Here’s a nod to May as Older American’s Month, and its theme, “Engage at Every Age.”
MAC, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging, and the National Council on Aging are committed to helping all Americans live well and age well. Here are a few ways to improve your life – or the life of an older adult you know.
Check out your local senior center
Senior centers on the Lower Shore are a hub of activity, bringing seniors together and thus helping to reduce isolation and loneliness. The centers also provide a vital link to a variety of programs and services to help seniors take charge of their health and stay involved in their community.
There are a total of 11 centers located on the Lower Shore. In addition to offering a nutritious meal, activities include games, movies, informational health presentations, performances by area musicians and students, travel programs, holiday celebrations and more.
Give your budget a tune-up
The NCOA urges seniors to become financially empowered: to find out if they are eligible for benefits programs, to help pay for daily needs, find a trusted partner to help them get out of debt, and to explore new ways to earn extra income.
The Maryland Access Point program is a one-stop source of information and assistance for family members, caregivers, disabled adults, and seniors, which helps them navigate through the maze of long-term care services and links them with local and state programs.
Services include options counseling, benefits screening, Medicare Part D assistance and referrals to other services. To reach MAP at MAC, call 410-742-0505.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program at MAC, Inc., seeks to connect eligible seniors with work service assignments in the community. SCSEP also helps to update participants’ job, interview and resume writing skills.
In addition, the NCOA’s Economic Check Up will help seniors make the most of their money, through a personal report with tips on money management, budgeting, staying healthy, and protecting your financial information.
Be safe, eat well
The NCOA suggests finding an evidence-based falls prevention program that can help keep you on your feet; and explore healthy eating to get the right mix of nutrients as you age.
Falls are costly to older Americans, both in terms of dollars and quality of life. MAC offers sessions of Stepping On, and other free evidence-based falls prevention programs, throughout the Lower Shore. The sessions are available on an ongoing basis through MAC’s Maryland Living Well Center of Excellence.
Other MAC services and programs designed to promote improved health and independence among seniors include chronic disease self-management classes that address chronic pain, diabetes and hypertension, and a new class developed at MAC – Stepping Up Your Nutrition, which highlights nutrition as a key component in falls prevention.
In addition, Meals on Wheels at MAC helps improve the safety and nutrition of home-bound seniors: drivers deliver a nutritious meal, reduce isolation for the home-bound older persons, and serve as a safety check for frail elderly who live alone and are at an increased risk of medical emergencies, falls and accidents.
Make the most of Medicare
Navigating the Medicare maze can be confusing. Health insurance counseling services at MAC includes helping seniors enroll in Medicare and choose Medicare prescription plans, in addition to resolving billing and claims issues, and providing information on programs for those with limited income, and other health insurance information.
For more information on any of these programs and services, contact MAC at 410-742-0505, or visit www.macinc.org.
MAC is a member agency of the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.