness — of communities. Of the 10 “best” cities [they identified] for retirees, only four — Jacksonville, Tampa, Tucson and Nashville — do not appear in Travel+Leisure’s list of “America’s Dirtiest Cities” nor are located in an American State Litter Scorecard “worst” government for having poorest-kept public spaces. Washington State is the top “best” Scorecard entity, while San Diego is America’s most populated community not in the dirtiest cities list or a scorecard “worst” state. Steve Spacek Clarksburg, Md.

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LEGAL AID AVAILABLE Maryland Legal Aid provides a full range of civil legal services to

financially qualified Marylanders and people over 60 from 13 offices around the state. Visit www.mdlab.org for more information.

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TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 5th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards. Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $10 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Business Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing business enterprise. Each ad is $25 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one business text ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

The Beacon, Baltimore Classified Dept. P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 Personal Services

Wanted

HELP YOU SELL we help you sell any type of large item. Don’t lose the sale we’re there when you can’t. We run the ad, meet with clients, and Help with the transaction. Automotive, Motorcycles, RV’s, large vehicles, and Equipment, Boats, and More. Call Dave @ 443-514-8583.

BUYING OLD BASEBALL CARD COLLECTIONS Baseball Card Outlet at 7502 Eastern Ave near Eastpoint Mall is always in the market for buying vintage sports card collections & memorabilia from 1975 & older. 410284-4440 Open daily at 10AM.

ARTISTIC SLIPCOVERS – UPHOLSTERY COMPANY. Steve Gulin. Your fabric or mine. 45 years experience. References available. 410655-6696 – Cell: 410-207-7229.

$$$$$ WE PAY CASH FOR ITEMS $$$$$ We buy the following items and more: Toys, Collectable Glassware, Dolls (Barbies, Ceramic), Automotive and Motorcycle Parts and Related Items, Electronics, Musical Instruments, Trains, Items of Any Kind – Just Ask – Vintage or Current Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RV’s and More. Call Dave @ 443-514-8583. Davidbalt7@aol.com.

FUNERALS & CREMATION – Parkview Funeral Home & Cremation Service by Brent Francis, P.A. Family Owned & Operated “Celebrating Life.” Traditional burial, cremation, memorial services, pre-planning, affordable options for all budgets. 7527 Harford Rd. (2 block south of Taylor Ave.), 410-444-4683. www.parkviewfh.com. LEARN ENGLISH – SPANISH – ITALIAN – FRENCH – PORTUGUESE Conversational. Grammatical. Private lessons. Reasonable Rates. Tutoring students. 443-352-8200.

Wanted VINYL RECORDS WANTED from 1950 through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections of at least 100 items wanted. Please call John, 301-596-6201.

s a t! e ak t gif M a e gr

WE BUY OLD AND NEW COINS, Jewelry, Silver and Gold, Paper Money too. Watches, Clocks and Parts, Military Badges and Patches Old and New. Call Greg, 717-658-7954. OLD AND NEW WE BUY Sterling Silver Flatware, Tea Sets or Single Pieces., Furniture, Tools, Cameras, Good Glassware, Artwork Too. Toys From Trains to Hotwheels, Action Figures to Star Wars. Call Greg, 717-658-7954.

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July 2013 Baltimore Beacon Edition