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.

Meditate

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.

Celebrate Spring with these Local Happenings

The groundhog may have been right this year — spring really does seem to be springing up early! Warmer temperatures, melting snow and peaks of green have us excited for all that springtime has to offer. Here are just a few of the fun events happening in our area — mark your calendars!

  • Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show: More than 100 exhibitors fill the UMaine Field House every spring to celebrate all things outdoors. This March 13-15, check out fly-tying demonstrations, meet hunting dogs, test your bow hunting skills and even paddle a kayak in the pool! Lots of fun for all ages with tons of hands-on demonstrations and things to see. Click here for details.
  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race: In nearby Bangor, every April we celebrate the arrival of spring by canoeing the Kenduskeag Stream in bizarre costumes — or simply watching from banks with the rest of the river vultures (even the spectators have their own special lingo at this annual spectacle on water). Six Mile Falls (click here for directions from Dirigo Pines) is a good spot to watch some wicked wipe outs, or head to the finish line in downtown Bangor. Remember to dress warm and bring snacks. This year’s race is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, starting at 9 a.m. Check out kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com for more info.
  • Orono Bog Walk: The first stroll along the Orono Bog Walk always feels like spring is officially here to stay. Click here to stay tuned for the official opening day (typically around May 1). This incredible natural resource is just minutes from Dirigo Pines and a great place to take a springtime walk. The boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly facility, and benches for rest and contemplation are provided at least every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk. Can’t wait? There’s Bog Walk Themed Paint & Sip coming up April 8 with half of the proceeds going to the maintenance of the Bog Walk. Click here for details.
  • National Park Week: Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free. Get into Acadia National Park for free on April 18, the first day of National Park Week. Take advantage and beat the crowds to Acadia, one of the nation’s most popular parks. Can’t make it this April? No problem. Everyone age 62 and over can get a lifetime pass to America’s National Park for $80; annual senior passes are just $20!

What your favorite springtime activities? Share them below!

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group

Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is a challenging task — and sometimes the best support can be found among those who are facing the same situation. Join Dirigo Pines for our monthly meeting for caregivers of anyone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Our meetings are free and open with anyone in the area. Come, share your experience, and discover that you are not in this alone.
Join us for our next meeting on March 11 at p.m. at Dirigo Pines in Orono. And mark your calendar for future meetings on April 8 and May 13. For more information and full list of upcoming events, click here.  
Memory Care at The Arbor
Did you know that Dirigo Pines offers a safe and personalized program for those diagnosed with memory impairments, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Arbor at Dirigo Pines is here to help navigate you through the challenges that comes with memory loss.
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. Through enriching experiences and by establishing caring personal relationships with our residents, we find great sources of enjoyment and comfort—together.

Our memory care is further enhanced by 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.

Specially Designed Neighborhood Features:

  • Physical environment designed to avoid excess stimulation
  • Living and dining spaces represent environments in a residential setting
  • It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L) Technology
  • Personal items reflecting residents’ individual preferences are encouraged
  • Landmarks and sensory cues support choice and independence

Memory Care Features:

  • Choice of multiple studio apartment styles featuring bathrooms with safety features
  • Personal care assistance, cueing, and reminders
  • Medication management
  • Group and one-on-one activities founded upon familiar routines

For questions about our support group or inquiries about our Arbor neighborhood, please call 207-866-3400 or visit www.dirigopines.com/living-options#memory-care.

What’s Wellness Mean to You?

Living well can mean lots of things. It’s seizing opportunities to connect with others, explore interests, grow spiritually and nurture a healthy lifestyle. It’s being part of a community where you feel valued and welcome. At Dirigo Pines, we provide all the ingredients our residents need to live up to their full potential. From fitness lessons to therapeutic programs and everyday activities that define our vibrant community, everything we do is guided by a sense of purpose.

Therapy Partners

Aging is a natural process, and one that presents both joys and challenges along the way. Sometimes we need a little extra help, which is why we partner with therapy providers to ensure mobility stays high and stress low. Our partners tailor programs to meet your individual needs. Guided by professionals who have experience working with a range of issues, we help you get the compassionate and convenient care that helps you live your best life.

Transportation

From around your neighborhood to out in the town, we want you to live your life to the fullest. We welcome residents to explore nearby attractions and events at their leisure and ensure that your travel is safe and convenient. Whether it’s to attend medical appointments or enjoy the local flavors and shops, we connect you with transportation you can count on.

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.

See Yourself Here – Independent Living at Dirigo Pines

On the hunt for the perfect place to retire? We’ve got you covered. Penobscot Commons at Dirigo Pines is the heart of our community, offering beautiful independent living apartments with a variety of one- and two-bedroom floor plans available with full kitchens. One monthly fee covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation.

With day-to-day freedom to come and go, and the convenience of any number of activities to choose from, Penobscot Commons at Dirigo Pines is a perfect fit for an active, healthy lifestyle. Enjoy restaurant-quality dining and weekly social gatherings, and feel empowered to explore personal interests. When residents feel like venturing into the larger community, our team connects them with transportation to everything they’re accustomed to doing. Click here to learn more.

Features include:

  • Choice of one- and two-bedroom floor plans with full kitchens
  • Housekeeping and maintenance, including linen service
  • Many utilities included
  • Outdoor courtyards with putting green, nature trails, and trout ponds
  • Fitness Center
  • Beauty Salon/Barber Shop
  • Media room, library, and arts and crafts studio

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.

 

Making the Move

If your New Year’s resolutions include moving to a retirement community in 2020, you’re probably feeling a little anxious and have lots of questions. We understand that the prospect of moving can be overwhelming, which is why our team is here to provide support and preparation. From finding the ideal living option to moving into it, our goal is to make the process simpler than ever.

To begin planning your move, consider keeping a folder or binder to collect information about the retirement communities that you visit. To schedule a visit at Dirigo Pines in Orono, call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com. Make a list of things that are important to you in your new home — like social activities, a convenience distance to local golf courses, fitness classes, hiking trails, being able to keep your pet and more. Equally important is a list of the things you’d like to do less of in retirement, like home maintenance, cooking, housekeeping and driving.

Once you’ve decided on the perfect retirement community for your needs, create a to-do list and calendar for tasks like finding a realtor to sell your current home, cleaning out rooms and closets to as you prepare to downsize, hiring movers, packing and more can help you stay on track. Being organized can go a long way in relieving anxiety and accomplishing your goals.  

Dirigo Pines is registered with the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). ASHA hosts “Where You Live Matters,” a senior living resource that addresses everything from selecting the right living situation to making the transition to your new home. Find more answers and info at www.whereyoulivematters.org.

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.