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Graduating Umf Senior Starts Program To Address Loneliness Among the Elderly

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FARMINGTON — After finishing a short exercise routine Friday morning with a room full of residents at the Pierce House, Abbie Hartford faced a barrage of polite but endless questions.

What shoes will she wear to her college graduation? What is she going to do now that she’s graduating? If she were to come for lunch on Saturday, would she want a cheeseburger or salmon? And most importantly, will she come back?

The exercise routine — and the small talk that follows — is a twice-per-week occurrence for Hartford and the elderly residents she visits at the Pierce House, including those who call themselves her “grannies.”

Abbie Hartford hugs Doris Weeks after morning exercises Friday at the Pierce House in Farmington. The University of Maine at Farmington graduating senior started the UMF Senior Buddy program to address the problem of loneliness among the elderly and to get students to visit them in group homes. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The relationships started through a program Hartford founded called the UMF Senior Buddy program, which places students in four Farmington group homes in an effort to address loneliness and encourage more young people to spend time with the elderly.

Click below to read the full article:

5158624_20190510-UMF-Abbie-Hartford-001.
WWW.CENTRALMAINE.COM

Abbie Hartford started the UMF Senior Buddy program at four Farmington homes for the elderly and said she hopes to see her work continue after graduation.

 

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