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Livability Dashboard

About the Project

Age-Friendly communities are inclusive and considerate of the perspectives of all residents, of all ages, and all persuasions. Age-Friendly communities encourage and benefit from diverse citizen engagement by including residents in a process to identify the community’s needs, and develop and implement an action plan to address those needs.

The Age-Friendly Livability Dashboard project builds on the work of community Age-Friendly Action Plans to supplement community livability indicators. The pilot cohort of communities includes Bangor, Bowdoinham, Madison, and Portland. In 2020, an additional 11 communities were added: Berwick, Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington, Bucksport, Eliot, Freeport and Pownal, Hallowell, Jackman, Old Orchard Beach, Presque Isle, Readfield, and Saco. In total, the dashboard tracks more than 300 Community Goals and Activities and 1,200 Age-Friendly Resources. The project was developed by Fourth Economy Consulting for AARP Maine.

The Process

Over the course of four months, Fourth Economy worked with representatives from the cohort of pilot communities and AARP Maine to gather data and refine the development of the dashboard. Learn more about the process of creating a Dashboard for AARP Maine in the video below.

project steering committee

The project steering committee represented a swath of different roles within their communities, from town/city/municipal departments, volunteer/community work, and social service agencies among others. Each community had a representative that was either part of the planning process for their Age-Friendly Action Plan or someone currently serving on their Age-Friendly Committee/Board.

  • Patty Hamilton, Co-Chair, Bangor Livable Communities Committee

  • Dyan Walsh, Executive Director, Eastern Area Agency on Aging

  • Patricia Oh, Member, Age-Friendly Bowdoinham

  • Nicole Briand, Director of Planning & Development, Town of Bowdoinham

  • Tim Curtis, Assessment/Planning, Town of Madison

  • Linda Weare, Director, Portland Office of Elder Affairs

  • Lori Parham, State Director, AARP Maine

  • Pat Pinto, Volunteer State President, AARP Maine

Data Sources

Age-Friendly Resources

Data for the Age-Friendly Resources page was provided by the cohort of communities. Some communities had already created an Age-Friendly Resource Guide. Others had gathered community asset data through the process of creating their Age-Friendly Action Plan.

Livability Resources

Livability Data came from a variety of sources. Primary sources for Livability Data include:

  • Census, American Community Survey - The American Community Survey helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation.

  • Elder Index - The Elder Index is a measure of the income that older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity. The Elder Index is specific to household size, location, housing, and health status. Anyone can use the database to find out how much is needed to be economically secure, by location and family type; compare expenses across locations and family types; and access additional information on elder economic security.

  • Maine Municipal Association Tax Data & Statistics - The Maine Municipal Association provides information on tax data and statistics, a guide to property tax, and links to tax rate comparisons across the state of Maine.

  • Maine Department of Transportation Bus Transit Services - Contains information about Maine's bus networks. The state's extensive bus network includes national inter-city lines as well as a wide variety of city and regional bus lines providing local and inter-city service.

  • - Provides a score indicating the walkability of any address in the United States. The site also provides a public transit score.

  • Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services - Hosts a search for healthcare providers — including nursing homes, outpatient physical therapy facilities, health centers and clinics, and hospitals — by county or city. They also provide a comprehensive list of resources for elders focused on health, safety, resilience, and opportunity.

  • Health Resources & Services Administration - Collects information about primary care/health centers, shortage designation, and rural health. Health Professional Shortage Areas are designations that indicate health care provider shortages in primary care, dental health, or mental health.

Community Goals and Activities

Communities set goals and activities while creating their Age-Friendly Action Plan. Action Plans use the Eight Domains of Livability to organize goals and activities. Some communities form goals across all domains, while others narrow the domain areas on which to focus. Age-Friendly Action Plans for each community can be found on the Member List for AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

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