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.

We almost missed this cosmic sign that spring is here

on March 31, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.

We almost missed this cosmic sign that spring is here

on March 31, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
Cloe Chunn, a long-time Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition volunteer, talks to 4th and 5th graders at the Kermit S. Nickerson School in Swanville Tuesday.

The free program teaching volunteers how to save Penobscot Bay

By Meg Haskell on March 31, 2017, at 1 a.m.
Penobscot Bay Stewards trains volunteers who understand the bay, its long history and the largely man-made forces that threaten its health.
For small business owner Summer Allen, 36, the decision to not have children is no big deal.

Why some Mainers choose to be child-free

By Meg Haskell on March 30, 2017, at 6:32 a.m.
“I am very aware of this as my choice to make. We all deserve freedom of choice and respect for the decisions we make.”
Emma Brickman (left) laughs with 92-year-old Joan Logue at Logue's home in Orono on Tuesday. Brickman visits with Logue one hour per week as part of Project Generations, a new program supported by the Eastern Area Agency on Aging and the Maine Center on Aging aimed at connecting student volunteers with senior citizens in the area, helping students appreciate the challenges of aging in place and giving seniors a lively young connection to the community.

Why UMaine students are hanging out with senior citizens

By Meg Haskell on March 27, 2017, at 7:18 a.m.
Project Generations, a new program at the UMaine that connects senior-friendly college students with older residents in Greater Bangor for their mutual benefit.
Sally Moulton, 67, of Harpswell punches trainer Andy Anderson's glove during a Rock Steady Boxing class in Brunswick which she attends with her husband John who has Parkinson's disease. Rock Steady Boxing is an exercise program adapted to people with the disease.

Parkinson’s patients are fighting back against the disease, literally

By Meg Haskell on March 24, 2017, at 6:06 a.m.
“It’s fun and kind of edgy, and it’s a lot more fun to tell your grandchildren that you’re boxing than telling them you’re going to physical therapy.”

New marriage at midlife means more family to love

on March 23, 2017, at 2:10 p.m.
University of Maine neuropsychology student Katrina Daigle and electrical engineering student Ahmed Almaghasilah hold a device that records data while a person is sleeping. The mattress cover is outfitted with sensors to record movement while a person is asleep. The patented technology, developed at UMaine, is being used to study sleep disorders.

This device developed at UMaine may help maintain brain health

By Meg Haskell on March 22, 2017, at 11:53 a.m.
For this study, a special sheet is placed under the regular bedding in the patient’s home, like a mattress pad. As sensors in the pad pick up the sleeper’s subtle movements and respirations, electronic information is wirelessly transmitted via the internet to receivers at UMaine, where it can be analyzed to determine the duration and quality of sleep.

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.

Week after week, this old gift delivers new insights

on March 04, 2017, at 10:37 a.m.
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.”

The arrival of the seed catalog signals spring

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