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Food Pantry Volunteers and Local Organizations Provide Food and Other Assistance to Seniors and Families

Can you imagine for a moment that you have children, and don’t have enough money to adequately feed them? That’s “Food Insecurity,” and most of us have a hard time relating to that type of anxiety because we have enough to eat. We are surrounded by food all the time. However, Food Insecurity is a problem throughout our state and country. MaryAnn Look, Co-Director of the Ecumenical Food Pantry, describes the long-standing efforts to assist the food insecure in Lincoln County. In so doing, she shines a light upon the excellent volunteer work of individuals and organizations that occurs locally and through 250 other food pantries in communities all over Maine.

The Ecumenical Food Pantry provides food to residents of Newcastle, Damariscotta and Nobleboro every Tuesday morning, 9:30am to 11:00am, at the 2nd Congregational Church, 51 Main Street, in Newcastle. Click here to see their website for more information.

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Finding Our Way Through the Challenge of Depression: Upcoming Spectrum Generations Seminar on May 5

This “Spotlight on Seniors” interview with Bill Byrnes, Ph.D., is a great conversation discussing another excellent educational offering by Marianne Pinkham and our Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center. It is an evening seminar titled “Don’t Let the Blues Hang Around.”

Kevin Mannix, the popular meteorologist reporting the weather on Channel 6, and the co-author of “Weathering Shame,” will be the keynote speaker. The purpose of this seminar is to open up the discussion about depression and isolation. The simple truth is, isolation worsens depression. The way out is to Start Talking.

A panel discussion will follow Kevin’s presentation, led by Dr. Bill Brynes with local experts and story tellers, and interactive with the audience:

  • Brenda Hamilton, LCSW, Kno-Wal-Lin Home Health and Hospice, of PenBay Healthcare and MaineHealth
  • Francis Magrogan, LCSW, Breakwater Counseling Services
  • Reverend Bob Hargreaves, and
  • Linda Rota, LCSW, Kevin’s wife and co-author of “Weathering Shame.”

I loved talking with Bill Byrnes… He’ll be a great moderator for the panel and audience discussion. Here’s the interview…

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Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education Conference April 30 in Wiscasset

Everybody knows that Lyme Disease is a big issue in Maine, and that the infection rate has been on the rise… especially in Knox and Lincoln County! In this episode of “Spotlight on Seniors,” Paula Jones-Jackson and Angele Rice, the Co-Founders of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education and Support (MLDSE), talk about their work in Lyme Disease education, prevention and support.They are holding their second annual conference at the Wiscasset Community Center on April 30, from 8am to 5pm. The first conference drew more than 300 attendees, and this upcoming New England regional conference promises to be even better, with top-notch nationally known speakers and many exhibit vendors. See their website for more information, http://midcoastlymediseasesupport.blogspot.com/.

Here’s the interview…

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The Eldercare Network of Residential Care Homes in Lincoln County, Maine is a Model of Community Village Care

Andrea Handel is the Executive Director of the Eldercare Network of residential care homes that are located in seven communities in Lincoln County, Maine. Founded in 1998, the residences range in size from 6-beds to 16-beds. They have located the residences close to the center of each of the respective towns, providing a continuity for residents, and serving also as centers of community activity. The Eldercare Network is an excellent model of senior residential care in rural areas that could be replicated in other communities in Maine, and in other states with rural populations. Yes, seniors Aging in Place in their own homes is usually most desirable, but some times that simply is not possible. Community leaders in rural areas would do well to look at this model of senior housing and care for their own communities.

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Dr. Robert Hunold is a Country Doctor in a Modern Healthcare System

Rob Hunold, D.O. is a modern-day country doctor. He is a Primary Care Physician with Lincoln Medical Practice, so he sees patients of all ages, and his day-to-day work takes him through all levels of care within our healthcare system. He is also a Board Certified Palliative Care Physician. In this interview, Rob speaks eloquently about end-of-life care and some of the challenges and benefits of practicing in a rapidly changing healthcare system.

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Meals on Wheels Helps Seniors Age Safely in Their Own Homes

Area Agencies on Aging throughout the country provide meals to seniors through thousands of community senior centers. Lincoln County, Maine is a great example of this vital service that helps seniors age safely in their own homes. Kellie Bigos is the Nutrition and Volunteer Coordinator for the Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center, and by telling us about Meals on Wheels locally, she is shedding light upon the many benefits of this program to communities all over the country.

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Fitness for Seniors at Spectrum Generations with Robin Maginn

Spectrum Generations serves Central Maine seniors with many essential services. Robin Maginn is the Senior Fitness Coordinator for the Coastal Community Center in Damariscotta. She designs excellent programs to help seniors maintain functional strength and balance. Robin’s programs are evidence-based and very effective. The classes are very inexpensive, and can be a real difference-maker in helping people age safely in their own homes.
For more information, call Robin at 563-1363.

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Spotlight on Seniors Interview with Lynne Tobin on Death Cafes in Damariscotta

The Death Cafe in Damariscotta

Have you ever heard of Death Cafes? Lynne Tobin, LCPC, says you may think the name is a little scary or weird, but Death Cafes are enlivening and healthful. It is an international movement that is here in Damariscotta, facilitated by Lynne and hosted by Savory Maine Dining and Provisions on the second Monday of every month, 9:00am to 10:30am. I have attended several meetings and they are excellent. It’s not a bereavement group… it’s something different. Lynne gives a great description here of what Death Cafes are all about, and why you might want to attend.

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Linda Ross, RN, Shares Insights on Dementia Care in Lincoln Home’s Safe and Secure Memory Care Unit

Linda Ross, RN, is the nursing director of Harborview Cottage, the safe and secure memory care unit at The Lincoln Home in Newcastle, Maine. This Spotlight on Seniors interview with host Steve Raymond provides valuable insights into the skillful compassion that creates a feeling of trust and safety in people with dementia. Can you imagine what it would be like to be an an altered state of thinking, and to be afraid and anxious all the time? It would be horrible. Linda and her staff support the abilities of residents with a program of appropriate activities and dementia-supportive communication skills in the beautiful homey environment of Harborview Cottage.

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Vote Yes on Question 2 for Affordable Housing for Maine Seniors

Everyone knows that Maine is the “oldest state in the country.” Our state is severely lacking in affordable housing for low-income seniors. Voting “Yes” on Question 2 on the statewide ballot is a crucial vote because this bond measure is a token investment in the true need within our state.

See the strong support from the Portland Press Herald Editors here—>

Executive Director of the Association of Area Agencies on Aging Jess Maurer makes the case very eloquently in this “Spotlight on Seniors” interview on affordable housing legislation from last Spring that was called “Keep ME Home,” which was a larger bond measure that did not make it through our roughhouse legislature. This is why citizens must now make this decision through the ballot box by voting “Yes” on Question 2, a much smaller bond measure, but at least a token investment for this vital cause.

Every state bond measure has to be weighed by the question, “Is this a good investment for the Maine taxpayer?” The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes,” and now it is up to citizens to vote. If you are undecided, please take a few minutes to hear Jess Maurer make the case.

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