A Message from Jenna Crawley
Office on Aging & Independence Administrator

Greetings! In July, I had the great privilege of attending the USAging conference with two of my team members, Courtney Barkley, Health Promotion and Nutrition Division Manager and Cheryl Campbell, Nutrition Specialist. On behalf of OAI, we accepted an Achievement in Aging award for our Grab and Go meals program, which was established just 10 days after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The program operated for more than two years and remains one of our proudest achievements; its success has helped to influence how we design and deliver nutrition services in the community and across our six 50+ centers. It was an honor for Howard County to receive national recognition at the premier conference for Area Agencies on Aging in the US. It was truly inspiring to hear from experts from across the country about innovative aging services and programs that we can bring home to our community.
 
With this experience fresh in my mind, I would like to get your input and ideas to help guide our future services and program planning. Please take a moment to send me a note at aging@howardcountymd.gov and share your thoughts on: What DCRS/OAI is doing well? What could we do to improve? What should we consider for the future? I look forward to hearing from you.
USAging Awards
Pictured above, center, Jenna Crawley, Cheryl Campbell and Courtney Barkley accept a USAging Award for the Office on Aging and Independence's Grab and Go Meal Program. Learn more about the 2022 USAging Innovations and Achievement awards.
Love to cook - and eat? Looking for some cool summer entertainment options? Howard County's 50+ Centers have you covered. Stop by to stay connected all summer long!

Indulge your inner chef at Crazy About Cast Iron at the Glenwood 50+ Center on Wednesday, August 3 at 11:00 a.m. and learn how to craft Summer Mocktails at the Elkridge 50+ Center on Friday, August 5 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Lunch & Laugh with The Bain Players at the Bain 50+ Center on Wednesday, August 10 at noon and watch the Carroll County Cloggers kick up their heels at the Ellicott City 50+ Center on Thursday, August 18 at 1:00 p.m. Celebrate World Senior Citizens Day with lunch at the North Laurel 50+ Center on Friday, August 19 at noon and top off the month with an Ice Cream Social at the East Columbia 50+ Center on Friday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m. Details can be found in the August issue of the 50+ Connection.

Last but not least, don't miss the Bain 50+ Center's Community Craft & Yard Sale on Monday, August 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you would like to participate, a limited number of tables are available at $10 for Bain members and $25 for non-members. Stop by the Bain front desk to reserve your table in advance, or call 410-313-7213 for more information.

For more fun summer activities, click on one of the newsletters, below, and subscribe to have future issues sent directly to you.

Our virtual programs and virtual fitness pass classes offer older adults options to stay connected and get fit in the comfort of their own homes. Don't forget that links to all our virtual programs are now included as a regular feature in our 50+ center newsletters, so you can enjoy one-stop shopping for activities!
Become a Walking Club Ambassador in Elkridge!

Do you enjoy staying fit, being outdoors, and socializing? The Elkridge 50+ Center is seeking volunteers to serve as Walking Club Ambassadors. Ambassadors are responsible for promoting the program, facilitating and coordinating daily 1 to 2 mile neighborhood walks, and helping make center members feel welcome and stay connected. Volunteer ambassadors work together to coordinate schedules, facilitate daily walks, and handle other duties as assigned. Read the full volunteer description, and if interested, contact Jeannie DeCray at 410-313-5175 or jdecray@howardcountymd.gov.
Try Trualta©, an e-Learning Portal for Caregivers!

Thousands of family caregivers across North America are using Trualta©, a personalized, skills-based training platform for family members caring for aging family members at home. Howard County's Caregiver Support Program offers free access to the Trualta e-learning portal to help family caregivers reduce stress, find local resources, and provide better care for their loved ones. Once you enroll, you will have access to Trualta's vast resources any time of day, and you can choose the topics and articles that interest you. Give Trualta a try! To enroll, contact Kathy Wehr at 410-313-5955 (voice/relay) or kwehr@howardcountymd.gov.
Senior Call Check-In

Did you know that 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, 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!

Lunch Volunteers Needed at a Howard County 50+ Center Near You!

Congregate meals enable older adults to enjoy a well-balanced meal in a group setting, offering the opportunity for social engagement. Volunteers help make the process run smoothly by setting tables, greeting members and more. See full details. If you are interested in serving the older adult community, consider volunteering with our Congregate Meal Team. To volunteer at the Elkridge or North Laurel 50+ Center, contact Cheryl Campbell at 410-313-0380 or chcampbell@howardcountymd.gov. For the Ellicott City 50+ Center, contact Daemir Dove at 410-313-1418 or ddove@howardcountymd.gov.
Need Help Managing Your Chronic Conditions?

Living Well is a free, six-week chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) which can help you manage chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and more. Each week, small groups meet to discuss topics like nutrition, exercise, communication with family members and health care providers, feelings of frustration, and more. Now, you can attend from the comfort of your own home!

Offered online via Webex, the virtual CDSMP workshop will be held on six Wednesdays, September 14 through October 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Caregivers are welcome and may benefit from the series, too. For more information or to register, contact Akasha Dotson at 410-313-3507 (voice/relay) or ADotson@howardcountymd.gov. Living Well programs are a collaboration of the Howard County Health Department, Howard County Office on Aging and Independence, and Howard County General Hospital.
Age-Friendly Howard County Needs You!

Many individuals have come to learn firsthand about the Age-Friendly Howard County Action Plan at Lunch & Learn events over the last two months, like the one at Elkridge, right, but the learning doesn’t stop there. We have created a series of videos featuring Howard County staff, workgroup and community members who share why they think an age-friendly community is important and why you should get involved. Workgroups to implement the Plan’s action steps are forming now and will begin meeting later in August. 

Visit www.howardcountymd.gov/agefriendly to learn more, read the Age-Friendly Howard County Action Plan and join one or more of our workgroups. 

View the Age-Friendly video: Get involved in Age-Friendly Howard County 
For more information about the Office on Aging & Independence and 50+ Center programs, visit our website or follow us on social media, below. If you need assistance, contact Maryland Access Point of Howard County at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay) or visit www.howardcountymd.gov/50pluscenters.