Carroll County honors volunteers for Commission on Aging

December 12, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Bureau of Aging honored the volunteers who serve on the Commission on Aging with a brunch Friday at the Mount Airy Senior Citizens Center.

The 15-member commission is an advisory board to the Bureau of Aging. It meets once a month at one of the Carroll County senior citizens centers.

The members are appointed by the Carroll County commissioners and serve three-year terms. Half the members must be 60 or older.

The commission also includes at least one local elected official and two people connected with county services for seniors.

Janet B. Flora, chief of the county Bureau of Aging, said she believes the commission is going through a period of revitalization. She said the panel went through a stage of education about what the Bureau of Aging does and is becoming more active on legislative matters, such as health care.

Ms. Flora said the Commission on Aging is committed to involving older Carroll countians more in advocacy work.

Commission member Peg Sheeler said, "The seniors need to recognize their own ability to band together and work for themselves."

Ms. Sheeler, who is active in senior affairs and attends meetings of the Leadership Council on Aging in Washington, D.C., is organizing commission members into a phone tree.

When issues of importance to older people are debated in Annapolis or Washington, the phone tree will contact commission members, who in turn will contact people at all Carroll County senior centers and other local seniors organizations.

The people will be given information on the issue, as well as names of lawmakers who should be lobbied.

Commission on Aging Chairman Richard M. Warehime said one accomplishment this year was his invitation to the White House to recount his family's health-care trials to President Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore in a Rose Garden meeting Sept. 16.

"I think I was able to get before the public some of the problems that exist in our health care system," Mr. Warehime said.

"If the health care cause is addressed," he said, "it's going to help everyone" served by the Commission on Aging.

Mr. Warehime, whose parents are in a nursing home, said the nation must eliminate fraud, waste and greed from the health care system.

He said lawmakers should search for ways to cut costs. One way, he said, would be to make it easier for nursing home patients to buy prescription medicines at the pharmacies of their choice, instead of from the nursing homes.

Mr. Warehime also said it would save money and reduce stress for nursing home patients if medical specialists would travel to them, instead of making the patients travel to the specialists' offices.

Rosalie S. Abrams, director of the state Office on Aging, and Suzanne R. Bosstick, deputy director, were unable to attend the brunch. Carroll County Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Donald I. Dell were also unable to attend. Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy Jr. was present.

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