Aging in place actions in Maine making a difference

Aging in place actions
Elaine Briggs (Photo by Elise Klysa/Kennebec Journal)

Wayne looking for ways to help elderly age in place

A citizens’ group is trying to coordinate seniors’ needs with services that other residents can offer.

By Charles Eichacker, Portland Press Herald, Central Maine

March 14, 2017

“In the 17 years Elaine Briggs has lived at the northern end of Wilson Pond, she’s made the little property her own.

She maintains a flower garden. She makes soap in the basement of her boxy, one-story home with ingredients such as lavender and spearmint. She isn’t a vinyl snob, but maintains a record player and a collection of old country albums. Chickadees compete with squirrels at the feeder on her front lawn, and she sometimes can coax the small birds to peck seeds from the palm of her hand. She can put her kayak in the stream behind her house and paddle to the pond. She likes her neighbors, who have helped move snow from the front of her driveway after heavy storms.

Now 63, she hopes to stay there as long as possible, and also help fellow Wayne residents stay in their homes as they get older.

A group of citizens has been seeking the views of people like Briggs. They want to make Wayne a community where residents can age in place more easily, and they’ve been surveying town residents to get a better idea of the needs of the elderly, as well as what skills and services the young and old alike have to offer.

In doing so, they’re making Wayne just the latest Maine town to launch an aging-in-place initiative. A couple dozen Maine communities have been working with AARP – formerly the American Association of Retired Persons – to implement a set of age-friendly practices.”

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