2015-12-25 / Letters

Surveys help guide senior initiatives

To the editor:

It was with disappointment that I read that Kennebunk had decided to turn down a grant from AARP Maine to conduct a survey regarding the challenges older residents face as they age in the community. These local surveys can provide excellent insight into the needs and desires of 50-plus Mainers, and can serve as a springboard to meaningful solutions.

In 2014, AARP Maine released a statewide survey, the results of which helped guide our age-friendly initiatives in the state in 2015.

For example, the survey reported that four out of five Mainers age 50 and older say it is extremely important for them to remain in their homes as they age. With only 67 percent of them saying they are confident that their homes are safe without modifications, there is much opportunity to help Mainers remain in their homes.

As the U.S. population ages and people stay healthy and active longer, communities must adapt. AARP Maine is supporting communities in being 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.

Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth and they make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages.

As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, AARP Maine’s role is to facilitate local engagement and share ongoing resources.

To date we have provided grants in Ellsworth, Portland, Harpswell, Bowdoinham and Paris. We look forward to working with the citizens of Kennebunk to support their efforts toward meaningful age-friendly solutions. If you would like to get involved or to find out more, please email us at me@aarp.org.

Lori Parham, state director
AARP Maine
Portland

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