Aroostook Agency on Aging celebrating 50 years

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 11:15 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - A major milestone for Aroostook Agency on Aging as they celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. News Source 8′s Isaac Potter caught up with the agency to find out how they are celebrating the milestone and how they’ve grown over the years.

Lots of excitement in the air at the Aroostook Agency on Aging as they celebrate a major milestone. The agency is celebrating 50 years of providing services to older people and their caregivers.

Joy Barresi Saucier, Executive Director of Aroostook Agency on Aging, says “We are excited to be kicking off our 50 year celebration this year, we have so much history of how the organization came to be. The tremendous services that have been provided over the years, really special people involved over the last 50 years. This is a time to celebrate, this is a time to rejoice for what has happened, but also plan for the future and look forward to more good service to come.”

The agency was formally designated by Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis in 1973, back when it was originally called the Aroostook Regional Task Force for Older Citizens. Barressi Saucier says the organization has developed over the years.

Joy Barresi Saucier: “In 1973, we started as a task force really looking at recommendations that had come through studies down at the state levels about what older people needed to stay living in their homes and in their home communities. And from that, the organization formed, it was funded originally and still funded in part by older American Acts funds which was the first big piece of federal legislation in the mid 60′s that allocated some funds to help older people stay in their communities. I think originally we were very much focused on whatever the need was, we did provide information in assistance, we provided nutrition services, but over time our services certainly have developed and expanded.”

The agency has a few things in store to help celebrate its anniversary

Joy Barresi Saucier: “Our celebrations starts with Older Americans month which is always on the month of May. So we have a whole calendar of events for the month of May. That include everything from special education sessions on medicare, an estate planning session. We are also planning during the last week of May a real community celebration that week with a community hot dog roast in all three regions of Aroostook County.”

Barressi Saucier says the agency is special because of the people involved, whether staff and volunteers or the people they serve.

Joy Barresi Saucier: “We have over 140 agency volunteers nearly every service that we provide depends on volunteers, so the volunteers are often at the core of our services. We have a fantastic team of professionals here that help navigate the way, and then those folks in the community. Our community partners, those that we serve. For me working at the agency it’s really about the network that is created and the power of that network to help older people in our communities.”

The agency is looking forward to opening the Memory Center later this year, as well as continuing to grow for many more years to come. Isaac Potter News Source 8.