Join Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice in Honoring our Country’s Heroes

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military.

These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

We Honor Veterans, Lakes Region, Wolfeboro, Alton, MeredithAs our nation marks Veterans Day on November 11, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice wants to share its commitment to increase Veterans’ access to compassionate, high quality hospice care for those who are facing serious and life-limiting illness.  Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a “We Honor Veterans” partner with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs.  Just recently Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice has been recognized for attaining the highest “We Honor Veterans” partner status. Through We Honor Veterans, we are ensuring that our organization is equipped to address the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans.

It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year – or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually.  A generation of World War II and Korean War Veterans are facing end-of-life care decisions now, and they are quickly being followed by younger Vietnam War Veterans, many of whom are confronting serious illnesses at an even earlier age.

Moultonborough, Moultonboro, We Honor VeteransThe liberty that we, as US citizens, enjoy comes at a price paid by these valiant men and women. Let each of us make sure we do our part to recognize and support them throughout their lives.

If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about the services that hospice and palliative care can provide. Contact us at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice to learn more about the ways we support our nation’s heroes.

To all our nation’s Veterans, thank you.

Lakes Region Homecare & Hospice

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Tree of Memories Celebration of Life to Be Held December 10th

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Tree of Memories Celebration of Life to Be Held December 10th. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice will hold its 20th annual Tree of Memories Celebration on Saturday, December 10th at five locations throughout the Lakes Region. The ceremony provides an opportunity for people to remember the lives of family, friends and neighbors in a serene setting as they honor a life well lived or a life missed.  Everyone is welcome to attend. All ceremonies begin at 11:00 am and will be held in Alton at the Alton Town Hall, Wolfeboro at the Huggins Hospital Medical Arts Building, the Wakefield Town Hall, the Main Street Building in Ossipee and Moulton Farm in Meredith.

Meredith

Tree of Memories at Moulton Farm in Meredith

Twenty years ago, long time Hospice supporters Bob and Shirley Richardson were introduced to a similar event on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  The event was such a great experience they decided to start what we now know as our Tree of Memories that would benefit Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.  The event was quickly adopted and has grown to include the five different locations throughout the Lakes Region. A dove was selected as a symbol of serenity, peace and tranquility and a touching ceremony was created involving the lighting of a tree, music, prayers of remembrance, the reading of names and the placing of doves on the tree.

Over 500 doves are requested each year to support the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. While the ceremonies all take place on one day, the doves remain on the trees throughout the month of December for all to see. Proceeds from the Tree of Memories are used to improve the quality of life for people living in Belknap and Southern Carroll County who are served by Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

. The hospice philosophy recognizes that the dying process is part of the normal process of living and focuses on enhancing the quality of remaining life. To purchase a dove in the name of a loved one or friend, contact the Hospice office at 603-569-2729. In order to ensure that your dove will be ready for the ceremony, please do so by December 5th.

Margaret Franckhauser, Chief Executive Officer of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, has announced her intentions of stepping down in December of 2016

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, Margaret Franckhauser, Lakes Region Award Winning VNA

Margaret Franckhauser, CEO Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

Margaret Franckhauser, Chief Executive Officer of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, has announced her intentions of stepping down in December of 2016 to become the Executive Director of the Next Fifty Initiative – a Colorado- based grant making foundation dedicated to seniors.

Franckhauser states, “Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is in a strong position both clinically and financially.  The agency is forward thinking and responsive to the needs of the community. This is the right time to step aside to allow someone else to take the helm.   She adds, “I have been given the opportunity to lead a grant making organization in Colorado which will allow me to combine my passion for philanthropy with my deep interest in aging. It is an incredible opportunity to do work that has a lasting impact on seniors and their communities.”

Franckhauser began working with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice over 20 years ago when it was known as Community Health & Hospice. After serving as a Board Member, Margaret accepted the position of Associate Director, then quickly moved into the Executive Director position when her predecessor Alida Millham retired.  Margaret first moved to the Lakes Region in 1985 and has worked as a Nurse Practitioner at Belknap Family Medicine, a Nurse Consultant for the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Program Chief for the Bureau of Disease Control, and as Director of Ambulatory Programs for LRGHealthcare.  She has played a significant role in shaping New Hampshire’s Healthcare system.

Margaret will continue to serve in the role of CEO until early December.  The Board of Trustees is launching an executive search and has appointed Christine Long, COO, as the Interim CEO until a new executive is hired. Board Chairman, Jared Price, commented “Margaret has done a wonderful job leading the agency in service to the community.  She skillfully managed a recent merger and has become a leading voice in New Hampshire’s healthcare environment.  She leaves behind a legacy of sound leadership and community commitment. We thank her for her many years of service and wish her well.”

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Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Kicks off Centennial Year

Wednesday evening, in front of a packed room of friends and supporters at Church Landing in Meredith, Margaret Franckhauser kicked off Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice’s Centennial Year. Noting that the agency originated in Wolfeboro, NH during World War I to help injured soldiers returning home and to help provide community services for the Spanish Flu epidemic which had hit New Hampshire by 1918.  The agency has seen many iterations and much growth over the last 100 years and now provides services throughout the entire Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

During the celebration two outgoing trustees were recognized for their service to Central New Hamsphire VNA & Hospice.  Mike Lavalle and Board Chair Bill Schwidder have both fulfilled their terms and are stepping off of the Board.  Jared Price is taking on the role of Board Chair and Mark Edelstein and Corrine Smith were welcomed as new Trustees.

Meredith VNA, Moultonborough, Belmont, Tilton

Outgoing Chair Bill Schwidder passes the gavel to incoming Board Chair Jared Price

During the evenings program three individuals were recognized.  The Shirley Bentley Outstanding Clinician award was given to Hospice Nurse Donna Tondreau, The Leavitt/Knight Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Peter Cassell and the Alida Millham Leadership Award was presented to Scott Clarenbach.

Wolfeboro Alton Wakefield

L-R: Margaret Franckhauser, CEO; Donna Tondreau, Outstanding Clinician Awardee; Jennifer Laramie, Hospice Director; and Tammi Mozier, Clinical Director

Laconia Tuftonboro Sandwich

Alida Millham congratulates Scott Clarenbach for receiving the Millham Leadership Award

Meredith Gilford Gilmanton Belmont Northfield

Leavitt/Knight Volunteer of the Year Awardee Peter Cassell standing with Charlotte Leavitt and Gerald Knight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tilton Franklin Loudon

Professor Molly Dorsey

The program was capped off with a wonderful presentation by Professor Molly Dorsey of the University of New Hampshire.

Professor Molly Girard Dorsey is an associate professor of History and core faculty member in Justice Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She teaches classes on the history of medicine, legal history, and war & society. She has published a book on chemical warfare in World War I and is working on a project on the integration of civilian professionals, including nurses and doctors, into the modern American military. Professor Dorsey took  a look back on the last 100 years with her presentation titled, “Major Events in Medicine and their Relationship with Community Healthcare…100 Years and Counting.”

The Ads Say ‘Get Your Flu Shot Today,’ But It May Be Wiser To Wait

HealthBeat Flu Shots Things to Know

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

The pharmacy chain pitches started in August: Come in and get your flu shot.

Convenience is touted. So are incentives: CVS offers a 20-percent-off shopping pass for everyone who gets a shot, while Walgreens donates toward international vaccination efforts.

The start of flu season is still weeks — if not months — away. Yet marketing of the vaccine has become an almost year-round effort, beginning when the shots become available in August and hyped as long as the supply lasts, often into April or May.

Not that long ago, most flu-shot campaigns started as the leaves began to turn in October. But the rise of retail medical clinics inside drug stores over the past decade — and state laws allowing pharmacists to give vaccinations — has stretched the flu-shot season.

The stores have figured out how “to deliver medical services in an on-demand way” which appeals to customers, particularly millennials, said Tom Charland, founder and CEO of Merchant Medicine, which tracks the walk-in clinic industry. “It’s a way to get people into the store to buy other things.”

But some experts say the marketing may be overtaking medical wisdom since it’s unclear how long the immunity imparted by the vaccine lasts, particularly in older people.

Federal health officials say it’s better to get the shot whenever you can. An early flu shot is better than no flu shot at all. But the science is mixed when it comes to how long a flu shot promoted and given during the waning days of summer will provide optimal protection, especially because flu season generally peaks in mid-winter or beyond. Experts are divided on how patients should respond to such offers.

“If you’re over 65, don’t get the flu vaccine in September. Or August. It’s a marketing scheme,” said Laura Haynes, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging.

That’s because a combination of factors makes it more difficult for the immune systems of people older than age 65 to respond to the vaccination in the first place. And its protective effects may wear off faster for this age group than it does for young people.

When is the best time to vaccinate? It’s a question even doctors have.

“Should I wait until October or November to vaccinate my elderly or medically frail patients?” That’s one of the queries on the website of the board that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on immunizations. The answer is that it is safe to make the shots available to all age groups when the vaccine becomes available, although it does include a caution.

The board says antibodies created by the vaccine decline in the months following vaccination “primarily affecting persons age 65 and older,” citing a study done during the 2011-2012 flu season. Still, while “delaying vaccination might permit greater immunity later in the season,” the CDC notes that “deferral could result in missed opportunities to vaccinate.”

How long will the immunity last?

“The data are very mixed,” said. John J. Treanor, a vaccine expert at the University of Rochester medical school. Some studies suggest vaccines lose some protectiveness during the course of a single flu season. Flu activity generally starts in the fall, but peaks in January or February and can run into the spring.

“So some might worry that if [they] got vaccinated very early and flu didn’t show up until very late, it might not work as well,” he said.

But other studies “show you still have protection from the shot you got last year if it’s a year when the strains didn’t change, Treanor said.

In any given flu season, vaccine effectiveness varies. One factor is how well the vaccines match the virus that is actually prevalent. Other factors influencing effectiveness include the age and general health of the recipient. In the overall population, the CDC says studies show vaccines can reduce the risk of flu by about 50 to 60 percent when the vaccines are well matched.

Health officials say it’s especially important to vaccinate children because they often spread the disease, are better able to develop antibodies from the vaccines and, if they don’t get sick, they won’t expose grandma and grandpa. While most people who get the flu recover, it is a serious disease responsible for many deaths each year, particularly among older adults and young children. Influenza’s intensity varies annually, with the CDC saying deaths associated with the flu have ranged from about 3,300 a year to 49,000 during the past 31 seasons.

To develop vaccines, manufacturers and scientists study what’s circulating in the Southern Hemisphere during its winter, which is our summer. Then — based on that evidence — forecast what flu strains might circulate here to make vaccines that are generally delivered in late July.

For the upcoming season, the vaccines will include three or four strains, including two A strains, an H1N1 and an H3N2, as well as one or two B strains, according to the CDC. It recommends that everyone older than 6 months get vaccinated, unless they have health conditions that would prevent it.

The vaccines can’t give a person the flu because the virus is killed before it’s included in the shot. This year, the nasal vaccine is not recommended for use, as studies showed it was not effective during several of the past flu seasons.

But when to go?

“The ideal time is between Halloween and Thanksgiving,” said Haynes at UConn. “If you can’t wait and the only chance is to get it in September, then go ahead and get it. It’s best to get it early rather than not at all.”

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Guess Who Was Born in 1918?

Physical Therapy, Home, Laconia, Meredith, Glford

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice will be entering it’s Centennial Year!!!  Please join us for our Centennial Celebration and 2016 Annual Meeting on September 28th at The Inn at Mill Falls Church Landing, Meredith, NH.  Cocktails and hors d’oeurves starting at 5:00pm, Welcoming remarks and A Year in Review at 5:45 then a presentation by Professor Molly Girard Dorsey of the University of New Hampshire, followed by a Buffet Dinner.

RSVP is required.  Please inform Brian Winslow at 603-524-8444 or you may register online by clicking here before September 21st.

Professor Dorsey will help us look back on the last 100 years with her presentation titled, “Major Events in Medicine and their Relationship with Community Healthcare.”  Molly Girard Dorsey is an associate professor of History and core faculty member in Justice Studies at the University of New Hampshire.  She teaches classes on the history of medicine, legal history, and war & society.  She has published a book on chemical warfare in World War I and is working on a project on the integration of civilian professionals, including nurses and doctors, into the modern American military.

The event is sponsored by:

Hospice, Homecare, Physical Therapy, Laconia, Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough Therapy, VNA, Hospice, Healthcare, Laconia, Wolfeboro, Wakfield

How To Fight For Yourself At The Hospital — And Avoid Readmission

Everything initially went well with Barbara Charnes’ surgery to fix a troublesome ankle. But after leaving the hospital, the 83-year-old soon found herself in a bad way.

Dazed by a bad response to anesthesia, the Denver resident stopped eating and drinking. Within days, she was dangerously weak, almost entirely immobile and alarmingly apathetic.

“I didn’t see a way forward; I thought I was going to die, and I was OK with that,” Charnes remembered, thinking back to that awful time in the spring of 2015.

Her distraught husband didn’t know what to do until a long-time friend — a neurologist — insisted that Charnes return to the hospital.

That’s the kind of situation medical centers are trying hard to prevent. When hospitals readmit aging patients more often than average, they can face stiff government penalties.

But too often institutions don’t take the reality of seniors’ lives adequately into account, making it imperative that patients figure out how to advocate for themselves.

“People tell us over and over ‘I wasn’t at all prepared for what happened’ and ‘My needs weren’t anticipated,’” said Mary Naylor, director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s a mistake to rely on hospital staff to ensure that things go smoothly; medical centers’ interests (efficiency, opening up needed beds, maximizing payments, avoiding penalties) are not necessarily your interests (recovering as well as possible, remaining independent and easing the burden on caregivers).

Instead, you and a family member, friend or caregiver need to be prepared to ask plenty of questions and push for answers.

Here’s what doctors, health policy experts, geriatric care managers, older adults and caregivers recommend:

Start Planning Now

Planning for a transition home should begin as soon as you’re admitted to the hospital, advised Connie McKenzie, who runs Firstat RN Care Management Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. You may be too ill to do this, so have someone you trust ask your physician how long you’re likely to be hospitalized and whether you’ll be sent home or to rehabilitation afterward.

Ask if a physical therapist can evaluate you or your loved one at the hospital. Can you get out of bed by yourself? Walk across the room? Then discuss what difficulties might arise back home. Will you be able to handle your own bathroom needs? Get dressed? Climb stairs? What kind of assistance will you require?

Request a consultation with a nutritionist. What kinds of foods will and won’t you be able to eat? Does your diet need to change over the short term, or longer term?

Consider where you’ll go next. If you or your loved one is going to need rehabilitation, now is the time to start researching facilities. Ask a hospital social worker for advice or, if you can afford it, hire a geriatric care manager (now called aging life care professionals) to walk you through your options.

Before Being Discharged

Don’t wait to learn about the kind of care that will be required at home. Will a wound need to be dressed? A catheter need tending to? What’s the best way to do this? Have a nurse show you, step by step, and then let you practice in front of her — several times, if that’s what it takes.

Ann Williams watched a nurse give her 77-year-old mother a shot of Warfarin two years ago after being hospitalized for a dangerous blood clot. But when it was Williams’ turn to give the injection on her own, she panicked.

“I’m not a medical professional: I’ve only given allergy shots to my cats,” she said. Fortunately, Williams found a good instructional video on the internet and watched it over and over.

Make sure you ask your doctor to sit down and walk you through what will happen next. How soon might you or your loved one recover? What should you expect if things are going well? What should you do if things are going poorly? How will you know if a trip back to the hospital is necessary?

If the doctor or a nurse rushes you, don’t be afraid to say, “Please slow down and repeat that” or “Can you be more specific?” or “Can you explain that using simple language?” said Dr. Suzanne Mitchell, an assistant professor of family medicine at Boston University’s School of Medicine.

Getting Ready To Leave

Being discharged from a hospital can be overwhelming. Make sure you have someone with you to ask questions, take good notes and stand up for your interests — especially if you feel unprepared to leave the hospital in your current state, said Jullie Gray, a care manager with Aging Wisdom in Seattle.

This is the time to go over all the medications you’ll be taking at home, if you haven’t done so already. Bring in a complete list of all the prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you’ve been taking. You’ll want to have your physician or a pharmacist go over the entire list to make sure there aren’t duplicates or possibly dangerous interactions. Some hospitals are filling new prescriptions before patients go home; take advantage of this service if you can. Or get a list of nearby pharmacies that can fill medication orders.

Find out if equipment that’s been promised has been delivered. Will there be a hospital bed, a commode or a shower chair at home when you get there? How will you obtain other supplies that might be needed such as disposable gloves or adult diapers? A useful checklist can be found at Next Step in Care, a program of the United Hospital Fund.

Will home health care nurses be coming to offer a helping hand? If so, has that been scheduled — and when? How often will the nurses come, and for what period of time? What, exactly, will home health caregivers do and what other kinds of assistance will you need to arrange on your own? What will your insurance pay for?

Be sure to get contact information (phone numbers, cell phone numbers, email addresses) for the doctor who took care of you at the hospital, the person who arranged your discharge, a hospital social worker, the medical supply company and the home health agency. If something goes wrong, you’ll want to know who to contact.

Don’t leave without securing a copy of your medical records and asking the hospital to send those records to your primary care doctor.

Back At Home

Seeing your primary care doctor within two weeks should be a priority. “Even if a patient seems to be doing really well, having their doctor lay eyes on them is really important,” said Dr. Kerry Hildreth, an assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

When you call for an appointment, make sure you explain that you’ve just been in the hospital.

Adjust your expectations. Up to one-third of people over 70 and half of those over 80 leave the hospital with more disabilities than when they arrived. Sometimes, seniors suffer from anxiety and depression after a traumatic illness; sometimes, they’ll experience problems with memory and attention. Returning to normal may take time or a new normal may need to be established. A physical or occupational therapist can help, but you may have to ask the hospital or a home health agency to help arrange these visits. Often, they won’t offer.

It took a year for Barbara Charnes to stand up and begin walking after her ankle operation, which was followed by two unexpected hospitalizations and stints in rehabilitation. For all the physical difficulties, the anguish of feeling like she’d never recover her sense of herself as an independent person was most difficult.

“I felt that my life, as I had known it, had ended,” she said, “but gradually I found my way forward.”

We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips.

KHN’s coverage of late life and geriatric care is supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation.