Enhanced Department of Aging and 211 Tools Provide Assistance to Older Adults and People with Disabilities

hand holding a phone with instructions to text MDAging to 898-211 to receive text alertsThe Maryland Department of Aging and 211 Maryland are continuing to promote their enhanced partnership to increase access to aging and disability information. Maryland Access Point (MAP) is the Maryland Department of Aging’s focal point for finding aging services and resources. 211 Maryland is a nonprofit that connects Marylanders to health and human services resources. Together, MAP and 211 Maryland are helping consumers find more information easier and a lot quicker.

Beginning in January, MAP and 211 Maryland began a new chapter in the story of Maryland’s No Wrong Door single point of entry system for accessing aging and disability information across target populations. A new text messaging platform will deliver information and resources directly to smartphone devices. Consumers can text MDAging to 898-211 to receive alerts, tips, and resources beneficial to helping older adults and people with disabilities. In the upcoming months, the state’s longstanding MAP website, database, and hotline will be integrated with 211 Maryland’s website and 24/7 call center database. Consumers can continue to call 1-844-MAP- LINK to connect to a call center specialist or visit aging.maryland.gov. A federal grant is making the new merger and innovations possible.

“We are excited to partner with the Maryland Department of Aging to help older adults, adults with disabilities and their caregivers easily access and navigate resources for long term living,” said Quinton Askew, president and CEO of 211 Maryland. “We understand the value of making it easy to connect those most in need with service providers, and look forward to expanding awareness about the benefits of Maryland Access Point for older adults in the state.”

The enhanced MAP website, hosted by 211 Maryland, will feature upgrades on the online, searchable resource directory to help the public and professionals identify and connect with public and private resources. Older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers have come to rely on use of the MAP website but will now find a new level of integration and resources through the MAP and 211 collaboration. Local Area Agencies on Aging will continue to host the MAP sites where trained and certified specialists provide information, assistance, and options counseling in every county.

“I am very pleased to work with 211 Maryland on enhancements to our Maryland Access Point. Maryland has been a national leader in the No Wrong Door Single Entry Point Initiative since its inception in 2004. Our Department has been at the forefront of working to ensure easy access to information through Maryland Access Point,” commented Department of Aging Secretary Rona E. Kramer. “Now, more than ever with the pandemic, people need quick and easy access to information whether they live locally or are long distance caregivers for people who live in Maryland. I’m proud of our latest innovations and contributions to the nation’s ongoing efforts to ensure streamlined access to information for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services No Wrong Door system, known locally as the Maryland Access Point (MAP), was established as a one-stop coordinated effort in states across the nation to achieve streamlined access for individuals seeking long-term support services. Maryland’s 20 local MAP sites, led primarily by Area Agencies on Aging located in every county, provide individual, person-centered counseling to consumers seeking information, referral, and program support for long-term services. MAP partners include Centers for Independent Living, local health and social services departments, behavioral health agencies, and other organizations through which people seek assistance.

To learn more about 211 Maryland, please visit www.211md.org. To learn more about the Maryland Department of Aging and MAP information, please visit aging.maryland.gov.