Wayne’s Aging At Home committee, affiliated with AARP’s network of Age-Friendly Communities, has had to cut back its face-to-face supports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it continues to make contact with elders through telephone and video.

Aging At Home, Wayne, comfort bag items. Contributed photo

And because the group is unable to hold senior luncheons during the pandemic, members have filled tote bags with COVID protection items, comfort items, and emergency items to be distributed to seniors by members of Aging At Home. Several of the items were purchased from local Wayne businesses, ornaments by Wayne Village Pottery, cups by Lakeside Studio Pottery, and soap by Birtwell Farm Goods. The funding for this came from a grant from Maine Community Foundation, according to a news release from  Pam Chenea, coordinator of Aging At Home, Wayne.

Also, with an eye toward elders and families, the group has purchased picnic tables and benches for its downtown park. This was made possible with a grant from AARP of Maine.

Megan Bachelder, a member of the Aging At Home, Wayne, at a new picnic table purchased with AARP Maine grant funds in Memorial Park, Wayne. Contributed photo

Since its founding the group has worked with residents to:
• Install residential smoke detectors;
• Educate elders about online safety, elder law, arsenic in drinking water, making homes safer for people as they age, and other topics;
• Reduced senior isolation through community lunches, tai chi, a widow/widower support group, and other events;
• Paired elders and others in the community for telephone and video check ins;
• Provided outreach and support for community members with medical, financial, and other needs through the work of its outreach co-ordinator Pam Chenea;
• Worked to make the community safer and more accessible to elders through advocacy for sidewalks and public rest rooms. With support from the state Department of Transportation, Wayne added sidewalks and new crosswalks in its downtown this summer; and
• Delivered meals from the Winthrop Meal Kitchen to people in Wayne, and partnered with Catholic Charities SEARCH program to support elders in town.

The group also is trying to find a way to support elders’ access to snow and ice clearing at their homes to help them be mobile this winter. People in need of any kind of support in Wayne can call Chenea at 207-685-9378.

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