Age-Friendly Saco

Covers: Saco, Maine

Start Date: 2015

Mission, Vision & Goals

COVID-19 Response: Age-Friendly Saco
Early on in the crisis, Age Friendly Saco had to pivot quickly and find new ways to operate in order to honor their mission, which is to help community older residents stay in their homes as they age. In addition to finding a way to continue to operate their Handy Neighbors and Technology Neighbors programs, they created and participated in a wellness check in program. Between April and early June, they made over 1709 calls to all Saco residents over the age of 70. These wellness calls connected older adults with the resources and information they needed during the this time, such as access to groceries, prescriptions, Senior Meal program or COVID related information.


To promote active aging by optimizing opportunities for health, engagement, and safety while removing barriers that prevent our citizens from remaining in their homes as they age. This will be accomplished through the engagement with community organizations as well as the collaboration with the City of Saco and the recruitment of community volunteers for the delivery of services that will empower residents to remain in and engaged in their community.


  1. Development of a community resource guide with the City of Biddeford.
  2. Initiation of a Handyman program.
  3. Formation of subcommittees:
    1. Handyman
    2. Communication
    3. Social Events
    4. Transportation

Broad Overview

Age-Friendly Saco has completed its assessment and is starting to work to engage volunteers and community organizations to begin the work of developing a handyman program, social programs, communication, etc.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

Age-Friendly Saco is a 501(c)(3). This initiative is managed by a Board of Directors to provide the oversight and subcommittees create the work plan for each of the identified areas and carry out the work plan.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

Age-Friendly Saco continues to work with developing a partnership with UNE and their Health Profession programs. Other partnerships include Atlantic Heights, City of Saco Parks and Recreation, Saco Bay Rotary Club, Thornton Academy, York County Habitat for Humanity, Shuttlebus Zoom, and Age-friendly Communities of Biddeford and Saco.

What is the role of volunteers?

Age-Friendly Saco only has volunteers; they are responsible for all aspects of the planning and implementing the plan.

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

The greatest contributors to the success of Age-Friendly Saco has been through our collaboration with the City of Saco, as well as the representation of our Board of Directors by various community partners.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

AARP Challenge grant, other grant money, assistance from banks, financial assistance through the City of Saco.

Community Initiatives


Age-Friendly Saco established a subcommittee to address this area.
Age-Friendly Saco is a part of a tri-community transportation committee with age-friendly Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. This committee has developed a brochure to help older residents understand their transportation options. In collaboration with two local, low-income senior housing units, we have initiated a grocery store shuttle run to provide transportation for older residents.

Chores, Handyman & Upkeep

Age-Friendly Saco has established a subcommittee to address this area.
Age-Friendly Saco has developed a Handy Neighbor program that provides home repairs to help older residents stay in their homes as they age.

Home Repair & Modification

Age-Friendly Saco has established a subcommittee to address this area.
We have partnered with Habitat For Humanity to provide weatherization services for our community.

Health & Wellness

Age-Friendly Saco is beginning conversations with UNE about partnerships and have a relationship with the City of Saco Police Dept that has an elderly liaison.
We have collaborated with the local fire department to start a Knox Box program and loan out Knox Boxes to some older residents. They are meant to be put outside an individual’s home with a house key inside. Only the local fire department can open in the box case of a fire or emergency. We have also developed an Adaptive Tools Table to help older residents understand the resources available to help them to help them live in their homes safer and easier. These tools include grabbers, dressing aids, etc.

Outreach & Resource Information

We have developed an age-friendly brochure describing what services we offer. In addition, we have also developed a refrigerator magnet for older residents with important numbers. Volunteers staff our age-friendly office and serve as a resource for any questions our older residents might have.

Social, Educational & Recreational

Age-Friendly Saco has created a Multi-Generation Gardeners Program with Saco Parks and Recreation, through the support of a grant through the Maine Community Foundation. This program allows school-age children to garden alongside older adults and have a dinner at the end of the season to celebrate the multi-generational garden. We have also initiated a sand bucket program for seniors with Thornton academy where students deliver sand buckets to older adults in the community. We have a Bi-annual dinner dance hosted through Atlantic Heights. Age-Friendly Saco is proud of their annual Wellness/Vendor fair, where all of the age-friendly folks are invited to learn about different topics related to aging.

Fraud, Abuse & Exploitation

Age-Friendly Saco is considering a day long educational program in the summer where fraud prevention would be a topic.

Accessibility & Walkability

We received the AARP Challenge Grant and were able to make public beach wheelchair accessible by the use of beach mats. Our multi-generational garden is also wheelchair accessible.




Jean Saunders
Chair, Age-Friendly Saco
Age-Friendly Office
75 Franklin St. Room 204, Saco, ME 04072
[email protected]
(207) 710-5029