Many Volunteer Opportunities Available
BAR HARBOR—The Bar Harbor Age-Friendly Committee can’t tell someone how to find the Fountain of Youth, but that is one of the very few resources that people will not find in their Bar Harbor, Maine, Age-Friendly Resource Guide.
At their Wednesday night meeting, Vice Chair Allie Bodge, and members Sharon Linscott, Teresa Wagner, Andrea Lepcio, and Peter Houghton discussed updates to their published resource guide.
The small bound book was first published in September 2021, and even a quick glance through the book by committee members brings to light many things that need to be updated. Business locations or contact information may have changed, resources may no longer be available, or new resources may need to be added.
That is a task that the committee is planning on tackling soon so that members may distribute the books again to the MDI Hospital, doctor’s offices, and other public places that are willing to give them out. In the meantime, if you do not have a current copy, the information can be found elsewhere.
There is a version of the guide online here.
For people who like to talk on the phone, they can simply dial 211, and they will reach the State of Maine’s resource service that will help them find what they are looking for in their area.
Between 2011 and 2019, the population of Bar Harbor that is over the age of 65 has grown 32%, bringing the total number of those 65 or older to 19% of the town’s population. Bar Harbor is recognized as an age-friendly community by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) because it has an age-friendly action plan and because of the work of the Age-Friendly Committee.
The mission of the Age-Friendly Committee is to “strive for a community where all the residents of Bar Harbor, regardless of age, can live, grow and thrive.”
The vision of the Age-Friendly Committee is to “embrace the eight domains of livability that can help to enhance the lives of all residents so they can participate in a more fulfilling way.”
The eight domains of livability are:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings;
- Social participation;
- Respect and social inclusion;
- Work and civic engagement;
- Communication and information;
- Community and health services.
The committee does many other things besides creating, updating, and distributing the resource guide. They publish a semiregular age-friendly column in the Mount Desert Islander and these columns will also be published soon in the Bar Harbor Story.
Committee members also try to build community and connect people in need with people who can assist those in need. The vast majority of the people who assist those in need are volunteers and sometimes volunteers can be hard to come by.
Many of the residents of Bar Harbor are active and love to be outdoors. For those people, many of the Age-Friendly Committee’s (or associated organizations) volunteer needs can help satisfy the desire to be outside, get exercise, and build community.
The Age-Friendly Committee has a snow shoveling program so in the winter volunteers can shovel snow from stairs and walkways for someone who is no longer capable and may not be able to afford paying for the luxury of feeling safe leaving the house.
Bicycling enthusiasts or those who just love working those legs while being outside, can volunteer for MDI Wheelers. While MDI Wheelers is not an Age-Friendly Committee program, part of its target audience does overlap with the committee’s target group and the committee does support MDI Wheelers’ mission. MDI Wheelers is hoping to be giving bike rides by June.
For those who just like to drive, there are plenty of opportunities that require motor vehicle operators.
LINKS TO LEARN MORE
To learn more about or contact the Age-Friendly Committee or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about or contact the MDI Wheelers.
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