In 2014, a planning grant from MeHAF allowed Healthy Peninsula and their partners to "listen" to over 80 patients and caregivers to find out what they needed to remain in their communities as long as possible. They told us they need to know the resources for health and support in their towns and how to access them.
For example, one diabetic patient told us, “My doctor tells me what NOT to eat, but doesn’t tell me what to eat or how to prepare food to help control my diet.” We also found that many, especially homebound seniors, feel alone, “I often feel isolated…I would like to see more people laughing…and have someone to spend time with.” The data collected were used to drive the goals for project implementation. These goals revolve around five general priorities identified by participants as important elements of “thriving in place”.
In 2015, we were awarded one of four Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) Thriving in Place grants aimed at creating long-lasting system change to support seniors and people with chronic health conditions (including behavioral health conditions) in maintaining or improving their health so they can remain independent and safe in their homes and communities as long as possible. Thriving in Place Downeast (TiPD) serves the nine towns of the Blue Hill Peninsula, Deer Isle, and Stonington and is funded by a three-year grant that will run through Oct. 31, 2017.
Beginning in November 2016, Healthy Peninsula entered the third and final year of its Thriving in Place Downeast (TiPD). Great strides were made over the first two years in improving the coordination and collaboration between available services so that those aging in our communities will truly be able to thrive in the places they call home. The theme for the final year was sustainability, how we can make sure that the changes in the system itself will also thrive and grow. Some of the TiP projects will continue to grow, watered by funding from partner organizations, and new and exciting initiatives have blossomed out of the original seed.