22 River Road, Newcastle, ME 04553

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Spotlight On Seniors

“Spot Light on Seniors” Show Focuses on De-stigmatizing Dementia

Lincoln Home’s Steve Raymond, Director of Admissions and Community Outreach and Lynn Norgang, Executive Director. Photo: Kim Traina

LCTV hosted Lincoln Home colleagues, Steve Raymond and Lynn Norgang, to create a new “Spotlight on Seniors” episode. The focus of this show is to help seniors, families, and community members understand more about memory loss and dementia. The onset of dementia can affect our families and our friends, our colleagues and our neighbors, and may come to affect us individually. Cognitively, it changes how people think, act, their perception of time, and their ability to care for themselves. Lincoln Home is strongly motivated to teach others how to improve the lives of people with dementia who are out and about in our community by helping them to feel safe, secure and treated with dignity.

Several anonymous stories of residents were shared to demystify the stigma associated with dementia. Memory loss is not a mental illness. Understanding the disease process and learning communication strategies can raise the consciousness of our community and help us collectively treat those with cognitive impairment with empathy.

The model of caregiving at Lincoln Home, for all residents, is based on the “Best Friend’s Approach.” As in a best friend relationship, we take the time to learn as much as we can about our residents’ likes, family, career and history. We build relationships and create a feeling of family, and use skillful communication based on an understanding of the dementia disease process.

This approach is invaluable for those suffering from memory loss, creating a sense of security, structure, empathy and positive reinforcement. Assisted living residents with some level of cognitive impairment often improve by being in a community environment with structure, social connection, proper nutrition, medication management, and compassionate care.

Learning helpful communication skills sets up a win/win environment by reducing anxiety and building bridges for a positive outcome. People with dementia are struggling to hang on to their dignity and sense of control. Often, a caregiver hears, “I want to go home.” Home, to someone with dementia, does not necessarily mean a place, but more a state of mind, back to when their world made sense and they were in control. Positive diversion and redirection can help move someone from sadness to feeling joyful in the present moment, which is the very basis of the art of memory loss caregiving.

Executive director Lynn Norgang, shared, “Caregiving is a privilege and an honor. We receive far more than we give each and every day. We are so appreciative of our staff who go above and beyond to ensure each resident is treated with dignity, compassion and kindness.”

Towns and cities across our nation are embracing the concept of “Dementia Friendly Communities.” The Lincoln Home is advocating for all businesses, town officials and community leaders to participate in efforts to create a Dementia Friendly Lincoln County. On May 8 and May 15, from 1:30 – 3:30, Lincoln Home is offering free customer service training to local banks, shops, stores, restaurants and other places of business. Employees will learn skills to help understand and communicate compassionately to customers with dementia.

A separate set of free classes in communication skills is also being offered for family caregivers of people with dementia.

The LCTV Spot Light on Seniors show can be viewed starting Thursday, April 11 at 6:30pm, then continuing to air at revolving time slots, or view on-line: http://lctv.org/spotlight-on-seniors-dementia/

To sign up for one of the workshops, or to learn more about family caregiver classes, contact Steve Raymond, 563-3350 or steve@lincoln-home.org. The Lincoln Home is located at 22 River Road, Newcastle.

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Preventing Lyme Disease – Spotlight on Seniors

Paula Jackson-Jones and Angele Rice are our Midcoast Master Experts on all things related to Lyme Disease. As the co-founders of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education, they are tireless advocates and articulate speakers on Lyme Disease prevention. They speak to the issue of this disease that is endemic to Maine from deep personal experience and knowledge gathered through their many support groups and personal research.

Ixodes Scapularis – aka, Deer Ticks

They also work with the Maine Center for Disease Control Vector-Borne division. Prevention is crucial because the incidence of the tick-borne infections has been rapidly rising in Maine. Knox and Lincoln Counties have the highest rate of infection in the state. It affects all ages, and if not treated early can become a much more difficult chronic disorder.

Attend the 3rd Annual Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education Conference

The conference will be on Saturday, April 29 at the Wiscasset Community Center. Doors open at 7:30am for registration, and the conference starts at 8:00am. Last year they had 475 attendees. There is an excellent roster of speakers and exhibitors, including physicians who specialize in tick borne infections, alternative therapies, authors, and the producer of the documentary film “Under Our Skin.” You can see their website at mldse.org.

The video is Paula and Angeles giving a presentation on Preventing Lyme Disease they did at The Lincoln Home filmed for Spotlight on Seniors. They offer great advice and demonstrate a number of products you should have for your home and camp. I have put together several gift baskets of their recommended products for my family and friends. Tick-borne infections can be prevented even as we enjoy the beautiful Maine outdoors. Paula and Angele tell you exactly how… just click the video below.

Spotlight on Seniors Empowered Aging Series – Lyme Disease from LCTV on Vimeo.

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Vocalist Julie Thompson – Music for Senior Retirement Communities

Star Quality Vocalist Shares her Music for Senior Retirement Communities

Julie Thompson

Julie Anne Lovely Thompson is a wonderful vocalist who performs her music for senior retirement communities. She enjoys a successful career in concerts, night clubs and dance venues with different bands and musicians. However, personal life experiences led Julie to share her voice performing in senior retirement communities. Julie is a Maine native currently living in Milwaukee. She expresses her love for seniors by performing in many retirement communities in both Maine and Wisconsin.

I was impressed that Julie brought a depth of understanding to the therapeutic role of music for people with dementia. She has attended several national and state level Alzheimer’s conferences. She integrates that knowledge into her performances and how she relates to her audience. In the Lincoln Home Independent and Assisted Living community, the residents loved her engagement and mellifluous voice, singing along with their old favorite tunes.

In another performance, Julie was very sensitive and in tune with our cognitively impaired residents at Haborview Cottage. She sparked many smiles and delighted eyes with her voice and her Presence. We take great pride in our very active “Alive Inside” music program for residents, however, you just can’t beat a live performance as given by Julie. I invited her onto Spotlight on Seniors to discuss her music along with the excellent Maine guitarist Neil Lamb. Julie and Neil gave a great interview and performed three lovely songs.

You’ll see Julie and Neil perform three classic songs in this Spotlight on Seniors interview. I encourage my senior care professional colleagues to let your Activity Director know about Julie Thompson, and invite her to perform in your community. Your residents and staff will love her!

See Julie’s website at https://www.julievoice.com/.

Spotlight on Seniors – Julie Thompson from LCTV on Vimeo.

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Healthy Aging Beliefs – Spotlight on Seniors with Dr Marilyn Gugliucci

Dr. Marilyn Gugliucci

Healthy Aging Beliefs

Do you hold Healthy Aging Beliefs? The beliefs you hold will influence the way you age, and influence the way we as a society treat those who are aging. Dr. Marilyn Gugliucci is a Professor and Director of Geriatric Education and Research at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She believes our society holds dysfunctional views on aging, and that consequently our culture is limited by these beliefs. She says she is out to “change the world one person at a time.”

Marilyn is accomplishing this goal through her internationally praised approaches to the education of medical students because each of those students will influence thousands of people in their lives. In this way, Marilyn is changing cultural belief systems about aging to a more expansive and healthful approach.

Do Your Beliefs on Aging Serve You Well?

Many cultural beliefs about aging in our society do not serve us well. There is a kind of tragedy narrative of loss and diminished capacity that does not match reality in terms of aging. Because our society seems trapped in these dysfunctional cultural beliefs, we can be limited in the choices we make about our own health as we age. Another consequence is that limiting societal beliefs misinform our political leaders as they navigate the changing social fabric in Maine of the senior population becoming a greater percentage of the whole.

Marilyn is a loved and respected speaker and teacher on geriatrics throughout our country and internationally. She expresses deep commitment to encouraging societal beliefs more in line with an uplifted view of aging. I loved meeting her in this fun and fast-moving interview.

Dr. Gugliucci’s University of New England bio

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How to Organize a Group to Care for a Friend Who is Seriously Ill

How to Organize a Group to Care for a Friend Who is Seriously Ill
Monday, Feb 20, 3:00 to 4:00PM, at the Lincoln Home
A class by Lincoln Home managers Steve Raymond and Valerie Lovelace

Steve and Val will provide tools, tips and tales on forming a beneficial care giving group. A well organized group benefits the recipients and givers of care in ways simple and profound.

Read more in the story below by Steve Raymond

I am in an advanced stage of cancer,” Betty said, “and I have to start chemotherapy and radiation next week.” She said it very simply and clearly, but her words hit with a heavy thud. We had become professional friends over the past couple of years. Betty is young, and her news came as a real surprise.

We talked about her cancer and her life and “how are you going to handle all this?” We wanted to help her form a plan because that’s what we do, and we don’t want her to travel this journey alone. Two conversations later, she agreed to allow me to organize a group of her personal friends in a “Share the Care” network. These friends will assist in various ways, such as transportation to appointments, picking up groceries, helping in the house … and possibly more challenging forms of assistance depending upon the course of her treatment.

Truthfully, because we have no crystal balls, we really don’t know how difficult it will be for Betty over the next months. That is why it is best to have a small network of people who are each willing to share their time and personal gifts and skills in a way that suits them best. That way, no one person becomes overwhelmed with the responsibility.

Friendship, mutual support and even love can evolve in share‐the‐care groups, with the potential to create something very special and beneficial for the supported friend and for the caregivers.

Today was our first organizational meeting. It was a very practical discussion, and at times it was an emotional discussion. That is the nature of things when you choose to step into a helping role with a person with a serious illness.

Our group has people from many backgrounds … a carpenter, writer, mom, photographer, artist, waitress, scientist… and though they don’t know each other, they are joined by the common interest to help Betty, and that is exactly what we will do. They are “all in.” So am I.

If you want to form a care‐giving group for a friend with an illness, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. “Share the Care” is the trademarked name of an educational nonprofit with the mission of teaching people and providing tools so that friends and family members can self‐organize into a care giving group. It is an excellent small organization with a wide reach.

The book, “Share the Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who is Seriously Ill,” by Cappy Capossela and Sheila Warnock is an excellent resource. You will find “Share the Care” at www.sharethecare.org.

If home care costs or assisted living costs are beyond your budget, a Share the Care group is a very effective way to help a friend. However, care groups are not just about money… creating a caring community benefits everyone. This is where our aging Maine society is headed, not trying to tough it out alone, but joining in creative collaboration with each other, and perhaps at a later time, receiving such help ourselves.

I have personally seen the power and benefit of this type of care giving group. It is beautiful and amazing what you can accomplish. I first met STC founder Sheila Warnock in Monterey several years ago. I have spoken with her recently, and we are seeking to have her speak to a conference of Maine senior care professionals in 2017.

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House Speaker Mark Eves Discusses Maine Senior Challenges and Opportunities

In a matter of a few short years, 25% of Maine will be aged 65 or older. Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves has made senior issues a priority during his tenure in the House of Representatives since 2008, while also serving two terms as the House Speaker, and also on the Health and Human Services Committee. In this interview, Speaker Eves discusses affordable housing and how we move into the future as the state with the highest per capita senior population in the country in the face of a workforce shortage of younger workers.

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Senator Chris Johnson on Affordable Housing, Energy Policy and Improving the Maine Economy

It is well documented that Maine faces many challenges posed by the shifting demographics of our population. It’s going to take smart thinking and collaboration among our political, business and healthcare leaders to meet these challenges, and to capitalize upon the opportunities to modernize our infrastructure and expand the Maine economy, while also maintaining the character of the state we love. Senator Johnson shares his vision on the integration of state government policies to achieve these goals.

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Spotlight on Seniors Interview with Paul Kando: Solar Energy in Maine – How Are We Doing and Where Are We Going?

In this 2-part “Spotlight on Seniors” interview, Paul Kando discusses renewable energy in Maine. How do our policies compare with other northern climate states and countries? Are investments in solar energy good for the Maine economy? Is solar practical for the individual home user? The first part of the interview focuses on the larger picture, while the second part looks at individual homes and small community smart grids. Paul is the co-Founder of the Midcoast Green Collaborative, and the very popular columnist of “Energy Matters” for the Lincoln County News.

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“The Coastal Economist” Marcus Hutchins Discusses the Maine Economy

This episode of Spotlight on Seniors looks at the strengths and challenges of the Maine economy through the lens of our aging population with “The Coastal Economist” columnist, Marcus Hutchins.

Marcus holds Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University in economics, and is a former economist, treasury bond arbitrage trader and hedge fund manager. He was successful enough in his career to retire in his young 40’s to Southport, and he now contributes much of his time to the benefit of our community. Marcus is also a devoted jazz musician and enjoys nature photography.

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Celebrating the Life of Departed Loved Ones – Mike Hall of Hall Funeral Homes

Mike Hall is the President of Hall Funeral Homes and a great pillar in our local community. He has an excellent reputation for compassionate professionalism in helping people through very painful, sensitive and vulnerable times. His personal experience with death in his family informs how he cares for his family clients in creating the type of service that honors their personal values and celebrates the life of the deceased. As Mike says, “The funeral is really just the beginning of the transformation of how to move forward in life.” The “many small chapters” of the funeral help people in a very personal way. I agree with Mike that advance planning always helps because you are able to deal with practical matters when you are not in a time of crisis. I enjoyed this interview with Mike Hall greatly. Hall Funeral Homes is doing great work, and Mike provides excellent information in this interview.

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