Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 16, 1995

On The United Way: Senior Connection

Mike Field
Staff Writer

     A lonely senior citizen living in Baltimore County will have
someone looking after her, thanks to a program made possible by a
grant from the United Way of Central Maryland. 

     In addition to arranging transportation to and from one of
the county's 18 senior centers, a case worker specializing in the
needs of the infirm elderly will help plan classes and meals,
arrange special activities and introduce the woman to new

     Center Connection, a unique effort that provides special
assistance to less active seniors in many of the county's senior
centers, is just one of many United Way grant programs funded by
unrestricted gifts to the United Way campaign.

     "This program is built around the family," said Baltimore
County Department of Aging deputy director Arnold Eppel. "We want
to provide special services to center members with special needs,
whether it be problems with diabetes, dialysis or some other
physical or emotional impairment." 

     The Center Connection program funds specialists who work
with the elderly and their family members to bring less active
seniors into the centers where their particular needs are best

     Many of those benefiting from the program would be unable to
participate in the activities of the county's senior centers
without the additional aid provided by a Center Connection
specialist. Without the program, they would be isolated at home,
or forced to live within an institutional setting.

     "There are a vast array of services out there, not just for
seniors, but for all members of the family that are confronting
some of these issues," said Ellen Willinghan, program coordinator
for the United Way family preservation grant, which funds the
Center Connection program. 

     Currently, there are 260 seniors in the program from
locations throughout the county. One of the goals of this year's
United Way grant is to expand the program to cover more
thoroughly all of Baltimore County's elderly population. Seniors
typically referred to the program are longtime center members in
declining health and individuals whose needs are being looked
after by family members, social workers or other care providers.
In order to qualify, seniors must be able to care for their own
physical needs independently while at the center, and must not
require medical monitoring or close supervision.

     The Center Connection program is just one of dozens of
community service programs throughout central Maryland made
possible by direct grants from the United Way. 

     Baltimore County residents interested in further information
about the Center Connection program or any service for the
elderly should call the Senior Information and Assistance Hotline
at (410) 887-2594.

Correction:  Lottery rules published two weeks ago incorrectly
stated a minimum pledge of $35 was necessary to be eligible to
win. All faculty and staff returning a pledge card before Oct. 31
are eligible to win, regardless of the amount of their United Way 

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