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Senior services reuniting in Brunswick for 'one-stop shop'

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Senior services reuniting in Brunswick for 'one-stop shop'

BRUNSWICK — A Topsham-based senior-care organization is planning to join forces with a Brunswick group under a single roof.

Spectrum Generations is expected to move its Topsham offices in July to 35 Union St., the location of People Plus, according to Debra Silva, Spectrum Generations' vice president of public education.

The boards of directors for both groups approved a contract in late May that lays out how Spectrum Generations and People Plus will share the Union Street space and complement each other's programs.

"Although Spectrum Generations and People Plus will remain separate and independently incorporated nonprofit businesses, by residing under one roof the Mid-Coast community stands to benefit from our combined experience," Gerard Queally, chief executive officer of Spectrum Generations, said in a statement.

On Tuesday Silva said Spectrum Generations' focus on providing services under the Older Americans Act will fit well with People Plus' recreational and fitness programs, providing a wider range of services for older adults in one convenient location.

"Once it's done we will have one-stop shopping for older adults in the area," she said.

Spectrum Generations' services include mobile meal delivery, family caregiving, Medicare counseling and evidenced-based programming to help older adults live at home.

People Plus provides a range of recreational and fitness programs, including art classes, yoga, table tennis, informational workshops and more.

Though some duplicate services may be consolidated, Silva said no current services will be eliminated under the new contract between the two groups.

No staff positions will be eliminated.

"We will share volunteers, assist each other with fundraising and outreach and share resources," Silva said. "It's going to be a really positive experience."

Earlier this year, federal sequestration forced Spectrum Generations to reduce the number of days it delivers meals from two days to one day a week. The organization also has a current wait list of over 100 people for the mobile-meals program.

Although program recipients still receive the same number of meals a week, the reduction of delivery days eliminated critical check-in time volunteers have with clients, Silva said.

However, conditions could improve for the meals program with Spectrum Generations' move to Brunswick.

Silva said that because its relocation will help the organization save money, it's possible the group will be able to take more people off the wait list and increase the number of days when meals are delivered.

Stacy Frizzle, executive director of People Plus, shared Silva's excitement for joining forces and said the new contract has been long in the works.

She said the move will reunite the two groups. From 2005-2009, they shared a building at Noble and Maine streets, where the Inn at Brunswick Station is now located.

"(Queally) and I have worked hard in the last six months to really take all the service we provide into consideration when forging this collaboration," Frizzle said. "With everyone tightening their purse strings it's a much more effective and responsible use of the limited funds that are in our community."

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.