The Town of Blue Hill has been designated by the AARP as a member of its Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The Network currently contains 128 communities throughout the United States, including 24 in Maine. Blue Hill was one of 5 Maine communities welcomed to the Network this fall.
Membership in the Network requires a commitment from the town’s elected officials to work towards making the town a great place for people of all ages to live. The Blue Hill Selectmen supported the application to join the Network. “One third of our community members are 60 years old or older and more than half of all households include at least one person who is 60 or older. While we have a self-reliant and engaged community, we recognize that there is more to be done to make our community truly a livable community where seniors can age safely in their own homes and live full, active lives.” (Selectmen’s Letter of Support, 9/6/16)
Blue Hill’s Board of Selectmen has partnered with Healthy Peninsula to spearhead the Age-Friendly effort, building on Healthy Peninsula’s successful Thriving in Place Downeast partnership that started in 2014. Patricia Oh, AARP-Maine’s Age-Friendly Consultant, is enthusiastic about these efforts to date, commenting that “[w]e already talk about the work in Blue Hill as one of the "gold standard" communities.”
Healthy Peninsula and the Blue Hill Selectmen hope to encourage the other towns on the Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington to eventually join them in a regional approach to the age-friendly community initiative. To begin this effort, AARP-Maine has awarded Healthy Peninsula a $6000 grant to fund a community survey covering the 9 towns of the Blue Hill Peninsula, Deer Isle and Stonington. This is an initial requirement of the AARP Network’s approach, to establish “a comprehensive and inclusive baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the community.” The survey results will be reported to each community in the spring and will be used to develop a specific plan for addressing what the communities feel is needed to make this region a more livable place for residents of all ages.
For more information, contact Healthy Peninsula at (207) 374-3257, or email@example.com.