Unique Ways to Celebrate Dad This Year

This is a unique year and Dad is a unique guy — which means finding the perfect gift is particularly tricky right now. Celebrate the family patriarch this Sunday with one of these fun gifts, sure let Dad know you’re thinking of him even if you can’t be with him.

  • Online Lessons: Whether Dad loves cooking, painting, gardening, or music, there are lots of options to learn more on the internet — even some from local teachers. Give Dad the gift of virtual lessons (like a MastersClass in Italian cooking or wine appreciation) that he can enjoy on his own time.
  • Take a Virtual Tour Together: From National Parks to the Louvre to a virtual underwater dive, there are countless choices right now for virtual tours. Pick something Dad would love and take a tour together on a Zoom call.
  • Have a Beer Tour or Wine Tasting Delivered: Or a flight of bourbon or gin or whatever Dad enjoys at happy hour. Options abound online for monthly delivery clubs, or better yet, have a flight of local IPAs and ales delivered — and a second flight for yourself. Share a phone call with Dad while you both enjoy, compare and contrast a few suds.
  • Get Sports Delivered: As regular sports seasons are still being figured out, how about giving Dad a subscription to ESPN+ or another subscription service to keep Dad connected to the sports world. Chatting with Dad about a great 30 for 30 episode is a great way to bridge gap until regular sports return.

Have your own fun idea for staying connected and celebrating Dad? Share it below!

6 Reasons Summer is Always Sunny at Dirigo

The first day of summer is drawing near and already the days are warm and full of sunshine. Even as we limit our summer travel plans and stick closer to home, there are plenty of reasons to love summer at Dirigo Pines. If you’re looking to make a move soon, here are six sunny reasons to consider retirement at Dirigo Pines…

  1. The Sunshiny Faces. Moving to a new town or a new neighborhood, means meeting lots of new people. And Dirigo has some of the best! Our residents come from all over the world with incredibly colorful stories to share. Artists, musicians, college professors, outdoor enthusiasts, world travelers – you never know who you might meet. And when the time comes to resume our normal social activities, Dirigo is the place to be for Bridge, Cribbage and Mah Jong groups, singing Songsters, regular art classes, Bible study groups, and much more. And our staff is truly one-of-a-kind. You’ll find caring faces and staff ready to help around every corner.
  2. The Furry Faces. Not all of the residents at Dirigo Pines are human. Our pet friendly campus is home to a wide variety of cats, dogs and feathered friends. During these times of social distancing, having a pet to spend time with has become even more meaningful. And when regular visiting resumes at our facility, we’ll be welcoming back visits from a variety of therapy animals for all residents to enjoy.
  3. Take it Outside: Just about everyone looks forward to summer in Maine, basking in the sunshine, hiking a trail, smelling the lilacs, and digging in the warm earth. Our residents are amazing gardeners, from the massive flower gardens tended to by our cottage residents to the dozens of raised vegetable beds our Inn residents look after. And for those looking for other ways to get outside, Dirigo Pines offers walking trails and groomed paths, which connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system.
  4. Dining Alfresco: Dirigo Chef Lew Stubbs and his incredible team in the kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. And for extra convenience, we offer an All Day Dining Program, a unique concept designed to provide residents freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. And our large outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny meal. Love cooking at home? 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! 
  5. Outdoor Fun. There are lots of ways to enjoy the great outdoors without even leaving the Dirigo Pines campus. Our Piney Knoll Putting Green is the perfect spot to dust off your short game and spend some time outside. Or cast a line in one of our two stocked fishing ponds. The ponds are surrounded by trails and benches, and it’s not uncommon to spot a deer, Canada geese or a heron enjoying the natural beauty.

We look forward to connecting virtually with you until it’s safe to resume our in-person visits. With a variety of living options as well as wellness, cultural and educational programs offered daily, this is the place for you to live your best life—exactly as you want. For more information, schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Bridging the Social Distance

Staying connected with friends and family is more important than ever — and more challenging. As we continue to keep our physical distance, here are some clever ways to stay in touch with those you love, besides phone calls and online Zoom chats.

  • Remote Acts of Kindness: Surprise a loved one with a gift in the mail or an online gift card in their email. There’s nothing more fun or special than finding a small surprise package in your mailbox, like a new book or game or art supplies. You can even send gift cards virtually to someone through email so they can pick out a special gift of their own.
  • Secret Summer Santa: Speaking of fun surprises, how about drawing names within a group of friends or family and doing a quarantine secret Santa? Have each person surprise someone with a silly gift in the mail to make them laugh.
  • Create an Online Book Club: Love reading? Get your favorite group of book worms together and create a virtual book club. Everyone reads the same book each month, then set a time to Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Hangout to discuss your pick over a glass of wine.
  • Virtual Story Time: Grandparents can stay connected with little ones by reading a bedtime story or chapter book (one chapter at a time) over the web — or recording the reading and sharing with multiple grandkids through YouTube. You might even pick up some extra followers outside of your family!
  • Snail Mail Pen Pal: Exchanging letters, artwork and homemade cards through the mail is a fun way to stay connected, whether it’s with an old friend or a grandchild. It’s a great way to kids to keep those reading, writing and spelling skills going during the summer too!
  • Play Time: Whether it’s Words with Friends (an online Scrabble game), online Exploding Kittens, JackboxGames.com — there are countless options out there to enjoy some fun and games online. Many of your favorite traditional board games like Uno and Monopoly now offer online versions to check out as well.

Have your own great way of staying connected during these days of social distancing? Share it in the comments below!


Retire to Cottage Living at Dirigo Pines

Ready to retire? This beautiful cottage at Dirigo Pines is for sale now! Built in 2007, this home offers nearby nature trails, a heated sunroom, brick patio, and a master bedroom looking out to your wooded backyard. With two bedrooms, a dining room and a loft, this cottages offers plenty of space (1,959 square feet to be precise) on a quiet cul-de-sac near a pond with groomed walking paths.

In addition to all the conveniences of living at Dirigo Pines, one monthly fee covers your homeowners’ insurance, cable, internet, lawn and garden maintenance, snow plowing, any future repairs and replacements, and regular maintenance both inside and outside your home.

Click here for more information about this cottage or schedule a Virtual Visit to learn what retirement can look like for you at Dirigo Pines in Orono. You can also call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Life may look a little different right now, but your retirement and moving plans don’t need to change. At Dirigo Pines, we are still welcoming new residents while making the health and safety of our residents and associates our top priority. We are pleased to offer personalized virtual visits and tours at this time in lieu of visiting in person. We look forward to connecting virtually with you!

To schedule a Virtual Visit, just click here.

For a sneak peek inside our facility and to see what each of our apartment floor plans look like (check out our one- and two-bedroom apartments in Penobscot Commons featured below), simply click here. You can also find independent living cottages for sale.

Penobscot Commons Floor Plan: One bedroom apartment







Penobscot Commons Floor Plan: Two bedroom apartment with Den





We look forward to connecting virtually with you until it’s safe to resume our in-person visits. With a variety of living options as well as wellness, cultural and educational programs offered daily, this is the place for you to live your best life—exactly as you want. For more information, schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.

Connecting with Mom

Celebrating events like Mother’s Day without actually getting to hug and visit with Mom is challenging, to say the least. Here are a few ways to connect with Mom and stay safe.

Write It Down: Cards are great, but personal touches like artwork from grandchildren, photos, poems and warm wishes make getting mail all the more heartfelt.

Virtually Connect: An online visit is better than no visit — seeing a smiling face and chatting online is a great way stay connected. Add in a story time with little ones or fun online games (Good Housekeeping offers this great list) to keep the connection going.

Fun & Games: Send Mom something fun to do while staying at home. A great book (if you both read the same book, connect later for a virtual book club), puzzle, new game or cribbage board all make quarantine a little more entertaining.

Sharing is Caring: One thing families love to share is food. Connect online and cook up a special family recipe together from the safety of your own individual kitchens, or create a family cookbook to share with loved ones.

Relax: A package with bath salts, a candle, a meditation how-to book and chocolates can help make Mom’s time at home more relaxing and enjoyable.

Have your own ideas to make this a memorable Mother’s Day? Share below!


It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L) Technology

Memory Care at The Arbor at Dirigo Pines offers an innovative approach for those with memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. The challenges presented by memory loss can be difficult to navigate, but we’re here to help every step of the way. Our Village Program offers personalized programming that engages residents in activities that may reflect their former schedules, lifestyles and interests while helping them feel safe and appreciated.

One unique feature of our Memory Care program is It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), an easy-to-use technology designed specifically for seniors to encourage resident activity without the frustration. Simple computer touch-screens help residents stay engaged and connected, with more than 4,000 programs to choose from that include cognitive and therapy activities, games, spiritual content and family interactions through Skype and sharing slideshows and photo albums.

Families can build personalized pages for their loved ones, with their favorite games, songs, TV shows, family photos, and more. Video calls with family members make staying in touch easy, regardless of where you live.

Click here to learn more about this unique technology, or call us for more information about our Memory Care neighborhood. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information.

Things to Do While Social Distancing

Social distancing may be the best thing to do right now, but it can also leave you feeling a bit stir-crazy. Here are a few things you can do to curb the boredom and stay safe…

Take a Walk

Thankfully, there’s more sun shining every day and green buds are starting to appear. While spring can be a little slow to arrive in Maine, take advantage of these warmer days to get outside and get some fresh air. Take in the budding trees and occasional wildlife. Going for a walk is great way to add some movement to your day while keeping your distance from others.

Connect Online

A virtual happy hour with friends or story time with the grandkids is a great way to stay connected. There are lots of free online ways to connect, including FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and more. These programs are simple to use and a great way to chat with friends and family while maintaining your distance.

Spring Cleaning

Tis the season for cleaning and right now it’s more important than ever. According to the CDC, practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, like tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Make Some Music – Or Listen Online

If you’re a musician, now’s a great time to play — or if you’ve always wanted to learn, why not now? YouTube is full of free tutorials for every instrument imaginable, and many music teachers are going online to teach. Just love listening? Dig through your record or CD collection or find your favorite musician on iTunes or Pandora, and crank up the stereo! Lots of musicians are taking their talents online with live concerts on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Click here for a list of just a few of these upcoming concerts to stream.

Craft Time

If you’ve been putting off making a quilt or learning how to knit or crochet, now is a good time to get started. Find a tutorial online or order a book or pattern online to help fill the time.


Meditation, yoga and deep breathing are all healthy ways to relieve stress and calm your body. Try this method from an online resource from Johns Hopkins Medicine: Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and breathe out for a count of 8. Practicing this for four breaths, four times each day or more to help relieve anxiety.

Eat Well

Eat healthy meals is important at any time. Baking and cooking can be fun ways to pass the time and try new foods and recipes. Click here for a list of our Dirigo Dishes, with lots of healthy options from the American Heart Association.

Have your own fun idea to share? Comment below!

For Your Health and Safety: A Message from Grace Management

The health and safety of our residents and associates in all of our senior living communities is our number one priority. We have implemented additional protocols and precautionary measures based upon the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as outlined below. Our team continues to closely monitor our communities for any signs of the virus and we are providing ongoing education and resources.

Precautionary Measures and Guidelines:

  • We are following the guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local and state health departments
  • We have partnered with Dr. Kevin W. O’Neil, MD, FACP, CMD as our Medical Advisor as an additional measure of support and guidance
  • We are reinforcing infection control processes and emergency preparedness plans already in effect
  • We have enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols related to COVID-19
  • We are eliminating all non-essential visitor access to all of our communities
  • We are ensuring our residents remain connected virtually with their loved ones
  • We are postponing or adjusting large group functions while preserving connections and engagement
  • We are modifying or adjusting dining service as appropriate
  • We are regularly monitoring the health of our residents and associates
  • We are encouraging and supporting our associates to remain home when sick
  • We are maintaining regular communication with residents, families, and associates

As Good Neighbors in our communities, we welcome the opportunity to connect with you and expound on the benefits of our senior living environment. Each of our Grace Management, Inc. communities remains committed to creating exceptional senior living experiences by bringing care and compassion to every relationship.

For additional information and the latest COVID-19 updates, we encourage you to visit the CDC Website.

6 Lucky Reasons to Live at Dirigo Pines

Surrounded by nature with the conveniences of Bangor and the town of Orono so close by — it’s no wonder the residents of Dirigo Pines consider themselves very lucky. Stop in and you’ll discover just how friendly and beautiful Dirigo Pines really is. It’s not just the professional services and healthcare we offer, but the little things that make it feel like Dirigo Pines might just be located at the end of a rainbow…

1. We’re Pet Friendly

Four-legged friends play a special role for many families, which is why Dirigo Pines is a pet-friendly facility. We are home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages, offering residents the companionship, love and compassion that only a furry friend can give. For those who are not able to have a pet, we are lucky to have regular visits from a variety of therapy animals. Our therapy dogs are always greeted warmly by residents, particularly in our Memory Loss Neighborhood.

2. Our Very Own Putting Green

The weather is warming up, spring is just around the corner — that means golf season isn’t far behind. And while there are lots of ways to have fun at Dirigo, our Piney Knoll Putting Green outside the Dirigo Pines Inn might just be one of our favorites. The 40×15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed in 2015, and it’s been a popular attraction ever since — and a great way to dust off your short game and have fun with friends.

3. UMaine Connection

Our connections and proximity to the University of Maine in Orono might make others green with envy. Maine’s flagship university is just down the road, meaning Dirigo residents have instant access to amazing shows, concerts, theatre, music, sporting events and more.

4. Strike Gold in the Fishing Ponds

Each spring we stock Dirigo’s two fishing ponds with small trout. Fishermen and women of all skill levels enjoy hooking a big ol’ fish, and for the non-anglers, our ponds are surrounded by beautiful walking trails. The trails are not to be missed in the spring — edged with stunning flowers in bloom and convenient benches to spot the occasional deer or heron.

5. Take a Hike

Speaking of trails, Dirigo offers hiking trails connecting to 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! 

6. Green Thumbs

At Dirigo Pines, gardening is a great way to connect with our neighbors and find common interests. Our cottage residents have grown incredible gardens throughout the campus for all to enjoy. And Dirigo offers raised bed plots to all Inn residents in a community space that comes to life in the summer with fantastic color and fruit. It’s a fun spot for residents to gather and share their work, as well as share the delicious fruits of their labors with other residents.