BREWER, Maine — According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the median age in Maine is 45 years old.
That's the oldest population in the country, and it has been that way since the early 2000s.
Consequently, an area agency is hosting an aging expo in Bangor on Thursday.
The Eastern Area Agency on Aging offers a variety of programs to help seniors, in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties.
Executive Director Tabatha Caso says the Healthy Aging Expo is one way to help Maine's aging population.
“Really, what we try to do is to make sure that all aging adults have information and resources that they need to thrive at home successfully and independently,” says Caso.
There are a lot of needs that come with having an older population. The agency’s top requests are for Medicare counseling and food resource needs.
“So it may be that we are linking them to food pantries in their area. It may be that we are encouraging them to sign up for home-delivered meals through us or come to one of our dining sites here at the Durgin Center,” explains Casio.
Jesse Walls, and her circle of friends, members of the "Red Hat Society" takes advantage of free dining services offered by the agency.
The "Red Hatters" come to the Durgin Center every Tuesday for the community luncheon.
“You know, you don't have to think where you want to go. They are not able to do a lot of walking or anything. This is great for them,” Walls shared.
Others come to the Durgin Center to play games.
“It's wonderful. We love [it]. We play potty bridge here, so we chit-chat, joke, and have a wonderful time,” expressed Ann Baker. Baker says her group plays bridge and cribbage weekly.
“If you ever played bridge, you know you have to really kind of concentrate and decide what you [are] gonna bid. And so, it's really good for your mental health as well as just getting out and being with people,” stated Baker.
Baker is looking forward to the healthy aging expo on Thursday after a hiatus since the pandemic.
“Checking out all the vendors and seeing what each one has to offer, and they always give us free things, too, so that's always nice,” expressed Baker.
The event was formerly known as the Senior Expo, now rebranded to be more inclusive.
“We really want it to be welcoming to any adult aging in place regardless of what age they are or what their life looks like,” explains Caso.
The expo will take place at the Anah Shriners in Bangor on Thursday. Click here for further details.