Supporting a Great Cause!

Supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

Dirigo Pines is a long-time supporter of the Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s, coming Saturday, October 21. Residents host fundraisers throughout the year and donate to support this important cause – because everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by Alzheimer’s. 

You can participate or donate to Team Dirigo Pines through the link below. The 2.5 mile walk will be held on the waterfront in Bangor. 81 Teams have already signed up and raised thousands on their way to a goal of $170,000! All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s further research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

For more information, click here!


The Best Fit For You

Debating between independent or assisted living? Not sure what is the best fit for you or a loved one? Our Senior Living Spectrum guide can help. Click here to view. 

Find the level of care you need and discover which senior living option is best suited for you. One of the many benefits of living at Dirigo Pines is the availability of a variety of levels of care. As our residents needs and independence levels change over time, Dirigo Pines can continue to offer the right level of care. For more information about our various communities, click here. 


Close to Home: Baxter State Park

One of the best parts of living at Dirigo Pines is the location – we’re centrally located in Vacationland, meaning amazing day trips aplenty. People travel far and wide to get to Maine – so take advantage of having places like Baxter State Park so nearby! Whether you want to take a day trip, hike to the top of Katahdin or camp out for a night or two, Baxter won’t disappoint in breathtaking views and incredible experiences.

Did you know… The Park is self-funded through an endowment left by former Maine governor Percival P. Baxter, user fees, and revenue from the Scientific Forest Management Area. Gov. Baxter left a trust of nearly 7 million dollars to ensure that Park managers would have sufficient funds to maintain the Park without ever having to compete for Maine taxpayers’ dollars from the general fund account.

Baxter was governor of Maine from 1921-1924. He enjoyed fishing and vacationing in the Maine woods throughout his childhood and his affection for the land and Maine’s wildlife were instrumental in his creation of a park for people of the State of Maine.

There are two park entrances, from the north and south. The entrance through Millinocket is about an hour and half from Dirigo Pines. Click here for driving directions. 

Here are some other fun facts about Baxter State Park and what not to miss:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/933824677124505603


Dirigo Dish: Balsamic Steak Skewers

The start of summer means grilling! (Not in the mood to grill? Just cook the skewers under the broiler!) Try these tasty and fresh steak skewers from the American Heart Association with mixed veggies and roasted sweet potatoes. Yum! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

For the skewers:

  • 12 (12-inch) skewers
  • 3/4 lb beef sirloin (visible fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) container white mushrooms (whole, ends trimmed, halved)
  • 1 bell pepper (seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1-inch rounds

For the sweet potatoes:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sodium-free chile powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

For the skewers:

  • If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Trim and discard the fat from the sirloin. Cut the lean sirloin into 1-inch pieces and add into a large Ziploc bag, along with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, rosemary, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients.
  • Prepare the grill for medium-high heat. Coat the grates with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Make a vinaigrette: In the bowl of a food processor, add remaining 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, basil, oil, water, and mustard. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and reserve.
  • To make the vegetable skewers, thread the vegetables in an order like, for example, tomato, mushroom half, bell pepper piece, and zucchini (threaded horizontally through the zucchini round). Repeat, dividing the ingredients evenly between 8 skewers.
  • Thread the steak pieces onto the remaining 4 skewers, dividing evenly between the skewers.
  • To cook, prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Coat the grates with nonstick cooking spray. Add all the skewers to the grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until meat is desired temperature and vegetables are softened, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cover with foil, and reserve.
  • To serve, drizzle the reserved vinaigrette over the vegetable skewers.

For the sweet potatoes:

  • Prepare the grill for medium-high heat. Coat the grates with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch rounds. Add to a bowl along with oil, paprika, chile powder, and pepper. Mix to combine.
  • Spread out the sweet potato rounds onto the grill. Cover the grill and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, turning once, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness. Serve sweet potatoes with skewers. 

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!


Specialized Care

Summer is in bloom at Dirigo Pines!

Looking for extra help with personal care? Our Specialized Care services might be just the thing. Offering a higher level of personal care for those who need more assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting in/out of chairs or bed, walking, and eating, our specialized care neighborhood can make for a more enjoyable lifestyle.
People often ask us the difference between our Assisted Living and Specialized Care settings. Our routine Service Plan meetings help to determine when more assistance is the right choice. The number of activities with which a resident needs assistance, as well as the amount of time required for those activities, determines whether the resident can benefit from either Assisted Living or Specialized Care.

We provide assistance around the clock, and medical care is close at hand. Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital, each just 15 minutes away, provide state‐of‐the‐art specialty services for our residents needing advanced care.

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

Come see for yourself! Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Close to Home: Bangor City Forest

Summer is here – time to get outside and enjoy! Dirigo Pines is home to many of its own trails, which connect 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. (Click here for a map of the Sklar Park trail system.) And just up the road from Dirigo is the Bangor City Forest and Orono Bog Walk.

The Rolland F. Perry City Forest includes 680 acres of wildlife habitat and forest, offering  more than 9 miles of trails for walking, hiking, biking, and during the winter – snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. It is owned by the city of Bangor and open throughout the year.

Here are some other fun facts and what to know before you go:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/925792853089583107

  • Dogs are welcome in many areas, but must be on a leash at all times, per city ordinance, on Main Road, Shannon Road, Tripp Drive, and East Trail.
  • The Orono Bog Walk is a 1-mile boardwalk loop that begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet, crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog. Click here for more about the Bog Walk.
  • The Orono Bog Walk boardwalk is wheelchair-friendly, with benches for rest and contemplation every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk.
  • Nature walks are scheduled throughout the summer, guided by experts in their respective fields who provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar here: umaine.edu/oronobogwalk.
  • Walden-Parke Preserve, owned by the Bangor Land Trust, encompasses more than 300 acres adjacent to City Forest, on the west side of the former Veazie Railroad bed. It features more than three miles of hiking, biking, skiing, and snoeshoeing trails. The land trust also owns the 84-acre Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, near the end of Kittredge Road in Bangor. For more about the Bangor Land Trust, click here: www.bangorlandtrust.org.
  • The forest is accessible via Kittredge Road and Tripp Drive. The Tripp Drive entrance is just 4 minutes from Dirigo Pines. Click here for directions. 
  • The Bangor City Forest is a great place to spot wildlife. Be on the lookout for great blue herons, raccoons, downy woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, wild turkeys, white tailed deer, porcupines and more.
  • Look for pitcher plants along the Bog Walk, in bloom throughout the summer. Pitcher plants are carnivorous, luring insects into a cavity in the middle of the plant.
  • What to bring: bug spray to keep the black flies at bay, sunscreen and water. And a camera to remember your visit!

Have your own tips? Share below!


Dirigo Dish: Chocolate Avocado-Chia Pudding 

Give dessert a healthy boost with chia seeds! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

6 Servings

  • 2 medium ripe avocados (peeled, pitted)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)

Directions

  • In a food processor or blender, process all the ingredients except the almonds until smooth.
  • Transfer the pudding to serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the chia seeds to thicken.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle with the almonds if desired.

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!



Discover Bangor’s History

June is great time to explore the history of the Bangor area, with tours of Mount Hope Cemetery, the nation’s second oldest garden cemetery, and historic downtown Bangor on the calendar. The Bangor Historical Society offers a variety of programming, walking tours and special events, including tours of the Thomas A. Hill House Museum Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June through September. Interested in becoming a member? Senior memberships are just $25 and include admission to summer Wine Night at Hill House on June 22. Find more at bangorhistoricalsociety.com.

Mount Hope Cemetery Walking Tour

The Bangor Historical Society and Bangor Arts also host walking tours of Mount Hope Cemetery throughout the summer, with the first scheduled for June 3 from 10-11:30 a.m. Mount Hope, built in 1883, is located just down the street from Dirigo Pines and offers 300 acres of beautiful walking paths and historic gravestones. It was designed by renowned architect Charles G. Bryant as part of a national movement to provide respite form grassless urban landscapes. Garden cemeteries were created as much for the living as for those who had passed on. Tickets for the tour, which includes little known facts about some of Bangor’s famous and most infamous residents, are just $10 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under; available at bangorhistoricalsociety.com.

Historic Bangor 101

On June 10, the Historical Society hosts a tour and tales of Bangor’s first settlers, the Great Fire of 1911 and more. The tour costs $10 for adults, $5 for ages 10 and under, and meets at the Thomas A. Hill House at 159 Union St. at 10 a.m.


Make it a Hoppy Father’s Day

Give Dad what he really wants this Father’s Day: wings and beer. Just a short drive from Dirigo Pines, Bangor is ready with fun events focused on both this June – the perfect ticket to celebrate Dad (and enjoy some suds). Check out these fun-filled events just in time for Dad’s special day…

Wing Fest

The month kicks off with the food that kicks back. Sample wings from restaurants all over the Dirigo Pines region. Taste test, vote for your favs, and enjoy a beer sample. As if that’s not enough, attendees also get mini whoopee pies and live music from Chris Ross and the North (check them out here: www.chrisrossandthenorth.com). Mark Dad’s calendar for June 1 from 5-8 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. And find more info and tickets at www.wingfestmaine.com. All proceeds to benefit the United Way of Eastern Maine.

Wine Fest

Perhaps Dad prefers a nice merlot to an ale? Check out Wine on the Waterfront 2017 on June 16 from 4:30-8 p.m. in Bangor. Maine wineries and distilleries are offering up sample of their wines and spirits. Local favorites like Cellardoor Winery, Winterport Winery, Dragonfly Farm & Winery and Twenty2 Vodka and lots more will be there! Find more information at www.facebook.com/GreaterBangorCVB.

Beer Fest

Bangor’s Beer Festival: Tap Into Summer 2017 is set for June 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. This is the 5th year for this fun-filled event, which offers samplings from 25 Maine breweries. And just when it couldn’t get any better for Dad – they’ve added a bacon bar courtesy of Hops House 99. Go crazy and get Dad the VIP ticket, which includes lunch with the brewers, early admission, and T-shirt. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com for more info and tickets.


May is Bringing Flowers (and More)

At any age, gardening is a great way to get outdoors and stay active. Our residents are real testaments to that! Connecting with nature, stimulating your senses, watching plants blossom and grow – it’s a restorative and stress-reducing process, with the added benefits of getting a good workout and fresh veggies to boot! According to the National Gardening Association, three-quarters of households age 55 and older participate in some form of lawn or garden activity. 

While fun and relaxing, it can also be taxing on your joints, knees and back. Here are a few ways to make gardening a little less painful so you can continue planting for years to come:

  • 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.
  • Work early. Start your weeding and pruning earlier in the morning, when it’s cooler and less humid. Good shoes, a broad-rimmed hat and gloves are all good ideas.
  • Enlist help. Let your children and grandchildren help with the heavy lifting and digging, or hire someone to give you a hand. 
  • 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. 

Our Dirigo Pines cottage residents have created some amazing gardens, and everyone at Inn has the opportunity each spring to claim a raised bed of their own. Last summer our residents’ green thumbs yielded gorgeous flowers, towering tomatoes, and all the salad fixings you could possibly ask for. We can’t wait to see what sprouts up this year!


Dirigo Dish: Apple Nachos

Whether you’re feeling snacky for a healthy treat or have grandkids coming to visit this weekend – these sweet and simple apple nachos from the American Heart Association are fun, silly and delish! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

  • 1/3 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (unsalted)
  • 2 Tbsp hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 3 red or green apples (or mix and match!), cored and thinly sliced into about 12 pieces each
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat, smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine dried cranberries/ raisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
  • Core each apple and thinly slice into about 12 pieces each. Layer half the apples onto a large plate or platter. If the apple slices will be sitting out for a while, sprinkle a little lemon juice over them to prevent browning.
  • Using the microwave or a teapot, bring 2 tablespoons water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine hot water, peanut butter, and honey. Use a spoon and stir until mixture is smooth.
  • Use the spoon to drizzle half the peanut butter mixture over the plated apple slices; sprinkle with half the cranberry mixture. Layer the remaining apples on top and repeat with remaining peanut butter and cranberry mixture. Serve.

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!


Memory Loss Neighborhood

A therapy dog visits the Memory Loss Neighborhood.

Anyone who has ever had a loved one be diagnosed with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s can tell you just how overwhelming and difficult it is to know what to do next or where to turn for help. Finding care you trust is likely at the top of your list. We want many things from a care facility: individualized medical attention, opportunities for your loved one to continue doing the things they enjoy, delicious and healthy food, assistance with daily activities and more. And most importantly, you need to trust the facility and staff.

The staff of the Dirigo Pines Memory Loss Neighborhood understands the challenges that families face and is here to help. With individualized attention for residents, you can be sure your loved one is receiving professional care designed to enhance their health, safety and wellness.

Here’s a quick look at what our Memory Loss Neighborhood offers:

  • Individual specialized attention
  • Secure outdoor garden park
  • Medication administration
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ health and safety
  • Specially trained 24-hour staff
  • Personal care
  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living
  • Three meals daily
  • Linen and laundry service
  • Wellness programs
  • Medical Director oversight
  • On-site emergency response system
  • Scheduled group transportation
  • Housekeeping
  • Guided social, recreational, and cultural programs

For more information, visit dirigopines.com, call toll-free: 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


National Photo Month – Let’s Share!

Did you know May is National Photo Month? As spring blooms and the grass greens, there are plenty of photo-worthy subjects all around! Dirigo Pines is the perfect spot to snap a beautiful photo – from the abundant wildlife to the picturesque grounds, there’s no shortage of ideas for photographers! Whether you’re a pro or just like to snap a pic with your phone – share your favorite shots from all around Dirigo Pines on our Facebook page! We’ll even share them in a future blog post for all to see! 


Mother’s Day Planning

Whether you’re at a lose for what to do for the special women in your life this Mother’s Day or just looking for something different to do with the ladies – there’s no shortage of Mother’s Day fun in the Dirigo Pines area. Here are a few ideas we recommend:

  • Mother’s Day Beer Brewing: For the mom who has everything and enjoys a good brew, Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor is offering a Mother’s Day Beer Brewing course (for moms and non-moms alike!). Get a lesson in beer brewing, samples, snacks and your own six-pack of homebrew for $50. Scheduled for May 13 at 1 p.m. Find more details at centralstreetfarmhouse.com.
  • Enjoy a Show: “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti,” the story of Giulia, who shares stories of good food and bad boyfriends, is being performed at the Penobscot Theatre Company in downtown Bangor through May 14. Visit penobscottheatre.org for details and tickets.
  • Pasta for Beginners: Speaking of spaghetti, The Mill Inn + Cafe in nearby Dover-Foxcroft is offering a Mother’s Day workshop on making homemade rustic pasta on May 14 at 3 p.m. Use simple tools, learn about different flours, and wrap it up with a tasting of fresh pasta. Find more at dfmill.com.
  • Color Bangor 5K: Get Mom moving by joining the walkers and runners participating in the American Folk Festival’s 2017 Color Bangor 5K. A fun and colorful event, with multiple stations where volunteers cover participants in colored corn-starch powder. Visit americanfolkfestival.com to register.
  • Celtic Music: Enjoy dinner and a pint at Geaghan’s Restaurant & Pub in Bangor on May 14 and listen to local musicians playing celtic music from 5-7 p.m. Visit geaghans.com for more info.

Have your own great idea for Mother’s Day fun? Share it with us!


Close to Home: Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows

Warmer weather is slowly coming to Vacationland! That means it’s time to plan some day trips! One of the best parts of living at Dirigo Pines is the location – we’re centrally located, meaning Maine’s amazing attractions are within a short drive. People travel far and wide to get to Maine – so take advantage of having places like Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory so close by!

Fort Knox is located in Prospect, which is just 40 minutes from Dirigo Pines. Click here for driving directions. 

Located on the west bank of the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine, in an area known as the Penobscot Narrows, Fort Knox is one of the best preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast. Fort Knox is open May 1 to Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to sunset. The grounds are open year round. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge boasts an observation tower, rising 420 feet above sea level, which may only be accessed through the Fort. 

Friends of Fort Knox created a “Drone’s eye view” of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory – click here to check it out.

Seniors can tour the fort at no charge and enjoy the observation tower for just $2.50. The fee for adults (ages 12 to 64) is $6 for the combination pass. Kids ages 5-11 are only $4.

Here are some other fun facts about Fort Knox and what not to miss:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/912330428315074562

  • The observation tower of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge that opened to the public in May 2007.
  • A one minute ride on the fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will take you to the top of the tallest public bridge-observatory in the world.
  • Maine was repeatedly involved in northeast border disputes with British Canada. The area between Castine and the rich lumber city of Bangor was invaded and occupied by the British during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Fort Knox was established in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River valley against a possible future British naval incursion.
  • There are picnic facilities on the Fort grounds, including BBQ grills, picnic tables and a covered pavilion. Guests with wheelchairs will find the Fort’s Gift Shop, Visitor’s Center, Picnic Area and Restrooms accessible, and you can access the inner fort (parade ground) with a wheelchair. The original granite steps and stairways in other parts of the Fort (a National Historic Site) will limit the access of anyone who is mobility impaired.
  • The Penobscot River is the largest river in Maine and the second largest in New England (after the Connecticut River). Its name is believed to be derived from the Native American word penobskeag, meaning “rocky place,” or “river of rocks.
  • In searching for a “historical” design for the bridge, the Maine DOT decided on modeling the main support towers of the new bridge after the obelisk shape of the Washington Monument, and like the Washington Monument, include a visitor’s observatory at the top. The choice of modeling the new towers after the Washington Monument was relevant for a number of reasons, including that some of the granite used in the construction of the Washington Monument came from nearby Mount Waldo – which also where the granite for Fort Knox’s construction came from.
  • The construction of Fort Knox began in 1844 and continued (with numerous work stoppages due to funding problems) until 1869. Funding from Congress was intermittent, and the fort’s design was never fully completed despite an expenditure of $1,000,000.
  • The only times there were soldiers in any number residing at the fort were during the periods of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. Troops were sent to Fort Knox in 1863 to help protect the area from Confederate raiders who were terrorizing the Maine coast. During that year these raiders had burned or captured 20 vessels including the Tacony, which was seized near Mount Desert Island.
  • Fort Knox was named after Henry Knox, George Washington’s Secretary of War. General Knox was also the Commander of Artillery during the American Revolutionary War, and at the end of his life lived not far away in Thomaston. America’s other Fort Knox, which is located in Kentucky, was also named after him.
  • The Fort is reportedly haunted. Ghost Hunters TV program and many others have researched the paranormal activity in and around Fort Knox. The Friends of Fort Knox website offers a whole page of “haunted news” about reported ghosts and strange happenings – click here to check it out.

The Orono Bog Walk

The best way to enjoy springtime in Maine is to get outside! Just down the road from Dirigo Pines is the Orono Bog Walk, a 1-mile boardwalk loop that begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine.  Along the way the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog.

It’s a fascinating and educational walk, allowing visitors to observe the colorful bog, its tranquil beauty and the amazing plants and animals that call the bog home. Signs with illustrations help visitors spot interesting plant and animal life along the way. 

Check out a map here: http://umaine.edu/oronobogwalk/files/2013/03/Board10003rev.gif

The Bog Walk is set to open May 1. Hours through Labor Day are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 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.

Nature walks are scheduled throughout the summer, guided by experts in their respective fields that provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar by clicking here.


Dirigo’s Green Thumbs

A quick tour around Dirigo Pines and you’ll quickly see just how much we like to play in the dirt. Our cottage residents grow beautiful gardens that add real curb appeal, and our folks at the Inn are always more than willing to add some color and life to the garden beds come spring. 

Did you know our Inn residents also have the opportunity to claim a raised bed just outside the breakfast room? That means those in our apartments can still have a chance to grow beautiful flowers and tasty veggies and play in the dirt all spring and summer. 

The benefits of gardening are many – from stress relief to exercise to adding all those delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. And when the veggies start growing at Dirigo there’s usually more than enough to go around – many days residents can find vegetables available at the front desk in exchange for a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – a favorite charity among Dirigo residents.


Dignity Through Technology

Dirigo Pines proudly presents It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L) – Dignity through Technology. It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L) is a leading national provider of subscription-based resident engagement technology solutions for seniors. 

This technology has been installed in 2,100 senior living facilities enhancing dementia/memory-care resident programming, resident activity levels, quality of life and rehabilitation therapy programs. Dirigo Pines is proud to bring this technology to Orono.

Overview of the iN2L system

The user can simply use the touch screen launching hundreds of applications all the while providing a pleasurable, engaging experience with minimal frustration.

  • Interactive systems designed to enable seniors with memory care needs to stay engaged and connected in their social, personal and clinical activities
  • Curated content library of more than 4,000 programs that can be selected and customized by residents, care staff and/or family members
  • Content provides programming for cognitive and therapy activities (rehab therapy, brain fitness, music therapy), personal activity (e.g., games, spiritual content, Internet), family interaction (e.g., Skype, picture repository/slideshow), and community social activities
  • Approximately 1.5 systems per facility deployed primarily across a mobile cart-based, fixed desktop, or wall-mounted configurations frequently located in Long Term Care common areas

iN2L was founded in 1999 by Jack York who remains the President today. Jack is a prominent figure in the senior living technology industry, speaking often on adaptive technologies designed for seniors. Tom Bang, CEO and Tom Basilico, CFO, who together have 50+ years experience in the senior/healthcare industries, work with Jack on providing leadership and guidance to the iN2L organization.

Fox News recently visited Dirigo Pines to learn more about this technology.

Click here for Part 1 of the news series from Fox.

Click here for Part 2 of the news series from Fox.

To learn more about It’s Never 2 Late, click here. 


Coming Up at Dirigo Pines

Putting contests are our specialty!

There’s never a shortage of activities at Dirigo Pines. From lectures and speakers to art programs, music, brown bag lunches and more, there’s always something happening and many of our events are open to the public. 

Click here for a list of upcoming events at Dirigo Pines. 

Or visit our Facebook page (just click here) for more public events and happenings! 

Not only are our activities fun and educational, they are also a great way for seniors to stay social and engaged. Whether you’re a cribbage buff, Scrabble player, or just like singing or going out to lunch (who doesn’t?!), there are club or activity for everyone at Dirigo Pines. From mah jong to knitting to reading groups, you’ll have no problem finding something right up your alley. Our long list of clubs aren’t just great ways to stay active and keep your mind engaged, they are a terrific way to meet new people and make friends with similar interests.


Cottage Community

Looking for the convenience of retirement living but in your own home? Dirigo Pines cottage community is the answer. The cottage community at Dirigo Pines is a beautiful and convenient way to enjoy your retirement. One monthly fee 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 lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, dining rooms, library, hair salon, activity rooms and more. There is even a private dining room, which you can reserve for your own gatherings with friends and family.

Every duplex style, one-story 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.

Curious what the inside of our cottages look like? Check out our Facebook events page for a list of upcoming cottage tours.

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 your own tour.


Avoiding Falls this Fall

We’re all a little accident-prone now and then, but there are many ways we can reduce our risk of falling — which is particularly important as we age. Falls are the number one cause of injury for seniors. Did you know that about half of all falls requiring hospitalization take place at home? Here are some tips for reducing your risk and kicking off the autumn season standing tall. 

Simple Steps

The easiest thing to do: wear shoes and pick up clutter around your home. Socks are slippery. Give yourself extra traction with a good pair of shoes and remove any objects that might trip you up — especially at night or when the lights are dim. Keep an eye out for long cords that could trip you up and area rugs that slip and slide. Another common cause of tripping — pets. Fido doesn’t mean to get in the way, so keep an eye out for cats and dogs and tread carefully. Taking more deliberate steps and slowing down will increase your chances of avoiding a fall.

Light It Up

Between fading vision and shorter autumn days, night lights can be a real lifesaver. Line your halls — particularly paths from the bedroom to the bathroom and other well-traveled night time spots — with well-lit night lights to guide the way.

Grab Hold

Grab bars in the bathroom and along stairs and awkward steps can help keep you upright. Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower or up from the toilet can be tricky, so strategically place grab bars and handrails to help you along. The Maintenance crew at Dirigo Pines would be happy to help install these safety devices properly.


Fall Foliage Tour at the Standpipe

If Stephen King hasn’t scared you away from water towers for life, then mark your calendar for the Fall Foliage Tour at the Thomas Hill Standpipe coming Wednesday, October 11 from 3-6 p.m. 

The Bangor Water District hosts the tours and offers the following details:

The standpipe was built in 1897 and is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.  It is not handicap accessible; the promenade deck is reached via a 100-step enclosed staircase.

Travel on Thomas Hill Road to the standpipe will be one-way from Highland Avenue; parking is limited in the immediate area of the standpipe. 

A permanent plaque details the construction and history of the 119-year-old standpipe. The stone on which the plaque is mounted was moved from the Floods Pond watershed by District crews.

For more information, click here. 


Memory Loss Neighborhood

For loved ones struggling with dementia and memory problems, individual attention and special care is needed. At Dirigo Pines, memory care is provided in The Arbor Neighborhood, where residents will find 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 check out our October calendar of events.

In addition, The Village Program is available through Grace Management in The Arbor neighborhood. Our approach to memory care focuses on our residents’ life experiences and on establishing strong relationships within our community. Developed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, The Village Program offers personalized programming intended to engage our residents in activities that reflect their preferred schedules, lifestyles and interests.

Services & Amenities

  • Individual specialized attention, working with the resident’s personal physician
  • Medication management
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (eating, ambulation, transfer, bathing, toileting & dressing)
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Linen and laundry service
  • Specially trained care associates available 24 hours a day
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Outdoor garden courtyard
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Utilities, including cable TV, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

To learn more, click here, or call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Dirigo Dish: Chicken with Mushroom Sauce and Sauteed Greens

As the nights get cooler, a more hearty and warm dish is just the ticket. Try this creamy and delicious chicken dish from the American Heart Association. And find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

For the chicken with mushrooms:

  • 1 (10-ounce) container baby bella mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cleaned, halved and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sliced white button musrooms (about 4 cups)
  • 4, (6-ounce) skinless, boneless whole chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

For the sauteed greens:

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1, (5-ounce) container baby kale
  • 2, (5-ounce) container baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped, unsalted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Directions

  • Prepare all the mushrooms: wipe the baby bell mushrooms with a wet paper towel. Trim and discard the ends and thinly sliced each mushroom. Next, clean the portobello mushrooms by removing and discarding each stem. Use a spoon to scrape the black gills from the underside of each mushroom; discard gills. Slice each portobello in half and then thinly slice each half vertically. Halve any white mushroom halves that are much larger than the others.
  • Season chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt plus a dash of pepper. Add 2 teaspoons oil to a large nonstick sauté pan or a large Dutch oven. Warm over medium-high heat and add chicken cutlets. Sauté until both sides of chicken are golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and reserve.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan, continuing to cook over medium-high heat. Add all the mushroom slices, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are softened. Stir in pepper, thyme, and water. Use tongs to place chicken back into the pan. Increase heat to high; when boiling, cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook until chicken is done (cut thickest piece in the center to make sure juices run clear), about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sautéed greens. Add oil into a large nonstick sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat. Add all the baby kale, stirring constantly until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat, adding spinach and garlic, stirring constantly until wilted, another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and pecans. Remove from heat. Drizzle vinegar over the greens and transfer to a platter.
  • When chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to transfer chicken breasts to the platter (on top of the greens). Increase the heat to high; add flour to the mushrooms, stirring constantly as the mushroom liquid thickens slightly, a few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream until dissolved. Pour mushroom sauce over chicken and serve.

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!


Back to School Time

While school-aged children may have mixed feelings about going back to school, as adults we can finally understand the idea of learn for the fun of it. The University of Maine’s Penobscot Valley Senior College offers opportunities for learning, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation with no requirement for college degrees, tests, or grades. Affiliated with the statewide Maine Senior College Network and the UMaine Center on Aging, Penobscot Valley Senior College offers non-credit courses and other learning opportunities for area residents 50 years and over. Volunteer members plan and teach weekly two-hour sessions for six weeks each fall and spring. And membership dues and course fees are minimal.

Dirigo Pines is pleased to be a host for various classes through the Senior College, making attending even more convenient for Dirigo residents.  

Established in the fall 2002, Penobscot Valley Senior College serves the greater Bangor-Orono region. The college’s mission is to offer adults who are at least 50 years old opportunities to learn about a wide array of fascinating topics. The college’s emphasis is on enjoyable learning in a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere. Approximately 200 adults attend PVSC classes during each fall and spring term. PVSC is one of 18 senior colleges in Maine, stretching from York County to Presque Isle and Calais, linked to the Maine Senior College Network, which is located at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine.

Click here to learn more and keep an eye out for the fall schedule being announced soon.


4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Retirement Community

As summer trips and vacations wind down, some of us close to retirement age start doing some real thinking about wrapping up our professional careers. The idea of being able to take a trip at a moment’s notice, without considering work schedules or who will watch the house or care for the yard, can sound very appealing. As you prepare for retirement and consider your options, here are 4 things to think about…

Starting the Process

There are lots of ways to research nowadays – the internet offers a wealth of information about retirement communities (find Dirigo Pines website at dirigopines.com). But one of the best ways to research is asking trusted friends and family for their recommendations. And when you find a community you think you’d enjoy – get the inside scoop. Take a tour, talk to residents and get their opinion on what they love and what they’d change. At Dirigo Pines, we offer tours and lunch and an opportunity to chat with residents and get your questions answered. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.

Where Do You Want to Retire?

If you have family and friends in Maine, you’ll like want to stay close to home. One of the best things about living in Orono is being centrally located and just a short drive from all points north, south, east and west. And while many Mainers thrive on the cold weather and take advantage of the snow for skiing and snowshoeing, many of Dirigo Pines residents are also snowbirds. As they head for warmer weather during the coldest part of the year, Dirigo residents can rest assured their homes are being maintained and looked after without hiring extra help.

Can We Afford It?

Does a retirement community make sense financially for you? It’s a big question. The best way to figure it out is putting pen to paper and comparing your current expenses with your expected retirement expenses. Remember to include regular expenses like electric and cable, but also keep in mind big ticket expenses like that new roof or furnace. Many home expenses, both regular and unexpected, are included for Dirigo Pines residents. Check out our interactive maps comparing costs inside and outside your home.

Does the Facility Offer the Care We Need?

Do you need special care – or will you need care in the future? The last thing you want to do in your retirement is be constantly moving as your healthcare needs change. Choosing a community like Dirigo Pines that offers a continuum of care, from independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, ensures you will have the care you need as you age. 

Ready to learn more? Come take a tour! 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.


Close to Home: Touring Maine Foliage

The state of Maine begins offering tips for foliage seekers beginning today. Dirigo Pines is perfectly situated for residents to enjoy day trips both north and south as the leaves begin to change. According to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s website, northern Maine is at or near peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. Central and western mountains of Maine are at or near peak Columbus day week/weekend. Coastal and southern Maine generally reach peak or near peak conditions mid-to-last October.

Click here to check out this handy site that can guide you through foliage season: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/projects/fall_foliage/index.shtml

Another great tip from the site: When planning a fall foliage trip, allow time to leisurely leaf peep. Many of the roads you’ll travel are two lanes and wind along our countryside through quaint inland and coastal towns. Take photographs from rest stops, stroll through the great Maine woods and enjoy our beautiful fall experience.

Hover over the map for links to great fall trips and peek foliage dates:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/958074523775664129


Care-Free, Independent Living at Dirigo Pines

Looking for independent living without the responsibilities of mowing the yard, plowing in the winter, making dinner every night and weekly housekeeping chores? The Inn at Dirigo Pines offers all this and more. Choose from five different apartment styles designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Maximize your lifestyle and pursue your personal interests with a variety of wellness, cultural, and educational programs offered daily. Join a book club or cribbage game, catch a movie or concert, or attend senior college. Perfect your stroke on the putting green, walk the nature trails or go fishing at the trout ponds. You will also receive your own Pines Pass, with an annual allowance for purchases at The University of Maine. Use it to pay for tickets at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine athletic events, classes at the New Balance Recreation Center, and more.

The Inn is the heart of social activities at Dirigo, offering a gorgeous gathering room with large stone fireplace, spacious dining rooms, cozy library, hair salon, game room, fitness studio and more. Residents can even reserve the private dining room for their own gathering with friends or family. 

One monthly fee covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation.

Services and Amenities

  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Daily dinner and continental breakfast, plus our Sunday Brunch
  • Wellness programs and on‐site nurse
  • Scheduled group transportation
  • LiveSAFE emergency response system
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Utilities, including cable TV, WiFi, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

Click here to compare the cost of all-inclusive living at Dirigo Pines to living at home. 

Come take a tour and 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.


Tour Through the Past

September is great time to explore the history of our area. The Bangor Historical Society offers a variety of walking tours this month, through nearby Mount Hope Cemetery and through an area of Bangor known at the Devil’s Half Acre. The Historical Society also offers tours through its headquarters at the Thomas A. Hill House (did we mention it’s haunted?) — Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm June through September. Hours October through May are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Hours may vary due to special events, programs and activities. Private tours are also available.

Upcoming Walking Tours:

Mount Hope Cemetery

Sept. 9 at 10 am; Sept. 16 at 6 pm; Sept. 23 at 6 pm; Sept. 30 at 10 am

Learn about the famous and infamous individuals who make their final resting place in America’s second oldest garden cemetery. This tour meets at Mount Hope Cemetery on State Street. $10 for adults; $5 for children. Purchase tickets through the Historical Society’s website at bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

Want to explore Mount Hope Cemetery on your own? Click here to check out this self-guided tour providing an overview of some of the highlights. 

Devil’s Half Acre

Sept. 13 at 6 pm

Even though Maine enacted a Prohibitory Law in 1851, Bangor didn’t comply. In the area known as the “Devil’s Half Acre” saloons & brothels reigned and vice & violence thrived. Led by the city’s most notorious Madam, Fan Jones, this tour shines a light on Bangor’s wicked side and tells the tales of the people who are just as much a part of the city’s history as those who lived in the majestic homes on Broadway.Purchase tickets through the Historical Society’s website at bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

Watch for the group’s Ghostly Bangor tours coming in October and featuring tales veiled in unsolved mysteries, murder and the past residents who may still linger in the Queen City.

For more information about the Bangor Historical Society, click here.


Dirigo Dish: Summer Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Transform pizza from special treat to a healthy meal with this tasty dish from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

For the cauliflower crust:

  • 1 large head cauliflower (roughly chopped)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce and toppings:

  • 1/2 cup canned, no-salt-added tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free mozzarella cheese

Directions

For the cauliflower crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat them with cooking spray.
  • Trim and discard the leaves from the cauliflower. Roughly chop the cauliflower florets. Add to the bowl of a food processor in batches, pulsing until the mixture resembles couscous. (The key to getting the correct consistency is to not overload the food processor.) Measure out 4 cups of the cauliflower and transfer to a medium bowl. Into the bowl, add egg whites, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the cauliflower mixture over the 2 prepared baking sheets—aim for each “pizza” to be a 7- to 8-inch oval or circle, using a knife or a spatula to spread the mixture into this size.
  • Bake cauliflower crusts in the oven until edges are totally golden, around 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the sauce and toppings:

  • Reduce the oven to 425°F.
  • Make the tomato sauce: In a small bowl, combine tomato purée and spices. Reserve.
  • Prepare all the vegetables. Warm oil in a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and, stirring constantly, cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • When the cauliflower crusts are finished, divide tomato sauce between each pizza, swirling into the middle of each pizza. Top with basil leaves, the cooked vegetables, and cheese. Bake in oven until cheese melts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove pizzas from the oven. Use a large spatula to carefully remove pizza from parchment and transfer to each plate. Cut each one into quarters and serve.

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!


Better Health Through Art

Trying new activities and projects are what retirement is all about – not only does it keep our brain engaged and working and solving new problems, trying something new is a great way to meet new people. Personal growth is important and creative arts provide a great way to grow and learn and try something new. Dirigo Pines is pleased to offer many creative arts opportunities each month, including regular art classes. 

Did you know art has proven health benefits? In addition to keeping our minds busy, art can induce both psychological and physiological healing, help prevent feelings of depression and improve hand-eye coordination and concentration. Not only is a great way to express yourself, art can also help you relax, find a sense of control, encourage playfulness, and increase self-esteem. And when you participate in classes like those at Dirigo Pines, it’s also a great way to socialize and meet new people. 

Ready to be inspired? Here are just a few local art museums to check out:


Cats on Laps

A therapy dog visits the Memory Loss Neighborhood.

The benefits of a four-legged friend are well known – from providing purpose and companionship to being a calming presence, Dirigo Pines also recognized and appreciates the importance of pets. Cats and dogs play a special role for many families, which is why Dirigo Pines is a pet-friendly facility. We are home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages, offering residents the companionship, love and compassion that only a furry friend can give.

In addition to regular visits from a variety of therapy animals, cats from the Bangor Humane Society have also been making the rounds through the Cats on Laps program. Cats (and some dogs too) up for adoption are traveling to area senior centers, offering a chance to cuddle a kitten and also help socialized the animals before they are adopted. 

Check out a local news story about the program here: www.wcsh6.com/news/local/207/cats-on-laps-2/421178909.

Science shows that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. In addition, pets are great companions, helping to reduce loneliness and depression. Those are some pretty impressive tricks!

For more about the Bangor Humane Society, click here: www.bangorhumane.org.  


Eat Better, Live Better

Chef Lou Stubbs and his incredible team in the Dirigo Pines kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. You can find some of your own locally sourced food at area farmers markets – and Orono has one of the best around!

The Saturday Orono Farmers’ Market opens at 8 a.m. in the Steam Plant Parking Lot at the University of Maine and remains there until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. During Homecoming weekend in mid-October, the market will move to the Asa Adams School (behind Fire Station) just for that day. From December until commencement in May, the Market will be held downtown.

From fresh seasonal fruits and veggies to organic milk, yogurt and cheese, to amazing locally sourced meat, fresh bread and bakery products, to coffee, seafood, and more, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of fresh food and local products. Remember to bring your own bags and an appetite. It’s a great place to find fresh food and meet the farmer who grew it. For more information, visit their website and Facebook pages: 


Need Assistance?

Looking for the freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures unburdened from daily tasks that may have become more difficult to manage? Assisted Living in Kenduskeag Commons at Dirigo Pines is the answer. Tailored to meet your individual needs, 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 see the variety of floor plans available in Kenduskeag Commons.

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. Click here for a list of this month’s activities and events.
  • 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

Click here to check out our list of frequently asked Assisted Living questions. 

Come take a tour and 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.


Close to Home: Portland

Maine’s largest city is just 2 hours from Dirigo Pines – and a great place for a summer road trip! From sea kayaking to brewery tours to museum visits, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to eat! Share your favorite Portland highlights below!

Here are some ideas for your next trip:

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  • Take a tour of Portland breweries. Visit “y’East Bayside” and Rising Tide Brewing, or take a tasting tour of Allagash Brewing Company. Allagash’s location on Industrial Way in Portland is also home to a veritable farmers market of beer – and food trucks. And of course there’s the Old Port with Shipyard and Sweetgrass Tasting Room. Thompson’s Point and Bissell Brothers is another great stop on your beer tour.
  • Explore Casco Bay. Rent a kayak for a workout and on the water view of stunning Casco Bay, or enjoy the trip via a sail boat cruise or hop aboard the Casco Bay Ferry for a trip to the islands of Peaks, Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Chebeague, and Cliff. Check out the schedule here: www.cascobaylines.com/schedules.
  • Visit Peaks Island. Once an important WW II outpost and also known as the Coney Island of Maine, Peaks Island is home to artists, retirees, commuters of all sorts and a substantial summer population. Take the ferry over and explore the island via golf cart, the preferred island transportation and enjoy some delicious food and great views.
  • Portland Museum of Art. Enjoy American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine-highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists.
  • Catch a Show at Thompson’s Point. Thompson’s Point outdoor venue is located on the southern tip of “The Point”, adjacent to the recently restored section of the Union Station platform shed that was moved to the site in the 1960’s. A beautiful piece of land on the banks of the Fore River, Thompson’s Point has a scalable capacity of 2,500 to 5,000 for concerts and festivals – and within close proximity to downtown Portland – the venue will be linked to Portland Trails for easy walking and biking access.
  • Catch a Game at Hadlock Field. The Portland Sea Dogs are the Eastern League Double A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and play their home games at Portland’s Hadlock Field.
  • Fun for Kids. Located in the Arts District of downtown Portland, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children and families!
  • Something Unusual. The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland offers up an inside look at the study of hidden or unknown animals, and the world’s only cryptozoology museum. With a wide range of exhibitions from rare, one-of-a-kind scientific, zoological specimens to popular cultural homages, there’s lots to discover! Ever seen a Yeti hair sample? Plan your visit!

It’s Festival Season!

It’s festival season in Maine! Take advantage of living in the middle of it all at Dirigo Pines in Orono, and visit these August festivals for lots of fun and Maine culture!

American Folk Festival – August 25-27 on the Bangor Waterfront

A massive 3-day music events, the American Folk Festival is a Maine tradition offering music and dance from all cultures and corners of the world. Dance to zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, check out a Quebecois group, enjoy the blues, celtic music, jazz, reggae, and our own Pride of Maine Marching Band from the University of Maine. Insider tips: Don’t miss the Inuit Throat Singing for a unique musical experience – and make the trek down to the Dance Tent – you won’t be disappointed!

www.americanfolkfestival.com

Maine Lobster Festival – August 2-6, Rockland

Celebrating its 70th year, the Maine Lobster Festival serves up the state’s favorite crustacean (we’re talking 17,000 pounds of lobster last year!) in every way possible. Enjoy five days of feasting on the coast of Maine, the coronation of the Maine Sea Goddess, the Great International Lobster Crate Race (open to anyone brave enough to risk falling into the chilly ocean with thousands of people watching your every move), parade, arts & crafts, and more food. 

www.mainelobsterfestival.com

Machias Wild Blueberry Festival – August 18-20, Machias

Blueberries get their time to shine in August too. Celebrate the powerful little fruit in Machias as they roll out the blue carpet with food, entertainment, contests, and all things blueberry. There’s no admission charge. About 2 hours from Dirigo, the area also offers great whale-watching, lighthouses, hiking, kayaking, lobster rolls, and lots more!

www.machiasblueberry.com

Ploye Festival – August 11-13, Fort Kent

If you’re up for a bit of traveling, there’s a unique tradition in the northeast corner of America this time of the year – the making of the world’s largest ploye. And if you’re not familiar with ployes, you’re in for a special treat. The buckwheat pancake is an Acadian icon and it’s celebrated every summer in Fort Kent along side the International Muskie Derby (and if you’re not familiar with that one – it’s a real big fish!). The events include activities such as making the world’s largest ploye (12 feet in diameter last year!), live music entertainment, craft and vendor fair and more. It’s a weekend of fun for the whole family.

visitaroostook.com/event/24th-annual-ploye-festival/


Dirigo Dish: Broccoli and Cheese Scramble on English Muffin

Kick your day off right with a healthy breakfast from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 extra-large egg whites or 1 1/4 cups egg white substitute
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Finely chop broccoli. Coat a large nonstick saute pan with cooking spray; warm over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and water; stirring frequently, cook until broccoli is limp, around 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer broccoli to a dish.
  • In a bowl, add egg whites, milk, and pepper. Whisk together to combine.
  • Split and toast each English muffin; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, use a paper towel to wipe the saute pan clean. Coat again with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and use a spatula to stir eggs constantly until whites are almost firm, just a few minutes. Stir in cooked broccoli and cheese; remove from heat.
  • To serve, place each English muffin half onto a plate. Divide egg mixture between each muffin, piling high with eggs. Serve with a fork and knife.

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!


Dirigo Dish: Apple and Walnut Chicken Salad

Feel light and springy with this tasty springtime salad from the American Heart Association! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

For the Chicken Salad:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt-free, dried Italian spice blend or dried thyme, dried basil or both combined
  • 2 cups skinless, shredded chicken breast of a rotisserie-cooked chicken
  • 3 Tbsp chopped, unsalted, uncoiled walnuts (or whatever nuts are on sale)
  • 1/2 cup halved, seedless grapes OR sugar-free, dried fruit like prunes or cranberries
  • 1 red (sweeter) or green (more tart) apple, finely chopped

For the Green Salad:

  • 1 head lettuce (green leaf, red leaf or romaine), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 chopped cucumber (chopped, peeled if desired)
  • 1 large tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp red vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice

Directions

Chicken Salad

  • Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, and spice blend in a large bowl with a fork.
  • Add chicken, nuts, grapes, and chopped apple. Stir to combine.

Green Salad

  • In a bowl, combine chopped lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
  • Add oil and vinegar, stirring to combine with salad.
  • Serve salad greens with chicken salad on top.

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!


Close to Home: Acadia National Park

One of the best parts of living at Dirigo Pines is the location – we’re centrally located in Vacationland, meaning amazing day trips aplenty. People travel far and wide to get to Maine – so take advantage of having places like Acadia National Park so close by! Acadia is located on Mount Desert Island, which is just over an hour from Dirigo Pines. Click here for driving directions.

Did you know April 15-16 and April 22-23 are the National Park Week Weekends – which means FREE entrance! Can’t make it this month? No problem. Everyone age 62 and over can get a lifetime pass to Acadia for just $10!

Here are some other fun facts about Acadia and what not to miss:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/900079301880184833

 


Dirigo Dish: Slow Cooker Harvest Beef Stew

potatoes-888585_1920Sweater weather means it’s time to dish up some stew in the kitchen. This slow cooker recipe from the American Heart Association is easy and delish. Toss all your ingredients in during the morning and let the slow cooker do the rest! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bottom round beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large Russet potato, cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups peeled, thinly sliced carrots
  • 10 oz. packaged, frozen pearl onions
  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz. canned, low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 10 oz. packaged, frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Directions:

  1. Cut the bottom round beef roast into 1-inch cubes and add into a 4-to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Chop the potato into ½-inch dice, adding to the beef cubes, along with the flour. Use a spoon to stir mixture together.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into a ½-inch dice and thinly slice carrots. Add the sweet potato and carrots into the slow cooker bowl over the meat. Top with the pearl onions, diced tomatoes, beef broth, water, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook until beef is tender, about 10 to 12 hours on low heat or 5 to 6 hours on high heat. Right before serving, stir in the frozen peas and dried parsley. Cover and let peas cook, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

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!


All Day Dining

food-1648767_1920Not a morning person? Or maybe you get up at the crack of dawn. We all run on different schedules, which is why Dirigo Pines recently introduced the All Day Dining Program. When’s dinner? It’s whenever our residents choose. 

The All Day Dining Program is a unique concept designed to provide our residents the freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. Whether you’re an early riser or late sleeper, All Day Dining offers the flexibility to choose what works best for you.

All Day Dining offers an alternate menu of choices that may include the main entrée of the day, breakfast items, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc.

Visit our website to learn more!


Working Off the Turkey

20160615_163347Or maybe we should call this working off that third helping of pie? Whatever your Thanksgiving Achilles heel may be, we have some ideas to combat the tryptophan blues this holiday. 

Turkey Trot: Nearby Brewer High School is hosting its 35th annual Turkey Trot. This 3 mile road race and one mile kids fun run is set for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 20. Get some friends together and form a team! Click here to learn more.

Take a Walk: Dirigo Pines walking trails connect with the with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system. Stretch out your eating muscles before or after the big meal with a stroll along the Pines. Click here for more about our trails.

Enjoy Nature: Another great walking area nearby is the Orono Bog Boardwalk. Volunteers have been hard at work all summer and fall replacing old sections of the boardwalk. Never been? It’s an amazing 4,200 foot long boardwalk, with seven interpretive stations plus an orientation kiosk to educate visitors about the various habitats and wildlife present, as well as the geologic history of the Orono Bog. Benches every 200 feet provide visitors rest areas and are placed at wheelchair turnaround sections. The perfect place to get some fresh air and digest all that turkey! Click to learn more.

Putt it Off: Dirigo Pines’ Piney Knoll Putting Green just outside the Dirigo Pines Inn offers 40×15 feet of artificial turf to brush up on your short game and get a little exercise after all those mashed potatoes. Click here to learn more about the Piney Knoll Putting Green.


The Real Cost of Remodeling

florida-home-1689859_1920Retirement planning often brings up the question of renovation vs. relocation. Here’s a look at the national average cost of popular renovations.

Click on the interactive graphic to see the real cost of remodeling…

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/845657712212574210

Did you know the monthly maintenance fee at Dirigo Pines includes all maintenance inside and outside of the cottage, including:

  • All lawn and garden upkeep
  • Snow removal
  • Internet
  • Cable television
  • General maintenance, even washing the windows inside and out twice a year

All cottages have two bedrooms, two baths, living room/dining room, porch, and one-car garage. All appliances are furnished. Many options are available, including a second garage, basement, loft, flooring upgrades, cathedral ceiling, and window box seats. Many custom design options are available as well.

Ready to learn more? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Independent Living at Dirigo

Back-Patio-View-6-2012Starting your search for the perfect place to retire? There’s lots to consider – from price to convenience to available medical services to how good the food will be (let’s be honest, it’s important), you likely have a long list of wants and needs. Worry-free living is what most retirees look forward to and why they choose a retirement community like Dirigo Pines. 

The Inn at Dirigo Pines offers independent living apartments, complete with moving assistance and one monthly fee that covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation

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.

There is even a private dining room, which you are welcome to reserve for your own gatherings. During the holiday season, it’s the perfect place to gather with friends and family.

Choose from five different apartment styles designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Maximize your lifestyle and pursue your personal interests with a variety of wellness, cultural, and educational programs offered daily. Join a book club or cribbage game, catch a movie or concert, or attend senior college. Perfect your stroke on the putting green, walk the nature trails or go fishing at the trout ponds. You will also receive your own Pines Pass, with an annual allowance for purchases at The University of Maine. Use it to pay for tickets at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine athletic events, classes at the New Balance Recreation Center, and more.

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


5 Ways to Show Your Thanks

cake-791137_1920Feeling 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 to 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?


3 Unexpected Things You’ll Discover on Dirigo’s Walking Trails

20160615_163318Before the snow flies, take advantage of a crisp autumn afternoon with a walk along the trails at Dirigo Pines. Our trail system connects in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Among the falling leaves and occasional wildlife, you’ll find some interesting features, outlined in our trail brochures which were developed by our residents and are available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn. 

In addition to a variety of plant life, fungi, and trees of all kinds, there are a few unexpected things to spot on our trails. Play your own game of “I Spy” and see if you can spot these natural features:

  • Glacial Boulders: Part of the till deposited by the last glacier about 16,000 years ago, these boulders are made up of granite, gneiss, silt stone and quartzite from as far away as the St. Lawrence River.
  • Woodpecker Holes: As trees die and insects invade, woodpeckers excavate cavities in search of food. The round holes are made by downy and hairy woodpeckers, while the larger oval cavities are made by pileated woodpeckers. Wood peckers use the cavities for nesting, as do a variety of secondary nesters like wood ducks, raccoons, squirrels and chickadees. As winter approaches, as many as 25 to 30 chickadees, kinglets and nuthatches will huddle in a tree cavity overnight for warmth.
  • Wire & Rock Walls: Along a short side trail, you’ll find strands of wire imbedded in a hemlock tree suggesting the area that is now Dirigo Pines Cottage Community was once farmed or grazed prior to being developed. Many large trees were left untouched along the property lines. Up behind the water tower, there are very large oaks, pines and hemlocks straddling old rock walls.

For more about our trails, click here. Tell us what you discover on our trails!


Riding in Style

dsc02015dsc02016Getting a new vehicle is always exciting – particularly when it’s got special features like our new wheelchair accessible van! We’re pleased to have this new ride available to Dirigo Pines residents. 

The new van is especially helpful for our Assisted Living residents with mobility limitations. Did you know our Assisted Living services including transportation to medical appointments, grocery store, bank, post office, and other outings just for fun? And now residents are riding in style!

For more about Assisted Living at Dirigo Pines, click here. Assisted Living offers residents freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures unburdened from daily tasks that may have become difficult. Tailored to meet individual requirements, the Assisted Living Program at Dirigo Pines provides help with personal care and medications whenever needed. In addition, three meals are served daily. Housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a bi-weekly basis. Nursing staff is available around the clock with Medical Director oversight, and we can even accommodate couples in the Deluxe and Regency sized Assisted Living apartments.

Contact Ann or Susan for a tour of Dirigo Pines by calling 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Dirigo Dish: Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

paprika-1300353_1920Harvest time is here. Chilly weather, falling leaves – and soup! Try this simple, low calorie and flavorful soup from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped, roasted red bell peppers, drained if bottled
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, extra virgin preferred
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the tomatoes with liquid, broth, roasted peppers, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oil, sugar, and salt. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

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!


Getting in the Halloween Spirit

We know how to enjoy Halloween!

Don’t be spooked – it’s Halloween time! If you have little goblins to entertain or just want to get in the spirit of things, there is plenty happening all around Dirigo Pines and greater Bangor this time of year!

Pick a Pumpkin

There are lots of farm and pumpkins patches to visit in our area. One local favorite is Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, featuring a giant corn maze, pick your own apples, fresh apple cider, ice cream, hay rides, friendly goats, and a 5-acre pumpkin patch.

treworgyorchards.com

Fright at the Fort, Fort Knox

Consider yourself warned – this one is no joke. The scariest haunted experience in Maine takes place through the passageways of Fort Knox in Prospect every year, and it’s recommended for older kids and adults. For a total scream-fest, check this one out.

fortknox.maineguide.com/fright

The Pirates of Penzance, Collins Center for the Arts

This New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players production is your chance to get carried away by Pirates. Join the band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens, and the delightfully dotty “model of a modern Major-General” for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. Scheduled for October 20.

collinscenterforthearts.com

Pumpkins in the Park, Bangor

For more grandkid-friendly fun, UCP of Maine hosts an annual Halloween party, coming Sunday, October 23, at the Anah Shriners center in Bangor. Bounce houses, clowns, and trick-or-treating for grandkids to enjoy and an amazing display of jack-o-lanterns to entertain those of all ages.

ucpofmaine.org

Have your own fun idea or event to share? Add it below!


Enjoying Fall Foliage to the Fullest

lewis-with-pumpkinsAutumn is officially here and it’s the perfect time to get outside before the snow flies. Not far from Dirigo Pines are multiple opportunities to enjoy the foliage, pick your own apples and pumpkins, and celebrate all things fall!

Maine’s official state foliage website (that’s how much we love fall!) indicates that the peek season historically for our area is early to mid-October. They suggest visiting one of the many state parks in our region to fully appreciate the changing color, and offer the following suggestions for colorful drives and outings:

“Depart Bangor and travel north on Route 15, as you crest Charleston Hill, autumn unfolds in every direction. Continue through Dover-Foxcroft, turn left on Route 7, turn right on the Sangerville Road and make your way to Stutzman’s Farm Stand and Bakery located in Sangerville. (Stutzman’s was rated the 2015 Best Farm Stand in Maine by DownEast Magazine!) They offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods, brick oven pizza and on Sunday, they offer brunch with live music. As you make your way to Route 16, you may opt to take an easy walk upriver at the Guilford Memorial River Walk. At one time, this was the rail bed for the Bangor & Piscataquis Railroad and offers a mixed species forest, a tranquil picnic spot, benches and good birding along the river (you might even see eagles, osprey and heron). Turn right on Route 16/15/6, and travel east along the Piscataquis River and you will capture the quintessential New England fall foliage photo at Lowes Covered Bridge.”

Click here for more and a link to the official Maine state foliage page.

Dirigo Pines extensive trail system is also a great place to take in all that fall color. Our trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Click here for a map of the Sklar Park trail system.

A walk along the riverfront in Orono is another great local option for foliage seekers. Get out there and enjoy – and share your fall foliage photos (say that three times fast!) with us on Facebook!


Baking for a Cause

12916130_1031078026930055_2480372115232475573_oThe Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a very special event and charity for the Dirigo Pines community. We hold fundraisers throughout the year to support this important cause – because everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by Alzheimer’s.

Support our efforts by stopping by Dirigo Pines to purchase some yummy treats and beautiful handmade items during our Bake Sale & Craft Sale coming up Tuesday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

All money collected will go to Team Dirigo’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising goal.

Click to learn more! 


Dirigo Dish: Healthy Twist on Quiche

sweet-potatoes-912635_1920Swap heavy cream and whole eggs for skim milk and egg whites – and you’ve got a delicious quiche that’s better for you. With a crust of grated sweet potatoes, this dish from the American Heart Association is delicious hot or cold! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, washed
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 slices turkey bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1, 10-oz. packaged, frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fat-free feta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place a box grater into a medium bowl. Grate the sweet potato until there are 2 cups grated sweet potato. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Gently press the sweet potato into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides; the sweet potatoes will be loose but will hold together once cooked. Place in the oven and bake until sweet potato crust is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and decrease oven temperate to 350°F.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, warm oil over medium-high heat. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan. Cook until almost translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add turkey bacon, continuing to stir and cook until onions and bacon begin to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, dill, salt, and pepper; cook until water from the spinach is released, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a spatula to transfer mixture from pan into the sweet potato pie shell.
  4. In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, and milk. Using a fork, whisk to combine. Pour eggs over vegetable mixture in the pie shell. Dot the feta cheese over the top of quiche.
  5. Cook quiche in oven until eggs in the center are set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool just a few minutes before slicing. Serve.

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!


Discover Dirigo: What is Specialized Care?

BackPatioViewTightOur specialized care neighborhood provides a higher level of personal care for those who need more assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting in/out of chairs or bed, walking, and eating.

People often ask us the difference between our Assisted Living and Specialized Care settings. Our routine Service Plan meetings help to determine when more assistance can make for a more enjoyable lifestyle. The number of activities with which a resident needs assistance, as well as the amount of time required for those activities, determines whether the resident can benefit from either Assisted Living or Specialized Care.

We provide assistance around the clock, and medical care is close at hand. Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital, each just 15 minutes away, provide state‐of‐the‐art specialty services for our residents needing advanced care.

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

Come see for yourself! Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Comparing Costs on the Inside

It’s easy to compare mortgage or rental payments, taxes, and utilities, but when you truly add up the cost of staying at home versus choosing a retirement community, be sure you’re not forgetting anything. Have you considered the cost of replacing old appliance, cleaning the furnace, general maintenance costs and more?

Click on the interactive graphic to see how these costs add up inside your home…

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/823253454616002562

Maintaining a home is time-consuming and often a labor-intensive task. The monthly maintenance fee at Dirigo Pines includes all maintenance inside and outside of the cottage, including:

  • All lawn and garden upkeep
  • Snow removal
  • Internet
  • Cable television
  • General maintenance, even washing the windows inside and out twice a year

All cottages have two bedrooms, two baths, living room/dining room, porch, and one-car garage. All appliances are furnished. Many options are available, including a second garage, basement, loft, flooring upgrades, cathedral ceiling, and window box seats. Many custom design options are available as well.

Ready to learn more? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Senior College: Back to School

pencil-918449_1920New pens and pencils, fresh notebooks – it must be back to school time! For local seniors, the Penobscot Valley Senior College offers unique learning opportunities throughout the year – with no tests or homework and a focus on socializing and enjoyable learning. Sounds pretty good, right?

Dirigo Pines is pleased to be a host for various classes through the Senior College, making attending even more convenient for Dirigo residents.  

Established in the fall 2002 at the University of Maine in Orono and affiliated with the UMaine Center on Aging, Penobscot Valley Senior College serves the greater Bangor-Orono region. The college’s mission is to offer adults who are at least 50 years old opportunities to learn about a wide array of fascinating topics. The college’s emphasis is on enjoyable learning in a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere. Approximately 200 adults attend PVSC classes during each fall and spring term.

Senior colleges provide unique educational and social opportunities, and are largely volunteer-driven. Members volunteer to serve on their college’s board of directors and committees as well as to plan and present all courses and special programs. Their interests are the foundation of all program planning. PVSC is one of 18 senior colleges in Maine, stretching from York County to Presque Isle and Calais, linked to the Maine Senior College Network, which is located at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine.

Click here to learn more and keep an eye out for the fall schedule being announced soon. 


Customize Your Cottage

13754286_1092511524120038_214569463897697275_n

Our cottage community is growing! New cottages are being built right now – it’s a great time to pick your new home and have a say in finishes and upgrades before the cottages are finalized.

The duplex style, one-story or two-story cottage homes at Dirigo Pines are created to maximize your privacy while maintaining a warm feeling of community. 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. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available.

Customize your own, complete with the high-quality craftsmanship of the builder who constructed our original cottages in 2002, and who still maintains them today. 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.

Check out some of the available floor plans by clicking 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.


Memory Care in The Arbor

BackPatioViewTightA memory loss diagnosis is challenging for the individual and their family and loved ones. Often, individuals lose their sense of freedom as the price for ensuring their safety and security. Dirigo Pines offers The Arbor Neighborhood, a beautifully warm and inviting environment that provides an ideal and affordable solution for those with memory loss. Residents can enjoy a feeling of independence while remaining safe at all times. 

The Arbor offers lots 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.

Activities such as baking, watercolor painting, crafting, exercising, spa treatments, singing and more keep residents active and engaged. Click here to check out our Monthly Calendar of Events for The Arbor.

The Village Program – Available at The Arbor

As a Grace Management community, we are proud to provide The Village Program in The Arbor neighborhood. Our approach to memory care focuses on our residents’ life experiences and on establishing strong relationships within our community. Developed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, The Village Program offers personalized programming intended to engage our residents in activities that reflect their preferred schedules, lifestyles and interests.

Services & Amenities

  • Individual specialized attention, working with the resident’s personal physician
  • Medication management
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (eating, ambulation, transfer, bathing, toileting & dressing)
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Linen and laundry service
  • Specially trained care associates available 24 hours a day
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Outdoor garden courtyard
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Utilities, including cable TV, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

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


3 Holiday Gift Ideas that Celebrate Your Family History 

book-1667826_1920As children and grandchildren get older, gift giving becomes challenging. Some of the best gifts as those that are personal and meaningful. Take the role of unofficial family historian this holiday season and consider these gift ideas…

Cook book

It’s no secret that Great Grandma’s molasses crinkle cookies are the best – but the recipe is. Create a cookbook of those cherished family recipes that have brought everyone to the table over the years. Frame it out like a real cookbook with a section for entrees, side dishes, desserts and cookies. Better still – help those modern cooks by making suggestions for substitutions and replacements for “old fashioned” ingredients like lard.  

Family Tree

Who is better to write your family history than the eldest statesmen? Pass along a piece of personalized history by creating your family tree or ancestry. Want to really dig in? There are lots of websites available now that can help you research your family lineage, some for free or a small fee.

Special Hand-Me-Down

Is there a special antique or family heirloom you’ve been wanting to pass along? What better time to do it than the holidays. Make the season extra special by gifting something unique and sharing the history behind the piece. 

Have your own great idea? Share it in the comments section below!


3 Tips to Choose the Right Retirement Community for You

DirigoLibraryDid retirement make it on your New Year’s resolution list for 2017? When thinking about retirement and the move to a retirement community, there’s a lot to consider. Can we afford it? Does the facility offer the care we need – or may need in the future? Will we still be able to enjoy the things we’ve been looking forward to in retirement, like traveling or a new hobby? Here are a few tips as you weigh your retirement options:

Starting the Process

There are lots of ways to research nowadays – the internet offers a wealth of information about retirement communities (Dirigo Pines website can be found at dirigopines.com). But one of the best ways to research is asking trusted friends and family for their recommendations. And when you find a community you think you’d enjoy – get the inside scoop. Take a tour, talk to residents and get their opinion on what they love and what they’d change. At Dirigo Pines, we offer tours and lunch and an opportunity to chat with residents and get your questions answered.

Can We Afford It?

Does a retirement community make sense financially for you? It’s a big question. The best way to figure it out is putting pen to paper and comparing your current expenses with your expected retirement expenses. Remember to include regular expenses like electric and cable, but also keep in mind big ticket expenses like that new roof or furnace. Many home expenses, both regular and unexpected, are included for Dirigo Pines residents. Check out our interactive maps comparing costs inside and outside your home.

Does the Facility Offer the Care We Need?

Or better yet, the care you may need in the future. The last thing you want to do in your retirement is be constantly moving as your healthcare needs change. Choosing a community like Dirigo Pines that offers a continuum of care, from independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, ensures you will have the care you need as you age. 

Ready to learn more? Come take a tour! 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.


Spring Cleaning Tips for Seniors (and Everyone!)

vacuum-cleaner-268179_1280Tis the season for opening the windows, dusting off the shelves and doing a little spring cleaning! Okay, maybe it’s not that exciting, but there are some ways you can make this year a little tidier and safer. Here are some tips:

  • Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet: We’ve all got old half-empty bottles of cough syrup and other medications kicking around from a long-ago affliction. It’s time to check the expiration dates and toss the olds in the trash. Many medications do not retain their potency or effectiveness after the expiration date – so it’s time to trash them. 
  • Declutter: Particularly in those heavy traffic areas like hallways, doorways and entrances – make sure you’re cleaning a good space and not leaving any tripping hazards behind. 
  • Ask for Help: As you’re cleaning and decluttering, ask for help when it comes to moving heavy furniture or reaching awkward or high spaces. No matter our age, we should be taking advantage of lightweight and cordless cleaning tools to avoid unnecessary climbing and twisting to clean odd spaces. The Dirigo Pines Maintenance Staff is happy to assist residents who need help changing an awkward light bulb or reaching a high space. 
  • Change the Batteries in your Smoke Detectors: Spring ahead and make sure your smoke detector batteries are up-to-date for safety. Did you know that at Dirigo Pines, our Maintenance Staff will help with chores like this too?

Happy cleaning!


6 Lucky Reasons to Live at Dirigo

klee-2005303_1920Whether it’s the luck of the Irish that brought you to Dirigo Pines or just a lucky decision – here are 6 very lucky reasons to live at Dirigo Pines.

  1. Something for Everyone. We all have different interests and abilities. Whether you want to spend your retirement traveling, singing, meeting new people – there’s a never-ending list of activities and programs for every interest at Dirigo Pines. It’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.  Dirigo Pines activity staff offers exercise programs, fascinating guest speakers, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. 
  2. Resources You Need. Dirigo Pines’ various levels of care ensure you and your loved ones will have the care you need as you age. From independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, Dirigo offers the care you need as your healthcare needs change over time.
  3. Friendly and Professional Staff. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile at Dirigo or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock, and our maintenance crew is always ready to help.
  4. Beautiful Facilities. From spring fishing in the stocked ponds, to summer meals on the stone patio, to walking the nature trails to enjoy the fall foliage or winter’s wonderland, there’s something to enjoy every season. And inside, the Dirigo Pines Inn offers multiple stone fireplaces, a cozy and well-stocked library, billiards room and more.
  5. Convenient Location. Orono’s central location means we’re just a short drive to amazing attractions like Acadia National Park, Maine’s rocky coastline, the western mountains, outdoor adventures in the great north woods, or a day of shopping in Freeport. Within Orono itself, great restaurants, museums, and the University of Maine are all easily accessible. 
  6. Amazing Food. Our chefs make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. From grilled salmon to monte cristos to lobster ravioli, the dining at Dirigo can’t be beat. And don’t miss Sunday brunch – it’s an amazing spread you’ll be thinking about all week! 

Spring Fever Reliever

20160615_163347Do you have spring fever? Anxious to open the windows, get outside, spot some green grass? We understand! Dirigo residents have been known to help spring along and rake the last of the snow from the putting green as soon as spring has sprung. One of the best ways to take advantage of sunny weather is to enjoy one of the walking trails at and near Dirigo Pines!

We’re fortunate at Dirigo to have residents dedicated to keeping our trail brochures up-to-date and even offering occasional Interpretive Trail walking tours. Our extensive trail system connects in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95.

Orono Land Trust also maintains the Stillwater River Trail, which follows an old rail bed constructed in 1860’s.  he faint patterns of old railroad ties and occasional spikes can be seen on parts of the trail. This trail is a great one for spotting beaver dens along the river’s edges. Just be sure to avoid the abundant poison ivy in this area. Parking and trail access are available at the base of Noyes Drive at Brownie’s Park.

And if you haven’t visited the Orono Bog Boardwalk, spring is the perfect time. The 4,200-foot Bog Boardwalk opened in June 2003. It is easily accessed via Bangor City Forest and is wheelchair accessible. The bog is an outstanding example of a raised peat bog with various habitat types. The area was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1974. For more information and directions visit: www.oronobogwalk.org.

For more trails and hiking ideas to get out and shake off that spring fever, visit oronolandtrust.org.


Learn About Assisted Living

BackPatioViewTightThere are some daily tasks that just become too difficult as we age – whether you need help with personal care, housekeeping, managing your medications – the staff at Dirigo Pines is ready to help. Our Assisted Living options give you the freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures, unburdened from daily tasks that may have become too difficult. Tailored to meet your individual needs, Dirigo Pines Assisted Living serves three meals daily, and housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a weekly basis. Staff is available around the clock.

Residents can choose from a variety of one‐bedroom, one bath apartment styles and become a part of one caring community.

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

Click here to check out our list of frequently asked Assisted Living questions. 

Come take a tour and 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.


Dirigo Dish: Chicken “Zoodle” Lo Mein

zucchini-2054823_1920Have you tried making “zoodles” yet? Substitute spirals of zucchini for noodles for a lower calorie, more nutritious meal! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless, thinly sliced chicken breast (cut into 1-inch strips)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetables, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoons red hot chile flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Place the shredder blade onto the spiralizer to cut zucchini into spaghetti-like threads. Spiralize each zucchini, and cut threads into 6- or 8-inch pieces so they are easier to eat. Add all the zucchini into a large bowl and reserve.
  • Tip: Don’t have a spiralizer? Grate the zucchini on a box grater or buy about 12 cups packaged spiralized zucchini in the grocery aisle.
  • Place the chicken breast lengthwise onto a cutting board and cut 1-inch strips of chicken. Add to a bowl and continue slicing remaining chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Warm a large nonstick pan with 1 teaspoon oil over high heat. Add chicken; stirring frequently, saute until chicken is fully-cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from heat, transfer chicken to a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Again warm 1 teaspoon oil in the large nonstick pan over high heat. Add thawed stir-fry vegetables, stirring constantly and cooking until vegetables are cooked and all the water has evaporated, around 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to reserve.
  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl, add soy sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and (optional) chile flakes. Stir together with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved. Also, chop the scallions.
  • Warm 1 teaspoon oil in the large nonstick pan over high heat. Add half the zucchini, using tongs to stir constantly, until zucchini is somewhat wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in remaining zucchini along with the sauce, again using tongs to cook the zucchini and let it absorb the sauce. Cook until all the zucchini is tender, about 2 more minutes.
  • Quickly stir in reserved chicken and vegetables. Cook another minute. Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, scallions, and sesame seeds. Serve.

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!


4 Springtime Rites of Passage

Things are finally warming up in Maine – it’s time to get out and celebrate! Mainers have lots of ways of celebrating the changing of the seasons, including these fun annual events. Dirigo Pines is conveniently close to the coast as it awakens from winter, not to mention southern Maine’s constant stream of events, and we’re really close all the fun and games (and concerts!) happening in Orono and Bangor! Check it out:

  • Catch a Concert: The Waterfront Concert season has begun! Check out www.waterfrontconcerts.com for latest updates to the summer concert series on the waterfront in Bangor, and in Orono and Portland. Celtic Woman will be in Orono on April 12, Tony Bennett is on tap for Portland on May 11, and Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper will rock the waterfront on July 14. Collins Center for the Arts in Orono (www.collinscenterforthearts.com) has its own great lineup for spring – including An Evening with Humor Writer David Sedaris on April 11 and the classic “Annie” on April 26. 
  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race: Whether you’re a river vulture (aka: spectator) or one of about 1,000 race participants, the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is a not-to-be-missed Bangor event. The race is scheduled for Saturday, April 15. The best way to watch? Pick a spot on the riverbank (Six Mile Falls is a popular spot to watch racers traverse tricky rapids) or downtown at the finish line, dress warmly, bring some snacks and enjoy the spills and thrills! Check out kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com for more info.
  • Sea Dogs Opening Day: Opening day at Hadlock Field, home to the Portland Sea Dogs (Maine’s minor league baseball team that’s affiliated with the Boston Red Sox) is set for April 6. Tickets are reasonably priced and the city of Portland makes a fun day or weekend trip from Dirigo Pines! You might even meet Slugger the Sea Dog if you’re lucky! Click here for more: www.seadogs.com.
  • National Park Week: April 15-16 and April 22-23 are the National Park Week Weekends – which means FREE entrance! Take advantage and beat the crowds to Acadia National Park, 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 Acadia for just $10!

What’s your favorite springtime rite of passage? Share it below!


Living Independently at Dirigo Pines

Retirement living means something different to everyone – some want to relax, some plan to head out on a new adventure, and most of fall somewhere in between. But what we all agree on is that a worry-free, low-maintenance lifestyle sounds just about right. 

The Inn at Dirigo Pines offers independent living apartments, complete with moving assistance and one monthly fee that covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation.

The apartments form a welcoming community within the Inn, which is the heart of social activities at Dirigo Pines. Here you will find a lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, the dining rooms, library, hair salon, media/game room, fitness studio, and arts and crafts studio. There is even a private dining room, which you are welcome to reserve for your own gatherings. With summer visitors, it’s the perfect place to gather with friends and family.

Choose from five different apartment styles designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Maximize your lifestyle and pursue your personal interests with a variety of wellness, cultural, and educational programs offered daily. Join a book club or cribbage game, catch a movie or concert, or attend senior college. Perfect your stroke on the putting green, walk the nature trails or go fishing at the trout ponds. You will also receive your own Pines Pass, with an annual allowance for purchases at The University of Maine. Use it to pay for tickets at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine athletic events, classes at the New Balance Recreation Center, and more.

Dirigo Pines can meet a variety of living arrangements without moving out of the Dirigo Inn with independent living, assisted living, memory loss, and specialized care all available to residents. When you compare the apartments, the service, the price, and the amenities, we think that you’ll want to make Dirigo Pines your home.

Visit www.dirigopines.com/independent-living to learn more about our Independent Living Apartments and other living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Dirigo Dish: Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

egg-157224Here’s a fun and hearty breakfast from the American Heart Association. And it’s easy to add your own twist with black beans, cucumbers and more. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup raw quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup no-salt-added, frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

Tip: Cooked quinoa stores well in the freezer. Make a big batch and freeze. Add a few teaspoons of water and warm in the microwave. Or, let the frozen quinoa defrost in the refrigerator for a day and stir into a cold salad.

Directions

  • Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Remove from heat and let sit.
  • Prepare the remaining ingredients: pit and dice the avocado half; chop the tomatoes; rinse the canned corn; chop the scallions, and chop the cilantro.
  • Divide quinoa between 4 bowls. Arrange the avocado, tomatoes, corn, scallions, and (optional) cilantro between each bowl.
  • Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Crack each egg into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until egg whites are set but yolk is still runny, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully transfer each sunny-side-up egg into each bowl. Garnish with hot sauce and serve.

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!


Volunteer!

cat-205757_1920Volunteering is a great way to serve our communities and our souls. Dirigo Pines residents regularly gather funds to help the Alzheimer’s Association, a favorite charity for residents and staff alike. Here are few other ways to volunteer and help out in the Orono and Bangor area. 

  1. Help a furry friend. The Bangor Humane Society is a nonprofit organization serving over 200 communities in northern and eastern Maine. The shelter’s wish list includes canned dog and cat food, new or used blankets, sheets, towels and washcloths, dog and cat treats, paper towels and more. Click here for the full list. Interested in volunteering? They need dog walkers, help cleaning cat kennels, doing laundry, socializing with kitties, and more. Click here for details. 
  2. Enjoy cooking for others? Just dropping a meal to neighbor is a great and simple way to spread some love in your area. There are also lots of soup kitchens in the area that would love your help! Volunteer to cook and/or serve a meal. The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter is a great place to provide a meal – whether it’s just one time or on a regular schedule. Click here to learn more! 
  3. Speaking of donating food – there are lots of food pantries that need supplies. Good Shepherd Food Bank serves residents throughout the state, and accepts donations at their Hampden facility. They are also always looking for volunteers. Click here to learn more. Like driving? Meal on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver food! Find details on volunteermaine.org.
  4. Local hospitals are another great way to find regular volunteer opportunities. Both Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital are always looking for great volunteers. The Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, which provides a home-away-from-home for families of ill or seriously injured children, is another service looking for volunteers right now!

Want more volunteer ideas? Visit volunteermaine.org to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! What’s your favorite way to give back? Share your volunteer ideas!


5 Tips for Staying Active at Dirigo Pines

Moving to a new town, new neighborhood or a community like Dirigo Pines can be challenging when it comes to meeting new people and getting involved. Making new friends can feel daunting, but at Dirigo Pines we make it easy. There’s so much to do within our community – you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll find fun new activities to get involved in and meet new friends with like interests.

  1. Check out our monthly activities. There is no shortage of things going on – right now, we’re catching up on Downton Abbey episodes every weekend, and every Saturday and Wednesday night we enjoy a movie on the big screen in the Kenduskeag Gathering Place. We have non-stop musical entertainment and guest speakers, crafting activities, and visits from therapy dogs when we need a furry friend to pet. In December, we’re looking forward to a performance by the North Country Strings, a Holiday Open House, tree lighting and more! 
  2. Move and groove. Exercise classes are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in addition to Sittercise and Yoga classes. Or join us for the occasional trip to hear bands like The Skyliners Band & Dance At the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer – just hop on the bus for an evening of dancing!
  3. Join a club. Dirigo offers clubs, groups and religious services for just about everyone. From cribbage and bridge players to our Out to Lunch Bunch who enjoy trying new local restaurants, it’s not hard to find someone with similar interests. 
  4. Get outside. Dirigo’s trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., 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! 
  5. Off campus fun. Dirigo Pines has a strong tie to the University of Maine, whose campus is just minutes away. In addition to its excellent library and museums, residents enjoy access to the school’s many sports facilities, including tennis courts, an indoor pool, cross-country skiing trails and bike paths. Seminars and lectures are regularly presented on campus, and academic courses offer endless ways to fulfill lifelong desires for learning.All independent residents of the Dirigo Inn receive a Pines Pass, which allows for special discounts at UMaine. 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 a list of upcoming performances at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts. 

Click here to check out other upcoming activities!


Dirigo Dish: Broccoli Salad with Water Chestnuts and Dried Cranberries

broccoli-498600_1920Need a quick and delicious side dish in holiday colors? Tasty anytime, this broccoli salad from the American Heart Association requires no cooking and looks festive with the addition of dried cranberries. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 7 cups chopped broccoli florets (from about 2 heads broccoli) – cut small
  • 1 cup grated broccoli stem (also from those same 2 heads broccoli)
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/3 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove and reserve the stalks from the broccoli. Chop broccoli florets into bite-size pieces. Add into a large zip-top bag with water chestnuts and dried cranberries.
  2. Place a box grater inside a small bowl. Grate the stalks to get around 1 cup of grated broccoli stem (or more depending on how big the stalks are). Add into the bag.
  3. In a small bowl, add oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk with a fork to combine. Add dressing into the zip-top bag. Seal the bag and gently toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours to let the broccoli marinate in the dressing. Serve.

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!


New Cottage Construction

constructionOur new cottages are almost complete at Dirigo Pines! We love watching them go from wooden frame work to completed cottage, ready for new residents. Did you know that by choosing a cottage in the construction phase, you can have a say in finishes, upgrades and more? 

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.

Check out some of the available floor plans by clicking 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.


Graceful Stays – Short Term Respite Care

20160615_162536Considering retirement living at Dirigo Pines but not sure what to expect or if it will be right for you? Our Graceful Stays program allows you the option to try us before making the commitment to move in. Have peace of mind knowing that someone is available at all times to take care of your needs. Participate in our enriching activities program, enjoy our delicious cuisine and get to know your neighbors. 

Graceful Stays are also an option for seniors needing support after a hospital visit or illness. Many of our permanent residents began their residency at Dirigo Pines through our short term Graceful Stays. Call for pricing and more information on both independent and assisted living Graceful Stays.  All stays are based on availability.

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


Skiing and Snow Shoeing in Maine

human-93758_1920Winter in Maine means time to hibernate, right? Wrong! It’s time to get outside and enjoy the snow! 

Go skiing! If your knees are up for some downhill skiing, Maine’s got you covered! Close to Dirigo Pines is Hermon Mountain, family-friendly (also friendly to those of us who haven’t strapped on skis in a while) hill with rentals available. They’ve also got a great tubing park – a fun idea for entertaining the grandkids and those of all ages! Click here for more about Hermon Mountain.

Camden Snow Bowl is not to far either and offers amazing ocean views. Of course, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are close enough for a day trip as well and offer some of the best skiing in New England!

If cross-country skiing is more your style, the Penobscot Valley Ski Club offers a great list of nordic trails on its website (click here). 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 (click here for a UMaine trail map).

Check PVSC’s website for a full list and trail conditions!

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. Click here for a list of top snow shoeing spots from the Bangor Daily News’ Outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki.

What’s your favorite winter activity? Share it below!


Healthy Eating Tips

salmon-518032_1920Who doesn’t have eat healthier on their list of New Year’s Resolutions? A healthy diet is one of best ways to take good care of yourself and benefit your heart this February! Keep that old food pyramid in mind as you’re shopping, and focus on adding a wider variety of fruits and veggies and whole grains into your daily menu. We love sharing heart healthy recipes – click here for a list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

Here are a few other healthy eating tips:

  • Get friendly with fish and work salmon, trout, herring and other fish containing omega-3 fatty acids into you diet at least twice per week
  • Choose low-fat (1%) or fat-free dairy and milk products
  • Need to lower your cholesterol? Try reducing your saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total calories. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Lose the soda and foods with added sugar
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That’s no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

Want more great tips and healthy recipes? The American Heart Association website is full of tips and healthy recipes. Click here!


9 Reasons to Fall in Love with Dirigo Pines

There are so many reasons to love Dirigo Pines – let us count the ways!

  1. Putting Green: Take a swing over at Dirigo’s Piney Knoll Putting Green. In 2014, the 40 by 15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed and it’s been a popular attraction ever since! You can spot residents out clearing the snow at the first signs of spring, anxious to get swinging! The green is host to annual putting contests among residents, as well as with other area retirement communities. It’s also a great way for residents to brush up on their short game while preparing for Dirigo’s annual Golf Classic that takes place each August to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. 
  2. Trails: Dirigo’s trails connect 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! 
  3. Fine Dining: Chef Lou Stubbs and his incredible team in the kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. From grilled salmon to monte cristos to lobster ravioli, the dining at Dirigo can’t be beat. And don’t miss Sunday brunch – it’s an amazing spread you’ll be thinking about all week! Dirigo recently introduced 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. 
  4. Location, Location, Location: Orono is centrally located in our great state, and just a short drive to amazing attractions like Acadia National Park, Maine’s rocky coastline, the western mountains, outdoor adventures in the great north woods, or a day of shopping in Freeport. Within Orono itself, great restaurants, museums, and the University of Maine are all easily accessible. At UMaine, enjoy a show at the Collins Center, cheer for the Black Bears hockey team, check out Fogler Library, or enjoy a swim or workout at the New Balance Recreation Center. UMaine also offers tennis courts, cross-country skiing trails, and bike paths. Seminars and lectures are regularly presented on campus, and academic courses offer endless ways to fulfill lifelong desires for learning. Click here for a list of upcoming performances at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts.
  5. The People: Dirigo Pines is home to artists, musicians, college professors, outdoor enthusiasts, world travelers – you never know who you might meet while walking the halls or trails, attending an event or enjoying dinner. Dirigo Pines also boasts the friendliest and most professional staff around. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile at Dirigo or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock, our maintenance crew is always ready to help, and our kitchen staff is top notch. 
  6. Beautiful Facility: We know you’ll be impressed the moment you step foot on Dirigo Pines’ campus. From our beautifully maintained grounds, stunning Inn, stone fireplaces, and cozy library, it’s clear that attention to detail is important here. There’s something for every season – from spring fishing in the stocked ponds, to summer meals on the stone patio, to walking the nature trails to enjoy the fall foliage or winter’s wonderland.
  7. Fishing Ponds: Dirigo Pines offers two stocked fishing ponds, available to residents ready to cast a line. The ponds are stocked with small trout each spring, just before we celebrate our annual Fishing Derby for anglers of all skill levels. Residents have been known to hook a monster or two and throw them right on the grill! The ponds are one of the many ways to enjoy nature at Dirigo. They’re surrounded by walking trails and benches, and it’s not uncommon to spot a deer, Canada geese or a heron enjoying the natural beauty.
  8. Healthcare Services When You Need Them: Working with area hospitals, Dirigo Pines offers a depth of medical expertise to all residents. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services.
  9. Activities & Events: Dirigo residents and staff know how to have fun! From concerts and play productions, to fun traditions like watching Dirigo Dug come out of his tent each Groundhog Day to predict the beginning of spring, there’s no shortage of entertainment at Dirigo Pines. The Dirigo Pines activity staff plans regular exercise programs, guest speakers, groups for all interests, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.

Feeling Festive: Nearby Holiday Events

Dirigo-Inn-Entrance-in-snow-1-2011Our area has no shortage of fun events to get you in the holiday spirit. Here are a few upcoming events in greater Bangor and beyond to get you feeling festive…

Nov. 18-Dec. 31: Gardens Aglow

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay

The gardens will transform from a summer paradise to a winter wonderland. Tens of thousands of lights will be hung, making this the biggest light display in Maine. In addition to the lighting, visitors will enjoy music, special food and beverage options and holiday shopping. 

www.mainegardens.org

Dec. 1-24: Oliver! 

The Penobscot Theatre, Bangor

In this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novel, orphan Oliver Twist navigates the underworld of Victorian London, searching for a loving home and falling into a gang of child pickpockets led by the conniving Fagin. With spirited, timeless songs like “As Long as He Needs Me,” “Food, Glorious Food,” and “Where is Love,” Oliver! is a musical classic. 

www.penobscottheatre.org

Dec. 2-4: Victorian Christmas

Penobscot Marine Museum, Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House & Museum Store, Searsport

The Ship Captain’s house is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with live music and holiday-themed readings. Check out the Museum Store for book signings, a holiday gingerbread house display and more. The Town of Searsport’s Tree Lighting And Carol Singing are on Friday night. 

www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org

Dec. 3: Festival of Lights Parade

Downtown Bangor

The Rotary Club of Bangor hosts this annual parade featuring dozens of entries all lit up for the holidays. The parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. As one might expect, Santa Claus will be the main attraction; his appearance will formally usher in the holiday season.

www.bangorrotary.org

Dec. 17-18: Bangor Symphony Orchestra presents “The Nutcracker”

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

A holiday tradition for all ages, the BSO’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the Robinson Ballet is beloved by audiences throughout Maine. Join us for as a magical production as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker grace the stage of the Collins Center for the Arts. 

www.bangorsymphony.org


The Dirigo Putting Contest is Coming This Thursday

Thanks to an unusually warm spring, Dirigo Pines residents have been brushing up on their short game over on the Piney Knoll Putting Green just outside the Dirigo Pines Inn. We’re ready for the annual Dirigo Putting Contest coming up Thursday, June 16 at 3 p.m.

Two years ago, the 40 by 15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed and it’s been a big hit with residents ever since. We’ve spotted folks out clearing snow off the green just to get in a few extra swings! Golf is a great way for residents to get outside, stay active, have some fun – and enjoy a little friendly competition!

Come enjoy the competition on June 16, and stay tuned for news about our Dirigo Pines Golf Classic coming later this summer!


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