A Message from Office on Aging and Independence Administrator, Jenna Crawley

I hope your summer is off to a great start! July is the perfect time to head outdoors and enjoy the beauty of Howard County's scenic parks and walking trails. But if you prefer to avoid the summer heat and humidity, take advantage of the Go 50+ Fitness Memberships The Go 50+ Fitness and Pool packages also include access to fully equipped fitness rooms ($75/year) and the Roger Carter Pool ($175/year). If you want to stay fit while staying home, try our Virtual Fitness Pass which offers 17 great classes for just $38 a month. Whether you are looking for fitness, arts, music or assistance programs, chances are you will find what you need at one of Howard County's 50+ Centers. Learn more about upcoming events and ongoing programs in the July issues of the 50+ Connection and quarterly 50+ center newsletters, below.

Howard County 50+ Centers can help you beat the heat, make new friends and stay connected all summer long!

Kick off July at the Glenwood 50+ Center on Tuesday, July 5 at 10 a.m. with a Pop Up Patriotic Craft - create a vintage-inspired flag from slate! Beat the heat at the East Columbia 50+ Center Pool Party on Wednesday, July 6 at noon and enjoy games, music and lunch (call 410-313-7680 to register.) Stop by the Bain 50+ Center on Wednesday, July 20 at noon and enjoy a "doggone" good lunch for National Hot Dog Day. Head indoors for the Asian Brush and Korean Calligraphy Art Show and Reception at the Elkridge 50+ Center on Monday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to view artwork created by members, and sign up to learn Beginner Watercolor Painting at the Ellicott City 50+ Center on Wednesdays starting July 7 at 1:00 p.m. (register). Last but not least, Cool Down with Card Making at the North Laurel 50+ Center on Wednesday, July 27! Enjoy two hours of paper crafting fun, starting at 10 a.m. Click the links below to find more activities to be active, get fit and stay connected all summer!

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 our virtual programs and links are now included as a regular feature in our 50+ center newsletters, so you can enjoy one-stop shopping for activities!
Meet Matthew Madera, OAI's New 50+ Center Division Manager

The Office on Aging and Independence (OAI) welcomed Matt Madera in June as our new 50+ Center Division Manager. Though new to OAI, Matt has been with Howard County Government since 2002 when he started with the Department of Recreation & Parks in the Recreational Licensed Child Care Division. He was part of the opening team for both the Gary J. Arthur Community Center and the North Laurel Community Center.

In his new role, Matt looks forward to improving access to programs and services that will enable our residents to live, work and age well in Howard County. "Our 50+ Centers are amazing community resource hubs that empower residents with information and knowledge to make informed decisions that best meet their unique needs and preferences," he said. "As our County continues to experience an upward trend in our 50+ demographic, we want to provide more opportunities for older adults to stay connected and contribute to their communities in new and innovative ways."
Lunch & Learn's Share Information About the Age-Friendly Action Plan

County Executive Calvin Ball is hosting a series of Lunch & Learn events this summer to share information about the Age-Friendly Howard County Action Plan, and encourage residents to get involved in the implementation process. Members of the work groups who put the plan together are also on hand to discuss the 80 action steps which intend to make Howard County a more livable and age-friendly community. 

Learn more about the Age-Friendly initiative and review the action plan at www.howardcountymd.gov/agefriendly. To join one or more of the implementation groups (which begin meeting in-person in July), click here.

Join us for lunch at a 50+ center near you!
We are excited to welcome you back to dine with us at the Howard County 50+ Centers! Must be 60 or older to receive a meal; spouses of any age may also participate. Participants will have the opportunity to provide a confidential donation towards the cost of the meal. Click here for details.
Thursday, July 21, 11:00 a.m.
Ellicott City 50+ Center
9401 Frederick Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) helps to protect Howard County consumers by investigating complaints and mediating disputes, taking enforcement action and providing presentations on consumer issues and tenants' rights. OCP's upcoming presentation in July, “How to Safely Use Payment Apps,” will highlight how to choose and when to use apps like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer and how to protect yourself from criminals who use the apps to try to get your money. FREE. Call 410-313-1400 to register. 
Need Help Managing Your Chronic Conditions?

Living Well is a free, six-week chronic disease self-management program 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. 

Offered in Korean, the next six-week session will be held on Tuesdays starting July 26, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Longwood Apartments, 6150 Foreland Garth in Columbia, MD 21045. Caregivers are welcome, too. For more information or to register, contact Minjung Engle at 410-313-6538 (voice/relay) or MEngle@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.
HoCo Climate Survey
Take Howard County's Climate Change Survey

Howard County is working hard to reduce the impacts of climate change by reducing energy use, using renewable energy, and more. Even with these efforts, we are expecting more extreme heatwaves, cold waves, and extreme storms, and want to make sure county residents have what they need to handle these changes.

Your participation in the Climate Change Preparedness Survey will provide information we need to help you feel better prepared and safer as these weather extremes continue. Survey responses remain anonymous, and will inform the priorities in our upcoming Climate Action Plan and work plan for the next three to five years. Surveys are available in English, Korean, Hindi, and Spanish. To request this survey in another language or an alternate format, contact afarrell@howardcountymd.gov or (443) 890-0931.
For more information about the Office on Aging & Independence 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.