Windham is one step closer to becoming an official age-friendly community
By Lorraine Glowczak
A little over six
months ago, after a presentation by members of the Human Services Advisory Committee,
Marge Govoni and Deb McAfee, the Windham Town Council unanimously voted to support and begin the process
of becoming part of an AARP age-friendly community network.
Since then, a twelve-member age-friendly planning
committee has been established with Rachael
Bidwell, McAfee and Govoni at the helm and they
have been busy ever since. The Human Services Advisory Committee has applied for and received a grant that will pay for
open community forums and a town-wide survey to access the needs of Windham
residents. The group will also develop the umbrella from which all services
will be consolidated.
All Windham residents can benefit from an
Age Friendly community
“Forty percent of
Windham’s residents are age 50 and over,” Govoni said in a previous interview.
“We have received feedback that many individuals in this age bracket are
feeling misplaced and Windham is not a home for them. It is our goal to change
Change is on the way.
All residents of
Windham can be a part of that change by helping to determine the questions for
the town wide survey at the first community forum held on Saturday, June 15
immediately following the Town Meeting. The forum will last only an hour, will
include breakout sessions and will be held at the Town Hall gymnasium.
Topics and questions
for consideration will focus on aging in place and community livability.
According to AARP, a livable community is one with diverse
features that empower people
of all ages, incomes and abilities – not just older Americans. In their
pamphlet that assist communities such as Windham, it states: “Livability is
about realizing values that are central to healthy communities: independence,
choice and security. Livable communities help residents thrive, and when
residents thrive, communities prosper.”
considerations, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity
are topics that will be discussed.
Upon completion of the
first community forum, the planning
committee will then put together the survey, based
upon community input, that will be mailed out in The Windham Eagle newspaper,
will be available online and available at area town offices such as Town Hall
and the Windham Public Library.
officiallybecamea part of the AARP network of age-friendly communities, the town also became part
of a global network that is committed to giving their older residents the
opportunity to live rewarding, productive and safe lives as they determine
It is important to
note that membership in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities does
not mean AARP endorses any particular municipality as a place to live. What membership
means is that the community's elected leadership has made the commitment to
actively work toward making their town a great place for people of all ages.
Members of the Age
Friendly planning committee include: McAfee, Govoni, Bidwell, Chair of the
taskforce, Jean Grant, Leanne Luczek, Jen Alvino, Director of the Windham
Public Library, Rep. Mark Bryant, Linda Brooks, Director of Windham Parks and
Recreation, Amanda Lessard, Windham Planning Director,Jennie Butler, Kate Brix, and Mark Morrison, Windham
Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors,