Explore 50+ Centers
Howard County has six 50+ Centers spread across different parts of the County (see list below). The types of programming offered at the 50+ Centers includes:
- Exercise and fitness classes
- Educational opportunities
- Social and recreational activities
- Volunteer opportunities
- Congregate meals (lunch)
- Kindred Spirits Social Club (for people with early stage memory loss)
Read the 50+ Connection Newsletter
Know before you go!
DCRS' inclement weather hotline, 410-313-7777, keeps you informed about the opening/closing status of our facilities during a weather event or other emergency. Know before you go to any of our facilities for meetings, classes or other programs.
The Department of Community Resources and Services (DCRS) facilities, including 50+ Centers, the Loan Closet, Patuxent Woods offices, and the Multiservice Center, will make all reasonable attempts to open on time in the event of inclement weather.
Call the DCRS Inclement Weather Line at 410-313-7777 (voice/relay) to learn of any delayed openings or closings. Additional Inclement Weather Updates can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/DCRS or www.Facebook.com/HoCoCommunity.
If Howard County Public Schools are delayed or closed, DCRS classes and programs status is as follows:
- 1-hour school delay – will strive to open at 9:30am.
- 2-hour school delay – will strive to open at 10:30am. All classes and programs scheduled before 11am are canceled. Connections Social Day Program is canceled. No congregate meals are served.
- Schools closed – will strive to open by 10:30am. All classes and programs are canceled. Connections Social Day Program is canceled. No congregate meals are served.
If Howard County Public Schools cancel evening and weekend activities:
DCRS facilities will be closed for evening hours and classes canceled after 4:30pm.
For weekend activities, DCRS facilities will strive to open at 10:30am. All classes and programs are canceled.
Should weather conditions deteriorate, please call or check the operating status before going to the DCRS facility. All DCRS facilities are closed when Howard County Government is closed.
Membership in the 50+ Centers is free, but registration is required. A single registration is good for all Centers. To register:
- Visit a Center near you
- Download a registration packet below
OAI provides a variety of nutrition programs for individuals age 60+ and their spouses of any age. Voluntary, anonymous contributions are requested but not required for those age 60+. Individuals under age 60 may purchase a meal at its full cost. Meals are designed by a registered dietitian. To view the monthly congregate meal menu, visit your preferred the 50+ center page.
- Grab & Go
- Congregate Meals
- Home Delivered Meals
In order for all members, registered participants and guests to enjoy the 50+ Center in safety and comfort, the following rules apply:
1. All 50+ Center participants must complete a 50+ Center registration form.
2. May not engage in any activity that is disruptive to the legitimate use of center facilities by others.
3. May not engage in any activity that may present a danger to themselves or others.
4. May not use language or behavior that is obscene, abusive, loud or insulting.
5. May not harass or discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
6. May not gamble, panhandle, or smoke in the building. The smoking ban is in affect within 15 feet of the center buildings.
7. May not participate in any illegal activity while at the center or on the grounds.
8. May not participate while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
9. May not carry a weapon in the center or on the grounds.
10. May not purposefully destroy or steal property or money in the building or on the grounds.
11. Must maintain hygiene standards that do not constitute a health or safety hazard to others, or are offensive to others.
12. Must function in the center without one-to-one assistance or supervision from staff. Individuals who need assistance must have a qualified companion or aide escort them at all times, to provide any personal assistance, and abide by the Office on Aging's Rules of Participation.
13. Must be able to move safely and independently in the center or use an assistive device independently. Individuals are responsible for providing and maintaining.
14. Must understand their responsibility and be able to conform their behavior to the rules of the center.
15. Must abide by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services/Office on Aging non-solicitation and confidentiality policies. Members must be able to participate in center activities without coercion and without being subjected to solicitation and with the knowledge that personal information will be held in confidence.
16. Only registered service animals and animals participating in approved activities are permitted in the center.
Failure to abide by these rules may result in immediate removal and/or limitation or suspension of center participation privileges.
50+ Center Rules
- Children ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
- Shoes and shirts must be worn always outside of the locker room area.
- Members and guests are encouraged to secure their belongings. Center is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- Pets are not permitted in the Center (service animals are permitted).
- No running or disruptive behavior in center hallways.
- The actions and conduct of an organized group are the responsibility of the group leader.
- No food or beverage in unauthorized areas.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the center without required permit.
- Participants must adhere to the Office on Aging’s Participant Guidelines and behave in an orderly manner.
Fitness Room Rules
- Must be a GO50+ membership holder to utilize the fitness room.
- No changing or leaving articles of clothing in the fitness room.
- Strollers, baby carriers and children are not permitted to wait inside the fitness room while a parent/guardian is exercising.
- Rubber-soled athletic shoes that cover the entire foot must be worn at all times. For health and safety reasons, sandals spiked shoes, work boots and flip-flops are not permitted.
- Proper fitness attire is required. Shirts must be worn at all times. Bathing suits and clothing with exposed metal rivets or parts are not permitted in the fitness room.
- Food is not permitted in the fitness room. Closed plastic beverage containers are allowed.
- Patrons are responsible for wiping down the equipment after use and returning weights to the racks provided.
- Cardiovascular equipment use is limited to 20 minutes when people are waiting.
- Use of a spotter when lifting free weights is recommended. Do not drop or bang weights.
- No unauthorized personal trainers, instructors, coaches or physical therapists are allowed to use the fitness room to train or instruct clients or customers.
Sign-up and Payment for Programs and Classes
Payments for programs and classes can be made via cash, credit card or a check made payable to Howard County Director of Finance. Online registration can be done via the ActiveNet website. Account must be established prior to registering for class. Late registrations will be accepted if space is available.
Class Withdrawal Policy
We recognize that there are times when you may need to withdraw from a class. All refund requests are subject to a 20% administrative fee and there are no refunds for missed classes. Additional fees may be assessed to recover costs associated with the program.
Additionally, the Center reserves the right to:
- Cancel a program for any reasonable cause;
- Deny registration or entry into a program when it deems necessary to assure public safety;
- Suspend a participant from a program with no refund, if adhering to participant guidelines is problematic;
- Photograph programs, participants, and volunteers for publicity purposes; and/or
- Adjust any program details printed in our 50+ Center publications including fees, locations, instructors, times, days and starting dates.
Our 50+ Centers offer room rentals, which can be used for parties, special events, business meetings, and other activities. All applicants must be at least 21 years of age. All requests are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Priority use is given to programs sponsored by Howard County Government.
The following locations are available:
- Bain 50+ Center
- East Columbia 50+ Center
- Elkridge 50+ Center
- Ellicott City 50+ Center
For additional information on options and pricing, please contact the 50+ Center or David Irwin at [email protected].
Members are responsible for their transportation to and from the Center. One transportation resource available is through Regional Transit Agency (RTA Ride). To use this option, riders must be certified. For certification, reservations and cancellations please call the RTA Customer Service Line at 1-800-270-9553 or visit the RTA website at www.transitRTA.com for more information.
Volunteer opportunities are available at our 50+ Centers. If you’d like to share your time and talent, visit www.HoCoVolunteer.org to view opportunities and register. You can also stop in at your closest 50+ Center to inquire.
50+ Fitness Centers
The Office on Aging and Independence and its 50+ Centers operate three locations for older adults only at the Bain, Elkridge and Ellicott City 50+ Centers. Recreation and Parks manages the fitness centers at the Gary J. Arthur, North Laurel and Roger Carter Community Centers.
For those who prefer to maintain their optimal health and wellness without leaving the comfort of home, the Howard County Office on Aging & Independence will continue to offer virtual programs and virtual fitness pass classes in addition to in-person options to engage, inspire and motivate you. Check out the quarterly issues of the 50+ Center newsletters for a list of current virtual programs, and view the Virtual Fitness Class schedule, below.
988: The New Way to Connect to Behavioral Health Crisis Services
Maryland has a new way to connect to local behavioral health crisis services.
Calling 988 will connect callers directly to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline which encompasses all behavioral crisis services, to include all mental health and substance use (problems with drug and alcohol use).
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline replaces the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline AND expands services to cover all behavioral health crisis services.
Learn more about 988 in Maryland.
Get email updates on virtual programs, fitness classes, and other services offered by the Department of Community Resources & Services!