Maryland Department of Aging April News

April News

Volunteers Make a Difference

Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate the impact volunteers have on the lives of many and encourage active volunteerism for generations to come. While volunteers generously donate a part of their lives to serving others, helping those in need has been shown to improve the lives of volunteers as well, making them happier and even healthier.

According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering reduces stress and increases relaxation by releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases feelings of happiness. Reduced stress further decreases the risk of many physical and mental health problems - like heart disease, stroke, depression, and anxiety.

The Maryland Department of Aging truly appreciates its many volunteers and recognizes the positive affect they have had on older Marylanders. If you are interested in volunteering with the Department of Aging or one of its19 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), visit or read below to learn more about our programs and possible volunteer opportunities:


State Health Insurance Assistance Program: Volunteers are an essential part of the success of health insurance counseling for Medicare beneficiaries in our state. State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) volunteers are trained and certified to assist Medicare beneficiaries to make informed decisions about their health benefits, including comparing insurance and supplemental insurance options, informing about preventive benefits, finding an affordable prescription drug plan, and applying for extra health benefits to save on out of pocket costs. Volunteers with the Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) help consumers learn about, identify, and report health care fraud, waste, abuse, or error. SHIP counselors are available in all 23 counties and Baltimore City. To find out about SHIP and SMP volunteer opportunities, reach out to your local SHIP office. CLICK HERE for a complete list of SHIP office contact numbers in Maryland.


Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Whether through individual contact with residents or systemic advocacy, ombudsmen make a difference in the lives of residents in assisted living and nursing homes, improving resident care and quality of life. Trained volunteer Ombudsmen pay regular visits to long-term care facilities within their region to spend time with residents, monitor conditions, investigate complaints, and protect residents’ rights. If you would like to volunteer for the Maryland Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, click here to access the on-line application or email for more information.


Nutrition and Meal Services Program: In an effort to ensure older adults achieve and maintain optimal nutritional status, each county and the city of Baltimore offer congregate (group dining in community settings), home delivered meals (meal delivery services) and nutritional education and counseling. Locations of group dining in your community might include senior centers, senior housing, faith based organizations, and community centers. These programs are operated by the local Area Agencies on Aging with local partners like Meals on Wheels, food banks, and other community food programs. To find out about nutrition services and volunteer opportunities are available in your area, contact your local Maryland Access Point (MAP) office or your local Senior Center:

World Health Organization Celebrates 75th Anniversary & World Health Day

75th anniversary

This year's World Health Day (WHD), held every year on April 7, marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, when countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. Each year, World Health Day (WHD) focuses on a different public health concern; this year's theme is "Health for All."

Living Well

The Maryland Department of Aging encourages and supports "health for all" by funding and monitoring a variety of health services for older adults across the state. Older Marylanders can access health screenings, engage in fitness and yoga classes, use exercise equipment, learn about medication management, and take part in a range of evidence based classes and workshops designed to help with managing chronic diseases. Contact your local senior centers or the Maryland Living Well Center of Excellence. Click here for a list of senior centers or go to the Maryland Living Well Workshop Hub to find virtual or in-person health classes or workshops that are right for you. 

It's Time to Get Rid of Unused and Expired Medications