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.


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.

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.