Senior Nation: Talbot Senior Summit Draws Record Crowd

Talbot Community Connections (TCC) and the Talbot County Department of Social Services recently held their third annual Talbot Senior Summit. This day-long program for seniors, children of seniors, caregivers, professionals and concerned citizens provided presentations and discussions on the issues that seniors face today.  Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Mental Health Advocate Lynn Sanchez provided the remarks to open the day.

Pictured is Mental Health Advocate and keynote speaker Lynn Sanchez

In Sanchez’s keynote remarks, “Wine Isn’t the Only Thing That Improves with Age,” she said, “It’s the age of our spirit that matters as we age.” Sanchez went on to present three things she attributed to finding happiness and contentment with aging. She said we need something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to every day. By incorporating humor, Sanchez encouraged participants to keep wondering and to trust the journey.

Pictured are Summit attendees participating in the workshop, “Rising Strength: Self Defense,” conducted by Rachel Layer and Matt and Kathy Herron.

Over 200 participants listened to speakers on such topics as “Manage and Reduce Stress: Organize, Downsize, De-Clutter;” “How to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud;” “Transitions: How Will  We Flourish in Midlife and Beyond;” “Rising Strength: Self Defense;” “Helping Seniors Navigate Our High-Tech World;” “Senior Fitness: Finding the Athlete Within;” “Yoga: Aging Positively;” and “The Importance of ‘Social Capital’ for Seniors.” A special Virtual Dementia Tour conducted by Christina Wingate-Spence from Bright Star was especially popular.

Pictured are staff of Avon Dixon Insurance Agency, one of the near 50 vendors at this year’s Talbot Senior Summit.

Participants were able to visit informational tables of almost 50 vendors with services and resources for seniors.  A healthy lunch was provided by Sprout.

Platinum sponsors for this year’s Senior Summit were the Star Democrat, Talbot County Department of Social Services, and Talbot County Government. Gold sponsors were the Talbot County Health Department, the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and the Visiting Nurse Association of Maryland.

Photos by Calvin Jackson Photography

Senior Nation: The Very Best Senior Moment by Craig Fuller

Returning from California where my younger brother – by two years – was married this past weekend, I reflected on the remarkable experience and emotions discovered in a “senior wedding.”

Truthfully, I have not been to many senior weddings in the past, yet each one I attended provided a wonderful spirit of love and commitment. While part of all weddings, the commitment of people in their 60s who elect to get married brings with it…well, more maturity.

Professional reputation has been built. The children have been raised and released into the world. Friendships have been built and nourished over decades. Then, added to all of that comes a strong and intentional passion to marry, again.

I shared with my brother and his beautiful wife a comment I’ve never forgotten from the woman my father married a few years after our mother passed. His new wife, who had survived two previous husbands, shared with me that marriage to our father was wonderfully different because they spent all of their time together.

The “senior marriage” is decidedly not about building a family, it’s about embracing two families. It’s not about building a career or two; it’s about enjoying the fruits of hard work over many years. It’s not about a process of finding yourself; it’s about a process of finding a new future with another.

For two days, my brother and his new wife brought together friends and family. We spoke of how we knew the bride or groom (or, in my case, both…but that is another story). We told stories about their past lives and laughed at experiences familiar to all of us. We truly celebrated a union of two fine people who know themselves and know they are happier, better and more fulfilled together.

Honestly, it was a weekend of pure joy and a sense of wishing the bride, the groom, along with their families and friends nothing but the best in the years they have together….where they really will be together.

This is one senior moment I hope can be shared by every couple finding perfect companionship in their later years.

Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.

Senior Nation: Maryland State Retirees Must Change Drug Coverage Soon

A significant change in the Maryland retirement policy takes place at the end of the year is one that will separate prescription drug coverage from the state’s retiree health plan.

This is a very big deal for the thousands of Medicare-eligible state retirees who must enroll in its Part D medication coverage plan by December 31 to continue their drug coverage.

What makes this even more difficult is that official rates for those plans will not be announced until October just as open enrollment begins.  The good news is that  Maryland’s Insurance Assistance Programs staff in each Mid-Shore county will be offering workshops and individual consulting for those impacted.

The Spy state down with Talbot County’s program counselor Pam Limberry for a quick check in on this important revision in coverage.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Part D planning, please contact Pam at 410-822-2869 ext. 231 or for more information.




Senior Nation: A Short Report from the Front Line of Dementia Research

It’s safe to say that Dr. Terry Detrich has been around the block, so to speak, when it comes to neurology conferences. Starting his practice on the Eastern Shore as the Delmarva’s first neurologist in 1976, Detrich has long made it a habit to attend these annual gatherings to keep up with current developments in his field.

But, at least with most of these professional summits, particularly in the area of dementia, it is more often the case that Detrich has left them feeling mostly underwhelmed with the progress being made to treat and prevent neurocognitive disorders.

That was one of the reasons, Dr. Detrich was not all that excited when he decided to travel to Los Angeles (not his favorite city) for the 2018 American Academy of Neurology in April.

So it was surprising for him to hear some remarkable reports from his peers and start feeling for the first time in many years that scientific research and clinical trial results had reached a modest but clearly evident tipping point in the fight against dementia and other memory loss diseases.

For purposes of analogy, Detrich relies on the arc of progress seen in aviation to measure tangle milestones. From the first controlled flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 and Lindbergh’s first flight across the Atlantic, to our modern era of commercial airlines and space exploration, aviation advances were unprecedented in the their speed of discovery.

Dr. Detrich makes it clear that while the field has certainly well passed its Kitty Hawk stage, he still was looking for the equivalency of Charles Lindbergh’s arrival in Paris in 1927 in dementia prevention and management.

In Los Angeles last month, the doctor felt for the first time in decades that perhaps we are close to that moment.

With advances in knowledge of gene behavior and the positive results of new trials, Detrich cautiously indicts that real medical treatment for some forms of dementia, and even a vaccine, may be in use in two to five years.

The Spy had a short debriefing on the subject from Dr. Detrich last week at the Samuel & Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic at Bayleigh-Chase.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Samuel & Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic at Bayleigh-Chase please go here

Hayman Promoted to Director of Clinical Services at Compass Regional Hospice

Dr. Holly Hayman, DNP, RN, CHPN, of Greensboro has been promoted to Director of Clinical Services at Compass Regional Hospice, which offers individuals, families and the community “Care on your terms” through comprehensive, professional and compassionate end-of-life care and grief support, serving Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties.

“We are so excited to announce the promotion of Dr. Holly Hayman to Director of Clinical Services,” said Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “Holly has been a longtime employee of Compass Regional Hospice and has held many roles, with many years of hospice and palliative care experience. As we have grown, her vision for restructuring our clinical operations is just the direction Compass Regional Hospice needs. As part of the senior leadership team, she will help me strategize to ensure Compass Regional Hospice continues to be the best in the industry and continues to be forward-thinking.”

As Director of Clinical Services, Hayman will be responsible for the coordination of direct and indirect patient services provided by all clinical staff, including home health aides and nurses, and their support staff. In addition to coordinating care, Hayman will assign clinical staff to patients; provide guidance and counseling to all clinical staff to assist them in providing top-of-the-line hospice care services to Compass Regional Hospice patients; and assist clinicians in establishing immediate and long-term therapeutic care, setting priorities for care and developing plans of care. She also will help to promote hospice care within the community; will receive referrals for Compass Regional Hospice’s hospice and Bridges programs; and will maintain clinical records and supply inventories for patient services.“We are so excited to announce the promotion of Dr. Holly Hayman to Director of Clinical Services,” said Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “Holly has been a longtime employee of Compass Regional Hospice and has held many roles, with many years of hospice and palliative care experience. As we have grown, her vision for restructuring our clinical operations is just the direction Compass Regional Hospice needs. As part of the senior leadership team, she will help me strategize to ensure Compass Regional Hospice continues to be the best in the industry and continues to be forward-thinking.”

“I will guide the clinical department, so we can provide the quality end-of-life care we are known for,” Hayman said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of such an excellent organization that provides compassionate care at the end of life. I think there is a lot of good the organization can do out in the community, and that we’ve been working on out in the community, so it’s going to be good to be able to continue that, as well.”

Hayman was promoted from the position of Director of Compliance and Education. Hayman will incorporate responsibilities she has held under the position of Director of Compliance and Education into her new role as Director of Clinical Services. Those responsibilities will include reviewing, revising and implementing policies and procedures to maintain compliance with local, state and federal regulations regarding licensure and certification of hospice personnel; ensuring compliance with Medicare regulations and Joint Commission standards; and integrating ethical principles into all aspects of hospice care practice.

Hayman said a large part of her role as Director of Compliance and Education was collaborating with others on the local and state level about hospice professional development, and her new role will continue ensure staff are offered opportunities to grow and succeed about continuing education in the hospice field. She also will continue to hire and orient all new clinical staff.

This restructuring will help Compass Regional Hospice and its clinical staff during its growth to continue to deliver the best “Care on your terms” to its patients, as well as their families and caregivers.

“Our goal, to have these clinical and educational components tied together and working well as a team, is that we will be continuing to provide the high quality of care that Compass Regional Hospice so embraces,” Hayman said. “We see the importance of the regulatory guidelines — guidelines that help us navigate, and which serve as the groundwork for what hospice truly is. Everything is important — there truly is a link between all our departments — and this restructuring will help us to streamline this communication process, which in turn will help us to better serve our community.”

Hayman received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Salisbury University, where she received her diploma on May 23. She defended her dissertation, completed at Compass Regional Hospice, on “The Symptom Management Protocol and Hospice Nurse Educational Intervention in Proof Management of Exacerbated Symptoms.”

“The project not only helped Compass Regional Hospice, but it also helps the hospice and palliative care world,” Hayman said.

She began her nursing career in 2006, working in telemetry and public health. She began at Hospice of Queen Anne’s, now Compass Regional Health, in 2011, as a case managing nurse. In 2013, she left Compass to teach nursing students full-time at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, while staying on with Compass Regional Hospice as an alternative nursing resource, when needed. She came back to Compass Regional Hospice full-time summer 2017 as a clinical educator. As Compass Regional Hospice grew, and in her role as Clinical Educator, she took on more responsibilities and she was offered the position of Director of Compliance and Education.

“We found that, because education is tied so tightly to quality, and with all of the changes in the regulations that were and are occurring, we really needed someone who could direct the quality and chart auditing, and the reporting to Medicare, that all hospice agencies are required to comply with, in addition to complying with all other regulatory areas,” Hayman said.

Looking forward, Compass Regional Hospice is continuing to grow, and is seeking a clinical field manager, clinical team leaders, an admissions nurse and additional nurses and certified nursing assistants to assist with a growing need for hospice care in the communities the organization serves — Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one, through The Hope and Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit

Brackish Life Donates to Talbot Hospice

Photo: Representatives from Brackish Life present a donation to Talbot Hospice. Seated (l-r): Sherry Smith and Meagan Poore; standing (l-r): Kyle Poore, Brackish Life; Talbot Hospice Director of Development Kate Cox and Executive Director Vivian Dodge; and David Sutton, Brackish Life. Sherry Smith created the artwork for Brackish Life t-shirts sold at a recent 5K to bring awareness to the fight against colon cancer. A portion of the proceeds was donated to Talbot Hospice.

Kyle Poore and David Sutton of Brackish Life recently donated to Talbot Hospice a portion of the proceeds from t-shirts sold at TriCycle & Run’s Spring Fling 5K in St. Michaels April 15. The gift was made in honor of Sherry Smith who drew the oyster artwork for the t-shirt and who has fought her own battle with colon and thyroid cancers.  “When Kyle told me I could choose the organization to receive the contribution, I thought of Talbot Hospice and how they’ve touched so many lives in the community,” said Smith.

The Spring Fling run was held to benefit Bay Hematology/Oncology in Easton and to bring awareness to the fight against colon cancer. Blankets, scarves, gloves, magazines, puzzle books, and tissues were collected and donated to Bay Oncology and Hematology for patients undergoing treatment.

According to Brackish Life President Kyle Poore, their philosophy isto give back to the community in which they live and work. Other organizations benefitting from their generosity have been Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, Tilghman Elementary School, and Talbot Watermen Association.

Brackish Life celebrates the Chesapeake Bay heritage with sportswear and accessories for men women and children. To learn more visit

Senior Nation: Talbot Community Connections Holds Mid-Shore Senior Summit with Lynn Sanchez as Keynote Speaker

Lynn H. Sanchez of Easton, Mental Health Advocate, will be the keynote speaker for the third annual Senior Summit, “Life Reimagined Challenges and Triumphs,” on Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Talbot Community Center on Route 50 in Easton, MD. This day-long program for seniors, children of seniors, caregivers, professionals and concerned residents will provide presentations and discussions on the issues that seniors face today, including health and wellness, technology, staying active, and transitioning in life.  The event, sponsored by Talbot Community Connections (TCC) and the Talbot County Department of Social Services, helps to fund the unmet needs that are fundamental to the safety, security, health and well-being of Talbot County’s children and adults.

Sanchez will present “Wine Isn’t the Only Thing That Improves with Age” – an insightful and light-hearted discussion about our personal aging journey. She states, “We will take a look at the physical and emotional energy needed to transition, into our next phase of life.”

Sanchez, who has worked tirelessly as a mental health advocate on the Shore, attended Florida State University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s in Education degree in Mental Retardation. She has served on the faculty of Chesapeake College and served as Site Coordinator of Talbot Touchpoints Project & Eldercare Project for the Mental Health Association in Talbot County. Currently, she is Administrative Assistant at the medical office of Robert B. Sanchez and is a Mental Health First Aid Trainer.

The Senior Summit will include workshops on downsizing, flourishing through transitions, self-defense for seniors, senior fitness, and even a virtual dementia tour. In addition to break-out workshops, there will be the opportunity for participants to have lunch and to visit vendor tables to gather additional information on aging issues and services.

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

The cost of the Senior Summit is $15 for the General Public, including seniors, and $85 for Professional Social Work CEUs. A healthy continental breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee. Pre-registration is required by June 1. For further information, contact Kelley Werner at or call 410-770-8810 or visit to download a registration form or to purchase tickets online. Registration forms are also available at the front desk at Talbot County Department of Social Services at 301 Bay Street, Unit 5 in Easton.

Platinum sponsors for the 2018 Senior Summit are the Talbot County Department of Social Services, the Talbot County Government, and The Star Democrat. Gold sponors are the Talbot County Health Department, Visiting Nurse Association of Maryland, and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.

Mayorga Receives Hospice Caregivers Award

From L-R: Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, FHN’s Justin Britcher, RN Dot Mayorga , FHN’s Jenn Chance.

Talbot Hospice RN Dot Mayorga is the recipient of the most recent Hospice Caregiver Award sponsored by Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home (FHN). The award was created by FHN to recognize dedicated hospice caregivers for their selfless devotion and generosity of heart. Each quarter a caregiver is honored based on a review of nominations from peers, friends, patients and their families and others who feel a particular individual exemplifies the spirit of this award.

A family recently served by Talbot Hospice described Mayorga in their nomination: “Dot integrates all the qualities of a hospice nurse in her care, nursing skill, compassion, and expertise. Dot has a special intuitiveness to sense her patient’s readiness to deal with their multiple challenges and issues. My husband’s cancer caused him to have difficulty processing language. Dot gained his trust with a straight forward and caring style that just worked. Thank you Dot for being there not only for my husband but also for understanding the stress of my dual roles of nurse and wife. I will not forget your call at 11p.m. on a particularly difficult night. I am so grateful for Dot’s role in helping me keep my husband at home until we reached the critical point where he needed to enter Hospice House. You made all the difference.”

“Dot has been a Talbot Hospice nurse for three years, and we are very proud that she has received this award,” said Vivian Dodge, Talbot Hospice Executive Director.“The Caregiver Award exemplifies an individual who has gone above and beyond to care for patients and their families, and Dot demonstrates that every day.”

As part of the recognition, FHN makes a donation in the award recipient’s honor to the “Caregiver’s Heart” Scholarship Fund given to a deserving local high school senior to pursue a career in nursing.

If you have received exceptional care from a Talbot Hospice caregiver and would like to nominate them for the Caregivers Award, send your nomination to Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home,, 200 S. Harrison Street, Easton, MD, 21601. For more information call 410-822-3131.

Talbot Hospice: Celebration of Life Planned for June 9

The Child Loss Support Group and Talbot Hospice will host a Celebration of Life commemorating Mother’s & Father’s Day Saturday, June 9, 2018, at The Healing Garden at the Easton Club.

Parents and family members who have lost a child, regardless of the child’s age, are invited to attend. Parking is on Clubhouse Drive, just past the entrance.

In case of a storm, the Celebration of Life will be held at St. Mark’s Church Fellowship Hall. For more information, please call Talbot Hospice at 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice Volunteers Honored

On May 9th Talbot Hospice paid tribute to more than 200 volunteers at its annual appreciation luncheon held at Talbot Country Club. “These individuals make an important contribution to our program and are crucial to our ability to offer the breadth and depth of services we provide for patients and families at a very sacred time,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director. “Our volunteers donated 15,510 hours of their time in 2017, and we are deeply indebted to them for their altruistic devotion.”

The annual luncheon is funded by the Marita Menzies Endowment Fund, established in 2004 in loving memory of Marita Menzies, former Talbot Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, to provide training programs and appreciation events for Talbot Hospice volunteers.

Photo: Volunteer Advisory Council members (l-r) Brenda Stone, Sally Bent, Jack Anthony, Susan Haddaway, Gordon Ries, Bruce Richardson, and Emilie Joshi received special citations from Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate Johnny Mautz for their service and leadership. Not pictured Phyllis Peddicord.

Presidential Service and Distinguished Volunteer Awards were given to 43 volunteers with a minimum of 100 hours reported in 2017. Presidential Service Award recipients (first time recipients) were Bettie Baer, Julie Burleson, Eleanor Morrell, Leslye Mosier, and Linda Nabb. Distinguished Volunteer Award recipients (awarded each subsequent year a volunteer qualifies) were:

Jack Anthony, Preston Bascom, Sally Bent, Ginger Bevard, Susan Blankner, Patricia Case, Alex Collins, Ruth Dominick, Nance DuPont, Kathy Foster, Margaret Frampton, Janet Granger, Susan Haddaway, Pat Harden, Liz Hershey, Mary Ann Huckel, Suzie Hurley, Emma Johnson, Emilie Joshi, Florence Lednum, Stuart Levine, Mary Lou Malone, Jean Marvel, Bob Paulus, Phyllis Peddicord, Deborah Pulzone, Pete Rampmeyer, Mary Ann Ray, Cindy Reed, Gordon Ries, Adrienne Rudge, Beverly Serio, Beverly Shea, Anne Slack, Brenda Stone, Kathy Unti, Sara Woodall, Denise Ziegler.

Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate Johnny Mautz presented special citations to the following Volunteer Advisory Committee members recognizing their dedication and leadership: Jack Anthony, Sally Bent, Susan Haddaway, Emilie Joshi, Phyllis Peddicord, Bruce Richards, Gordon Ries, and Brenda Stone.

Many local businesses donated door prizes for the event including the Avalon Foundation, Chapel’s Country Creamery, Doc’s Downtown Grille, Dragonfly Boutique, Eastern Shore Yoga, Garden &Garnish, George’s Green Thumb, Harrison’s Eastern Shore Restaurant, Hill’s Drug Store, Hog Neck Golf Course Pro Shop, Honeybee Flower Farm, Inn at Perry Cabin, Kissed By The Sun Spa, Lizzy Dee, Salisbury Gift & Garden, Seasonal Flowers, Debbie Setter – Mary Kay Consultant, Sparkle Cleaning, The Christmas Shop, Tranquility Massage & Bodywork, Village Shoppe, and YMCA of the Chesapeake.