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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: senior

Baltimore County Department of Aging's Call to Action to Combat Social Isolation

The Baltimore County Department of Aging’s (BCDA) 2019 Living Connected initiative has provided resources and activities to combat social isolation in older adults. Many life events that occur later in life—retirement, loss of a friend/spouse, moving, changes in health—happen as one ages. This can cause one’s social network to become very small, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Further, research has proven that isolation has detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. The affects are wide ranging. In fact, it is said that loneliness and social isolation has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Photo of Fred"Coming to the center for activities and meals
saved my life. I was very lonely after my wife passed."
- Fred, 84, Rosedale

 “Each of us is aware of someone in our communities that may be feeling isolated and alone. Therefore, BCDA has issued a Call to Action for Thursday, September 12, 2019. On that date, everyone was asked to reach out to someone in the community that would benefit from feeling more connected and valued by inviting them to share a meal or to join a group of peers to break bread,” challenges BCDA Director Laura Riley.

Older Adults Welcome to Join

Baltimore County’s 20 senior centers are hosting lunches where all older adults are welcome to join our Eating Together Program for a special meal. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a center, to meet the members and to discover the diverse activities offered at the site. For example, the Liberty Senior Center is hosting close to 200 older adults for their meal at noon. “The center will be filled with activity, music and chances to connect with peers while enjoying a meal,” added Marie Dix, Director of the Liberty Senior Center. Additionally, many centers are offering day long opportunities to share a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Photo of Dorothy"Knowing a meal is available is such an asset."
- Dorothy, 80, Rosedale

Further, religious institutions, restaurants, community associations and housing buildings have joined this Day to invite older adults to special events and deals to make them feel valued and appreciated. To learn more about opportunities to share a meal and to discover the community partner events being offered, you may visit the County's No Senior Eats Alone webpage.

Other Initiatives

No Senior Eats Alone Day is just one effort on behalf of BCDA to keep older adults connected. If you know of an older adult that would benefit from getting connected to the Department of Aging’s resources and programs, contact MAP or the Maryland Access Point of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 or email aginginfo@baltimorecountymd.gov.

The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging.


"Journey Into Space" and "Get Your Feet Wet with Technology" Named 2018 NISC Programs of Excellence

Every day across the country, older adults visit their local senior center to connect with friends, learn something new, discover how to stay healthy, give back to their community and more.

This year, Catonsville and Parkville Senior Centers have been recognized by the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) with a 2018 Programs of Excellence Award honorable mention prize for their innovative programming. Catonsville and Parkville were two of only 15 programs honored with the annual recognition for innovative, creative and replicable programs for older adults, out of a field of more than 100 submissions from across the United States.

Program Details

Get Your Feet Wet with Technology

Older adults learning about technology.

Catonsville Senior Center was recognized for its “Get Your Feet Wet with Technology” program that they conducted in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library Catonsville Branch. The four-week program taught participants how to use technology to gain information about fitness and nutrition, music and movies, photo editing, instant messaging and online shopping. The program was conducted on tablets that were purchased through a grant from the Catonsville Women’s Giving Circle.

Journey Into Space

Older adults crafting.

Parkville Senior Center’s “Journey Into Space” intergenerational program was also a four-part series that brought seniors and students together to learn about space and space exploration. During the first class, senior center members and their grandchildren watched a distance learning program by NASA where they were on a virtual spaceship. In subsequent classes, the participants built rockets, learned about the International Space Station and Newton’s Laws of Motion, and watched "Star Wars."

About the NISC Awards

The NISC Programs of Excellence winners are picked by a committee of senior center professionals. Certificates and cash awards are given to programs in seven categories and in one highlighted area related to preventing social isolation. The categories include:

  • Community Development, Leadership and Intergenerational
  • Cultural Programs
  • Fundraising
  • Health and Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Technology
  • Special Events
  • Social Isolation Prevention (Highlighted Area)

Congratulations

“Our 20 senior centers in Baltimore County are important destinations for older adults to live longer and live well, and our staff works hard to keep our programs fun and educational for our members,” said Laura Riley, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging. “We are honored to have two of our centers receive a NISC Programs of Excellence award, and hope that other senior centers across the country will be able to replicate these programs to benefit their members.”  

“I’m proud of the great work our Department of Aging team does with our older residents,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. “This is a great recognition of the work that is being done to keep our older adults healthy, active and informed.”

Learn More

Learn more about Baltimore County senior centers and their various programs for older adults, or view the full list of 2018 NISC Program of Excellence Award winners.

The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. Throughout the County, BCDA operates 20 senior centers and the Maryland Access Point for Baltimore County (MAP). 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017