Maryland Department of Aging July News


Maryland Chosen to Participate in National Aging Learning Collaborative


Maryland has been chosen as one of ten states to participate in the Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) Learning Collaborative led by the Centers for Health Care Strategies. 

“The aging of Maryland’s population impacts every Marylander,” said Maryland Department of Aging Secretary Carmel Roques. “This statewide collaborative will create a new framework to transform the coordination of services and build on the strengths of the aging population for decades to come, leaving no one behind.” 

As part of the learning collaborative, the Department will develop a blueprint to help states design a coordinated system of high-quality care and support services that promotes healthy aging, independent living, and social engagement. The MPA will include critical partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders, as well as input from older people across the state, to address issues related to healthcare, housing, transportation, and other social determinants of health.

Click here to read more about Department of Aging's participation in the MPA Learning Collaborative. Click here to learn more about the Centers for Health Care Strategies.

USAging Recognizes AAA Partnership


The Maryland Living Well Center of Excellence (LWCE) has been recognized by USAging for its collaboration over the past several years with TidalHealth to improve health outcomes and quality of life for older adults or persons with disabilities.

The LWCE - a division of MAC Inc., the Area Agency on Aging on the Eastern Shore - last year won the prestigious John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Runner Up Award, applauding the partnership between the community-based organization and the private health care company.

USAging reiterated the success of the program in its recent article "Success Stories Building Collaborative Contracts with Health Care: Maryland Living Well Center of Excellence...and TidalHealth." The article points out how an effective health care partnership such as this reaches underinsured and underserved communities and ensures a continuum of care through the use of evidence-based programs. Click here to read the full article.

The Living Well Center of Excellence offers in-person and virtual programs, classes, and workshops to encourage older adults to stay engaged and live a full life. The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. USAging represents and supports the national network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocates for older adults and people with disabilities.

ACL Seeks Input on Older Americans Act


The U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) is seeking input on proposed changes to the Older Americans Act (OAA) that, if adopted, would be the first substantial updates in 35 years.

ACL says the proposed updates will address issues that have emerged over the last three decades due to longer lifespans and a growing older population. In addition, ACL says the changes will clarify requirements for serving older adults during national disasters and other emergencies, as well as strengthen the system of support that allows millions of older adults to stay in their own homes and age in place. Click here for an overview of proposed OAA changes. Comments may be submitted online or by mail and must be received by 11:59pm EST, Tuesday, August 15, 2023. 


Older Americans Act Background Information

The Older Americans Act (OAA) was passed in 1965 by Congress as part of President Johnson’s “Great Society” initiative with the goal of improving the status of older Americans by meeting their community social needs. The original legislation authorized grants to states for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. The law also established the Administration on Aging to administer grant programs and serve as the federal focal point on matters concerning older persons.

The Act has been amended 13 times and currently supports programs including family caregiver support, health and wellness promotion, job training, long-term care ombudsman, nutrition, transportation, tribal assistance, prevention of elder abuse and neglect, and more.

July is Parks and Recreation Month

Nat Park

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, a great time to experience nature, history, and culture at one of Maryland's many diverse national or state parks. If you are 62 years or older, you are eligible for national and state park senior passes. The National Senior Park Pass provides admittance to more than 2,000 recreation sites across the country, while the State Golden Age Pass entitles you to free day-use entry to all state parks.

Fortunately, Maryland parks offer something for everyone: mountain trails to historic homes, Civil War battle sites to the marshes of the Eastern Shore, or views of the Chesapeake Bay to the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Spending time in any of these environments can benefit physical and mental health and wellbeing, while increasing feelings of connectedness.

Discover new experiences or revisit your favorite parks this month and all year long. Click here for a list of Maryland's 18 National Parks. Click here for a list of the 64 State Parks with amenities.

Watch out for Extreme Heat, Poor Air Quality, & Severe Weather Events


If you are planning outdoor activities this summer, be prepared for hotter temperatures and resulting air quality issues, as well as possible storms or other severe weather-related events. 

Extreme summer heat is increasing in the United States, and Maryland is no exception. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Maryland is expected to have one of the hottest summers on record. From July to September, Western & Central Maryland are set to have a 40% to 50% chance of above-normal temperatures, while the eastern shore region is projected to have a 50% to 60% chance of above-normal temperatures, NOAA said.

Hotter temperatures contribute to higher ozone levels, which cause poorer air quality. In addition, drought conditions increase the possibility of fires and the resulting smoke pollution from fine particulate matter, as was recently experienced from Canadian wildfires.

While anyone can be at risk, older adults or individuals with chronic medical conditions are more likely to experience health effects or illnesses due to excessive heat or increased air pollution. Heat and poor air quality can aggravate stroke, diabetes, and heart, lung, and other respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.

So what can you do to stay safe but also enjoy summertime? Be proactive, and be prepared!


         Be Proactive

If you use a cell phone, sign up for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app to get regional weather alerts  from the National Weather Service. In addition, check your local news or the internet ( and for the weather forecast, including heat and air quality indexes.

The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity, and it measures what the body actually feels. When the heat index exceeds certain thresholds, the body becomes less able to cool itself, leading to dehydration, fatigue, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is. The AQI is forecast using colors ranging from green to maroon expressing number values from 0 to 500 - the higher the AQI number, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern.

Be Prepared

Once temperatures rise to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or the AQI reaches orange levels, consider staying indoors in air conditioning until conditions improve. Be sure to have plenty of food, water, and other supplies on hand, as well as any medications you may need. See below for helpful resources, including a downloadable medication log and disaster kit supply list in case you need to shelter in place.

If you choose to go outside, pick the coolest times of day, like morning or evening hours, and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. In addition, drink plenty of fluids and avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks and salty foods that cause dehydration.

Additional Resources