Age-friendly Community Events

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Upcoming Senior Events

Senior Strong: Representatives from Senator Collins’, Senator King’s, and Representative Poliquin’s offices are coming September 29 from 9:00 am-11:00 am to the meeting of Senior Strong in Somerset County. They will present legislative updates and learn about aging-in-place concerns for local seniors from area service agencies and other Senior Strong coalition members.   

Senior Gathering: SPH is working to learn more about what older adults need to thrive in their communities. This year, Community Health Educator Deb Casey has been visiting places where older adults gather including the new Social Citizens of Smithfield in January, the bi-weekly Bingham Senior Lunch Group and the Anson-Madison weekly Senior Bingo and Lunch in May, and the Jackman Knights of Columbus monthly Senior Luncheon and Social in June. Age-friendly communities have a place for seniors to go to socialize and participate in meaningful activities. SPH has healthy living education programs that might be of interest these and similar groups. For example, the Living Well for Better Health program has been presented this year to seniors in Smithfield, Madison, and Jackman, while nutrition and cooking healthy information have been brought to Smithfield.

Somerset County Substance Abuse Task Force Highlighted at July Board Meeting

Rob Rogers (1) for July 2016 e-newsletter

Robert Rogers, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, summarized the work done to date by the Somerset County Substance Abuse Task Force to the Somerset Public Health Board at its July meeting at Lakewood Restaurant in Madison. In addition to the Board, the task force members from Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Office of Child & Family Services and other organizations present.  Rob highlighted  how the task force started its work in addressing the impact of opiates on our community back in 2006 and noted that it is currently working on creating its work

plan.  This plan will assess current status, needs, and strategies to tackle the most pressing issues related to opiates and substance use disorders in Somerset County.  Congressional representatives from Representative Poliquin’s, Senator Collin’s, and Senator King’s office were attendance as well as local and state legislators.  The common theme expressed by many was addressing the stigma of addiction; we must normalize and accept that treatment and recovery not only happens but that it works.

Somerset Public Health Builds Community Garden

Somerset Public Health built a community garden in front of their office at 31 Commercial Street in Skowhegan. A team made up of staff members Matt L’Italien, Liza Russell, Danielle Denis, Bill McPeck, and Carol Coles built, filled, and planted two 4’x10’ raised beds. The beds were planted with a variety of vegetables including tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, pole beans, lettuce, swiss chard, cabbage, and a variety of herbs.  SPH’s office is owned by the Hight family who donated the outside space and removed an overgrown hedge that had been against the building for years. Other businesses in the community quickly agreed to help out—Hammond Lumber company donated the framing lumber, the Town of Skowhegan supplied the compost, Maine Grains donated oat hulls for mulch, and York Signs will donate a sign to highlight the garden. All members of the community are encouraged to visit the garden, pull a weed or two, and even take a couple of tomatoes with them.  All produce leftover will be brought to the local food cupboards and soup kitchens. “We certainly got a late start, but I think we’ll be able to show that you can grow a significant amount of food in a small space,” noted Matt L’Italien. SPH hopes that converting this unused space into a productive plot can serve as a model for other businesses and residents in the Skowhegan downtown and other towns in the area. With 1 out of every 6 in Somerset County food insecure, every little bit can help.

SPH garden

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Kids Find Success in the 100 Mile Club!

Athens Community School has been very busy being awesome with their 5210 Let's Go! after school program this Spring! More than 45 students and 15 parents/ teacher volunteers have joined the 100 Mile Club. They have all accepted the challenge to walk and/or run 100 miles before the end of the school year. The program leaders and school champions, Tammy Moulton & Katie Perkins created the 100 Mile Club After School Program after attending an informational meeting where 100 Mile Club founder, Kara Lubin described the benefits of the program. It is a competition, but only one with yourself! Students learn to set goals and to experience the success in reaching those goals. Students wear their 100 Mile Club shirts and buff and run and/or walk a .87 mile loop on Mondays, Wednesdays & Friday's.

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Students are rewarded for:

  • 20 laps = 100 Mile Club Buff
  • 29 laps (25 miles) = 100 Mile Club t-shirt
  • 57 laps (50 miles) = Golden pencil
  • 86 laps (75 miles) = 100 Mile Club bracelet
  • 115 laps (100 miles) = Gold medal

 

Teacher and parent volunteers helped to make this program a huge success by helping to count loops and hand out water and a healthy snack. The Athens 100 Mile Club Program collectively ran and walked a total of 3,100 miles! Great job Athens Community School! The 100 Mile Club goes along with the schoolwide Move More Kids program and the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 program where 5 or more fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less recreational screen time, 1 hour of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks are encouraged every day.

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