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November 17

November 18th, 2020 by

I hope all who are reading this are healthy and well! It is tough times for sure! But we have stayed the course and have managed to keep the virus out of Bartlett Woods. We will continue this fight until the virus is gone! We thank all of our residents who have been tough and followed the guidelines to make sure we all stay healthy. It is a true team effort.

WE HAVE A NEW BUS!!!!! We are so excited to show off our brand new bus. While it looks a little ‘naked’ right now, I assure she will be beautifully dressed once it is safe to take her to the lettering shop. We are taking residents out for socially distanced scenic rides. We are limiting the trips to 5 people right now, using every other seat. These rides are a huge hit and the residents are so happy to get out and see different sights. Thankfully we have been blessed with some truly beautiful weather for November. If you see us on the road, be sure to toot and wave!
Bartlett Woods New Bus

In October we were able to set up indoor visitations. We created a beautiful space for families to visit. It’s been a huge hit. However, with cases climbing in Knox County, we have had to put those visits on hold for now. But don’t worry, they will be back.

Safe Activities at Bartlett WoodsHere come the holidays!! Ready or not, they are coming. This year Thanksgiving will look a little different for many people. Most families, we hope, are following CDC guidelines and celebrating with those who live in their home. That is exactly what we are doing here! Our kitchen will make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for all to enjoy. Many of our staff, who also aren’t able to be with their families, will be here to help make the day a little more special and help serve dinner.

While we aren’t able to bring live entertainment into the building, we are still able to provide some amazing digital concerts.

We are so excited to present the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Bach and Brahms concert as well as “The Magic of Christmas” We have traveled a few times to Merrill Auditorium in Portland to see the Magic of Christmas and it is definitely one of the highlights of our Christmas Season. So, we are very excited that we can still see and hear the show right here at Bartlett Woods!

Along with the PSO’s concerts, we are reaching out to our many entertainers to see who is offering digital concerts this year. We hope to provide several different concert options.

Speaking of the holidays, if you follow us on Facebook, (and you really should!), you would know that we have already put up our Christmas tree in the parlor. We felt a little extra holiday cheer would be great for all! Right after Thanksgiving, we will begin putting up the rest of our trees and decorations. We plan to do a little extra decorating this year to bring out a little more holiday cheer.

We know this holiday season is going to be hard for many. The staff here at Bartlett Woods is committed to making these holidays as special as possible given the circumstances we are living in. While we may not share the same DNA, I assure you every resident is family to us.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and we can’t wait to see you all again!

Thank you
Karen Tooley/Activities Director

October 1, 2020

October 5th, 2020 by

Wow, it’s the beginning of October and our world has not returned to normal. Or perhaps this is the new normal. Let’s hope this “new normal” doesn’t mind being short-lived.

I remember the meeting our team of managers had in March when it was decided we would go on lock down for two weeks because the virus had come to Maine. All residents were confined to their apartments and we, as staff, quickly realized our jobs were changing. But we also thought it would be short term. We thought by April for certain life would resume again. April turned into May, then June, July and August. Now as we are about to welcome October we are still here…keeping the virus at bay. Lock down now has a different meaning here. The residents, no longer confined to their apartments, are free to move about the building and grounds. Meals are being served in the dining room again, albeit in a slightly different manner. Nonetheless life has improved here over the last 6 months. Family visits are happening in our beautiful screen gazebo.

Through this whole process we all realized how strong we are. Residents especially, along with their families, have stayed the course. It’s been hard, it’s been heartbreaking at times, and it’s even been aggravating. However, the one sentence that everyone agrees on is; it’s worth it, because everyone is safe and healthy.
Bartlett Woods is its own community. And this community truly cares about their fellow residents. We see the ones who struggle with the changes, and right there beside them are their friends, fellow residents, keeping them going.

Perhaps there is more to this virus than just the sickness…perhaps this is society’s chance to turn itself around. We know it has slowed us down, allowed us more time with our family at home. We have seen the good in people shine brightly on the darkest of days. We have seen the caring and the kindness. Maybe, just maybe, the reset button has been pushed. Let’s not forget that we have the opportunity to continue with the kindness, caring and compassion we have seen over the last 6 months even after this virus is gone.

Thank you to all who are doing their part in keeping Bartlett Woods a safe, healthy and happy place to be, even in these uncertain times.
Karen Tooley/Activities Director

August 2020

July 27th, 2020 by

Here we are approaching the end of July…who would’ve thought we would still be battling this virus. At least here in Maine, right now, it appears we are winning. But the battle isn’t over yet. And here at Bartlett Woods we are definitely winning…but again that battle isn’t over either. We must stay the course to keep ahead of this virus.

It’s been a while since we published a blog… we’ve been busy! Each staff member has taken on more responsibilities to help wherever there is need. We have a great team of dedicated, compassionate, hardworking men and woman who truly care about the well being of every resident and their fellow staff members.

While we are still technically in “lock down”, we have many more freedoms than we did a few months ago. The residents are able to enjoy the ability to move around the building, both inside and out. Masks and social distancing are our best defense against Covid 19 and we make certain the residents are always practicing these guidelines.

Along with being able to socialize with their neighbors in the common areas within the building, they are enjoying so much more time outside on our beautiful grounds.

Several weeks back, the state gave the go ahead for face to face family visits. We were given a list of guidelines that we had to follow. The outcome has been our beautiful screened gazebo, where residents and their families can visit. They still wear masks and maintain the 6 foot distance. Visitors are screened for any symptoms and asked a number of questions regarding their health. Then they enjoy a visit outside under the gazebo, surrounded by flowers and loved ones. The smiles we see on their faces when they come back inside are priceless.

While things aren’t back to normal, we have adapted to our new normal. Everyone is grateful for what we have and thankful for being safe. We look forward to the day when we can welcome families and friends back to Bartlett Woods. We look forward to having our exercise instructors, musicians and speakers come back. We look forward to going shopping, scenic rides, out to eat, picnics and much more. That day will come….until then we keep fighting the good fight!

Covid 19 is not welcome at Bartlett Woods; we will fight until this virus is gone to keep it out.

We wear our masks and let our eyes show our smiles, we use words of compassion to show we care and we let our actions prove we are here for them.

Everyone can fight with us by doing one simple task….please WEAR YOUR MASK!

Stay safe and we hope to see you all soon!
Karen Tooley
Activities Director

Life looks different

April 14th, 2020 by

Life looks different these days doesn’t it? Life at Bartlett Woods is different, but still good. While it’s true we are still under a “shelter in place” order and our residents are confined to their apartments we are good.

Its difficult being isolated from family and friends, but it’s a good feeling to know our residents are safe. They are well fed, cared for and most of all, loved by all of the staff.

Can I just take a moment and talk about this incredible staff? These men and women who come in everyday with smiles on their faces and caring in their hearts are just phenomenal! They are truly caregivers in every sense of the word. From our executive director all the way down through resident care staff, kitchen staff, administrative staff, housekeeping, activities, maintenance and even our transport driver. The caring and compassion of everyone is palpable. Our residents are the driving force behind everything we are doing. There is nothing we won’t do to keep them all safe and healthy.
The staff truly cares about everyone; therefore, we have made it our mission to keep ourselves out of the public in order to reduce the risk of contracting the virus ourselves and in turn bringing it to work.

While sometimes the days may seem long for our residents, we are offering as much enrichment as we safely can. We have increased our supplies of crossword puzzle books, word search books, Sudoku books and are offering to retrieve books from our library as often as they would like.
The activities team goes to each apartment daily to see what they might need or want. It also gives us a chance to just say “Hi!” and chat for a few minutes. Of course we are wearing masks and keeping the 6 ft distance.

When the weather cooperates, we encourage our residents to enjoy their balconies and soak up some Vitamin D.

We all look forward to the day coming when the virus is no longer a threat and we can emerge from our homes and enjoy the company of family and friends.
The question remains: what will life look like after the virus? Will we go back to where we were or do you think perhaps we have found that there are things we can live without and things we must have in our lives? Let’s hope we are better, stronger, smarter and more compassionate when that day comes.
All of us at Bartlett Woods hope you are all staying home, staying safe and enjoying your time with family.

Karen Tooley
Activities Director

Life in “Lock Down”

March 31st, 2020 by

As we all learn to adjust to the changing lifestyle we are living, here at Bartlett Woods our #1 priority is to keep our residents, your loved ones, healthy and happy.

This means, we have closed our facility to visitors.  All staff members are screened daily to make certain we are symptom free and we are washing our hands many, many times per day.
I’m sure you are wondering what the Activities Department does when the residents are all confined to their apartments.   Rest assured, we are here every day and interacting with your loved ones each day. Daily we go to each apartment with some sort of goody.  On St. Patrick’s Day we brought them each an Irish coffee and Shamrock cookies! On other days we have brought them each a little bag of hard candy and chocolate, we have also made popcorn.  Along with the treats we are offering jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, word search, Sudoku, cryptograms and word scrambles. We are also checking books out of the library for them, offering DVD’s to watch and in some cases just visiting so they aren’t lonely.

We have lined up some music entertainment that will take place outside that they can enjoy on their balconies.  When the weather warms up, we will offer more outside entertainment.

We have played “Hallway Bingo” and have other “Hallway Activities” planned.  These events allow them to sit in their doorways and safely socialize with their neighbors.

Playing Bingo Bingo from a distance Winning at Bingo

We have also set up schedules for residents to go outside for short walks.

With our spring snow, we made a couple of snowmen for them to enjoy!

Building SnowmanMaine winter snowman

Life is certainly different then what we are all used to, but we are doing our part to slow the curve.

There will be no April Activities calendar on the website, please accept our apologies. We are planning activities day by day at this point, but rest assured we are all practicing social distancing.  The Activities Team personally sees each resident daily and makes certain they are content.

While we have our departments we work within, we are all one big team.   This means everyone pitches in where needed. This week Activities has been on trash duty as well as helped deliver snacks from the kitchen, but I promise we washed our hands in between. ☺

While we work hard to keep our residents safe and healthy, we wish the same for all of you.


Thank You

Karen Tooley

Activities Director

March 2020

March 6th, 2020 by

We can only hope the “Luck ‘O the Irish” is on our side this month and brings spring early for us! While we have had a rather mild winter, for Maine, it’s still been long enough and we are ready to get outside and enjoy some fresh air!
Until Mother Nature decides to play nice, we are keeping busy inside here at Bartlett Woods. We are having so much fun with our new games “Wheel of Fortune” and “Concentration” and this month we will be adding “Jeopardy” to the mix. This is one the residents have asked for and we are excited to bring it to them. We are also bringing back a game we haven’t played for awhile…Wii Bowling! Always something to keep us moving and having fun!
We have a very creative bunch of residents and they enjoy trying different crafts whether it is clay, paint, knitting, Origami they enjoy it all. This month we will try our hand at painting mandalas. According to Wikipedia: A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols with a very different application. In modern, typically American and European use, “mandala” has become a generic term for any circle ornament which can be used as a relaxing tool, for diagnostic or in art therapy.

We are excited to see the designs they create.

Bartlett Woods Art

While we often have dogs visit us here, we have never been part of a dog reaching his goal of becoming a certified therapy dog. On March 6th, we will be part of the test for “Clio”, a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix as he performs his last test to obtain his certificate. He will be joined by “Jeepers”, a Portuguese water dog, who is already certified. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for Clio!
We have been very fortunate to have a trainer from Penobscot Bay YMCA come twice a week for as long as I can remember and even before that. Victor comes every Tuesday and Thursday morning, usually to packed room, and really gets our resident’s blood pumping and feeling energized. He has become part of the family here and our residents have asked if we could have him more often. Victor was more than willing to do that, therefore, starting this month; Victor will be here on Saturday mornings as well. We still have our chair yoga classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday too. Six exercise classes a week!! It’s the perfect way to start each morning.
One of those random days we like to celebrate here is” National Plant a Flower Day”! Who doesn’t want a pretty flower for their table? It is sure to bring smiles as we watch them grow.
Of course the big day for March is St. Patrick’s Day! Every year we try to come up with a new way to celebrate this fun holiday. This year, we will enjoy a little “Irish Coffee” while enjoying the music and dancing of the hit River Dance! If that doesn’t make you feel Irish, nothing will!
The first day of spring just makes everyone want to get outside! We are gambling that Mother Nature will provide us with a beautiful spring day on March 19th so we can enjoy our fist “Walking Group” walk of 2020.
Representative Pinny Beebe-Center is serving in her third term in the Maine House of Representatives. She serves on the State and Local Government Committee and represents Rockland and Owl’s Head. We are excited to welcome her to Bartlett Woods on Saturday, March 21st @ 2:00 pm. She will give an update on what is happening in Augusta, as well as answer questions. This event is open to the community; we would love to have you join us.
We also will welcome back Michael Perry, one of our favorite travelers. Michael loves to travel as much as he loves to share his journey with us. He will be here with his amazing photos and stories from his travels to Copenhagen and Greenland. This is one we all look forward to.
Along with all these great events, we also have our, movies, games, shopping trips, dinning out, discussion groups, scenic rides, cocktail hours and just plain fun. Whether it’s sitting by the fire with a friend, enjoying a good book in the library, or taking in one of our great events…we will save a seat for you!

Karen Tooley
Activities Director

January 2020

January 7th, 2020 by


Here we go with a brand new year! We are going to make sure this year is packed with creative fun, intellectual speakers, beautiful trips, delicious meals and some good quality time with our friends.

January is a renewal for all, a fresh start. January is also typically a snowy month, so that limits our travel plans a little, so we bring in some extra fun to be had right here!

Randy Fein is a local clay sculptor who has taught classes here before, however, now she will be a regular on our calendar throughout the year. She will be here twice this month with a clay sculpting class. It’s always fun to get your hands into the clay and see what comes of it. With her guidance and suggestions we are sure to make some beautiful art.

One of our local historians, Renny Stackpole will be back with a talk and slide show all about Nantucket. He is a crowd favorite here; his talks are always filled with great pictures and lots of history.

This month we are excited to welcome Moody’s Diner to Bartlett Woods. Dan from Moody’s will be coming here to share the history of Moody’s Diner and I hear he is bringing some of their famous pies!

We’ve added a new weekly event to our calendar. Every Friday morning we have a resident led Bible Study and prayer group that meets in our library.

We are very excited to welcome retired Maine State Game Warden Roger Guay. He has written a book “A Good Man with a Dog” and will be here on Saturday January 25th @ 2:30 for an author talk.   We welcome everyone to join us for this great event.

I’m always excited when Kevin Johnson from the Penobscot Marine Museum visits us, because you just know it’s going to be a very interesting hour. Kevin is the photo archivist for the museum so he has access to so many historical slides AND he has the history to go along with them. Kevin will be here on Monday, January 20th at 10:30, please come and join us.

This month we also celebrate some unique “holidays” such as National Hat Day on January 15th, National Kazoo Day on January 28th and National Puzzle Day on January 29th. We will be having the first ever Bartlett Woods ‘Puzzle Palooza” on the 29th. Puzzles of every sort will be played on this day, it’s sure to be loads of fun. On January 31st it is “Inspire your heart with art” day…we will have different art stations set up for everyone to feel inspired and create whatever their heart desires.

As always we have our regular shopping trips, exercise classes, discussion groups, games, dining out, scenic rides, cocktail hours, church services and more. There is always something happening here at Bartlett Woods…we’ll save a seat for you.

Karen Tooley, Activities Director