Friday, June 30, 2017

Age-Friendly Communities is a Raymond Citizen Initiative by Lorraine Glowczak

Forty citizens of the Town of Raymond have recently gathered and conducted three group meetings, with the first meeting initiated by Rep. Jessica Fay. The focus of this group was recognizing the need for coordinated action to serve town residents as they age in place.

On Tuesday, June 20, a few members of the Raymond Age-Friendly Community Group spoke during the public comment section at the Raymond Selectmen’s Meeting, to inform them of the initiative. They also asked for town support to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities to conduct a town wide assessment.

“Though the Board could not officially vote or take a position on our project at this time, we received encouragement and ‘unofficial support,’” stated Sheila Bourque, a participant and member of the Raymond Age Friendly initiative.
Per AARP, “age-friendly networks are not retirement villages, gated developments, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.” Instead they are livable communities that help promote the areas’ health and economic growth.

Following Tuesday’s Raymond Selectmen’s meeting, an age-friendly community meeting was held on Friday, June 23 of which Town Manager, Don Willard attended. He was available to answer a number of questions. He stated that he believes the town will be supportive of this initiative and the application to AARP to receive technical support at the Selectmen’s Meeting in September.

“We will submit our formal application to AARP for technical support after the September Select Board Meeting,” stated Bourque.

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