Age-Friendly Sullivan

Age-Friendly Sullivan in the NEWS:

This article comes out of the lessons learned and shared through the AARP Livable Communities Rural Lab, a monthly online gathering of leaders from rural and remote communities invited by AARP State Offices. Participants receive access to expert assistance and opportunities for connecting with peers nationwide.  Sullivan participated in the AARP Rural Lab throughout 2020.

AARP Policy Fundamentals 2021    AARP’s overarching vision is a society that allows all people to live with dignity and purpose and to fulfill their goals and dreams. AARP’s public policies and priorities provide the essential foundation for all of the organization’s work in empowering people to choose how they live and age.


Aging in Place Tech  This report addresses the future of wearable devices (such as Fitbit, Apple Watch and other products) to monitor your health and fitness activity.   “Within five years, doctors will see benefits in guiding older adults to their usage. Chronic disease monitoring by consumers using wearables will see the most substantial growth. And stigma-free and lower cost hearables will provide customizable sound improvements to a far broader population than current hearing aids.”

Communities Solutions for Social Isolation  

Healthy Places by Design advances community-led action and proven, place-based strategies to ensure health and well-being for all.  We envision a nation of healthy, equitable communities where everyone reaches their full potential. 

Resources for staying safe at HOME

NEW  HomeFit Guide  Smart ways to make a home comfortable, safe and a great fit for older adults — and people of all ages.

AARP Here To Stay Toolkit  AARP Foundation presents this 80 page Toolkit “Here to Stay: Home Upkeep for All” on how to keep your home safe, affordable & healthy of a lifetime.

Making Room   Housing for a Changing America  Maine’s Age-Friendly State Plan

AFS Action Plan 2020 PDF  Age-Friendly Sullivan’s 5 year action plan     Sullivan certificate  AARP Approval and Renewal

Join us on ZOOM at 9am Please join Age-Friendly Sullivan at our next meeting on the first Wednesday of the month for project updates —  all are welcome!

July 2021 State Scam Alerts AARP Monthly Scam Alerts

AARP ME Caregivers Resource Guide  Maine Resources for Caregivers Resource Guide.

AFS Resource Guide  Open to see our NEW Age-Friendly Resource Guide for Sullivan — we are excited to share this info!!!

  • Addition:  Leonard Lake Senior Housing, Wood St. & Shore Dr., Ellsworth, ME    FMI & application:  Call 207.866.4634, Housing Foundation, Orono, ME  26 units of senior rental housing, 22 one-bedroom units and 4 two-bedroom units with associated senior center and public park.  Affordability limits ≤ 60% AMI for all units.
  • Addition:  Oriole Way Apartments, Off Washington St., Ellsworth, ME  FMI & application:  call 207.621.7700, Housing for families, elderly, disabled. Heat included, community room, on-site laundry facilities (income restrictions apply)

Age-Friendly Sullivan vision:  “A compassionate community of neighbors supporting / welcoming young and aging residents to thrive in a diverse and sustainable Sullivan.” adopted August 1st, 2018

AARP Pop-Up Demonstration Toolkit    Inspiring livability advancements are taking place in tiny villages, sprawling suburbs and the largest city centers. But permanent, large-scale changes can be difficult to launch.That’s why “pop-up” demonstration projects — temporary bike lanes, protected intersections, crosswalks, parklets, sidewalk cafes, plazas, benches, street trees and more — are such valuable tools.

Engaging the Community to Create Community   Working together, local leaders and residents can build more vibrant cities, towns and neighborhoods for people of all ages.  Here’s how.

WhereWeLive  Where We Live 2018 — Communities for ALL Ages; 100+ inspiring examples from America’s Local Leaders.

Parks Guide PDF  Creating Parks and Public Spaces for People of all Ages – a step by step guide created by AARP and the Trust for Public Land

2018 Community Survey PDF   Sullivan Listens to the Age-Friendly Community Survey Results

📙 Rural Aging Primer  Grantmakers in Action “New Frontiers for Funding – an introduction to grant making in rural aging


❤️  Bone Builders is a free exercise program designed to prevent & reverse osteoporosis, every Monday & Wednesday (excluding holidays & snow days) at 1pm, at the Town Office.  Contact Maine Center on Aging RSVP program at 207-262-7926 FMI. (postponed until further notice)

❤️  Tai Chi for Health on Tuesdays 11am-12noon, Frenchman’s Bay Library, 1776 US Highway 1.  While classes are free, a $5 donation is suggested.  Sponsored by Healthy Acadia.  To register or FMI, contact Nina Zeldin at 207-667-7171. (postponed until further notice)

❤️  Make new friends and improve your heart-health by Walking Indoors at the Sullivan Recreation Center, every Monday at 5pm, Tuesday & Thursday at 1pm.  FREE

❤️  Senior Fitness at the Town Office with Karen Dove, every Tuesday & Friday, 10am-11:30am.  FREE

❤️  Adult Fitness at the Town Office with Karen Dove, every Monday & Thursday, 10am-11:30am.

⭐️  YOGA at the Town Office,  $8/drop-in for BEGINNERS and ADVANCED BEGINNERS

  • Monday & Thursday, 6pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 10am-11:30am
  • 1st Sunday of the month, 1pm-2:30pm

⭐️  RESTORATIVE YOGA at the Town Office, 1st Sunday of the month, 3pm-4:30pm, $15/drop-in

🌸  COMMUNITY GARDEN is located at the Town Office.  Shared produce will be available through the “Take It or Leave It” table for those in need.   2021 Community Garden Guidelines PDF and 2021 AFS Garden Rental Agreement PDF  Also, for educational resources and best practices see:

📚  New AARP books  and  AARP Books PDF Visit the Frenchman’s Bay Library to check out their new collection of books for Seniors and their Caregivers, all donated by AARP Maine (Thank you!)

📚  Maine-Guide-E  The AARP Maine Guide to Building Livable, Age-Friendly Communities

📚  Book 1  AARP Roadmap to Livability

📚  Book 2  AARP Roadmap to Livability – Listening

📚  Book-3 AARP Roadmap to Livability – Housing

📚  Book-4 AARP Roadmap to Livability – Transportation

📚  Book-5  AARP Roadmap to Livability – Health Services & Community Supports

📚  Book-6 AARP Roadmap to Livability – Economic Development

📚  AARP-Walk Tool-Kit Walk Audit Tool Kit

📚  AARP-Walk-Audit-Leader-Guide  Walk Audit Leader Guide

📙  Handbook  Maine Legal Services for the Elderly – Elder Rights Handbook

📙Connect to mainecenteronaging University of Maine – Center on Aging for programs, projects, research and initiatives


News and Updates

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Thank you Lynn Dunbar for so many wonderful photos from last week’s Sand Bucket Brigade project. Secrets to our success … ... See MoreSee Less

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Thank you so much for my sand. As a person who sustained an injury years ago by falling on ice, I consider it nothing less than life saving. You are all our guardian angels. Bless you all. 💖

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WHY Sullivan joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities?

Between 2000 and 2010, the US Census reports that Sullivan’s population increased by 4.3%, yet our population of residents 65 or older increased by 12.2%.  In those 10 years, our median age went from 38.4 years old to 44.7 years old, an increase of 6.3 years!  In 2010, our seniors comprised 14.1% of Sullivan’s population.  It is projected that seniors will be 25% of our community by the year 2025.  How can we keep them safely thriving at home?

The purpose of the AARP Age-Friendly Communities is to serve as a catalyst to educate, encourage, promote, and recognize improvements that will make Sullivan more supportive not only of our older residents, but for residents of all ages.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified eight domains as influencing the health and quality of life of older adults (see details below).


The 8 Domains of Creating a Livable Community for all ages

  1. Outdoor spaces and buildings:  Outdoor spaces, such as parks and buildings affect the independence and quality of life of residents of all ages, but especially older adults.  Some Maine communities have made parks more accessible by increasing the width of paths and adding benches.  Others have increased the number of designated parking spaces near key services and added accessible features to municipally-owned buildings.
  2. Transportation:  Affordable and accessible public and volunteer transportation programs is key to aging in place safely and independently.  Some communities have created transportation resource guides that include information about public and private options.  Others have created volunteer programs that provide rides to where people need to go and may offer help with, for example, shopping or getting in and out of a building.
  3. Housing:  Safe and affordable housing promotes well-being and is key to older residents being able to age comfortably and safely in the house and community of their choice.  Communities can make regulatory changes to encourage additional housing options or to help create new housing.  Some initiatives have started their own “Handy Brigade”, others have partnered with existing services to increase awareness of home modification and home maintenance services.
  4. Social participation:  Socializing with friends and neighbors who don’t live in the same home as you is connected to physical and cognitive health.  Many communities have started a “senior” center or added to the opportunities available.  Others have partnered with local organizations such as lifelong learning programs, an art center, or a library to increase programming for adults.
  5. Respect and social inclusion:  A lack of contact between generations and lack of knowledge about aging are two reasons why stereotypes that exclude older people from full participation in the community continue.  Aging adults who feel welcomed and respected for their contribution are more likely to remain actively engaged in economic, social, and civic life than those who do not feel included.
  6. Civic participation and employment:  Older people do not stop contributing to their communities when they turn 65 or 85 or 105. An age-friendly community provides opportunities for residents who want to or need to work past traditional retirement age and encourages people of all ages to volunteer and participate in the political process.
  7. Communication and information:  Staying connected with activities, resources, and people is key to optimal aging.  Some communities have created information portals on their town website to increase access to information about local activities and resources making them easy to find.  Other communities have created resource manuals.
  8. Community support and health services:  Access to health care and services to support aging in place is key for the health and well-being of older residents.  Some communities have emphasized food security in this area.  Others have looked at elder abuse prevention or added disaster preparedness.

WHO checklist  Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly features is a tool for a community’s self-assessment and a map for charting progress.  In assessing a city’s strengths and deficiencies, older people will describe how their checklist of features matches their own experience of positive characteristics and barriers.  They should play a role in suggesting changes in implementing and monitoring improvements.

STEP 1:  ENTERING THE NETWORK:  We have been accepted!  Sullivan is the 46th community in Maine, and the 204th community in the United States to join the Network of Age-Friendly Communities!

  1. Certificate #204  Age-Friendly Sullivan Enrollment Certificate of membership through 2020
  2. Welcome Letter AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities Welcome Letter
  3. AFS AARP Maine Benefits  Single page summary of membership benefits

STEP 2:  PLANNING PHASE (years 1-2) has four elements

  1. Establishment of mechanisms to involve older people throughout the Age-Friendly cycle
  2. A baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of Sullivan
  3. Development of a 3-year community-wide plan of action based on assessment findings
  4. Identification of indicators to monitor progress

STEP 3:  IMPLEMENTATION & EVALUATION (years 3-5):  On completion of the planning phase, and no later than two years after joining the AARP Network, Sullivan will submit our action plan to WHO for review and endorsement.  Upon endorsement by WHO, cities will then have a three-year period of implementation.  At the end of the period of implementation, Sullivan will be required to submit a progress report to WHO outlining progress against indicators developed in Phase 1.


Photo credits, this page. Bottom photo: © Paul Breeden;  All Rights Reserved.