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.
 
LIVING IT FORWARD

How I didn’t go snowshoeing in the new national monument

on March 20, 2017, at 1:50 p.m.
By the time Elizabeth Chase-Cosby disappeared five years ago from her home in Plymouth, her younger sister, Kate Tuck, already knew she was suffering from mental illness. Their relationship, once very close, had been strained for a number of years. Still, Tuck, 55, was unprepared for the shocking news last week that Chase-Cosby had died, homeless and alone, in a public park halfway across the country in the town of Grand Island, Nebraska. She was 58 years old and left behind three grown children and a five-year-old grandson she had never met.

How a Maine family lost a loved one to homelessness and mental illness

By Meg Haskell on March 20, 2017, at 8:43 a.m.
Kate Tuck was unprepared for the news that her sister had died, homeless and alone, in a public park halfway across the country in Nebraska.
Erectile dysfunction can indicate other health concerns, so make sure you discuss it with your doctor.

The intimate conversation men never want to have

By Meg Haskell on March 17, 2017, at 8:43 a.m.
“It can be very helpful to talk about these things.”
Cathy Anderson recently retired from The Briar Patch children's bookstore in Bangor to pursue traveling and other interests.

Next chapter: Bangor bookseller trades retail for book-inspired adventure

By Meg Haskell on March 09, 2017, at 6:16 a.m.
“I’m 64 and there are a lot of things I’m interested in doing,” Cathy Anderson, the newly retired owner of The Briar Patch, said.
Dr. Allan "Chip" Teel is a primary care physician who has been in private practice for many years and also has set up a network of small "green" assisted living homes in Lincoln County. Now he has accepted a position as director of clinical systems innovation at EMHS, with a special focus on how Maine cares for its elders.

This man knows how to keep older Mainers healthy and happy at home

By Meg Haskell on March 07, 2017, at 9:54 a.m.
“The task the health care system has ahead of it is enormous,” Dr. Allan “Chip” Teel said. “It will require skill, teamwork and integrations that will create new opportunities and new demands.” But the payoff is also enormous.

More information about aging-in-place strategies in Maine

By Meg Haskell on March 07, 2017, at 9:49 a.m.
In Maine, which has one of the oldest populations in the country, aging-in-place initiatives are at work at various levels. Here is some information about a few of them.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Week after week, this old gift delivers new insights

on March 04, 2017, at 10:37 a.m.
VIDEO
Midnight, a recently adopted shelter cat, cuddles up to seniors at the Phillips Strickland House in Bangor on Monday as part of the Cats on Laps program through the Bangor Humane society, which connects affectionate shelter animals with pet-friendly seniors.

Shelter kittens are warming the hearts of seniors who can’t own pets

By Meg Haskell on March 02, 2017, at 10:50 a.m.
Bangor Humane Society’s Cats on Laps program connects affectionate shelter animals with local seniors who have surrendered their own pets.
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.”