Elder care conference concludes



Participants of a recent elder care conference pose for a picture. The conference, sponsored by the Maine Sea Coast Mission, focused on elder care in island and other remote communities.  PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE SEA COAST MISSION

Participants of a recent elder care conference pose for a picture. The conference, sponsored by the Maine Sea Coast Mission, focused on elder care in island and other remote communities.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE SEA COAST MISSION

ISLESBORO — Over 25 representatives from 10 Maine islands, along with a network of elder care homes in mid-coast Maine and community members from Washington County, gathered here on Oct. 28 and 29 for the sixth annual Elder Care Conference. The purpose of this retreat was to discuss the challenges and issues surrounding elder care on Maine’s islands and remote communities, with special attention to the theme of elders and isolation. The conference allowed participants to share resources and connect with others facing similar situations.

Participants learned about the effects of isolation on elders, skills for situational assessment and techniques for self-care. Other workshops included yoga and fundraising. Administrators from elder care homes met with Phylis Powell, interim director, Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, to learn about issues at the state level.

Throughout the year, those active in elder care on the islands maintain the momentum generated at the conference through monthly check-in phone calls. Resources are further shared through a blog.

The conference was sponsored by the Maine Sea Coast Mission, and Bob and Deb McNeil of Islesboro generously donated the use of their house for the conference. Athena Health also provided funding. The locations was beautiful, the facilities comfortable.

Islanders from up and down the Maine coast fostered valuable relationships and shared resources at the conference. One participant said, “it is helpful to share ideas and support from everyone who has the same goals, issues and challenges.” The information shared at the conference can help improve the care for elders in these communities and allow them to age in place with dignity.

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