PARIS — The town is the first municipality in the state to win a grant for the Age-Friendly Community initiative to help administer a survey to determine the needs of its senior population.

Surveys have recently begun to trickle in.

Attorney Sarah Glynn has spearheaded the project run through the AARP and World Health Organization in conjunction with cities and towns across the U.S. and Canada. She said she and other volunteers gave out almost all of the 200 initial surveys at the polls June 9. The 45-question survey focuses on what is necessary to help seniors age in place, determining the required services to address seniors’ needs.

Additional surveys, along with a letter of explanation, will soon arrive in the mailboxes of residents who are 50 years old and older. The surveys, which include a postage-paid envelope, are due back by Friday, July 31.

“Hopefully, they’ll fill it out and mail it back,” she said. “It is lengthy, but it’s all important stuff that we need to know to figure out what the needs are.”

The $8,000 grant was awarded to the town during the first week in June, Glynn said. It will help pay for the administration and tabulation of the survey results and the establishment of senior citizen information centers.

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“It’s interesting,” Glynn said. “I think every survey that I’ve looked at so far says there is no central point for information. People need to know what’s available in the community.”

The initiative is looking to establish an information center at the Town Office and on the town website at www.parismaine.org, she said. But this won’t meet all the needs of the town’s seniors, she added.

“For some people . . . they don’t have Internet,” Glynn said. “We still need that one-on-one (to let them know) ‘where do I need to go to get the info,’ or on the phone.”

She’s also interested to see people’s responses regarding transportation in Paris. She sees this as an issue during her daily work.

Thus far, Glynn is encouraged by people’s interest in the five-year initiative. The first part, the planning phase, is to be completed by the end of August.

The next two to three years is implementing a plan to assist seniors to age in place and create a one-stop shop for information about available services.

The remainder of the project is to update and maintain what’s been established.

“Everybody seems to support this initiative and it’s really fabulous,” Glynn said. “There’s a lot of interest, and I think people want to stay in town and see something positive happen.”

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