Newspaper Archive of
Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
February 9, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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February 9, 2018

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Page 12 THE QUODDY TIDES 9 February, 2018 PAUL OUELLETEE of Acadia Brain Care in Calais demonstrates a variety of tech- niques involving Crossinology treatment on volunteers at the Peavey Memorial Library in Eastport. Cynthia Bartlett, who came from New Brunswick for the presentation, received a treatment that stirred up many emotions in the room. (Robin Farrin photo) State police report for the Quoddy area The report for State Police Troop J in- 26, of Machiasport, was detained and later cludes the following incidents from east- arrested for operating after suspension and ern Washington County. On January 27 operating without a license and sum- Trooper Gavin Endre stopped a motor ve- monsed for possession of heroin. hicle on Colonial Way in Machias for a On January 30 Trooper Miles Carpen- vehicle defect. During the traffic stop ter summonsed Arnold Hennequin, 44, for Trooper Entire obtained probable cause to theft of services of power, which Henne- search the vehicle. After the investigation, quin was illegally reconnecting to a resi'- the female operator, Simone Simonson, dence in Perry. On February 2 Trooper Blaine Silk PLEASE PATRONIZE summonsed Jason Carr, 31, of Machi- OUR ADVERTISERS asport for operating after suspension after a traffic stop in East Machias. issues caregivers community ci by Lora Whelan With the baby boomer generation reach- ing retirement age and the trend of family members living far afield from each other as they pursue employment and lifestyle choices, a new category of aging is devel- oping: the elder orphan. The journal Cur- rent Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, volume 2016, published a re- port, "Elder Orphans Hiding in Plain Sight: A Growing Vulnerable Popula- tion," with the authors summarizing, "El- der orphans are a unique subset of the aging population, as their inclusion in this category is often due to circumstance rath- er than choice. As independent individu- als, they have functioned sufficiently well on their own and thus do not actively plan for their medical future. As they age and decline, they realize, often too late, that they can no longer complete many of the tasks that they were previously able to do." The issue has been noticed Downcast and came to light in Eastport as a part of the Caregivers/Palliative Care Communi- ty Circle started in early 2016 by a num- ber of people caring for family members. The circle is coordinated and facilitated by Eastport Healthcare CEO Holly Gart- mayer-DeYoung and aims to provide compassion, support and connections for resources to those caregivers. On January 26, the circle met to discuss the specific topic of orphan elders, with Gartmayer- DeYoung noting that at the health center 34% of all patients are 65 or older, and, of that age group, a number "have difficulty getting to the grocery store or getting their nutritional needs met." While the grocery store and the food pantry are sensitive to special dietary needs, the group of about 10 at the meeting stressed that the ques- tion needs to be answered of how those elders without family or regular home-aid support can have regular access to gro- cery shopping as well as the social activi- ty of such excursions. Transportation is a well-known prob- lem in Washington County for those with- out their own vehicles or access to family or friends who can loan a vehicle or offer a ride. Lisa Suarez, elder services naviga- tor with Downcast Community Partners (DCP), had a piece of welcome news. The SunRides bus service, which has income requirements for those who can use it, waives those requirements for those over 65. While anyone who'd like to use the service must fill out an application - Suarez stresses that most of it can be done over the phone - the removal of the in- come requirement for the county's elders suddenly opens a door for those who are in need ,but don't qualify because of in- come restrictions. As one person at the circle explained, being $10 over the threshold cuts off many services but doesn't mean they're any more affordable. Property Management ;:: p:t ide yC ! a# experience worth re- i iting e ,ery ye , m 20Z- i4 2 2 cat. @quod orope es, com ] Volunteer driver programs are also avail- able through DCP, with the program pro- viding mileage, training, AAA and liability insurance coverage. Another concern is the health of elder orphans and the difficulties presented when a friend notices a change but has no legal ability to ask a healthcare provider for help. "While the doctor can't tell you about things, you can tell the doctor what you are seeing," Suarez said. The health- care provider then does a follow-up con- versation or visit, she added. Gartmayer-DeYoung noted that the health center has seen this process used any num- ber of times with good results. One of the benefits of living in a small community such as Eastport, said another circle participant, is that there is an infor- mal but strong ethic of looking out for neighbors and those who are known to be without immediate family members near- by. However, as those elders age, it's in- creasingly important to have at least one family member or legal representative's contact information for emergencies, stressed Gartmayer-DeYoung. While small cities like Eastport have a dense res- idential structure that makes it relatively easy to put into place friendly checks or the more formal police safety checks, Suarez noted that some of the most diffi- cult elder orphan cases she's observed were of well-educated retirees who retire to fairly isolated locations, "and are f'me until they're in their 80s. They don't qual- ify [for services] because-of income, but they end up in a very difficult situation." She added that in these cases where per- sonal financial resources are at hand, oth- er parts of the country have seen the development of elder care specialists who set up and coordinate services for a fee. Be that as it may, more than one person at the circle expressed anxiety about their own ability to maintain their retirement in Eastport as they age and reach that elder orphan status. The need for elder care services is ris- ing, and the specialized needs of elder or- phans are rising with it. However, healthcare professionals joining the field have not been concentrating on specialties within gerontology. Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute is one of a number of organizations working to bring the issue to the forefront. Its campaign, "60 Care- giver Issues. One Idea at a Time," is pro- vid'mg policy solutions over a two-year timeline. Others in the healthcare field have been bringing the subject to light as well, with Atul Gawande's 2016 book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Mat- ters in the End, a noteworthy addition praised by many at the circle meeting that specifically addresses the need for alter- natives to nursing homes. To broaden the discussion, the circle members will be working with Suarez to bring public talks on different subjects such as: aging well - what's in your tool- box; 10 signs of Alzheimer's; learning to communicate with someone with Alzhe- imer's; and universal design for aging-in- place retrofits. 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