CUMBERLAND — If a resident wants to spend the rest of his or her life in town, without being forced to move by factors like rising taxes or a need to downsize, the new Aging in Place Committee wants to make sure that can happen.
Formed last September by the Town Council, the group is seeking input from adults of all ages in a “Keep Me in Cumberland” survey, which wraps up July 15, the date of the committee’s next meeting.
“We talk about 55-plus, but really the concept (of the committee) is about those who move into a community and stay here, and how we can address those needs,” Teri Maloney-Kelly, who co-chairs the committee with Pete O’Donnell, said Monday.
About 10 percent of the population has responded so far, Maloney-Kelly said, noting that the results will be used to develop the program for a community forum planned for October.
“We’ve done a lot of preliminary work with our own thoughts, as far as what we’re seeing as needs for our citizens, and decided that the survey will really help us pinpoint the specific areas (of need),” she explained.
The survey can be accessed online at surveymonkey.com/r/keepmeincumberland, and hard copies are available at Town Hall and Prince Memorial Library. Among the questions are age range, location in Cumberland, mobility level, household population, housing plans, health, affordability and transportation, as well as willingness to participate in the Aging in Place initiative.
The initiative’s website, aginginplacecommittee.wordpress.com/committee, offers seniors help with transportation, medical equipment, keeping warm safely during the winter, getting enough food, and wood and heating oil assistance, as well as information on local activities, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“There are so many programs offered throughout the community … and we’re trying to be a place where folks can go as a resource to find where to turn,” Maloney-Kelly said.
The committee, which has about 25 volunteers, has been “very active” in the state Legislature this past session, advocating bills that support the aging in place concept, according to Maloney-Kelly.
The committee meets at Town Hall the second Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m., and reports to the Town Council four times a year.