Contact: Jean Saunders (Saundersjean75@gmail.com)
Joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities: 2016-04-22
Structure: 501c3 volunteer board/committee
Highlight of 2023: Initiating an on-demand volunteer transportation program providing close to 2,000 rides and engaging 14 volunteer drivers. Participating in the Comfortably Home program with Biddeford Housing Authority. Established a meals program with a grant from SMAAA to provide monthly luncheons serving residents in our neighboring communities.
Age-Friendly Saco's Initiatives and Accomplishments:
Communication and Information
In 2018, the Age Friendly Saco newsletter was created and distributed to over 1,000 households. This is a quarterly newsletter and is sent by mail as well as digitally. We developed an Age-Friendly Saco database which has continued to grow and evolve. To date we have 1767 contacts in the database of which 1175 are active participants in AFS programs, services, and activities.
In 2017, Age-Friendly Saco developed a Handy Neighbor program addressing small home repairs and modifications. From 11/6/2017 to 3/16/2023 315 jobs have been completed with 545 volunteer hours donated. From this program learned that we had many residents that needed tech help so we developed a team of Tech Handy Helpers. As part of the Tech Handy Helper program, we produced a video in collaboration with the City of Saco’s Communication Department, called “ A Day in the Life of Alexa” demonstrating how a simple echo dot can function as a virtual personal assistant.
We continue to work on bringing a Home Share program to the State of Maine and are currently working with local legislators to bring Nesterly , https://www.nesterly.com/ , a home-sharing platform that will cover the State of Maine.
Age Friendly Saco started a monthly forum called Coffee and Conversations.
In 2022, Age-Friendly Saco started a Volunteer Transportation program that has provided more than 400 rides (so far!) to medical appointments for older Saco residents.