Health Advice



Maryland commissioners approve grant intended to help dementia patients

Sherry Greenfield, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Health & Fitness

BALTIMORE — Carroll County is working to bring more help, support and resources to people suffering with dementia.

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners unanimously gave approval Thursday to the county’s Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, which is part of the Department of Citizen Services, to file an application for a $26,732 state grant. The grant would help fund a part-time, 30-hour position within the bureau to enhance care for people with dementia.

“The purpose of this is to really increase the bureau’s programming with new services to individuals with symptoms of dementia that interfere with their activities of daily living,” said Celene Steckel, director of the county’s Department of Citizen Services.

The Long-Term Care and Dementia Navigation Grant is for fiscal 2025, which starts July 1. The county does not have to provide any matching funds to get the grant.

The Bureau of Aging & Disabilities recently participated in a work group with the Maryland Department of Aging about developing and enhancing programming and new services for dementia patients and their caregivers.

“We will provide access to cognitive screening, and depending on the results, we would try to connect them with resources,” said Gina Valentine, bureau chief who worked with the group.

The bureau will also be working alongside Carroll Hospital in providing services.


“They’re requirements of the grant,” Valentine said. “Training requirements, which we’re already participating in. There’s also monthly social engagement activities that are required, or some kind of monthly exercise program that improves cognitive [learning].”

The Maryland General Assembly in fiscal 2023, established long-term dementia care programs under the administration of the Maryland Department of Aging, a county briefing paper states. The purpose of the programs is to provide new services to individuals with symptoms of dementia that interferewith activities of daily living, and their caregivers.

Commissioners’ President Ken Kiler, who represents District 1, said that the $26,732 grant funding for the new position includes salary and benefits.

“There’s always a lot of comment about money we approve here,” Kiler said. “The salary and fringe are always calculated as a budget to cover it. It’s the maximum amount. It doesn’t mean somebody’s being paid this.”


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