LM & AARP Partner for Expanded Educational Offerings
In Montgomery County, the number of people over the age of 65 has grown steadily since 1980. Today, there are more than 150,000, roughly the same number represented by MCPS children. As our county continues to mature and contend with the lifestyle changes that accompany, we must consider what that means for our county. Are we ready for the impact that has on resources as well as thinking about ways to engage and support them?
Since 2002, in response to a Vital Living Initiative from the county government, Leadership Montgomery has offered Senior Leadership Montgomery (SLM). The experiential learning program is designed for persons with leadership experience or skills aged 55 and older. Participants are either retired, soon to retire or career-transitioning but still seek ways to enhance leadership skills while making meaningful contributions and developing new connections with the community. The program helps to answer the question, “What’s Next?”. Since its inception, SLM has increased participants’ knowledge about county issues and community engagement through service to nonprofit organizations.
As our previous participants know, your relationship with LM doesn’t end once the closing session of your program. Through our membership and post-graduation offerings, we offer opportunities throughout the year for continued engagement, education, and connection. For many years, we offered at least one SLM-focused activity each year and they were always well attended. Understanding that we had an active membership base and a significant issue for leaders to explore as we contended with an aging population, we began to explore ways to further our engagement, education, and connection.
Last year, we embarked a partnership with AARP Maryland, recognizing our mutual goals of offering education and involvement opportunities for people over fifty. We worked on a comprehensive plan, coordinating efforts across the calendar year to engage and inform previous LM participants. Like everyone else, those plans were thwarted in March with the shutdown. As true partners, we resolved to keep moving forward, developing a backup plan, and working together on two education sessions. In 2020, we provided 2 virtual sessions: one devoted to caregivers and one on one on voting process and procedures– both important and timely issues given how the COVID-19 and the pandemic were disproportionately affecting older adults.
We are excited to announce that we are continuing our partnership with AARP for a second year, doubling our education efforts together:
- April 20-AARP and Vaccines- Register Here
- June 15- AARP Fraud Watch Network- Be Vigilant
- September 8– The Mental Health of Older Adults in Maryland
- December 7– Age Friendly Communities in Montgomery County
All sessions will take place from 1:00-2:00PM and registration for June, September and December will open closer to the dates.
Recognizing the wisdom, experience, and skills of those in our network who are older adults or have the privilege of loving an older adult, we are grateful to continue working with AARP to give important information, connect leaders with volunteer opportunities, and most importantly, provide connection during a time when many are still living life from their home.