Age-Friendly Georgetown (AFG)

Covers: Georgetown, Maine

Mission, Vision & Goals

Assisting our family members, neighbors, and friends, in living safe healthy socially active lives in our hometown.

Broad Overview

Georgetown is an island community with a rich history. We are a mix of families whose ancestors settled the island and residents who have arrived in more recent years. All cherish our small town.​

More than one-third of our residents are over 65 years old, and our median age continues to climb. Many of us want to live in our Georgetown homes for as long as we can, and our Age-Friendly project — which includes their website —  aims to help make that possible.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

Age-Friendly Georgetown has 12 Members on the Steering Committee with 190 on a Distribution list that contribute ideas, resources, and support. The team has strong relationships with other local organizations and town government/committees.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Department, People Plus, Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department/Rescue Service, SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope), AARP, Habitat for Humanity, Bath Housing Authority, Age-Friendly Communities of the Lower Kennebec, Digital Equity Center, and Georgetown Board of Selectmen.

Strategies that have contributed to your success? Barriers you have encountered?

One of Age Friendly Georgetown's strategies for success is that people feel comfortable receiving help when they are approached by friends or neighbors. Age-Friendly Georgetown has cultivated relationships with many local organizations and has made connections across the many neighborhoods in town. This helps break down the barrier of people not wanting to accept help; we also offer them the opportunity to participate in ways that they are able. We promote our efforts as “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

Grants were received from AARP, Maine Community Foundation, and the Grassroots Foundation. The residents of Georgetown have also contributed significant funds to our efforts, including over $7,000 to support food security during the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Initiatives

Transportation

Age-Friendly Georgetown participates in the Volunteer Transportation Network operated by People Plus of Brunswick. Local volunteer drivers provide rides to those without transportation options for medical appointments, shopping trips, visits with family and friends, and much more. Over 4,000 miles of transportation have been provided in the last 18 months.

Chores, Handyman & Upkeep

The AFG “Job Squad” is made up of volunteers who provide services to community members with tasks such as changing a light bulb that is out of reach, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, splitting and stacking wood, and much more.

Home Repair & Modification

Home Repair: In addition to the “Job Squad” AFG partners with Habitat for Humanity and Bath Housing Authority to accomplish jobs that are larger in scale, such as weatherization, access ramps, and storm window inserts.

Propane/Heating Fuel Purchasing Group: Contracts with discounted prices have been negotiated with area fuel dealers, providing all residents of Georgetown with the opportunity for substantial savings in heating their homes.

House Numbering: In partnership with the Georgetown Fire Department, AFG provides free reflective house number plaques and mounts them at no cost to the homeower. These plaques are greatly appreciated by emergency responders, especially on the dark, narrow roads in town.

Health & Wellness

Statewide Drug Takeback Program: AFG participates in this program, partnering with the Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Department, allowing residents to safely dispose of prescription drugs and other medicines that are no longer needed.

Outreach & Resource Information

At the height of the pandemic, many Georgetowners were unable to maintain food security due to loss of employment, lack of transportation, or illness. AFG helped form the Community Outreach Program to raise funds to purchase and distribute food and basic supplies to those in need. Over $8,000 was raised, including a $1,000 grant from the Grassroots Foundation. This program continued until residents were able to handle their own needs.

Social, Educational & Recreational

Recreational: The Georgetown Trekkers program was formed to encourage all residents, but especially elders, to participate in a hiking program. Georgetown features 12 nature preserves with 33 trails, which are listed in a “passport”. Trekkers mark off the trails they have hiked and all participants will be celebrated at an event in the fall.

Made possible by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, AFG constructed an Easy Access Nature Trail at the Schoener Forest Preserve. This trail provides a smooth flat surface for those with limited mobility or using a walker or wheelchair. A local woodworker crafted a wooden bench for a resting spot at the end of the trail.

Intergenerational Activities: Elementary school K-6 children were asked to create artwork of what they believe they can do to help older adults. Their drawings were shared with the community and then put on display at our local library.

Food, Gardening & Cooking

Gleaning Program: AFG is a member of the Merrymeeting Food Coalition/Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program’s Gleaning operation. This provides donated local produce to area towns and organizations. All members of the community, regardless of income, can access this free selection of vegetables and fruit. AFG also delivers bags to those who aren’t able to drive.

Communication

Website: www.agefriendlygeorgetown.org was created to share information on a variety of topics, including Safety, Health, Nutrition, Legal/Financial, Home Maintenance, Local Service Providers, Activities, and more.

Information Sharing: An email distribution list with over 190 recipients provides safety alerts, topical information about town activities and events, health information, area resources, and more. This was especially important in the early days of COVID-19, when accurate and reliable information was critical.

The Georgetown Tide is a local bi-monthly periodical that is widely distributed in town. Age-Friendly Georgetown has an article in each issue highlighting activities and programs.

AFG participates in local organizations such as the Working League, Community Center, Historical Society, local church, and the elementary school to share information and make presentations on issues important for residents to live safe, healthy, and productive lives in our community and remain in their homes as long as possible.

Technology Training: AFG partnered with the Digital Equity Center to deliver computer training for PC’s, Mac’s, and all kinds of tablets. Training was done in person until COVID restrictions halted those events. Trainees then moved to DEC’s online webinar and training programs.

Other

AFG received a grant from Maine Community Foundation to establish an Assistive Technology program. The funding allowed the team to purchase a variety of assistive technology devices that help with opening jars, showering, putting on shoes, and much more. A display board was created so the items can be taken to events and meetings when restrictions are lifted. The devices are available as loaners, so residents can try them out to see what works best and there is funding to assist residents in purchasing items.

Region

Models

Contact

Jim Peavey
Chair of Steering Committee
Georgetown, ME
gtagefriendly@gmail.com
207-387-0440