Tag Archives: Starting the Conversation

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

Things You Should Know About Lyme Disease and Other Tick-borne Diseases

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).

Lakes Region, Visint Nurses, VNA, Central New Hampshire Hospice, Pediatrics

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.


The Winnipesaukee Playhouse partners with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice to produce a serious comedy.

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse Professional Company Presents: Grace and Glorie by Tom Ziegler March 17th – 20th in Meredith, NH.

Grace and Glorie

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.

Meredith, NH

Barbara Webb

Meredith NH

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.”

For more information you can check out the Winnipesaukee Playhouse website or you can purchase your tickets here.

Grief as a Medicine

James Miller PhD Bereavement Coordinator

James Miller PhD
Bereavement Coordinator
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

While grief is a feeling with which most of us are familiar, it can manifest itself in many different ways. Some of us tend to equate grief with sadness but others experience much more than sadness as a result of grief. Many persons report feelings of anger, guilt, resentment, loneliness, fear, anxiety, panic, relief, etc. as a component of grief. However grief is experienced, there seems to be a commonly-held belief among bereavement counselors that what is most important is to recognize, express and eventually accept the various components of grief. Indeed, “grief is itself a medicine (William Cowper) that needs to be experienced in order to release its healing qualities.
Unlike many unpleasant feelings with which we struggle, grief is better embraced than escaped. “The difference between grief and joy is what we do with them. Grief we push away. Joy we try to hold on to. When we refuse our grief, it stays. When we try to control our joy, it leaves. That’s the way these processes are” (Anne Wilson Schaef). Thus, we are encouraged not to refuse our grief but rather to embrace it with all its challenges and complexities.
In addition to being painful, grief also may be complicated and contain feelings which we believe “we should not have.” Our culture may convey the message that we should not be angry at someone who just died or we should not feel relieved that we no longer have to care for someone. There can be many “unresolved” issues with the person who died or in some way left our life. As with the painful feelings associated with grief, we also must be willing to acknowledge the “unresolved” aspects of grief and attempt to reach acceptance even without total resolution.
Another aspect of grief that sometimes can be overlooked is what we might call the “cumulative” impact of loss. People frequently report that after a loss they re-experience previous losses and thus feel more grief than they might anticipate due to this cumulative impact. This is especially true when prior losses have not be adequately grieved and/or the individual has not yet reached a place of peace/acceptance with prior losses.

Finally, we must realize that grief can and often does challenge our sense of who were are or how we create meaning. If we identify with a person or with our role in that person’s life–wife, husband, child, parent, friend, etc., then our identity and/or sense of purpose is challenged when that person dies or leaves our life. Grief can exist not only as a result of death, but also as result of losing someone or something that has been important to us, such as through divorce or loss of employment, health, independence, etc. It seems significant to associate grief not only with death but also with loss in general in order to fully understand its impact.
For a variety of reasons many of us would rather avoid than embrace grief. However, as stated earlier, grief can be its own medicine that must be expressed in order for it to heal. However expressed, be it through talking, writing, creating, exercising, crying, etc., it is important to somehow express our grief in order to release its healing power.

About the Author:

James Miller is the Bereavement Coordinator for Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.  Working directly with clients and their families James also hosts a number of community support groups. Upcoming events include a 90 minute information & support meeting regarding grief during the holidays at the following locations and times:

  • November 18th from 5:30 – 7:00 PM and December 16th from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM in the Library Room at All Saints Episcopal Church, 258 S. Main Street in Wolfeboro, NH.
  • December 9th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM in the Conference Room, Central NH VNA & Hospice, 780 N. Main Street in Laconia, NH.

The purpose of the meeting is to help individuals who have lost a loved one find ways to cope with their grief during the holidays.

It’s Not Too Soon

Many of my friends and colleagues are in the “sandwich generation” – shepherding children to

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

Margaret Franckhauser, CEO
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

independence while helping their aging parents. We chat on the phone about our concerns. A common theme is the urgent need to assist an ailing parent – often one out of state – when a devastating event occurs – a fall, a heart attack, an aggressive cancer. On the return side of the journey, friends call to voice their frustrations – why didn’t their parents prepare for the day when they could not manage their own affairs? Why didn’t they engage in more frequent and clearer discussions about their preferences when they could not speak for themselves? Why didn’t they craft advanced directives? Why did they think they would always be independent when they knew they were dealing with chronic disease?
Why, indeed , don’t we all give more thought to those questions?
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ellen Goodman (of the Boston Globe) recently wrote a wonderful article on this exact topic entitled “It’s Always Too Soon Until It’s Too Late”. In the article she recounts the journey of her very accomplished sister who developed Alzheimer’s disease. Her sister knew the importance of having the conversations about the inevitable decline of her disease, but somehow her knowledge was difficult to translate into timely action. Sadly, most of us delay the necessary – 90% of Americans admit that these conversations and planning are important, but only 30% have had a conversation about our preferences before it’s too late. Amazingly, even people with critical illnesses such as congestive heart failure, chronic heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer are no better prepared than others, even though they have a clear reason to have the conversation.
Why is the conversation important? It’s important because it communicates your preferences to the people who need to know when you are not in a position to express them. Did you know that healthcare providers typically apply extraordinary means to keep people alive, regardless of the likelihood of the person returning to function – unless there is clear direction not to do so? These measures can and do cause suffering to the person and to the family and loved ones. Not knowing what an individual would actually want creates a great psychological burden on family members who are responsible for choosing. If no family member is informed and ready, the difficult choices may fracture the relationships of well meaning family members who do not agree. Watching a loved one connected to machines as they die often leaves surviving loved ones feel guilty and depressed.
As a nurse and a daughter who has viewed the decline and death of many people, I often wonder why we put off this important task. Is it that our society is fearful of the very word death – as though somehow we would be spared its impact? Do we fear that talking about frailty, decline and death somehow makes it happen? Is it that we have cast physical decline as an “enemy” for which we must marshal our forces and fight the good fight without regard for the possibility of defeat? As I think about all those I have witnessed in physical decline- including my own parents – it occurs to me that the greatest courage is found is recognizing the possible and the inevitable and preparing for it, even when it is painful to envision. Preparation allows an individual to have control when the body and the mind would take it away. When we are children, we spend hours imagining our grown selves doing all manner of things. If we do not imagine, we cannot achieve. This is another place where envisioning the choices helps to achieve the goal. It is a gift we give ourselves and our loved ones.
To help you think about what you would want, explore the “Conversation Project” – a web site established to help Americans initiate those conversations about end-of-life. http://theconversationproject.org/
The tools will help you explore your values, your wishes and your preferences. And it will give you ideas about how to start the conversation. In the coming months, our team from Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice will be visiting our communities, talking more about this and getting folks involved in starting conversations. It’s not too soon. Now is the perfect time.

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.