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Governor Mills, AARP Maine Announce Maine’s Designation as an Age-Friendly State

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Watch WGME's news clip here:

Maine Governor Janet Mills and AARP Maine State Director Lori Parham announced on 10/15 that the state of Maine has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, a move hailed by AARP as a major step toward making Maine even more livable for people of every age. The announcement was made before a select crowd at the Wescustogo North Yarmouth Community Center.

Maine is the sixth state (plus the Virgin Islands) to receive the designation, but has led the country for years in the number of towns and counties, currently 69, to have joined the Network.

“The designation of Maine as an age-friendly state will ignite important partnerships at every level from our smallest communities to government agencies, and will make Maine an even better place to live for people of all ages,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “On behalf of our 230,000 members in the state, we thank Governor Mills for her leadership. Together with age friendly leaders from across the state, Maine can be the best place to work, play, and retire.”

Joining the network is the first step in a multi-year process. Member states and communities are encouraged to plan strategically and implement plans that best fit the assets and opportunities of that member state and community. Work focuses on any or all of eight age-friendly domains: Transportation, Housing, Public Spaces, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Social Participation, Community and Health Services, and Communication and Information.

“This is a significant step forward for the State of Maine,” said Parham. “Ours is the oldest state and the population of older Mainers is expected to continue to increase. It is essential that communities be open to advancing strong, age-friendly initiatives, and we look forward to being part of that effort.”

The Network does not promote a framework in which an outside organization dictates what a state or community member should do; members decide for themselves, drawing from input from residents, businesses, government and institutions on what issues they should address. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, Maine Housing Authority and the Department of Agriculture and Conservation among others will be working with AARP Maine on an Age-Friendly State plan.

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