Stay up to date on Spectrum Generations and the latest news on aging in place. For all media inquiries, please contact the Community Engagement Officer Stephanie Hanner at [email protected]
Spectrum Generations’ Legacy Corps Program, which caters to the caregiving needs of veterans and their families, recently received two national awards. Bestowed by the University of Maryland, the awards are a direct reflection of the efforts made to grow the program and enhance people’s lives through the support it offers.
The Eisenhower Award was presented to Spectrum Generations as a symbol of our leadership in modeling how to retain members. The Startup Award was presented in recognition of demonstrated growth of the program through both volunteers and families seeking services, year over year. The two awards were out of only four presented, nationwide.
Legacy Corps is a national AmeriCorps project that operates in 9 states at 16 project sites. At Spectrum Generations, the Legacy Corps program provides companionship respite care for veteran and military families and their caregivers, throughout central and midcoast Maine. The volunteers are trained and carefully matched with each client they work with to help support the specific needs veterans and military families often face, as well as decrease feelings of burden and stress for caregivers when caring for a loved one.
Veterans of any age, and their families members are welcome to contact Spectrum Generations' Tricia Payson at 620-1670 for more information on how to begin services. Volunteers for the program are also needed and invited to contact Betty LaBua at 620-1662 for more information on upcoming training opportunities.
More information can be seen at spectrumgenerations.org/legacycorps
Spectrum Generations is participating in the 15th Annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and the homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on its vital safety net. This year’s Community Champion week will be celebrated at Spectrum Generations Community Centers during the week of March 20. During this time local celebrities and state officials will be invited to deliver and serve meals, attend our luncheons at Centers and to raise awareness of hunger for our homebound seniors and disabled.
“The Meals on Wheels program is more than just a meal! It addresses three of the biggest threats of aging: isolation, hunger and the loss of independence,” said the Meals on Wheels of America spokesperson.
”The services that we provide the seniors of Central Maine are critical and the need is rapidly increasing,” said Karen Wiswell, Director of Nutrition. “Together, we can keep seniors living independently, healthier at home and feeling more connected to their community as they age.”
Please join us at one of Spectrum Generations six community centers located in Waterville, Skowhegan, Hallowell, Belfast, Damariscotta and Brunswick to celebrate March for Meals.
Since 2002, Meals on Wheels America has led the annual awareness campaign in an effort to fill the gap between the seniors served and those in need that is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs. This March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs, like Spectrum Generations will reach out to our communities to build the support to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America's seniors all year long.
For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Central Maine and contact your local nutrition coordinator.
Spectrum Generations’ Muskie Community Center at 38 Gold Street, Waterville offers two options for those people looking to get active and stay active.
Tai Chi and Matter of Balance will both be offered in sessions starting this spring. Both provide the opportunity to perform exercises that improve strength, balance, and fitness – essential activities that adults can do to reduce their chance of falling. The entire curriculum of these activities can help improve strength and balance. Registration is open for both now, contact Lyn Neiz at 930-8082 or [email protected]
Tai Chi is a fun, easy way to improve both physical and mental health. It offers low-impact exercise, and can also be done sitting down, at your own pace. The class does not require any prior knowledge of Tai Chi as the movements are slow and easy to learn, making it suitable for most people. The cost is $90 for 8 weeks, and classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday, from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. starting April 3.
Matter of Balance is a nationally recognized program designed to encourage physical activity and reduce the fear of falling. Workshops are conducted over eight sessions, over for weeks, meeting twice a week for two hours each, and led by experienced trained volunteer leaders. These workshop series is offered at a suggested donation of $20, and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. starting May 30.
Registration for both classes scheduled at the Muskie Center is currently open. Please contact Lyn Neiz at 930-8082 or [email protected] for more information.
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The theme for 2017 is "Put Your Best Fork Forward", which acts as a reminder that each bite counts. Making just small shifts in our food choices, can add up over time. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest starting with small changes in order to make healthier lasting changes you can enjoy. Next year's theme for National Nutrition Month® inspires us to start with small changes in our eating habits – one forkful at a time. So whether you are planning meals to prepare at home or making selections when eating out, Put Your Best Fork Forward to help find your healthy eating style.
The consumer market overflows with publications on nutrition, fitness and health. The publications listed here represent resources covering a broad range of nutrition and health topics and provide reliable, timely nutrition information for personal, school, library and community use. Most are available at local libraries and bookstores.
Learn how to attract pollinators to your garden
Spectrum Generations’ Coastal Community Center at 521 Main Street, Damariscotta, will be hosting a companion planting workshop led by master gardener Jean Vose on Thursday, March 9, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Program participants will learn how to plant different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, creating a beneficial habitat, and improved garden productivity. They will also be given a list of new plant combinations to investigate and other related informational handouts.
Suggested donation is $5. For more information or to register, contact the Coastal Community Center at 207.563.1363.
Jean Vose is a master gardener from the Knox and Lincoln Counties Extension Association, with over 30 years of gardening experience who will lead the workshop and share information about her favorite companion plants for home-scale vegetable production as well as recommendations from the books Companion Planting for the Kitchen Gardener and Rodale’s Successful Organic Gardening® Companion Planting.
Meals on Wheels America today released Hunger in Older Adults – a report seeking to increase the understanding of a variety of food assistance programs that can work in combination to more effectively address the needs of the more than 10 million older Americans facing hunger each year. The need for this resource became apparent amidst a pilot project funded by AARP Foundation and Caesars Foundation that sought to use tablet technology as a means to increase enrollment of eligible individuals in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In doing this work, the need for additional information about the full range of federal food assistance programs emerged.
“Hunger in Older Adults is intended to help expand access by eligible homebound older adults to available food assistance programs,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “What we quickly uncovered was that there is limited guidance available for those seeking to assist both homebound and ambulatory older adults in accessing needed food assistance.”
While national, state and local assistance programs often operate independently, are administered by different agencies and/or lack both public and private funding, using these programs in a coordinated way can more effectively address the myriad of health, environmental, physical and economic barriers to food security that many older adults face. Through best practices and actionable strategies, this report seeks to engage Aging Network leaders and advocates as partners to increase use of food assistance programs by older adults as this vulnerable population is set to double by 2050.
For the first time in one place, the Hunger in Older Adults report:
- Examines national programs that address these issues, silos in these systems, and potential strategies;
- Synthesizes publicly available research and information from government, organizations, academic studies, aging services reports and technical assistance materials;
- Examines the multiple ways that State Units on Aging (SUAs) tackle food insecurity to better address senior hunger issues within their state;
- Illuminates some of the challenges and opportunities for the community-based nutrition services network in serving older adults; and
- Recommends actions for leaders and advocates to better communicate, coordinate or collaborate, and develop the most effective interventions.
“It is our hope that this report will help the aging services network strengthen their ability to serve vulnerable older adults in communities across the country,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of AARP Foundation.
"The Caesars Foundation is proud to support Meals on Wheels and the AARP Foundation in its work to address hunger among older adults," said Executive Director Thom Reilly. "Initiatives such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, are critical to our ability to help people meet their basic needs."
Click here to view the full report.
The Central Lincoln County (CLC) YMCA and Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center (Damariscotta) today announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to form a community partnership effective mid-March, 2017.
Pending final business plan approval by the Spectrum Generations Board, their Coastal Community Center envisions relocating to the new CLC YMCA building in early 2018, where it will continue to support its mission to promote lifelong learning, health, wellness, nutrition, community engagement and the social well-being of all older and disabled adults.
Meagan Hamblett, CEO of CLC YMCA, said, “We’re excited about this collaborative opportunity with Spectrum, which could not have been made possible without the upcoming renovation and new construction of our YMCA facility. Timing is everything because now our architect can make office space adjustments to the facility design to accommodate Spectrum staff. Both organizations are committed to working together for the greater good, making a positive and healthier impact on our community.”
Spectrum Generations has been serving central and midcoast Maine’s older adults since 1972 and is a fixture in Lincoln County, providing services to 2200 people, including more than 15,000 Meals on Wheels in the most recent fiscal year. Spectrum Generations also provides caregiver support, education, and respite, Medicare counseling, and offers classes, workshops, social clubs, and weekly lunch-and-learn dining opportunities featuring local speakers focusing on a variety of topics. Their annual Aging in the Right Place Symposium continues to be a source for many in Lincoln County who are retired, nearing retirement, or looking for resources to support an elderly parent or loved one.
Gerard Queally, CEO of Spectrum Generations said, “We always look to collaborate with organizations and individuals and partnering with CLC YMCA makes sense. As with many community based non-profits, we strive to serve the needs of our neighbors and our ability to do that comes from these strong partnerships. Joining forces with the CLC YMCA allows us to share space and resources, opening up many avenues for us to increase the number of seniors we can serve while enhancing programs and service offerings. This is a big win for improving the health culture of our seniors in mid-coast Maine.”
Dennis Anderson, Board Chair, CLC YMCA, added, “Bringing Spectrum Generations on board opens new opportunities for this community, especially for our signature demographic seniors. At a time when social isolation and all its negative side effects are reaching epidemic levels, a partnership like this offers so many new prospects to help overcome these health and quality of life challenges in Lincoln County. We look forward to building upon the incredible work spectrum generations is already doing in our communities."
Personal fitness assessments, a new fitness series, information sessions and trainings are now being offered at Spectrum Generations’ Cohen and Muskie Community Centers in Hallowell and Waterville, respectively.
If you are ready to start an exercise program but are unsure of where to start, or are intimidated by group exercise or the gym, Robin Maginn, Advanced Certified Senior Personal Trainer and Senior Exercise Instructor, is offering a free one-on-one fitness assessment. Her safe, whole-body approach will help you meet your fitness goals this New Year. When you sign up for a fitness assessment, you’ll receive discounts on upcoming classes.
A new fitness series, “It’s All About…” will focus on different muscle areas like legs, arms, and the core, and help with issues related to posture and balance. The classes will be held monthly at each center. The Muskie Center located at 38 Gold Street in Waterville will host on the second Tuesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.; the Cohen Center on Town Farm Road in Hallowell will host on the second Thursday of each month also from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Cost to attend is $10 and registration is required.
Each center offers a variety of movement and fitness classes. For more information about future class dates, health and wellness programs or to sign up for these classes, call the Cohen Community Center at 626-7777 or Muskie Community Center at 873-4745.
Robin Maginn has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for 20 years, helping individuals of all health levels achieve their personal fitness goals and is certified by the Senior Fitness Association, the international association exclusively for fitness professionals who serve older adult populations, and teaches many other health and fitness classes at Spectrum Generations.
Classes being offered as a part of the Spectrum Generations Chronic Disease Self-Management Network
Spectrum Generations will be hosting Tai Chi classes starting on January 4, 2017, at the Muskie Community Center at 38 Gold St, in Waterville from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays. Classes will be taught by certified, trained professionals who will help participants improve balance, strength, and improve overall health and wellness.
This program is specifically designed for those with arthritis and has been proven to be safe and effective. Tai Chi exercises the entire body, joints, muscles and internal organs while also strengthening the mind. Participants will focus on improving strength, balance, mental health, and relieving stress.
Tai Chi can be particularly beneficial for those interested in:
- Improving strength, flexibility, balance and mobility
- Improved breathing, internal energy and relaxation
- Improving balance and preventing falls
- Decreasing pain, depression, stress and loss of ability to do things
- Overall increased health
For more information or to register for the upcoming Tai Chi class offerings, contact Lyn Neiz, Evidence Based Programs Coordinator at (207) 930-8082 or via email at [email protected].
Spectrum Generations announces the Caregiver Respite Program has funds available. Although there are many rewards in caring for a friend or family member with dementia, family caregivers can become stressed and exhausted over time. Respite, the opportunity to take a break, is vital to caregiver well-being.
The Caregiver Respite Program supports family caregivers by helping to cover the cost for someone else to provide care for the person with dementia. This may take place in the home, at an adult day-care program, or overnight in a facility (on a limited basis). The care may be provided by a family member, friend, or neighbor, someone from a homecare agency or an adult day program. The respite program allows caregivers the opportunity to take some time for themselves to re-energize, do something for fun, or get necessary errands done.
The Caregiver Respite Program can reimburse up to $3,040 a year (which is 80% of a total annual cap of $3800) of what it costs to have someone come into the home a few hours a week, or several hours of adult day care per week. It can also help with the cost of up to two full weeks of overnight continual care in an assisted living or nursing facility. Furthermore, up to $2,000 (lifetime) can be used to help cover the cost of home modifications needed to promote independent living.
In order to qualify for the Caregiver Respite Program, there must be a written diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or related memory disorder from a physician, liquid assets cannot exceed $50,000 for one person or $75,000 for a couple, and there must not be any assistance from any other state subsidized programs.
For more information, or to apply, contact the Family Caregiver Program at Spectrum Generations at 1-800-639-1553.
The 2nd Annual Sukeforth Family Festival of Trees will be held at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville:
November 18-20 and 25-27
Fridays & Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11/20, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11/27, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$2.00 entrance fee for adults, children under 12 free
Raffle tickets will be available for purchase, and can be placed in buckets under any beautiful tree. Each tree's winner gets to take the tree home, fully decorated and all ready for the holidays, with everything that is on it and under it!
Santa's Snack Shack and Santa himself will also be available during Festival hours.
We greatly appreciate the Sukeforth Family as they host this event in support of Spectrum Generations and Hospice Volunteers of Waterville!
Spectrum Generations and the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) have recently been awarded $636,500 and $478,779 respectively, from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build a sustainable network of evidence based health and wellness programs dedicated to older adults and disabled persons. The agencies received two of only 16 grants awarded throughout the country for these initiatives by the US HHS Administration for Community Living.
Gerard Queally, CEO of Spectrum Generations said, “The awarding of these two grants present an enormous opportunity for Maine to develop a sustainable, statewide Evidence Based Health and Wellness network. It speaks to the confidence the Administration on Community Living has in the Area Agencies on Aging in our state and to the collaborative nature in which both grant applications were written. All of Maine’s health systems and many other community-based organizations, like Somerset Public Health, fully supported the application and their older patients and members will now have an increased opportunity to attend classes in or close to the communities in which they live. This is a big win for improving the health culture of Maine.”
Spectrum Generations will focus its program on chronic disease self-management and education, chronic pain self-management, and diabetes self-management, while expanding the delivery infrastructure and geographic reach of educational offerings. Citing CDC statistics that 86% of healthcare costs are attributed to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, anticipated outcomes include increased participant confidence and self-efficacy, decreased emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and incorporation of healthy eating and exercise into daily routines.
The Southern Maine Agency on Aging will use the grant to develop an evidence-based falls prevention program network across the State of Maine. Statewide AAA’s will develop more systematic outreach strategies, build relationships with health providers including MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization, and ultimately embed and sustain falls prevention programs within regional healthcare systems.
Laurence W. Gross, SMAA’s Executive Director stated, “This grant will significantly increase the number of older adults across Maine who are referred to and participate in evidence-based falls prevention programs. SMAA has a strong history of partnership with ACL. In 2014, we were awarded a three-year, $954,457 grant, – The Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative: Specialized Support Services – to improve services for adults living with dementia. We are thrilled for this next opportunity to continue partnering with ACL as we now work to reduce the risk of falls for older Mainers.”
Spectrum Generations and the Southern Maine Agency on Aging expect that by collaborating with other Maine Agencies on Aging, as well as with health systems, state health departments and other community-based health organizations, that the quality of life for older adults and those disabled persons living in Maine will improve. By focusing on improving balance issues and chronic disease and pain management, the ideal outcomes will be increased capacity of targeted population to live healthier lives while maintaining their ability to age in place. In addition, results will show the efficacy of these programs and help determine the structure of future services within the healthcare arena.
Classes will be offered through the generous support of a Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation grant.
Hallowell – Spectrum Generations has recently been awarded a grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to offer courses designed to promote healthy eating initiatives.
The Healthy Food for Every Age workshop series will kick off on July 21, and be held subsequent Thursdays at the Cohen Community Center in Hallowell on Town Farm Road, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
The six-week series will give participants an overview of the nutritional value of food, teach professional methods of food preparation and presentation, and provide healthy cooking tips. There will be themed meals, demonstrations, and hands-on preparation and cooking opportunities. Courses will focus on heart-healthy meals, diabetic-friendly foods and gluten free/gluten light meals, as well as include a component on staying active or incorporating exercise into a new routine.
As part of the We Sustain Maine program, Spectrum Generations is committed to providing meals that incorporate at least 30% of food purchased from Maine farmers, and these courses will also highlight the benefits of buying local produce. For more information or to register, call The Cohen Community Center at 207-686-7777.