Background Information

Mission Statement

The mission of Gateway Seniors Without Walls is twofold: to sponsor a broad range of high quality, daily 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, 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, 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 spaces 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 is able to focus on its twofold  mission and to offer programs and activities without fees or at low cost.

Our emphasis…

At Gateway Seniors Without Walls we offer activities that supply practical information  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 that promote meaningful social interactions.  In addition, some programs 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,  people living alone, people struggling with health issues and searching for quality treatment options, and others.

As a grassroots organization led by seniors and with the help of a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, Gateway Seniors Without Walls conducted needs assessments through focus groups, surveys, and interviews so as to refine the understanding of what seniors in our community want.  We remain responsive to the needs of area seniors.

Strength through partnerships…

In developing  activity programs,  Gateway Seniors Without Walls is working closely with  the Center on Aging at the University of Maine and with 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;  Senior Citizens’ Clubs of nearby towns;  the 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.