Meeting Minutes - Piscataquis County

July 24, 2012
July 24, 2012

Friends and Neighbors Meeting Notes

Greenville Community CafƩ

July 24, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. in the lounge at the Dean Park Apartments in Greenville. In attendance were Lorraine Stewart, Evelyn Brooks, Vaughn Smith, John Shaw, Sylvia Edgerly, Lucielle Thibeault, Kay Loiselle, Judith Burke, Debbie Ranta and Sandra Ryder. Staff in attendance was Noƫlle Merrill, Gail Rush, Leslie Lizotte and Lee-Ann Horowitz.

The group introduced themselves. Most of the attendees lived in the Dean Park apartments. Two lived in Greenville Junction.

Noƫlle and other EAAA staff talked about the various services available from the agency. A focus was placed on underutilized SNAP benefits by seniors. Members of the audience did not realize this was a benefit that could help them make ends meet. Another program of interest was that of the Amish Fireplaces. Residents reported that they were responsible for their own heat in the building and that they were keeping thermostats low. It was thought that they could qualify for a fireplace, since they were also reporting that they were cold and did not have any other options. Staff reminded the group of the date for enrollment in LIHEAP and other heating/insulation assistance programs.

Another area of discussion focused on home maintenance for the women who came from their own private homes. Staff said they would follow-up to make sure they are connected to the right program for some of the work necessary before winter. In most cases, this would be Penquis.

There was a discussion about the new benefits available from Medicare such as preventive screenings. Leslie Lizotte brought booklets and other information to help the attendees understand this fairly new benefit. One of the attendees, the son of a resident, said he was a para medic with the hospital and that there was a new program in the works that would pair home visits with chronic disease. There was a lot of interest in this. One attendee said that she struggled with managing her diabetes. She didnā€™t understand when her numbers differed from the information that she had. Staff said that in the past, home health public nurses were available statewide for this sort of educational need, but that there are so few now that a lot of people are not able to access the service. NoĆ«lle shared information about Community Care Teams, who will likely be coming to Greenville, could help with just this sort of issue. They are meant to help patients/consumers better manage a chronic disease with education, exercise tips and other tools.

The meeting ended at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Noƫlle L Merrill

Executive Director

March 19, 2012

Piscataquis County Friend and Neighbors Meeting

March 19, 2012

Dover-Foxcroft Community CafƩ

The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. Guests in attendance were Roberta Sawyer, Dottie Hadier, Barbara Wilbur, Joan Shapleigh, Ione rush, Grace Nicholas, Nancy Matulis, Paul Matulis, Sue Mackey Andrews, Judy Merck, Jane Conroy, Dorothy Finnemore, Wilma Andres and Marie Thompson. Staff present was Noƫlle Merrill, Leslie Lizotte, Theresa Boettner and Gail Rush. EAAA board president, Virginia Fortier also attended.

Noƫlle talked about the purpose of these meetings where the public is invited to share their ideas, comments about needs and so forth. She then talked about EAAA services and how they might benefit seniors living in Piscataquis County. She also talked about the advocacy that was on-going in Augusta and mentioned that if anyone was interested in advocating for senior issues, to please give her or Carol Higgins Taylor a call at the agency.

Nancy Matulis mentioned that she and others were interested in being heard and wondered if there were other ways to know what was going on in Augusta. Noƫlle explained that she and any others could contact Carol Higgins Taylor and be part of a list of seniors ready to call, write or speak publicly about any issues that may affect them in the future. She explained how important it is that legislators hear from seniors rather than just providers. She talked about the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging and their role in Augusta.

Paul Matulis confirmed that there is no longer a TRIAD in the Dover area. There was some discussion about transportation. Generally attendees were pleased to have a community cafƩ in their region and were all in favor of the adult day service that was being developed for the old Central Hall.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned for a lunch with a local Brownie troop.

Noƫlle Merrill

September 15, 2011

Piscataquis Regional Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Greenville Community CafƩ

September 15, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. Guests In attendance were Vicky Canoe, Lorraine Servant, Dottie Gagne, Viola Woodward, Anna Huff and Jill Marie Grant. Staff attending was Noƫlle Merrill and Theresa Boettner. Virginia Fortier, President of the EAAA Board of Directors was also in attendance.

The immediate concern of the group was that the meal site was going to be closed down. Noƫlle explained that the Greenville site was guaranteed to remain open for the next year due to the efforts of a board member and the generosity of a local Greenville church. She explained that after the EAAA board heard a presentation about the challenges of maintaining the current nutrition program and planned cuts, Dr. Robert Veon asked what money was needed to keep the Greenville site open. Once he received the information, he went to Rockwood Community Church and asked for help for the site. They contributed $1,600, which was the difference between the cost of the meals and additional revenue needed.

Next the group discussed ways to attract more diners to the site. Noƫlle suggested that a sandwich board sign on the main road might help attract new diners, since there were no signs anywhere. Another person suggested that channel 19 would be a good way to market the program. A volunteer said that her husband could make a sign to be placed out on the road regularly that could help attract new diners.

Therese Boettner talked about the homeshare program because the agency is seeing more potential help for people by sharing homes, at least in the winter.

The being no further business, the meeting adjourned for lunch in the dining room at 11:30 a.m.

March 18, 2011

Piscataquis Regional Advisory Council


Quarry Pines, Brownville, Maine

March 18, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. Staff, volunteers and former volunteers were in attendance. The group consisted of Noƫlle Merrill (Executive Director), Virginia Fortier (EAAA Board President), Jane Fairchild (EAAA Board Member), Paul LeClair (Volunteer), Theresa Boettner (Staff), Barbara Wilbur (SHIP Volunteer), Valre Burgess (Resident of Quarry Pines), Robin Lyford (Staff), Gail Rush (Staff), Leslie Lizotte (Staff), Carla Greaney (Advisory Board member), Margaret Witham (Advisory Board member) and Betty Gould (Volunteer).

There was a discussion about how to be sure direct service volunteers have access to information about the agency and whatā€™s going on in much the same way staff get that information. NoĆ«lle said that she would have an email distribution list set up for direct service volunteers with email addresses. She would send the monthly board report and itā€™s attachments to all volunteers as well as staff from now on.

Valre Burgess talked about how friendly neighbors are enabling her to be able to live on her own longer. She said they help her by giving her rides when she has appointments and rides for grocery shopping. She also has homemaker services through the state Independent Support Services that help her stay in her apartment and keep it clean and orderly. She doesnā€™t know what will happen if she has to leave Quarry Pines, because she doesnā€™t want to live in a nursing facility.

The discussion turned to ways that the elders of Piscatquis County can stay independent longer. The group thought that if there was a program to call older residents and the home bound who live alone, that this might help prolong a residentā€™s ability to stay independent for a longer time. Robin mentioned the program the meals program is using for connecting with people living on a discontinued meal home delivery route. Others thought that an expanded version of that program would benefit Piscataquis residents.

Participants also discussed transportation. They said that it was not easy to learn about what is available or to access it. When they call the Lynx, they are asked if they receive Mainecare. If they say no, then often that is the end of the call or they are referred to Eastern Area Agency on Aging. We tell them what to say, they call Penquis back and then they get a general public transit ride. Noƫlle said she would contact Marcia Larkin about this and discuss how that might change. Noƫlle mentioned that she was on the TIGER II advisory board, which is a major transportation study that is about to be launched through the Eastern Maine Development Corporation. The goal was to redesign transportation for the rural areas of Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Waldo counties. It was then suggested by attendees that if the money spent on transportation studies could be directed to actual transportation, there would probably be better transportation options.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at noon.