Opinion

Age Friendly Houlton: Hard at work for you

As you take the I-95 off-ramp at exit 302, a large sign greets you: “Houlton: Worth a Visit, Worth a Lifetime”.  

That’s why a new organization called Age-Friendly Houlton (AFH) is hard at work – we’re a committed group of volunteers and community organizations who believe that Houlton truly is worth a lifetime. Our work aims to build on the assets of the greater Houlton area to ensure that we remain a vibrant, supportive community for people of all ages.

Up first, AFH had the opportunity to help eight older residents with outdoor clean-up in our recent Spring Spruce-Up Project. Volunteers raked leaves, picked up sticks, patched crumbling concrete, and, most importantly, made connections with our neighbors. We still have four more folks that we’d like to help; if you’d be willing to volunteer a few hours, please call 207-521-5049 to raise your hand. All of our volunteers loved helping out and engaging with older members of our community … lending a hand feels good.

The County is lucky to have a terrific resource in the Aroostook Agency on Aging, which provides lots of services to older people and people with disabilities, and AFH is equally lucky to be partnering with them here in the greater Houlton area. 

The Agency on Aging coordinates the Meals on Wheels program, which is available to individuals aged 60-and-older who have mobility challenges. There’s nothing like getting a friendly visit from a volunteer with yummy, nutritious meals that are easy to prepare. Most folks don’t know that the meals are free of charge, which is a lifesaver at a time when food costs are rising. Contact the agency at 207-764-3396 to check your eligibility and get additional information or if you’d like to volunteer as a driver.

If you haven’t already heard, Maine is providing $850 relief checks to help offset some of the higher costs we’re seeing in stores and at the gas pumps. In order to receive yours, you must file a 2021 Maine individual income tax return by Oct. 31, even if you don’t owe any taxes.  Many older adults don’t have taxable income and don’t usually file, but the Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) is offering assistance in this process for those who need it. Call 207-764-3721 to schedule an appointment.

Finally, a quick spotlight on a gem in our community: the Putnam House Senior Center at 48 Court St.  Open Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m., the center offers a number of fun activities, learning opportunities, health checks, and more.  Everyone is welcome, and we’ll be highlighting upcoming events there in future columns.  Call 207-521-5049 for more information.

And don’t forget:  the McGill’s Community Band starts its 2022 season at Monument Park on Thursday, June 16.  Hooray – that means summer is officially here.

Keep on top of all of our Age-Friendly news via our Facebook page (Age-Friendly Houlton) or on our website:  www.agefriendlyhoulton.org.

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