GREENBELT ASSISTANCE IN LIVING PROGRAM (GAIL) provides information and support to enable seniors to remain in their homes. The Greenbelt Assistance in Living Program was established in 2001 and is available to senior citizens residing in the City of Greenbelt, Maryland and/or caregivers of a Greenbelt senior.1 (Here’s the latest GAIL Guide.)
To receive the twice-monthly GAIL Guide updates go to this page on the city’s website, then select which things they’d like to get notices on. Senior Activities (near the top) is the list that receives GAIL notices.
GAIL is headed up by Community Resource Advocate Christal Batey, and here’s the impressive list of ways she helps Greenbelt’s seniors.
- Providing info about and referrals to appropriate resources for adult residents, caregivers, or family members of the Greenbelt community. She knows the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area and helps people make this crucial decision. Christal says that “People take more care in choosing a car than in choosing a nursing home or assisted living.”
- Assisting clients in making informed choices about their health and wellness options
- Serving as a liaison between the resident and service provider
- Evaluating the social services needs of each client
- Providing support and training resources to caregivers
- Helping residents choose MEDICARE PART D, which she recommends people do 1-2 years before they turn 65. (Christal estimates that 99% of the people she helps with this save money because of their consultation with her.)
Contact Christal: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-345-6660, ext. 2012. Hours M-Th, 8:00-4:30, some late evenings and Fridays by appointment. Scroll down to read more about Cristal.
GREENBELT’S SENIOR CENTER
Located on the first floor of the Community Center (15 Crescent Road) and open during Community Center hours, it’s available to residents 60 and older. Includes a game room, lounge and classrooms. Activities include trips, Golden Age Club meetings, hot meals Monday-Friday, and educational opportunities. contact Rebekah Sutfin at 240-542-2056.
MORE GREENBELT RECREATION PROGRAMS:
- Senior Recreation programs are listed here in the current Recreation Department brochure. Some activities are free; most charge a fee. About 20 of the classes are part of the county’s SAGE classes, where for $85 a semester, seniors can take as many of the SAGE classes as they want.
- Trips – shopping, theater, trip to public gardens in Philadelphia, etc., all for a fee.
GREEN RIDGE HOUSE APARTMENTS
The city-owned Green Ridge House Apartments in the center of Old Greenbelt (22 Ridge Road) are Section 8 apartments for seniors 62+ and disabled adults. Many amenities. Income guidelines apply. The wait list is projected to open up in March of 2018, so check the Greenbelt News Review for an announcement about that. For more information call 301-474-7595.
SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAM
Hot lunches are served at 12:00pm Monday-Friday at the Greenbelt Community Center. Senior Citizens must reserve a hot lunch at least two days in advance to ensure that enough meals are delivered. Requested meal donation is $3.00. Please call 301-397-2208 X4125 to make reservations. Click here for current menu.
BROWN BAG FOOD PROGRAM
Seniors on fixed incomes below a certain level may apply to receive nutritious nonperishable food items and toiletries, at least least one bag per month. They’re delivered to homebound residents, but others pick up the third Tuesday of the month at Green Ridge House, which provides an opportunity to socialize. For the suggested donation of $10/year. The wait list is projected to open up in March of 2018 so check the Greenbelt News Review for an announcement about that. For more info call 301-474-7595.
150 Greenbelt households receive free produce under this production (in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank). Contact the GAIL office for details. 301-345-6660, ext. 2012.
GREENBELT MEMORY CAFE
The Memory Support Group & Café provide is a stigma-free environment for those with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment or other forms of dementia and their spouses, partners and caregivers. It is a great opportunity for lively discussions, information gathering, refreshments, camaraderie, and engaging creative fun! Meets at 1:30 every Wednesday on the second floor of the Municipal Building (25 Crescent Road). Details here.
This service provides GAIL participants with unbiased ratings based on in-depth evaluations of thousands of firms, plus advice about making consumer choices. In addition to accessing the ratings, participants can view the “Consumer Information Exchange” where subscribers post their own recommendations on a host of services, plus the Guide to Top Doctors and Guide to Top Hospitals. To enroll, contact the GAIL office at 301-345-6660, ext. 2012.
CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP
This is a facilitated discussion for family and friends of people with chronic health or mental health conditions. It meets the second Wednesday of the month from 6:15 to 7:45 pm. in Room 103 of the Greenbelt Community Center. If interested, call 301-345-6660 ext. 2038 prior to attending a session.
THE ACCESSIBLE GREENBELT PROGRAM
The GAIL program has been awarded a grant to offer qualified Greenbelt residents a limited number of accessibility items, installation, and home modifications to enable seniors and disabled adults in need the ability to remain in their homes as long as possible. Please see the program flyer for full details. And click here to learn about Going Car-Less in Greenbelt.
GIVES is an all-volunteer exchange service explained in details on this blog. It’s for people of all ages but is especially popular with seniors.
FREE MOBILE COUNSELING up to six months. Services provided by Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Geriatric Case Manager.
GREENBELT CONNECTION, a limited transportation service within Greenbelt utilizing a 12-passenger, wheelchair accessible van. Service is available to all residents of Greenbelt. To arrange for transportation call 301-474-4100 at least 24 hours before you need a ride. Operates M-F from 8 a.m. to 3:30 pm. Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. No operation on holidays. The cost is $1 for seniors, the disabled and kids 6-18, free for kids under 6, and $2 for everyone else. (Another ride services is GIVES – see above – and here’s an full list of transportation services in Greenbelt.)
In-Home FREE COMMUNITY NURSING PROGRAM (in partnership with Bowie State Univ. School of Nursing) providing nurses, social workers, therapeutic services Thursdays 9-3, up to 10 visits. Program participants are referred based on previous client intake and participation in the GAIL Program. Services are offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters.
FREE LEGAL CLINIC takes place yearly, in the spring. Seniors receive help with advanced directives, health care powers of attorney and living will preparation etc. This event is held in partnership with the Maryland Bar Association. It is typically held on May 1 if it falls on a weekday.
PATUXENT WIDOWED PERSONS SUPPORT GROUP Conducts 6-week support groups to help newly widowed persons adapt. Open to all ages. Both emotional support and practical info provided. Free but register. For info or to register, call Kathleen McFarland at 301-474-6892.
ACCESSIBLE HOMES FOR SENIORS is a state program for residents 55+, providing deferred loans at 0% interest for a term of 30 years to finance accessibility improvements that include but are not limited to: widening doorways, installation of accessible showers, ramps, grab bars, and lever handles. Additions to accommodate first floor bathrooms and laundry rooms are also be considered on a case by case basis. More details here. To quality, a single person’s income must be below $48,400 and a couple’s below $55,000.
ABOUT CRISTAL BATEY
A native Washingtonian, Christal’s first job out of college was working for the architectural firm that designed Leisure World, where she realized that most of the people she knew couldn’t afford Leisure World. This drove her to seek a career path working to empower older adults through information and program development and implementation. So she wrote to Sue Ward, head of the Prince George’s County Department of Aging, and landed a contract position with the county in aging services. Her first duties were in information and referral (starting in 1990) but expanded when she worked at the Thomas House Retirement Community and Adult Care Centers, where she rose through the ranks to Executive Direction and then as Vice President of Organizational Development for Collington Episcopal Life Care Retirement Community. She came to Greenbelt’s GAIL in 2003, coming back from maternity leave. Christal currently serves as the Chairperson for the Prince George’s County Advisory Committee on Aging an appointment by the Prince George’s County Executive.
I asked Christal if she found Greenbelt’s senior services to be unique in any way and she responded that yes, it’s very forward-thinking, ahead of the trend in terms of aging in place and empowering people. Also, there seems to be a rocket scientist behind every tree” in our well educated town – due to the close proximity to NASA. Greenbelt has a prime location near the University of Maryland, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area with metro rail and bus accessibility, but still is able to keep its small town flavor especially in the heart of historic Greenbelt.