News Purpose

The purpose of the news section is to report on the activities of the clubs and organizations and to post details about community announcements that are too long for the Announcements page. Comments and content are welcomed. Email the webmasters at


The Holiday season is close at hand! Do you need support to get through all the food opportunities in the next few months? Join a friendly group for support and accountability as you gain new information about food and nutrition. We are a no-judgment zone with no restrictive diet plans or food to purchase. The first meeting is free. TOPS is a national “Take Off Pounds Sensibly” program.

TOPS meets every Wednesday in the Cross Creek Creative Arts Room at 4:00 p.m. for a weigh-in and 4:30 for the program.

IOS15 Features – Apple Charlestown User Group (CHUG) Nov. Meeting

The Apple Charlestown User Group (CHUG) meets on November 18 at 1:00 p.m. This will be a Zoom meeting.

We will cover some of the new features in the iOS 15 for the iPad and iPhone. We will highlight the Walking Steadiness feature in the Health App on the iPhone. It is designed to identify people who may be at risk for falls.

Contact Ann MacKay (info is in the Resident Directory) to get on the CHUG mailing list and get the Zoom link.

LGBT+ Meets October 21

LGBT flag

LGBT+ Friends and Allies Meeting
Thur., Oct. 21, 2021
3 PM
Brookside Classroom 2

Being Cael: A Non-Binary Story
Cael Mulcahy, guest speaker

Reservations required. Call Bonnie Kawecki. Contact information in Resident Directory, available on MyErickson.

All welcome!


Save a Date for the Fun with Little Theatre Company!

What’s cracking up the Tuesday foursome?

Performance dates for Noah & the Tuesday Foursome

• Thurs., Nov. 11 | 7 PM
• Sat., Nov. 13 | 2 PM
• Wed., Nov. 17 | 2 PM
• Fri., Nov. 19 | 2 PM

Ticket Sales [$5 prepaid]
4 – 6 PM:
Chesapeake Lounge/ Fireside Lobby/ Terrace Cafe

• Mon., Oct. 25
• Wed., Oct. 27
• Tues., Nov. 2

Vet Dog Clinic October 21


Image: Pixabay

Vet Dog Clinic

Thursday, October 21, 2021

8:30 – 10:30 AM

Charlestown Square Classroom 216

(Fireside Level)

Appointments are required.
Call Paradise Animal Hospital  410-744-4224.

Routine exams, shorts and nail clippings are available onsite. Additional services are provided at Paradise Animal Hospital.

Firearms Take Back on Nov. 1

The Safety and Security Committee of the Resident Council is sponsoring a firearms take-back event on Monday November 1st. This will be done in collaboration with our Security Department and the Baltimore County Police. This is a legal, nonthreatening, and convenient way for residents of Charlestown to rid yourselves of any unwanted firearms–guns, rifles—or ammunition from the privacy of your home. A plain-clothes police officer with valid identification, accompanied by someone from our Security Department will go directly to your apartment to collect any of these items that you no longer want to have in your home.


This is a completely voluntary event. It is a safe and responsible way to dispose of such items. If you would like to participate in this program, call Craig Nelson, Manager of the Security Department at 410-737-8815 or Shawn White, Deputy Manager at 410-737-8808. They will see that you are on the list and will coordinate with you for the collection of your items.

Call any time before November 1st.

The Transition Process

Continuing Care

When Transition May Be Best For You

The crossroad from Independent Living to Transition is very emotional. Family and friends need to remember that as residents, we chose Charlestown, in part, so that Continuing Care could be a destination when necessary, or as a permanent solution.

Prior to transition, resident services and our health care counselor will review the services available in your Independent Living (IL) apartment versus the services available in Continuing Care. Ultimately, it is the resident’s choice. The Charlestown team is here to guide you and educate you on all the possible scenarios.

Once you have agreed to learn about Continuing Care

There is a tour of Caton Woods and Wilton Overlook, where the Health Care Counselor would go more in-depth about everything Continuing Care has to offer. Marketing materials will be given to you, including pricing, floor plans, and a transition handbook. If you choose to reserve an available apartment, a nursing assessment will be set up where our assisted living managers visit you in your IL apartment. They will ask questions regarding your health and well-being to determine what level of care would be the best fit within our continuum of services. Then, a Primary Care Physician appointment will be scheduled to obtain the necessary paperwork to support the transition. Our Continuing Care Move-In Coordinator would work with you every step of the way to assist you in hiring movers, transferring TV and cable. Then they will address any questions and concerns about the transition process as you settle into your new home.

The Process May Be Speedy, Why?

There is a 30-day time limit from when the resident was screened to the day of move-in. Our Health Care Counselor will work with you on a timeframe that you feel comfortable with and would wait to schedule your screen until an apartment is available, and you are ready to set up moving details.

When deciding to transition, you would also set up a meeting with Finance regarding closing the IL apartment. Your Residence and Care Agreement will still be the definitive agreement between you and the community.

Consult the Transition To Continuing Care Handbook given you, and the Close-out Moving Guide (email for a helpful checklist and suggestions. Contact your Resident Services Coordinator (Social Worker) for further assistance.


Charles Eichenlaub
Residents’ Council Website Sub-committee

Cara Miranda
Health Care Counselor

Questions about Medicare? She Has Answers!

Jennifer Simon is an Erickson employee who is a licensed insurance agent for Erickson Advantage, a CMS recognized 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan insured through United Healthcare. Erickson Advantage is only available to Erickson Living residents. Jennifer is offering free advice on any individual questions you or your family member have on your current health insurance, and you DO NOT have to join Erickson Advantage to obtain your answers.

Many residents have Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance. Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15th and ends on December 7th. We should now be examining our current health or prescription changes that may necessitate a change in our health insurance. Or we may have questions regarding options that we may foresee in our future.

Please note that Medicare regulations prevent Jennifer from contacting residents who are not members of Erickson Advantage. If you are not a member, you have to contact her first. So, it’s up to you to reach out to obtain the free info and guidance. You may call or email Jennifer at any time to set up an individual appointment at 443-297-3110 or leaving your name, address, phone, and/or email address on her voicemail, if she is out. Family members may also attend. To obtain your best answers, you should be prepared to share your current benefits and premiums with Jennifer.

Although there are no strings attached to join the Erickson Advantage plan, you and your family may want to listen carefully to specific benefits that are available for Charlestown residents in both Independent Living and Continuing Care, including Extra Benefits such as Vision, Dental, Hearing and Transportation. Once you join, there is an onsite Member Services Representative to answer benefit and health insurance questions, and to arrange for transportation to medical appointments. There is also a Care Coordinator, a registered nurse, who assists members with managing their health care needs.

Erickson Advantage information cards have been placed at Lobby desks around campus for your convenience. The info is also displayed on Channel 972, Bulletin, and Digital Boards. In addition, on each Thursday through December 7, a video will air on the Daily Show on Channel 972, as well as other times on some days.

Charlie Eichenlaub
Communications Committee

The Move-Out Process

Have you and your family “had the talk”… about handling your Charlestown affairs at the end of life?

Preparation Suggestions for Resident to help your family:

*Ensure that your family has a copy and/or knows where to find your Will or Trust. If you are a Veteran, make sure a copy of your DD214 is available.
*Familiarize your family with your Residence and Care Agreement with Charlestown. This is the contract that defines your refund settlement, if any.
*Complete the Authorization for Entry To Living Unit form explained below.

Rationale for Authorization Form:

When the final surviving resident passes in an apartment in Independent Living, Security will immediately place a special security lock on the door to the apartment to prevent illegal access. Security has updated the requirements, allowing residents to designate up to two authorized persons to enter an apartment, after submission the Authorization for Entry to Living Unit form available from the Administration Office or the Resident Life Office. Submit the form to Brittany Owens in the Resident Life office in Cross Creek.

Alternative to Submission of Authorization Form:

If this form has not been filed, the Executor/personal representative of an estate must obtain a Letter of Administration from the Baltimore County Courthouse, Register of Wills in Towson, MD for relatives to gain access to the locked residence. If a Trust is involved, the family will need to provide these forms to Security for approval.

Before going to Towson, make sure to call ahead to The Register of Wills (410-887-6680) to find out the verification that the County needs you to provide. For example, a copy of the original will, the death certificate, amount of money going into an estate (listed in the Residents Care Agreement), and various other items may be required. A Security Supervisor will escort a representative into an apartment to access required documents, if necessary. The Executor (or Trustee) of the estate should take a copy of the Trust or the Letter of Administration to the Security Supervisor to receive the key to the security lock.

Note: It is suggested that one request 12 copies of the death certificate, to have enough on hand to notify all concerned.

Obtaining a Move-Out Handbook:

If they haven’t already, your family should contact Lavina Dukes, our Move-Out Coordinator, for an important Move-Out Handbook to guide them through the process. The Move-out process is intense and her information and checklist are comprehensive. The goal is to get your family through this and to speed up the Apartment turn-over quickly, so the refund from the Community can be finalized. The Move-Out Handbook and Things to Consider checklist is available at any time from Lavina. For more information, please contact Lavina at 410-737-8838, ext 8375# or email her at

Charlie Eichenlaub
Resident Council Communications Committee

Director of Resident Life Karen Leighton

Karen Leighton

Karen Leighton will become Director of Resident Life on December 1, 2021. 

Karen Leighton, M.S. CCC-SLP, has accepted the Director of Resident Life position at Charlestown!  For the past three years, Karen has served as our Rehabilitation Manager for all aspects of therapy services for both Continuing Care and Independent Living.  Her creative and effective administration of therapy services and her passion for innovative programs will provide the strong support and oversight necessary to lead Charlestown’s wide array of resident life programs and services.  Her official start date in the new role will be December 1st.

Karen holds a Masters and Bachelors of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology, both from Towson University.   Karen has a background of 13 years of rehabilitation management, including 9 years with Genesis Healthcare and 4 years with Sunrise Senior Living, before joining us here at Charlestown. 

Karen lives in Rockville and has 4 grown children.  She also proudly parents 4 cats, the newest of which is a former Charlestown resident who she recently adopted.

Become a Pet Visitor Volunteer

If you have a pet that meets the following requirements, they can potentially join our Volunteer Team as well!
• Enjoys people
• Able to remain calm with several other people around
• Is not a big barker
• Is updated on their vaccines
• Has trimmed nails (to avoid causing skin tears)
• Is well groomed
• Does not jump on people
• Wants extra cuddles and to bring joy to others

If your pet meets these requirements, please reach out to our Volunteer Department at 420-737-8838 x601-8133