Towns want to add ‘age-friendly’ to their assets

132
Jess Maurer of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging leads an April 28 discussion about making Casco and Raymond more age-friendly for seniors. 

RAYMOND — A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

Representative Jess Fay, D-Raymond, organized a community forum on Friday, April 28 that brought about 20 people together at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Fay, who is a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the legislature, hopes that the afternoon event was just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for ten years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the beginning of the forum. 

Fay then turned the conversation over to Jess Maurer, the Executive Director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, who Fay invited to Raymond to share her expertise. Maurer outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely and happily where they live rather than having to move somewhere else for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging in place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the great things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then came back to the larger group to share their answers.

Some of the positives identified in the groups were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water, and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, weather, and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond after discussing positives and challenges with her small group. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

Reverend Nancy Foran, the Pastor of Raymond Village Community Church, said she hoped this conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19 again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reigns. 

“At some point, I would like the community to kind of take it. I’m happy to guide and be an organizer for a while.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Jess Maurer of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging leads an April 28 discussion about making Casco and Raymond more age-friendly for seniors. 

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community form on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community form on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community form on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community forum on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community forum on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

RAYMOND – A new discussion about growing old in Raymond and Casco is under way as efforts to help seniors age in their own homes and communities continue to grow around the state. 

About 20 people gathered for the community forum on April 28 at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, a member of the bipartisan Aging Caucus in the Legislature, organized the event with the hope, she said, that it would be just the start of a larger discussion on how to make Raymond and Casco more age-friendly for seniors. 

“Having had my in-laws live with us for 10 years and watched them age and watched the challenges that they faced in rural Raymond, it really got me thinking that these things I was hearing about in the Aging Caucus might apply here,” Fay said at the start of the forum. 

Jess Maurer, executive director at the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, outlined how some other communities in the state are working to identify challenges facing their seniors and help them age safely where they live rather than having to move elsewhere for the services they need. 

“This whole thing about aging in place and coming together as a community is really starting to change the conversation of how do we want to age together, how do we want to stay in our communities, what do we want our communities to be, how do we want our communities to support people aging and staying here for a lifetime,” Maurer explained.   

Maurer said that about 100 other communities in Maine already have or are contemplating an aging-i- place initiative, which is a collaborative effort to identify and tackle issues facing local seniors. 

Following Maurer’s presentation, the group of more than 20 attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss the good things about living in the area as well as the challenges. The smaller groups then reported their answers to the whole group.

Some of the positives identified were closeness to family and friends, natural beauty, peace and quiet, nice people, history, clean water and a lack of extreme weather like tornadoes or fires. 

Challenges to aging in the area that were identified included transportation, housing, the cost of living, a sense of isolation, severe weather and a feeling that community is geared towards younger people. 

“Everything we love about coming here, which is why we came, then kind of turns against you when you become old enough that the rural nature leaves you without certain services, both safety and social,” said Lori Lambert of Raymond. “So you may have loved the isolation and your quiet six or eight acres, but now you’re finding it difficult to connect.” 

“These conversations are just all about making community connections and helping people feel connected in ways that they may not otherwise feel connected,” Maurer said later. 

The Rev. Nancy Foran of Raymond Village Community Church said she hoped the conversation could open doors to allow seniors help each other using their various skills. 

“We talk a lot about, ‘there are these old people out here and they need these services and we need to give these services to them.’ But, those old people out there have huge contributions that they can still make to the rest of us,” said Foran. “Maybe I can go and help Irene in her garden, and you know what, maybe she can teach me how to crochet.  And in doing that, I’ve made a contribution to her life, she’s made a contribution to my life, and we’re connected in a way that we weren’t before. And I would love to see more of that.” 

After all of the feedback, there was plenty of interest among the group to continue the discussion with another meeting. Fay scheduled a follow-up meeting for Friday, May 19, again at the Raymond Fire & Rescue Building. 

Several of the attendees, including Casco Selectboard Chairwoman Holly Hancock, expressed interest in bringing town officials and other local leaders into the conversation. 

“I’d like to take this to the Selectboard and to the church board,” Hancock said. 

Hancock also said after the meeting that the conversation touched on things that the Selectboard has also been discussing, and that she felt this initial forum went well. 

Fay said she was very happy with the turnout for the event and the willingness to move forward. She eventually hopes to bow out as the group organizer and allow other community members to take the reins. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

SHARE