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! 

Dirigo Dish: Caprese Kebabs

Tis the season for delicious food. Try these simple, healthy and festively colored kebabs as an appetizer at your next holiday gathering. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Caprese Kebabs

For the Kebabs:

  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves (washed)
  • 2 part-skim mozzarella string cheese sticks
  • 8 wooden skewers

For the Balsamic Drizzle:

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp no-calorie sugar substitute (granulated, 1 packet)

Directions

  • Cut each string cheese stick in to 12 rounds (24 cubes total).
  • Assemble each kebab with 3 tomatoes, 3 mozzarella slices and 3 basil leaves (tomato, basil, cheese, tomato, basil, cheese, tomato, basil, cheese). Gently fold the basil leaves 2-3 times before skewering, larger leaves may be torn in half.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and no-calorie sweetener. Lightly drizzle over skewers before serving.

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!

Out and About: Follow the Maine Art Museum Trail

With a stunning coastline, colorful seasons, rolling fields and a rich history, it’s no wonder our state inspires so many artists — including many creative folks right here at Dirigo Pines. Interested in diving into local art and Maine culture? The Maine Art Museum Trail is great place to start. The trail is a collection of eight museums from Bangor to Ogunquit  featuring more than 73,000 works of art, including the talents of famed artists like Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Pick and choose museums for great day trips, or follow the loop to complete the Maine Art Museum Trail!

University of Maine Museum of Art

40 Harlow St., Bangor

Make downtown Bangor (just a short drive from Dirigo Pines) the first stop on your trip. UMaine’s museum focuses on  “diverse contemporary exhibitions, with a permanent collection focusing on works of art since 1945, and educational programming.” Their permanent collection includes over 3,800 works of art from names like Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, Alex Katz, and Andrew Wyeth.

Farnsworth Art Museum

16 Museum St., Rockland

Head east next and enjoy the beautiful and inspiring Maine coastline along Route 1. Stop in Rockland at the Farnsworth Art Museum for all things Wyeth — three generations of Wyeths, from Andrew to N.C. to Jamie. “Andrew Wyeth at 100” is currently on display through the end of the month. The museum boasts over 15,000 works of art, including Louise Nevelson’s sculptures.

Rockland’s new addition to the arts community is also worth a stop — the Center for Maine Contemporary Art’s new museum at 21 Winter St. just recently opened and features works from the latest generation of artists.

Monhegan Museum of Art & History

1 Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan

A little off the beaten path (or art trail as it were), the Mohegan Museum of Art is home to works from island artists and those inspired by the island. Discover art from Andrew Wyeth, Alice Stoddard, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent and more. The museum is house in the historic Monhegan Light Station, with pieces spanning two centuries worth of artists.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

9400 College Station, Brunswick

Recently renovated, Bowdoin’s museum is one of the oldest collegiate art collections in the nation, founded in 1811. Open to the public at no charge, it’s worth a stop to check out some of the 20,000 works in the museum’s collection.

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square, Portland

Even the building (in the heart of the city) housing the Portland Museum of Art is a work of art — designed by IM Pei, who also designed the Louvre Pyramids in Paris. Collection highlights include works from Winslow Homer, Dahlov Ipcar, Renoir, Degas, Alex Katz, Edward Hopper, Monet, Robert Indiana, and more.

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

543 Shore Road, Ogunquit

You’ll have to mark this museum for a summer visit — it’s currently closed for the winter with plans to open for the season May 1, 2018. But it’s worth a special visit with an impressive collection of works by Peggy Bacon, Jack Levine, Rockwell Kent, Will Barnet, Walt Kuhn, Marsden Hartley, Charles Woodbury, and more on display. Not to mention it’s stunning location along Maine’s coast and it’s garden displays.

Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston

75 Russell St., Lewiston

Turn the car back northbound on your tour and head toward Lewiston. Bates College is currently displaying an exhibit from sculptor Rona Pondick and painter Robert Feintuch through March 2018. In addition to its temporary exhibits, the museum includes a permanent collection of 5,000 art works of regional, national, or international connection to Maine.

Colby Museum of Art

5600 Mayflower Hill, Waterville

Just a hour from Dirigo Pines, the museum at Colby College in Waterville is housed in a three-story glass pavilion opened in 2013 and one of the largest art museums in Maine. Collections include works from John Marin, and American art from the early 18th century to today.

Want to learn more about the Maine Art Museum Trail? Click here! Happy trails!

 

The Right Care For You

As we get older, many of us find we need more assistance with certain daily activities — but we might not be ready for a skilled nursing facility. Specialized Care at Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons is the perfect fit. 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.

Dirigo Pines is happy to announce we’re adding 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. This addition will help meet the needs of our growing specialized care community.

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

But what if you’re not sure it’s the right fit for you or a loved one? 

Dirigo Pines’ Graceful Stays program allows you the option to try us before making the commitment to move in. Have peace of mind knowing that someone is available at all times to take care of your needs. Participate in our enriching activities program, enjoy our delicious cuisine and get to know your neighbors. 

Graceful Stays are also an option for seniors needing support after a hospital visit or illness. Many of our permanent residents began their residency at Dirigo Pines through our short term Graceful Stays. Call for pricing and more information on all the living options at Dirigo Pines. All stays are based on availability.

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

Cottages Available Now

Ready for retirement living but still need plenty of space and some yard of your own? Dirigo Pines cottage community is the perfect way to transition. With beautiful homes, tons of conveniences and the central inn (with delicious meals, cozy library and activities galore) within walking distance, this is what retirement living is all about.

One monthly fee 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 lovely 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 – perfect for this time of year.

Every duplex style, one-story 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.

A few cottages are available now — click here for details and a current listing of available homes. 

Curious what the inside of our cottages look like? Check out our Facebook events page for a list of upcoming cottage tours.

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.

Holiday Festivals and Festivities 

Get in a festive mood with these upcoming events and activities close to Dirigo Pines! Share your favorite holiday festivities in the comments below!

Nov. 17-Dec. 31: Gardens Aglow

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay

Over 500,000 LED lights will decorate the gardens this winter, making this the biggest light display in Maine. Get your tickets early! In addition to the lighting, visitors will enjoy music, special food and beverage options and holiday shopping. Be sure to check out other activities in the Boothbay area, including a visit from Santa, sales, and the Festival of Lights.

www.mainegardens.org 

boothbaylights.com

Dec. 2: Festival of Lights Parade

Downtown Bangor

The Rotary Club of Bangor hosts this annual parade featuring dozens of entries all lit up for the holidays. The parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. As one might expect, Santa Claus will be the main attraction; his appearance will formally usher in the holiday season. Watch for other activities earlier in the day, including winter art making from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maine Museum of Art at 40 Harlow St.; Santa and cookie decorating from 1-4 p.m. at Bagel Central; and the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra Music-A-Thon from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Bangor Arts Exchange at 193 Exchange St. 

www.visitbangormaine.com

Dec. 2-3: Victorian Christmas

Penobscot Marine Museum, Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House & Museum Store, Searsport

The Ship Captain’s house is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with live music and holiday-themed readings. The Town of Searsport’s Tree Lighting And Carol Singing are on Friday night. 

www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org

Dec. 7-30: Beauty and the Beast 

The Penobscot Theatre, Bangor

It’s a tale as old as time — and sure to be a holiday hit for all ages! Enjoy Disney’s musical rendition of Beauty and the Beast, live on stage in downtown Bangor. Make a day of it and check out great local shopping and dining downtown while you’re at it!

www.penobscottheatre.org

Dec. 16-17: Bangor Symphony Orchestra presents “The Nutcracker”

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

A holiday tradition for all ages, the BSO’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the Robinson Ballet is beloved by audiences throughout Maine. Join us for as a magical production as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker grace the stage of the Collins Center for the Arts. 

www.bangorsymphony.org

Dec. 19: The Oak Ridge Boys – Christmas Celebration Tour

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

With a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, this Grammy-award winning quartet is bringing its Christmas show, complete with trees, falling snow and a visit from Santa, to the Collins Center, just down the road from Dirigo Pines. 

collinscenterforthearts.com