Meeting Minutes - Hancock County
Eastern Area Agency on Aging
Hancock County Friend and Neighbors Meeting
The meeting was commenced at 10:00 a.m. at the Deer Run Community Café on Deer Isle. Attendees included Jeffrey Brink, Audrey Peasley, Ann Eaton, Evelyn Hardie, Lila Haskell, Roberta Small, Louise Brown, Eliza Specer, Terry Gavaza, Charlotte Campbell, Virginia Fortier, Sharon Eaton, Carlos Amaral and Noëlle Merrill.
Many of the attendees reported they lived in the Deer Run Apartments and were very happy there. One person said they came to the meeting because they had received confusing letters from Mainecare and another person said she came because she was having challenges finding help to maintain her home where she lives alone. She also said that she was on the waiting list for housing at the Deer Run Apartments. The group agreed that there was a need for more senior housing on Deer Isle. They mentioned there was one other facility, but that it housed both seniors and low income adults and was not a desirable place to live.
Most of the attendees had not heard about the free Medicare Wellness checks, that Noëlle discussed.
There was a lengthy discussion about the lack of volunteers in the community. There is also a shortage of affordable service labor. It was pointed out that in the past, teenagers were eager to earn extra money by mowing lawns and doing other chores for cash. The attendees said that teenagers either have better jobs or have income from their parents that makes it unnecessary for them to try to earn money on their own. This affects the lawn mowing and snow shoveling jobs that once often went to high school students.
It was mentioned that EAAA staff had offered to provide Matter of Balance courses at Deer Run, but nothing had ever come of it. It was also mentioned that there were Bone Builders courses being provided at the Stonington Community Café location on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Transportation was mentioned as an issue, but currently there is a bus that runs on Fridays to Ellsworth from Stonington. Noëlle said she would send information about the summer trips she authorized from Stonington to Bangor once a month.
Noëlle explained the new agency bylaw change which makes everyone over 60 years of age in the agency service area part of the Advisory Council. The Board of Directors added language that said the agency would seek advisory input through the use of regular Friends and Neighbors meeting throughout the region during the year.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
Friends and Neighbors Meeting
March 12, 2012
United Methodist Church Community Café
The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. In attendance were community members Carolyn Brodgett, Jane Tannehill, Evelyn Thompson, Maggie Williams, Georgia Hutchins, Rosie Grindell, Nancy Leach, Ralph and Lois Gross, Linwood Clement and Elizabeth Gross. Irving Faunce, Director of the Penobscot Nursing Home also attended. Staff attending the meeting was Noëlle Merrill and Vicky Haskell. Virginia Fortier, EAAA Board President was also present.
Everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and most of the attendees were from Penobscot. There was one person from Orland. Noëlle detailed the many programs and fine points about the programs to the group and then opened the meeting to discussion.
The group thought that transportation was a problem for seniors in their area. It was mentioned that a transportation program that was currently in existence in Castine was about to end. Noëlle suggested that they talk to her about possibly utilizing the agency transportation funds for these rides. They also thought that the 3D catering was a great idea and that perhaps there was room in the church freezer for meals. When asked how many would purchase the meals, however, no one raised their hand. Most of the attendees said they were not ready to purchase pre-made meals because they still cooked their own. Noëlle explained that without sufficient utilization of a program, the program usually will be mothballed. This was often true of transit programs.
Maggie Wiliams asked the group if they were interested in programming for the Community Café there. The discussion then turned to the Balance and other healthy aging programs. It was decided that the group would like activities like those to be offered once or twice a month prior to the lunch.
It was also mentioned that the group would like to have help with using computers. They would like to learn more of the basics. Often the classes available are too advanced, so they would like a class that was geared to new advanced age computer users.
There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30.
Friends and Neighbors Meeting Minutes
February 15, 2012
Maple Lane Apartments
The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. Attending the meeting were Jeannette Reed, Elaine Smith, Dave Hills, Marilyn Peterson, Connie Seavey, Carol Harkins-Damon, Mary Parker (Director from Island Connections), Josephine Swann, and Richard Finnemore. EAAA related personnel attending were Vickie Haskell ,EAAA Hancock County Coordinator, Allie Nolan (MDI Housing Authority and EAAA partner), Audrey Peasley, EAAA Advisory Council for Hancock County, Virginia Fortier, President of the EAAA Board of Directors and Noëlle Merrill, Executive Director of the Eastern Area Agency on Aging.
Almost immediately attendees talked about the issue of lack of transportation in the area during the fall, winter and early spring months. They said that the transit services provided during the summer seemed like they were geared only to tourists and that it would be nice if they kept some of the bus runs after the tourist season is over.
When the group was asked what they would say to someone who was older and looking into moving into their community they said they would tell them to run the other way. When asked why, they said that it was because there was very little for older people to do in their community. This became an opportunity for Noëlle to talk about the community cafés and other EAAA activities in the region. Audrey Peasley spoke at length about her café in Brooksville. She invited all attendees to come to Brooksville on any Thursday to experience a vibrant community café.
Josephine Swann asked why the Bangor area Senior Games no longer were offered. Noëlle explained that because of a lack of volunteers, staffing and nationally qualifying activities, EAAA stopped providing the games in the mid 90’s. Noëlle said she would look into possibly partnering with Southern Maine Agency on Aging to offer a few activities in the Bangor region.
Attendees also lamented the fact that so much of the information being offered publicly required them to use a computer or the internet. They all agreed that they mostly did not know how to use computers, and certainly could not afford the connection costs. Mary Parker reminded all that they could use the local library for internet, but that wouldn’t solve the problem of not knowing how to use a computer. Virginia Fortier said there needed to be more classes offered that were true beginner courses.
Josephine Swann talked about the challenges of going blind. She had to hitchhike on Swan’s Island when she lived there to be able to get to the ferry and get groceries, etc. She participated in a national film about blindness and recommended it to anyone who was in danger or was already blind.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned and a drawing for grocery cards ensued. Carol Harkins-Damon and Josephine Swann each won a $10 gift certificate to Hannafords.
Noëlle Merrill, Executive Director
Minutes of the Hancock County Regional Advisory Council
EAAA Community Café
First Baptist Church
Blue Hill, Maine
November 18, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 18, 2011. Attending the meeting were EAAA staff Noëlle Merrill and Vicki Haskell, EAAA Board president Virginia Fortier, Hancock County Advisory Council members Audry Peasley and Judy Lebel. Blue Hill residents Louise Shackett and Donna Ingalls also attended.
After introductions and an explanation of the advisory council schedule and concept, discussion opened about issues facing Blue Hill seniors. Attendees expressed the wish that more could be done to attract diners to the community café. Noëlle explained that she is hopeful communities would do more for their sites such as ask residents and students to volunteer there or make a sign indicating the presence of the café.
Attendees also said that the cost of heating oil is going to severely impact them this winter. Noëlle talked about the Amish Heaters.
Noëlle talked about the many services provided by EAAA such as medical transportation, file of life, phone friends. One of the attendees knew of someone having a difficult time getting transportation for a medical treatment in Bangor, so she was delighted to learn of the medical transportation funding.
Another attendee expressed interest in becoming a phone friend’s caller. Vicki said she would make sure she receives more information about doing this.
Noëlle also said that she would make sure Blue Hill receives a good number of files of life for placement in the town hall, café and the post office.
There being no further discussion, the meeting ended at approximately 11:45 a.m.
Noëlle Merrill, Executive Director
Eastern Area Agency on Aging
Hancock County Regional Advisory Council Meeting
Stonington Community Café
Island Community Center
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. Residents of the region attending were Vivian Robertson, Edith Hutchinson, Joan Weber, Marjorie Bray, Winnie Kent, Jessica Brophy, Josephine Jacob, Pat Gross, Hyeja Poling, Barbara Sigmara. Also In attendance was EAAA Board President, Virginia Fortier, EAAA Executive Director, Noelle Merrill, Deb Poulton, Ellen Winningham, CSC, and a number of nutrition department volunteers.
1. A welcome and opening comments were made by Noelle with a brief explanation of the purpose of the regional meetings.
2. Self introductions followed with brief statements by attendees. Community members were from Stonington, Deer Isle, Little Deer Isle and West Deer Isle. A reporter from the local press was also in attendance, as well as a professional caregiver who works with families of caregivers, once worked for Robert and Mary’s Place and tried to open her own adult day at one time, but failed. There were several comments about how enjoyable the café and meals were.
Both Ellen and Deb gave a brief overview of programs including materials from EAAA.
3. Noelle began the open discussion by giving some statistical information on Stonington and Hancock County, and also gave some examples of the value of the regional meetings that occur across the four-county area. She also reviewed the coverage areas, staffing and volunteer efforts and additional information about numbers of programs that EAAA has to offer. The discussion turned to how the agency interacts with local nursing and medical facilities in the area, which led to the needs for increased provider networks to occur at all these levels. There was significant interest in the “At Home” and “neighbors-helping-neighbors” models for such a peninsula since each have a distinct population and geography, and resources are very few and far between. The question arises as how to best replicate, and learn from each community as to what works, to create models that do not duplicate efforts. There is a great shortage of younger “workers” in the area. Seniors getting help with chores, affordable laborers and how to form a coalition of known and trusted entities was discussed at length. There was interest in how the AAA’s are funded, and Noelle reviewed the history of the Older Americans Act. There was a suggestion that the Brooklin community has a program called Brooklin Youth Corp, whereby young high school students perform tasks for seniors in the community, a model that might be explored further. The community center director also shared that the Senior Companion Program was looking to make this a local “station” for volunteers, an effort that could help greatly with organizing and meeting some of the needs of seniors.
The discussions and overall conversation was extensive, and the sharing of ideas, rich.
4. There was apparent interest in a follow up meeting taking place in this site, as there were interested parties who would want to attend. Noelle will be back in touch with as many attendees as possible to set up another meeting date.
5. With no further comments or questions, the meeting adjourned at noon.
6. The next Hancock County Regional Advisory Meeting will be held on Thrusday, November 17, 2011 at the Blue Hill First Baptist Church at 10:00 a.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Hancock County Regional Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
Bucksport Community Café, Bucksport Rod and Gun Club
May 25, 2011
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:10 a.m. Residents of the region attending were Dorothy Moody, Phyllis Wardwell, Ellen Archer and Ruth Wardwell and two other café regulars and dining service volunteers. Also In attendance was EAAA Board President, Virginia Fortier, EAAA Deputy Director, Deb Poulton. Other EAAA staff attending: Rob Crone, nutrition director, Dyan Walsh, community services director, Carol Higgins Taylor, communications director, Janet Lewis, family caregiver specialist and Josephine Cirrinone, caregiver navigator.
In addition, members of the Bureau of Insurance, led by former representative Jim Campbell, were Glenn Griswold and Frank Kimball.
Deb opened the meeting by welcoming the group and explaining the format and purpose of the Regional Advisory meetings, this being the second to be held in Hancock County. Prior to further introductions, former representative Jim Campbell and staff of the Bureau of Insurance were introduced and allowed to present their case and warning about insurance fraud, especially as it relates to the use of the name “Medicare” to scam seniors.
Jim Campbell gave examples of cases and complaints received by the Bureau and how they will intervene in many insurance questions, disputes, or when any senior has concerns about a legitimate company.
He explained that the changes to Medicare do not require anyone to seek additional coverage or get a new card. He further warned about anyone approaching or calling seniors and asking for personal information. When in any doubt, seniors are encouraged to phone 1-800-300-5000 and the bureau will look into any doubtful reports.
He also cautioned about purchasing annuities – an investment product that is fraught with financial risk. Extensive material was left for the taking, and both Glen and Frank were available to answer questions. They will also assist with difficult to understand long term care policies that seniors struggle with. A few questions were fielded, but they remained on site to be available one-on-one to participants.
Self introductions followed with staff presenting a brief overview of their individual programs and the seniors present speaking briefly about their experiences of living in their large, older homes and not wanting to leave them.
Various suggestions were made about contacts with WHCA for home weatherization programs to help with rising heat costs.
Carol was able to elicit some information as to where seniors got their news/information, which is generally local stations, and limited internet/computer use.
Rob offered that he would be starting a computer course in June and anyone was welcome to sign up.
With no further comments or questions, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 so that individuals could mingle and obtain further written material and approach staff for further information.
Hancock County Regional Advisory Council
Deer Run Apartments, Deer Isle
February 17, 2011
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. Residents of the region attending were Lisa Whittemore, Mary Cevasco, Pearl Mulligan, Mary Alice Haskell, E. Doug Haskell and Louise Brown and numerous other café regulars and volunteers. Also In attendance was Hancock County Regional Advisory Council member, Anne Dickens, EAAA Board President, Virginia Fortier, EAAA Executive Director, Noëlle Merrill, EAAA Board Member Joan Weber. EAAA staff attending were Sharon Eaton and Vicki Billings Rowell.
Noëlle explained the Regional Advisory Council concept and the reason for the meeting. She also explained that at this particular meeting, she would be conducting a verbal survey for the United Way, if everyone was agreeable. Attendees were in favor of going through the United Way survey.
1. Do you feel as though the United Way of Eastern Maine has an established presence in your community?
The group did not have any feeling about the United Way serving needs in the Deer Isle Stonington area. One person said that because they had served on the board of Faith in Action, they were aware that there was funding directed to that organization, but otherwise the United Way is not a known quantity.
2. Do you feel that the United Way of Eastern Maine is funding relevant programs in your community/region?
The group did not recognize most of the programs listed on the funding information sheet.
3. Are you aware of the various initiatives that the UWEM is involved in, and do you think that they are making a difference? (Born Leaning, Backpack Food Program, Falls Prevention, etc)
Most of them had not heard of these programs and had no idea as to whether or not they were working. In addition, it was pointed out that they had a failing school so clearly born learning wasn’t helping their region.
4. What do you think are the greatest needs people in your community are facing today?
This question produced a large response which will be listed:
Jobs in the winter months
Lack of activities for children and young people
School is listed as a failing school
Economic Class splits
No opportunities for women
Lack of technical training for women like fishing
Lack of support for men
Men need to be engaged in the abuse issue
5. Do you feel that the identified Target Populations are relevant today?
The group was unanimous that community means everyone including men and singles
6. Do the current stated Outcomes that were established as a result of the 2001 Needs Assessment make sense to you?
The group thought that they made sense but were not happening in their region
7. What programs and resources do you see as ‘working’ in your community currently?
The Fisherman Tuneup – a physical for men only using mechanics terms for parts of the body
Shopping lessons – developed and offered by the Island Medical Center
Community Café but needs more publicity
8. What areas do you think that UWEM needs to strengthen?
No one knew about 211, and at least one person thought they should publish a resource guide
Transportation especially to social activities like the community café
Utilize the radio station WERU
Consider the many regional difference that exist, one size doesn’t fit all in Maine
There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. The next meeting of the Hancock County Regional Advisory Council will be on May 25th in Bucksport at a place not yet determined.