Bel Air Living Well program to give seniors independence

Bel Air area seniors suffering with chronic conditions may be able to obtain a new level of independence after participating in a new Living Well program hosted by the Town of Bel Air.

The six week session beginning on Oct. 16 is slated to provide residents with ailments such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and hypertension self-management support so they can better provide for themselves despite their conditions.

"The program provides folks with a better way of taking care of themselves," Kevin Small, director of planning for the town, said. "We want to help people understand what their condition is about and how they can provide for themselves rather than relying on others."

According to Small, the Town of Bel Air adapted the Living Well program from an established Stanford University program. Today, towns across Maryland have established similar programs to provide seniors with more independence as many chose "aging in place" as an option.

The classes will be held on Wednesday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Bel Air United Methodist Church, 21 Linwood Ave. There is a one-time $10 fee for the classes to cover coffee and snacks. Attendees will also be provided a textbook and relaxation CD.

To register or for additional information, contact the Bel Air Planning Department at 410-638-4540 or email

Small said the classes will provide information on nutrition, health and physical fitness. He said participants will be provided with information on proper use of prescription medication, tips on interacting with health care providers and a better understanding how their various conditions may impact their lives.

"Through our Sustainable Bel Air initiative we are looking to implement more resources targeted toward our seniors," Small said.

The classes are also open to people to provide for friends or loved ones who suffer from chronic conditions. Small said the courses will cover how to adequately care for someone else without imposing on that person's sense of independence.

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