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Aging Well in Waldo County, Maine
A volunteer organization locally representing the age-friendly movement in Maine.
The mission of Aging Well in Waldo County (AWWC) is to assist seniors in Waldo County by disseminating useful information and addressing the issues of social isolation, transportation, and housing support.
What is an Age-Friendly Community?
An age-friendly community accommodates and has elected leadership that considers the needs of every age group in its decision making process.
What is Aging-in-Place?
The philosophy of aging-in-place is that the person decides where they want to live as they age and accommodations are sought to make this possible. This might mean that hospice care occurs in the person’s home.
Getting Here from There: The history of Aging Well in Waldo County
Starting in the summer of 2016, a group of interested persons began meeting to explore and discuss local issues related to aging. Various constituent groups were represented from Belfast and some of the other 25 towns outside Belfast in Waldo County. For example, the Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH), the Belfast city nurse, the 911 director, representatives from Senior College, Triad, the YMCA, and the City of Belfast began to hold regular meetings. Guest speakers from the Maine chapter of the American Association of Retired People (AARP Maine), other communities in the area, and people with relevant experience spoke to the emerging group. The name Aging Well in Waldo County (AWWC) was adopted, along with the commitment to treat all of Waldo County as the area to be covered by this initiative.
They agreed upon three goals for the initiative: First, to create a survey to assess people 50 and over, who reside in Waldo County, about what they consider the strengths and needs of Waldo County. Second, to seek “Age-Friendly” status from AARP. Third, to explore solutions to some of the challenges identified by the assessment process.
The full report of the assessment of Waldo County Maine and the survey instrument are available here, on this website. In short, our greatest assets were identified as our libraries, our churches, and our YMCA. Our greatest needs were reported to be transportation, social isolation, and housing.
Directory of Services for Seniors
Aging Well in Waldo County (AWWC) published its first Directory of Services for Seniors in January 2019. With the generous support of Black Printing, AWWC has been updating, publishing, and distributing this popular handout. Please look for the print version at town offices and libraries in Waldo County as well as many businesses. Also, it turns out this information can be useful for more than one purpose.
AWWC was approached by a group of local real estate agents who wanted to put together a welcome packet for new homeowners who are retired. They had seen the AWWC Directory of Services for Seniors and contacted AWWC.
AWWC decided to take on the collaborative project. The packets were formed and the AWWC Directory is included in these welcome folders.
The AWWC Directory is also available online on this website.
Click here to view or download the printable PDF.
AWWC Village-Wise Newsletter
In February 2020 Aging Well in Waldo County (AWWC) debuted Village-Wise, our email newsletter. Of course, by the second edition of this quarterly online publication, we were deep in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newsletter and our website became vehicles for spreading the word about how to get necessities like medication and food in Waldo County.
Wendy Kasten, the chair of Aging Well in Waldo County, and Sheriff Jeff Trafton, who was on the board of AWWC, wrote an extensive list of how local businesses were adapting to COVID and providing medication, food, and pet supplies. It turns out the list is a good general resource. The list is available on this website, click here.
AWWC volunteers joined ranks with other local organizations to call every person in the county over 80 to be sure they had needed supplies. This evolved into AWWC Waldo Calling. Some joined those transporting supplies to people. This is being absorbed into the plan for AWWC Gift of a Lift (GOAL).
The AWWC Village-Wise Newsletter addresses topics of interest to aging well—finances, health, housing, safety, social isolation, technology and transportation—to name a few.
To view our back issues of Village-Wise, click here.
Sign up to receive the Village-Wise Newsletter, click here.
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Aging Well in Waldo County Board Member
I’m so thankful for the AWWC Mason’s handyman service. It’s so difficult to find help for some of the things that used to be easy and now are out of my reach. The young man who got up on a ladder to fix my ceiling fan chain became a superhero.! It’s a great comfort to know someone is a phone call away.
The garden helper service has been a special treat this summer. My garden has suffered neglect & I feared losing all the lovely blooms. Michele came to my rescue with her skills & youthful energy to return the garden to a happy place again. Being able to see the colors & lack of weeds made me smile every time I look out the window . I hope this service will be available to more seniors in the new year .
- AARP Age-Friendly CommunitiesAdvance Care Planning
- Aging in Place: Boomer’s Roadmap
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Computer Basics for Seniors
- How to Spot a Scam
- Legal Issues for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Mesothelioma Support
- Planning for the Future for Seniors with Special Needs
- Retirement Resources for Boomers and Seniors
- Veterans At Home Services for Seniors
- Veterans Benefits for Seniors