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Healthy Living for ME receives $840,000 in federal funding
3-year grant award supports the expansion and sustainability of statewide network of workshops addressing chronic health issues
Statewide (Maine) – Healthy Living for ME – a partnership between three Area Agencies on Aging: Spectrum Generations, Seniors Plus, and Aroostook Agency on Aging – has recently been awarded an $840,000, 3-year grant from the Administration on Community Living (ACL).
Healthy Living for ME currently provides a single-point of entry to a statewide network of workshops that empower adults to address and better manage their health issues. Workshops offered focus on improving balance and preventing falls and helping adults manage chronic conditions – including high blood pressure, chronic pain, heart disease, COPD, arthritis, and diabetes.
Healthy Living for ME will utilize these new grant funds over the next three years in developing, expanding, and coordinating the centralized hub for evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs including Living Well with Chronic Pain and Living Well with Diabetes. The funding of this project will also allow for the pursuit of Medicare reimbursement, for both programs, ultimately resulting in complete sustainability without additional grant support.
Lead organization Spectrum Generations’ President & CEO, Gerard Queally said, “We know that Healthy Living for ME works for Mainers; we’ve seen increased health outcomes in the two years since our last ACL grant. Having a statewide network of providers, community partners, and health systems only furthers that benefit and now presents a fortuitous opportunity for healthcare providers in Maine to work closely with community-based organizations to execute the Triple Aim. Healthy Living for ME workshops improve a person’s experience of care, the overall health of population, and reducing the per capita cost of health care, and provides lasting results.”
For more information on Healthy Living for ME services available in your area, visit www.healthylivingforme.org or call 1-800-620-6036 for more information about becoming a referral partner or host site.
About Healthy Living for ME
Healthy Living for ME brings together Spectrum Generations, Seniors Plus, and Aroostook Agency on Aging – three of Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging – in a partnership to deliver statewide chronic disease self-management and falls prevention classes. FMI or to find a class, visit: healthylivingforme.org
Maine – Spectrum Generations recently completed an accessibility and mobility project, through the generous support of a $98,000 grant from the Next Generation Foundation. The funds were used to purchase two vans for the Bridges Home Services Adult Day program and touchpad door systems at two community centers in Hallowell and Belfast.
Spectrum Generations’ President & CEO, Gerard Queally said, “This support has enabled us to make significant strides in ensuring access to our facilities by persons with limited mobility, and greatly enhanced the opportunity to bring our Adult Day participants out into their communities. It has been a thrilling project to be involved with and our clients are thrilled as well!”
Spectrum Generations purchased two vans with the funds, both offering wheelchair lift service, and modified seating arrangements so that a number of participants from the Adult Day program with varying spatial requirements can join in community outings. The vans will serve all four of the Adult Day programs offered through Bridges Home Services (a division of Spectrum Generations) at locations in Belfast, Hallowell, Skowhegan, and Waterville. They have also already been used to shuttle attendees to the Healthy Living Expo at Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center to avoid crossing a busy road on foot.
The funding also allowed for the installation and wiring of touchpad door systems at Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center in Hallowell and Waldo Community Center in Belfast.
Consumers and caregivers of the programs and visitors to centers are already echoing the praise of new additions. One Adult Day participant said, "I'm excited to have the new vans, being involved in the community is really important to me."
A representative for the Next Generation Foundation commented that, “funding these improvements fit perfectly with our mission to serve Maine’s most vulnerable people. We’re pleased the improvements have worked out so well.”
For more information on Spectrum Generations services available in central and midcoast Maine, visit spectrumgenerations.org or call 1-800-639-1553. For information on Bridges Home Services Adult Day programs, visit bridgeshomeservices.org/services/adultdayservices.
Spectrum Generations Cohen Community Center will host this annual event
Hallowell, ME – On Friday, June 1, Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center will host their annual Healthy Aging Expo, from 10:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
A free event, the Healthy Aging Expo offers attendees an opportunity to meet with exhibitors (including major sponsors, Senscio Systems and Bridges Home Care), learn about different ways food can affect health, sample products, get healthy cooking tips, qualify for door prizes and get resources to meet personal goals. Be sure to stop by the Beltone booth for your free hearing test.
Lunch will be catered by Cohen on the Meadows and available for a cost of $6.50 (sandwich wraps, salads, and vegetarian options).
For more information call 626-7777. Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center is located at 22 Town Farm Road in Hallowell.
Hallowell, ME – In celebration of the 16th Annual March for Meals – a month-long celebration of the vital importance of Meals on Wheels – Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center will be hosting Maine State Senators Roger Katz and Shenna Bellows, and town managers Eric Dyer (Readfield), Curtis Lunt (Monmouth), and Ryan Frost (Winthrop).
On Wednesday, March 21, Senator Roger Katz will be helping to pack Meals on Wheels at 7:30 a.m. and local town managers Curtis Lunt and Eric Dyer will begin packing hot meals at 8:30 a.m. Ryan Frost will help deliver meals to those in Winthrop beginning at 10:00 a.m.
On Friday, March 23, Senator Shenna Bellows will accompany a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver to deliver meals to recipients on the Randolph area.
The dignitaries are joining in the nationwide event during March for Meals Community Champions Week, as Meals on Wheels programs across the country invite elected officials and other prominent figures to deliver meals and raise awareness of the power the nutrition in Meals on Wheels has for many homebound adults.
Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center is located at 22 Town Farm Road in Hallowell.
Spectrum Generations is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to the organization’s Volunteer Board of Directors.
“We are pleased that so many community leaders have chosen to give of their time and talents to support the mission of Spectrum Generations,” said Gerry Queally, President and CEO of Spectrum Generations. “Our organization and the population we serve will no doubt benefit greatly from the involvement of our new board members.”
Spectrum Generations serves older and disabled adults in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Waldo Counties. Among the programs they offer and/or administrate are Meals on Wheels, health and wellness activities, Community Based Health Care, and Community Case Management. Spectrum also organizes and hosts a number of classes and events throughout the year.
The new board members, all of whom began their service in 2018, are as follows:
Robert Bremm, Sagadahoc County Member since 2018
Bob graduated from SUNY Maritime College with a BEME. Upon graduation he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and became a Navy pilot. He has been a Director of Facilities at Central Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Center and Bates College. In 2012 he started his own company, Orion Maine Inc. He provides owner project management services for large design/construction projects, specializing in healthcare and higher education.
Stephanie Duncan, At Large Member since 2018
Stephanie Duncan has been involved in the greater Kennebec area for many years and is very proud to be part of a community that she grew up in and has proudly raised her family in. Stephanie started her long journey in social services with a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta. Over the years she has been employed as activities coordinator, a substitute teacher, a direct support specialist, personal caretaker among other positions. She has been entrenched in the Gardiner School System, Uplift, and Spectrum Generations. She is very excited to be part of Spectrum Generations at the board level to learn more about the range of services and helping other families best support their children through these services. Stephanie has held positions that have allowed her the flexibility to be the main caregiver and best advocate for her son Gabe, a client at Spectrum Generations. She resides in Randolph with Gabe and loves hearing the adventures of her two adult children Ross and Mariah.
Thomas B. George, Jr., At Large Member since 2018
Tom George currently works as a Program Manager at Senscio Systems. He also works part-time as a Facilities Manager for ElderCare Network of Lincoln County. Prior to joining Senscio and ElderCare, Tom owned and operated his own business for over eight years. Tom brings his sense of entrepreneurship, extensive amount of experience in customer relations, and broad knowledge of technology, construction, and healthcare industries. Tom is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he studied Business Administration, Organizational Leadership, and IT. In addition, he holds a Human Resource Management Certificate and is a Certified Residential Medication Aide within the State of Maine. Tom lives in Coastal Maine with his wife and son. He loves spending time with his family and enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, fishing, and snowmobiling.
MaryAnne Kinney, Waldo County Member since 2018
Representative Kinney is serving her second term in the Maine House of Representatives serving District 99 which includes nine towns in Waldo County. A 1990 graduate of Edward Little High School, Representative Kinney currently works as a maple syrup producer on her farm in Knox and has held a wide variety of jobs in the past. She has worked as a truck driver, pharmacy technician and a credit analyst in the past. She is a member of the Maine Farm Bureau, MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association), NRA and the Maple Producers Association.
Brett Seekins, At Large Member since 2018
Brett Seekins has served the healthcare industry the past 24 years. He started his career working for CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as a Medicare Auditor and Reimbursement Administrator specializing in Medicare certified long term care providers. He continued his service the last 20 years working for a large northern New England CPA firm as a Senior Manager leading the long term care/senior living practice. Brett’s primary focus and expertise center on healthcare reform at the federal and state level, regulatory, compliance, legal, reimbursement, annual reporting, legislative and financial matters impacting the industry. He is a graduate of Franklin Pierce College awarded a B.S. in Accounting with honors. Brett also serves on other healthcare Boards and is a frequent presenter on related topical matters. Brett is an at-large-Maine Board member who resides in Cape Elizabeth with his wife and two children.
Nancy Weingarten, At Large Member since 2018
Nancy grew up in New York City and has lived in Maine since graduating from college in 1973. She has a Masters in Health Care Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Maine and spent her career working in various health care settings. Prior to retirement, Nancy worked for 27 years as the Administrative Director of the Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency in Augusta and Waterville. She serves on several local boards and as a volunteer for Spectrum Generations as a SHIP Medicare counselor.
Donation to Spectrum Generations will feed 15 people
Through a generous donation from Mid Coast Hospital’s Johnson Health, Hope & Innovation Fund, Spectrum Generations has eliminated the Meals on Wheels waitlist for Sagadahoc County, Brunswick, and Harpswell.
Meals on Wheels is primarily a federally funded program that is offered throughout six counties by Spectrum Generations. While the organization hosts fundraisers and seeks individual donations throughout the year to offset costs above the federal, state, and municipal-directed funds, each year the need grows. Meals on Wheels are provided to older and disabled adults who are homebound and unable to prepare their own meals. The program’s more than 400 volunteers help produce, pack, and deliver meals, and also provide a safety check on recipients.
“This is a perfect example of how another community-minded organization can help the people living in our service area. The administration of Mid Coast Hospital has seen the importance of Meals on Wheels – that is, the impact proper nutrition can offer homebound individuals – and has stepped forward to support Meals on Wheels throughout Sagadahoc County for the remainder of our fiscal year,” said Spectrum Generations President and CEO, Gerard Queally.
“Good nutrition is essential for healing to take place. Decreased access to food supply may compromise or prolong the healing process, and many individuals rely on Meals on Wheels to provide adequate nutrition in order to restore health and remain safe in their homes,” said Lois Skillings, President and CEO of Mid Coast–Parkview Health. “We truly value our community partners who help us further our mission of caring for the health of our patients, and are grateful to our gracious donors who allow us to support these efforts.”
Mid Coast Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital governed by a community Board of Directors. Charitable donations to Mid Coast Hospital help to provide new technology and healthcare services, while supporting the health of the community. Donations to Mid Coast Hospital can be made at www.midcoasthealth/giving, or by calling (207) 373-6064.
Spectrum Generations is the Central Maine Area Agency on Aging, a 501c(3) whose mission is to help older and disabled adults live healthy, independent lives in their own homes and communities. You can support Meals on Wheels at www.spectrumgenerations.org/donate.
Our President & CEO, Gerard Queally, has recently had an Op-Ed published on the topic and we are asking for support from our Advocacy Network to reach out to members of the legislator in support of this bill.
LD 692 – a Resolution to Provide Meals to Homebound Individuals will provide ongoing funding to provide meals to additional homebound individuals and to be used to leverage all federal funds available.
At Spectrum Generations, we believe food is preventative medicine, and access to it provides for better quality health outcomes, reduced health care costs, and improved quality of life. A more sustainable and dependable solution is needed. LD 692 will add $500,000 annually to the State of Maine’s contribution to Meals on Wheels. This would result in more than 65,000 meals delivered to approximately 520 (or more) older and disabled homebound adults having access to healthy food each year.
Please contact your state representative or senator, and urge them to vote yes on LD 692 to help increase access to healthy food for older and disabled adults.
The Greater August AARP chapter 511 donated a check for $1,2000 to Cohen Center's Meals on Wheels program. The money was raised through donations, food sales, a plant sale and an auction.
(Left to right) AARP board member Johan Brown, Cohen Community Center’s Lynda Johnson and Diane Epperly, and Susan Hynson, Augusta AARP President.
Spectrum Generations will be offering free Medicare 101 workshops, twice a week.
In Belfast, workshops will be held on the fourth Monday of every month from 2—4:00 pm, at our 18 Merriam Road location.
In Camden, workshops will be held on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 2—4:00 pm, at our 87 Elm Street, location.
Choosing a Medicare drug and or health plan can be difficult and confusing. Medicare 101 will provide information regarding Medicare, Medicare drug coverage, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplements and tips on how participants may save money and avoid penalties. Both Medicare 101 workshops will be led by Brooke Jansen, LSW; please call Brooke at 930-8081 to register.
September is National Falls Prevention Month
Most people are aware of the health risks associated with heart disease, stroke, and cancer. But often overlooked is another type of serious health risk especially affecting older adults—the risk of injury due to falling.
Falls can lead to injuries, such as bruising, bone fractures, and concussions. Any one of these injuries could require hospitalization, in-home nursing care, or other assisted living arrangements.
Many falls can be avoided. When we are out in public, we instinctively keep watch for uneven or slick surfaces that could catch our loved ones off guard. But the risk of falling can be even higher at home because it is easier to take for granted more familiar spaces. This means it is especially important to make our homes as safe as possible, and here are a few suggestions you may be able to implement in your home:
- Remove tripping hazards: Make all floor surfaces as even as possible: cover wooden door thresholds with aluminum; use a hammer to pound flat any metal that is sticking up. Make sure to remove clutter from the floors, especially before going to bed. Outside, patch or re-pour any cracked cement surfaces and don’t forget to put away the garden hose after watering plants.
- Increase lighting: Recessed lighting and track lighting are easy to install and fairly inexpensive. Nightlights in hallways and bathrooms are an even more affordable alternative to installing permanent lighting. Motion sensors are a great option if you’re worried about keeping energy costs down.
- Make stairs safe: If possible, make sure each step in your home is a uniform height. Check for any loose boards or missing screws and replace them as needed. Install lighting and slip-resistant tread, especially on outside steps. Never place objects like shoes or toys on stairs.
- Install grab bars in key areas: When it comes to falling risks, one of the most hazardous areas in the home is the bathroom. Along with making sure any spills are mopped up ASAP, it is smart to install grab bars in strategic areas, for example, in the shower or tub and near the toilet.
In addition to making structural improvements around the home, regular physical activity and exercise combining weight training, muscle strengthening, and balance improvement will help reduce the risk of falls for older adults. Take a look at what Spectrum Generations Health & Wellness offerings are, and take a Falls Prevention class.
Recently, at the National Adult Protective Services Association conference, ACL released the first consistently, systematically, and nationally collected data on the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities.
This report is the first of a series based on data from the first year of the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS). NAMRS is a voluntary data reporting system collecting data from state and local Adult Protective Services systems.
Fifty-four of 56 states and territories contributed data to NAMRS in its first year. This high level of voluntary participation reflects the value that leaders in the field of adult maltreatment see in this data.
While NAMRS is still in its infancy, the information it will provide in the years to come will directly inform prevention and intervention practices at all levels of the adult maltreatment field. It will provide a better understanding of the characteristics of those experiencing, and perpetrating, abuse and identify system gaps for responding to maltreatment and preventing repeat maltreatment. As states and territories will continue to improve information systems, add data elements, train staff on new data collection methods, and report additional data, NAMRS data will become an extremely valuable tool.
Data collected by NAMRS includes APS staff and case-load, response and response time, intake and investigation practices, maltreatment type, victim characteristics, and perpetrator characteristics. For example, 44 states and territories reported opening investigations for over 877,000 clients.
Many in the adult maltreatment field, including the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council, have recognized the need for national data on adult maltreatment. After the passage and funding of the Elder Justice Act, ACL awarded the first-ever federal grants to enhance Adult Protective Services. These grants were used by many states to build data systems and align them with NAMRS.
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.