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Letters: An appreciation of the late Dr. Henderson; Assistance needed to protect the aging from abuse

An appreciation of the late Dr. Henderson

Carroll County suffered a severe shock last week with the loss of Dr. Herbert Henderson Jr. His premature death at age 56 was a shock to his family and those who depended on the expert medical care he provided. My wife and I became patients in the mid-'90s when he arrived from South Carolina. His soft southern drawl would put one at ease, as he assured me that coming from the Deep South to rural Carroll County was not culture shock,

Dr. Henderson was a family practitioner in an age of specialization and he had a personality that fit this demanding choice of career. Indeed, a family doctor ranks right up there with a pastor when it comes to knowing his patients and what makes them tick. He accomplishes this by getting to know the person sitting across from him. I can remember that sometimes I"d feel a twinge of impatience while waiting my turn in his office. I corrected my impatience by reminding myself that I’d get the same consideration.

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Doctors had been my boss for 46 years and they, like any other group of people, had different personalities and different bedside manners. Dr. Henderson’s calm, reassuring manner made him a perfect fit for the role of family physician, especially when it came to older people.

My dear mom was someone who was terrified of a visit to the doctor’s office. One of her early family physicians declared she had a condition known as “White Coat Syndrome.” I had forwarned Dr. Henderson of my mom’s problem, so he started out with some small talk and then asked if she would check his pulse. This one little gesture cured my mom of white coat syndrome. Some time later one of my older sisters asked mom how things went when she visited her new doctor. “I like him.”

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None of know what the future holds but these circumstances brought back a memory that has stayed with me for 25 years. When I first met Dr. Henderson, I said I was glad he was young because I wanted a doctor who would outlive me. Oh, how I wish things had turned out that way. I dearly wish that this good man with the gentle voice was and skillful hands was still my doctor and my friend.

Don Haines

Woodbine

Assistance needed to protect the aging from abuse

As we celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Carroll County and across the nation in a very different way than in years past, we need to be sure the importance of this day is not overshadowed by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has only stressed the need for awareness of how our aging population can become victims by unscrupulous individuals committing fraud, particularly related to the pandemic.

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We all deserve to live a happy and healthy life free of abuse and exploitation. It is important for families to stay involved with their aging family members – if not, the isolation and loneliness will make them prime targets for scammers and those who could give them the attention they desire.

Some extremely important to avoid becoming a victim can be found at the Federal Trade Commission website FTC.GOV, as well as information about what to do if you have become a victim and how to self-report the incident.

On the local level, many of the scams perpetrated on our citizens could have been avoided by following a few easy steps: 1) Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money; 2) Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls for products to treat or prevent COVID-19 (always consult with your physician or pharmacist with any questions you may have on medical or preventive cures; 3) If you receive a robocall or other unwanted call, just hang up!

Remember to report any scam or attempted scam to your local law enforcement immediately to prevent any loss of funds or property.

The Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute those individuals who cause abuse to, neglect or exploit our aging population.

I ask the citizens of Carroll County to assist in protecting our aging and vulnerable population and to give thanks to the many caregivers who care for them on a daily basis. Please join me in the recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by showing support for our elderly population through acts of support and kindness each and every day.

Brian DeLeonardo

Westminster

The writer is the state’s attorney for Carroll County.

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