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Jean Saunders

Saco, Maine

Gayle Hays

Jean is a native of Winslow, Maine, who started her nursing career in Maine but spent many years in New York as a nursing administrator. In 2013, Jean read about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities and the aging in place work that was starting to take root. With her background in health care, Jean was particularly interested to learn how to help individuals stay in their own homes and age successfully with support from the community. Jean began to solicit the help of key collaborators and formed a steering committee in Saco, Maine, which included local community and municipal leaders. She initiated a project with Thornton Academy to sponsor a contest to design a logo for Saco as an Age-Friendly community which resulted in the winning entry and motto Age-Friendly Saco: A Community for a Lifetime. “The logo is a strong representation of all the history surrounding Saco,” Jean says, “but it also serves as an appropriate emblem for the exciting plans to come that will help residents age in place through a multi-generational approach. We want to work continuously to bring the different generations together to learn from each other.” AARP Maine named Jean the winner of the 2022 Andrus Award in honor of AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The Andrus Award celebrates and honors those who make a difference in the lives of others, and it is the most prestigious and visible award AARP presents each year. Jean Saunders’ extraordinary public service actively embodies Dr. Andrus’ motto “To Serve, Not To be Served.”