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Southern Maine Agency on Aging - 2013 6 Who Care Agency of Distinction

4:36 PM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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Southern Maine Agency On Aging provides residents of York and Cumberland Counties with resources and assistance to address the issues and concerns of aging. SMAA serves nearly 1,000 people in Southern Maine every work day and more than 21,000 each year through a range of programs.

Maine is already the "oldest" state in the nation, and the older population in southern Maine is undergoing enormous growth: between 2008 and 2020 people age 65 and older are expected to increase 70% in York and 58% in Cumberland. As many as 14% may be living in poverty. Older adults and their caregivers benefit from how the Agency addresses trends of our older populations: hunger and nutritional health (through programs like Meals on Wheels, Farm Share, and Community Cafés); economic challenges (Medicare and insurance counseling and the Money Minders program); health and care management issues (education about falls prevention and managing chronic health conditions, social workers working to reduce readmissions for chronic conditions, simpler ways for medical professionals to refer their patients to social services); caregiving challenges (the Family Caregiver Support program, and the Truslow Adult Day Center). And SMAA is gearing up to expand services as Southern Maine's older population increases.

SMAA relies on more than 1,000 volunteers who serve as the backbone of the Agency's programs, to administer the day-to-day needs of a particular service, but also to serve as caring neighbors looking out for older people. For example, brief home visits from a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer can often "red flag" that an older person is in need of additional help, and SMAA can then connect that person with an array of social services.

Each of us will be old one day; currently, soon, or in the future. Or we have loved ones whose age is impacting their needs. SMAA calls themselves "Your 1st Stop for Answers." They live up to that claim every single day, and Southern Maine is a better place for their compassion, service, and advocacy.

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