Anywhere I’ve been in life, God has placed older adults around me as my dearest friends and confidants, as mentors, and as people to serve. Our attention and duty to this wonderful population, full of wisdom and grace, should be ever vigilant and ever engaging. There is a dire need for better funding, stronger leadership and more inclusive services for older adults. This is especially true in a pandemic era. We have realized now that we are missing crucial inroads for connecting with this growing population.
- Action Item 1: Ensure every Maryland agency has a funded plan to get their services to mature adults, particularly in ways that do not rely on email or internet. Use fierce oversight to ensure agencies are making that connection in ways that meet the needs of mature adults.
- Action Item 2: Fund new and more robust programming at Baltimore’s senior centers. This includes ensuring that each Senior Center is open in times of emergency to help seniors get information and help.
- Action Item 3: Ensure stronger oversight of senior residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities in Maryland. Regardless of financial means, mature adults should have ways to raise concerns and get help from an advocate without fear of retribution.
- Action Item 4: End pharmacy deserts. An accessible pharmacy should be in every neighborhood.
- Action Item 5: Review adequacy and wait times for Maryland Transportation assistance.
- Action Item 6: Review availability and adequacy of housing vouchers for mature adults.
- Action Item 7: Many mature adults have too much income to qualify for means-tested assistance, but not enough income to pay for the services and help they need. In Maryland, we need a new understanding of who is getting left out and action plan for how to include them. We can and must expand the safety net to ensure every mature adult can live with dignity, participate fully in all that life has to offer, and maximize their full potential.