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! 

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.

Can’t Imagine Retiring? You Can Still Enjoy Dirigo Pines Living!

You can’t imagine retiring. You love your career. Your children are grown, so business trips are finally more adventure and less stress… Or they would be if the house didn’t need work.

Dirigo Pines is home to many working professionals. You don’t need to be retired to enjoy maintenance-free living at Dirigo Pines! Our cottages are move-in ready, and maintenance both inside and out is provided. No more shoveling snow, mowing the yard or worrying about hiring someone to fix than leaky faucet. 

Dirigo Pines is perfect for empty-nesters and frequent travelers — whether you’re still working, fully retired, or somewhere in between. And if you choose to purchase a cottage that’s still under construction, you can even have a say in finishes, upgrades and more.

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. When it is time to clean your furnace or replace an appliance, the Dirigo Pines onsite maintenance staff is available to maintain your cottage inside and out.

Check out some of the available floor plans by clicking 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.

More Specialized Care Apartments Coming to Dirigo Pines

Our Specialized Care neighborhood is growing! Meadowbrook Commons offers a higher level of assisted living for people who need more care, but aren’t ready to move to a skilled nursing facility. Specialized care provides a higher level of personal care for those who need more assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting in and out of chairs or bed, cooking dinner, doing laundry, and more. Offering more care than assisted living, specialized care is often less expensive than a skilled nursing facility and provides a more home-like setting. 

As the need for these services continues to grow, Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons is growing too. 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.

People often ask us the difference between our Assisted Living and Specialized Care settings. Our routine Service Plan meetings help to determine when more assistance can make for a more enjoyable lifestyle. The number of activities with which a resident needs assistance, as well as the amount of time required for those activities, determines whether the resident can benefit from either Assisted Living or Specialized Care.

What Specialized Care Can Offer

We provide assistance around the clock, and medical care is close at hand. Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital, each just 15 minutes away, provide state‐of‐the‐art specialty services for our residents needing advanced care.

Meadowbrook Commons is often a great option for couples with different care needs. Here are few of our other amenities:

Services & Amenities

  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, dining, medications and more)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments with attendant
  • Medication administration and monitoring
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ health
  • Healthy, chef-prepared meals
  • Linen and laundry service
  • 24‐hour on‐site care associates
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Utilities, including cable TV, heat, air conditioning, and electricity
  • Medical Director oversight available

Best of all, our residents enjoy our welcoming retirement community setting that truly feels like home. We’d love to welcome you!

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

Comparing Costs — Preparing for Winter

Maine winters are no joke — which is why so many Mainers are snowbirds and fly south for the winter. One of the great parts about living at Dirigo Pines is knowing your home will be well looked after, whether you stay put or head south. From snow removal to furnace prep, there’s lots to consider as the snow starts to fly. 

Here are a few of the ways living at Dirigo Pines is a convenient place to be come winter.

  • Wind, snow and ice often leave their mark by the end of the winter. Paying for home repairs and maintenance adds up quickly. General maintenance and building repairs are included at Dirigo.
  • Ice and changing temperatures can leave paint and trim work chipped and in need of touch-up when spring comes. Painting or pressure washing your siding is included for Dirigo cottage residents.
  • Cleaning your chimney and furnace before the snow flies is standard issue for most Mainers. For Dirigo Pines residents, these costs and services are all included.
  • Any singles come loose during the winter? Major home repairs like a new roof are big ticket items. Keep those in mind as you’re comparing the cost of staying at home versus a retirement community.
  • Cleaning the leaves and fall debris from the gutters is a potentially dangerous job for older residents, but paying someone else to climb the ladder can be expensive. This kind of maintenance is included at Dirigo.
  • Don’t let your trash stack up in the garage during the winter or get buried in the snow. Trash removal is included at Dirigo. Whether you’re paying for a dump permit and hauling trash away yourself or paying to have it picked up, keep these costs in mind.
  • Snow removal is included at Dirigo Pines. Whether you’re saving the cost of plowing or the toll plowing might take on your back, remember to include this in your comparison.

Maintaining a home is time-consuming and often a labor-intensive task. The monthly maintenance fee at Dirigo Pines includes all maintenance inside and outside of the cottage, including:

  • All lawn and garden upkeep
  • Snow removal
  • Internet
  • Cable television
  • General maintenance, even washing the windows inside and out once a year

All cottages have two bedrooms, two baths, living room/dining room, porch, and one-car garage. All appliances are furnished. Many options are available, including a second garage, basement, loft, flooring upgrades, cathedral ceiling, and window box seats. Many custom design options are available as well.

Ready to learn more? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.