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Coffee, Conversation and Community

As our readers know, Bangor is one of Maine’s cities to have joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and already there are many exciting initiatives under discussion.

With a desire to make both the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods more livable for people of all ages, town planners and community leaders have conducted focus groups and are working on ideas to address issues such as transportation and walkability projects.

Bringing together local residents and community leaders is just one way to advance these and other initiatives. The key is to hear ideas from the people who need and want improved services and resources.

AARP Maine relies on hearing from members and their families to help develop advocacy and community outreach agendas. The input and guidance they receive is invaluable and serves a pivotal role in work planning. That’s why AARP hopes that residents from Bangor and the surrounding communities will join us at its monthly On-Tap and Coffee Klatch events. These informal get-togethers with AARP members and their families enable staff, volunteers and the community to come together, enjoy conversation and learn about what is on the minds of local residents. 

On-Tap and Coffee Klatch events include:

• On the second Thursday of each month, a get-together from 4-7 p.m. at Geaghan’s Brothers Brewery tasting room on Abbott Street in Brewer. The first beer or glass of wine is on AARP, and friends are welcome.

• On the second Friday of the month from 8-10 a.m., a gathering in Bagel Central’s Community Meeting Room at 29 Central Street in Bangor. First coffee and a bagel is courtesy AARP, and friends are welcome.

These events offer the opportunities for local residents to meet and greet other AARP members and share what’s on their minds.  From time to time, the events have special guests such as state and federal legislators, community leaders and town officials.

One issue affecting many Maine families is caregiving. 178,000 Mainers care for a parent, spouse or other loved one to help them live safely and independently at home. Approximately 116,000 of them are women. Caregiving can be stressful and exhausting, and it can take a toll on family and career. In 2017, AARP Maine staff and volunteers will be advocating for two laws: Paid Caregiver Leave and a Maine Caregiving Tax Credit.   

Caregiving is just one of the issues to be discussed us at the On-Tap events. For more information about these and other events in Bangor, please contact Jay Els at (207) 776-6303 or me@aarp.org, or visit aarp.org/me for more details about AARP’s work in Bangor and around the state.

Jane Margesson is the AARP Maine communications director.

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