Piscataquis Thriving in Place

Covers: Piscataquis County + Dexter, ME

Start Date: 2014

Mission, Vision & Goals

Piscataquis Thriving in Place (TiP) Collaboration's mission is to improve regional services and supports that help adults with chronic health conditions avoid unneccessary hospitalization and other forms of institutional care.

Broad Overview

The TiP Collaborative is funded by the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) and facilitated by the Charlotte White Center. Meg Callaway is the project director and can be reached at (207) 270-2778 or meg.callaway@charlottewhite.org.

Piscataquis is the oldest and most rural county in the Maine. It is also the second least healthy county and ranks third for poverty. With these challenging demographics, many residents stand to benefit from improvements in the regional health and social service infrastructure. The TiP Collaborative is working to improve the integration and coordination of exisiting services and create a sustainable resource and referral network.

Under the leadership of lead organizations, the Collaborative is also working to build capacity in the following areas:

  • Health-Related Transportation; Penquis Agency
  • Volunteer Recruitment; Pine Tree Hospice
  • Home-Based Services; Community Health & Counseling Services
  • Caregiver Support; Pine Tree Hospice and Charlotte White Center
  • Community Engagement; Maine Highlands Senior Center
  • Person-Centered Planning; University of Maine's Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

Piscataquis Thriving in Place has an executive committee comprised of the funded partners, and the remaining partners comprise our advisory committee. We do not have a formal governance model, but common values and goals guide our efforts.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

Piscataquis Thriving in Place includes the Maine Health Access Foundation, AARP, a volunteer hospice, multiple social service agencies, two hospitals, two area agencies on aging, a public health coalition, a local farm, several municipalities, several primary care practices, ten older adult community advisors, a geriatrician, a pharmacologist, five libraries, several fitness centers serving older adults, two University of Maine centers focusing on aging and disabilities, a local theatre, our local NAMI affiliate, and the Maine Highlands Senior Center board of directors. Seven funded partners oversee specific aspects of our project, i.e., home-based services and supports, volunteerism, caregiver support, transportation, person-centered planning, community engagement, and evaluation. All partners have a role in one or more of the work groups associated with these program components.

What is the role of volunteers?

Piscataquis Thriving in Place community advisers are all older adults who contribute their current and lifelong experiences to the development of our project. Their insights and personal experiences have been invaluable to us. Several of these individuals also have highly relevant professional backgrounds that benefit the project. Four of our volunteers work to ensure that our libraries are stocked with appropriate resources, and two have just received training that will enable them to be present in their libraries to support caregivers on a regular basis. One volunteer is working on a project to assist fellow caregivers with safely monitoring the administration of medication.

Strategies that have contributed to your success? Barriers you have encountered?

Meeting frequently to strengthen relationships between partners has been a key strategy. We meet bi-weekly, focusing one week on presentations about local or state resources and the next on work plan/process issues. Outside of these larger meetings, work groups convene to develop specific components of the project. Having all members of the TiP engage with at least one work group has been very effective in ensuring that the Collaborative is fully engaged and fully owns the project. One challenge is that our scope is so broad and we so many work groups that, at times, it is hard for everyone involved to see all that we are doing as a whole. We are working to address this by focusing more on monthly updates and by presenting together about the project at local senior housing complexes. Another challenge is engaging the most under-served in our community.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

Grants

Community Initiatives

Transportation

Piscataquis Thriving in Place is working with the Penquis agency to raise public awareness of Lynx Mobility services, and Penquis is leading a work group aimed at increasing volunteer transportation for seniors and adults with chronic health challenges.

Health & Wellness

Piscataquis Thriving in Place is about to hold our second health expo featuring many resources that support aging in place. For the term of the TiP grant, we are also offering free transitional nursing visits, telehealth monitoring, and vouchers for meals to assist patients and caregivers dealing with acute medical situations.

Outreach & Resource Information

The primary goal of Piscataquis Thriving in Place is to ensure that all of the providers serving vulnerable adults in the region are familiar with each other and each other's services and supports. By building these relationships, we are creating a network of providers who may share critical information about relevant resources with those who need them. We are developing a website that will house much of this information, and we have a number that any member of the public may call to inquire about available services. We are also considering developing a printed guide

Social, Educational & Recreational

The Piscataquis Thriving in Place community engagement work group is focusing on falls prevention, e.g., offering Qi Gong, supporting a local evidence-based class (Stay Active and Independent for Life), and providing information about strength and balance. This component of the project has also supported social outings for some seniors, including discounted tickets to specific events.

Family, Caregiving Support & Respite

Piscataquis Thriving in Place is working very closely with the Maine Highlands Senior Center which involves the restoration and renovation of an historic building in Dover-Foxcroft that will eventually house an adult day services center, a senior center for independent older adults, and an intergenerational community events center.

Communication

Currently, Piscataquis Thriving in Place is visiting senior housing complexes to share in-depth information about our collaborative. We have also met with primary care practices, written articles for local papers, created flyers and posters, and distributed rack cards with information about how we can support individuals. Reaching out to the church community has been helpful as well.

Region

Contact

Meg Callaway
Coordinator, Piscataquis TiP
Piscataquis Thriving in Place Collaborative
38 Penn Plaza, Bangor, Maine 04401
meg.callaway@charlottewhite.org
207-270-2778