Starting in the summer of 2016, a group of interested persons began meeting to explore and discuss local issues related to aging. Various constituent groups were represented from Belfast and some of the other 25 towns outside Belfast in Waldo County. For example, the Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH), the Belfast city nurse, the 911 director, representatives from Senior College, Triad, the YMCA, and the City of Belfast began to hold regular meetings. Guest speakers from the Maine chapter of the American Association of Retired People (AARP Maine), other communities in the area, and people with relevant experience spoke to the emerging group. The name Aging Well in Waldo County (AWWC) was adopted, along with the commitment to treat all of Waldo County as the area to be covered by this initiative. The stated goals were to:
- Assess the strengths and needs of Waldo County for persons 50 and over;
- Seek “Age-Friendly” status from AARP; and
- Explore solutions to some of the challenges identified by the assessment process.
The full report of the assessment of Waldo County Maine and the survey instrument are available on this website. In short, our greatest assets were identified as our libraries, our churches, and our YMCA. Our greatest needs were reported to be transportation, social isolation, and housing.
AWWC Assessment Report [PDF]
AWWC Assessment Process [PDF]
At the time of this writing, AWWC has grown to have a Board of Directors of up to 20, an active committee working on issues of social isolation, an active committee working on transportation, and an active outreach committee. Plans for a future committee working on housing are being addressed.
Waldo County, Maine is located in the rural mid-coast region of Maine in the Northeast corner of the United States. It occupies 853 square miles.
The County includes towns and their populations listed in the chart that follows. Note that Belfast is the County seat. (http://www.maine.gov/economist/state/census.html).