Seniors

Maine is one of the "oldest" states in the nation. Our state's median age is the highest in the country, and we rank third in the share of the population that is age 65 and over. We are at the forefront of a demographic shift that is occurring across the country. At the same time, many of Maine's seniors are economically disadvantaged. Our rapidly aging population presents challenges as well as opportunities to support our most vulnerable elders.

Where we are and where we need to be

Significant numbers of Maine’s seniors face economic challenges. 

Consider:

  • Nearly one-third (29%) live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, a rate that is higher than the national average
  • Fifty-six percent of senior Mainers reside in rural areas, making transportation a challenge
  • Half of low-income Maine seniors live alone, lacking the social support that can keep them in their homes longer
  • Maine ranks 15th in the nation in terms of senior food insecurity, an important indicator, since research tells us that seniors who experience hunger are at greater risk for serious health problems

Too many seniors are struggling to make ends meet on a fixed income. Older people shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can afford to heat their homes or keep food on the table. In our large, rural state, many Maine seniors also face social isolation and transportation challenges that prevent them from successfully aging in their homes. Seniors who live in low-income households are at greater risk of having
to move out of their communities before they are ready.

How we do our work

We have learned that the most effective means of improving the lives of older people in Maine is by partnering with organizations with successful track records of helping seniors to live comfortably and independently. We have focused our grantmaking on the following issues related to seniors' well-being:

  • Food insecurity: Ensuring no seniors go hungry by supporting food delivery and other services.
  • Transportation: Connecting older Mainers with rides to important services that can keep them healthy and independent.
  • Housing and home repair: Providing safety checks and modifications so that seniors can safely age in their homes.
  • Connection to community supports: Linking older Mainers with social companions and other activities to combat isolation.

Read more about The John T. Gorman's focus on seniors here.

Seniors Resources

Maine State Plan on Aging

Maine State Plan on Aging

The federal Older Americans Act of 1965 requires all states to prepare a periodic State Plan on Aging in order to receive federal funds under the Act. The Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) developed this plan for meeting the needs of older adults in Maine in cooperation with Maine‘s Aging Network. The goal is to assist elders and adults with disabilities over age 60, to maintain their independence, and to live successfully in their homes and communities. Maine‘s plan is for a four year period beginning October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2016. View Resource

View all Seniors Resources

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Recent Grants

Washington Hancock Community Agency, Ellsworth $61,000 in support of At Home Downeast, a program that provides residents of the nine-town Blue Hill Peninsula community with essential services that enable seniors to live independently in their homes as they age.

Bath Housing Development Corporation, Bath $156,375 in support of the Community Aging in Place Program, which will increase housing stability for low-income seniors who wish to age at home in the greater Bath region.

Western Maine Community Action, East Wilton $95,000 to support their Keeping Seniors Home program.

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