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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 Lindsay Lucas of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2766 for more information.

FY22 APPROVED BUDGET

The FY22 Approved Budget includes approximately $40 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 $17 million in non-tax supported resources for seniors.

Enhancements in the FY22 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.
  • A project at North Montgomery Senior Housing that includes the acquisition and new construction of 111-units of senior affordable housing to be located in Gaithersburg. The project will include 97 one-bedroom units and 14 two-bedroom units.
  • A project at Sandy Spring Village that will repurpose an existing three-story building commercial office complex into 56-units of residential housing for seniors. The project will have 47 units at 60 percent area medium income (AMI), 5 units at 50 percent AMI and 4 units at 40 percent AMI.
  • St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Damascus is partnering with the Mission First Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing developer, to construct 76 units of senior housing. The Church has received Preliminary Plan approval for the project which will provide affordable independent living for seniors. The building will feature 66 one-bedroom and ten two-bedroom units.

Non-Departmental Account Community Grants

  • The FY22 Recommended Budget provides grants to community partners of $900,000 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.
  • 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 using Transit Services Ride On buses during off-peak hours to provide transportation to County community recreation centers and to grocery stores for a limited number of senior housing complexes.
  • Provide supportive contractual services to seniors including "friendly visitor" services, grocery shopping, legal assistance, and Alzheimer's support services.
  • Continue the Escorted Transportation Project with the Jewish Council for the Aging to expand and coordinate new and existing escorted transportation services.
  • 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 9,400 County residents in 250 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 the County's most frail and vulnerable 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 support for the Adult Protective Services/Social Services to Adults Program to address an increase in investigations of financial exploitation resulting from new mandatory reporting requirements for banks.
  • Provide Heavy Chore Services to serve seniors with hoarding behaviors to prevent evictions, condemnation, 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.
  • Implement a 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
  • 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 all hours of operation.
  • 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.
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 other agencies.
  • 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 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, such as Service Corps for Retired Executives business counseling and Volunteer Center.
  • Market library services and resources in newspaper venues focusing on people over 50, such as The Beacon.

Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions (TEBS)
  • 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 Pilot Program. In its first year, the pilot program reduced non-emergency calls by 55% 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.
  • Identify strategies to reduce fire risk among the elderly.
  • Identify homebound seniors and those with disabilities to provide information on fire safety and risk reduction assistance including the installation of approved smoke alarms appropriate for their needs.
  • Continue to partner and expand collaborative partnerships between MCFRS, County agencies and departments, and professional organizations providing services to seniors.
  • Continue public education and awareness campaign to educate and inform residents regarding legislative changes to Maryland's Smoke Alarm Law and new County requirements for carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Continue appointment-based and door-to-door safety campaigns offering department services to seniors including the evaluation of existing residential smoke alarm equipment, replacement of smoke alarms, and general injury prevention information and education.
  • Offer free residential safety evaluations and smoke alarm checks for seniors.
  • Assist and partner with communities and neighborhood organizations regarding fire safety, the development of home fire evacuation and escape plans, and 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 in-home safety, and smoke alarm checks.
  • Provide education and training to recruit classes and first responders to increase awareness of the needs, health issues, and risks faced by senior citizens.
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 "Seniors Today," 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/ NOTE: The content is provided by the Commission on Aging (COA).
  • Produce monthly full-page communications - a pictorial advertisement (with limited text provided by COA) - in The Beacon newspaper (in focus for people over 50) to deliver County messaging campaigns to its 400,000 monthly readers.
  • Support the COA by using established social media platforms to get their messaging out to the community.
  • OPI provides graphic support for the COA to include flyers, brochures, and booklets, with any required printing paid by the COA.
  • 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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