Aging in Place

The Howard County Citizens Association, in conjunction with The Coordinating Center and the League of Women Voters of Howard County (LWVHC), sponsored a Question and Answer Forum on Aging Successfully in the Community.  It was held at the Miller Library in Ellicott City on September 12, 2013.

The objective of the forum was to provide information on aging issues as well as an opportunity to address some of the many questions residents may have regarding putting together a successful plan for aging in place in Howard County. On this webpage you’ll find:

Sponsors of the Aging Forum


Just click on the tab to the left to view topics in each respective section:  Welcome & Overview, Senior Transportation, or Living In & Out of the Home

WELCOME – Stu Kohn, President of HCCA and Alice Giles, President of the League of Women Voters of Howard County provide the welcome.

HOWARD COUNTY AGING – PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE -Dayna Brown, Administrator of the Howard County Office on Aging provides an overview of demographics for Howard County’s “Boomer” Age Wave and some of its implications for the future.

THE OPTING FOR INDEPENDENCE PROJECT – Phyllis Madachy of The Coordinating Center and Rusty Toler of WISER review findings and recommendations gathered from interviews with 60 older adults in Howard County about their aging in place expectations and concerns.

PERSPECTIVES – AGING ALONG THE CONTINUUM – A cross generational panel provides perspectives on the “Aging” demographics of Howard County and how it impacts them.

MODELS AND INNOVATIONS IN THE U.S. – Virginia Dize, Assistant Director of the National Center on Senior Transportation reviews best practices in senior transportation being implemented across the nation.

HOWARD COUNTY NEIGHBOR RIDE – Brad Closs, Executive Director of Howard County Neighbor Ride provides an overview of the Neighbor Ride program – what it is and what it is not.

CA/VANTAGE HOUSE COOPERATIVE EVENTS SHUTTLE – Andrew Morgan, Director of Marketing of Vantage House explains how the shuttle program works and the process involved in developing the partnership with Vantage House.

AGING BEYOND THE HOME – Beth Baker, Author of “Old Age in a New Age” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2007) explores the movement to transform nursing homes from institutions of last resort to places based on values of home and community.

THE VILLAGE IN HOWARD – Mary McGraw, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Village in Howard discusses what’s being put together in Howard County.

HOWARD COUNTY LIVABLE HOMES TAX CREDIT – Karen Pitsley, certified aging in place specialist of Transforming Architecture discusses rehabbing your home to age in place and how the Howard County livable homes tax credit may help.


1. WELCOME – Stu Kohn (HCCA) & Alice Giles (LWVHC)

ALICE GILES – The current co-president of the League of Women Voters of Howard County, Alice Giles is a lifelong resident of the North Laurel community. As someone who would like to remain in Howard County long-term, she is interested in playing a role in how the county handles the rise of residents aging in place, and how we make changes that serve multiple purposes and develop plans that are built both to last and to grow. She is also a Board Member for NAMI Howard County and works professionally in editing and instructional design for the Howard County School System and as an information specialist and instructor for the Howard County Central Library. Her professional and nonprofit work all further the same goal: to curate data and aide individuals and community organizations in finding the best information and moving forward with it. You can find her @AliceGiles.

STU KOHN – As president of the HCCA, you’ll find Stu’s information here.

2. Howard County Aging – Past Present & Future – Dayna Brown



DAYNA BROWN – Dayna’s career in the field of aging spans almost 30 years including 27 years working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Most recently, for more than eight years she was the Director of Community Programs and Housing at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley in Lawrence, MA. She worked for them in a consultant capacity for a while after she relocated to Maryland before being appointed as the Administrator for the Howard County Office on Aging in November 2011. Ms. Brown also worked for Massachusetts’ first PACE Program – Elder Service Plan of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center – for more than nine years, including for the last several years as their Operations Director. She holds a BA in Government from Oberlin College and an MSW in Gerontology Administration from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.





4. PERSPECTIVES – AGING ALONG THE CONTINUUM – Panelist:  Regina Clay (Gen X), Jason Booms (Gen X/Y), and Alice Giles (Millennial)

PHYLLIS MADACHY – Phyllis Madachy has worked in community based services for older adults for over thirty five years in both the non-profit and public sectors in Maryland. She is Vice President for the Aging and Health Services Division at The Coordinating Center, initially serving as the Project Director for its Opting for Independence program, a federal initiative focused on aging in place innovation. Her division includes the only Maryland service funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to reduce hospital readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries in Baltimore City. Previously, she worked for Howard County Government with the Howard County Office on Aging (1981 – 2007; Administrator from 1992 to 2007), and as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (2007 – 2009). In Howard County, she is President of the Neighbor Ride Board, an officer of the Howard County Arts Council, member of the Howard County Housing and Community Development Board, and a volunteer with Leadership Howard County and the Howard County Association of Community Services.

RUSTY TOLER – Louis (Rusty) Toler is an independent consultant focusing on aging, disability, and issues. In 2011, he was named a Senior Fellow at the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) where he represents WISER on the Leadership Council on Aging Organizations (LCAO) Community Services and Income Security Committees. Most recently, he was project manager of the Opting for Independence Case Study Projects “Stairmasters and Stairlifts”, December 2011, and “Resiliency in Older Adults”, June 2013. Conducted as part of the Administration on Aging’s Community Innovations for Aging in Place program grant, these studies consisted of interviews with 60 older adults in Howard County about their “aging in place” expectations and concerns. His federal career at the Social Security Administration included Director’s Positions in the Office of Communications and Office of Disability. As the founding Director of the Office of Communications Measurement and Evaluation, he received the Commissioner’s Citation, the Agency’s highest individual award, for his work with Gallup Organization in developing the Public Understanding Measurement System to measure and track the public’s knowledge of Social Security programs. His community service includes three years as the Chair of the Howard County Commission on Aging, Board Member of the Homes for Life Coalition, and Secretary of Common Cause Maryland.




VIRGINIA DIZE – Co-Director of the National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST) and Program Manager for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a),  Ms. Dize has managed several rounds of demonstration grants under the NCST and has done work on older driver safety, pedestrian safety, volunteer driver programs, transportation for elders living on Indian reservations and diversity. In addition, she oversees n4a’s efforts to support transportation within the Aging Network and related transportation projects. She developed the Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnership project’s grant program, funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), and currently is engaged in developing guidance on call center operations under the Federal Transit Administration’s Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative. She has a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University (1982) and is the author of publications on senior transportation, consumer direction, long term care and elder rights.


6. Howard County Neighbor Ride – Brad Closs




BRAD CLOSS – Brad started out with Neighbor Ride as a volunteer driver in 2006. He became Executive Director in March, 2007. In the 6 ½ years since then, Neighbor Ride has grown from delivering 300 trips per month to over 1200 trips per month and from 100 volunteers to 340. Brad is originally from western New York and received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University. Brad began his career at Westinghouse in Baltimore and then joined Hewlett Packard. During 25 years at HP, he was responsible for organizations providing support and consulting to customers locally, across the US and worldwide.


7. C/A Vantage House Cooperative Events Shuttle – Andrew Morgan


ANDREW MORGAN – Retirement living expert, L. Andrew Morgan has worked in the senior living industry for more than 17 years in both the large-campus Continuing Care setting and in the smaller stand-alone Continuing Care Retirement Community setting. Over the years he has worked with more than a thousand older adults and families who were in the process of considering retirement living options.  He is the former producer and co-host of the award winning senior radio program “Rightsizing your Home” and former producer and host of the News Chanel 8 sponsored television segment Your life without limits: Motivation for the Boomer Generation. Currently he is the Director of Marketing for Vantage House Retirement Living Community located in Columbia Maryland where he continues to advocate and support active aging and lifelong growth.


8. 1st Q&A Session – Paul Verchinski


As a member of the HCCA Board of Directors, Paul Verchinski’s bio can be found here.  What’s not noted in his bio is the fact that he writes a SENIOR COLUMN.  Check it out by clicking on the newspaper below! The Senior Corner


9. Aging Beyond the Home – Beth Baker


Beth BakerBETH BAKER – A long-time freelance journalist, Beth’s articles have appeared in the Washington Post Health Section, AARP Bulletin, Ms. Magazine, Washingtonian and many other publications. She is the author of “Old Age in a New Age – The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes”, and the upcoming book, “With a Little Help from our Friends—Creating Community as We Grow Older.” You can find more information on her website.


10. The Village in Howard – Mary McGraw


MARY MCGRAW – Mary McGraw is a 40 year resident of Howard County. The Central Maryland News, a now defunct newspaper, was her first paid employment. The career in newspapers included the local Patuxent papers and the Baltimore Sun. After a stint at The Business Monthly, and with financial support from its owner, she began “Generations”. The senior publication was published from 2001 – 2011 in Howard County and was well received. The combination of newspapers and senior issues was prompted by caring for her aging mother. In so doing, she realized how much she didn’t know about aging issues and how to deal with them. Mary produced “Generations” to help seniors and those caring for them become better informed. Having learned about the concept of “Villages” thru “Generations”, Mary was able to start a public discussion and meetings thru her participation in the Senior Advisory Committee of the Columbia Association. Meetings at various venues in the county were arranged and the response was overwhelming. About 250 Howard County seniors have expressed interest in “The Village In Howard”. The Steering Committee for the village has been meeting since April of this year and is progressing at a steady rate to reach the goal of a Village for our County.


11. Howard County Livable Home Tax Credit (GET THE SLIDES) – Karen Pitsley



12. 2nd Q&A Session – Moderated by Paul Verchinski with wrap-up by Phyllis Madachy


Use this form to contact one of the forum panelist with your questions.

* indicates required field


KAREN PITSLEY – Karen Pitsley, AIA is the president and owner of Transforming Architecture LLC. Karen believes everyone deserves access to good design. She plans to transform the public perception that hiring an architect is too expensive, and to make architects more accessible. She has over fifteen years of experience helping clients design their dream homes, whether it be a new custom home or a renovation and addition to their existing house.  Karen graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland, School of Architecture. She earned her architectural registration in 2001. Karen earned her CAPS (Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist) designation in 2005. This specialty enhances her ability to incorporate design elements that allow people stay in their current home safely, independently, and comfortably or design new homes in which people are able to spend the rest of their years. Karen is past President of the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, and has been named one of Maryland Top 100 Women in 2011 and 2013. She was named a “2011 Innovator of the Year”, by The Daily Record. Her architectural works have been published in several magazines including Builder/Architect Magazine, Business Monthly and Corridor Magazine. Karen is co-founder of Shari’s Promise, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring the safety and sexual boundaries of every child through prevention training, support and empowerment.

[2008]Testified before the Ways & Means Committee on Aging in Place Tax Credits; House Office, Annapolis; [2008 to Present] Coalition for Aging in Place Maryland, Founder; [2007]Featured in Business Monthly’s article “Playing It Safe While Aging in Place”; [2007] Featured in Corridor Magazine’s article “Universal Appeal”, [2001 to Present] American Institute of Architects (AIA), Member




All HCCA events are planned by volunteers and are reflective of HCCA’s mission.

If you are interested in helping us on future events and are already an HCCA member contact Paul Verchinski using the form on this page.  Not, a member yet.  Join us; being active and involved has it’s rewards.  Join HCCA Button

hcca annual meeting 2013