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Maryland Agency on Aging senior assistance programs.

A key service of the Maryland Agency on Aging offices is to provide information, referrals, and support. They work with the state in running Senior Information and Assistance offices, and there are over 100 of these centers located across Maryland. Find locations for financial aid, medical, and other senior citizen focused programs, by county, below.

Well trained staff can provide confidential and free information on services and assistance programs that focus on meeting needs of the elderly, older adults, and senior citizens. The offices can provide information and refer individuals to the best non-profit agencies that can meet their needs. They also offer case management for individuals who require ongoing care.

Free or low cost medical care for the elderly in Maryland

Medicare beneficiaries can get assistance from the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. It can also benefit people who are under 65 years of age. Get help and guidance in understanding your government health insurance benefits, get advice on how to pay medical bills and learn your rights. The Maryland SHIP program provides trained volunteer and professional staff counselors. Receive advice over the phone, or face to face.

  • Receive assistance for disabled Medicare beneficiaries, including people who are under age 65.
  • Free information and applications for the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Program (Medicare Part D), as well as other Medicare supplements such as Medigap.
  • Assistance for low-income beneficiaries, including more general Medical Assistance programs, Medicare Advantage Plans (HMOs, preferred provider organizations), and Long Term Care Health Insurance.
  • Free advice on resolving medical billing problems and debt issues. This includes assistance with grievances, denials, and appeals.
  • Low income seniors in Maryland, who live under or below poverty levels, can get help in Medicaid Planning.
  • Get help unraveling hospital, doctor and physician bills, and making sense of all the paperwork and forms.




All SHIP counseling services are confidential and free of charge. The Maryland Department of Aging receives funding for this program from the federal government and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, local governments, non-profits, and the State of Maryland. Call a SHIP office close to you. See below for phone numbers. Or learn more on Senior Heath Insurance Programs. Or for the main intake number for Agency on Aging SHIP, that number is (410) 767-1100.

Allegany – Phone number - 301-777-5970
Anne Arundel – Telephone - 410-222-4464
Baltimore City 410-396-2273
Baltimore County. Dial - 410-887-2059
Calvert 301-855-1170 & 410-535-4606
Caroline 410-479-2535
Carroll – Call 410-996-8169
Charles 301-934-0118 & 301-870-3388
Dorchester. Primary phone -410-376-3662
Frederick 301-600-1604
Garrett – Call 301-334-9431 or toll free 1-888-877-8403
Harford 410-638-3025
Howard County – Phone: 410-313-7392
Kent – Main number 410-778-2564
Montgomery County – dial 301-590-2819
Prince George's 301-265-8471 or call 301-265-8450
Queen Anne's can be reached at 410-758-0848
Somerset – Telephone number is 410-742-0505
St. Mary's 301-475-4200
Talbot – Main number is 410-822-2869
Washington residents can call 301-790-0275
Wicomico 410-742-0505 ext. 106
Worcester – Telephone 410-742-0505 ext. 106

Financial help, homecare, legal and other elderly assistance programs

The Maryland Senior Information and Assistance, and the aging offices, are located statewide, and they provide a single point of entry into the aging network. Senior citizens, their families and caregivers can access information on services and government benefits that are available for older persons. Get free information and referrals on transportation assistance, job programs, income and financial aid, senior citizens centers, daily food and meals, pharmacy assistance, housing, rent assistance, and more. Dial the Maryland Department of Aging at 1-800-243-3425 for details.





Legal Assistance for seniors offers representation, counseling, and free or low cost legal advice to older Maryland residents. The Area Agencies on Aging administer this program, and they contract with and partner with local attorneys to offer this service. Priority for legal aid is given if people need help with disability or government benefits; income maintenance; housing or rent assistance; eviction prevention; or health care issues.

Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project is a Maryland program that provides guidance, advice and assistance to individuals transitioning from a nursing facility or institution to community living in a small group setting, apartment, or private home. Resources from MFP can reduce the barriers to transition, increase outreach to individuals in institutions, and enhance other community based services in your local Maryland town or county.

The Senior Care Program can help people who are at risk of nursing home placement. Senior citizens and the elderly can get assistance from publicly funded and government services. If someone can’t qualify for help, then the Area Agencies on Aging Senior Care staff will make arrangements with private non-profit organizations.

Some of the assistance offered to seniors in Maryland from this care program include financial help for medications, personal care, or home delivered meal. There may also be adult day care, transportation, medical supplies, respite care, emergency response system, and more.

Senior, or Elderly Care, offers other support as well. A major focus is around affordable, supportive housing for senior citizens. There are section 8 HUD vouchers for paying rent as well as low cost apartments in Maryland. Or get counseling, HUD disability programs, and other resources including Maryland section 8 HCV vouchers.

Senior centers are a place for people to gather. A number of assistance programs, including free and low-cost health screenings, are offered at many Maryland senior centers. Some of the services for medical needs may include blood pressure checks, cholesterol, hearing, thyroid, glucose (for diabetes), vision, stroke, osteoporosis, foot and basic health care checks for several types of cancer. Pneumonia or Flu shots are often given during the fall months to keep seniors well. Other disease prevention and health education seminars and workshops are offered throughout the year.

The centers can sometimes help with medications. Pharmacists frequently work with Area on Aging offices and they will provide consultations to discuss medications. Nurses also contribute and offer provide individual guidance and discuss specific health concerns and nutritionists will assist with a personal nutrition plan.

Food and meals for seniors in Maryland

Food and Home Delivered Meals is offered for seniors who are unable to shop and cook but who want to continue living in their home or apartment. Volunteers who work with Agencies on Aging offices deliver free or low cost meals daily to seniors. Some organizations may ask the recipient for a minimal fee to help pay for the food. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday by a friendly volunteer, and a total of two nutritionally balanced meals are brought into the home daily. The program can run over an extended period of time, or just for the short term. Special diets and food requirements can even be accommodated.





Home delivered meals clients need to be unable to shop for food or prepare meals on their own, or they need to be homebound. This program is also called Meals on Wheels. Not only does it provide food to people in Maryland, but seniors will also get daily contact with program volunteers or staff.

Hot Lunches, Friendship, and Activities are coordinated by agency on aging offices. A number of sites and senior centers provide meals and activities to the elderly. People can enjoy lunch, activities, speakers, health screenings, and classes. There are also free hot meals near you from soup kitchens. All of this (activities as well as hot or frozen meals) is offered at no cost. Spouses and caregivers are often able to stop by as well.

Meal Services and Nutrition can improve the quality of life of older individuals and senior citizens. The resources focuses on nutrition, and it can provide wholesome meals, counseling and assessment, nutrition education, improved socialization and referral to other appropriate services. Programs are offered for Maryland residents, age 60 and older, and their spouses of any age. Stop by or visit a meal site for a free, hot nutritious meal. The disabled may also receive food and meals from this area on aging program. A small donation may be asked for to help pay for the cost of the meals/food.

Congregate meal sites are located across Maryland. These meals provide seniors with socializing and health activities, at the same time as allowing them to meet their nutritional needs. Over 200 meal sites including churches, senior centers, religious facilities, area aging offices, housing facilities or other community sites operate across Maryland.

The meal sites not only provide food, but they also allow people an opportunity to meet new friends. Participants can also engage in other health or social service related programs including nutrition education, health screening, and physical activity. Many of the Senior Congregate Nutrition Sites offer a free, hot lunch. Others may even provide more help, including salad bars, soup and sandwiches, deli lunches, or dinners. Breakfast programs are also offered in several locations. In some locations, nutrition counseling is available and provided by registered dietitians.

Agency on Aging Centers in Maryland, or the senior centers, will sometimes have small food pantries on site for emergency groceries or nutritional supplements. In addition, there will be referrals to charitable run food banks, soup kitchens, and other hunger prevention programs. Anyone can use these programs in a crisis, regardless of age or income. Locate free food pantries in Maryland.

Contact information on Agency on Aging and senior resources in Maryland

Call the Maryland Department of Aging at (410) 767-1100 for information on assistance programs and services.


By Jon McNamara

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