Botanical Gardens – Gardens Aglow 2020

Eldercare Network staff had the opportunity to take residents on an outing this week to Boothbay Botanical Gardens’ Gardens Aglow 2020, a fantastic display of many thousands of festive Christmas Lights and features.

Gardens Aglow is hailed as the biggest and brightest display of Holiday Lights in New England, featuring over 650,000 LED lights.

This year the tour is a driving one, for safety of all concerned due to Covid-19, but this didn’t diminish the beauty and the fun had by all.

You can find out more at

Halloween 2020

ECN staff are doing their best to maintain as much normalcy as possible for the residents while keeping everyone safe.

Staff at Round Pond Green set up decorations and, while using appropriate social distancing, were able to hand out candy to local children. The residents enjoyed seeing the children in costumes and providing happiness at a distance.


May Directors’ Meeting

Things are always changing, and Covid-19 has brought more drastic changes than usual. We take social distancing and protective equipment seriously in efforts to protect our residents and the valuable staff that assist them.

Our monthly directors’ meeting was held on the new patio at Hodgdon Green, with social distancing and personal protective equipment.

ElderCare Network visits Maine Maritime Museum

The view from the light tower at Two Lights or the steering cabin of a tugboat, a map showing the rum-running route from the Caribbean to New England to Africa and exhibits on all aspects of our maritime heritage brightened a winter day for Hodgdon and Wiscasset Green residents and friends. Before coming to ElderCareNetwork’s homes, residents lived in Friendship, Bath, Waldoboro, Five Islands, Damariscotta, Dresden and Gardiner. The models and exhibits brought back many memories of experiences living on the Maine coast. The museum was a great ‘escape’ from winter blues, and the staff was helpful and welcoming.

The excursion to Maine Maritime Museum in Bath was part of ElderCare Network’s Successful Aging Pilot Program to improve residents’ quality of daily life by adding more regular exercise and excursions to the weekly program of activities. The program is funded by a generous anonymous lead gift and supporting contributions from the Reny Foundation, the Quimby Family Foundation, a component fund of Maine Community Foundation, and donors to the annual campaign. 

In addition to Exercise and Excursions, the Successful Aging program adds daily activities focused on Healthy Eating and Music Memories.

An important aspect of the excursions, especially during winter months, is to increase the residents’ ‘life space.’ According to ECN’s Medical Director, Dr. Allan Teel, “Recent medical studies have identified a ‘frailty syndrome,’ where those who never leave their homes experience a significant increase in mortality. A state of frailty is believed to be preceded by behavioral changes made in response declining physiologic reserve and a person’s ability to adapt to environmental challenges. 

These changes are a result of environmental challenges, such as area deprivation, and individual physical changes. Research suggests that ‘frailty’ is not an irreversible process, and can be prevented or lessened by interventions such as the excursions out of the homes that are a critical part of the Successful Aging Program.”

ElderCare Network was founded in 1996 to improve the way we care for elders in Lincoln County. ECN now operates seven assisted living homes for 58 residents. The homes are located in seven Lincoln County villages, including the flagship home at 6 Hodgdon Street in Damariscotta. They focus on family-style, wellness-centered living for elders of all incomes, and incorporate recent findings on healthy aging into daily programs. ECN’s Adult Day Program participants join in all the events and activities during their stays at all seven homes.

St. Patricks Day

Super Bowl Party, Birthday and Exercising

Conductorcise Program Is For All Ages

ElderCare Network has invited Maestro David Dworkin to Damari scotta to present CONDUCTORCISE in our local communities at no cost. CONDUCTORCISE is a program of music, education and exercise that gets people enthused about classical music, and keep s them engaged, thinking and moving.

Dworkin works successfully with people of all ages, from pre school children and teenagers to seniors in assisted living facilities as well as stroke and Alzheimer’s patients. He customizes the program for each particular group.

For those 50 and over The program is designed to be flexible, enabling participants to push limits as they wish, incorporating lower body movements to the basic upper body workout can strengthen the heart, improve muscle tone, and reli eve stress. Subtle use of the baton, cuing, dynamics, communication and musical awareness are ——–. Slower compositions are incorporated into every program, and it works for anyone in a wheelchair.

The program for ages 20 50 is more rigorous, with more animated use of the baton to enhance the upper arm workout.

Children ages 13 19 participate in a vigorous, animated workout, with a focus on a more contemporary repertoire and analogies to rock or pop music to show differences and similarities to classical works.

For children Ages 4 to 12, CONDUCTORCISE encourages “internalizing” the music. By allowing the music to flow through all parts of the body, making the most of children’s love of motion. It uses, by using the entire body in marching, stretchi ng, “duck walks,” etc. The workout is more vigorous, emphasizing the physicality of conducting , and includes a more extensive introduction to classical music. Highly animated compositions are used to stimulate the young people, who find themselves introduced to the magic of music while having great fun and a great exercise.

The CONDUCTORCISE presentation is part of ElderCare Network’s Successful Aging program that encourages exercise, activity, learning, and music in many combinations to improve the quality of life.

ElderCare Network’s Successful Aging program is underway with Musical Memories

“Come Let’s Stroll On a Country Road to Kansas City at Twilight Time, I Want To Hold Your Hand…… That’ll Be the Day! – You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, so Get a Job and I’ll Do It My Way -with Music, Music, Music.”

Successful Aging is a program of specific activities and interventions that improve the quality of life for residents in ECN’s assisted living homes. This is a pilot program in Hodgdon Green in Damariscotta and Wiscasset Green that will be extended to all ECN’s homes this year. These simple lifestyle changes can improve the quality of life for older people at home as well as residents in ECN’s homes.

Thanks to a very generous gift last spring, ECN”S Medical Director, Allan S. Teel, M.D., has developed “Successful Aging,” a program that incorporates specific interventions in the areas of Exercise, Food and Musical Memory into daily life in ECN’s homes.

According to Dr. Teel, “Successful aging is one of the most basic human needs. Unless we die prematurely, we will all face that challenge. Better quality of life in advanced age should focus on purposeful living, social connections, access to good health care, community engagement, and maintaining personal interests in family, pets, exercise, healthy eating, music, and companionship.” These values are at the heart of ECN’s small, family-style, wellness-centered assisted living homes.

Recent studies have produced significant, credible evidence that changes in daily living in the areas of exercise, music and food can dramatically improve the quality of life for all of us as we age. Successful Aging will outline and implement simple changes in these three areas of daily life in all the homes over the next two years.

The pilot program got underway in the summer with Musical Memories in Hodgdon and Wiscasset Greens. Research has shown that the human brain is hard-wired to connect music with memory. This means that musical memories from early years are well-preserved in a specific part of the brain. As we age, these memories are retained, and accessing them can calm chaotic brain activity, enable people to focus on the present, reconnect to others, and generally promote a sense of well-being. Music therapy can also “retune” the brain to remember certain tasks, maintain motor skills, reduce anxiety and stress and increase attention, motivation, and focus.

ECN is providing individual MP3 players programmed with each resident’s own favorite music. Headphones and small speakers enable them to can enjoy ‘their’ music any time they wish. The initial playlists were developed by young ‘experts’ who accessed musical genres and found specific songs through the technology on their cell phones. 

This technology, which is easily accessible to the ‘younger generations,’ was brought into the lives of people who grew up in earlier generations, giving them access to music that is hard to find now.

This program will be extended to all ECN homes and is easily replicated by individuals in their own homes. For more information about the program and devices, contact Kathe Cheska, 563-8072.

ElderCare Network was founded in 1996 to improve the way we care for elders in Lincoln County. ECN now operates seven assisted living homes for 58 residents. The homes are located in seven Lincoln County villages, including the flagship home at 6 Hodgdon Street in Damariscotta. 

They focus on family-style, wellness-centered living for elders of all incomes. For information on the homes and on ECN’s Adult Day and Independence At Home programs for those still at home, call 563-2148.