Age-Friendly CommunityFebruary 16, 2016
Have you noticed? Improving opportunities for the aging population is currently a hot topic in our state, our country, and around the world. And there is a lot happening in our own community! Can you help us spread the word?
Stakeholders. Do you have friends or family who have a stake in finding solutions but may not have entered into the conversation for a variety of reasons? They may be the very ones who can best articulate their personal needs. We want to include them!
Age-Friendly Information. We send an electronic newsletter every other week; if you or a friend are not on the list but would like to be, just let me know. Maybe you know someone who would appreciate your help in accessing information online. A printed bulletin is distributed to the Bethel Library, the Bethel Family Health Center, the Bethel House, the Sudbury Village, and the Bethel Park and Bethel Station houses. Do you know someone you could take a copy to? The Bethel Library has devoted a shelf to Age-Friendly Community materials; there’s lots of information there – have a look.
Public Meetings. We have sponsored several public meetings, and our future plans include many more such meetings and working task forces. On January 14 the public heard the results of the survey we administered in October. Did you see the video of that meeting on Channel 11, the Public Access channel? Coming right up is a meeting specifically on expanding transportation options.
Transportation. Respondents to our October survey overwhelmingly identified transportation as their top concern as they age in this community. We are not a large city like Portland. We are not a wealthy coastal community. What few public transportation services there are in the Bethel area are not well-known or may be too expensive.
Here’s where “the rubber hits the road”!
The Age-Friendly Community Project will sponsor a public meeting Wednesday, February 24, 4:00-6:00 at the West Parish Congregational Church. This will be an opportunity to identify specific transportation needs and start the community conversation on how to address these needs. Special presenters will include not only service professionals, but also representatives from communities across the state with interesting solutions.
A variety of related issues may be immediate for you. Or they may currently affect a family member or friend in our community. Or they may reflect your wise anticipation of your future needs.
Transportation Questions. Where do you generally need/want to go and how often? Do you currently rely on other individuals or services to get you to appointments and gatherings? What services do you wish we had in our community? Remembering that the size and economics of the Bethel area necessarily pose some constrictions, what’s on your wish list? Please come help us start the conversation.
Could you drive a friend to the meeting? Can you get information to someone who might not be aware of the opportunity – and better yet, get their ideas for improvements? FMI: Nancy Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org, 381-1110).