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.
A living room can be seen in this undated stock photo. Timeshare owners in Maine are among the victims of scammers targeting people who are trying to sell their vacation units.

Scammers target Mainers eager to sell their timeshare units

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 22, 2017, at 7:40 a.m.
Mainers trying to sell timeshare vacation units should be on the lookout for scammers intent on taking advantage of them.

It’s getting harder to turn off the screens and tune in to real life

on Jan. 19, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
Michelle Sherbak relaxes as a mask dries on her face during an "Anthony's Classic" facial at Anthony John's Day Spa in Bangor on Tuesday.

Go ahead, enjoy that facial. Taking care of your skin at midlife has some major health benefits

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 19, 2017, at 6:37 a.m.
Despite the many critical roles it plays, many people don’t take care of their skin.
Kathy Zeman, 66, of Bucksport lifts a weight over her head during the Bone Builders class exercise at the The Heritage apartments in Brewer. The program is intended for area seniors to have a regular exercise routine.

Older Mainers build bone strength and camaraderie in this free, volunteer-led program

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 16, 2017, at 9:57 a.m.
“It turns out you don’t really want that much time to yourself when you retire.”

An old children’s cookbook stirs up sweet memories

on Jan. 13, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
Gloria Guyette (left) and Rose Melvin discuss a word puzzle during the meeting of the Belfast Senior Center at the Belfast Boathouse Tuesday. The participants of the group would like to have a permanent home for the Senior Center and have been discussing what people would like for activities. The city is allowing the use of The Boathouse through March of this year.

Midcoast residents turn out in support of a senior center

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 11, 2017, at 1:51 p.m.
“We need a place for people to come together, a place to be with each other and share activities,” Carol Good said. “It needs to be safe, free and welcoming to all.”
Volunteers helped staff mass vaccine clinics, like this one at the Bangor Civic Center, during the H1N1 influenza outbreak of 2009 and 2010.

Online registry seeks Maine health care volunteers, including retirees, to serve in disasters

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 09, 2017, at 9:55 a.m.
“The reason people go into health care is to help others. When we see an acute situation where people are suffering, we want to help.”
Maryanne Mattson (center) plays a drum during a peaceful protest on Bangor Mall Boulevard in November. In light of the recent violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock, Maine tribes and their allies held a flash mob round dance. For a few minutes a group of over 100 people blocked traffic at the intersection near Toys R Us to pray, sing and dance.

For activists and others, nonviolent strategies against harassment and assault

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 05, 2017, at 7:34 a.m.
Bangor-area organizations will offer trainings this weekend in “bystander intervention” to teach people of all ages who witness such incidents to intervene safely and effectively.

Dump your clutter: a strategy for creating order out of chaos in 2017

on Jan. 04, 2017, at 10:21 p.m.
Phil Gouzie, 94, tells stories of his days in the Civilian Conservation Corps on the couch in his South Portland living room. He left Westbrook High School in his sophomore year to join the corps.

How the Civilian Conservation Corps helped Maine families survive the Great Depression

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 02, 2017, at 6:44 a.m.
Phil Gouzie said it’s important that the lessons of the Civilian Conservation Corps not be lost as the CCC generation ages. “If you don’t take care of your natural resources, you’ll lose them,”

How I braved my fears about skating on wild ice

on Dec. 29, 2016, at 4:32 p.m.
South Portland Food Cupboard volunteer Sharon Shearer sets out acorn squash donated by Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth in 2015.

This ancient New Year tradition could transform your community

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 28, 2016, at 11:57 a.m.
As one year ends and another begins, many Mainers will contemplate making a New Year’s resolution.
Hal Owen, 92, toasts Sally Davis with a glass of water before taking his morning medication at the Camden Hills Villa senior living facility Wednesday. Davis, a caregiver, visits Owen twice daily and helps him with his medication and other minor chores.

How some Maine families find trustworthy, committed help for aging parents — at a price

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 26, 2016, at 10:52 a.m.
All across Maine, families struggle with keeping elderly parents and other loved ones safe in their own homes. Each situation is different, but in many cases, bringing in a professional caregiver is part of the solution.

Welcoming a good old dog into our lives

on Dec. 21, 2016, at 8:23 p.m.
Lucinda Selchie, a resident of the Deborah Lincoln House  assisted living home in Belfast, waters her houseplants in this photo from May 2016. A new study shows that older Mainers enjoy a generally high degree of well-being, although levels of personal satisfaction and sense of purpose are low.

Older Mainers thriving despite low levels of personal satisfaction, study shows

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 21, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
A recent state-by-state survey ranks Maine 20th in the nation in the overall well-being of its older residents, up from 33rd in last year’s report.
Annie Cilley of Belmont gets emotional as she talks about how her friend Veronica Pendleton was defrauded of thousands of dollars by a lawyer whom she had given power of attorney. Pendleton was victimized by the attorney over a period of several years.

Shining a light on senior financial exploitation in Maine

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 20, 2016, at 6:16 a.m.
“Power of attorney is not a license to steal,” Maine Attorney General Janet Mills said.

Here’s what I love about Christmas cards

on Dec. 15, 2016, at 12:14 p.m.
A movie projector from the 1930's in the collection at the Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport.

Why a historical film archive in Bucksport is collecting old home movies

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 14, 2016, at 11:44 a.m.
For 30 years, David Weiss has been in the business of preserving memories via film.

Sharing Christmas quirks in a new marriage

on Dec. 13, 2016, at 2:07 p.m.
John Jemison of Orono leads his father, Jack Jemison, 94, to the dining room of the Phillip Strickland House assisted living facility in Bangor for lunch on Monday. Jack Jemison struggles with memory loss and the disorienting fallout of a couple of big, recent changes: the transition to Maine in 2014 from his lifelong home in Memphis, Tennessee, and the death of his wife of 60 years, Jan, earlier this year. For John Jemison, a professor of soil and water quality with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the day-to-day issue is largely one of finding enough time to spend with his recently widowed father.

How to help minimize caregiver stress during the holidays

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 12, 2016, at 6:52 a.m.
No matter how much we love the winter holiday season, the related demands and expectations can pack a big punch of stress. For family caregivers tending to the needs of an elderly parent, spouse or other relative, the pressures can be much greater.