5 New Year’s Resolution Ideas — and How to Keep Them

New Year’s Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes — some are fun, like learning how to make your own pasta, while others are more serious, like getting your finances in order. The start of a fresh new year is the perfect time to make a resolution or two or three in a variety of sizes, and we’re here to help you discover the best ways to stick to them for the whole year to come. Have some great resolution ideas of your own? Add to the comments section at the bottom!

1. Exercise

It’s everyone’s favorite resolution! Regular physical activity is the best medicine to keep active 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 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 just 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

2. Eat Right

Just about everyone has eating right on their list of New Year’s resolutions. At Dirigo Pines, we’re making 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 All Day Dining Program offers flexibility for those who don’t eat on a regular rotation. What time is dinner? Whenever you choose. With dining anytime, incredible menu items and multi-venue options, you can savor the day on your own schedule. Whether you are an early riser or late sleeper, our program provides the flexibility to meet your unique lifestyle. You’ll always have a seat at the table. Visit our website to learn more!

Like to cook but need some new ideas? We’ve all been there! 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! 

We share lots of great recipes from the AHA and more on this blog! Click here for a full list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

And did you know that during the summer, residents can sow their own little plot of land to grow delicious fresh veggies? What better way to eat right – and get some exercise!

3. Meet New People

Making new friends as a child – it’s a breeze. Making new friends as an adult – it’s a little trickier. 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, 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.

Check out our monthly events calendar to see what’s happening now.

4. Learn Something New 

Ready to try a new hobby or take a class? Resolve to make it happen in 2020! From Scrabble to Rummikub, there are lots of clubs and activities at Dirigo Pines to help you learn. Dirigo also hosts various classes through the Penobscot Valley Senior College, offering unique learning opportunities throughout the year – with no tests or homework and a focus on socializing and enjoyable learning. Aced it!

5. 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!

As Your Needs Change Over Time

If 2020 is the year you’re planning to retire and make the shift to retirement living, we know there’s lots on your mind. Will you be able to afford it? Where will you go? What if your needs change over time? Being confident about the option to “age in place” is important for many retirees. Independent living might be a great option now, but what if you or a loved one needs more assistance in the future. Will you have to move again? Not at Dirigo Pines — our full spectrum of care means you can choose anything from an independent cottage to assisted living to specialized care or memory care. No matter how your needs changes over time, we’ve got your back.

Here’s a quick look at your living options at Dirigo. For a complete list and more information, click here or call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Cottage Community  

Join our cottage community residents in a duplex style, one-story or two-story cottage home. Every cottage offers a living room, dining area, kitchen with all appliances, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available. Your investment in a share of common stock in the cooperative is equal to the value of your cottage. You’ll enjoy the privacy of your own home and have added peace of mind knowing that the cooperative covers your home maintenance. From routine mowing and snow removal to prompt service when it is time to clean your furnace or replace an appliance, the Dirigo Pines onsite maintenance staff are available to maintain your cottage inside and out.

Independent Living Apartments – Penobscot Commons

The heart of Dirigo Pines is our warm and welcoming Inn. Here you will find a beautiful gathering room, large dining rooms, library, hair salon, media/game room, fitness studio, and arts and crafts studio. One monthly fee covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation.

Assisted Living – Kenduskeag Commons

When life’s daily tasks begin to be a burden, Assisted Living can give the you freedom you’re looking for. 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.

Specialized Care – Meadowbrook Commons

Looking for extra help with personal care? Our Specialized Care services might be just the thing. Residents receive therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, ambulation, transferring, bathing, and dressing. Medications are administered and monitored under the guidance of our medical director or the resident’s preferred physician. Professional care planning is done with the resident and family to enhance health and safety. Guided social, recreational, and cultural programs are also provided.

Memory Care – The Arbor

For loved ones struggling with dementia and memory problems, individual attention and special care is needed. Residents of The Arbor are surrounded by a beautifully warm and inviting environment. There is a high level of activity and involvement by our staff as well as volunteers and family members. Medications are administered and monitored under the guidance of our medical director or the resident’s assigned physician. Residents have access to their own garden/courtyard, sun porch, exercise programs, outings, and special events.

Click here to learn more all the options at Dirigo Pines.

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.

Get Organized

A new year is a great time for fresh starts and new beginnings — which starts with getting organized! Did you know Dirigo Pines offers regular organizing clinics with Sandy Imondi for our residents? From downsizing to just keeping your life in order, organizing can do wonders for your closet, sanity and stress level. Having trouble finding your inner Marie Kondo? Here are a few tips to get organized in 2020 and spark some joy:

  • Start small. Getting organized is not a time to go big or go home. Focus on one manageable task at a time. For example, pick one closet, sort through it, toss what needs to be tossed, put the essentials back neatly and be proud of your accomplishment.
  • Sort it out. Whether it’s a closet, cupboard or filing cabinet that needs attention, as you go through the contents, sort them out. Make a “Toss” pile for the garbage and unusable items (there’s no need to hang onto to those old chargers and cables that haven’t been used in years, for example). Make a “Donate” pile for old clothes, books, toys and games that could donated to Good Will, a local church or another organization. A good tip: If you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Anything you’re keeping, put back neatly — and use organizational containers if necessary to help keep things tidy over time.
  • Check expiration dates. The new year is a good time to check those dates and unload anything that’s expired or past its prime. Canned goods do eventually expire and frozen goods can only be kept for so long before they also need to be tossed. Old beauty products, lotions, hair products and more only take up valuable bathroom cupboard space — if you haven’t used them recently, it’s probably time to toss them. Your local police department and “take back” programs can help you get rid of old medications safely.

Have your own tips to share? Post them in the comments section!

Feeling Grateful – 5 Ways to Share the Love

Feeling thankful? Turn November into a month of gratitude and encourage your friends and family to join you. Here are 5 ways to show your thanks and love this holiday season:

  1. Say It (or Write It) Out Loud: Create a gratitude tree or area to collectively share what you and loved ones are thankful for this year. Many of us do this at the Thanksgiving table, but sitting down and putting pen to paper and displaying your appreciation publicly is another great way to get the word out. Write down your thanks on a card and hang it like an ornament on a branch or other space – it’s the perfect Thanksgiving decor!
  2. Share Something! Sharing is caring – and one great thing to share during the holidays is a favorite recipe. Whether you bake up a batch of cookies or muffins to say thank you to a friend, or share your sought-after secret recipe for pumpkin pie with family this holiday, food is the way to everyone’s heart. Creating a homemade cookbook of family recipes is a great idea for Thanksgiving or the upcoming holiday season!
  3. Send a Note: Thank you letters are another great way to show someone just how much you appreciate them. Feeling grateful for a neighbor or friend? Write it down! This is the perfect time of year to make a pledge to write a thank you note every day for a week, a month, or maybe the whole year – and brighten someone’s day with your words of thanks.
  4. Host a Meal: Tis the season for lavish gatherings and meals – take advantage and invite your nearest and dearest (and those you’ve been meaning to show your appreciate to) for a holiday feast. A meal made with love is the perfect way to say thanks.
  5. Give it Away: Whether it’s your time, talents or money, giving back to the community is another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Consider volunteering in a local soup kitchen, donating food to a homeless shelter or food pantry, or making a donation to a worthwhile charity. Giving back will warm everyone’s heart this holiday. Click here for a list of Maine food pantries.

How do you like to give thanks during the holidays?

Frequently Asked Questions about Senior Living

Contemplating the move to a senior living community like Dirigo Pines is a big step. You have lots of questions. What will work best for you and for your family? Can you stay as independent as you have been — and what happens if you need more assistance in the future? Here are just a few of the questions we hear everyday — and our contact information so you can ask even more…

Q: How do I find the best senior living option for me?

A: Consider your current lifestyle needs to prioritize what makes your ideal senior living option. While every experience is unique, you can gather insight from those who have already made the transition to senior living. Talk to family and friends — and speak to people living at the community you’re considering about their experience.

Q: How does the cost of senior living compare to remaining at home?

A: Start by totaling all of your current living expenses and compare that number to the total cost for living at one of our communities. You may find that senior living is more cost effective than you thought. Click here for our comparison worksheet.

Q: How do I begin the conversation with my loved one?

A: We’re here to remind you that you are not alone in navigating potentially difficult discussions. Engaging in open, honest dialogue from the beginning sets the stage for a positive journey.

Click here for FAQs and resources.

Have more questions about your specific situation? To learn more about Dirigo Pines or schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Proud of our Veterans

Dirigo Pines is honored to be home to a great number of veterans from all branches of our nation’s military. Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 — the first anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. It was declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as a day to reflect on the sacrifices of those who had served in the military during World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday in 1938.

Did you know in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Then, in 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.

We’ve very proud to have so many veterans at Dirigo Pines – and we thank you for your service.

Locally, you can celebrate Veterans by participating in or watching the Greater Bangor Area Veterans Day Parade on Monday, Nov. 11, kicking off at 10:15 a.m.

Participants and their vehicles will begin to assemble for the one-and-a-half mile parade beginning at 9 at Vista Way, beside the Brewer Shopping Center (Hannaford).

The parade will march down Wilson Street and across the Chamberlain Bridge, taking a right and down Bangor’s Main Street, and then onto State Street before finally ending on Exchange Street.

Prior to the Parade, the Rotary Club of Bangor Breakfast will be serving up pancakes and all the fixings at Jeff’s Catering at 15 Littlefield Road in Brewer. It’s all you can eat, $7 for Adults, $4 for kids and veterans eat free! The hours are 7 until 10 a.m. and of course it’s open to the public!

Planning a Holiday Trip? Respite Care is Here for You

Did you know Dirigo Pines offers short-term respite services to seniors and their families? Let us host your loved one while you’re away for Thanksgiving or the holidays. Plan ahead now to transition their care to the well-trained staff of Dirigo Pines. Special pricing will apply if you call before Nov. 8 — $250 per day!

This is also a great way to take Dirigo Pines for a test drive. Short-term stays offer guests a chance to explore our community before making the decision to move in. Whether looking to tap into a renewed sense of purpose and re-energize or to try on our community for size, a short-term stay is sure to relax, refresh and renew, giving guests the time to decide whether our community will be theirs. Participate in our life enrichment activities, enjoy our delicious cuisine, and get to know who we are.

Spooky Happenings for Halloween

Don’t be spooked – it’s Halloween time! If you have little goblins to entertain or just want to get in the spirit of things, there is plenty happening all around Dirigo Pines and greater Bangor this time of year!

Pick a Pumpkin

There are lots of farm and pumpkins patches to visit in our area. One local favorite is Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, featuring a giant corn maze with a “Blueberries for Sal” theme, pick your own apples, fresh apple cider, ice cream, hay rides, friendly goats to pet, and a 5-acre pumpkin patch.

treworgyorchards.com

Fright at the Fort, Fort Knox

Consider yourself warned – this one is no joke. The scariest haunted experience in Maine takes place through the passageways of Fort Knox in Prospect every year, and it’s recommended for older kids and adults. For a total scream-fest, check this one out.

Click here for details

Gaslight, Penobscot Theatre

Get creepy with a new show a historical theatre. A Broadway hit first produced on the West End under the title Gaslight and filmed twice as Angel Street, this classic melodrama gave rise to the popular term “gas lighting”. The tale of the Manninghams, in 19th century London appears to be the essence of Victorian tranquility. However, it is soon apparent, that things may not be as they seem. Join us as we stage this victorian melodrama in the truest sense, with no better atmosphere than the historic Bangor Opera House! Running Oct. 17- Nov. 3.

penobscottheatre.org/show/gaslight

Take the Stephen King Tour

For the full Stephen King spook-tacular experience and visits to many nearby spots that inspired King, check out SK Tours of Maine. Stu Tinker offers private narrated tours seven days a week all year round. The tour features about 30 stops at places King worked, lived, spots that have inspired him, and actual film locations from his movies.

Check out more here. 

Have your own fun idea or event to share? Add it below!

UMaine’s Homecoming Weekend

The University of Maine, just down the road from Dirigo Pines, is the alma mater of many Dirigo residents and the “college of our hearts always.” Whether you were once a graduate or just looking for some fun this weekend, Homecoming is the perfect time for a visit. Here are just a few of the activities happening around campus Oct. 25-27…

  • UMaine football takes on William & Mary at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets available online at goblackbears.com or at Alfond Stadium. Click here for details about tailgating at this event. Tailgating begins at 10 a.m. and is a great way to reconnect with alumni and have some fun before the big game!
  • Maine Marketplace: Check out Maine-made products from 150+ vendors at one of the largest craft shows in the state! Admission is only $2 (and if it’s your reunion year, receive complimentary access). The craft show starts Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Balance Field House.
  • Welcome Home Social: Join fellow alums and representatives from across the campus for a social hour. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Takes place Friday, Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Buchanan Alumni House. Click here for tickets.

There’s more to discover! Click here for a full list of events and activities during Homecoming Weekend 2019.

Special Holiday Pricing for Short-Term Respite Services

Dirigo Pines provides short-term respite services to seniors and their families. Plan ahead for the holidays and reserve your loved one a place to stay while you are away. Special pricing will apply if you call before Nov. 8 — $250 per day!

There has never been a better time to make Dirigo Pines your new home!

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