THE AUGUSTA AGE Friendly Committee recently received word that the city of Augusta has had its action plan for being more age-friendly certified under the criteria established by AARP and the World Health Organization.

Our first commitment was to create an action plan based on input from our residents which was done through a survey, focus groups and public meetings. The plan will be presented to the city with the intent of inclusion into the comprehensive plan as appropriate.

We have worked at developing partnerships throughout the city with many organizations such as AARP, the city of Augusta, Spectrum Generations, Kennebec Journal, Augusta Downtown Alliance, Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, Catholic Charities, MaineGeneral Health and Kennebec Valley Community Action Program among many others and we look forward to developing additional future relationships.

The Age Friendly Committee has had many projects around our city that we would like to share.

HOUSING

Home modification program looking to partner with the Masons or other organizations in town

OUTDOOR SPACES

•Art bench project for Waterfront Park, working with the Augusta Downtown Alliance and the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are still seeking additional corporate sponsorships to help fund this senior bench project

•A Boy Scout Eagle project for bench design and creation

•Outside benches at Shaw’s and Hannaford (Whitten Road) for seniors while they wait for a ride

•Defensive pedestrian crosswalk safety demonstration with community police Officer Brad Chase

•Supported the Complete Streets policy adopted by the City of Augusta

•Walkability audits of our streets

COMMUNITY SUPPORT/HEALTH

•Sand buckets for seniors coming up for the winter of 2017-2018, partnering with the City of Augusta, Spectrum Generations Meals on Wheels and the Augusta Police Department as well as Lowe’s, Aubuchon, Tractor Supply and Home Depot

•Partnership with MaineGeneral on their lung cancer educational messaging program

COMMUNICATION

•Age Friendly Resource Guide was published with support from AARP Maine and can be found on the city website under “for residents” link

•AARP shred and drug take back event with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department

•Continuing quarterly articles published by the Kennebec Journal

•Augusta Age Friendly Facebook page (share and like) and our subcommittee groups pages

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

•Co-generational sewing instruction partnering with the Boys and Girls Club

•Smartphone training for seniors with Cony High School (students can fulfill required community service)

•Age Friendly Business Certification to enhance economic development with the Chamber and hoping for Market Place at Augusta input

•Sticker campaign with Age Friendly logo

•United Way volunteer portal

•Augusta Age Friendly action plan

SOCIAL PARTICIPATION

•Partner with Kennebec River Rail Trail with a volunteer booth at the annual half marathon event

•Booth at the Annual Healthy Aging Expo at the Cohen Community Center

•Table at the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at the Augusta Civic Center

•TOPS Weightloss Group

•WABI TV5 interview

•UMA Senior College <URL destination=”https://www.centralmaine.com/2017/02/06/augusta-needs-transportation-options-for-senior-citizens/”>Transportation Forum

</URL>•Speaking engagements with Augusta First, Wisdum, Capital Area Multi-Faith Association and many others

RESPECT AND SOCIAL

Partnering with Augusta School Department Future Search program to focus on intergenerational community sharing of knowledge and information

Augusta Age Friendly got off the ground running to help our city be livable for all ages, a place where people want to come to work and live. We look forward to another year.

Bob MacDougall is a retiree, resides in Augusta and is a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program and AARP, often on legislative issues affecting seniors at the State House. He is chairman of the Augusta Age Friendly initiative as well as being on the AARP state advisory board. This is the third of occasional updates on the program.

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