Cornerstone VNA Recognizes National Caregivers and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Cornerstone VNA is proud to celebrate the tenacity and kind-heartedness of caregivers during November, which is recognized as National Caregivers Month. This month, Cornerstone VNA hosted a special Caregivers Connect event at the Portsmouth Public Library, focused on caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  Caregivers Connect is a new initiative launched by Cornerstone VNA that provides community education programs to assist individuals in their caregiving roles.  Generously underwritten by Federal Savings Bank, the event featured keynote speaker, A. Michael Bloom, author of The Accidental Caregiver’s Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Caregiving without Regret and all attendees received a copy of Bloom’s book. There were special presentations by Ann Marie Olsen-Hayward, LICSW, Geriatric Psychiatry, Frisbie Memorial Hospital and Jenna Arsenault, RN, MSW, Behavioral Health Nurse, Cornerstone VNA. The event concluded with a panel discussion where caregivers were encouraged to ask questions. Trained staff from Cornerstone VNA also provided on-site respite care for loved ones of caregivers who attended the event.

In addition to supporting community caregivers, Cornerstone VNA provides educational opportunities for professional caregivers as well.  Earlier this year, Cornerstone VNA received a grant from the Lisa Gelfand Family Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation in the amount of $5,000.  Thanks to this generous grant award, two lead staff members, Jenna Arsenault, RN and Sandy Powers, RN attended a comprehensive Alzheimer’s Association “train the trainer” program.  Arsenault and Powers received the tools they needed to bring the program back to Cornerstone VNA and train all Licensed Nursing Assistants and Personal Care Service Providers.  The nine week training course will enable Cornerstone VNA staff to provide improved care to their patients and support for caregivers.

Further recognizing the importance of caregivers, Cornerstone VNA chose an exemplary caregiver to receive the 2016 Cornerstone Award at a recent event.  Janet Young of Dover is a loving wife and dedicated to her mission to having her husband at home.  She received this special award for being a wonderful caregiver and recognizing the importance of taking time for herself, which is essential for all caregivers in order to maintain their overall health and well-being.  “Janet is a perfect example of a successful caregiver because she makes sure to ‘Take Care to Give Care’, which is the 2016 theme of the National Family Caregivers Month,” states Janice Howard, Life Care – Private Duty Director.  Howard continues, “Janet affords herself the opportunity to recharge by meeting up with friends or taking a walk while her husband is being cared for by our staff.”

Through community events, grants and educational opportunities, Cornerstone VNA is committed to providing programs, resources and support to assist caregivers throughout the year.  For more information, visit www.cornerstonevna.org/caregivers-connect/ or call the Life Care – Private Duty program at Cornerstone VNA at 800-691-1133 x108.

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

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