Sunday, May 8, 2016

Age-Friendly Community Project Celebrates First Anniversary

by Nancy Davis

Remember these WMSC programs a year ago? One was on Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and the other explained the Village to Village concept and other approaches that in some communities are helping seniors stay in their homes and communities at the end of life. From that humble beginning emerged a planning team of nine individuals, leading Bethel through the process of becoming a member of AARP’s Age-Friendly Community Network, administering and analyzing a community survey and conducting two public meetings aimed at engaging community members in the movement. An important decision was made, and AARP and town leaders officially approved the inclusion of the communities of Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock in the project. The team was expanded to include four representatives from those communities – a new model that AARP has heartily and publicly endorsed.

On Thursday, May 19, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Alliance Church in Bethel there will be a Public Celebration of the Age-Friendly Community Project’s first year and planning for the future. Some important projects have been identified from the ideas suggested through the survey and in a variety of meetings. Ambitious plans for improving transportation services are underway, as are Tech for Seniors classes at the Bethel Library. The team is looking for people to help with several other short- or medium-term projects, including: creating a directory of services in the community (hard copy and online), setting up a daily call/check-in system, pursuing using existing venues for a Community Center facsimile (with later exploration into building a Center). And more! Please attend this important get-together to see what’s happening and lend your voice. (New information from the planning team is inserted weekly in the tab at the top of this blog page.)

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at