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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Charlestown, MD

Home Care Charlestown, MD

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic South Charles Town Historic District gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Charlestown, MD is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Charlestown, MD

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Always Best care is the best! Their caregiver is very nice with respective attitude. They are all expert and knows their job very well in all ages. I never regret that their service to take care of my grandmother. They are trustworthy, respectful, honest and passionate to their work. I highly recommend them on their work.”

Facundo K.

“I met with Elaine Gill as we needed a secure place for my Dad. She was very knowledgeable and professional. Fortunately, the second location she showed us was a good fit (Dakota Paradise). I heartily recommend Always Best Care if you want help finding a loved one the proper care.”

Keith S.

“I cannot really find the words to say how wonderful the staff is at Always Best Care of Upper Chesapeake: Highly competent, Comforting, caring, extremely attentive, endlessly patient and reassuring. Elaine Gill has done an amazing job at ensuring that the staff she has are just as committed to ensuring the highest quality of life for every client, as Elaine! You are on the top of my list for any further care services that my family members may need going forward.”

Alan L.

“I used Always Best Care to care for my parents who happen to live in another state. I met with Elaine (the owner) to discuss my options and determine the best caregiver service to meet my parents needs. She was a great help; addressed all my questions and concerns and gave me peace of mind that my parents were in good hands. Their caregiver is wonderful and very competent. I don't have to worry about them or become a detective to find out what is going on with them in Maryland. Although my parents were a little skeptical at first, Elaine and her staff have put their mind at ease and made them feel very comfortable about the entire experience. They both feel much safer now and happier that they are able to stay in the home that they love. I am comforted in knowing that my parents are receiving quality care and they are in the capable hands of Elaine and her staff at Always Best Care. Words can not express my sincere gratitude for the awesome care provided to my parents.”

Monica C.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Charlestown, MD?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Charlestown, MD

Types of Elderly Care in Charlestown, MD

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Charlestown, MD
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Charlestown, MD
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Avalon Park & Stage in Charlestown with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Charlestown, MD
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Redbook Restaurant or visit Charlestown Historic District, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Charlestown, MD

Benefits of Home Care in Charlestown, MD

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Charlestown, MD, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Charlestown, MD

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MD's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Charlestown, MD

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Charlestown, MD understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Charlestown, MD

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Charlestown, MD

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Charlestown
  • Erickson Living
  • Shenandoah Center
  • Willow Tree Healthcare Center
  • Renaissance Gardens
  • The Charleston Senior Community
Home Care Charlestown, MD

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Charlestown, MD

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Charlestown, MD 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Charlestown, MD

Latest News in Charlestown, MD

MGH marks 50 years of community health in Charlestown

On his first day at the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center, in 1968, Dr. Roger Sweet got a phone call.“Where are you?” the voice on the other end demanded.“Who is this?”“I’m the nurse at the high school. You’re supposed to be doing physicals.”Sweet headed to the high school, where he found 40 kids waiting. He had an hour, the nurse told him.“I was trained to do one phys...

On his first day at the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center, in 1968, Dr. Roger Sweet got a phone call.

“Where are you?” the voice on the other end demanded.

“Who is this?”

“I’m the nurse at the high school. You’re supposed to be doing physicals.”

Sweet headed to the high school, where he found 40 kids waiting. He had an hour, the nurse told him.

“I was trained to do one physical in an hour,” said Sweet, a founding physician at the center, former assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and head of MGH Health Care Centers until his retirement in 1993.

The story provides a picture of the unmet needs in the neighborhood when MGH Charlestown opened, part of the first wave of community health centers that spread across the nation in the late 1960s.

“The community health center movement was not just about health, it was about poverty,” said Jean Bernhardt, the center’s current administrative director. “I think health centers have done a great job. They brought health care to a vulnerable community that didn’t have it. … We’ve been part of that.”

The movement got its local start in Dorchester in 1965, when what is now the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center opened its doors. Today there are 1,400 community health organizations nationwide, serving more than 28 million patients at 11,000 sites. Thirteen million of those patients are poor.

The movement came as President Lyndon Johnson waged his War on Poverty, which included support for the poor and elderly through passage of Medicaid and Medicare in 1965.

Today there are 1,400 community health organizations nationwide, serving more than 28 million patients at 11,000 sites. Thirteen million of those patients are poor.

MGH’s first community health center initially focused on youth and school health, but soon opened its doors to all of Charlestown, according to James Morrill, the center’s medical director. Neighborhood partners, including the nonprofits ABCD and the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center, have been key allies along the way, Bernhardt said.

As Charlestown HealthCare marked its 50th anniversary with an open house this fall, officials noted the decades-long persistence of problems such as hunger and homelessness. But back in 1968, just a third of local children received basic immunizations, compared with near-universal coverage today. Another, less-welcome shift has been in the rise of chronic lifestyle-related illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, reflecting nationwide patterns. And while substance-use disorder isn’t new, the dimensions of today’s opioid crisis dwarf those of the past, Bernhardt and Morrill said.

The community has changed as well, said Morrill, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Gentrification has attracted wealthier residents, widening income inequality and altering the makeup of the center’s 10,000 patients.

“It makes it complex, but the mission remains,” Morrill said. “The poverty is still there.”

Listening comes first

Joan Quinlan, MGH’s vice president for community health, said that neighborhood centers have always provided important lessons on care. One example: If you want to know a community’s health priorities, ask the community.

Speaking at the open house, Quinlan recalled a community meeting at Charlestown HealthCare more than two decades ago, not long after she started at MGH. The session kicked off with a data-driven presentation explaining that heart disease was the community’s most pressing health challenge.

“The community listened politely, the doctor sat down, and then they went on to discuss how drugs and alcohol were tearing at the fabric of life in the community,” said Quinlan. “You’ve taught us that delivering high-quality clinical care is critical, but that we have to listen to the community and address the community’s concerns about all the things that affect health.”

“We have to listen to the community and address the community’s concerns about all the things that affect health.”

Joan Quinlan, MGH’s vice president for community health, pictured below

Scenes from the 50th anniversary celebration.

Similarly, Quinlan said, a model of substance-abuse treatment developed at Charlestown HealthCare by Mark Eisenberg, an assistant professor of medicine, has been scaled up and adopted by MGH.

The opioid crisis remains the top challenge facing Charlestown today, according to Morrill and Bernhardt. In addition to the medication-assisted treatment initiative Eisenberg developed, the center has established a program in which an addiction nurse helps determine when patients are ready to begin treatment and develops harm-reduction strategies in case of relapse. Complementing the efforts of the nurse and physician is a recovery coach who provides the patient with peer support.

“This is an epidemic that is devastating generations in this community,” Bernhardt said.

The center has also reached out to local public schools to provide on-site mental health services, providing a clear example of how to lower barriers to important care, Quinlan said.

Moving forward, Bernhardt expects to see more emphasis on wellness and prevention, whether for substance-use disorders or other chronic illnesses. The center is focused on targeting early signs of addiction. It also hopes to prevent lifestyle-related conditions via programming addressing the importance of a healthy diet, she said.

More like this

One thing that seems certain is that physicians and nurses will greet today’s patients tomorrow, along with their children and maybe even their grandchildren. Ivan Lopez, a patient at the center since childhood, brought his boys, 3-year-old Ezra and 1-year-old Ismael, to the 50th anniversary open house. Friendly, conscientious physicians and good care have kept him coming back, Lopez said.

“I think that’s been one of the parts I’ve found most rewarding — multigenerational care,” Morrill said.

Mary Delaney, a nurse manager at the center for more than 20 years, said that staff camaraderie helps make every day fulfilling.

“It’s a family environment and we really care about each other and we really support each other,” she said.

Staying informed and connected at Charlestown

It’s unique for a retirement community to have its own in-house television station. It’s even more unique that the community’s residents make up the on-air and technical crews. But Charlestown, a continuing care retirement community managed by Erickson Living, isn’t your typical retirement community; and Channel 972 isn’t your typical TV station....

It’s unique for a retirement community to have its own in-house television station. It’s even more unique that the community’s residents make up the on-air and technical crews. But Charlestown, a continuing care retirement community managed by Erickson Living, isn’t your typical retirement community; and Channel 972 isn’t your typical TV station.

For almost four decades, Channel 972 has served as an outlet to inform and entertain residents of the scenic 110-acre campus. And most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the station has played a vital role in the community’s response plan, serving as a primary communication tool to keep residents and staff fully informed on COVID-19 preparedness measures, and providing engagement opportunities for residents to stay connected to community life.

“Even in difficult circumstances, we recognize that maintaining the trust of those who live and work at Charlestown is paramount,” said Charlestown Executive Director Clara Parker. “By leveraging the full scope of our television production capabilities, as well as with other valued methods of communications, we achieved this goal by sharing information that residents and staff desired and have expectations of receiving.”

Timely, accurate and engaging

Charlestown has continued to prioritize timely and accurate information sharing, especially when it comes to details about the community’s preparedness and response to coronavirus.

“Normally, community leadership addressed the residents via TV about once a week,” said Station Manager Tom Moore. “Once COVID-19 happened, it shifted. Leadership appeared on television daily to provide live community updates which were also recorded for later viewing. We also ran public service announcements on topics like how to properly wear a mask.”

Must-see TV

Dawn and John Strumsky are loyal Channel 972 viewers who began volunteering at the station in 2011, shortly after moving to Charlestown from Millersville, Md. The Strumskys are among more than 50 volunteers who work with three full-time staff members, including Moore, who help residents create original programming.

“Some people, first thing in the morning, wake up and turn on the local news. I used to be one of those people, but now I turn on Channel 972 for the community news,” says Dawn. “It's actually become a habit for me to check for important updates. We always recorded the daily news and shows presented on 972 and then looked at them at our leisure, but during the pandemic, I needed to know what was happening before I started my day.”

Getting creative

In addition to keeping residents informed with the latest updates, Moore and his team have continued to engage and entertain with unique, creative programming. From fitness classes presented by Charlestown’s own professional trainers to help residents maintain their physical health to daily devotionals that provide spiritual connection, the schedule is filled with content to help support residents’ overall health and well-being.

For fun ways to stay sharp, there’s Johnny’s Jukebox, a daily name-that-tune game show, and “Friends of the Archives” trivia.

To stay socially connected, each Friday at 5:30 p.m., Resident Life Director Sherry Parrish hosts a Virtual Happy Hour, inviting residents to grab a drink and tune in while she sits down (at a safe social distance) with a different special guest.

Jeff Watson, Erickson Living’s Director of Operations, commends the broadcast professionals and resident volunteers at Charlestown for the ‘creative and high-quality programming’ established throughout the pandemic.

“Their innovative and hard work has resulted in a heightened level of communications that has kept those on campus connected, engaged, and healthy,” says Watson.

The proof may be in the pudding. Parker says feedback from Charlestown residents throughout the pandemic has been extremely positive.

“It has been amazing and impressive to see everyone come together as one community working towards one goal: keeping our community safe,” said Parker. “So many residents have told me they have felt safe, secure, and are appreciative of what the staff has done to keep them fully informed and engaged during a unique time. We are all learning to live together in different ways and the great thing is that we are learning more about each other every day.”

Photo Caption: Charlestown employees record an update for residents in the community’s busy television studio, which produces innovative and informative programming to air on Channel 972. The closed-circuit station was a critical communication tool for Charlestown during its response to coronavirus, and helped to keep residents engaged and connected to community life throughout the pandemic.

Story written by Danielle Rexrode

Take a road trip to Maryland for steamed crabs and fried chicken

Philly loves its spaghetti and crab gravy, not to mention crab cakes. But steamed whole crabs? I’ve got some go-to spots like Port Richmond’s venerable Bonk’s Bar. But when I reall...

Philly loves its spaghetti and crab gravy, not to mention crab cakes. But steamed whole crabs? I’ve got some go-to spots like Port Richmond’s venerable Bonk’s Bar. But when I really want to savor an afternoon of shell cracking, beer drinking and licking Old Bay spice from my fingertips, there’s no better place than a paper-covered table in Maryland, where the summer ritual of steamed blue crabs are a way of life. The beauty of it is that some of the best destinations are really not that far from Philly for an easy day trip. One of my longtime favorites, River Shack at the Wellwood in Charlestown, is just an hour-and-15-minute drive from Center City.

The Shack is the more casual, seasonal annex to the Metz family’s clubby Wellwood, perched beside a marina that caters to the Chesapeake boat crowd just south of North East, Md. Its sandy picnic table patio has a laid-back, beachy vibe, but it’s the all-you-can-eat crabs and fried chicken special that draws devoted crowds from May through the end of September. They’ve done a solid job with social distancing this year, but this little restaurant and bar, with 25 picnic tables, still sells nearly 4,500 crabs over the course of a weekend. I enjoy River Shack’s proprietary spice blend, which is similar to classic Old Bay, but uses a coarser salt that makes the spice paste cling easily to the sweet, white plumes of plucked meat.

The fried chicken, in fact, was introduced many years ago as a strategic “filler to slow eaters down,” says third-generation operator Larry Metz Jr. But the chicken is so good, with a thin but well-spiced crust over juicy flesh, that it’s become nearly as big a draw as the crabs. Add in a steady flow of sweet hush puppies with honey butter, boiled corn, a refreshingly tart can of Sea Quench from Dogfish Head in nearby Delaware, and I got myself into quite the crab-picking groove. Granted, I displayed nowhere near the epic appetite of a regular known to staff only as the “no seasoning guy,” who can polish off three dozen in a sitting. But I ate my share for $48.99.

Plus, I wanted to save room for a platter of the cheesy oysters Rockefeller broiled with the restaurant’s own oysters, the Wellwood Gems farmed by the Hooper’s Island Oyster Co. in Cambridge. They’re cheesier and with less spinach than the New Orleans classic, but bacony, creamy, and good.

Steamed crab purists may note that the all-you-can-eat crustaceans are not especially huge, typically 5-6 inches across. River Shack, though, offers larger, heavier crabs à la carte, from “mediums” (up to 6.5 inches, $80 a dozen) to “larges" (7 inches, $110 a dozen), and “extra-larges” (over 7 inches) when available.

— Craig LaBan

All you can eat steamed crabs and fried chicken, $48.99, River Shack at the Wellwood, 121 Frederick St., Charlestown, Md., 410-287-6666;

Charlestown Celebrates #GivingHearts Day

Catonsville, Md. – February 13, 2020 – Charlestown, a senior living community managed by Erickson Living, today joined in the national celebration of Giving Hearts Day. Recognized on the second Thursday of February each year, the celebration offers one of the best opportunities to donate ...

Catonsville, Md. – February 13, 2020 – Charlestown, a senior living community managed by Erickson Living, today joined in the national celebration of Giving Hearts Day. Recognized on the second Thursday of February each year, the celebration offers one of the best opportunities to donate to your favorite charity. Giving Hearts Day is the longest-running giving day in the United States.

At Charlestown, residents, staff and friends of the community celebrated this special day by supporting the Benevolent Care Fund, which provides confidential financial assistance that allows all residents to remain in their home for life.

Generous contributions on Giving Hearts Day and other fundraising events throughout the year help Charlestown to keep its “Home for Life”commitment, providing necessary support to residents who may experience an unforeseen change in their financial circumstances. In the community’s 36-year history, no resident has ever been asked to leave Charlestown due to genuine inability to pay, thanks to the Benevolent Care Fund.

Now, contributing to the Benevolent Care Fund is easier than ever, with online giving available on the web, via Charlestown’s My Erickson app, or by scanning a QR code. All contributions to the Fund are tax-deductible.

In addition to one-time contributions on Giving Hearts Day, there are many ways to support the Benevolent Care Fund, including shopping via AmazonSmile. When you shop, just select Charlestown Community, Inc. as your Smile charity and Amazon will make a donation to the Benevolent Care Fund.

Proceeds from the Charlestown Treasure Sale, happening this weekend, February 13-15, 2020, also go towards the Benevolent Care Fund, as does money raised at the upcoming “Winter Putterland”, an indoor mini-golf event happening at Charlestown February 26-28, 2020.

In addition, the Benevolent Care Fund benefits when you donate your unwanted vehicle through Charlestown’s “Cars for Care” program. For more information on this program or to find out how you can contribute, please contact the Philanthropy department at Charlestown by calling 410-737-8892. About Charlestown: Charlestown, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 110-acre campus in Catonsville, Maryland. The community is located in Baltimore County and is home to more than 2,000 residents who are supported by a team of more than 1,200 employees. Additional information about Charlestown can be found at Caption: Nathan Blumberg, Associate Executive Director, dresses as the King of Hearts in celebration of Giving Hearts Day with Patti Santoni, Director of Philanthropy at Charlestown.Photo Credit: Courtesy Patti Santoni

Gardening is a Passion for Charlestown Residents

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Home & GardenEverything from Fruits to Vegetables Grow on Campus.Community Contributor|Updated Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm ETCATONSVILLE, MD (May 2, 2016) -- -- Before Rose Wolford ever moved her first piece of furniture into her new apartment home at Charlestown retirement community she was getting her hands di...

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Home & Garden

Everything from Fruits to Vegetables Grow on Campus.

Community Contributor

|Updated Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm ET

CATONSVILLE, MD (May 2, 2016) -- -- Before Rose Wolford ever moved her first piece of furniture into her new apartment home at Charlestown retirement community she was getting her hands dirty in her new garden.

“I actually obtained my garden before I moved in,” says Rose. “I brought over a few plants from my house, including some annuals and two low-growing woody plants.”

Raised in Pennsylvania, Rose discovered she had a green thumb when she was just four years old. She later built a career as a landscape designer.

“We grew our own food, more out of necessity than pleasure,” says Rose. “My mother would always let me have a row in the garden where I could plant flowers, and I really loved it.”

This spring, as soon as the threat of frost subsided, Rose was eager to get her garden going.

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“Once it’s fit to be outside, I’m out there,” says Rose. “I have always loved growing flowers, so I planted an ornamental flower garden. I chose colors that would complement my apartment so that I can cut bouquets and bring them inside.”

In a nearby garden, Charlestown resident Patricia (Pat) Kasuda grows tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, and zucchini.

“I enjoy being outdoors,” says Pat. “I go to my garden daily and either weed, pick, or groom my plants. Gardening is great exercise, and I like meeting fellow gardeners, listening to their experiences, and learning new ways to do things in the garden and in the way of preparation such as canning and freezing.”

A graduate of the Master Gardener program through the University of Maryland Extension, Pat, along with fellow gardener David Pollitt, oversees the community gardens located in the green area outside the Charlestown Square Clubhouse. The square spaces are available to Charlestown residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We remind gardeners of the guidelines regarding weeding, use of chemicals, allowing plants to overgrow plot areas, etc.” says Pat. “We also coordinate volunteers to keep the common areas clean and the grass mowed.

A nearby community tool shed houses rakes, shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows, hoses, as well as two tillers. The Charlestown Grounds Department provides complimentary mulch and compost.

A retired Presbyterian minister, David moved to Charlestown from a small farmhouse in Harford County where he grew his own fruits and vegetables.

“We had about 9,000 square feet of gardens,” says David. “I grew everything you can think of, from asparagus, green beans, and lettuce to strawberries, peaches, and apples. We ate our share and distributed the rest to friends and family. We also made strawberry preserves and applesauce.”

In spring 2012, just a few months after moving to Charlestown, David planted his first crop of strawberries, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, and a variety of other vegetables. Since then, he has acquired two additional gardens.

“One is completely dedicated to just strawberries,” says David. “The other two have all the vegetables. Last year,, we froze some of our green beans and peppers and enjoyed cooking with them throughout the fall and winter.”

This year, he will grow more of the same and with the exception of his tomatoes, he already has many of his plants in the ground.

“I usually wait until mid-May to put my tomatoes in the ground,” says David. “Last year, I started some of them from seed in containers, but the stems were weak and flimsy. So this year, I’m going with plants instead.”

Many gardeners at Charlestown grow more than what they can eat and are happy to share their bounty. Extra fruits and vegetables are left for the taking on a table located near the gardens, but they don’t last long.

In late summer, the gardeners hold a picnic prepared with the fruits of their labor.

“It’s an opportunity to get together and grill hot dogs and have a fun-filled afternoon sharing the goods and the not so goods of the growing season,” says Pat.

As for Rose, fresh flowers aren’t the only thing she’s growing. Working in her garden has also allowed her to cultivate new friendships.

“I’ve met quite a few fellow gardeners,” says Rose. “It’s been a great way to get to know people, especially since I’m relatively new.”


Caption photo: Bert and Linda Clegern tend to their garden at Charlestown retirement community (photo by Mel Tansill). This article was written by Danielle Rexrode.


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