Health & Wellness

Promoting healthy aging in Howard County

The goal of the Health and Wellness Division of the Howard County Office on Aging and Independence is to improve the health and quality of life for older adults and adults with disabilities living in Howard County. To accomplish this goal, Health and Wellness offers innovative, accessible, and affordable programs and services at 50+ centers and other community locations; sponsors special events throughout the year; and coordinates ongoing health and wellness programs.  For more information on programs, explore the links below or contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email or at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).

Health & Wellness Programs

Go50+ Fitness Membership

Our Go50+ membership packages are designed to enhance the quality of life for the 50+ adult population that lives, works, and plays in Howard County.

LIve longer, healthier lives...join today!

50+ Centers
Membership includes access to Gary J. Arthur and North Laurel Community Centers and all Howard County 50+ Centers, including game room areas, gymnasiums, walking tracks, and wellness programs.

Membership includes all 50+ Center benefits, plus fitness rooms and dance/aerobics studios, where available.  Resident cost: $75 per year.  Nonresident cost $100 per year.

All Go50+Fitness benefits, plus pool access during open swim hours.  Resident cost: $175 per year. Non resident cost: $225 per year.

View our flyer for additional information and locations.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is an effective fall prevention program for older adults developed by Boston University. The program meets for two hours, one day a week for eight weeks.  

Classes help participants learn to:

  • View falls (and the fear of falling) as controllable
  • Set realistic goals for increasing activity
  • Change their environment to reduce fall risk factors
  • Incorporate exercise into each day to increase strength and balance

For more information about A Matter of Balance, contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email or 410-313-1234 (voice/relay). 


Cycle2Health is a non-competitive, peer-led bicycling club for adults of all ages and riding abilities, coordinated by the Health & Wellness Division of the Office on Aging and Independence. Registration for the current season begins in January and continues throughout the season.  To receive Cycle2Health information by email, please join the C2H listserve by sending an email to

For ride schedules and additional information, visit the Cycle2Health page.

Exercise Counseling

Get moving (or keep moving) with free consultations on an array of exercise-related topics including: getting started; using exercise to help manage health conditions; selecting the right exercise class; and personalized at-home programs.  For more information, view a list of activities to help you find your best fit, or contact Jennifer Lee, Exercise Specialist, through Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email MAP or at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).

Living Well: Take Charge of Your Health

Living Well is designed for those living with one or more chronic conditions. Developed by Stanford University, Living Well participants meet for 2.5 hours once a week for six weeks. Lay leaders address topics such as nutrition, physical activity, medication management, and goal setting. If you are interested in attending a Living Well class, contact Wendy Farthing through Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email or at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).

Mental Health Programs

The Office on Aging and Independence provides mental health programming in a variety of ways.  The "Ask Dr. Dan" series features discussions by Dr. Dan Storch, a psychiatrist certified in geriatrics, and are offered at different 50+ Centers over the course of the year. Dr. Storch leads discussions on a variety of emotional wellness topics in a relaxed atmosphere where questions and feedback are encouraged.

Emotional wellness and mental health programming also include specialized group programs that cover topics like relationships, depression, and emotional well being. These programs are offered in 50+ Centers or at other community locations for older adults.

Training on older adult mental health issues can be provided to community groups, professional or faith-based organizations by request.  Available topics cover a broad spectrum of older adult and mental health concerns and can be tailored to the requesting organization's needs.

For more information about mental health programs, please contact Karen Hull via Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email or at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).

Nutrition Counseling

Free one-on-one nutrition assessments with a registered dietitian, are offered at Howard County 50+ Centers by appointment.  During each half-hour appointment, individuals will learn to:

  • Set personal goals
  • Develop healthy eating patterns and lifestyle changes
  • Learn how to manage the nutrition aspect of diseases/conditions

To schedule a nutrition assessment, contact your local 50+ Center, or contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) via email or at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).


Paws 4 Comfort Logo

Do you have an outgoing, friendly, well-behaved dog or cat? If you think your pet has what it takes to make friendly visits or work in a therapeutic setting, we need you! It's fun and rewarding for everyone! Pet evaluations are held the first Thursday of each month at 7pm at the Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way in Columbia. For more information, view our brochure or download an application

To volunteer, pets must be at least one year old and must have lived with your for at least six months. Your pet must be properly licensed in its county of residence. Pets fed raw bones, treats, or a raw food diet cannot participate. Pets must be evaluated for temperament and suitability; a vet check is also required. You will receive a health certificate which must be completed by your veterinarian.  We will refuse any dog to the program that is deemed unsuitable due to is age, breed, or behavior.  Paws4Comfort does not accept any breed that is deemed aggressive or potentially aggressive including, but not limited to, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, or American Bulldogs. This includes any mixed breed that has the appearance or characteristics of these breeds.

If you have questions about the Paws4Comfort program or would like more information regarding the evaluation process, email Ingrid Gleysteen at or call 410-313-7461. (Voice/Relay).

SeniorsTogether Peer Outreach Program

The SeniorsTogether peer outreach program was created as an opportunity for older adults to both give and receive support. Programs and activities are designed to nurture interaction among older adult peers to foster a positive outlook, develop social networks, and support a thriving aging process.

SeniorsTogether Support Groups are a core element of the program, providing a safe, confidential environment for meeting others, sharing concerns, finding help, and staying stimulated. Other activities organized by the program include periodic luncheons, speaker engagements, and special workshops. All SeniorsTogether activities are developed with sensitivity to sensory and mobility issues. View the SeniorsTogether brochure or Group Schedule for more information.