If you are 50 or older, Bridget Quinn is ready to help you.

As the new associate director of outreach and advocacy for AARP Maine, Quinn looks forward to helping members choose how they want to age and live.

The agency’s mission is to help people age with dignity and purpose.

“I’m looking forward to promoting that in Maine,” Quinn said in a recent phone interview. “I want to learn as much as I can and develop a local connection, connecting people to different resources.”

Bridget Quinn is the new associate director of outreach and advocacy for AARP Maine.

For now, because of the coronavirus, Quinn is working remotely from her native New Jersey.

She realized as an intern at AARP New Jersey that she had a passion for caregiving and supporting caregivers, she said.

“That work really drove me in the beginning, and it has just grown and grown,” Quinn said.

Her family had just become caregivers for her grandmother, and she recognized that they were privileged to be able to provide a home for her.

Others need outside help, and Quinn has the skills to connect them with services, Maine AARP State Director Lori Parham said.

“I was impressed by her ability to connect with AARP members in local communities and to engage them as volunteers,” Parham said.

She said Quinn worked in the New Jersey agency to “organize around advocacy issues such as prescription drugs and financial security and utilities.”

Quinn is also a creative problem-solver, Parham said.

“She isn’t dissuaded by a difficult situation but rolls up her sleeves to find the best solution to a problem,” Parham said.

Quinn worked with volunteers and learned a lot from those in their 50s, she said.

“It was an amazing experience, their vision and the stories of what they’ve done and where they’ve been,” she said. “They have become community advocates. It’s very inspiring.”

In Maine, Quinn will coordinate and train volunteers and advocate for the agency at the State House, she said.

AARP Maine has 230,000 members and more than 200 volunteers across the state, according to spokeswoman Jane Margesson.

“Quinn will work on outreach initiatives designed to enhance awareness and community relationships, while identifying and engaging volunteers in grassroots advocacy campaigns that support AARP’s policy goals,” Margesson wrote in a news release.

Staff and volunteers advocate for caregiving, livable communities, affordable utilities and consumer fraud, according to the agency’s website.

They also help people ages 50 and older make informed health and retirement decisions.

A lot of that work is done by volunteers. They are the heart of AARP in Maine, Quinn said.

“We couldn’t do anywhere near what we do without them,” she said. Volunteers work to empower AARP members, run coffee talk programs (on hold now because of social distancing) and “do significant work around the state.”

She is up for the new challenge, but she still has a lot to learn, she said.

“It’s a bit of a wacky time, working remotely,” she said.


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