Eastern Shore facilities offer seniors new choices

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FAIRMOUNT, Md. (Map, News) – A graying pocket on the Shore ripens with new assisted living communities in southern Somerset County.

Bayside Assisted Living is open in a rural, wooded setting on Hewitt Ford Road in Fairmount, and officials broke ground Oct. 15 in Crisfield at the Alice B. Tawes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which has a residential wing for older adults with limited needs.

The assisted living center in Crisfield will have homes for 30 residents in the $12 million nursing and rehabilitation facility, which is scheduled to open in early 2010, spokeswoman Marie Witt said. The assisted living dwelling wing will offer two day rooms overlooking the Annemessex River, Witt said.

The facilities are the latest in Somerset to offer housing alternatives for seniors who, while continuing to enjoy a relatively independent lifestyle, need help with what once were routine procedures as dressing, bathing or dining.
“We have home-cooked meals according to need, activities and residents can have their own vehicles and we’ll do excursions,” Registered nurse and Bayside manager, Ginny Carlyle of Salisbury said. “We’re three miles from the bay,” she said.

Carlyle describes the three-bedroom Fairmount residence as “cozy and comfortable, with a porch that is peaceful and quiet.” Residents would share living and dining rooms and a kitchen.

While older adults typically reflect the demographics of assisted living, Carlyle asserted that Bayside would serve any individual needing limited yet long-term medical management.

A license was approved a year ago for the five-resident Bayside home that is accepting applications, she said.

Months ago, Chesapeake Assisted Living opened in a single-family home a few miles north, outside Princess Anne, and was touted by owners as the only residential facility of its kind in rural Somerset County.

Although assisted living costs less than nursing home care, it is still fairly expensive, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Depending on the kind of assisted living facility and type of services an older person chooses, the price costs can range from less than $10,000 a year to more than $50,000 a year, the agency said. Across the U.S., monthly rates average $1,800 per month, it says.

At Bayside, services include round the clock care, meals, special trips and activities, Carlyle said.

“We offer 24-7 care and are medically managed,” she said, adding that the home, owned by Johanna Ezangono of Rockville, accepts Medicaid waivers. Also offered is respite care services, allowing a loved one to take off from the routine care of an older family member.

Carlyle intends to eventually hire up to five employees in positions that would include certified nursing assistants and cooks, he said.

“I love working with older people,” she said.

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