Age-Friendly Community Bethel ~ October 25, 2015
Hi! This is the first in a regular (probably bi-weekly) electronic newsletter to keep you updated on what is happening with the Age-Friendly Community Project in Bethel. Our mailing list has been compiled from a number of events and inquiries. If perchance you don’t wish to remain on this list, please let me know. Likewise if you wish to request information - either just for yourself or to be included in a future newsletter - let me know that. My contact information is below. I hope that if you represent an organization in town, you will also let your group know what we are doing. We consider this a very exciting opportunity, likely leading to a major set of projects which will need ideas and help from a many segments of our community. Please consider how you can be involved and let your friends know about our plans.
So … what’s the Age-Friendly Community Project? Since early summer a small group of local citizens has been meeting to begin exploring ways to make Bethel more supportive of healthy aging. The AFCP planning team consists of Eliza Barnes, Allen Cressy, Jacqueline Cressy, Nancy Davis, Kay Larson, Linda McDonough, Jan Stowell, Rosabelle Tifft, and Judy Whitman – and we hope many of you will join us! The Town of Bethel has helped us become a part of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. With the help of a planning grant from AARP, we are beginning to explore what Bethel has and does not have in the areas of safe recreational facilities, affordable public transportation, age-friendly housing options, chances to socialize, multigenerational programs, volunteer activities, access to technological resources, home-based care services, and good, healthy food.Recently the group hosted two public meetings to engage the community in discussion around these factors, and we will be reporting on those meetings in the near future. The next big step is for community members over the age of 50 (it need not be restricted to Bethel proper) to complete a survey, which will greatly help us move into action plans. Those surveys are available at the following locations; you are invited to pick up a copy, complete it, and mail it in the self-addressed envelope: the Bethel Library, the Western Mountains Senior College at Telstar, the Bethel Family Health Center, the District Exchange, and the town offices of Bethel, Newry, Greenwood, and Woodstock.
The survey deadline of November 6th is important so that the data can be analyzed by a professional company and be available to direct our work. If you can’t mail it to us, feel free to contact Jackie Cressy, who can pick it up for you (firstname.lastname@example.org or 824-0508).
Who will benefit from whatever community developments occur? If you are not there already, you may some day feel the need for help in remaining in your community as you age. And in any case, almost any community improvements will have great benefit beyond the senior citizen population. So stay tuned! For more information, you may contact Nancy Davis (email@example.com, 381-1110).
PS - In response to a question at one of our public meetings, did you know that Bethel does currently have a Meals on Wheels program? David Moyer is the coordinator (1-800-427-1241); you may call him to get set up for Meals on Wheels, as well as Books on Wheels.
(Nancy Davis, editor)