In 2014, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine adopted a bold and visionary strategic plan, Sustaining the Promise: Toward Saint Joseph’s College’s Second Hundred Years. The plan called upon us to think about our future in an entrepreneurial manner; to use our natural assets in new ways that align with our mission, promise financial stability, and enable us to redevelop our campus to better serve our students, our community, and our region.
The Institute for Integrative Aging at Saint Joseph’s College is a new program aimed at providing rural older adults access to a creative, age-friendly, learning environment. At the same time, we are creating a student body and workforce that is well-equipped to support a rapidly growing aging population through the development of new courses and certificate programs.
As a trusted entity within the region, we are able to leverage our resources and partnerships to provide innovative solutions for isolation and loneliness. Being a centrally located hub within the Lakes Region, our reach is expansive, touching five municipalities. Strong partnerships with community organizations allow us to pool our efforts and resources, giving us the ability to provide social, spiritual, educational enrichment to a variety of people. Through the development of a new generation of well-educated integrative aging professionals, Saint Joseph’s will expand its mission and core values to serve society with integrity, respect, and compassion. We are changing the culture to one that has a better understanding and acceptance of the aging process, a focus on healthier aging modalities, and the opportunity for growth and sustainability.
We are building a rich ecosystem that supports bi-directional learning, intergenerational connectivity, and generates a ‘sense of community’, with the goal to combat social isolation and loneliness. Our programming is structured around health and wellness activities and education, encouraging older adults to nourish their emotional, intellectual, creative, physical, and spiritual selves.