BANGOR, Maine — Older Mainers showed up in record numbers for the Healthy Aging Expo on Thursday.
The Eastern Area Agency on Aging hosted what was once known as the Seniors’ Expo, rebranded to the Healthy Aging Expo, at the Anah Shriners in Bangor.
The event was presented by AgingME, a leading agency for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program.
This year there was a real focus on support for caregivers for older Mainers.
AgingME: GWEP manages caregiver training and support programs afforded by the University of New England’s College of Medicine and in partnership with the University of Maine.
Programs cover coping skills while supporting older adults living at home, especially those with dementia, such as the Building Better Caregiver program.
The programs are designed to help people caring for the aging population in Maine, says Dr. Susan Wehry, executive director for AgingME.
“We are an aging society, number one, and most people want to age in place. They want to age at home. Having a very long-lived mother, who was on her way to 100 when she died at 97, she was determined but didn't quite make it. What she imparted to me was how true it was that life is a gift, that each day really matters,” expressed Wehry.
Consequently, because of Wehry’s personal commitment to her mother, and being a geriatric doctor by profession, her life’s mission now is to find resources to provide support for all caregivers, no matter what stage in life they are.
The organization partners with area aging agencies, such as the EAAA, and the Alzheimer’s Association to ensure support for continuity of care for ailing seniors and for their caregivers.
AgineME also networks with primary care physicians to ensure continuity of care for older Mainers through their referral systems.
The EAAA has been hosting this event since 2006 but paused during the pandemic.
To learn more about the caregiver support programs, click here.