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Community for Life program aims to help seniors age at home

The Daily Record

January 25, 2019


Experts in aging from five sites in Maryland are joining together to launch a new state program to promote quality of life for people aging at home, with McDaniel College providing the expertise to guide and train leaders.

A McDaniel online training course began in January that will connect staff from five sites all over the state in creating the Community for Life program.

“This program is the first of its kind in the nation,” said Maryland Department of Aging Secretary Rona E. Kramer. “Through partnership between Maryland government and the nonprofit community, we provide a grouping of reliable and professional services heretofore unavailable to seniors in an easy and manageable package that will help prevent falls, contractor fraud and isolation, while at the same time preserving their important assets, home and hard-earned savings.”

Community for Life will connect people over 65 who are living at home with resources including a home and yard maintenance and repair network and transportation. The idea is to support people who want to age at home, and a concierge-like service offered by service navigators to connect it all together.

Diane Martin, director of The Center for the Study of Aging and an assistant professor of gerontology at McDaniel College, said that social engagement is one of the strongest influencers of cognitive and physical health later in life. Research shows people who aren’t socially involved have worse health outcomes and earlier mortality rates.