6 Reasons to Fall in Love with Retirement at Dirigo Pines

We’re counting the ways we love Dirigo Pines this month. From fun activities to delicious food and amazing residents and staff, there are so many things to love about living at Dirigo Pines. Here are just a few…

  1. Delicious Dining: From an incredible Sunday brunch to scrumptious dinners to our All Day Dining Program, there’s always something cooking at Dirigo Pines. Chef Lew Stubbs and the talented team in the kitchen leave residents and visitors raving about the meals at Dirigo. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. And our new All Day Dining Program gives residents the freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon.
  2. Gone Fishin’: There are lots of unique things that set Dirigo apart. Nature lovers will fall in love with our beautiful campus, complete with walking trails and two stocked fishing ponds inviting residents to cast a line. The ponds are stocked with small trout each spring, just before we celebrate our annual Fishing Derby for anglers of all skill levels. Residents have been known to hook a monster or two and throw them right on the grill! The ponds are one of the many ways to enjoy nature at Dirigo. They’re surrounded by trails and benches, and it’s not uncommon to spot a deer, Canada geese or a heron enjoying the natural beauty.
  3. Take a Hike: The trails at Dirigo connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main Street, between Route 2 and I-95. Pick up a  trail brochure – developed by our residents and available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn – and get walking and discovering! Click here for more information about our trails! 
  4. The People That You’ll Meet: From the moment you walk into the central Inn, there’s no doubt that the residents and staff of Dirigo Pines are some of the friendly people you’ll ever meet. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock and our maintenance crew is always ready to help. Dirigo is home to people from all over the world and all kinds of backgrounds, including artists, musicians, college professors, outdoor enthusiasts, and world travelers. 
  5. Getting To Know You: Getting to know all the wonderful people at Dirigo is easy thanks to dozens of activities and programs for all kinds of interests. Love to go out to eat? Join the Out to Lunch Bunch. Want to play a game of cribbage? Attend a concert? See a play? Get hooked on Downton Abbey? The Dirigo Pines activity staff plans regular exercise programs, guest speakers, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.
  6. Healthcare Services When You Need Them: Working with area hospitals, Dirigo Pines offers a depth of medical expertise to all residents. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services.

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.

Your Retirement Dream Cottage

As we start dreaming of spring and the return of warmer weather, many of us of a certain age start thinking of other new beginnings — like retirement. If you’re starting to think about making the leap, a new home and living situation might also be on the table. The cottage community at Dirigo Pines is a great way to make a smooth transition to retirement living, maintaining your independence while taking advantage of the many programs, activities and offerings of a retirement community.

Our Cottage Community offers one monthly fee which includes cable television, internet, grounds keeping, snow plowing, trash removal, building repairs, maintenance and more. You can also access an array of services and facilities in the central Inn, including a beautiful gathering room with a large fireplace, dining rooms, library, hair salon, activity rooms and more. There is even a large private dining room, which you can reserve for your own gatherings with friends and family.

Every duplex style cottage home at Dirigo Pines offers a living room, dining area, fully applianced kitchen, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available. Click here to learn more about our cottage community. 

For Sale Now: Cottage at 6 Hawthorn Court

We currently have a cottage at 6 Hawthorn Court available. This cottage offers convenient one-floor living, nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac with lush perennial beds. The patio and sunroom offer peaceful views of the wooded yard, gentle breezes, and birdsong. Enjoy living surrounded by natural beauty, with all the conveniences of Dirigo Pines and the Town of Orono, just steps away.

For more information about this cottage, click here.

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.

February Fun and Events

Sure, it’s cold out, but that’s no reason to hibernate. There’s lots to do all over our area this month — that’s just one of the reasons to love living at Dirigo Pines. Check out these fun activities, and add your own suggestions to the comments!

All Month Long: High School Basketball Tournaments at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor

It’s tourney time! High school basketball culminates with a massive month-long tournament, and Bangor is host to Classes B North, C, North, and D North at Cross Insurance Center. This exciting championship is not to be missed. Visit mpa.cc for a full schedule.

Feb. 1: Cinderella at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor

It’s the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love— the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists!

Feb. 1-18: Escanaba in da Moonlight at the Penobscot Theatre in Bangor

Check out the Maine premiere of this play by Jeff Daniels. When the Soady clan gathers at the family’s camp for the opening day of deer season, 35-year-old Reuben bears the dubious distinction of being the oldest Soady in the history of the Soadys never to have bagged a buck. In a hunting story to beat all hunting stories, Reuben goes to extraordinary lengths to remove himself from the family record book. 

Feb. 25: Masterworks IV: Winter Dreams at the Collins Center in Orono

Acclaimed pianist Orli Shaham joins the BSO for Bartok’s thrilling Piano Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1, “Winter Dreams”, paints the perfect picture for Maine in February. Smetana’s sparkling Overture to The Bartered Bride opens the program.

What you looking forward to this month? Share your event below!

Growing To Meet Your Needs

If you find a loved one needing more and more assistance as they age, you’re not alone. Many find they’re not quite ready for a skilled nursing facility, but they do need more help with daily activities. That’s where Specialized Care at Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons can help. Offering a higher level of assisted living, our specialized care staff can help with bathing, dressing, getting in and out of chairs or bed, cooking dinner, doing laundry, and more. And it’s often less expensive than a skilled nursing facility and provided in a more comfortable, home-like setting.

As the need for these services continues to grow, Dirigo Pines is working to add seven efficiency apartments similar to our assisted living apartments, with a small kitchenette and separate bedroom, as well as two new studio apartments to our Meadowbrook Commons. 

Have more questions about the difference between Assisted Living and Specialized Care? Click here.

Click here to learn more about our many living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Dirigo Dish: Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

This twist from the American Heart Association on a cold weather classic keeps it healthy and simple. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

Marinara Sauce

  • 14 oz. canned, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium, sliced carrots
  • 14.4 oz. packaged, frozen pepper stir-fry (onions and peppers) (thawed)
  • 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
  • 4 clove fresh garlic (minced)
  • 52 oz. cubed, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium tomato (crushed)
  • 2 tsp. salt-free, dried Italian spice blend

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb. extra-lean or fat-free ground turkey breast (95%-99% lean)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup multigrain cereal flakes (crushed, optional)
  • 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti

Directions

Marinara Sauce

  • In a large pot (not over any heat yet), add carrots. Use a fork or potato masher to mash. Add stir-fry vegetables, zucchini, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and spice blend.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low so sauce is simmering.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

  • In a bowl, combine turkey, pepper, cereal and parsley. Form meat mixture into golf-size meatballs to make about 20 to 25 meatballs.
  • Add meatballs into the simmering sauce, trying to get the majority of meatballs covered by sauce. Cover and cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Make spaghetti according to package directions (omitting the salt and fat). Serve with marinara and meatballs.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!

Cold Weather Fun

Baby it’s cold outside! When the thermometer drops, there are still plenty of fun outdoor activities to do at Dirigo Pines or within a short drive. Here are a few ideas to warm up to the idea of cold weather… 

Skiing

Living in Maine means access to world-class skiing. From big mountains like Sugarloaf and Sunday River, to nearby smaller hills like Hermon Mountaindownhill fans have endless opportunities. Maybe cross-country is more your style? Harris Farm XC Center in Dayton, Maine Huts and Trails in Carrabassett Valley are great choices, or check out the Penobscot Valley Ski Club for a list of nordic trails on its website. PVSC grooms several trail systems that are free and open to the public. And did you know that all PVSC grooming and trail maintenance is done by volunteers! Trails right here in Orono include the Caribou Bog Ski Trail, trails behind the Orono schools, and University of Maine trails.

Check out skimaine.com for more.

Snowmobiling

Maybe fast machines are more your speed. Did you know Maine offers 3,500 miles of groomed interconnected trails for snowmobilers? Millinocket’s New England Outdoor Center offers rentals for newbies to try out the popular Maine winter pastime. Check out the Maine Snowmobile Association’s website for trail conditions, maps, and much more.

Snowshoeing

Ever been snow shoeing? It’s another great and super fun way to enjoy the snow! Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in nearby Alton (about 10 minutes from Orono) offers some amazing snow shoeing opportunities, as well as the University of Maine. Or blaze your own trail along Dirigo’s many walking paths. Click here for a list of top snow shoeing spots from the Bangor Daily News’ Outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki.

Ice Fishing

When the lakes freeze over, it doesn’t mean fishing comes to an end. Ice shacks are popping up all over and Mainers are getting out their augers and lines to find the best spots for cold weather fishing. Never been? A Maine guide can help you figure out the basics or check out one of the many ice fishing derbies coming up this season. Click here for more.

What’s your favorite winter activity? Share it below!

Assisted Living at Dirigo Pines

Assisted Living gives you freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures unburdened from daily tasks that may have become more difficult to manage on a daily basis. Tailored to meet your individual requirements Dirigo Pines assisted living provides help with personal care and medications whenever needed. In addition, three meals are served daily. Housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a weekly basis and staff is available around the clock.

Apartments

Choose from a variety of one‐bedroom, one bath apartment styles and become a part of one caring community. Click here to check out the floor plans of various apartments.

Services & Amenities

  • Basic care assistance (bathing and dressing)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments
  • Medication management and monitoring (up to 3 times daily)
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Kitchenette, including refrigerator and microwave
  • Weekly linen and laundry service
  • 24‐hour team
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Scheduled group transportation
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Utilities, including cable TV, WiFi, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

4 Ways to Get Healthy in the New Year

From eating better to getting more exercise, making healthier choices is on almost everyone’s New Year’s resolution list. Here are 4 ways you can work on being healthier in the new year…

1. Eat Better. Who doesn’t have healthy eating on their list of New Year’s resolutions? At Dirigo Pines, we make it easy. With gourmet meals prepared daily, it’s simple to eat delicious, nutritious food every day. In addition to our regular meal schedule, our new All Day Dining Program offer flexibility for those who don’t eat on a regular rotation. Residents have the freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. Whether you’re an early riser or late sleeper, All Day Dining offers the flexibility to choose what works best for you. All Day Dining offers an alternate menu of choices that may include the main entrée of the day, breakfast items, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. Visit our website to learn more!

Fresh out of new recipe ideas? We share lots of great recipes from the American Heart Association and more on this blog! Click here for a full list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

2. Get Regular Screenings & Doctors Visits. Taking care of yourself is perhaps the best resolution you can make. Schedule your annual wellness visits, discuss screenings and tests including eye exams, cancer checks, hearing screenings and more. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if you still need them or need to change anything. And don’t forget about immunizations and shots! It might not be the most fun resolution on your list, but it might be the most important!

3. Exercise. Get moving! Regular activity is the best way to keep healthy and moving, improve your balance, posture, mood and bone and muscle health, and ward off heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and more. From yoga to sittercise, Dirigo Pines offers regular opportunities for residents to stretch and move. If walking is more to your liking, Dirigo Pines walking trails connect with the with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system. Stretch out your muscles with a stroll among the Pines. Click here for more about our trails.

The University of Maine is also just a few minutes away and offers access to the school’s many sports facilities, including tennis courts, an indoor pool, cross-country skiing trails and bike paths. Dirigo residents are also eligible for a discount to UMaine’s state-of-the-art Fitness Center.

4. Make New Friends. Did you know socialization is important to your health? Socializing is key in maintaining a healthy physical and emotional balance. But it can be tricky to make new friends as an adult. Finding people with similar interests is a great place to start – and Dirigo Pines is full of fun ways to do just that. Every day Dirigo residents can join in different activities of all kinds – from Bridge, Cribbage and Mah Jong groups to our singing Songsters, regular art classes, Bible study groups, and much more. Join the Out to Lunch Bunch for a meal and good conversation, check out a Sunday movie matinee or get hooked on Downton Abbey, shop, exercise, or just join our regular Social Hour. There are lots of great ways to meet new people and build lasting friendships at Dirigo.

Visit dirigopines.com and click the Event button at the bottom of the page for a current calendar of activities!

Resolve to Retire – 3 Tips

Is finding the perfect retirement community on your list of New Year’s resolutions? We’ve got 3 tips to help you choose the perfect home.

Ask Around

While the internet can help you research the infinite opportunities available to you in retirement (Dirigo Pines website can be found at dirigopines.com), getting a solid recommendation from a trusted friend is sometimes the very best research you can do. When you find a community you think you’d enjoy – get the inside scoop. Take a tour, talk to residents and get their opinion on what they love and what they’d change. At Dirigo Pines, we offer tours and lunch and an opportunity to chat with residents and get your questions answered. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Can We Afford It?

Does a retirement community make sense financially for you? It’s a big question. The best way to figure it out is putting pen to paper and comparing your current expenses with your expected retirement expenses. Remember to include regular expenses like electric and cable, but also keep in mind big ticket expenses like that new roof or furnace. Many home expenses, both regular and unexpected, are included for Dirigo Pines residents. Check out our interactive maps comparing costs inside and outside your home.

Ask the Right Questions

Knowing the right questions to ask can help you get the answers you’ll need in retirement. 

  1. What is the staff to resident ratio? This will tell you how much time and attention they can provide.
  2. Do you have a physician serving as a medical director? How often is that person on site? Timely healthcare is essential. If a physician is not on site regularly, then residents must be transferred off site for healthcare services.
  3. Is transportation available to doctor and dental appointments? Does the facility have someone to go along with the resident? If not, you may be providing this or paying someone else to take you or your loved one.
  4. Describe your activity staff and schedule. Socialization and physical activity are proven to contribute to overall health.
  5. Are meal plans assessed by a dietitian? Can you accommodate special diets?
  6. Does the facility offer the care we need? Or better yet, the care you may need in the future. The last thing you want to do in your retirement is be constantly moving as your healthcare needs change. Choosing a community like Dirigo Pines that offers a continuum of care, from independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, ensures you will have the care you need as you age. 

Get Moving at Dirigo Pines

Pondering New Year’s Resolutions? If they include getting more exercise, you’re not alone – and Dirigo Pines is the place to be! Regardless of your activity level, there’s option for you to get moving and grooving just in time for 2018.

Gentle Yoga

Can you feel your muscles relaxing and stretching already? Residents can ease into an exercise routine by trying gentle yoga every Thursday morning. Stretch and breathe through simple low-impact yoga poses. Did you know gentle yoga can help reduce swelling in your joints, increase mobility and even improve your balance. Definitely worth a try!

Exercise Classes

Dirigo residents can also join in exercise classes offered three times a week. Improve your strength and burn some calories while working out with friends. Exercise is a great way to improve flexibility, build muscle and bone strength, improve your mood, maintain your weight and improve your overall health. Work up a sweat and have some fun!

Sittercise

Not up for a vigorous workout? Sit and get fit with a sittercise class! Residents gather three times a week for this fun and social class with stretching, kicking, passing and lots of laughs for seniors of all activity levels, including those with limited mobility. 

Head Outside 

Before the weather turns too chilly, take your routine outside. Dirigo’s walking trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Pick up a trail brochure – developed by our residents and available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn – and get walking and exercising!