Meg Haskell

Senior writer

I am second-career journalist with an idealistic commitment to the power of the Fourth Estate. I have a professional background in health care and 60-plus years of life experience that inform my work. I’ll be writing about a variety of issues for the Bangor Daily News, both in this blog and as a reporter, with a focus on matters of interest to readers in the “sweet spot” of their maturity: those productive adult years from 50 to 70 when (maybe) we have the time to pursue our personal interests, the energy to contribute to our communities and the wisdom to steer clear of needless drama.
 
Aric Rogers, Ph.D., studies the mechanisms of aging at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor.

Can a really strict diet prolong your ‘health span’?

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 26, 2017, at 2:34 p.m.
A discovery, published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Aging Cell, raises the possibility of developing therapeutic drugs that stave off aging and prolong the “health span” in humans — without the unpleasant and potentially risky constraints of severe dietary restriction.

Resources to combat hunger, food insecurity in Maine seniors

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 24, 2017, at 7 a.m.
There are several programs that work to combat hunger and food insecurity in older Mainers.
Dottie Ham, 80, opens her door to 32-year-old Caitlyn Gunn, a volunteer who delivers meals in the Bangor area for the Meals on Wheels program.

From kitchen to doorstep, Meals on Wheels feeds hungry Maine seniors

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 24, 2017, at 6:59 a.m.
“The meals are pretty good,” Dottie Ham said. “I just thaw them out and put them in the microwave for a few minutes. I’m eating better now than I ever have, I guess.”
LIVING IT FORWARD

The arrival of the seed catalog signals spring

on Feb. 23, 2017, at 3:40 p.m.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Hunkering down with gratitude and smelts

on Feb. 18, 2017, at 8:54 a.m.
Rob Crone, director of nutrition services at Eastern Area Agency on Aging in Bangor, talks about the contents of a box of food available to low-income seniors through the Commodities Supplemental Food Program on Tuesday in Bangor.

Free food will reach more hungry Maine seniors in 2017

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 16, 2017, at 6:13 a.m.
Many more low-income Maine seniors will be receiving free monthly food boxes this year.

Learn more about hearing health, hearing loss and hearing aids

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 15, 2017, at 9:43 a.m.
Mainers are at risk for developing hearing loss as they get older, both as a normal condition of aging and as a consequence of our noisy worksites and recreational activities.
POLL QUESTION
The Fisher Engineering company snow plow manufacturing facility in Rockland.

‘You don’t get it back’: Hearing loss a growing problem as workforce ages

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 15, 2017, at 9:43 a.m.
“A lot of people really just don’t think about it,” Rob Somerville said. “They don’t realize that it’s not like cutting your finger and putting a Band-Aid on it and it heals. Once you lose your hearing, you don’t get it back.”
LIVING IT FORWARD

Popular remedies abound, but nothing beats my secret weapon for easing a head cold

on Feb. 09, 2017, at 1 p.m.

How to raise your investing IQ, find a good advisor and plan for your future

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 09, 2017, at 6:42 a.m.
Jim Bradley, owner of Penobscot Financial Advisors in Bangor, talks during an interview on Tuesday in Bangor.

Trump review of securities rule threatens retirement protections in Maine

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 09, 2017, at 6:42 a.m.
“Unfortunately, for many Americans, [the] executive order means they will continue to get conflicted financial advice that costs more and reduces what they are able to save for retirement.”
Jane Tholen, 70 years old, is sharing her 30 year experience of using prescribed psychoactive drugs, including her loss of ability to function in her personal and professional life. Tholen, who only recently weaned herself off of her medication, is concerned about the overuse of antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs.

How a Maine woman reclaimed her life after 30 years of drug therapy

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 06, 2017, at 1:46 p.m.
“I knew I had to stop. I just had to. I knew I was still in here somewhere.”

Are antidepressants and antianxiety drugs helping you? Here are some suggested readings.

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 06, 2017, at 1:45 p.m.
LIVING IT FORWARD

How my vacuum cleaner muddied my environmental principles

on Feb. 03, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.

Want to know more about prostate health and disease? These online resources can help.

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 03, 2017, at 6:57 a.m.
Here are some online resources for learning more about prostate health and prostate disease.
This multi-parametric MRI system at Maine Medical Center in Portland allows physicians to better visualize the prostate, leading to more precise diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancers.

Can this emerging technology improve screening, treatment for prostate cancer?

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 03, 2017, at 6:56 a.m.
Second only to skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men, with an estimated 180,890 cases diagnosed per year.
VIDEO
Jess St. Louis, a representative for the transgender community, talks about how many people are "going back in the closet" in response to changes in social attitudes during a recent interview in Bangor. St. Louis came out as transgender about three years ago.

Maine’s LGBTQ community concerned about a potentially stormy future

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 01, 2017, at 6:16 a.m.
“People are starting to go back in the closet,” Jess St. Louis said. “They’re fearful of attacks by hate groups and individuals.”
A sign that highlights that there is a safe and inclusive place for the LGBTQ community can be seen recently in Bangor.

Need help with LGBTQ issues? These organizations are here to help

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 01, 2017, at 6:14 a.m.
There are many organizations that support and advocate for the interests of Maine’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning population.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Don’t let political differences define our relationships or divide our communities

on Jan. 27, 2017, at 8:06 a.m.
Elaine Murak, a resident of Phillips Strickland House in Bangor, enjoys a visit from Baron, a greyhound owned by Laurie Qualey of Orono, as Bangor Humane Society volunteer Emily Egan looks on.

How two online certificate programs are helping improve care of older Mainers

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 26, 2017, at 6:10 a.m.
“They’re typically so lumped together, like ‘these are our seniors,’ but this program really shows the diversity and differences within that population.”