22 River Road, Newcastle, ME 04553

Independent and Assisted Living
Memory Loss Community
In Home Care in Midcoast Maine

Since 1927

December 9 Harbor View Cottage at The Lincoln Home Hosts Open House

Discover what makes Harbor View Cottage a very unique Memory Loss Community in midcoast Maine. Join us at our Open House on Saturday, December 9, from 10am – 2pm, to learn more about our holistic approach to memory loss care.

Our safe and secure community at Harbor View Cottage is a home-like haven of professional and loving care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments. Specially trained staff engage each resident individually and personally promoting feelings of success and accomplishment, contentment and self-esteem, enrichment and engagement, appropriate to the level of each resident.

Lois Burnham, dedicated caregiver, Father Christmas and Betty H. at Harbor View Cottage

A high staffing ratio of licensed staff certified in dementia care, on-staff RN’s, and a holistic approach to medication management, ensures top notch medical support. Working in partnership with the individual, family, and physician, we develop a lifestyle plan that addresses each person’s physical, psychosocial and activity/recreational needs. Ongoing communication with families encourages family involvement and understanding of the program to enhance the life of each resident.

Healthy, well balanced home cooked meals are served around our dining room table. In the warmer months, we enjoy outdoor garden walking paths, and a lovely patio with views of the harbor. Our bus takes residents to fun and engaging outings in and around the beautiful midcoast. Each resident has their own Ipod, with music chosen specifically geared to their interests.

We have an opening for your loved one to become part of our family. Join us to learn more on Saturday, or call Steve Raymond for an individual tour, 563-3350. Please park at The Lincoln Home, 22 River Road, Newcastle, and we will transport you across the street, as parking is limited.

Daily respite programs provide socialization and companionship.

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Double the Fun

It is always fun when Stewart Hanley and his sidekick Pogie visit both his grandmothers, Olive Hart and Ruby Hanley who are living at The Lincoln Home.  Having both grandmothers here together is a rare pleasure for all!

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Culinary Specialties at The Lincoln Home

 

One may not associate the art of fine dining with senior living communities, but the chefs at The Lincoln Home in Newcastle take their food preparation very seriously. Head Chef Julie Adams, along with Chef Shana York and Chef Brittney Meservier have a healthy competitive and creative spirit that drives the of level of culinary excellence in everything they serve at The Lincoln Home. Residents look forward to meals and rave about the repertoire and quality of the food choices. Chef Adams and her staff believe in using locally sourced seafood from Fisherman’s Catch and Mill Cove Seafood, local produce from Spear Farm, Clarks Farm and the Farmer’s Market, to create delicious and healthy meals every day, 365 days a year.

Uniquely situated on the banks of the Damariscotta River, residents can watch the Norumbega Farm oyster operation from the dining room windows. These locally harvested oysters are the very ones served at The Lincoln Home. Chef Adams shares her Holiday Oyster Recipe:

Damariscotta River Oysters 12ea.

Unsalted Butter: 2 Tbsp Divided

Shallots: 1 Tbsp Minced

Champagne or White Wine: ¼ cup

Heavy Cream: ¼ cup

Leeks: 2- white part only sliced thin

Honey: 2 tsp

Fresh Dill: 1 Tbsp Chopped

Shuck oysters, place oysters on oven proof dish. I like to use muffin tins. In a sauce pan melt 1- Tbsp butter, add shallots, sauté until translucent. Add champagne and reduce by half. Add cream and reduce on medium low heat until thick. Melt remaining butter in a sauté pan and add leeks. Sauté until all the moisture is cooked off. Add honey and reduce until thick. Divide leeks among the oysters, sprinkle with fresh dill. Spoon a tablespoon of champagne cream over each oyster and bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes until browned and bubbly.

On December 5, a special holiday meal will be served to residents and family members. The menu consists of roasted red pepper and tomato soup, mint crusted rack of lamb, orange balsamic cornish game hen, apple raisin stuffing, creamed spinach and parsnips, mustard glazed carrots and shallots, with potato and celery root gratin. Dessert will be The Lincoln Home signature Triple Layer Cheese Cake, always a holiday favorite, or Pumpkin Pie.

Chef Adams shares, “I can not remember a time when I was not passionate about food and I always know when a meal is prepared with love and respect for the ingredients being used.” Perhaps when The Lincoln Home residents and guests sing praises to the chefs on a daily basis, that is the best reward of all.

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Lincoln Home Resident Celebrates Twenty Years of Service to Skidompha Library

    Family and friends gathered on November 7th at Skidompha Library  to thank and celebrate Billy Flanagan for her  twenty years of volunteer work at the library. Billy has monitored the reading / computer room every Tuesday morning for over 20 years, helping those with questions and making all feel welcomed.  Billy will be missed by many as she suspends  her volunteer duties for the winter.
    Pam Gormley, director of Skidompha, thanked Billy for her loyal volunteer hours. She presented a lovely wooden carved ‘wise owl’  to Billy in gratitude, while sharing some fun stories about their times together at the library. Billy sets the example to all of us about the importance of volunteering, making this community a better place for all of us. 

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Having Three Nurses on Staff Positions The Lincoln Home Above and Beyond

A Registered Nurse is the best insurance and peace of mind a senior living community can offer their residents. With seniors experiencing health issues, taking a number of medications and interfacing with many health providers simultaneously, having a nurse to manage all the aspects of a resident’s health eases the burden on residents and their families. A nurse keeps a bead on an individual’s health and needs, consults with pharmacists, specialists, therapists, and physicians, then communicates between all the disciplines to insure all are working towards the senior’s wellbeing. Most senior living communities have one Registered Nurse on staff or a part-time consultant. The Lincoln Home has three RNs; the Executive Director, Lynn Norgang, the Director of Nursing, Millie Jones-Farnham and the RN Nurse Manager of Harbor View Cottage, Linda Morrison. The three RN’s work together as a team to insure that each resident’s care and wellness needs are met every day of the year. The Lincoln Home RN team offers an integrated approach to providing extraordinary care and peace of mind.

RN’s, Millie Jones-Farnham, Linda Morrison and Lynn Norgang

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Short-Term Winter Stays at the Lincoln Home: A Smart and Comfortable Way to Prevent Falls

Three different senior women I know have suffered accidental falls recently. A broken hip is always a concern with falls, but all three of these women landed on their face and look like raccoons with two black eyes. It is just heartbreaking and scary, and a confidence demolisher if it happens to you.

The Maine CDC says that accidental falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths in Maine for people over 65. It occurs more to women than to men. What is shocking in this statistic is that I have never known anyone to die directly from a fall, but have seen uncountable numbers of people over the years suffer life-changing injuries from falling.

The single most frequent reason that seniors seek either in-home care or assisted living is that there has recently been a fall, and sometimes a few falls. Each year the Lincoln Home welcomes residents who come for a short-term winter stay of a few months. It is a nice way to soften the Maine winter, but more importantly, short-term residents know how easy it is to slip and fall on hidden ice even when you’re being careful.

 

Even Minor Falls Can Lead to Serious Injury

Even minor fall can results in a severe injury such as a fracture of the hip, pelvis or femur requiring a hospitalization. Recovery from such an injury can be an obstacle course that can lead to other debilitating health problems. According to the Maine CDC, in accidental falls that resulted in death, it is because the fallen person had no way to call for help, and suffered internal bleeding because of the fracture, or suffered from exposure and hypothermia.

Many factors can increase one’s risk for an accidental fall. These include: Impaired hearing and vision; General loss of muscular strength and tone; Arthritis; Osteoporosis (Many people think osteoporosis is only a problem for women past menopause, but it can also affect older men); Vertigo; Cerebrovascular insufficiency; Neurologic disabilities such as a past stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, or Dementias; Postural hypotension (sudden decrease in blood pressure). Sometimes a newly prescribed medication may cause dizziness.

Keeping Your Muscle Strength and Balance to Prevent Falls

If you are deconditioned, it is useful to consult with a Physical Therapist to receive an exercise prescription that is suitable for your current state of strength and health. The therapist will identify areas of weakness and imbalance that you are able to strengthen through specific exercises. These are not strenuous exercises! However, they are muscle specific, and receiving guidance can help you strengthen muscles you never think about, such as your foot and lower leg muscles, and the small muscles that support your spine.

Doing things like getting together with friends, gardening, walking, or going to the local senior fitness center are important for staying healthy. The good news is that there are simple ways to prevent most falls. By taking care of your overall health, you may be able to lower your chances of falling.

In general, you should stay physically active within your abilities, but also seek to gently challenge your abilities so that you maintain them. Regular walking improves your muscle strength, and keeps your joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible. Yoga is wonderful anti-aging medicine. Physical strengthening of the muscles used for balance is possible even for those in their 80’s and 90’s if a neuromuscular disorder is not present. We can definitely maintain and improve our strength, balance and flexibility through a variety of functional movement exercises.

Falls can never be completely eliminated. You’d have to wrap everyone in bubble wrap to totally prevent fall injuries. People need to lead their lives, and trying to eliminate all risk is simply not the way we do things in Maine.

However, being a strong and independent Mainer doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce the potential for harm with some common sense measures. Call Valerie Lovelace, One2One Home Care Manager to arrange an in-home Fall Prevention Assessment. To learn more about Short-term Winter Stays at Lincoln Home, call Steve Raymond at 207-563-3350.

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Grey is the New Green

Grey is the New Green – Social Security and Women

Grey is the New Green

“Grey is the New Green” is the newest saying catching hold in Maine and New England. It refers to the growing trend for older workers to continue working and earning income to age 70. This is in part due to a shortage of younger workers.

Social Security is Especially Important to Women

There is a much more personal reason for women especially to consider working to age 70. More women rely on social security income than men, and they tend to live longer. By delaying taking social security benefits until age 70, you can greatly increase your monthly benefit, as well as the benefits you receive over your lifetime.

Your social security benefits are calculated by the 35 years where you had the highest earnings. Many women dropped out of the workforce altogether for children and family reasons. A report from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that women are about three times more likely to have a zero-earnings year at some point during those 35 years. That is the case for nearly half of all women. Some chose to raise children, others went off to pursue a Ph.D. or other interests.

These gaps in income years skew benefits downwards. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that “women who delay taking Social Security until 70 increase their monthly payment by 88% over their benefit at age 62.” If a woman had dropped out of work, returning to work (at a decent wage) to fill in the gap years allows her to grow her social security benefit.

For many reasons, it can be very tempting to retire at age 62. NBC news reported that “40.8 percent of the women who were newly awarded Social Security in 2014 were aged 62.” However, you really need to question the wisdom of the decision to collect social security at the young age of 62.

Know Where You Stand

We are believers that there are many positive reasons other than income and social security benefits to stay in or return to the workforce. Nonetheless, social security income is a major factor in basic comforts of living for a very large segment of the population. You will do well to understand what this means to your future by looking at your social security benefit “what if” scenarios. What if you retire at 62 versus 66 versus 70? If you have no pension and not a lot of savings, your social security income will be your lifeline to covering the basic expenses of living. Even though Social Security benefits are modest, the program lifts 14.5 million seniors out of poverty, and provides the majority of income for 61% of all seniors.

The Myth of Social Security Insolvency

There are myths that Social Security is insolvent. These alarmist views undermine faith in the system and cause some people to want to retire early. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that “relatively modest changes will keep social security solvent for the next 75 years,” and that without any changes at all, the system is still solvent until 2034.

You can learn your earnings history and future benefits by going to www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. It is a good exercise for you to know exactly where you stand, especially if you had some low or no earning years.

To read the Wall Street Journal article

To read the Center for Budget and Policy Report

Steve Raymond is the Director of Community Outreach at The Lincoln Home Senior Retirement Community, and the producer and host for the “Spotlight on Seniors” show.

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Older Drivers: Having “The Conversation”

Are Older Drivers More Dangerous?

Older Driver

Older drivers may or may not become dangerous drivers. An unfortunate truism of aging is that some of our most competent, successful, self-actualized and responsible citizens can become very dangerous drivers. They become dangerous to themselves and dangerous to others. That is just a simple fact that is true in every single community in our car-driven country. The shocking stories are many… I won’t sensationalize them here. The Insurance Information Institute in a March 2017 report states that older drivers have higher rates of fatal crashes than all age groups other than the youngest age group.

Of course, it’s one thing to say “Aging drivers can be dangerous” as social commentary. It’s another thing altogether to say it to an aging individual. The transition from complete autonomy to increasing dependence upon others is challenging. It is always a difficult conversation, but it is a crucial conversation to have at the right time. It is a conversation I have had more times than I can count. I went through it for a few years with my own father. He was a 30-plus years Teamster and long-haul truck driver. You think he gave up his keys very easily?

When to Have “The Conversation”

The problem is, there is no absolute, black-and-white “Right time.” You may have a perfectly competent 94-year old driver, and a menace-on-the-road 69-year old driver. Age is not at all a good indicator. There are many ambiguities and varying circumstances. However, truth be known, by the time most drivers give up their keys, everyone around them would agree that they should have given up their keys a long time sooner than they did.

The loss of driving skills and reflexes creeps up on people unless they have had a suddenly severe health event. There can be deep resistance to giving up driving as driving skills become less competent. There can be very deep levels of denial and covering up of minor accidents. These are early warning signs of a dangerous older driver. The car evolves more unexplained dings and dents and sideswipes and all the family members have raised eyebrows, but feel perplexed about what to do. See the AARP’s list of 10 signs that older drivers should stop or limit driving here—>

We want to intervene, but we don’t want to offend or hurt feelings. Maybe we even have our own levels of denial or conversation avoidance. It’s easy to say, “It doesn’t matter about his feelings… he’s dangerous, what if he kills somebody? Take the keys away!”

Older Drivers’ Sense of Identity

Well, it’s just not that simple and easy for family members, and this is why many turn to an outside third party to have the “Dad-you-can-no-longer-drive” conversation. I have had this conversation with so many people during my many years working in Senior Care and Home Care. Our ability to drive and enjoy the “Freedom of the Road” is a huge cultural value in our country that is popularized around the world. Many tourists from other countries come here specifically for the experience of driving the “American Open Roads.”

The “Freedom of the Road” cultural belief is deeply ingrained in the American identity. The loss of the ability to drive is so hugely symbolic that it can seem to mean, “Your Life is Over.” You might as well be an oncologist telling someone they have cancer when you tell someone they can no longer drive. Except with cancer, you might have a fighting chance! The loss of driving privileges feels like a threshold that once crossed, there is no return. And usually this is true, and because it is true, we can realize that the emotional process of denial in the aging driver is really the desire to stave off feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and despair as autonomy feels like it is slipping away.

I have infinite compassion when I have “Stop Driving” conversations with aging drivers. I also have the sure knowledge that to avoid and delay the conversation potentially places the health and lives of others at risk. And so it is with both genuine compassion and civic responsibility and knowledge that I help an aging driver make the emotional transition to letting go of driving, not because he is forced, but because he sees the wisdom and dignity in doing so.

The Conversation has to start somewhere

The conversation must start with consideration of all the feelings related to identity and autonomy. However, once you have identified that there are problems, you need to begin the conversation with respect and compassion. If you meet angry resistance, you need to come back to it enough times to reach agreement on limits or stopping driving altogether. And if you meet a brick wall, it is time for a direct discussion with your parent’s physician. Ask that a report be made to the DMV so that a driving test and assessment is required. It is the wisest, safest and most compassionate thing you can do.

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Shingles Prevention and Treatment

by Steve Raymond and Jill Wallace

A dear friend of ours recently developed a rash that turned out to be Shingles. It’s one of those things we don’t think much about until we get it, or if we know someone dealing with it. It is definitely no fun because it can be extremely painful. It is worth knowing about so you receive quick treatment if it ever occurs to you.

Childhood Chickenpox May Lead to Older Age Shingles

Shingles is caused by the same virus that caused chicken pox during childhood. It is called “varicella-zoster virus.” Chickenpox in your childhood creates the risk of developing shingles in your senior years. This is because the virus enters the nervous system and hides away. It can reactivate in seniors into a very uncomfortable rash. In older seniors it can produce severe medical complications. The disease does not transmit from one person to the other. It only arises from within one’s own nervous system if you had chickenpox in your childhood.

The rash usually affects a small area on one side of the body, usually on the torso, but can also begin on the neck or face. Pain symptoms can be extremely sensitive because the virus follows nerve tracts to the skin. First there is pain, burning, numbness or tingling, then a red rash breaks out. The rash develops into fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over. Other symptoms can include fever, chills, headache or an upset stomach.

Treatment and Risk

Shingles may be successfully treated in two to four weeks. However, it can also progress to severe nerve pain that may last for months. If you develop early symptoms, get treatment immediately. If you have an unusual pain or if you develop an unusual rash, it is definitely wise to check with your physician immediately, especially if you have other symptoms. While shingles cannot be cured, you might limit the outbreak with easy-to-tolerate antiviral medications. Topical creams will reduce discomfort, which can be quite severe if you let the rash get out-of-control.

Age is the biggest risk factor. Starting with age 50, the risk progresses as you get older. There is a 50% risk in people over 85. About 1/3 of all people will develop shingles at some point in their life. If you are 60 years old or older, it is wise to have a discussion with your physician about receiving the vaccine to prevent Shingles in the first place. The vaccine will reduce the chance of developing shingles by about 50%, and will reduce the severity of outbreaks if an outbreak develops.

Vaccine Recommendation for Prevention

The CDC recommends the Zostavax vaccine for adults over 60, with several exceptions. It is a single injection in the upper arm. Consult your physician to see if the shingles vaccine is appropriate for you. Medicare Part D will cover the vaccine as a prescriptive drug, even though it is a preventive vaccine. Paying for Zostavax runs from $215 to $250. Check with your private health insurance carrier to see if the cost is covered. Read more from the Centers for Disease Control on Shingles vaccination.

A Shingles infection is much more dangerous to your health than the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is reported to be extremely low. Have this conversation with your physician.

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First Home Care Provider Class Graduates from Lincoln Home

Six Home Care Providers Complete Twenty Hour Excellence in Care-Giving Class

Training came to a close today after twenty hours of training spread over a five week period.  Class participants learned a range of handy skills for in-home care-giving.  Lincoln Home’s Giving Excellent Care in the Home: From Our Home to Yours curriculum centers on simple but important skills that boost confidence and help home care givers gain insight.

Class topics cover a broad range of skills.  Right from the start students jump in with both feet, taking on subjects like personal values, home safety, and how to help granny with her dentures.  Learning different skills and techniques help students become more confident providers.

 I enjoyed the activities and games that really enhanced learning.

Student feedback helps us know what we’re doing well and what we can do better.  It’s exciting to hear how the class was received, and even more exciting to know we’ve made a difference in our community with this class offering.

I gained so much through this class.  I now have a different perspective and feel more confident caring for my stepfather.

I liked the way we reviewed chapters after reading them.  It felt easier to take in the lessons that way.

I learned about all aspects of daily living.  I gained a lot of new information and recognize that every care-giving situation is going to be different.  This class is fantastic!

I liked the interaction with other students during activities.

We all got off to a good start that provided ease of sharing information and asking questions.

I learned a lot about care-giving.  The biggest lesson I take away from this class is “someone else’s emergency is not my emergency.”  

Please stay tuned.  Lincoln Home will offer this course again in the fall of 2017. 

care giving, death, home care

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