PART VIII: Doug Johnson & Flo Rich
PART VIII: Doug Johnson & Flo Rich
hrough the eyes and voices of Maine seniors, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram is publishing an extended series that explores the aging of Maine, what it means for the state's economy and identity, and how it will shape the lives of so many of its people.
The project includes stories, videos and a comprehensive resource website to help families and caregivers find the assistance they need. Additional installments will be published throughout the year.
Part I. Mary Sweet
Mary Sweet, fighting to survive on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Like many Mainers, Sweet worked hard, saved for retirement but finds it increasingly difficult to maintain her independence.
STORIES OF STRUGGLE
Nursing home administrator Irving Faunce of Wilton saw what his own mother endured in the last years of her life. Today, he says the state is ill-prepared financially for the coming wave of people who will require extended geriatric care.
In a largely rural state that makes isolation all too real for many, Nancy Wise of Farmingdale takes the wheel herself, providing her elderly neighbors with the gift of mobility. And while she says she's happy to do it, she also admits: 'There aren't enough of us.'
Not enough health-field workers are being trained to care for the growing number of people like 70-year-old Donna Beveridge of Saco, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and offers a harbinger of sorts for the future of Maine.
With advanced age comes vulnerability to physical, emotional and financial threats, sometimes even at the hands of those we should trust the most. Just ask Stanley Main, 82, of South Portland.
Like thousands of other residents of Maine, Patty Smith of Freeport tended dutifully to her ailing mother, only to watch, helpless, as an aging parent stricken with dementia slowly slipped away.
As Laurette Lauze of Lewiston can attest, a backlog of projects and increasing demand mean the already lengthy waiting lists for subsidized living arrangements for seniors will only grow longer.
Part II. Liz Havu
Liz Havu never thought she'd be a caregiver for her mother. But dementia and a promise not to turn to a nursing home altered her life in a fundamental and lasting way.
Part III. Kathy & Larry Roy
HIGH COSTS, LOW PRIORITY
Part IV. Cedric and Pauline Long
Protecting your money
Part V: Jim & Nancy Pike
PART VI: ARNOLD & CORINNE MURRAY
HEALTHCARE AND THE ELDERLY
PART VII: Mildred Rood
In the course of researching this special report, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram reporters and content producers have assembled a broad and growing list of useful resources for seniors and their caregivers.
ABOUT THE SERIES
In reporting these stories, the newspaper reviewed thousands of pages of documents and conducted scores of interviews with expert sources in aging and related fields. Most of all, it relied on the firsthand experiences of Maine residents, who opened their lives to our journalists and shared their personal stories.
The lead writer on the project is Kelley Bouchard, and the lead photographer/videographer is Shawn Ouellette. Contributing writers include Tom Bell, Leslie Bridgers, Eric Russell, Jessica Hall and Gillian Graham. Digital Design Director Peter Vachon designed and built the project Web pages, with assistance from content producer Christian MilNeil. Brian Robitaille, page designer, produced the print pages. The project editor is Dieter Bradbury, deputy managing editor for news.