Early spring, 2015: Inspired by Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal,” a small group of volunteers begins conversations about implementing positive changes to benefit the elderly in our community.
May, 2015: the Western Mountains Senior College sponsors a well-attended program on end-of-life issues; Peter Morelli, from AARP Maine, was a featured presenter.
June, 2015: a group of nine volunteers forms a Project Team. Members: Eliza Barnes, Bethel; Jane Chandler, Woodstock; Jim Chandler, Woodstock; Allen Cressy, Bethel; Jackie Cressy, Bethel; Nancy Davis, Bethel/Albany Twp; Kay Larson, Bethel; Linda McDonough, Bethel; Brooks Morton, Newry; Peter Musso, Jr., Greenwood; Jan Stowell, Bethel; Rosabelle Tifft, Bethel; Judy Whitman, Bethel.
October, 2015: Bethel joins the AARP Network of Age-friendly Communities.
Late fall, 2015: Bethel’s membership expands into a regional effort – the first in AARP’s network – to incorporate Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock.
The Town of Bethel becomes the fiscal agent, and the town managers and selectmen become part of the process: Christine Landes, Bethel Town Manager; Kimberly Sparks, Greenwood Town Manager; Amy Bernard, Newry Town Administrator; Vern Maxfield, Woodstock Town Manager.
October, 2015: a comprehensive survey is administered to residents 50 and over in the area.
January – March, 2016, a general public meeting and a Transportation-related public meeting yield widespread community buy-in, resulting, soon, in the formation of a Transportation Task Force – and later, in several additional task forces.
December, 2016:Initial Action Plan is issued.
January, 2017: AFCI Advisory Council is newly formed
February, 2017: The Town of Gilead becomes a member of the AARP Network of Age-friendly Communities and joins the AFCI.
April, 2017: Interim Action Plan is accepted by national AARP (the first in Maine).