One of several collection boxes that will be located around town to collect completed surveys. (Nathan Strout/The Times Record)

BATH — Lower Kennebec River Livable Communities has launched a survey for Bath area residents, asking them how age friendly they think their municipalities are and what they’d like to see done to make the area more livable.

The survey, which covers residents of Bath, Arrowsic, Georgetown, Phippsburg, West Bath and Woolwich, ask residents how they feel their communities rank on age-friendly issues, such as information resources, accessibility and the need for home repairs of rides. It also asks residents to consider what things they’d like to see in their communities to make them more livable, from public benches to volunteer opportunities to more handicap parking spaces.

Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey finding a median age of 44.6 years old. According to the Census, 17. percent of Bath’s population is 65 or older.

Survey results will be gathered after Jan. 1, and the group plans to hold meetings in the spring to discuss the results and next steps. The group, previously known as the Bath Area Age Friendly and Livable Communities, launched several months ago with a couple of community conversations about the issues facing aging people in the Midcoast. Since then, the group has worked to figure out what the community needs and how Lower Kennebec River Livable Communities can meet those needs.

In September, Bath was officially recognized as a member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. Of the approximately 200 communities in that network, more than 50 are located in Maine. Being part of that network gives the group’s organizers access to best practices, provide support for grants, supply technical support and help the group assess the community’s needs.

In order to reach the most people, paper copies of the survey will be available at the Bath’s polls at the Bath Middle School on Election Day. Paper copies are also being distributed to public spaces that see foot traffic. There will be collection boxes there for people to return the surveys, or they can be mailed to the group via Bath City Hall. The survey is also available online here.

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