LRVNA offers help with grief at holidays

MEREDITH — The holidays can be a bittersweet season for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association will again offer “Coping with Grief through the Holidays” on Dec. 12. The first session will take place from 1– 2:30 p.m. and the second session from 4–5:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the LRVNA office located at 186 Waukewan St. in Meredith.
Hospice Spiritual Care Coordinator Carol Snow-Asher will facilitate the conversation, offering support and survival tips. All are welcome.
For more information or questions, call LRVNA at 279-6611.

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice helps with holidays

Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice will hold celebrations of life in five different locations on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend. The Tree of Memories celebrations provide an opportunity for people to remember the lives of family, friends and neighbors by placing an inscribed porcelain dove, a symbol of serenity, peace and tranquility, on one of five lit trees. A dove need not be purchased – anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one can be comforted at one of the commemorations. Services will be held at the Alton Town Hall, in the lobby of the Medical Arts Building at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, the Wakefield Town Hall, the Main Street Building in Ossipee and Moulton Farm in Meredith.

A moving ceremony will be held at each location. There will be music and moments of remembrance, devotions, and the placing of inscribed doves on a lit tree. Those who participate in this poignant ceremony often experience a deep sense of renewal and a new feeling of unity and closeness to their loved ones and friends.

Hundreds of doves are requested each year and they stay on the trees throughout the month of December. The proceeds from the sale of the doves are used to improve the lives of people living in Lakes Region communities served by Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice. To purchase a dove in the name of a loved one or friend, contact Central New Hampshire VNA at 800-244-8549. In order to ensure that your dove will be ready for the ceremony, please do so by Dec. 1.

Today, hospice continues to carry out the work of Dame Cicely Mary Saunders, known as the founder of the modern hospice movement. In 1967 she opened St. Christopher’s Hospital in South London, the first purpose built hospice. Her work continues on today throughout the world. Hospice is a special kind of care unlike any other. The hospice philosophy recognizes that the dying process is a part of the normal process of living and focuses on enhancing the quality of remaining life. For more information about the hospice program, go to

HEARING MATTERS—What is telecare?

Tele-what? Telecare is when you get assistance from a health-care provider via your smart-phone or computer and the internet. While it might seem less personal, telecare allows you to get help for problems or answers to questions without having to leave your home or office. This is really great if you have moved to a new location, live elsewhere during the winter, have a busy schedule or the weather is bad.
Some hearing aid manufacturers have incorporated Telecare options into their new hearing aid software. They have created an ap, which must be down loaded to your smart-phone and connected to your hearing aids. Through Telecare, you can let your Audiologist know if you are having problems, before your next appointment. You can report on how well you are hearing (or not hearing) in certain situations. Your Audiologist will receive the information and can then send minor changes to your hearing aids, through your smart-phone. Your smart-phone then relays a signal to your hearing aids and the changes are made.
While Telecare does not eliminate the need for in-person visits with your health-care provider, it does help to ease the stress you may feel when you just can’t find the time, or make the drive, for an appointment. It is an option designed to make life easier for you. It allows your provider to give you the assistance you need, from a distance.
Tell your Audiologist, if you would like to use telecare with your hearing aids. If you have a model of hearing aids designed for this option, she will help you find the correct ap for your smart-phone and make sure the connection is made to your hearing aids. If you have an older model of hearing aids or one not designed for making changes via an ap, Telecare still provides increased communication with your Audiologist, so she can be prepared for your concerns on your next visit. Remember, better hearing leads to better communication and, with Telecare, better communication leads to better hearing.

Comfort Keepers - Keep safe during bad weather

By Martha Swats, Owner/Administrator, Comfort Keepers

No matter where your client or loved one lives, bad or unexpected weather is bound to happen.
Here is a quick guide for protecting seniors around their homes ─ and when they are out and about.
Power Outages. Whether it's a winter storm, during a flood, or hurricane season ─ snow, ice, rain, and wind can cause power outages. Here is how to prepare a senior for those occurrences:

• Supply the phone numbers of all utility companies ─ including power, gas, and water. Also include emergency numbers such as the fire department, police, doctor, and home care provider. Quick access to these phone numbers is crucial.
• Make sure seniors are equipped with working flashlights and
a battery-powered radio. Have extra batteries on hand.
• Seniors should stockpile warm blankets and non-perishable foods, and if it's cold or damp, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Moving around also raises body temperature.
• Does your senior rely on a home medical device powered by energy? As soon as an essential medical device is put in service in the home, the local electric utility (and sometimes other authorities) should be notified of its existence and need. This can put your loved one on a list for immediate attention during a power outage.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Burning wood, natural gas, kerosene and other fuels produces carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that no one can see or smell. Unless fireplaces, wood and gas stoves, and gas appliances are properly vented, cleaned, and used, they can leak dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. These and other appliances, such as kerosene and electric heaters, can also be fire hazards.

Here are some sound safety measures:

• Call an inspector. Chimneys and flues need to be inspected yearly and cleaned when necessary. (Ask the local fire department to recommend an inspector, or look up "chimney cleaning" for your area.)
• Open a window. Just a crack will do, when using a kerosene stove.
• Use carbon monoxide detectors. Put battery-operated carbon monoxide and smoke detectors near fireplaces, wood stoves, or kerosene heaters.
• Never allow someone to heat a home using a gas stove. Charcoal grills, or other stoves are not made for home heating.
Driving Tips. Adults 65 and older are involved in more car accidents per mile driven than those in any other age group.

Because driving can be more hazardous during bad weather, seniors should:

• Have the car weatherized ahead of time. This means having antifreeze, tires, and windshield wipers checked and changed, as needed.
• Take a cell phone when driving in bad weather. Seniors should always let someone know where they are going and when they expect to arrive, in case a call for help
is necessary.
• Avoid wet or icy roadways, overpasses, or bridges, if possible. Check the news (or go online) for road conditions. It may be wise to consider a different route.

Stock the car with basic emergency supplies, such as:

• a first aid kit
• blankets
• extra warm clothes
• booster cables
• a good quality windshield scraper
• rock salt, a bag of sand, or cat litter for wheel traction
• containers of water, canned or dried foods, and a can opener
ª a flashlight and a shovel

Slippery Surfaces. Falls are common for senior citizens, and can cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma, and major lacerations. It is easy to slip and fall, especially in wet, icy, and snowy conditions, but here are some precautions that can be taken:

• Shovel snowy steps and walkways for seniors or hire someone. At home, seniors should stay inside until pathways are shoveled. When away, they should look for sidewalks that are dry and cleared.
• Seniors should wear boots with non-skid soles to prevent slippage. Have them remove footwear as soon as they return indoors, because rain, snow, and ice can be tracked in and lead to slippery conditions inside.
• If a senior uses a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth. You might also buy (at a medical supply store) an ice pick-like attachment that fits onto the end of the cane.

With a sound plan in place, seniors can be properly prepared for inclement weather. Comfort Keepers' trained caregivers help provide senior clients with the highest quality of life possible to keep them happy and healthy at home. Our Interactive Caregiving provides a system of care that addresses safety, nutrition, mind, body, and activities of daily living (ADLs) no matter what the weather.