The Age-Friendly Community Project Team in Bethel is exploring nine Livability Factors that affect the quality of life for seniors – eight as defined by AARP and WHO (World Health Organization) and one we’ve added. Our research into Bethel’s status is still in progress, and our preliminary reports are available in the Bethel Library (red folders on a dedicated bookshelf) and Bethel Family Health Center.
LIVABILITY FACTOR # 1:
OUTDOOR SPACES AND BUILDINGS: Are there safe and accessible recreational facilities in the community?
Our preliminary findings: some streets in Bethel village have paved sidewalks, but it would be nice to have them on other roads. There is a public restroom at the Bethel Chamber of Commerce office and two porta-potties at Davis Park.
Pathways. The 1½-mile paved Bethel Recreational Path is used for walking, jogging, running, skateboarding, cycling, roller-blading, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. It is fully handicapped accessible, with parking available both at Davis Park and at the Route 2/26 end. Benches are on both the pathway and the Bethel Common, a particularly lovely area of the village. Many public buildings are handicapped accessible.
Parking. Most public buildings have available parking nearby, but it has been suggested that there should be more. There are several fitness centers in town, with varying levels of difficulty and clientele. There are a host of outdoor options, also of varying difficulty.
Additional thoughts? Current assets? deficits? suggestions? Feel free to contact Judy Whitman (firstname.lastname@example.org – 824-0437).
AARP study. AARP has conducted a comprehensive study of communities nationwide. If you visit their website (https://livabilityindex.aarp.org/) and plug in the zipcode 04217, you will get Bethel’s score. Click on the various items to get an explanation of what each one means. There are also many AARP resources available from this website.
Brand-new Bethel-based service. We’ve just learned about free rides to chemo appointments: beginning in mid-November, Northern Vista at Home Senior Care will offer a free shuttle service to those going to recurring chemo or radiation appointments at St. Mary’s or CMMC hospitals in Lewiston. To schedule a ride, call Gerry McCann, Director, at 207-836-2173.
Suggestions? Know of something interesting happening in another community, something helpful for an aging population? Think it would be worthwhile for Bethel to consider? Feel free to pass along any creative ideas to Nancy Davis.If you do not wish to receive the AFCP newsletter, please let me know, and for more information, you may contact Nancy Davis (email@example.com, 381-1110).
(Nancy Davis, editor)