When Healthy Peninsula and its Thriving in Place Downeast (TiPD) partners began interviewing older people in our towns in 2014, Þve themes bubbled up from those conversations: lack of connection with medical providers and community, lack of knowledge about resources, need for health care advocates, help with basic needs, and isolation. “There is no church in my community, no Masonic Hall, no grange, no meals or social events…nothing for people to do or see.”
What has changed in a year? Stronger connections have been made with the hospital and health care providers and with community resources. Service organizations have been coordinating volunteer trainings and expanding their programs into towns that have not been served in the past. Behavioral health care is being integrated more closely with in-home medical care services. Success stories are emerging:
TiPD has spearheaded a Provider Network of local medical and social service providers, as well as community members, meeting bi-monthly to share program updates, problem solve, and get relevant training to improve communication and expedite referrals.
Clinics of Expertise bring experts in services for the aging, including free legal advice, to our rural area—less travel. When transportation issues emerged at a local community breakfast, HP facilitated follow-up meetings that are bringing the Friends in Action volunteer model to Deer Isle/Stonington.
Our partnership with the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital has resulted in the online Healthy Peninsula Community Resource Directory, which will go live June 24th.