age-friendly Caribou

In the six years that Caribou has been an age-friendly community they have worked to help build connections and promote and support positive aging. The programs address multiple domains of livability, but also help people feel supported and connected. 

Getting Started

In the six years that Caribou has been an age-friendly community they have worked to help build connections and promote and support positive aging. The programs address multiple domains of livability, but also help people feel supported and connected. 

Caribou started like most lifelong communities with a resource magnet (which is still very popular)!  Through the fellowship program, they developed a technology training class. The Tech Talk program provides one-on-one guidance for anyone who needs a little extra help with their phone, laptop, or tablet. 

Like most cities in Maine, Caribou has a large population of people over the age of 55. Many of these residents live alone. This highlighted the need to provide programs that provide community connection and address isolation.

Early Successes to bring residents together safely

Age-Friendly Caribou Sand Buckets

As Caribou works to bring people together, they host programs like coffee talks and book clubs.  Guest speakers are invited to the coffee talks to discuss important topics like advanced care planning to fun things like the health benefits of tea. The book club recently launched, and all books chosen have older adults as the main characters or address aging. 

To help people get out of their homes safely during the long winters, they started a sand bucket program 4 years ago. The need for buckets continues to grow, necessitating a new campaign to recruit more volunteers to support the effort.  

Making it fun to help our neighbors

Age-Friendly Caribou's SeniorSanta program

One program that has been very successful and gets a great deal of community support is the Senior Santa gift giving program. A tree is placed in the Caribou recreation department and covered with ornaments labeled with gift ideas and needs for local older adults. Community members donate the new gifts, and a team of volunteers’ sort, wrap and deliver them. Each year, this program grows and the response from the recipients is overwhelmingly positive. 

Community Gardens

Laura Bagley (right), founder of the Caribou Community Garden, and Elizabeth Singer, Age Friendly Caribou program director, tend to raised bed garden

In 2023, the City of Caribou allowed the community to use a newly cleared parcel of land for a community garden. Age Friendly Caribou in partnership with Nurture by Nature worked to get the garden started and provided several accessible raised beds. The vegetables and fruit grown also helps address food insecurity. Plans are in the works to expand the garden this spring and provide more programs that bring people to the garden to enjoy. 

Keeping People Safe - talking about difficult topics

Age-Friendly Caribou provided tablets for residents to have their tele-health appointments

The Caribou team is also tackling important topics that are difficult to talk about, but necessary to discuss and provide much needed education and resources. Through social connection programs, they hope that people will feel they have a community that cares about them and supports them. Caribou has also have provided social media resources and worked with Cary Medical Center on PSAs that discuss suicide prevention. They are looking to do more on suicide prevention and substance use prevention among older adults in the coming year. 

AF Caribou also partnered with the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine to apply for an AARP Community Challenge Grant. They were successful in the request for a grant to support an online toolkit on elder abuse. This toolkit is an interactive website that provides educational materials, video scenarios, quizzes and expert resources. We will be hosting programs in the community on elder abuse and use this toolkit to help guide our talks. Once the website is finalized, we will also share with lifelong communities across the state. We hope that other communities will use this resource to help start important conversations on elder abuse awareness, reporting, and prevention.


County Area Rides provides needed transportation to people who no longer drive themselves. 

Age Friendly Caribou also supports and promotes the Caribou Area Ride Service, a volunteer ride program that is administered by a local non-profit. The community is fortunate to have the Aroostook Agency on Aging, the Caribou Public Library and Caribou Recreation Center that also provide programs for older adults, and Age Friendly Caribou promotes and partners on several of these programs. 

community impact - Our future

Age-Friendly Caribou continues to promote the important role that older adults have in making our community a great place to grow up and to grow old!

In our community survey, 46% of respondents rated Caribou as ‘Good’ when it comes to a place to live as they age. Age Friendly Caribou continue to work to increase a positive outlook as Caribou being a Lifelong Community.  

To learn more about Age Friendly Caribou visit their Facebook page at