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Mt. Airy Seniors Task Force (MASTS)
The Maryland State Plan on Aging
In accordance with the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, the Maryland Department of Aging is required to develop and implement a State Plan on Aging to provide a framework for activities related to programs, activities and services for older adults.
The goals, objectives and strategies outlined in the Maryland State Plan on Aging represent both federal expectations as well as state priorities. The State Plan outlines the following goals that will direct the Department in its efforts to serve the target population:
Goal 1: Advocate to ensure the rights of older adults and their families and present their abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Goal 2: Support and encourage older adults, individuals with disabilities and their loved one to easily access and make informed choices about services that support them in their home or community.
Goal 3: Create opportunities for older adults and their families to lead active and healthy lives.
Goal 4: Finance and coordinate high quality services that support individuals with long term needs in a home or community setting.
Goal 5: Lead efforts to strengthen service delivery and capacity by engaging community partners to increase and leverage resources.
Maryland Commission on Aging
The Maryland Commission on Aging is a proactive body that provides statewide leadership on diverse senior issues and advocates for practical solutions
Carroll County Commission on Aging & Disabilities
The mission of the Carroll County Commission on Aging & Disabilities is to represent the Bureau of Aging & Disabilities and to advocate for the needs of Carroll County’s older adults, individuals with disabilities and veterans to ensure they receive the highest level of service, assistance and programs.
Mission Statement for the Mt. Airy Seniors Task Support (MASTS)
MASTS is a dedicated group of volunteers who are committed to working with local leaders and organizations to improve the lives of all residents within the 21771 zip code area, with a particular focus on those age 60+ and their caregivers. The key goal of MASTS is to provide critical information and solutions on issues important to good health and well-being, and to ensure that residents are aware of available valuable resources for a fulfilling life.
MASTS will engage in fundraising to support this Mission, as well as seek grants and other sources of financial assistance, including local, state and federal budgetary support.
MASTS will work in three major areas to accomplish this Mission:
1. Education & Information
- Strive to understand the concerns and needs of residents as expressed through information-gathering activities such as Community Listening Sessions, Surveys and print/social media outreach efforts.
- Communicate with other non-profits, organizations and for-profit businesses in the 21771 zip code area to coordinate and extend services/benefits to residents.
- Provide avenues of communication to enable residents to understand/access local, county and state resources in an efficient, easily accessible manner.
2. Finding Solutions:
- Search for and encourage programs/methods that reduce or erase barriers that prevent residents from reaching solutions to problems.
- Seek alignment with established programs that encourage solutions to provide an improved environment for residents.
- Evaluate and engage in the process to establish the 21771 zip code area as a “Livable Community” and/or an “Age-Friendly Community”.
- Communicate effectively with local, county and state entities (government, non-profit and for-profit) about the need for coordination of solutions.
- Advocate and support local, county and state legislation that will establish or extend services and benefits for residents.
- Highlight and communication the need for budgetary resources to support the needs and concerns of residents.
If you have questions:
- Email: MASTSofMountAiry@yahoo.com
- Call: 301-703-1428 and leave a message; we check & return calls daily
Summary of MASTS Development (June 2021 – February 2022)
- At the request of former mayor Pat Rockinberg, founded a Mt. Airy Senior Task Force with 4 members and have thus far added 5 more. Continue to seek additional volunteers from the community.
- Presented to and received approval from the Mt. Airy Town Council to become a Task Force endorsed by the Council in order to accomplish MASTS’ stated mission.
- One of the founding Task Force members has been the Mt. Airy representative on the Carroll County Commission on Aging for the past 5 years, and currently serves as a liaison between that organization, the Mt. Airy Senior Center and our community. Another, more recent member has served on the Executive Committee for AARP’s Livability Program team and recently moved to the Greater Mt. Airy area. All of the other current Task Force members are long-time volunteers with valuable local experience and insight in support of MASTS stated mission.
- Reached out to and have begun valuable dialogue with the AARP Livability Program staff as well as with both the Carroll & Frederick County Bureaus of Aging, and other Maryland communities either already certified as AARP Livable/Age-Friendly Communities or currently pursuing certification. As a result, MASTS has decided to pursue certification as a AARP Age-Friendly Community, an effort that will require significant coordination and public support over the next 4-5 years, and beyond.
- Established MASTS as a nonprofit / 501c(3) organization coordinated through the Carroll County Community Foundation. This step opens up the opportunity of MASTS pursuing a range of funding opportunities, e.g., donations, contributions, as well as state, regional and national grants.
- Reviewed and analyzed U.S. Census data for the Town, 21771 zip code, all nearby counties and the state to identify and compare senior growth rates and population share in each of these areas. These data confirm the progressive aging pattern locally, regionally and across the nation.
- Developed a Mission Statement for MASTS and have begun a public outreach campaign as well as presentations to and meetings with local service clubs, churches and other key community groups. MASTS outreach effort also utilizes coordinated messaging and response options via a MASTS Facebook page, a unique email address and a dedicated phone/response line coordinated through Town Hall.
- As a result of the demise of The Mt. Airy Messenger, MASTS is coordinating monthly updates and notice of upcoming events with the Town’s use of new print vehicles such as 4-County Catch, as well as existing vehicles such as the Wildwood Park newsletter. Going forward, each edition of these vehicles will include a news & update section specifically targeted to Mt. Airy’s seniors.
- In addition to our ongoing pursuit of becoming certified as an AARP Age-Friendly Community, MASTS is also preparing an application for a 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant. That application requests sufficient funding to provide a weekly senior shuttle that will enable Mt. Airy Seniors to attend the local Downtown Mt. Airy Farmers Market, held in the Railyard on Wednesday afternoons, May – September.
- Another MASTS project under consideration is a local version of the highly popular Senior Expos, currently held annually in the Fall by Carroll County in Westminster and by Frederick County in the City of Frederick. Both the Farmers Market Shuttle and a local Senior Expo provide additional opportunity for Mt. Airy seniors to attend popular and valuable local events and starts to address a key need for Mt. Airy seniors—overcoming transportation and accessibility constraints.
- Later this year, the Task Force plans to initiate public listening sessions as well as design and conduct a comprehensive survey with local seniors in order to more thoroughly understand their priority needs & issues.