The Maine Council on Aging sponsored a day-long event at the Augusta Civic Center in September.

It was an excellent day. Organizations and community members from around the state came together and shared what they have found that works to support Maine’s aging citizens in the community. Housing, health care, food, safety and finances were all part of the mix. There were many examples of agencies providing services and working together with one another in ways that were different from before. Throughout the day, whether in panel discussions, break-out sessions, exhibitor offerings or breaks, the undercurrents were those of welcoming, inclusiveness, interest and appreciation.

That is not to say that all is well in Maine in terms of services for our elders. Quite the opposite. Listening to the facts in terms of Maine’s aging population, aging housing stock, multi-year waiting lists for services, and numerous barriers to accessing health care and poverty, one could easily conclude that it is hopeless. This group is not hopeless though — they are determined to figure it out.

We left the conference feeling impressed and grateful as Maine citizens that so many talented and committed people are working on behalf of Maine’s elderly.

Andrea Paul

New Gloucester

Marlene McMullen-Pelsor

Manchester