On Monday, April 9th at the Meredith Community Center, residents from the Greater Lakes Region had the pleasure of hearing Carolyn Crosby, MD and hospice medical director of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice speak about Palliative Care and Hospice. This presentation preceded National Healthcare Decision Day on April 16th with the intent of helping people be better prepared to complete their Advanced Care Directives, or at least to start the conversation with their families. The idea was to inform people about the difference between Palliative Care and Hospice Care as well as some important decisions families and patients need to make when receiving these different types of care. In order to be an advocate for yourself or a family member and get the care you want, you have to understand what options are available. Dr. Crosby eloquently explained the options for end of life care and the care of someone with a chronic illness through stories of the patients she has cared for over the years. Although the topic of the evening was not one that most people feel at ease discussing the attendees expressed gratitude that such important information was shared. If you have not planned for your Healthcare future start the process now. Give your family the gift of knowing how you wish to be cared for at a time when you may no longer be able to tell them.
Each person finds their own path through the heartbreak of grief. This spring, neighbors of all ages across the Lakes Region are invited to explore how art, music, and nature can be a part of a path of healing through loss and finding wells of creativity and solace as they remember loved ones.
“Sometimes art, music, and nature can help us honor our connection to a loved one in ways that take us out of the torment of our heads . . . letting our bodies and hearts remember and heal,” shares Dan Kusch who provides bereavement and spiritual care at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. “Often friends or members of the same family grieve differently and it can be lonely. Another gift of these workshops is safe space to have a shared experience and also offer each person their own ways to express their loss and love.”
Upcoming workshops are Saturdays 10am-Noon on April 14, May 12, and June 16 in Laconia. Upcoming activities shared by local artists include harp and keyboard, pottery, wire jewelry, poetry and writing, hand-made books, fly-tying (for fly-fishing), wind chimes, paper boat luminaries, and more. The last two workshops are close to Mother’s and Father’s Days and may be especially good openings to honor mother, father, and parent figures in our lives. These workshops are free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information and to register for any of these grief support offerings, please call Dan at 524-8444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is offering Free Blood Pressure Clinics in many communities in Central New Hampshire and around the lake over the coming months. These clinics are an important outreach initiative for our agency to make connections with people in all of the communities we serve. Please take the opportunity to come and meet your community visiting nurse and take care of your health!
Currently you can attend a Free Blood Pressure Clinic at the following locations:
- Center Ossipee at the Concerned Citizens at 3 Dore on the first and third Thursdays of the month
- Wolfeboro Senior Center (located in the All Saints Church on Main Street in Wolfeboro) on Monday, January 15th from 10-12PM
- Moultonborough Public Library, 4 Holland Street, Moultonborough, NH on January 12th from 10:30-12:00 PM
- Gilmanton Town Hall, 503 Province Road, Gilmanton, NH on Wednesday, January 17th from 9-10:30 AM
If you or your organization is interested in scheduling a Blood Pressure Clinic please call Angela Smith at 524-8444.
Every year the We Honor Veterans group from Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, consisting of a team of dedicated veteran volunteers, Jennifer Legassie, Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse, Randy Macdonald, Volunteer Coordinator and Maria Babineau, MSW come together to honor veterans of the past and present by displaying a tree draped in red, white and blue at the Bank of New Hampshire, Laconia and Huggins Hospital lobbies.
Friends and family are invited to visit the tree and write the name of their veteran loved ones on ornaments to hang proudly. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice strives to always respect and honor those who have selflessly given of themselves to protect this country and all who call it home.
The staff at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice wish to give a special thank you and salute to all who have served and continue to serve our country.
Jennifer Legassie, RN, Hospice Director, Chief Clinical Nurse
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice spends a great deal of time doing many different kinds of Outreach: from partnering with churches for bereavement sessions and memorial services, to educating our community healthcare partners and providing free blood pressure clinics to radio broadcasts with pertinent home care and hospice information.
Recently; however, I’ve had the pleasure of a different kind of Outreach. I am working with Dr. Marianne Jackson, a retired OBGYN from Northern New Hampshire who is dedicating her retirement to speaking with people all over Belknap and Carroll County about the changes in medicine over the last 100 years and why it is more important than ever to plan for the future. Coincidentally, her presentation titled, “What Ever Happened to Natural Causes? Historical Perspectives on Death and Dying Across 100 Years” coincides with our agency’s 100th Birthday. The clarity with which Dr. Jackson communicates her desire to help the community embrace this difficult conversation is refreshing and incredibly important. We are dedicating 2018 to reminding the communities in Central New Hampshire and the greater Lakes Region that our involvement and support in the local community is much more than home care and hospice services. Partnering with Dr. Jackson has given us yet another way to make a difference in the lives of our local communities. Please call us at 524-8444 if you are interested in scheduling a presentation. By Angela Smith, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Community Liaison.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice has long counted Temple B’nai Israel as a good friend and community partner. They have supported us over the years with volunteers and donations and are now raising funds for some of our other partners in the Lakes Region.
Having raised thousands of dollars for us in the past, Temple B’nai Israel is launching their 2017 Families Matter initiative which includes a photo & video contest and a concert to provide much needed resources to lakes region families. To learn more about submissions of funny, heart-warming or poignant pics or clips of your family, or to learn how this contest works, visit http://families-matter.causevox.com.
Temple B’nai Israel’s We Care concert series is bringing one of the world’s premiere a cappella choral groups, Pitch Slapped, to the stage on Saturday, October 21st at the Meredith Community Auditorium located at Inter-Lakes High School. Pitch Slapped represents the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and has appeared on NBC’s “The Sing Off” and “America’s Got Talent.” The performance will benefit Belknap House and Genesis Behavioral Health, both of which partner with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice to care for local families and children in the Lakes Region. For more information, or to purchase a ticket, visit www.tbinh.org.
Every day I see family members of our hospice patients go through various stages of grieving. The stages of grief that family members endure are filled with tears, anger and emptiness and their grief tugs at my heart strings every time. As a hospice nurse, it is important that I provide not just the necessary medical care; but that I support the emotional needs of the family by listening to them, providing empathy and guiding them through this process.
Recently, I lost my Grandmother. She was a tough, feisty woman with end stage Alzheimer’s dementia. Her disease process was slow. It took 15 years for her to succumb to this horrible disease and be at peace. After her death, I realized several things. This wasn’t the first time I had lost her; the disease had taken her from me many years ago. And, I was experiencing the tears, anger and emptiness like many of the family members of patients I had supported. I realized that what I needed most was someone who could give me undying support; someone to console me. It was the empathetic hearts, kind souls and vast knowledge of my Grandmother’s Hospice team that helped me navigate the grieving process. They helped me through the rollercoaster ride of emotions I was feeling and showed me that there was a way to feel happy and at peace after my Grandmother’s passing. Because the comfort and support I received was coming from this hospice team that had cared for and knew my grandmother it somehow connected me to her in a stronger way. My own experience has now shown me that what my hospice team at the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice does every day is priceless. They are an amazing group of caregivers.
I wish that everyone who loses a loved one could have such a dynamic support team surrounding them, lifting them up and sharing memories that help to guide them past sadness and into a place of peace.