Caregiver Highlight – Abby Edejer

Caregiver Highlight – Abby Edejer

bby Edejer embodies a deep commitment to the well-being and dignity of each resident under her care. From her early days as a floor nurse to her pivotal position as a delegating nurse, her journey showcases remarkable resilience, adaptability and unwavering compassion.

“I’ve been pretty much all over Sagepoint,” Abby shared, reflecting on her diverse experience within the organization. Her journey through different departments, including a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic as an infection control and quality assurance nurse, has equipped her with a unique perspective on patient care. 

Now serving as the delegating nurse in Assisted Living, Abby is the advocate for residents’ medical needs. “I am pretty much the go-to person for our residents here. If they need something, if they’re in pain, or if there’s a change in their condition, I’m the one they rely on to communicate with doctors and manage their care,” Abby stated, emphasizing her role as the residents’ voice.

Abby’s commitment extends beyond medical advocacy; she also manages the resident assistants and teaches the MedTech class, ensuring that her team is well-prepared to provide the best care possible. “I love what I do. It’s rewarding to interact with the residents daily, to see familiar faces and to know that I’m making a difference in their lives.”

Her inspiration to pursue nursing sprang from a deeply personal experience—three months spent in a hospital as a child, battling a complicated case of appendicitis. “The kindness I received from nurses during that time left a lasting impact on me,” Abby reminisced. “I was so young, yet I knew I wanted to care for others the way those nurses cared for me.”

Within Sagepoint, Abby particularly cherishes the connections she forms with residents. “If I can put a smile on their face, that’s all that really matters. It’s about making every interaction count, treating them with dignity and respect, as if they were my own family.”

Abby’s role often extends to being the first point of contact for families seeking updates or needing to discuss their loved one’s care. “I’m usually the person family members reach out to with concerns, and it’s my job to keep them informed and reassured,” she explained.

Outside of her demanding role, Abby enjoys the tranquility of her home, travel, and time with her dogs and family. “After a day filled with interactions, I treasure my quiet time at home or a peaceful getaway to the beach,” she said, highlighting her balanced approach to work and life.

Abby’s profound commitment to the residents and families of Sagepoint Senior Living Services exemplifies the institution’s values of compassionate innovation and inclusive care. As she continues to touch lives within the assisted living community, Abby Edejer remains a beacon of empathy and excellence in senior care.

Celebrating Older Americans Month

May marks the annual observance of Older Americans Month, a time to honor these beloved and important members of society. This year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” emphasizes the essential role that social interactions play in enhancing the health and well-being of older Americans. At Sagepoint Senior Living Services, we are privileged to serve these remarkable members of our society, whose rich histories and wisdom greatly enhance our community.

The Value of Older Americans

Older adults bring invaluable experiences and perspectives that enrich our lives in countless ways. They are mentors, volunteers and leaders who contribute significantly to our communities. Their engagement in civic, social and family roles helps strengthen societal bonds and fosters an intergenerational exchange of knowledge and compassion. Recognizing their ongoing contributions is not only a celebration of their lives but an acknowledgment of their crucial role in the fabric of society.

The Importance of Connection

This year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” resonates deeply with our mission at Sagepoint. It recognizes that meaningful relationships and active social lives are vital to maintaining mental, physical and emotional health. Connections can transform lives—combating loneliness and isolation, supporting independence and enabling aging in place with dignity. 

Sagepoint’s Commitment to Enriching Lives

At Sagepoint, we are honored to provide care and support to older adults, helping to ensure that every day is lived to the fullest. From Assisted Living to Memory Care, our care is designed with the understanding that each individual is an important part of our community. We strive to create an environment that fosters robust social connections, thereby enabling our residents and participants to thrive.

We also encourage everyone to use the hashtag #PoweredByConnection to share stories and highlight the importance of social bonds. Let’s use this month to reaffirm our commitment to nurturing the ties that bind us across generations.

As we celebrate this special month, Sagepoint renews its dedication to honoring, supporting and caring for the senior members of our community. Their well-being is our mission, and their happiness is our reward.

Reflections on Past Sage Advice Community Conversations Events Before Our Next Event

At Sagepoint Senior Living, we have always been dedicated to creating a community that not only caters to the physical well-being of our residents but also fosters mental and emotional support. One of the ways we achieve this is through our Sage Advice Community Conversations events, which aim to enlighten, empower and connect our community members. As we look back on some of our recent events, we are excited to share the enriching experiences we’ve had and remind you to keep an eye out for our next event.

We were grateful to host some impactful conversations at our past events. At Creative Approaches for Peaceful Caregiving, special guest Joan Foust shared invaluable insights on harmonious caregiving, offering practical strategies to enhance cooperation and reduce stress. With our Understanding Dementia conversation, we demystified dementia while providing a comprehensive overview and support for families navigating this challenge. We also hosted an event on Navigating Legal Options for Advanced Care Planning. This conversation focused on the legal aspects of end-of-life care, offering families the knowledge to make informed decisions, and underscoring our dedication to a holistic approach. 

Providing this resource for our community has become essential to our goal of supporting caregivers, seniors and their families. One attendee, Phillip Carpselli, expressed the value of sharing his experiences with others who understand. Another attendee, Brenda Dyer, shared her appreciation for the educational and supportive nature of the Sage Advice series. 

From feedback in the community, we see that these Sage Advice Community Conversations are more than just events; they are a vibrant expression of our commitment to lifelong learning and communal support. They represent the wisdom, compassion and shared experiences of our community that continually strengthen our support. 

It’s resources like these that make your contributions to our fundraising efforts, like the Caring Hearts campaign, so important. We could not make these valuable community resources possible without your unwavering support. 

Stay tuned for more details about our next Sage Advice event, and we look forward to welcoming you for another enriching experience. Together, we continue to thrive and grow as a community that values wisdom, compassion and shared learning.

If you’d like to donate to support the Sage Advice Community Conversations Series and other community resources that Sagepoint provides, go to

Swing into Fall: Sagepoint’s Fifth Annual Golf Tournament Returns

We are thrilled to announce the return of the Fifth Annual Sagepoint Golf Tournament on September 18 at the Swan Point Yacht & Country Club. This year promises to be another fantastic event filled with camaraderie, friendly competition and the much-anticipated Sip & Swing festivities. 

After years of remarkable success, both in fundraising and creating unforgettable memories among our community on the fairway, we can’t wait to welcome you back for another incredible event. This year’s proceeds from the tournament will contribute to Sagepoint’s Assisted Living and Memory Care programs and services. Our goal is to raise funds to enhance dementia education programs for families and the community at large. Your participation will support initiatives like the Sage Advice Community Conversation Series, addressing crucial topics related to dementia each month. We are also dedicated to expanding community outreach efforts to provide more resources and support for senior care navigation for older adults and their families.

Back by popular demand, our Sip & Swing festivities add a unique and laid-back twist to the traditional tournament schedule. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just looking to enjoy a day of leisure, the Sip & Swing option allows you to revel in the festivities and catch up with some familiar faces from our community. 

There are a few ways to get involved in the event. Whether you want to become a sponsor or simply attend the event for a day of fun, you’ll be contributing to a cause that makes a big impact in the lives of our seniors. Registration for the Sagepoint Golf Tournament opens on June 1. Mark your calendars and get ready to sign up for a day of golf, camaraderie and community support. Stay tuned for more details and announcements as we approach the registration date.

A Heartfelt Thank You to All the Caring Hearts

We at Sagepoint Senior Living Services are overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible support we received during our end-of-year campaign, Caring Hearts. It is with immense pleasure that we extend our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this worthy cause. Your generosity has made a lasting impact on our mission to provide essential care to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Your support has been instrumental in helping us continue offering care, support and respect to enable those in our community to age gracefully. Through the Caring Hearts campaign, we continue our goal to expand community outreach efforts, developing caregiver support and training programs specifically tailored for those caring for loved ones with dementia and other long-term cognitive illnesses.

The Caring Hearts campaign has been a beacon of hope and support, allowing us to reflect on the milestones achieved in providing crucial care to those who need it the most. Denise McCann, Sagepoint’s Chief Nursing Officer, aptly captures the essence of our mission: “Helping our residents be as happy and healthy as possible is what motivates me every day.” It takes a caring heart to support seniors with dementia, and our dedicated staff exemplifies this through their kind disposition, deep understanding of the condition and unwavering commitment.

Lauren Sweeney, Sagepoint Resident Assistant, emphasizes the shared passion within the team. “Our whole team shares the same passion when it comes to providing care for our residents.” This passion is the driving force behind the Caring Hearts campaign, aiming to raise awareness of dementia’s effects on individuals, families and communities.

As we navigate the growing number of Maryland residents living with dementia, expected to increase by 20% in the coming years, your contributions become even more crucial. As a nonprofit serving older adults for nearly 50 years, Sagepoint remains dedicated to helping people stay in their homes for as long as possible. This commitment is upheld by our caregivers who go the extra mile, ensuring our residents receive the care and support they need.

We want to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to every individual and organization that has been a part of the Caring Hearts campaign. Your caring hearts have made a difference, and together, we can continue brightening the lives of those affected by dementia.

Navigating the Challenges of Aging: Tips for Maintaining Independence in Seniors with Dementia 


As our loved ones age, the threat of diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia looms large. With over 6 million adults affected by Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S., it’s a concern that many families face. While these conditions bring cognitive and functional challenges, there are ways to support seniors in maintaining their independence and dignity. 

Early Detection and Proactive Care 

Early detection of cognitive decline is crucial. Regular check-ups and discussions about memory concerns with healthcare providers can lead to early diagnosis and better care planning. Utilizing services like the Medical Annual Wellness Visit can help in assessing cognitive impairment and managing other chronic conditions. 

Embracing a Healthy Lifestyle 

Research shows that physical exercise, not smoking and managing other cardiovascular risks can lower the likelihood of cognitive decline. Encouraging seniors to stay active, eat a balanced diet and engage in mental exercises can significantly contribute to maintaining their cognitive health. 

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment 

Adapting the living environment to suit the needs of seniors with cognitive challenges is vital. This includes safety modifications in the home to prevent falls, using reminders and labels for orientation and simplifying daily tasks to enhance their ability to perform them independently. 

Strengthening Social Connections 

Social engagement is an integral part of healthy aging. Encourage seniors to participate in community activities, join clubs or groups and maintain regular contact with family and friends. This social interaction can help in slowing cognitive decline and improving overall well-being. 

Supporting Caregivers

Caregivers play a critical role in the lives of seniors with dementia. Programs like the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) provide valuable support and education for caregivers. Caregiver health directly impacts the quality of care they can provide, making their well-being a priority. 

While the journey with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is challenging, maintaining a senior’s independence as much as possible is crucial for their dignity and quality of life. By adopting these strategies, families and caregivers can help their loved ones navigate this path with grace and support.

Qualified Charitable Distributions for Your Philanthropic Goals

It’s the time of year for giving and with our end-of-year campaign, Caring Hearts, we have the perfect opportunity for you to contribute to a cause that supports our seniors. With your contributions, we’ll raise funds to help Sagepoint Senior Living Services grow awareness of dementia and the effects it has on the person, the family and the community as a whole. To achieve this goals, we will expand community outreach efforts through caregiver support and training programs for those who care for loved ones with dementia and other long-term cognitive illnesses.

Whether you have a loved one who lives with dementia or you know someone whose life has been touched by this illness, there are many reasons to support this worthy cause. But, did you know that there are tax incentives that make charitable giving easier than ever?

With tax-free charitable giving from an IRA, seniors age 70½ or older can make tax-free charitable donations from IRAs that count toward satisfying required minimum distribution and reduce taxable income. Read more about Qualified Charitable Distribution below as you consider your end-of-year donations.

What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?
A QCD is a tax-free charitable distribution of funds directly from the IRA trustee (custodian) of an eligible IRA account payable to a qualified charitable organization that can receive a tax-deductible contribution. A tax-free QCD is defined in IRS Publication 17 – Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals on page 126.

Normal distribution from an IRA of deductible contributions and earning is included in income and taxed as ordinary income. The tax-free QCD removes the distribution from taxable income. QCDs are recorded on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return 2018 – the sum total QCD distribution is included on line 4 a – IRA distribution, and the abbreviation ‘QCD’ is written on line 4 b – taxable amount.

Who is Eligible to Make a tax-free QCD?
IRA account owners and beneficiaries age 70 ½ or older on the date the tax-free QCD is made to one or more qualified charitable organizations.
Taxpayers who now claim the standard deduction can still make tax-free QCDs.

What type of IRA accounts are eligible for a QCD?
Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Inherited IRA accounts and non-active SEP and Simple IRA accounts are eligible for a tax free QCD. Active SEP or Simple IRA account currently receiving employee or employer contributions is not eligible.

Roth IRA accounts are eligible but a tax-free QCD will not lower income tax because distributions from Roth IRAs are already tax-free and not included in income.

What type of retirement savings accounts are ineligible for a QCD?
Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457(b)s are not eligible for tax-free QCD. A normal or tax-free QCD distribution to satisfy the IRA RMD requirement in a given tax year cannot count toward satisfying the RMD requirement for employer-sponsored requirement plans.

However, an employer-sponsored plan account owner may consider a direct transfer rollover to an IRA Rollover account that would then be eligible for tax-free QCDs. RMD calculations for tax-deferred IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans for the current tax year will be based upon the fair market value of the account at the close of business on December 31 of the prior year, factored by your age and life expectancy. Therefore, before implementing a rollover strategy the time and suitability should be taken into consideration.

What is the tax-free QCD distribution limit?
Seniors age 70 ½ or older may make tax-free charitable donations and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year by making tax-free QCD’s directly from an IRA. There is no carry-over from year to year. Your spouse may also make a tax-free charitable donation and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year for a combined total of $200,000.

Whether you donate to our end-of-year Caring Hearts campaign or another worthwhile cause, tax-free QCDs may be a great way to fulfill your philanthropic goals and make a lasting charitable impact in your community. Always consult your professional tax accountant, estate planning attorney and/or investment advisor before implementing any strategy.

Older Victims Have Been Losing More and More Money to Elder Fraud

Christine Parker, CFP®, Chartered SRI Counselor sm, is Managing Director of Parker Financial, LLC; an Independent Fee Only Investment Advisor in the state of Maryland.  Christine currently serves as a member of the Sagepoint Senior Services Foundation Board of Officers and Directors. 

It is very possible for seniors aged 60 and older to experience irreversible economic loss and great psychological distress as a result of elder abuse and elder fraud.  

The term elder abuse refers to the mistreatment of seniors who are vulnerable, especially those who are physically and mentally handicapped, including abuse, neglect, or financial abuse, often perpetrated by family members, and other trusted persons.  Elder fraud, on the other hand, is generally committed by strangers – criminals who use various schemes to prey on the elderly.

Fraud victimization among older adults is influenced by these 7 major factors

  • Cognitive decline
  • Heighten emotions in decision making
  • Overly trusting nature
  • Psychological vulnerability
  • Social isolation
  • Risk-taking and
  • Lack of knowledge and information regarding fraud 

Researchers at the Stanford Center on Longevity working in collaboration with researchers from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the AARP Fraud Watch Network “found that inducing emotions such as excitement and anger in older adults increased their intention to buy falsely advertised items.”

The Office of Victims of Crimes at the Department of Justice seeks to raise public awareness of the National Elder Fraud Hotline and encourage victims of fraud to reach out and report.

There are different types of fraud schemes that affect different generations.  Elderly adults and their loved ones and caregivers need information about perpetrators of elder fraud schemes and knowledge about how to prevent it and report it.  The main goal of elder fraud is to exploit older adults financially.   

Reported Incidents of Elder Fraud and Scams

Using the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network database, which tracks reports of fraud, schemes, financial losses, contact methods, payment methods, and other pertinent information, we can track elder fraud trends. We can also know schemes used to perpetrate elder fraud.

Elder fraud is a serious and growing threat. According to the FTC, total reported losses have been increasing each year since 2020 as shown in the chart below:



For older adults aged 60-69, 70-79 and 80 and older, the median financial loss reported so far in 2023 is $500, $800 and $1,393.     

In this time period, older adults experienced the following fraudulent schemes most frequently: business imposters, government imposters, tech support scams, online shopping, and prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries. Online shopping, tech support scams, and sweepstakes and lotteries scams reported had higher occurrences of financial loss.

The most commonly reported payment method used by older adults who were scammed is the credit card, followed by debit cards, gift cards, reloadable cards, payments apps, bank transfers, crypto-currencies, wire transfers, and money orders. Scammers contact older adults using social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), websites or apps, phone calls, online ads or pop-ups, email, text, email and mail.

Investment Scams

According to FTC data, older seniors lost more money to investment schemes than to any other category in 2022 and 2023.  From $1.8 billion in 2021, investment scam losses for all consumers doubled to $3.8 billion in 2022. For seniors aged 60-69, 70-79, and 80 and over, the median financial loss reported so far in 2023 is $12,841, $13,100, and $11,100, respectively. 

Protecting financial accounts    

In order to help protect your assets, banks, credit unions, and brokerage firms encourage you to designate a “Trusted Contact.”  If the institution suspects financial exploitation or has difficulty contacting the owner, they can reach out to this person in an emergency situation to protect your assets.

Consider this and other security features offered by your financial institutions to include: reset passwords, enroll in advanced authentication (set up two-factor authentication,) and enroll in alert notification for any transactions as soon as they occur (set up security alerts). 


In their website,, the Maryland Department of Aging provides information about elder scams and fraud, as well as how to report it.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.

Mae’s Happiness, Linda’s Peace of Mind

It had been five years since Linda Simon’s father had passed away. And in that time, not a day went by that she or one of her two siblings didn’t spend the night with her mother, Mae, in the house her parents had shared for so many years. 

“My parents were married for 70 years, so Dad was all she knew,” said Linda. “Once he was gone, she just didn’t like being in the house all alone, so we stayed with her.”

Soon, Linda and her siblings started noticing that Mae wasn’t making the best choices when left alone and grew increasingly concerned about her safety, physical well-being and mental health. 

“It was clear she needed more help, and after five years, we just couldn’t do it anymore. We told her, ‘Mom, you need to have someone with you.’” 

Linda and her sister began looking for assisted living options in the area. After each one visited Sagepoint, they both agreed that it was the place for Mae. 

“I went over and met with the folks at Sagepoint, and I liked them. My sister went over too and she liked them. So we took Mom over to meet with them, and it was hard for her because she had lived in that house for so long.” 

But Mae knew she needed assistance, so she agreed to move in. Her initial reluctance soon lifted, and she began enjoying herself. She loved the staff instantly and quickly made friends with a number of other residents. 

“Mom had always had a garden at home, and she loves flowers. So when she moved in, she told everyone, ‘We need to have flowers around here.’ So they worked with her, had flower boxes built and they even gave her and my sister money to go buy the flowers, and she took care of all of them for a long time.”

Linda and her siblings were also grateful for the social aspect of the community. 

“She plays games, which she never did, and she goes to game nights, and she’s become the star bingo player and has a big tin of candy bars in her room that are her winnings. A new resident moved in who could play the piano, and a group of them would get together to sing songs to the piano music.”

While Sagepoint’s staff knows how to take care of her social needs, they are always attentive to Mae’s well-being.

“Everyone is so good to her, and they all love her so much,” said Linda. “One of the staff members mentioned that Mom gets anxious when she’s in her room by herself, so she goes and sits with her. And she was going through this stage where she had a hard time eating, and the staff sat with her and they helped feed her.”

“And I see them give the same care to other residents too. They’re just very attentive people.”

While it was initially a difficult decision to move Mae from her home, Linda knows that choosing Sagepoint was the best choice she could’ve made for her Mom.

“I can’t express how good they are to her. I’ve recommended Sagepoint to many people. They keep the place clean. They wash their clothes. The food is always excellent. They care about the residents who are there and consider them part of their family.”


A Hands-On Approach to Care

As the Chief Nursing Officer, Denise McCann is more than a caregiver to the residents at Sagepoint. Driven by the goal of making every resident as happy and comfortable as possible, she is the leader of a team of dedicated and talented professionals who care for the residents. She provides clinical oversight, training and education and support for the team, the residents and their family members. 

The Nursing Team’s approach to working with residents stems from Denise’s own philosophy of care.

“Caring for a person with dementia requires compassion and an in-depth knowledge of the disease,” said Denise. “Understanding how the disease progresses allows a caregiver to apply compassion and creativity in care options. We also recognize that we must provide holistic, individualized care not only for the patient but for the family members as well.”

While rewarding, leading a team in an environment like Sagepoint can be challenging at times. For Denise, leadership comes down to communication and a willingness to make a difference. 

“I find that communicating often with residents, family members and staff is vital. Asking staff ‘how they are doing’ makes them feel supported and cared for so they can provide the best care to our residents. By seeing and talking to our residents often, I can generally see what kind of day they are having and help direct staff to assist. I feel that having a relationship is important as it helps me to identify if I see any changes in the patient’s status and adjust the staff activities accordingly,” said Denise. 

This hands-on approach doesn’t just help her staff or residents; it also helps the families who entrust Sagepoint with the care of their loved ones. She takes the concerns and feelings of family members very seriously, as she knows their support is vital to the care of her residents. 

“Moving a loved one into long-term care is a difficult decision for many family members. While they recognize the time has come for professional care, they have questions about their loved one living in a senior living center,” said Denise. “Recognizing how tough that can be, the management team and I work through their feelings – sometimes doubt, guilt or sadness over their loved one’s changing status. These are all feelings that we can work through together. It takes time. Having the family involved is key to building a relationship of trust. We encourage family and friends to visit and participate in activities. We realize that moving a loved one into a long-term care facility is hard, but we strive to make the transition as easy as possible for patients and family members.”

Denise feels how important her role is and how special Sagepoint is when interacting with residents. “When I come in every day and see the faces of our residents and family members that I am so fortunate to provide care for means so much to me.”