RELEASE: May 16, 2017

Contact:      Jane Margesson, AARP Maine Communications Director

(207) 229-5628 or jmargesson@aarp.org

 

 

AARP Maine Hosts Annual Day at the State House

Focus on Maine Age-Friendly Communities

 

AUGUSTA: AARP Maine hosted their annual Day at the State House today with a focus on Maine’s 37 community participants in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities (NAFC).  The Day at the State House offered the opportunity for AARP members and volunteers to meet and greet legislators, attend the Legislative Caucus on Aging, engage in the legislative process and collaborate with other NAFC members.

“In an age-friendly community, residents benefit from an environment that encourages them to remain active and socially engaged,” stated Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director.  “The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.  Here in Maine, we are dedicated to advancing well-designed, livable communities to promote health and sustain economic growth.”

 

In 2016, Maine saw a remarkable surge in the efforts of towns and neighborhoods to advance age-friendly initiatives.  Maine has consistently led the country in the number of NAFC participants and currently boasts 37 communities.  In large part due to the effective partnering taking place, the Day at the State House showcased wonderful examples of age-friendly practices that are already serving as potential models for other Maine communities to follow.

 

“With funding from the Maine Health Access Foundation for our Thriving in Place Downeast initiative, we have been working hard on the Blue Hill Peninsula, Deer Isle and Stonington,” said Anne Schroth, a member of the Blue Hill Peninsula Age-Friendly Committee.  “One of our goals is to create sustainable partnerships and programming to enable seniors, the chronically ill and caregivers to ‘thrive’ as they age in their own homes and communities. By joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, we have an excellent framework to continue these efforts.”  The Blue Hill Peninsula Age-Friendly Committee’s work is further enhanced through the participation of town government representatives and local businesses to expand their community partnerships.

 

Jan Dodge, a member of the Aging Well in Waldo County Committee, agreed that the NAFC has helped to bolster efforts in Maine’s Mid-Coast region. “The Aging Well in Waldo County Committee is anxious to improve our ‘age friendliness’ with support and direction from AARP Maine,” she said.  “Because Maine has such a high percentage of older residents, these initiatives become even more important in providing opportunities for our older citizens and ultimately, for people of all ages.”

As part of the effort to encourage other towns and communities to develop and advance their own age-friendly ideas, AARP Maine developed a free guide, The Maine Guide to Building Age-Friendly Communities. Written by local age-friendly experts, the guide can help citizen activists and municipalities work together to make changes that benefit residents of all ages.  Free electronic or paper copies can be ordered by sending an email to me@aarp.org or by calling 207-776-6306.

 

“It is exciting and inspiring to share stories like these that remind us how great a role each of us can play in stimulating positive change in Maine’s towns and neighborhoods,” said Parham.

 

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

 

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