ALL CARE NEWS


All Care Names New Director of Clinical Services

All Care Visiting Nurse Association, a leading provider of home care services throughout Eastern Massachusetts, named Maureen Collier to the position of Director of Clinical Services.  As Director of Clinical Services, Collier will be responsible for the creation, implementation and oversight of all clinical services for All Care VNA.   Her focus will be on patient satisfaction, quality improvement, and program creation.     Collier will provide the leadership necessary to develop and meet the clinical goals of the company.  All Care’s Senior Vice President, Jo-Mary Koopman, commented on the appointment of Ms. Collier:  “We are excited to welcome Maureen to our senior management team.  Maureen worked most recently for Beacon Hospice and Amedysis Home Health as a Director of Operations.  She brings a wealth of expertise to this position including successful management and operations in homecare along with an extreme focus on quality patient care and patient satisfaction”.  Collier received her BSN in Nursing from Northeastern University as well as a BS in Business Administration from Suffolk University. Founded in 1911, All Care VNA is a Medicare/Medicaid-certified agency offering services of nurses, home health aides, specialists in geriatrics, oncology, diabetes, physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as palliative care. All Care Hospice provides the highest quality medical and emotional care for those with life-limiting illnesses, as well as respite care, spiritual support, and bereavement counseling for families. All Care also offers All Care Resources, a private pay division for flexible in-home services. All Care employs nearly 600 people, serving over 60 cities/towns in the Greater Boston North, Merrimack Valley and North Shore...

How can our Grief and Loss Services help you?

Are you or someone you know struggling to navigate the grief after a recent death?   Do you or someone you know feel isolated within grief and/or yearn to meet others that are experiencing something similar?   Are you or someone you know looking for a safe place to reflect, share and learn about grief and loss and how to live life after loss?   If so, then the All Care Hospice Bereavement Program can help!   The All Care Bereavement Program has created progressive programs that provide safe and confidential opportunities for support, commemoration, expression, connection and learning for our All Care families and the community. All of our programs are designed with passion, experience, intention and feedback from the mourning community and it shows in the way our programs are organized and facilitated. Come check out our Grief and Loss page on our All Care Website to learn more: http://www.allcare.org/hospice/grief-loss-services   On the Grief and Loss page you will learn more about: Our Team Support Services Grief Counseling Art Therapy Grief Support Groups Holiday Support Unique Workshops Remembrance Services Community Support Accessing Support Testimonials Program Updates Also, we have many new exciting grief groups and workshops lined up for 2017/2018. Our flyer is updated regularly and can also be found on our website at   http://www.allcare.org/hospice/grief-loss-services Connecting and Coping: A Loss of Spouse/ Life Partner Support Group HeART Space: A Creative Process Workshop for the Bereaved Hope Circle: Seasonal Ceremonies for Wisdom and Wellness Lighting the Way: A Workshop for Coping Through the Holiday Season Lights of Remembrance: A Winter Service of Remembrance (December)   Grief is hard…but it doesn’t have to be hard...

Service Weaving

On the evening of July 13, 2017 the All Care Hospice and Bereavement Program held a Summer Service of Remembrance at the Lynn office.  Over one hundred All Care families, staff and community members gathered together to remember and to seek comfort.  The service provided an opportunity to reflect and honor through poetry, music and special rituals lead by different Hospice staff members.  The women’s chorus, Voices Rising, graced us with their amazing gifts of song and presence. Attendees were also invited to contribute to a commemorative weaving during the reception.  Individuals, of all ages, added a personal piece of fabric and/or ribbon in honor of someone special that died. Textiles, of different colors and textures, were gently woven together to create a unified tapestry of love and legacy. This commemorative weaving is now completed and being displayed in the All Care office. Thank you to all the individuals that attended and volunteered their time and/or support to this important event. The courage, care and commitment of those involved rippled forth and created not only a safe and accepting space, but one that felt vibrant with love and hope.  “Even with broken threads, a new cloth can be woven, of love, memory, connection and understanding in the circle of weavers.”              – Excerpt from a reading at the Service of Remembrance. Adapted from Elizabeth Morris in “Storytellers in the Circle of...

An Intern’s Gratitude

Nine months ago, I began an experience that would prove to be inspiring and life altering. At the time of accepting the All Care Hospice internship, I had not yet fully understood the scope of hospice and bereavement work. These past several months have proved to be the most rewarding and challenging that I have ever experienced.

All Care to host annual Summer Service of Remembrance

On July 13th, at 6:00 pm, All Care Hospice will host its annual Summer Service of Remembrance. Together with hospice families and community members, All Care staff will honor and celebrate the lives of those lost over the past twelve months and in years prior. The event, being held at the All Care building located at 210 Market Street in Lynn, will provide fellowship through inspirational readings and musical offerings for those wishing to acknowledge their grief, who are seeking hope or solace in their mourning, as well as for those who wish to recognize their loss and honor a loved one. The nondenominational service will be open to the public, free of charge, and all attendees will be invited to participate in a communal commemorative art piece.  While this event is at no cost, registration is required and important information regarding participation in the art project will be provided upon registration.  After the conclusion of the program, a reception will be held where guests will have the opportunity to connect with their hospice care team as well as other who are experiencing or who have experienced similar loss. As each sunflower is unique and individual, so is each relationship with a departed loved one; All Care Hospice wishes to celebrate these special relationships with hospice families and community friends while honoring the lives that were lost and the love that remains. For more information and to register for this event, please contact bereavement coordinator directly. Liz Mearkle-Cumming at 781-244-1198 or via email at ecumming@allcare.org. For more information about All Care’s bereavement program and grief and loss support services,...

Art Therapy and Hospice Care

The needs of hospice patients are as varied as their individuality, but a common struggle is the impacts on self-identity. “People who suffer from life threatening and chronic illnesses often describe the impact of their diagnosis, treatment, and illness as having disrupted their sense of self-identity” (Carr, 2014). My primary role as an art therapy intern to All Care Hospice patients is to provide comfort, companionship, reflection, and assist in connection with others through the creative process. However, it is also my personal goal to facilitate the aspect of exploring self-identity. Art therapy provides a means of communication that may otherwise be difficult to put in words. Patients find a great deal of therapeutic value in the process of creation as it enables self-confidence and control. Ways in which Art therapy can impact this may include legacy projects, which is when the creative process is used to make a personal celebration that can be gifted to others, or life review. Life review is a recalling significant memories and/or unresolved past conflicts for reflection, validation, celebration, support and connection. Life review with art therapy is where the art is used to create a timeline of the important events in their life or to explore a certain time period more deeply. Recently, one of my patients used collage materials and acrylic paints applied to canvas to depict their rich personal history of multiple careers and passions. The process evoked treasured memories and the completed project will be a gift he will bestow to his family. As in any situation, the interests and desires of each hospice patient vary from week to...

All Care VNA & Hospice Hosts Annual Meeting, Honors Employees

All Care VNA & Hospice has been dedicated to providing the highest quality homecare to individuals in the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and Greater Boston regions for over 100 years; on Wednesday, May 3rd, at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield, All Care board members and staff gathered together for its Annual Meeting.  Awards were presented to three employees: The Josephine E. Hanson Award for Excellence in Professional Achievement was presented to patient accounts representative Sharyn Encarnacao of Saugus, the Dorothy L. Lane Award for Excellence in Outstanding Patient Care was presented to VNA physical therapist’s assistance Peggy Stacey of Bradford, and the President’s Award for Excellence in Para-Professional Achievement was presented to home health aide Lavone Young of Revere.  A number of employees celebrated milestone anniversaries with All Care and received service awards with 26 employees marking 5 years, 13 employees marking 10 years, 12 employees marking 15 years, 5 employees marking 20 years, and 7 employees celebrating 25 years of employment, Donna Field, PTA celebrating 30 years, and Diane Suslak, LPN celebrating 35 with All Care as visiting nurse. The dedication and longevity of the All Care staff helps to consistently fulfill the All Care mission of providing cost-effective, quality homecare to all individuals in need, regardless of their ability to pay. All Care’s devoted staff help to ensure a seamless continuum of compassionate care to all patients and families served in over 50 communities throughout the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and Greater Boston. For over 100 years, All Care has been delivering the highest quality, cost-effective home health care to our patients in the 50 communities we serve throughout...

Volunteering at All Care: My Point of View – Irene Kamarinos

Even though I had passed by the All Care office many times, it was not until I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Hospital Administration that I thought of volunteering here. When I started volunteering in the All Care Office in February of 2016, I must admit that I was nervous since I had never volunteered before and was not sure about what would be expected of me.  After meeting with Maureen Burge and going through training about the history of hospice and how All Care helps so many people around the region, I was excited to begin my tasks. I was introduced to Sandra, Marion and Susan in Medical Records, three women that I soon would be looking forward to seeing every week. My job is to file medical records, and to occasionally assemble folders. Even though filing paperwork may seem like a concrete task, to me it symbolizes my part in helping patients. I do not directly meet with patients but through my small contribution I believe I make a difference. I also believe that a big part of my love for volunteering at All Care is that I am always told how much I am appreciated. I always thought that I do not do much but now I realize that every bit of help is needed. Another aspect of me being so happy to volunteer is the kindness and warmth I receive by the staff. First of all from Maureen Burge, my volunteer coordinator who I see every week before I head down to the medical record offfice. She is very friendly and asks...

Art Therapy and Bereavement

By Briana Babick In her second installment, Briana Babick, Lesley University Graduate School of Expressive Therapies 2nd year intern shares her experiences and observations from her internship with All Care Hospice using art therapy within bereavement counseling.  Did you know that All Care Hospice provides free individual and group bereavement services to hospice families, as well as members of the community that may also be in need? Grief can be an overwhelming and all-consuming experience, resulting in difficulty managing daily routine for weeks, months, or even years. A client once shared that although the size and scope of her grief had not been lessened, art therapy bereavement counseling helped her grow as an individual around and beyond it. Art therapy can provide the bereaved an opportunity to safely communicate their grief in ways that may otherwise be difficult to verbalize. Grief is an emotion that we will all experience. Communication, through both verbal and visual means, can help to facilitate positive coping approaches. One such occasion was with a bereavement client whose grief had manifested into despair. Directing him to depict his grief in a drawing, he created an image without hesitation. After completing this phase of the drawing, he then went on to represent both the challenges experienced as well as the many joyous aspects of his life through the image. Through art making he was able to express and find safe symbols for his grief, engaging in a dialogue and affirm his value and meaning in life. In addition to individual counseling, I’ve also observed an art therapy bereavement group on a few occasions. It is inspiring...

Teeing off for a Worthy Cause!

Teeing off for a Worthy Cause! Monday, June 26th, 2017       For the past 25 years, All Care VNA & Hospice, together with community partners and supporters, will tee off at Gannon Golf Course for their annual Charity Golf Open to raise money to provide home care and hospice services for those in need. Proceeds from the 25th annual June 26th event will benefit countless patients and families throughout the North Shore, Greater Boston, and Merrimack Valley. As a not-for-profit community agency, All Care relies on the generosity of the community to be able to deliver top-quality home care and hospice services to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access.  By offering free clinics and other vital services, All Care is insuring easy access to quality home care for our patients across the 60+ communities in which All Care serves regardless of their ability to pay.   We are asking you to Make a Difference by supporting our 25th Golf Open on June 26th, 2017!!!   Reserve your spot today to participate in a fun day of golf, contests, and much, much more! For more information about sponsorships, making a donation, or how to get involved, please contact Elizabeth Potter at 781.244.1124 or by email at epotter@allcare.org.   All Care is proud to welcome back Salem Five Charitable Foundation & USI Insurance Services as co-title sponsors for this 25th annual milestone event!...

Art Therapy Intern Shares Hospice Experience

By: Brianna Babick Susan Langer said, “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feeling.” I appreciate this definition of art for its simplicity. As a second year graduate student studying Expressive Therapies at Lesley University, I‘ve had the privilege of interning with All Care Hospice. Langer’s definition of art easily coincides with the definition of Art Therapy, “Art Therapy provides individuals an opportunity to use art materials and the creative process to help increase functionality, resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, handle life adjustments, and achieve insight.” (Adapted from the American Art Therapy Association) My relationship with art began as a young child and included a multitude of classes and extracurricular activities. This passion coincided with volunteer positions helping various individuals in need. Most recently, I received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and spent two years as a volunteer facilitator at the Center for Grieving Children in Portland Maine. Personally, I consider art therapy as a means to externalize and process present and past inner conflicts. Art therapy allows the participant an opportunity to express conflicting emotions that may otherwise be too difficult to put into words. Repeatedly, I’ve witnessed the process of art therapy stimulate a transformation that is both cathartic and energizing. My internship with All Care Hospice provides me the opportunity to offer art therapy services to hospice patients as well as bereaved loved ones. The All Care Hospice professionals I’ve worked alongside with have taught me a great deal about compassion, communication, and companionship during the dying and grief process. The opportunity to facilitate healing through...

5 Ways Technology Can Help Seniors Stay Connected

Technology is evolving every day; advancements that once took years or decades today only require mere weeks or months to achieve in this fast-paced world.  Not only can these advancements help to expand the psycho/social experience of seniors but new inventions are being introduced to help improve access to emergency services, support, and in-home resources for the homebound senior.   For instance, a company called Orbita has unveiled a home health care tool to help connect seniors with valuable information regarding medication adherence, caregiver coordination, and other important issues that arise when an individual is being treated within the home setting. Currently interfacing with the Amazon Echo Alexa product, Orbita is in talks with Google, Apple, and Microsoft to have those platforms successfully integrated with the tool sometime in 2017. This tool, working in tandem with the smart home tool (such as Alexa), would allow an individual to ask a question, verbally, without having to type or search for anything manually.   The senior would be able to ask questions about medication management or changes in pain or exacerbated symptoms and be connected to a live visiting nurse to address their concerns directly, expertly, and, most importantly, in real time.   While this specific tool might be a long way off before becoming commonplace in every home, there are still plenty of ways to integrate technology into the lives of seniors to help improve their quality of life.  From medical alert systems to social networking, here are five simple ways technology can benefit the seniors in your life:   Face to Face: New video chatting apps from companies like...

What You Need to Get Through an Extended Power Outage

Living without power for a few hours or even a day can be an inconvenience but it certainly is manageable.  To be without power, however, for an extended period of time can be much more difficult to navigate and can be dangerous for certain populations, especially if they lack the proper supplies.   There are steps and measures you can take to be proactive in the face of losing power over the course of a few days or even a week.   First and foremost, if you or someone in your household relies on electrically powered medical equipment to survive, you should be in contact with your local fire department before the loss of any power to alert them to your needs and they will make sure they mark you down on their list for priority emergency power restoration.  Along the same vein, if you or someone in your household requires daily medications, it is a good idea to have at least a week’s worth of medication on hand in case of an extended power outage.  If the power is out for that long, there is most likely a good reason for it, whether it is a serious snowstorm or downed trees or powerlines, you may not be able to leave the home so be sure to have enough medication in supply in case you become unexpectedly homebound.   Over the years, things we always needed or relied on during power outages have been consolidated into one device, our cell phones.  You use it for internet, communication, weather reports, emergency alerts, a flashlight, and yes, even as a telephone!...

5 Important Things to Monitor in the Homes of Independent Seniors

First with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and Chanukah now behind us, the New Year brings with it the hope of fresh opportunities and new beginnings.  No doubt this holiday season was filled with friends and family gathering, bringing people together to celebrate and enjoy each other.  However, some people may have noticed some changes in their parents that may leave them questioning if their loved one is safe living independently at home.   Parents, aunt, uncles, and other beloved seniors in your life have been self-sufficient for so long it may not occur to you that living alone without regular support could becoming increasingly challenging for these individuals.  Here are some basic indicators you should be on the lookout for when considering introducing or increasing the level of care or support your loved one receives at home:   Physical Fitness & Well Being: What kind of physical shape your loved one is in is a very good way to begin your review of the home environment.  How easy it is for the senior to move around and throughout the home? Is there a loss of strength or increased fatigue? This may indicate the need to introduce home care services.  How are their clothes fitting? Weight loss can be indicative of an underlying illness but it can also be a sign that the senior isn’t eating regularly and may be malnourished. This could be the result of ill-fitting dentures, tooth aches or gum infection, or, more importantly, this could be a sign that the senior is forgetting to eat or that meal preparation is becoming too much of a challenge. Behavior...