Maryland Department of Aging May News

May News

Celebrate Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month (OAM) and Older Marylanders Month. Here in Maryland and across the nation, celebrations are taking place that recognize the contributions and achievements of older Americans. This year's theme, Aging Unbound, explores the diversity in each older adult’s unique aging experience and recognizes the benefits of helping older adults maintain engagement and independence.

As part of OAM, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has directed all 57 State Departments of Aging, 650 Area Agencies on Aging and thousands of local service providers to strengthen their commitment to increasing opportunities that assist people who choose to stay at home as they age.

When OAM was established in 1963, approximately 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday. That number climbed to nearly 56 million in 2020, and is projected to reach 80.8 million by 2040, according to ACL's 2021 Profile of Older Americans.

"With the increasing human lifespan, we are encountering a demographic shift unparalleled in human history," notes Maryland Department of Aging Secretary Carmel Roques. "It's time to challenge the narrative that older people are a problem or burden on society and start realizing the expanded possibilities of longer living societies."

Roques says for Marylanders to live healthy, financially secure, socially connected, and purposeful lives across their full life span, stakeholders who serve older adults in Maryland, including government, private, public, and non-profit agencies, must come together to develop a coordinated long-term plan.

"The Department will be a convener, collaborator, and catalyst for bold initiatives across multiple sectors to build a longevity ready Maryland," Secretary Roques said when she recently announced the creation of the Multisector Engagement and Age Friendly Initiative. "Let's think differently about aging and use the lens of longer lifespans as we engage in planning and preparing for what is already here and what is to come."

Click here to find out what OAM activities are taking place around the state. To learn more about OAM, go to


May 11: Maryland Centenarians Recognition Day


Maryland Centenarian's Day is celebrated during Older Americans Month to recognize and honor the accomplishments and longevity of Maryland residents who are 100 years or older. According to estimates from the National Institute on Aging, the odds of living to one hundred have risen from approximately 1 in 20 million to 1 in 50 for women in some low-mortality nations. Additionally, if progress in reducing mortality continues at the same pace, children born today in low-mortality countries can expect to become centenarians.

"While the secret to eternal youth remains a mystery, our centenarians have so much wisdom to share and life lessons to teach us," said MDOA Secretary Carmel Roques, who will be honoring Maryland centenarians at the annual Centenarian Luncheon on May 11 hosted by the Maryland Centenarian's Committee. "I encourage all citizens to appreciate, protect, and provide comfort and stability for this growing population, their caregivers, and families."

May 11: Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day


Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day was developed by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in an effort to raise awareness of older adults’ mental health needs, highlight where to seek services if needed, and promote evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery supports.

ACL, along with the National Council on Aging, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, invites public health practitioners, professionals in the aging network, mental health providers, health care professionals, and anyone interested in ensuring the mental health of older adults to attend a free, all-day, virtual event featuring a diverse array of topics addressing the most pressing mental health needs in older adults. Click here to register for the symposium.

If you are having a mental health crisis and need help, call 988 to be connected to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline which encompasses all behavioral crisis services, including mental health and substance use problems. You can also dial 211 any time of day for a free and confidential service providing information, community resources, and referrals for a variety of health and human service issues.

May 14: Mother's Day


May 15: National Senior Fraud Awareness Day


National Senior Fraud Awareness Day was established in 2018 by the U.S. Congress to raise awareness of fraudulent schemes targeted at older adults and to improve methods for ensuring the safety of elderly U.S. residents.

Each year, an alarming number of older adults fall prey to financial fraud, losing approximately $36.5 billion annually. Some of these scams involve imposters pretending to be government agents who will try to gain access to personal details like Social Security or bank account numbers. Other times, scammers send text messages claiming a problem with an account, be it a credit card, bank account, or something else, in an effort to get login details.

Click here to read more about financial exploitation against older adults, how to spot whether one of your loved ones has been scammed, and how to report financial exploitation.

May 16: National Honor our LGBT Elders Day