Hospice Heartbeat Newsletter

 

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Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Inc.
Hospice HeartbeatHospice Heartbeat Newsletter

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Hospice Heartbeat Newsletter
Important
Drum Roll..... The Top three winners of the Duck Race are:   
Motor Supply Company Who donated the winnings back to our great organization. Rogers Sports Center Who donated the winnings back to our great organization. John McElrath
Thank you so much for your support during the long duck race, due to the rain this year.  Please stop by and purchase, or consider donating to our Annual Pie Sale. Please contact us for more information here 
Upcoming Events/Fundraisers 
Dates to Remember: September 30th - Thank you for all of your support to our organization that came out and donated to the band at Bigelow Brewing Company.  October 15th - Come join us for the 2016 Annual Community Health Fair being held from 9-12 at the Wright Gym on the Maine Central Institute Campus in Pittsfield. They will be having several random prize drawings during this event.  November 8th - Election Day we will be at the Skowhegan Town office collecting signatures to get onto the 2017 Town Meeting Warrant. We hope that you consider coming out to help us get our signatures.  November 17th - Children's Grief Day, Please see the Director's section for more, we also have Coping with the Holiday's from 2-5pm this day November 23rd - Annual Pie Sale at RFGH and SVH from 630am - 12pm or sold out
December 2nd - Starting at 5:30pm will be our annual Lights to Remember Ceremony.  
Karen... Thinking out loud
Letters have been sent to all the High Schools in Somerset County informing the schools of the opportunity for their students to become involved with Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County as a teen volunteer. The training for this begins on Wednesday November 2 at 5:00pm. By attending just 4 classes, teens can obtain the skills necessary to become a volunteer with our organization. We have high hopes of bolstering the teen program this year. If you know of a teen that would like to become involved please let us know or if you know of an organization or group that would like to have me come and discuss the program, I would be happy to do that. Please call our office with any inquires or to sign up for the training. 
Bereavement
With Halloween approaching we would like to share a piece from the The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families Fears and Halloween

Important

Drum Roll..... The Top three winners of the Duck Race are: 
 

Motor Supply Company
Who donated the winnings back to our great organization.

Rogers Sports Center
Who donated the winnings back to our great organization.

John McElrath

Thank you so much for your support during the long duck race, due to the rain this year. 

Please stop by and purchase, or consider donating to our Annual Pie Sale. Please contact us for more information here 


Upcoming Events/Fundraisers 

Dates to Remember:

September 30th - Thank you for all of your support to our organization that came out and donated to the band at Bigelow Brewing Company. 

October 15th - Come join us for the 2016 Annual Community Health Fair being held from 9-12 at the Wright Gym on the Maine Central Institute Campus in Pittsfield. They will be having several random prize drawings during this event. 

November 8th - Election Day we will be at the Skowhegan Town office collecting signatures to get onto the 2017 Town Meeting Warrant. We hope that you consider coming out to help us get our signatures. 

November 17th - Children's Grief Day, Please see the Director's section for more, we also have Coping with the Holiday's from 2-5pm this day

November 23rd - Annual Pie Sale at RFGH and SVH from 630am - 12pm or sold out

December 2nd - Starting at 5:30pm will be our annual Lights to Remember Ceremony.  



Karen... Thinking out loud

Letters have been sent to all the High Schools in Somerset County informing the schools of the opportunity for their students to become involved with Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County as a teen volunteer. The training for this begins on Wednesday November 2 at 5:00pm. By attending just 4 classes, teens can obtain the skills necessary to become a volunteer with our organization. We have high hopes of bolstering the teen program this year. If you know of a teen that would like to become involved please let us know or if you know of an organization or group that would like to have me come and discuss the program, I would be happy to do that. Please call our office with any inquires or to sign up for the training. 

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Bereavement

With Halloween approaching we would like to share a piece from the The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families

Fears and Halloween

For those who celebrate Halloween, the images can bring many things to mind: pumpkins, costumes, fall leaves, and of course, candy. It’s also a time when we’re bombarded by images of death: headstones, skeletons, ghosts. Some houses really amp up the gore in their decorations, with hanging skeletons, arms and legs reaching out of the ground, corpses in caskets, and other images which can be extremely disturbing to those newly bereaved. For grieving children and families, the Halloween decorations and costumes can be a trigger for the loss they have experienced.

What do grieving children fear? A lot of things. Who will die next?  How will we live without the person who died? Who will take care of me?  Where do people go after they die?  And, most especially, will I die too? Some children will have fears about places or circumstances related to the death. They might get nervous or uncomfortable when they encounter these reminders (driving by the hospital, hearing a fire truck siren, going to the doctor). Night time can also bring up a lot of worries and fears. This might look like having difficulty falling asleep or waking up with nightmares. Some children might want to sleep in the same room or bed with their parent or siblings. For those who are okay sleeping by themselves, they might need additional comforts like leaving a light on, the door open, or a special stuffed animal to hug.

If you know a child or teen who is dealing with fears and worries after a death, here are some ways to help:

Listen: It’s natural to want to reassure children and take away their fears, but it can be more helpful to start with listening to and acknowledging their worries. If you want to offer reassurance, do so without making promises that can’t be kept. A common example is a child who is worried that you or someone else will die too. Rather than say, “Don’t worry honey, I won’t die,” it’s more helpful to say something like, “I know you’re worried about other people dying too. While everyone does die, I plan to take good care of myself and to be here for a very long time. If something were to happen to me, there will always be someone to take care of you.”

Provide information: Often fears and worries are rooted in a lack of knowledge. Ask children and teens if they have questions about the death or the person who died. Answer honestly, in language they can understand. You can also ask them what they think or what they have heard from other people. Sometimes just having the details they’re wondering about will help lessen their fear.

Ask what they need: Children and teens often know what they need, but may not feel like their ideas are valid or worthy. If a child gets scared when a fire truck goes by, start with acknowledging: “When the fire truck goes by, you get scared and cover your ears.” Then you can ask what they need: “When you get scared about the fire truck, what do you think would be helpful? What could I do to help you feel safe? What could you do to help yourself feel safe?”

Establish routines: Consistency and predictability go a long way towards helping children and teens feel safe after a death. Routines around going to bed, meal times, school, and activities can provide a structure that is reassuring. While routines are helpful, it’s also good to remain flexible and allow for things to shift and change when needed.

Offer choices: When someone dies, children and teens, as well as adults, often feel powerless and out of control. Providing choices helps to rebuild a sense of control over their lives and lessens their fears about the world being unsafe. These choices can be as small as, “Which of these two cereals do you want?” or as big as, “Would you like to attend the memorial service?”

Here is a craft activity that children might find helpful, especially when it comes to having fears about going to sleep:

Power Shield: Cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of a shield. Divide the shield into sections.  Ask the child what colors, shapes, words and objects that help them feel safe. Fill in each section with a color or image that represents power for the child. The shield can be hung above the bed, placed under, or anywhere else that the child feels it will bring them the most support. 

Our drop in support groups are always available every Tuesday from 2-3 here at the office if you or someone you know is struggling with grief  or by appointment if this day and time does not work for you. Contact us today here for more information. 



Director's View

Children's Grief Awareness Day is designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others. Children's Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to make sure that grieving children receive the support they need. 

As an important person in the life of children, there are a few things that are important for you to be aware of as you become involved in Children's Grief Awareness Day:

The purpose of Children's Grief Awareness Day is to call attention to the issue of children's grief, not to any particular child or children who have suffered a loss. Some children will want their grief recognized while others will prefer to keep it private. Always be certain to check with any child before calling attention to his or her circumstances.

The activities of Children's Grief Awareness Day can cause a possible "trigger" reaction in those who have had someone close to them die, regardless of how much time has passed since the death. Be alert for signs of grief reactions and be prepared to provide support as needed.

If you are in a school setting, all personnel should be aware of any Children's Grief Awareness Day activities whether or not they are directly involved. Parents and guardians should be made aware of any planned activities as well. All messages used in conjunction with any activity should be appropriate to the developmental age of the children involved. For more ways to get involved please click here

 


From the President

We are always looking for qualified, committed people to serve on the board, if you or someone you know may be interested please contact the Executive Director here.

Present Board Members include:

Tim Curtis, Chairman
Dana Hamilton, Vice-Chairman
Thomas Desjardins, Treasurer
Kim DeMerchant, Secretary
Bill Primmerman
Eunice Thorpe 
Steve Davis


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In Closing

It is important to remember the mission of Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, which is: Is to care for those with a life limiting illness, provide support and solace to the grieving, and to educate the community.
 

Also it is important to remember that,  all our services are provided at no charge to all of the residents that we serve.
 

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