May is Older Americans Month & Older Marylanders Month
Every year, the month of May is designated as "Older Americans Month" (OAM) on a national level and "Older Marylanders Month" (OMM) on a state level. To acknowledge this time honored tradition, the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL)
designates a new theme each year. The 2023 theme is Aging Unbound
, offering an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment by paving our own paths as we age.
The Maryland Department of Aging and our dynamic network of 19 local
Area Agencies on Aging
are honored to celebrate Older Americans Month and Older Marylanders Month, especially considering that Maryland has more than 1.3 million residents age 60 or older who make up 22.6% of our total population, according to 2020 data from the Maryland Department of Planning. Older Marylanders are a key source of our state’s strength. Not only do they draw on lifetimes of experiences, successes, difficulties, and resilience, but older adults continue to play vital, positive roles in our communities as mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, family members,
and trusted friends.
This May, join us as we recognize the 60th anniversary of OAM and challenge the narrative on aging. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Here are some ways we can all participate in Aging Unbound and exploring the rewards of growing older:
- Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy. Maryland has Senior Centers located across the state, offering a variety of classes, programs, outings, and social groups that may interest you.
- Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. One way to stay engaged is by mentoring or volunteering. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), and Maryland State Obmudsman Program are always looking for volunteers to help older adults across the state. Contact your local senior centers or Maryland Access Point (MAP) for additional volunteer opportunities.
- Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members. Click here to see a list of community events taking place across the state in honor of OAM and OMM.
Don't Fall Victim to Scams
The Maryland Department of Aging maintains an up to date list of scams and resources to help prevent older adults from falling victim to Medicare Scams, Fraud, and Financial Exploitation. Protecting your identity and financial resources are how to Age Your Way. It is in everyone's best interest to be aware of and know how to avoid scam artists.
Each year, health care fraud, waste, abuse and errors result in the loss of billions of dollars.
Here are 4 webpages that have information on how to protect yourself:
Daily Check In
The key to Age Your Way is making sure you have safeguards in place.
Maryland residents who are 65 and older are eligible to sign up for Senior Call Check. The Maryland Department of Aging offers this free, daily automated phone call. If you miss your call, then
there is a system in place to ensure that an alternate person is contacted to check in on you. Each daily call shares a brief message to keep Senior Call Check participants aware of COVID-19 updates, health and nutrition tips, scams and fraud alerts, and so much more. Sign up today and invite your friends to
sign up too!
Resources to Age Your Way
Maryland Access Point (MAP) is available to answer your questions. Trained information and assistance specialists and certified options counselors are on hand to speak with older adults, caregivers, service professionals, and individuals who seek to plan, identify, connect, and assist with accessing private and public resources for long term services and supports.
Reaching MAP is easy. Call or log onto the website and learn about community programs, transportation opportunities, senior centers, community clubs, nutrition and meals, caregiver resources, veteran services, Medicare options, housing options, volunteer opportunities, and more!
If you are caring for someone who is a resident in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then you can support them to Age Their Way through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP). This program advocates for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state, and national levels that will improve residents' care and quality of life. Click here to learn more.