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GATEWAY SENIORS WITHOUT WALLS

It’s about us all…

Gateway Seniors Without Walls, a 501(c) (3) organization, staffed by volunteers, strives to serve the needs of  seniors in Orono, Old Town, Veazie, and surrounding communities.  Our mission is to sponsor quality daily activities and  to publicize services so as to supplement and extend the resources that are currently available to older people within our community.  Ultimately, we hope that our programs will improve quality of life for seniors and keep them active, healthy, and aging in place within the community.  Although seniors are our primary focus, people of all ages are welcome to participate in our programs.

How we got to be “without walls”…

Conceived originally, in early 2013, as a Senior Center, that concept morphed into a center “without walls,” one that offers programs in buildings available without charge (such as libraries, community centers, churches, university classrooms, homes, wildlife refuges, and other public sites).  Without the expense of buying, remodeling, and maintaining a building, Gateway Seniors Without Walls could focus on its twofold  mission and offer programs and activities without fees or at low cost.

Our emphasis…

At Gateway Seniors Without Walls we offer practical information programs on such topics as pre-retirement planning, benefits such as Social Security and Medicare, and issues related to aging and community resources. We sponsor a wide array of recreational programs with different goals: many promote meaningful social interactions;  some stimulate learning; some improve physical fitness, strength and balance; and some encourage self-expression.  We emphasize ties to the greater community through volunteer work and inter-generational activities. And we support seniors in transition through programs for  caregivers.

As a grassroots organization led by seniors, Gateway Seniors, supported by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, conducted needs assessments through focus groups, surveys, and interviews so as to refine our understanding of what seniors in our community want.  We remain responsive to the needs of area seniors.

Strength through partnerships…

In developing  activity programs, we are working with the towns of Orono, Old Town, and Veazie and with the Center on Aging at the University of Maine.  We collaborate with the Department of Art and the New Balance Recreation Center at the University of Maine, Orono; Eastern Area Agency on Aging;  Birch Street Senior Citizens’ Club;  Old Town Senior Citizen’s and Veazie Senior Citizen’s groups;  Orono and Old Town Public Libraries; Penobscot Community Health Care; Hammond Street Senior Center; Dirigo Pines Retirement Community; and Adult Education. We encourage partnerships, alliances, and collaborations and welcome conversations about how to best serve area seniors.