Background Information

Gateway Seniors provides many essential services especially for you!

Mission Statement

The mission of Gateway Seniors Without Walls is twofold: to sponsor a broad range of high quality activities for seniors and to publicize community services for seniors. We believe that the ultimate goals of Gateway Seniors Without Walls– to improve quality of life for older people living in Orono, Old Town, Veazie, Maine, and surrounding communities and to help area seniors stay in their own homes as long as possible-– are promoted by the activities that we offer and the services we publicize.

 

Vision Statement

We at the Gateway Seniors Without Walls envision a healthy, caring community which respects the dignity and experience of its elders, recognizes their diversity, and provides for their needs.

It’s about us all…

Gateway Seniors Without Walls, an affiliate of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine, is a 501(c) (3) organization, staffed by volunteers. We strive to serve the needs of seniors in Orono, Old Town, Veazie, and surrounding communities. We hope 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 spaces available without charge (such as libraries, community centers, churches, university classrooms, homes, wildlife refuges, and other  sites). Without the expense of buying, remodeling, and maintaining a building, Gateway Seniors Without Walls  focuses on its twofold mission and  offers programs and activities without fees or at low cost.

Our emphasis…

At Gateway Seniors Without Walls, we offer programs that provide practical information on such topics as benefits (for example, Social Security and Medicare),  health, aging, and community resources. We sponsor a wide array of recreational programs that promote meaningful social interactions; in addition, 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 by providing important information and social networking for caregivers, elders living alone,  those in need of resources, and those who are ill or in poor health. Gateway Seniors is a grassroots organization led by seniors.

Initially, Gateway Seniors received a grant from the Maine Community Foundation to conduct 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 closely with  the Center on Aging at the University of Maine and with the towns of Orono, Old Town,  Veazie, and surrounding communities. We collaborate with the Department of Art and the New Balance Recreation Center at the University of Maine, Orono; Eastern Area Agency on Aging;  Orono and Old Town Public Libraries; Collins Center for the Arts, Alzheimer’s Association, American Association of Retired People, Center on Aging, University of Maine; Dirigo Pines Retirement Community; and other agencies and groups. We encourage partnerships, alliances, and collaborations and welcome conversations about how to best serve area seniors.