The Jesup Memorial Library is joined by Island Connections, the YWCA MDI and the MDI YMCA in launching a series of programs related to aging.

Programs to explore aging on MDI

BAR HARBOR — Age By Design, a series of programs and community discussions that will explore facets of life for those 50 and older on Mount Desert Island, will be launched by the Jesup Memorial Library, Island Connections, the YWCA MDI and the Mount Desert Island YMCA.

“Age By Design is all about creating the community we want to age into,” said Melinda Rice, program director at the Jesup Memorial Library. Individual programs will focus on physical health, mental and spiritual health, finances, caregiving and lifelong learning. There also will be panel discussions, classes and workshops.

Age By Design will begin with a community discussion about age-friendly communities and aging-in-place at the Jesup on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 1:30 p.m. Patricia Oh from AARP Maine will join members of the Bar Harbor Task Force on Aging to share information about Bar Harbor’s designation as an age-friendly community. During the second half of the program, they will answer questions and facilitate a conversation about healthy aging and how to make our communities age-friendly.

The age-friendly designation allows the town’s Task Force on Aging access to the AARP Age-Friendly Network, including grant funding for projects to improve planning and services for older residents.

The task force was organized following a May 2016 Town Council decision at the request of resident Bonnie Lundquist. That made an informal group of residents working on these issues, “Aging in Place Bar Harbor,” into an official town entity, which they said would help them qualify for grants and other support.

Bar Harbor is one of 44 communities in the state with the Age-Friendly Community designation. Half of the population of the town is 55 and older, and a growing number are over 70.

“As a community member, the executive director of Island Connections and the chair of the Bar Harbor Task Force on Aging, I feel a responsibility to provide our community members with opportunities to gather as much information about being able to age in their homes for as long as possible,” said Doreen Willett. “Collaborating with other nonprofit organizations brings together staff and resources to roll out programs such as the Age By Design program. I’m very excited to be working with the Jesup Memorial Library, the YWCA MDI and the YMCA.”

Jackie Davidson, executive director of the YWCA MDI, said, “As an organization with a mission statement that focuses on empowerment, we are pleased to be part of a group which plans to implement ways to address many issues that ‘over 50s’ confront.”

Programs will be held at 1:30 p.m. at different venues on the first and third Saturdays of each month through April. Depending on the response to the Age By Design series, additional programs might be added.

Contact Doreen Willett at Island Connections at 288-4457 or Melinda Rice at the Jesup Memorial Library at 288-4245.



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