Meeting Minutes - Penobscot County

May 8, 2012

Friends and Neighbors Meeting Minutes

May 8, 2012

Sunny Gables/Glenburn Community Café


The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Deb Poulton. Introductions were made and the following were in attendance: Roger Marshall, Corinth; Margaret Marshall, Corinth; Julian Haynes, EAAA Board member; Elizabeth Navonis, Sunny Gables; Phyllis Leadbetter, Sunny Gables; George Leadbetter, Sunny Gables; Georgie Small, Sunny Gables; Dennis Trask, Glenburn; Esther Trask, Glenburn; Sharon Harris, Glenburn; Marie Miller, Glenburn; Bill Saucier, EAAA site manager; Michael Eng, café volunteer; Virginia Fortier, EAAA Board President; Deb Poulton, EAAA Deputy Director.

Following introductions, Deb began with an overview of some of the programs offered by EAAA and resource materials which prompted questions and comments by participants. Since several of the participants were residents of the Sunny Gables, there was discussion about the need for a volunteer to help with cleaning off seniors cars in the winter time. There has apparently been a tenant to assist with this chore, but he would soon be leaving. Property management should be made aware of this need and the café manager offered that the needs of residents would be made known to the coordinator. The suggestion was also made as to whether the EAAA sought volunteers through the YW.

Questions about service needs included assistance with tax preparation (referred to our AARP volunteers who utilize the EAAA office) and how to get assistance with transportation around discharging from a hospital stay. This led to considerable discussion about the lack of follow up care that seniors can access when leaving the hospital and the confusion of seeing differing Dr.'s and medication changes when they return home.

We discussed the newest trends in federal funding for safe and adequate transitions and returns to community living and how we, as an agency will continue to try to be an integral part of that system.

There was some concern mentioned about what will happen to their Medicare benefits in the future, and a suggestion that we also advocate for tax breaks for family members who serve as caregivers.

There being 5-6 members from the outer regions in attendance, the needs of these rural members revolved considerably more around transportation and social activities, such as how to start a community café closer to their homes, such as in Corinth.

Besides resource materials being made available, attendees were also given a brief overview of the EAAA Area Plan in its draft and encouraged to use the EAAA website to learn more about activities and services. There were at least 4 attendees present who utilized the internet.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned for the service of the main meal.

Respectfully submitted,

Deborah Poulton, Deputy Director

February 9, 2012

Friends and Neighbors Meeting Minutes

February 9, 2012

East Orrington Congregational Church


The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. In attendance were June Fiske, EAAA Penobscot County Regional Advisory Council, Colleen Jordan, EAAA Information and Referral staff, Debbie Faulkenburg, EAAA Penobscot County Nutrition Department Coordinator and Noëlle Merrill, EAAA Executive Director.

Due to the lack of public attendance it was decided to discuss the Area Plan University of New England focus group questions. June suggested that she would not recommend an older person to move to Old Town. She said that lack of transportation and activities would be a good reason to stay away.

June responded to the question about the role of how older people participate in her community by pointing out the role they play in the TRIAD group and educating others about scams. She and many others also deliver meals to homebound seniors.

When asked about pressing issues, it was decided that isolation, transportation and grocery shopping were very difficult for some seniors and there were no services to help them. On the other hand it was felt that seniors were safe in their community.

June said that she would like to stay in her own home and neighborhood for as long as possible because she has lived there for 40 years and loves the intergenerational aspects of it. She likes hearing the children play and knowing who lives around her.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned to the community café downstairs.

When asked about issues facing them during lunch, seniors at the advisory council table said transportation was their biggest challenge.

Respectfully submitted,

Noëlle Merrill, Executive Director

July 20, 2011

Penobscot Regional Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes

Ballard Hill Community Center/ Community Café

July 20, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. Staff present were Noëlle Merrill, Gail Drasby and Pat Fogg. EAAA Board President, Virginia Fortier and Advisory Council member June Fiske also attended. Also in attendance were Dale Marston Jr., Kathy Marston, State Representative Beth Turner, Violet Peltengill, Lynn Vicaire, Mr. Weed, and four other residents that didn’t sign in.

The discussion immediately turned to the issue of caregiving. State Representative Beth Turner talked about how one of her constituents qualified for many hours of in-home care, yet there was no one to provide the service in the area. Those in attendance all agreed that this was a huge issue that was causing people to need to go to a nursing home. There was a lively discussion about how most people don’t want to go to the nursing home and the types of services that were needed in order for them to remain at home.

Gail and Noëlle talked about the Family Caregiver and the Alzheimer’s Respite programs and how they might benefit residents of Lincoln and surrounding area. The point was also made that caregivers in the region didn’t like to ask for help. Noëlle talked about the media outreach that has been done to help caregivers self identify and understand the implications if they don’t take care of themselves. Attendees suggested that more education about this was needed in their area because people didn’t read the Bangor Daily News and many do not receive the Just for You newsletter, but did read the Lincoln News. Noëlle said she would talk to the Director of Community Education about this and see if more could be included regularly in the Lincoln News.

Lynn Vicaire said that caregivers in the area could benefit from training on how to be a better caregiver. Noëlle suggested that if more specific types of training were identified, that the Family Caregiver Program could support a mini-grant proposal that develops regular trainings for residents. Lynn thought that this could be coordinated with the regions adult education program.

Noëlle also discussed some of the work being done in Dover-Foxcroft to replicate the Blue Hill Friendship Cottage. She suggested that perhaps Lincoln might consider developing a medical model adult day service for the Ballard Hill Community Center just as Dover-Foxcroft is doing with the former Central Hall building. Because incomes and pensions are high in Lincoln because of the mill, there would likely be a good number of private pay participants and that could provide low cost respite for family members struggling with caregiving responsibilities. Noëlle said she would contact the town manager about this idea.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. for lunch in the Community Café. During lunch, one of the volunteers mentioned that she struggles with finding ways to socialize with older, single women in Lincoln because there were so few activities. Noëlle said that when she talks to the town manager, she plans on discussing the value of supporting a senior center in conjunction with the adult day service that could be located at the Community Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Noëlle L. Merrill, Executive Director

March 14, 2011

Eastern Area Agency on Aging

Penobscot County Regional Advisory Council

Penobscot Indian Nation

March 14, 2011

Penobscot Advisory Council Members Present: Virginia Fortier, June Fiske, Donna Gillette

EAAA Staff Present: Noëlle Merrill, Deborah Poulton, Carol Higgins Taylor, Dyan Walsh, Stephanie McCue

Community Members and others Present: Donna Phillips, Lillian Smith, William Betters, Vivian Betters, Donna Chapman, Charlene Francis, Eileen McGillicuddy, Gloria Neptune, Debra Kondilis, Joseph Polchies, Jim Sappier, Bonnie Sappier, Mike Francis, Sheila Sapiel, Stephen Brimley, Rick Mooers, Erlene Paul, Betsy Tannian, Maria Girouard, Josh Woodbury, Terri Eldridge, Keith Barnes, Dianna Scully, Kirk Francis, Jessica Maurer.

The meeting began with self introductions.

Chief Kirk Francis began with opening comments

Diana Scully welcomed everyone and gave a brief overview of the Office of Elder Services and opened the door for anyone to contact her with further questions.

Keith Barnes gave a PowerPoint presentation of Indian Island Tribal Services that are currently offered. He started with some startling statistics from a 2010 survey of Native Americans, such as:

36 percent reported having diabetes (17 percent nationally); 32 percent had at least one fall in the last year (17 percent nationally); 89 percent are overweight or obese (62 percent nationally) this is a concern as it can present other health issues as well; 41 percent live alone. This can create social isolation

30 percent care for grandchildren (2 percent nationally) this may be due to traditional values.

Some of the services currently offered are as follows: Penobscot Nation DHS

Adult Protective Services

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program

Heating Assistance

Indigent Burial Assistance

St. Ann’s/Penobscot Nation DHS Food Pantry

Senior Nutrition and Supportive Services

Noon-time congregate meals and home delivered

Well-being checks- visit and telephone

Transportation; Senior Center with regular activities

Senior Companion Program; Health Department

On-site medical services

Fitness room

Housing Authority

Eunice Nelson Baumann Assisted Living

For qualifications and information please contact: Keith Barnes at (207) 817-7496

Charlene Francis provided information about the Mother Earth Water Walk 2011. She discussed water pollution awareness and the possibility of water scarcity in 2030, just nineteen years away. She encouraged all, but particularly the youth to get involved in the support of the Water Walk 2011.

For more information please visit

Noëlle Merrill, Executive Director of the Eastern Area Agency on Aging began by informing the group that EAAA is excited to still have a live receptionist answering the phone at all times, and plans to never change that. She then gave a brief overview of the services offered, including:

The Nutrition Program- includes 5o+ community cafes and hundreds of home bound clients

Furry Friends Food Bank- pet supplies for low income seniors in need

Novel Seniors Book Club

EZ Fix minor home repair program

Legal Services for the Elderly

Deborah Poulton, Deputy Director and Director of Family Caregiver Services at the Eastern Area Agency on Aging talked about the Caregiver support groups that EAAA offers, along with respite care.

Dyan Walsh, Community Services Director at the Eastern Area Agency on Aging informed the community that EAAA has highly trained staff and volunteers to assist clients with Insurance options and enrollment. She also oversees the intake department and the Wellness courses, including Matter of Balance and Living Well.

Carol Higgins Taylor, Communications Director at EAAA informed those present that Eastern has many shows and articles in the public including:

· A live segment on WABI TV at Noon on Monday, and 6:42AM on Wednesday

· Senior talk on WVOM at 6:30 Saturday morning and 8:00 Sunday night

· An article in “The Weekly” Newspaper every week

· Noëlle just started writing for the Bangor Daily News on the fourth Tuesday of every month

Carol asked those in attendance how they receive most of their local information whether it be TV, Newspaper, Radio etc. The consensus was the local newspaper, and flyers. Keith said he would forward the local paper information to Carol.

For more information on any of the programs offered by EAAA please call 1-800-432-7812.

The meeting was opened up for other agencies present to share what services they provide.

Stephen Brimley the Acting Tribal Court Director spoke up and said they are hoping to start structuring an Elder Advisory Board and is looking for interested persons. He reminded them that this is their court system, and that the goal is to prevent not respond. Anyone interested can contact him Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Donna Gillette, Senior Companions Coordinator spoke about volunteering opportunities, and also about contacting her if anyone would like to become a client. The question was asked about the process to volunteer. Donna explained that there is a volunteer application process, after being approved you will then be paired with clients. Volunteers usually work 15-20 hours a week. You can receive stipend of $2.65/hr plus mileage reimbursement, eligibility for that is based upon income.

Rick Mooers from Maine Adult Protective Services spoke about the formation of the relationship between APS and Penobscot Nation on September of 2006. It was an important collaboration, and APS is as sensitive as possible when dealing with matters.

The discussion was opened up for suggestions from the public.

Someone spoke up about shoveling. Many elderly get their driveways plowed out, but shoveling walkways and steps are a problem for some. Noëlle told them to contact John Holmes, EAAA’s EZ Fix Coordinator who often has local volunteers willing to shovel steps and walkways for a small copayment after storms.

Several others were concerned about falling. Dyan Walsh spoke a little about Matter of Balance Classes and left her business card for Betsy Tannian to possibly set a class up. Deb Poulton mentioned the Lifeline device, although the consensus was that many people feel too young, or hesitant to admit needing one. Another solution EAAA board president Virginia Fortier suggested is carrying a cordless phone with you when going places like the shed or basement where falls are more likely to occur.

Another concern of the community was what would happen if you live alone and were struck ill; it sometimes could be days before someone finds you. It was mentioned that Ross Care coordinates a Telecare program, which telephonically checks in on elderly folks living alone. If no one answers the call within a reasonable time frame local officials are called to check on the person.

Noëlle informed all in attendance that the meeting minutes and other valuable information is available to the public on the Eastern Area Agency on Aging website which is or by calling the receptionist at 1-800-432-7812.

Respectfully Submitted,

Stephanie McCue

January 11, 2011

Penobscot County

Regional Advisory Council

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First United Methodist Church

Bangor, ME

Members Present: Virginia Fortier, Carol Mower, June Fiske, Gary Lowe, Donna Gillette

Community Members Present: Patricia Henderson, Royal Henderson, Louise Bayley, Phyllis Harrington, Tammy Pellegrino, Gwen Fenderson, Theresa Tracy, Joyce Verpey, Ann Kent, Ralph Kent, Donna Gormley

Staff Present : Noëlle Merrill, Carol Higgins Taylor, Rob Crone, Lee White, Richard Lenfest, Stephanie McCue

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Noëlle, Executive Director at EAAA, began by explaining that the Advisory Council has just been revamped. EAAA used to have one Advisory Council that traveled all thought the four county coverage area. Using the format of one council for such a large area was not accomplishing the goals set out in the Area Plan. After much thought, EAAA decided to form four separate Advisory Councils, one for each county. These Councils can now focus on just their one area. They are changed with the mission of learning what services work, and what needs improvement in their area.

3. Providers and EAAA staff gave a brief overview of the services they provide.

· Lee White discussed Medicare questions and enrollment.

· Carol Higgins Taylor discussed Triad house signs, Vest Dressed for Safety and “File of Life”

· Rob Crone discussed Furry Friend Food Bank, Meals of Wheels and Community Cafés

· Tammy from Gentiva discussed Medical in-home care offered by their agency

· Donna Gormley of Loving Touch In Home Care discussed their non-medical private pay in home care services.

· Chris from Winterberry Heights discussed Assisted Living options

After the brief presentations were finished Noëlle turned the meeting over to the public, asking if there were any gaps in local services.

When asked about issues facing the greater Bangor area, it was suggested that senior housing was a critical problem. The new building on Harlow Street was mentioned. It is run by Volunteers of America. It is a very nice set-up, however someone said there is already a waiting list and it has not yet opened. Noëlle pointed out that there are going to be fewer nursing home beds in the future and that the number of older people is going to double. She also made the point that many older residents are afraid to ask for help because they think their family will put them in a nursing home. She explained that in Maine there are very strict rules about who can be admitted into a nursing or residential home. In fact, she said that in Maine you have to be extremely debilitated to qualify for a nursing home bed. She explained that you must need another person’s help with all of the following activities -bed mobility (turning over) locomotion (moving from bed to other places), eating. It is also possible to qualify due to cognitive problems such as memory loss or other types of disorientation.

Noëlle addressed the issue further stating that developers do not seem eager to build assisted living housing developments in Maine because there is nothing to fund the services other than private pay. The private pay options are unaffordable to the middle class, thus limiting the options to the majority of residents.

Noëlle further explained that if Mainers are going to have to stay in their homes for the rest of their life, they need to start early to assess the kind of changes they can make so that they can do so safely. Maine has the oldest housing stock in the nation therefore making it harder for aging Mainers to stay at home.

EAAA has a Home Share Program, but everyone wants someone to come live with them, and no one is willing to move out of their own home. EAAA has a list of those willing to share their home should anyone be interested.

With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned for lunch at 11:40AM.