Washington Co. Commission on Aging's directors share years of experience

October 25, 2007|By JANET HEIM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - It was a meeting of minds and memories as Dorothy Carlisle, the original director of the Washington County Commission on Aging, recently met with current Executive Director Susan MacDonald and Deputy Director Hannah Cramer.

Carlisle, a 103-year-old resident of Homewood at Williamsport, wanted to share the memories she had of the early years of the agency while she was still able.

As the trio exchanged information about past directors and activities, it was clear the organization's goal remains the same - serving the older residents of Washington County.

The program initially was called Senior Citizens Inc. Carlisle volunteered with the program from 1967 until 1970, when she was hired as director.


She was only in the paid position for a year before she retired, but she continued her involvement with the commission as a board member. Carlisle remembers having a budget for the year of $5,000 from the Washington County Commissioners.

When she ran out of money, she had to appear before the commissioners to ask for $50 more, which she said was a lot of money then.

"I was shaking in my boots," said Carlisle, who was granted the additional money.

In the early days of the organization, the focus was more on social time. Carlisle, with the help of the Rev. Bartow Harris, helped form two clubs, one at Virginia Avenue Baptist Church and one in Keedysville, where knitting, crocheting and crafts were taught.

The Commission on Aging coordinates the Meals on Wheels program and publishes a newsletter every two months that will soon be available via e-mail. The commission also offers educational and volunteer opportunities in the community.

Senior clubs are available throughout the county, as well as resources for seniors like health and wellness programs, and a respite care program.

For more information on the Washington County Commission on Aging, call 301-790-0275 or go to

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