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.
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:
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).
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.
On the morning of April 9th, if you happened to pass the Gilmanton School, you probably noticed there was something going on. It was the 27th Annual Kick for Cancer Charity Martial Arts Tournament, New Hampshire’s longest running charity martial arts tournament. With over 500 attendees and participants, the Gilmanton School gymnasium was packed with standing room only. The tournament started at 10:00am and ended shortly before 5:00pm with 6 rings operating almost all the time. A long day, but one with a cause in mind.
In 1990 Grandmaster Dr. Georganne Verigan started the annual Kick for Cancer Martial Arts Tournament. The purpose is to teach students how to give back to their community and to help them to realize that at sometime in our lives we all will know someone who will need the services provided by hospice. Each year proceeds of this tournament go to support local hospice programs like the one at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.
“Over the last 27 years, Kick for Cancer has raised an impressive amount exceeding $170,000,” States Vinnie Baiocchetti, Tournament Director and owner of White Dragon Martial Arts of New Hampshire, “this year the tournament brought in over $14,000 for local hospice programs.”
“It is such a great event.” Says Brian Winslow, Director of Development for Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, “I have attended the last nine tournaments and they always impress me, not just because of the number of attendees but the energy at the event is through the roof.”
On behalf of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, we would like to thank everyone involved with the tournament, the volunteers, the organizers and the participants. We are already looking forward to next years event!!
To Register for one of the free viewings of Nine To Ninety click on one of the links at the bottom of this page.
Nine to Ninety is not your average love story. But it is a story for our times. Phyllis and Joe Sabatini have been together 65 years. At ages 89 and 90, they live at home with their daughter Sarah and nine year old granddaughter Jacqueline. But as the family struggles to make ends meet and the grandparents’ health problems escalate, they are forced to make a difficult decision that will surprise viewers. The choice leads them all to consider: What does it take to live, love, and die with dignity and grace in the modern age?
Two Screening Locations:
April 14, 2016 5:00pm – 6:00pm Huggins Hospital Medical Arts Building, Wolfeboro, NH. To register for the free viewing in Wolfeboro, NH click here.
April 20, 2016 5:00pm – 6:00pm Beane Conference Center, Laconia, NH. To register for the free viewing in Laconia, NH click here.
The Winnipesaukee Playhouse Professional Company Presents: Grace and Glorie by Tom Ziegler March 17th – 20th in Meredith, NH.
A comedy about two women from very different walks of life brought together by the circumstances life throws at us all. When Grace, a feisty 90 year-old cancer patient in the backwaters of Virginia, checks herself out of the hospital, the last person she expects to spend her days with is Glorie, her volunteer hospice worker who is a Harvard MBA recently transplanted from New York. As she attempts to care for and comfort the cantankerous Grace, the sophisticated Glorie gains new perspectives on values and insight into life’s highs and lows. Grace and Glorie is the best kind of play: one that will have you laughing through your tears. Starring Barbara Webb and Molly Parker Myers.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice encourages all to attend, “This is a heart-warming story about real-life people with real-life flaws, there truly is a lot to learn from Grace and Glorie,” states Brian Winslow, Director of Development at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. “In addition to getting the word out about this play, we are providing technical expertise to the Winnipesaukee Playhouse and will be attending Talkback sessions after the performance for people who are interested in the play subject matter.”
Originally published in the July 20th edition of the Union Leader, Dr. Burstein was kind enough to give Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice permission to reprint the following article.
My father died when he was 53 years old, nine days after becoming suddenly ill. That was 32 years ago, and the experience still haunts me. As a physician, I felt helpless in the face of a mysterious illness that was out of control, and I did not anticipate the events that subsequently led to his tragic demise. For months afterward, I questioned myself and the decisions our family made on his behalf as he slipped away from us; mostly I regret not having had the chance to talk with him more about the important things that matter between a father and a son. I learned that it is never too early to share feelings with loved ones and to plan for how we will care for each other when we rely on others to protect us, to assure the best care, and to protect us from needless suffering. Most people lose the ability to speak on their own behalf at some point during their life. Whereas 90 percent of people feel it is important to talk with their doctor about the kind of care they would want at the end of life, fewer than 10 percent actually have this conversation. While making health care decisions can be difficult in the best of circumstances, making decisions for others is more complicated.
Most people believe that their doctors and their family know what kind of care they would want, but studies show that doctors and family members are often uninformed and experience distress when decisions are needed. This distress can last for many months after the death of a loved one and is completely preventable with skilled advance care planning.
Advance care planning is simply planning in advance for the kind of care you would want. When done well, it gives you control over the kind of care you would receive and should be based on what matters most to you. Advance care planning can result in your creating an advance directive, in which you name an “agent” to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. It also allows you to document the types of health care you do and do not want, particularly if you experience what you consider to be a bad health outcome. The simple act of creating an advance directive can turn out to be an incredible gift for loved ones in the event of an accident or severe illness.
Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, only 37 percent of New Hampshire residents have an advance directive. Even amongst those with an advance directive, there is no guarantee that decisions are known or that they will be honored. Advance directives are only as good as the process of advance care planning, and are best done when you understand your choices, reflect on lessons learned from life experiences, and discuss with your health care agent what in life matters most to you.
Advance care planning is also only as good as a system that promotes good conversations, and that ultimately honors decisions that are well informed and based on personal goals and values. Even with the best of intentions, good doctors do not take the time needed to have these conversations with their patients. Simply filling out an advance directive form is inadequate and ineffective without a good conversation, which can be done by physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains or even volunteers who are trained in the skills of advance care planning. Medicare is now recognizing the value of a good conversation and has taken steps in the direction of promoting this important work. We have an obligation to make sure that these conversations are done well and that we honor our patient decisions.
Honoring Care Decisions, a new program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, is working with a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and community groups to improve this process. I encourage everyone to find someone who is willing and able to speak on your behalf for the time when you won’t be able to; it will happen, so please take the time to plan in advance. To start the conversation, check out http://theconversationproject.org/ or https://www.prepareforyourcare.org/ or play the conversation game http://mygiftofgrace.com/.
Discuss what matters most to you with someone you trust, and share how you would want to be treated based on your own personal goals and values. It may be one of the most rewarding experiences you have; if not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.
Dr. Sanders Burstein is medical director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua and medical director of D-H’s Honoring Care Decisions initiative.