Forget Us Not

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

September is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Please join us to raise vital funds

for the patients and families of

Community Nurse’s Memory Loss Programs

 

Invitation FRONT

Invitation BACK

We hope you can join us! Tickets are $60.

Please call (508) 992-6278 for more information

or CLICK HERE to visit our event page.

Chances are you know someone who had been affected by Memory Loss. Whether they are experiencing the disease firsthand or are caring for a loved one – it can be a difficult journey.

During the month of September, let’s take special notice of the challenges and hurdles they face. Reach out to friends and family to offer assistance, to learn about their experience or offer a shoulder to lean on. Even simple acknowledgment of what they are facing, coupled with a kind word of encouragement, can go a long way. Show them they are not alone.

They also might like to hear about our upcoming Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, led by Pat Midurski, RN. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to receive support from those in similar situations and those who truly understand. Come to gain knowledge, relieve stress and prevent burn-out. Help them see they are not alone.

Community Nurse & Hospice Care’s Pat Midurski has been educating caregivers across the Southcoast about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since 2002. Pat’s knowledge and expertise is invaluable to caregivers.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Pat Midurski

Are you or someone you know a caregiver looking for support and resources?  Pat’s  Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group meets at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library at 7 Barstow Street Mattapoisett, MA the third Wednesday of each month from 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm.

For more information or to register for the group call 508-992-6278 or email info@communitynurse.com.

 

Is purple your color?

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Community Nurse & Hospice Care is hiring!

And we’d LOVE for you to join our Community.

Ask anyone who is part of the Community Nurse team — Community Nurse & Hospice Care is a wonderful place to work. Maybe because each and every staff members truly cares about what they are doing to help their neighbors and their friends. Our team of professionals bring the highest quality and most compassionate care to people throughout the Southeastern Massachusetts region when they need it most.

Just over the past year, we cared for over 3,100 patients through nearly 68,000 visits; the agency was given the Massachusetts DPH’s top distinction for both our Home Care and Hospice programs; our innovated approach was recognized by two industry groups; we were named to the Home Care Elite list of top Home Care Agencies in the country; and we continue to keep patient satisfaction high and further reinforce our reputation as a reliable, caring and comprehensive agency. All of this is achieved by putting the patient first from the moment they first come on service until they are discharged. And all of this was achieved by the devoted, passionate, talented staff of Community Nurse & Hospice Care.

Our agency’s philosophy is to treat employees with respect and as a unified family by providing genuine support so they will be invested in doing the very best job possible. And as a result, our long tradition of quality care continues to grow. We take a great deal of pride in what the agency has been able to accomplish and the quality of care that each and every staff member brings to the community. Because our staff is such an integral part of the greater community they help the agency keep in tune with the community’s ongoing needs, we have developed and adopted programs that reflect them including hospice, geriatric psychiatric nursing care, Alzheimer/dementia, chronic disease management – to name a few.

Are you a social worker, registered nurse or certified nursing assistant? These are some of the positions we have open right now. CLICK HERE for more details! We are growing every day as more and more people in our region realize that when they see someone in a deep purple uniform in their home, they have the very best in the community caring for them. Is purple your color? Check back often for new job openings!

Let Community send you to Florida in February

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

We are pleased to announce an auction to benefit Community Nurse & Hospice Care…

We are very fortunate to have had a one week stay in Celebration, Florida (developed by Disney and located right near Walt Disney World) donated to our agency for the week of February Break (2/16/2014 – 2/23/2014). The stay is at the Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club in a “3 bedroom lock off” vacation villa that will accommodate up to 12 guests.

The vacation villa features a king bed in one bedroom, two queen beds in the second bedroom and one queen bed in the third bedroom. This villa also includes two living areas, both with queen sleeper sofas.

The air-conditioned villa measures a total of 2,187 sq. ft. with screened patio/balcony and includes 2 whirlpool tubs, a fully equipped kitchen, dining area and breakfast bar, 5 color TVs with cable including 52″ large screen TV, high speed internet service (usage fee applies) as well as a washer and dryer.

In addition to complimentary shuttles to the nearby amusement parks (including Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld) there are 4 on site resort pools, with water slides, a 18 hole champion golf course as well as a mini-golf course. There are countless activities for the entire family from tennis to on-site dining. This stay is valued at well over $2,500.

Plan your February vaction now and know that not only will you have a great time but you’ll be supporting the vital services of Community Nurse & Hospice Care as well. For more information about the resort please CLICK HERE!

Please email bids to cfoley@communitynurse.com or call (508) 717-0758.

 

Bidding begins at $1,500 and the last bid will be accepted on Thursday, August 8th at 4pm.

 

Please include name, bid amount and contact info in your message.

It’s your health. It’s your home. It’s your choice.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Purple hands with Community Nurse logo

Choosing the right agency to provide home care for you or a loved one is a very personal decision. One that should not be taken lightly. Afterall, you are inviting people into a most intimate space, your home, to take care of you or a loved one at a most vulnerable point, during an illness or after surgery. You want to make sure you choose wisely and have the utmost confidence in the quality of care you or a loved one will receive.

 

Care in the Home
In the rapidly evolving health care environment, care in the home is quickly becoming the hub of health care. More services than ever are available to patients.

HOME CARE is a broad term that is used to encompass, different types of services that patients can receive in their homes. First, with your physician, determine what services are necessary.

  • Visiting Nurse Services (also called certified home care or skilled home care)
  • Palliative Care/Hospice Care
  • Private Care Services

Visiting Nurse Services

  • Short term skilled care in the home provided by licensed professionals: Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Home Health Aides, Social Workers, Registered Dieticians
  • Home Bound Patients, per a doctor’s order or after a surgery, hospital stay, a stay in a rehabilitation facility or a general decline in functioning (homebound means you do not generally leave unassisted as it takes an effort to do so)
  • Covered by insurances such as Medicare, Medicaid and private insurances

Palliative & Hospice Services

  • Palliative Care is specialized care for people facing a serious illness who are receiving ongoing treatment
  • Hospice is a philosophy of end of life care for people facing a serious/terminal illness who have discontinued treatment
  • Address healthcare and spiritual needs of the patient
  • Provide support to the family

Private Care Services

  • Such as homemaking, companionship and personal care, considered “custodial care”
  • Paid for by patient, family or through some long-term care insurances
  • There is no set time limit to care of this nature

How do you choose a Home Care Agency?

  • Reach out to agencies and ask for a face to face meeting if that makes you more comfortable.
  • Research agencies’ on the internet and review the agency’s own website.
  • Does the agency have comprehensive services such as chronic disease management programs, registered dietician, physical therapy, psychiatric services, occupational therapy and speech therapy, palliative care, hospice services, private care services?
  • For seriously ill patients receiving visiting nurse services, is there consistency in who provides continued care if hospice services become appropriate?
  • Do they offer alternative forms of care or innovative services like Reiki, healing touch, aromatherapy and pet therapy
  • Do they use volunteers to provide respite for Hospice patients
  • Is the agency available to see you in a timely manner?
  • Medicare allows 72 hours to admit the patient onto services however most patients who were in a hospital or skilled nursing facility would greatly benefit from a next day visit. Will you have 24 hour access to a nurse should you need it?
  • These are reported on www.cms.com: How are the outcomes of the agency? How does the agency rate for patient satisfaction? Does the agency give top quality care? * also determined by Department of Public Health and word of mouth
  • Is the home care agency a member of industry groups like the Home Care Alliance, is it affiliated with a health system, is it recognized on the Home Care Elite list, has it received awards for its care?
  • Home health care agencies should have former patients and family members of those patients available as references. Talk with each one about their experiences, both positive and negative. Ask for their opinions on what they think you should do.
  • Don’t be afraid to pay a visit to the agency. Talk with some of the home care professionals there. It is your right to talk with the people who will be looking after you or your loved one.

REMEMBER: It is your health. It is your home. It is always your choice.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO OUR MOST RECENT RADIO AD ABOUT PATIENT CHOICE!

Summertime Fun~ even with COPD

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Summer is here and sometimes for those with COPD it can seem like another cruel extreme of weather. The radiant heat of the car, particles in the air, oppressive humidity and increased hastiness can leave you gasping for relief. So it becomes important to plan and practice the personal therapeutic steps you can take to defeat the dog days of summer.

Let’s review some key points to help you get back into life and enjoy some of those the gentle breezes, toasty beams, and lively tastes of summer living her in the south coast.

Consider your needs:

  • Take rest breaks, bring a portable seat
  • Plan ahead for necessities such as O2 travel tanks, have them filled and ready
  • Add additional time to accomplish tasks
  • Have cell phone and/or personal alarm system in reach

Keep it simple silly:

Learning to do tasks in other ways to conserve energy can often take away ambition and take the proverbial “wind out of your sails”. However, as with most things, the more often you do something the easier it becomes. So take a seat while you: brush your teeth, bath and dress, prep a meal, etc. The more you conserve now perhaps the more you will have throughout the day.

Breathe with your movements:

Try to instill good breathing practices and skills. To keep in practice with this try to focus a light therapeutic home exercise program with deep full breaths per repetition. Don’t hold your breath with exercise or other activities.

Breathing is so important:

Pursed Lip Breathing is technique you can do to perhaps help with oxygen saturation, regain endurance, and get your breath back.

By Jason DeMoranville, OTA

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.  COPD can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Occupational therapy is a key component to the Community Nurse & Hospice Care COPD program.  The focus of our program is to empower our patients to manage their symptoms and to reach their optimal level of health.

 

 

Things are heating up!

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Beth Schaefer, Home Health Aide

Hints to Help Keep Healthy when it is Hot

from a Home Health Aide.

The summer is here and those hazy, hot and humid days are upon us. It is important for all of us to be careful during extreme heat. It is especially important for the elderly, people who are managing chronic diseases like COPD and those caring for an elderly loved one to take precautions during hot weather and heat waves. Here are a few tips from Beth Schaefer, one of our treasured Home Health Aides, to help you enjoy the summer weather while keeping comfortable and safe:

KEEP COOL

Clothes

  • Wear light colors and light materials such as linen and cotton. Materials such as rayon and polyester will trap heat close to the skin.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect your face when outside

 Home

  • Stay indoors during extremely hot weather, lower shades, blinds or close drapes on the east side of your home during the morning hours and the west side during the afternoon in order to keep your home or apartment as cool as possible.
  • Use Air Conditioning whenever possible or a fan in the rooms where the windows are covered.
  • If you do not have air conditioning in your home, go to your local Council on Aging/senior center, Aging Service Access Point, mall, movie theater, library or call a friend in order to stay cool.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.

 Outdoors

  • Wear sunscreen SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or take an umbrella to block the sun.
  • Schedule outdoor activities before 10am or after 6pm when the temperature is lower.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • If you are outside, take frequent breaks in a shaded area.
  • Avoid crowded places.

STAY HYDRATED

Fluids

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Even if you are not thirsty, in order to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages which will dehydrate your body.
  • Drink sports drinks that have the added minerals that your body loses when it seats.

 Food

  • Keep frozen treats such as popsicles or sugar free popsicles in thefreezer that can help you keep cool during hot weather.
  • Eat cold foods such as sandwiches and salads.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are also another way to keep hydrated.
  • Avoid hot food and heavy meals.

BE SAFE

Use Common Sense

  • Avoid long walks, particularly during noon-3pm, when the sun is at its peak.
  • Slow down, avoid strenuous activity. Do not try to do too much on a hot day.
  • Do not leave infants, elderly or pets in a parked car.
  • Take pets inside with you to protect them. Give them plenty of fresh water.
  • Pay attention to weather reports – be prepared
  • If you lose power during a heat wave, contact a neighbor, family member or your town to determine the coolest place for you to be.
  • Use a buddy System: be sure to check in on elderly neighbors or friends who have a chronic illness at least twice a day.
  • Monitor those at high risk: infants and children up to 4 years old, people who overexert during work or exercise, people 65 and over, people who are ill or on certain medications and people who are overweight.

 SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. The American Red Cross suggests a person move to a cooler place when sufferingcramps; once a comfortable position has been assumed, it is best to lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area. It is best to drink an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as a commercial sports drink, fruit juice, or milk, and if such beverages are not available, water. A person suffering heat cramps should not take salt tablets. Follow up with a healthcare professional

Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen, or flushed skin, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and exhaustion. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance for those in high-risk category while you begin cooling the victim. If someone is suffering heat exhaustion, the American Red Cross recommends they be moved to a cooler environment with circulating air. Help them remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid, such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice, to restore fluids and electrolytes. Milk or water may also be given. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes. If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 9-1-1.

Finally, heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that develops when the systems of the body are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning. Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin that may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, rapid and weak pulse, vomiting, and seizures. Do not hesitate; call 9-1-1 immediately. While waiting for assistance, immerse the person up to the neck in cold water if possible; if not, douse or spray the person with cold water or cover the person with bags of ice. The American Red Cross suggests you apply rapid cooling methods for 20 minutes or until the person’s condition improves.

 

 

We’re Listening!

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Last week we shared the wonderful news of Sue Sullivan’s Manager of the Year award. We are so proud of this recognition. However, sometimes the recognitions our staff receive are not quite so public.

We receive many notes, letters and emails from grateful patients and their families for the services and care provided to them by our compassionate staff. These mean so very much to our staff and our agency as a whole. They are a strong reminder of why the services we provide, although sometimes invisible to the outside world, are so very important. Some of them can be found on our website by CLICKING HERE!

Below are three recent notes  from families who received Hospice Care or Private Care focused on bringing comfort, self-respect and tranquility to their loved one in the final days of life. Knowing these families, and countless others, truly appreciated the expert attention to the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of our patients is the best recognition there is.

  • Wife of a patient, Dartmouth

When Walter was diagnosed with a terminal illness we were determined that he would stay at home, but at the same time I was fearful and unsure that I would have the ability to fulfill that wish. Your excellent organization stepped in the unknown void, first with palliative care and then with Hospice to support, answer questions, advise and give confidence that, yes, my husband could die in my arms here in our home. That experience gives me enormous comfort. Thank you for your sympathy and your care – you all practice the “art of medicine!”

  • Wife of a patient on behalf of the entire family, Fairhaven

Words cannot express the sincere gratitude we feel for your compassion and caring during a very trying time. In spite of his illness, John always looked forward to your visits; you made him very happy. We certainly feel fortunate to have had all of you as his caregivers; we know he had the best. The care he received was very comforting to us and made it easier to cope with the inevitable. If there are angels on earth, you certainly are among them.

  • Daughter of a patient, Fall River

Thank you so much for all your help supplying nighttime home health care while my mom was ill. My mother enjoyed the company of all the aides she had the pleasure to meet, they “know just what to do and make me feel safe.” Mom died with dignity and respect and her wishes were met: to die at home, in the house my Dad and she purchased (60 years ago) and renovated lovingly, surrounded by her possessions and paintings, with my husband and I at her side. Thank you also for lightening the burden of being the caretaker. Even though she was ill for a relatively short time, the situation can become overwhelming very quickly.

We ARE listening. We would love to hear from you!

Please let us know about your experience with Community Nurse.

Simply CLICK HERE to share!, email us at info@communitynurse.com, call us at (508) 992-7268 or drop a note to:

Community Nurse & Hospice Care, 62 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719.

 

Sue Sullivan: Manager of the Year!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Sue Sullivan | Chief Performance & Information Officer | Community Nurse & Hospice CareWe have a STAR in our Community…

It gives me great pride to let everyone know that our very own Sue Sullivan RN MS, Chief Performance Improvement & IT Officer was recently awarded the 2013 Manager of the Year award from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA).

The work that Sue does at Community Nurse & Hospice Care truly touches us all. Although our patients may not know her name, they have all benefited from her work here. This is a well deserved honor – long time in the coming!

CLICK HERE, to view the slide show of all the 2013 Home Care STARS across the state and to read the nomination we submitted to Home Care Alliance. This nomination was created through a collaborative effort of Sue’s direct staff, her leadership peers and her appreciative colleagues.

Sue was celebrated by the Home Care Alliance at a gathering of industry leaders during a reception on April 17th in Boston. A group of fans from Community Nurse & Hospice Care were lucky enough to be there to see Sue receive this award and to hear our President & CEO Jane Stankiewicz tell the gathering why Sue is one of the “best and brightest in home care” and why we are so happy to have Sue as part of our community.

Sue Sullivan – super star!

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME (CARE)

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Please save the date

on your calendar now…

Sunday, September 29th may seem like a long way away but summer will be over before it even begins and we would not want you to miss all the good times at our Family Fun Day with a Wizard of Oz theme.

5K Road Race, Health Fair and Family Fun – oh my!

For more information and to register please visit: http://www.communitynurse.com/events/family-fun-day-road-race/

For more information and to register please visit: http://www.communitynurse.com/events/family-fun-day-road-race/

Proceeds from this day of family fun will help to provide free care above what insurance reimburses and to patients lacking Medicare, Medicaid or insurance coverage.  Community Nurse & Hospice Care is a not-for-profit organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law. 

AND… Don’t miss our upcoming Diabetes Boot Camp in Acushnet — this has series been very popular, providing participants with lots of useful information and resources. For more information follow this link: CLICK HERE FOR DIABETES BOOT CAMP!

AHA! Now that’s community wellness

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Join us tonight at the Celtic Coffee House in downtown New Bedford during AHA! night.  

Community WellnessStop in from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm to cast your vote for the Community Nurse & Hospice Care photo entry in the What’s the SCUIP?” photography competition.This photo was taken at the Community Nurse & Hospice Care wellness center at Taber Mills Elderly housing. Which is an example of adaptive reuse at it best, preserving the history of the city while meeting the evolving needs of its residents. The photo was one of ten finalists selected from hundreds of entries.  Follow this link for directions to the Celtic Coffee House.

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