On Tuesday, November 14 a Healthy Aging Luncheon was hosted at the State Road Advent Christian Church in Mapleton. The 2023 Healthy Aging Luncheon program “Substance Use, Recovery, Safe Medication Disposal” was a joint presentation as a result of a cooperative effort between the Aroostook Mental Health Center and Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital. Dawn Roberts, community health and volunteer coordinator, hosted the luncheon. Daryl Boucher, EdD, RN, vice president of operations at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital welcomed everyone to the luncheon. He added the hospital was pleased to be able to provide these informational luncheons for older people in Aroostook County.
The luncheon’s first speaker was Jillian Philbrick, who is a recovery coach coordinator at the Aroostook Mental Health Center’s Roads to Recovery Program located in Caribou. She explained their service was all about providing support, education and resources for people recovering from substance use disorder. She explained that individuals experiencing substance use disorder live with a bleak and dark view of the world. The Roads to Recovery program wants to spread a message of hope to those who need help in their recovery from substance use.
Philbrick used her own personal experience with substance use that began in her mid-20s. She already was a mother when her challenges as a result of substance use began. She talked sincerely about her and her family’s experiences that even included jail time for her. She was fortunate to have a supportive family that allowed her to become involved with substance use disorder services of AMHC.
Today Philbrick is a member of the AMHC team as the recovery coaching coordinator. She explained that the program offers many services that include peer coaching and one-to-one peer counseling. Additionally several group meetings and events that focus on topics such as employment, wellness, music and social events. She reminded everyone the program’s services were offered free of charge to those with substance use disorders and she asked audience members to encourage anyone they knew with substance use issues to consider contacting the Roads to Recovery service located at 1 Water Street in Caribou.
Before the second presentation of the morning, a video was shown titled “What is Naloxone?” The video demonstrated the effect and use of Naloxone for opioid overdose. As part of this presentation, Naloxone kits were given to several members of the audience.
After the video presentation, Kayla Bates, Pharm. D, who is the Northern Light director of pharmacy, introduced Emily Seeley, pharmacy student intern, who discussed safe storage and disposal of personal medications. She emphasized proper safe medication storage at home as a way to protect young grandchildren and to keep medications from falling into the hands of visitors. She closed by talking using a drug collection program to properly dispose of drugs instead of tossing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet. Both of these methods of disposal present safety hazards in the environment.
Following these presentations, a traditional harvest dinner was served compliments of AMHC and Northern light A.R. Gould Hospital. The roast turkey dinner with all the fixings was prepared by Country Farms market. This was an informative morning with delicious dinner that was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.
Church harvest supper was special
The West Chapman Advent Christian Church held its annual harvest supper on November 11. The meal was prepared by many hands at the church. The menu included roast turkey and baked ham along with all the fixings. An excellent turnout of diners occurred and Pastor Gardiner was delighted to see so many church members, neighbors and friends come out to supper. Funds from these suppers in the past have been used by the church to enhance the church’s efforts to improve the handicapped accessibility. The church is thankful for all who came out for the evening.
Terry Sandusky is the Star-Herald correspondent for Mapleton, Chapman and Castle Hill and can be reached at 764-4916 or at starherald.Tsandusky@gmail.com.