The mission of the Center is to promote and facilitate activities on aging in the areas of education, research and evaluation, and community service to maximize the quality of life of older citizens and their families in Maine and beyond. Its goals are to:
- Provide opportunities for older citizens to engage in productive activities that enhance the quality of their own lives and provide meaningful benefits to the communities in which they live.
- Make available to the state’s public, voluntary and proprietary organizations research and evaluation expertise on aging-related issues.
- Promote aging-related education and training programs for Maine’s citizenry at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education levels.
- Serve as a direct link between the University and the citizens of Maine in order to expand the range of learning opportunities and practical experiences for UMaine students preparing for careers working with Maine’s older adults.
- Promote collaboration and partnerships between UMaine and public and private service providers with aging-related interests throughout the state, including other University of Maine System institutions, the region, and in Canada.
- Serve as a consultative resource and clearinghouse for aging information and training needed by the business, health, and human service communities throughout the state and the region.
Achievement of Center goals will be assessed based on its capacity to:
- Help sensitize increased numbers of students and workforce personnel in the state to the economic, social, psychological, and physical challenges confronting Maine’s older citizens and their families.
- Facilitate the translation, transfer, and real life application of research findings that enhance the quality of life of Maine’s older adults and their families and the performance of the labor force that serves them.
- Maximize the range of aging-related learning opportunities and community service experiences for University of Maine System students preparing for careers working with Maine’s older adults and their families.
- Attract greater numbers of professional and preprofessional students to UMaine with interests in establishing Maine-based careers in the field of aging.
- Help the state build an expanding cadre of educators, scientists, and other specialists in the field of aging who will, in turn, apply their expertise to preparing the state for an aging populace.
- Support the work of existing University of Maine System-sponsored and affiliated housing, community, and service projects for older adults.
- Enhance UMaine faculty and researcher expertise in service to the older adult community and the organizations that serve them within their respective fields and encourage faculty to develop new expertise in gerontology and geriatrics for future service to an aging Maine.
The Center on Aging is comprised of three major divisions of programmatic activity:
1 – Education and Training
The emphasis in the area of education and training includes:
- Promoting and strengthening life-long learning opportunities for older Maine citizens
- Providing training programs on aging-related topics for personnel in Maine government, business and industry
- Providing specialized continuing education for the state’s medical, health and social service providers
- Serving as an internship site for students interested in aging studies and careers working with Maine’s older adults and their families
- Promoting and strengthening of undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education coursework, majors, and specializations in aging-related topics for undergraduate and graduate students
2 – Research and Evaluation
The emphasis in the area of research and education includes:
- Providing technical assistance, consultation, and sponsorship for faculty and community researchers developing aging research proposals and conducting aging-related research
- Performing community program and service evaluations, needs and resource assessments, and other applied aging-related research and data analysis studies
- Consulting with local, state and federal government and public officials on aging-related issues including the preparation of commissioned position papers and briefs and the performance of program feasibility and analysis studies
- Disseminating aging research and best practice innovation by means of professional, scholarly and lay publications and presentations
3 – Services and Consultation
The emphasis in the area of services and consultation includes:
- Offering technical assistance and consultation to Maine’s community organizations and agencies, businesses, and corporations in the areas of aging-focused program planning and design, evaluation and quality assurance, administration and management, and staffing
- Providing consultative assistance to the state and its municipal localities concerning aging-related human resource needs and the development and delivery of education and training programs to meet those needs
- Organizing special programs for community elders and their families
- Serving as an information and resource center for persons interested in the study of aging-related topics