5 Community Strengths
We are writing this Action Plan during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic questions our usual ways of community interaction. It brought emotional and economic hardship to many in our communities and demonstrates the vulnerability of certain groups, defined by ethnicity, age, and preexisting health conditions. This health crisis also highlighted the communities' strength to support one another during difficult times. Mainers in congregate living settings and others who are more at risk due to their frontline occupancy have been more likely to contract the disease. In addition, individuals living alone struggle with social isolation and the feeling of loneliness. This emphasizes the need for strong community resources to support older adults in ageing safely.
Most respondents – 81% - agree that their community is a great place for older people to live. Residents feel safe in their neighborhoods and communities, in part due to the strength of emergency services. Many respondents value the beauty of the region’s natural surroundings. Library Services especially are highly appreciated and frequently used.
< >78% note that they can ask family, friends and neighbors for help. 58% talk with their friends to find out what’s happening.
Numerous local organizations are embedded in the communities and contribute through educational programs, social opportunities, health and community services, fundraising activities and outdoor experiences. These strong community organizations include among many others the Area Agency on Aging/Spectrum Generations, Bath Area Family YMCA, Bath Area Food Bank, Bath Area Senior Citizen Center, Bath Farmer's Market, Bath Housing, Catholic Charities SEARCH, faith communities, first responders, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Maine's First Ship, Maine Maritime Museum, Main Street Bath, Mid Coast-Parkview Health, Patten Free Library, People Plus, The Chocolate Church Arts Center, and United Way of Mid Coast Maine.