Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee

Covers: Hallowell

Start Date: Formed in January 2017

Mission, Vision & Goals

Mission: The Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee is working to make our city inviting, exciting, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. All are welcome here.

Broad Overview

The Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee was formed by Mayor Mark Walker in January 2017 with the charge of creating an Age-Friendly Action Plan addressing each of the Eight Domains of Livability. The City joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2016. The Network is an is an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program.

The committee sponsored three focus groups and a community-wide survey in 2017 to determine our City’s strengths, weakness, and needs in serving citizens and visitors alike. Links to the results appear below. The process is underway to develop the action plan to improve existing services and work to launch new ones as needed.

We are currently working to grow our initiative and help people of all ages thrive in place in Hallowell.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

The Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee was formed by the Mayor as part of the City Council’s Health and Wellness Committee in January 2018.  The committee was elevated to a stand alone committee in January 2020.  All members are volunteers and include three City Councilors.  Volunteers are welcomed to join the committee and/or work on a specific initiative or domain.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

The Hallowell All Age-Friendly Committee has active partnerships with the following organizations:

Boy Scouts of America Troop 647

City of Hallowell Comprehensive Planning Group

City of Hallowell Conservation Commission

Community Housing of Maine

Cotton Mill Apartments

Granite Hill Estates

Hallowell Fire Department

Hallowell Firefighters Association

Hallowell Police Department

Hallowell Area Board of Trade

Harlow Gallery - Kennebec Valley Art Association

Historic Hallowell Committee

Hubbard Free Library

SEARCH – Catholic Charities

Spectrum Generations Area Agency on Aging and Cohen Center

University of Maine at Augusta

Vaughan Woods and Historic Homestead

Vision Hallowell

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

Strategies that have contributed to success:

  • Working closely with elected officials and municipal departments
  • Connecting residents to local elected officials and helping people in subsidized congregate housing to see themselves as change-makers in our community
  • Partnering with regional organizations, such as AARP and Spectrum Generations
  • Using the talents and skills of committee members to address low-hanging fruit—changes identified by residents—even while we are developing our action plan

Types of funding that your initiative has received

AARP $6000 grant research opinions and identify critical Age-Friendly issues.

AARP Print production in-kind grant for publication of the Spring 2020 The Champion Community newsletter

Maine Community Foundation - $1200 grant for the design and production of the inaugural issue of The Champion

Publication Partnerships $900 each from Community Housing of Maine, Hallowell Area Board of Trade, Harlow Gallery, Spectrum Generations, University of Maine at Augusta, and Vaughan Woods and Historic Homestead

Publication Support $400 each from City of Hallowell Maine Bicentennial and Age-Friendly budget lines

Community Initiatives

Transportation

Our committee and the City of Hallowell formally partnered with Catholic Charities and the SEARCH program for providing volunteer transportation and companion services.

The Hallowell All Age-Friendly Committee convened a Regional Transportation Roundtable in April 2019 gathering representatives with several other Age-Friendly groups, representative from the surrounding community governments and the Maine Department of Transportation to discuss improvements to public and private transportation options. The input from this regional transportation forum will help inform a five-year local plan for statewide transit and long-term plans.  We are hopeful that our involvement will help communities in our region focus on public transportation to help older residents who do not drive or would like to use occasional public transportation to avoid driving at night or in poor weather to get to the places they need to go and remain active in our region.

Chores, Handyman & Upkeep

The Committee partnered with the Hallowell Volunteer Firefighters Association to form the Sandbucket Brigade, providing sand/salt for people in need of assistance with ice and snow.

Health & Wellness

The Committee has partnered with Hallowell Fire and Police Departments, Spectrum Generations, and the Cohen Center to present special workshops on fire and fall prevention.  As part of the fall prevention, Spectrum Generations introduced “Matter of Balance”, and eight-week interactive workshop series designed to reduce the risk of falls for older adults.

Committee members have also participated in the Living Well Expos and the popular Old Hallowell Day festivities providing bicycle-powered fruit smoothies.

The Committee also conducted a Walkability Survey in May and June 2019 and shared the findings with the City Council, the City Manager and Director of Public Works.

The Committee also works closely with the Conservation Commission to promote the City’s outside recreational facilities.

Outreach & Resource Information

The All Age-Friendly Committee recruited Publishing Partners to fund the publication of a community newsletter distributed in the Spring, Summer and Fall editions. Approximately 1700 copies of the newsletter are delivered to all active postal addresses in Hallowell through the US Postal service Every Door Direct Mail program. Additional copies are distributed throughout the community.

As a Committee, we are very active in the Hallowell Community and City events.  In addition, a list of ongoing activities is available online and in The Champion community newsletter.  The Hallowell All Age-Friendly Committee meets regularly the second Wednesday of each month at 9:00 in the new Hallowell Fire Station, 2 Coos Lane, in Hallowell.

The Champion community newsletter can be found here: www.hallowell.org/champion

Social, Educational & Recreational

Several groups encourage social, educational and recreations opportunities.  There is a 60+ women's biking group and a walking group meet regularly.  We also partner with local events to promote wellness and socialization activities, such as events held at Spectrum Generations Cohen Center in Hallowell.

Fraud, Abuse & Exploitation

The committee partnered with the Hallowell Police Department to present a Fraud Prevention Workshop and community listening session in May 2018.  The community listening session added to our understanding of the direction Hallowell residents want our Age-Friendly work to take. Those findings are informing the creation of our action plan. A follow-up Fraud presentation was presented as part of the Hallowell Fire Department Open House in October 2019 as well.

Accessibility & Walkability

The Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee conducted a Walkability Survey across the City in May of 2019.  This event began with a short workshop on “what’s & why’s” of walkability and the importance in the community.  Afterwards, volunteers broke into teams to survey the walkability of 10 different areas of the City.  We then asked volunteers to return a survey assessing the community walkability.  The findings have been presented to City Council and have been included in the workplan to enhance the walkability of Hallowell, particularly in the downtown area.

Communication

The Committee worked with a local designer to develop a service mark and then produced stickers that we use to market our committee and events.  The Committee contributes information to three online community calendars. We continue to network and cross market our events in the community through partnership with the City, Community Programs, and other City committees.

Other

Milestones of the Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee:

October 2016 - Hallowell joins the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

April 2017 - Hallowell receives AARP grant was part of the Age-Friendly Community Initiative.

May – September 2017 Community Survey and Focus Group Sessions.

January 2018 –Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee formed as a subcommittee of the City Council’s Wellness
Committee.

March 29, 2018 – Participated in regional Age-Friendly Community Workshop Readfield, Maine. Information included the Adaptive Toolkit program.

May 5, 2018 – AARP Fraud Prevention Workshop and Community Listening Session with the Hallowell Police Department.

June 1, 2018 – Hallowell Age-Friendly display at the Spectrum Generations Healthy Aging Expo.

July 20, 2018 – Old Hallowell Day - The Age-Friendly Committee exhibit featured an Adaptive Tool Kit display and the ever-popular bike-powered blender smoothies.

July 26, and 31, 2018 - Adaptive Toolkit presentation at Granite Hill Estates and The Cotton Mill Apartments.

September 10, 2018 – Community supper at Vaughan Homestead before regular City Council meeting.

October 13, 2018 – Falls and Fire Prevention Workshop featuring Hallowell Fire Chief Jim Owens and Jennifer Fortin Spectrum Generations Health and Wellness Program Manager.

December 7, 2018 – Focus group session at The Cotton Mill Apartment to learn about the residents’ concerns.

April 23, 2019 - Regional Transportation Roundtable presented in cooperation with Spectrum Generations and the Cohen Center.

May 4, 2019 Community-wide Walkability Survey of public spaces and buildings.

Jul 20, 2019 - Old Hallowell Day - The Age-Friendly Committee exhibit featured an Adaptive Tool Kit display and the ever-popular bike-powered blender smoothies.

October 12, 2019 – Falls and Fire Prevention Workshop with Hallowell Fire Department

Fall 2019 – Hallowell All Age Friendly Committee begins presentations of Age-Friendly Domains of Livability Plans.