Community For Life Program Planning To Expand

BERLIN – A program that offers support services to senior citizens in Ocean Pines will expand its service area in the coming months.

This week, the Worcester County Commission on Aging (WorCOA) – a nonprofit that serves senior citizens – announced it would expand a program it launched in Ocean Pines earlier this year to residents ages 65 and older living in northern areas of the county.

Rob Hart, executive director for WorCOA, said the program is meant to help senior citizens age in place without burdening their caregivers or exhausting their financial resources.

“We basically know from our studies and other studies throughout the nation that fall prevention is very important in helping senior citizens stay in their homes,” he said.

The program – entitled Community for Life – features transportation services to and from medical appointments, the grocery store and social events, as well as assistance with simple home repairs.

“We offer handyman services, like clearing sticks off the sidewalk, changing a lightbulb and replacing the batteries in the smoke detector,” Hart said. “Anything that presents the possibility of falling, as it is the number one reason senior citizens have to leave their homes.”

Earlier this year, Hart said the nonprofit secured an $80,000 grant to fund the program. And in July, officials introduced Community for Life services to Ocean Pines residents.

“Right now, all of our members are very happy with the services and are using our services on a regular basis,” he said.

After several community members voiced the need for similar services in neighboring municipalities, Hart said the nonprofit applied for another $65,100 state grant to expand its service area.

“We’ve had some success with that program in Ocean Pines and had an opportunity to reach out to the state for additional funding,” he said.

Hart said Worcester County senior citizens from the Maryland-Delaware line to Newark, as well as those west of the Route 50 Bridge, will now have the opportunity to join the Community for Life program for a monthly or annual fee.

“The transportation is defined to those areas. We don’t go to Salisbury,” he added. “But we do link up with Shore Transit and other providers because we don’t want to duplicate services.”

For more information on the program, visit the “Community for Life: Ocean Pines” Facebook page, or contact Shea Wise at 410-251-0140 or [email protected].

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.