The Maine Point: Welcome Maine Seniors Day
When local and state entities come together toward a common, positive goal, it’s exciting! Thanks to the publisher of Maine Seniors magazine, along with many friends and collaborators across Maine, our older residents will now be formally recognized every year on a special day: Maine Seniors Day. This is wonderful news for several reasons. First of all, an actual designated day such as this offers the chance to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments, experiences and contributions of older Maine residents. So many older Mainers are volunteers, innovators and community leaders. What a perfect occasion to honor their talents and hard work.
Maine Seniors Day also provides us with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the issues that Maine seniors face. Many older residents in Maine encounter unique challenges in a state that is large geographically and has a far-flung population. Older Mainers often struggle to keep up with everyday living expenses such as the cost of buying food, heating their homes and other necessities. For some, there is an ongoing fear that one day they will be unable to stay in their own homes and communities because the services they need to do so simply are not in place. In fact, during this last legislative session, several programs that help our most vulnerable seniors and the disabled with much-needed health care expenses were at risk of being cut due to state budget woes. Hopefully, such essential programs will never again be imperiled as the State works towards finding more sustainable solutions.
This fall, AARP Maine is hosting a roundtable discussion with many local community partners and businesses in the state to develop an agenda that will help Maine better address the needs of a rapidly aging population. Maine has the opportunity to take a fresh look at livable community issues such as transportation, HOUSING, and access to programs and services. If we succeed in bringing together diverse representatives to discuss these and other issues, we can make considerable inroads toward finding answers to some tough questions. Developing strategies to establish Maine as an even more age-friendly state is a step in the right direction for those who live and work here, and for those who plan to retire here. You can find out more at www.aarp.org/livable
More than 50 years ago, AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, said that people’s older years should be an opportunity for new growth and participation in society. She believed that every individual has the ability, the experience and the desire to promote and enhance the public good. What an exciting opportunity to be able to applaud those in our state who, in so many ways, do just that. We look forward to working with many of you as we celebrate the first annual Maine Seniors Day on September 14th!
AARP Maine Communications Director