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.
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.
The 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.
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.
. 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.
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.”
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.
New Hampshire (NH) continues to have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the nation, and about 60% of deer ticks sampled in NH are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (2014, Medscape).
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR
Additional preventative measures can include:
Avoid tick-infested areas when possible and stay on the path when hiking to avoid brush.
Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs so ticks can be more easily seen.
Tuck pants into socks before going into wooded or grassy areas.
Apply insect repellent (20-30% DEET) to exposed skin. Other repellent options may be found here: Outdoor workers in NH are at particular risk of tickborne diseases and they should be reminded about methods of prevention.
Do daily tick checks to look for ticks on the body, especially warm places like behind the knees, the groin, and the back and neck.
Pets returning inside may also bring ticks with them. Performing tick checks and using tick preventatives on pets will minimize this occurrence.
Shower soon after returning indoors to wash off any unattached ticks and check clothes for any ticks that might have been carried inside. Placing clothes in the dryer on high heat for an hour effectively kills ticks. A recent study suggests that if clothing is not wet, shorter drying times (minimum of 6 minutes) may effectively kill ticks.
Remove ticks promptly using tweezers. Tick removal within 36 hours of attachment can prevent disease.
Monitor for signs and symptoms of tickborne diseases for 30 days after a tick bite. Patients should contact their healthcare provider if symptoms develop.
We live in a world with other people. And we come in contact with them…at the grocery store, the pharmacy, religious services, restaurants, the work place, airplanes … everywhere. Those people came in contact with other people, and so on. We can pick up viruses like influenza easily from people we don’t even know because we are breathing the same air they breathe, touching the same door handles, pushing the same grocery carts. Flu vaccine protects you from what they carry and you cannot easily avoid.
Flu vaccine protects you. Each year new influenza viruses circulate in the community and the population is susceptible to the flu. Getting the vaccine is your best protection from influenza.
Flu vaccine protects others near you. Influenza virus can be shed by an unsuspecting individual up to 24 hours before they become symptomatic. So, very early in the period of infection, we can spread it to others even before we suspect we have it.
Flu vaccine protects those who are at particular risk. Those who have serious disease, who are on cancer treatment or immunosuppressive therapies are at very high risk of becoming very sick or dying from influenza and its complications. When members of their families, their friends and their healthcare providers get vaccine, it builds a wall of immunity around the individual.
Flu vaccine protects the community at large. When lots of people in a community have been vaccinated, it stops the virus from finding a convenient place to land and spread. The more people who are immunized, the less likely influenza is to take a foothold.
There is no cure for influenza. There are some treatments that shorten the duration of symptoms if given early, but there is no cure for influenza. Mostly we treat the symptoms while waiting for the virus to run its course. Antibiotics are of no use in influenza because they only kill bacteria, and influenza is a virus not susceptible to the threat of antibiotics.
Flu vaccine keeps you from developing complications of influenza. As if the flu wasn’t miserable enough on its own, some people develop serious complications like pneumonia and ear & sinus infections. And diabetics with influenza have trouble controlling their blood sugar during the period of infection.
Flu season is long. It lasts from September to May and it sometimes comes in waves. But here is the important thing – we don’t know when it is coming to our vicinity. A shot protects you for the entire flu season.
Flu season tends to come when we would like to celebrate the winter holidays with family and friends. But those fun gatherings carry risk for unvaccinated people. They might get the flu and pass it on to others.
Flu vaccineis safe, and the flu shot does not cause the flu. The shot is not capable of causing the flu because it is made from an inactivated protein. Some people do develop a little fever or aching after the vaccine because their own bodies are building up immunity to the virus.
ABOUT the Author: Margaret Franckhauser is Chief Executive Officer of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. The Mission of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is “Promoting dignity, independence, and well-being through the delivery of quality home health, hospice and community-based care services.” Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice serves Lakes Region communities in Belknap and Southern Carroll County and provides Home Care (nursing and rehabilitation services in the home); Pediatric Care (direct health care, education and support services for children and families); and a comprehensive, team-based Hospice program. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a not-for-profit, Medicare-certified provider of home care and hospice services, licensed by the State of New Hampshire. The agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and supported by private and corporate donations.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in service of the United States of America. Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. A day of observance, Memorial Day is a day to remember what President Lincoln termed “the last full measure of devotion.” On the other hand, Memorial Day is also an opportunity to remember and honor those Veterans who are still with us.
Many Americans do not realize that 1 in 4 of all deaths in the United States are Veterans. As the nation honors these American heroes for their military service, it’s important to remember that they also deserve recognition and compassionate care when dealing with a serious 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. America’s Veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and we believe it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home. As a “We Honor Veterans” partner, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice provides specialized care to Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness. One of the first agencies in New Hampshire to partner with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veteran Affairs, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice realized quickly the benefits of the “We Honor Veterans” program. Peter Cassell, Hospice Volunteer and Army Veteran himself, is quick to point out how beneficial the relationships are between “We Honor Veteran” volunteers (who are veterans themselves) and the veterans who are receiving care from Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.
Peter describes how veterans have gone through many of the same experiences, and because of this relate to each other very quickly. Peter also tells stories about visiting veterans who are surrounded by their family, sometimes three and four generations, and when asked about their service to our country start talking about witnessing and being a part of some very important history. Sometimes this is the first their families have heard these stories…but Peter explains it is because of the common bond held by veterans. The We Honor Veteran program is also an important tool in providing good care. It allows for volunteers who have been veterans themselves to make frequent visits to Veterans in our care. These visits provide socialization, respite for family members and can even help to make sure Veterans in our care have needed resources and benefits. Caring for Veterans, being able to honor them, listen to their experiences, give them a certificate of appreciation for their service, a lapel pin, a warm red, white & blue quilt, and a salute is something Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is proud to do.
ABOUT Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice
The Mission of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is “Promoting dignity, independence, and well-being through the delivery of quality home health, hospice and community-based care services.” Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice serves Lakes Region communities in Belknap and Southern Carroll County and provides Home Care (nursing and rehabilitation services in the home); Pediatric Care (direct health care, education and support services for children and families); and a comprehensive, team-based Hospice program. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a not-for-profit, Medicare-certified provider of home care and hospice services, licensed by the State of New Hampshire. The agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and supported by private and corporate donations.