Growing Fun with Grandkids

April vacation is coming up April 16-20 for most local students — and if you’ve got grandchildren coming to visit during that time, here’s a great way to keep little hands busy and get your garden started! Our Dirigo Pines residents have created some amazing gardens, and everyone at the Inn has the opportunity each spring to claim a raised bed of their own. Planting seeds, watching them grow and harvesting yummy fruits and vegetables is a great hobby for all ages. Here are a few tips for gardening with kids…

  • Plant the seed. Let kids choose their own seeds to grow. Sure, they might pick some strange vegetables to try, but why not give it a shot? And throw in a few old stand-bys — tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers all appreciate an inside start — or try radishes if kids are eager to see the seeds start quickly.
  • Watch the process. Starting seeds from the very beginning is a fascinating thing to watch. Try sprouting a few seeds in a wet paper towel or cotton ball so kids can watch what happens. Simple spread the seeds out evenly on a damp paper towel, then sandwich with another moist towel and tuck them inside a plastic baggie and set in a warm, sunny window. You can even transfer them to soil after they sprout.
  • Plan your garden. Many Dirigo residents in our cottage community enjoy large flower and vegetable gardens in their yards, but even with limited space, you can enjoy gardening. Lots of vegetables, from tomatoes to cucumbers to beans, come in varieties perfect for small spaces and container gardens. Have children map out the garden on paper with colored pencils or crayons to decide where things will get planted. A gardening journal is another fun way to track your progress.
  • Plant in pots or raised beds. Pots and raised beds not only help keep weeds to a minimum, they also help bring the garden a little closer to you to reduce the bending and kneeling related to gardening directing in the ground. Raised beds can be built tall enough to eliminate any bending at all – saving your back! Pots can be placed on patios and porches and even on rollers, so those with limited mobility can keep their thumbs green.
  • Crafty decor. While you’re waiting for things to sprout, make a project out of garden markers. Painted rocks or sticks make great garden row markers. Wind chimes from recycled materials and simple stepping stones are great garden additions as well.
  • Go big! Consider some fun giants like sunflowers and pumpkins for your garden, and let a zucchini or two just keep growing. Kids will love watching them get bigger and bigger each day.
  • Reap the rewards. Gardening is a great way to get kids eating healthy. Be sure to involve them in the harvest!
  • Bring it in. Bring the outside in for those who can’t make the trip to the yard or have limited outdoor gardening space. Create a garden in indoor pots or create a low-maintenance terrarium.

Your New Home is Ready

Is 2018 the year you’re retiring? Ready to downsize, meet new people, and find time to truly enjoy your retirement? Dirigo Pines Cottage Community has homes available now! Every cottage has a spacious living room, dining area, large kitchen including all appliances, beautiful master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch and attached garage. Some of our cottage include a den and other upgrades. Tired of home maintenance expenses and wasting time clearing snow and cutting grass? 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.

Available Now: 20 Dirigo Drive 

This cottage offers convenient one-floor living, a charming heated porch and private patio among lush perennial beds. Thoughtful extras include cathedral ceilings in master bedroom and additional windows for more natural light. Enjoy central AC in the summer and a heated porch in winter. Enjoy a walk along the nearby nature trails, go fishing in the pond or just take a stroll along the paved sidewalk. This home is ready to move-in — or you can work with our contractor to customize it perfectly to your taste.

Learn more 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.

Why Spring is the Best at Dirigo!

Happy First Day of Spring! While it might mean some mud and unsettled weather, springtime also ushers in some of the best parts about living at Dirigo Pines. Blossoming flowers, walking paths free of snow, sunshine and longer days to enjoy our great state.

Spring showers bring May flowers

More sunshine and warmer weather means things start to bloom all over Dirigo Pines. We’re pleased to have so many residents help in the spring planting around our campus, from the Inn to the cottages. The touches of bright color in our beautiful garden beds make everyone’s day. Along our walking paths, azaleas, beach roses, day lilies and more begin adding touches of color and life each spring.

Time to start the veggie garden

Our Inn residents have some really green thumbs — each spring everyone has the chance to claim a bit of soil in the raised beds outside the Inn and plant some seeds. From gorgeous flowers to towering tomatoes, we’ve had some bumper crops! And the best part — they’re more than willing to share the bounty with others! 

Go for a drive

With less risk of snow storms and nor’easters, it means it’s safe to start planning day trips and drives around the state. Dirigo Pines in Orono is perfectly situated to make a day trip to Aroostook County, the famed Maine coast, the mountains of western Maine, or the shopping and beaches of southern Maine all within easy reach. Click here for a few ideas for Maine day trips.

Dining al fresco

Let’s take this outside — to the stunning patio off the Dirigo Pines Inn. The first meal outside is the official harbinger of the warm weather to come. And Dirigo Pines is renowned for its fine dining. Using locally sourced produce and seafood ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals — perfect for taking outside as the weather grows more mild. Not much of scheduled diner? That’s okay — Dirigo offers 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. Click here to learn more. 

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. 

6 Lucky (and Fun!) Reasons to Live at Dirigo

There are countless reasons Dirigo Pines residents consider themselves lucky to live at such a beautiful retirement community. Surrounded by nature, the stunning facility and cottages speak for themselves. A stop inside and you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and residents, and have we mentioned the food? Amazing. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care for those in need. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services. It’s beautiful, friendly, offers the care you need as you age — but did you we’re pet friendly and we have a putting green? Here’s a look at few of the lesser known (and really fun) reasons it’s lucky to be at Dirigo Pines:

We’re Pet Friendly

Making the move to a new home is stressful enough without having to displace your beloved pets. At Dirigo Pines, we’re pet friendly and home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages. And for those without pets but a soft spot for furry friends, we enjoy regular visits from a variety of therapy animals. Learn more about the important role of pets by clicking here.

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.

Nearby University of Maine

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. All independent residents of the Dirigo Inn receive a Pines Pass, which allows for special discounts at UMaine and $125 applied to the card annually. All other Dirigo residents can apply for the Pines Pass and receive the discounts as well. Activities and services include tickets to the Maine Center for the Arts, UMaine athletic events, library card, parking pass, Fitness Center discount, purchases in the UMaine bookstore, and meals at the Marketplace Cafe. Click here for more information about the Pines Pass.

Gone Fishin’

Each spring we stock Dirigo’s two fishing ponds with small trout, just in time for our annual Fishing Derby. 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.

Take a Hike

Speaking of trails, Dirigo offers hiking trails connecting in with 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! 

Dirigo Dug

We like to have fun — from concerts to lunch outings to movies and more, Dirigo Pines residents stay active and busy with a full activities schedule. We look forward to crazy annual events like a visit on Groundhog Day from Dirigo Dug. Check out the video here. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to stay active and make new friends.

 

 

We’re Famous!

Dirigo Pines’ new Meadowbrook Commons Specialized Care expansion has been getting lots of attention lately — and rightly so. As the need for specialized care in our state continues to grow, Dirigo Pines is ready with the addition of seven efficiency apartments, similar to our assisted living apartments. Each unit has a small kitchenette and separate bedroom. In addition, we’ve added two new studio apartments to Meadowbrook Commons as well.

Local TV stations recently stopped by to check out the new apartments. Dirigo’s Specialized Care offers couples or individuals a unique option of practical help and assistance with daily activities, bathing, dressing and more.

Watch the Fox Bangor story here

Watch the WABI story here

Many people find they’re not quite ready for a skilled nursing facility, but they do need more help with daily activities. That’s where Specialized Care at Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons can help. Offering a higher level of assisted living, our caring 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. 

As Community Outreach Director Susan Habeeb explains, “What I think is very special about us is we often have couples that come together and it does give that respite to the spouse who was the caregiver and yet, they can be together and they will do better if they can be together.”

Services & Amenities

  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (eating, ambulation, transfer, bathing, dressing and toileting)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments with attendant
  • Medication administration and monitoring
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ health
  • Three nutritious and delicious meals daily
  • 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

 

For more information about our Meadowbrook community, click here. 

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

Living Options at Dirigo Pines

Did you know there are many different living options at Dirigo Pines? From purchasing a cottage to independent living to care for those with memory impairment, there is a retirement living option right for everyone.

Click here for our spectrum of senior living options to find the best fit for your lifestyle.

Independent Living Apartments – Penobscot Commons

The Inn at Dirigo Pines encompasses a true warmth and welcome and is the heart of the community. Here you will find a lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, dining venues, 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

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.

Specialized Care – Meadowbrook Commons

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

Individual attention is provided to The Arbor residents in 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.

Your Retirement Dream Cottage

As we start dreaming of spring and the return of warmer weather, many of us of a certain age start thinking of other new beginnings — like retirement. If you’re starting to think about making the leap, a new home and living situation might also be on the table. The cottage community at Dirigo Pines is a great way to make a smooth transition to retirement living, maintaining your independence while taking advantage of the many programs, activities and offerings of a retirement community.

Our Cottage Community offers one monthly fee which 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 beautiful 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.

Every duplex style 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. Click here to learn more about our cottage community. 

For Sale Now: Cottage at 6 Hawthorn Court

We currently have a cottage at 6 Hawthorn Court available. This cottage offers convenient one-floor living, nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac with lush perennial beds. The patio and sunroom offer peaceful views of the wooded yard, gentle breezes, and birdsong. Enjoy living surrounded by natural beauty, with all the conveniences of Dirigo Pines and the Town of Orono, just steps away.

For more information about this cottage, click 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.

Growing To Meet Your Needs

If you find a loved one needing more and more assistance as they age, you’re not alone. Many find they’re not quite ready for a skilled nursing facility, but they do need more help with daily activities. That’s where Specialized Care at Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons can help. 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.

As the need for these services continues to grow, Dirigo Pines is working to add 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. 

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

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

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.