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.
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.
There are so many acronyms in our daily conversations that sometimes we can misunderstand what they mean. As a society we also make a lot of generalities. An acronym that is so often misunderstood and generalized are the letters VNA. Sometimes they are misconstrued for a group that is related to the VA which refers to Veteran’s Affairs and the services that Veterans are able to access as a benefit from their years of service. Often there is also a generalization in the community that all VNA’s or visiting nurse associations are part of the same larger group. This is not the case. Our agency, the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a non-profit, 501c3 agency that has been servicing members of the community since 1918 which means it is our 100th year Birthday! Our nurses and therapists live in your community. They could be your neighbors and they may even be your friends. Our visiting nurses are a rare breed of caring individuals with a unique set of skills that provide nursing care, rehabilitation, pediatric care, and hospice care in homes across Central New Hampshire so that you or your family members can be at home after a health crisis or hospitalization and everyone can rest easier knowing they are supported. We look forward to being that VNA for you!
Healthcare continues to change at a rapid rate in this country and that can make it challenging for you, the patient and consumer. As hospitals continue to upgrade their medical records to more sophisticated electronic systems, we need to be willing to learn how those new systems can benefit us. Doing so will allow us to be better advocates for our own healthcare. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice can help you with this advocacy.
Many of the residents within our service area communities seek medical care from hospitals throughout New Hampshire and from several medical facilities in the Boston area. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice has recently signed on with a new technology that Concord Hospital and Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital is using that will help you, the patient, as you move from these hospitals back to your home.
Helpful and easy, Silver Search is a tablet application that hospital staff use to help patients transition to the kind of care they will need when they are discharged. The Silver Search application allows you to search for enrolled post-acute care providers (long-term facilities, rehab facilities, skilled nursing facilities or home care agencies) based on the specialized care that you need. Once you select your preferred home town provider listed by zip code on the tablet, you are able to see how that provider is quality rated by Medicare. The tablet even allows information to be emailed to friends and family members so that they can help you choose a transitional care provider. You can be assured that you can choose to transition to home from an out of area hospital using Silver Search and access the care of a community home care agency like Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. You can also be assured that your participation in your care planning will help you be more confident and less apprehensive about your transition which will contribute to your success once you are home.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is participating in this technology because it makes provision for patient choice. If the level of care needed upon discharge happens to be Home Care or Hospice services, we want the members of our community to know that we are here to provide the high quality, post-acute skilled care services necessary for your recovery.
This summer’s Alton Centennial Rotary Paint a Butterfly Contest/ Fundraiser is in full swing! All proceeds from this Contest/Fundraiser will benefit Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. Purchase your butterfly by Monday, August 7th at the Profile Bank on Main Street in Alton, NH (a personal entry is $25 and an entry with a sponsor is $75). Butterflies should be treated with a coat or two of latex paint or Gesso for the best results. Once treated paint or adorn your butterfly in your own unique way (gluing, and/or attaching items such as plastic flowers, beads, sparkles, metals, glass ceramics, cloth and more is acceptable and you may do so beyond the outside dimensions of the butterfly). All entries must be returned to the Alton Profile Bank by Monday, August 14th. The culmination of this contest/fundraiser will be on August 19th at the Butterflies in the Park Bash from 12 -3 pm at B&M Railroad Park in Alton. All of the butterflies will be judged and awards will be given. Cake & Ice cream will be served as well. You can pick up your butterfly after the event at 3:30 pm, or let them know when you arrive for the event that they can auction it off to benefit the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is proud to announce Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse, Jennifer Legassie (formerly Laramie) has been appointed to sit on the Board of Director’s for the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The NHHPCO is a charitable, non-profit organization with a mission to help the people in New Hampshire have access to excellent care that is valuable and meaningful to them when facing life-threatening conditions. This is accomplished through: education of healthcare professionals and caregivers; raising public awareness and expectations for quality hospice and palliative care; providing meaningful networking opportunities for the members; as well as, engaging other organizations around the state to participate in their vision and mission.
Legassie has been with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice for 12 years and sits on the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Legassie has made Hospice and Palliative Care her passion and when asked about this new role, Legassie stated she is “looking forward to expanding her role on a state level in order to further the mission of quality end-of-life care for all who so greatly need Hospice”. Legassie’s new position on the board will be further testament to the commitment she has for a hospice patients’ quality of life, dignity and respect.