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LINKAGE TO COUNTY RESULTS AREAS

  • Thriving Youth and Families
  • A More Affordable and Welcoming County for a Lifetime

PROGRAM CONTACTS

Contact Raymond L. Crowel, PSY.D. of the Department of Health and Human Services at 240.777.1266 or Deborah Lambert of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2794 for more information.

FY23 APPROVED BUDGET

The FY23 Approved Budget includes approximately $48.2 million in tax-supported resources identified for seniors, including funds for community organizations that augment County services for seniors. In addition, the approved budget includes $20.2 million in non-tax supported resources for older adults and seniors.

Enhancements in the FY23 Approved Budget include:

  • Increase staff in the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate complaints of maltreatment of abuse and neglect against seniors, secure resources, and provide surrogate decision-making for adults adjudicated through the courts;
  • Increase staff to support the new South Couth Regional, Senior center Facility, opening in Fiscal Year 2023; and
  • Increase to Transit Services including expansion of the Call-N-Ride program and increased subsidies for wheelchair accessible taxicabs and new grants to nonprofit transportation service partners.

Non-Departmental Account Community Grants

  • The FY23 Approved Budget provides grants to community partners of $630,000 for services benefiting seniors. These community organizations are critical to an effective network or services and are sometimes able to provide these services in a more cost-effective, culturally appropriate, and flexible way. They are also able to leverage community resources that may be unavailable to County Government.
DEPARTMENTAL PROGRAMS

Services benefiting seniors are incorporated in the general department program offerings, as well as targeted services. Below are some of the major County government programs currently supporting County seniors.

Department of Recreation
  • Operate seven Senior Centers.
  • Add one Senior Center and one Senior Nutrition site with the opening of the South County Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center in FY23.
  • Operate a Senior Transportation Service providing limited range age-friendly access to six Senior Centers.
  • Operate Active Adult Centers for those 55 and older, where seniors gather for educational programs, friendship, entertainment, sports, and other activities.
  • Operate a Senior Nutrition Program at eight facilities in cooperation with HHS.
  • Operate the Senior Sneaker Exercise Program that provides for adults over 55 years of age access to quality exercise and fitness rooms at Recreation Department Community Centers with a reduced annual membership fee.
  • Offer Senior Outdoor Adventure Recreation day trip programs for active adults over 55 years of age.
  • Continue the popular senior mini-trip program. Each senior center and Active Adult Program now receives three trips per-year to take seniors to local destinations of interest.
  • Work with other agencies, departments, hospitals, and non-profits to provide a variety of programs, classes, and services identified as community needs to the residents age 55+ of Montgomery County. This includes such programs as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Tech Fairs, Health and Wellness Expos, Bone Builders, Senior Fit classes, and a huge variety of ongoing classes and programs.
Department of Health and Human Services
  • Prevent or reverse nursing home placement for Medicaid-eligible persons of all ages by providing planning, nurse monitoring, and community-based services.
  • Transport seniors to County Recreation centers and, for residents of a limited number of senior apartment buildings, grocery stores using Transit Services Ride On buses during off peak hours
  • Provide supportive services to seniors including "friendly visitor," grocery shopping, legal assistance, and Alzheimer's support, and others through contracts with non-profit organizations.
  • Continue the Escorted Transportation Program with the Jewish Council for the Aging.
  • Promote and expand transportation options available to seniors and people with disabilities through the County Mobility and Transportation Manager who works with advocates and public and private service providers.
  • Offer one-stop, hands-on assistance and outreach to County residents regarding services for seniors, persons with disabilities, and their families and caregivers to clarify their needs and to identify and access resources.
  • Help protect more than 9,555 County residents in 245 assisted living facilities and 34 nursing homes by maintaining a regular presence, investigating complaints, and advocating for seniors' rights.
  • Offer seniors over the age of 60 access to meals, nutrition education, and the opportunity for socialization at community and senior centers and senior apartment buildings.
  • Provide home delivered meals to address the nutritional needs of seniors who are home-bound due to illness or disability and cannot get out or prepare healthful meals on their own. Special consideration is given to low-income individuals, minority individuals, those in rural communities, those with limited English proficiency, and those at risk of institutional care.
  • Investigate complaints of maltreatment for abuse and neglect against seniors, secure resources, and provide surrogate decision-making for adults adjudicated through the courts.
  • Provide in-home support services to help vulnerable seniors remain safe and cared for in the community and to prevent premature and/or inappropriate institutionalization.
  • Offer the Home Care Chore Services Program, which is targeted to low-income, frail, elderly, and people with disabilities who need help with light cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, and/or meal preparation in order to remain in their own homes and in the community.
  • Maintain funding for respite care services for older adults, persons with disabilities, and caregivers.
  • Continue to support the Adult Protective Services/ Social Services to Adults Program which addresses an increase in investigations of financial exploitations resulting from new mandatory reporting requirements for banks.
  • Provide Heavy Chore Services to serve seniors with hoarding behaviors to prevent evictions, condemnations, or to correct health and safety conditions. Services include heavy commercial cleaning and pest fumigation.
  • Provide Senior Mental Health Services for home-bound seniors and coordinate medication with medical providers.
  • Help meet older adult challenges of remaining independent in their homes as they age in their communities through the "Village" model, a grassroots, consumer driven, and volunteer first model. The Village Coordinator assists 28 current and 3 emerging "Villages" and promotes the creation of new ones.
  • Continue Senior Home Sharing program that matches senior home providers who have a spare room with home seekers interested in a long-term housing option.
Department of Transportation - Transit Services
  • Subsidize taxi service for low-income seniors, age 65 and older, to allow for greater mobility and quality of life.
  • Provide information and linkage to transportation resources to senior citizens, maintain a database of resources, help callers fill out forms for transportation programs, and link callers with transportation providers.
  • Provide free public transit travel training classes for seniors, increasing their travel options and comfort level with public transportation.
  • Continue ongoing advertising campaigns and distribution of senior transportation services.
  • Conduct on-site outreach events and presentations about senior transportation options and resources at locations where seniors frequent or reside.
  • Provide fixed route service (Ride On) to many senior centers and make Senior SmarTrip cards available through multiple channels.
  • Transport seniors to senior centers and grocery shopping trips from 12 residential facilities during Ride On's off-peak period.
  • Provide free bus service on Ride On and Metrobus during off-peak periods (Monday-Friday 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and Saturday 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM) and half price fares at all other times.
  • Improve bus stops as part of Ride On's safety, ADA compliance, and accessibility program.
  • Improve pedestrian crossings by re-timing all traffic signals to extend pedestrian crossing times to accommodate slower walking speeds, upgrade some traffic signals to include accessible/countdown pedestrian signals.
  • Continue to improve pedestrian access by using high visibility ladder bar style at crosswalks, focus on pedestrian access safety in work zones, and continue converting street lights to LED.
  • Improve transportation services and address barriers for residents who are disabled, seniors, and individuals with limited incomes. Supported by dedicated revenues from Transportation Network Company fees, Transit Services will increase subsidies for wheelchair accessible taxicabs and provide new grants to nonprofit transportation service partners.
  • Expand age- and income-based eligibility requirements for the Call-N-Ride program to provide on-demand ride service to more residents.
Department of Public Libraries (MCPL)
  • Provide programs specifically designed to engage patrons over 50 years of age that promote creativity, learning, education, healthy living, and social interaction. These activities are essential to vital living, and are provided in partnership with Federal, State, and County agencies and departments, non-profits, and local community organizations.
  • Provide diverse programs relevant to the County's population over age 50. Topics include book discussions, intergenerational opportunities, financial security, professional development, business, retirement, taxes, health, employment, technology, consumer issues, English language learning, and others. All these programs have the goal of combating and alleviating social isolation.
  • Provide online lifelong learning services and materials, including our seniors-focused web page, and training on how to use e-books and computers.
  • Offer large print library materials and other accessibility equipment and services for seniors - assistive technology workstations with desktop magnifiers and computers with screen reading and magnifying software (JAWS, NVDA, and Magic software), adjustable tables, audio induction loop system in meeting rooms (selected branches), and Communication Access Real-Time Translation Services(CART).
  • Provide Metro Senior SmarTrip cards for purchase at all library branches.
  • Provide Books@Home service, delivering library materials to Montgomery County residents who cannot visit the library because of physical disability, health issue, or frailty.
  • Provide substantial volunteer opportunities that are frequently utilized by people over 50 at every branch through Service Corps for Retired Executives business counseling and Volunteer Center.
  • Participate/exhibit in Fairs and Expos and schedule regular appearances in radio and television shows geared to 50+ to promote MCPL services, resources, and programming.
  • Market library services and resources in newspaper venues focusing on people over 50, such as The Beacon.

Department of Technology Services
  • Senior Planet Montgomery provides technology training for older adults to enable them to use the Internet for daily living, extend their ability to live independently, and to find employment and be entrepreneurs in the digital economy. In response to Covid-19, lectures and workshops were converted to be delivered online via Zoom. Ten times as many seniors have participated in the Senior Planet Montgomery At Home Edition versus in person, but providing multi-week Internet basics courses online to older adults who do not have devices, home Internet, or technology experience has proved challenging.
  • The Department of Environmental Protection partners with Senior Planet Montgomery to offer workshops and information to seniors about energy efficiency and ways to reduce energy expenses. Classes have expanded in partnership with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center and the Gilchrist Immigration Resource Center and are now offered in English, Spanish, and Chinese Mandarin. Program outcomes demonstrate that seniors participating in the program feel more connected to their families, friends, and communities, feel more optimistic about their future, and have better access to health information.

Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS)
  • To address the disproportionate increase in the number of repeat low-acuity 911 calls by seniors, MCFRS implemented the Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program. In its first year, the pilot program reduced non-emergency calls by 55 percent for the population served by the program. This collaborative initiative of HHS and MCFRS holistically incorporates the skills of fire/rescue personnel, clinical social workers, and community health nurses to better meet the needs of patients who utilize EMS services frequently and reduces the burden on 911, emergency medical personnel, and emergency rooms while still providing superior care.
  • Increase the number and diversity of programs to educate older adults about the benefits of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, escape planning, general fire safety and injury prevention both in-person and virtually.
  • Increase the number of residents reached by the department's Senior Outreach program and services.
  • Identify strategies to reduce fire risk among older adults.
  • Identify homebound seniors and those with disabilities to provide information on fire safety and risk reduction including the installation of approved smoke alarms appropriate and aligned with their needs.
  • Continue to increase collaborative partnerships with County agencies and departments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, professional organizations providing services to seniors and other organizations.
  • Continue to provide public education and awareness campaigns to educate and inform residents regarding legislative changes to Maryland's Smoke Alarm Law and County requirements for carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Continue to provide door-to-door safety awareness campaigns offering department services including the evaluation of existing residential smoke alarm equipment, replacement of smoke alarms, and general injury prevention information and education.
  • Continue to offer appointment-based fire safety evaluations and smoke alarm checks, both in-person and virtual, for older adults, high risk and low-income residents.
  • Assist and partner with communities, HOAs and neighborhood organizations regarding fire safety, the importance of home fire evacuation and escape plans, general injury prevention and emergency preparedness information.
  • Continue to support the County's "Villages" model designed to assist residents who are "aging in place" with fire safety, injury prevention and safety strategies to reduce risk and smoke alarm checks/installs.
  • Provide education and training to recruit classes and first responders to increase awareness of the needs, health issues, and risks faced by older adults.
Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Continue partnering with "Rebuilding Together" by funding some administrative costs for a highly leveraged program that provides home repairs for low-income homeowners, most of whom are seniors and unable to undertake home repairs on their own.
  • Continue partnering with the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County to provide rental assistance to low-income seniors.
Office of the State's Attorney
  • Aggressively prosecute crimes against seniors and vulnerable adults through the Crimes Against Seniors and Vulnerable Adults Unit of the Office of the State's Attorney.
  • Continue to collaborate closely with Adult Protective Services and the Police Department to address crimes against seniors in an efficient and timely manner that holds offenders accountable for their criminal activity.
  • Continue to chair the Montgomery County Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force, which brings together representatives from County Agencies to discuss cases of concern and hosts an annual event on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to promote education/prevention of senior abuse.
  • Collect data and metrics that include the number of investigations opened, inter-agency collaborations, and prosecutions.
Community Engagement Cluster
  • Partner with community organizations to provide free tax preparation assistance to low-to-moderate income Montgomery County residents with special attention to seniors age 60+.
  • Support opportunities for adults age 60+ to increase access to community activities, socialization, and lifelong learning.
  • Provide individual and couples senior counseling services.
  • Recognize senior volunteer contributions annually by honoring two seniors with the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award.
  • Continue the Senior Fellows program which taps the experience and skills of retired seniors across a range of issues from affordable housing to transportation options.
Office of Consumer Protection
  • Continue to recruit seniors and retired professionals to work at Office of Consumer Protection as volunteers providing administrative and investigative assistance.
  • Conduct outreach initiatives to provide consumer education regarding consumer scams that target seniors and vulnerable adults.
  • Collaborate with legislators and consumer organizations to enact and enhance laws designed to protect seniors from deceptive trade practices.
Office Human Resources
  • Offer the Senior Fellows Program to augment the County's workforce by tapping into the skill sets of highly talented, experienced, and seasoned professionals which, includes seniors.
Department of Environmental Protection
  • Seniors are able to apply for an exemption for curbside refuse and recycling services that are available to any individual who because of physical limitations (disability or age) is unable to bring containers to the curb.
Office of Public Information
  • Produce in partnership with the Commission on Aging "50+ in Montgomery County" a monthly cable television show highlighting services and programs of interest to seniors.
  • Manage the County's seniors website, a central portal offering timely information to seniors and caregivers about County services and programs: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/senior/.
  • Produce monthly full-page communications in The Beacon newspaper (in focus for people over 50) to deliver County messaging campaigns to its 400,000 monthly readers.
  • Support the Commission on Aging (COA) by using established social media platforms to get their messaging out to the community.
  • MC311 provides access to local government services for seniors that cover a broad range of topics including: nutritional assistance programs, property tax deferral information, and health care resources.
Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD)
  • Maintain "Keeping Seniors Safe" crime prevention outreach program, which addresses financial and other frauds and scams; identity theft; shopping safety; and emergency preparedness through presentations from Community Outreach Officers and command staff, and brochures distributed widely.
  • Conduct home security surveys in seniors' homes.
  • Manage Project Lifesaver to help locate seniors with dementia/Alzheimer's Disease.

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