Hospice Heartbeat Newsletter


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



November 8th - Election Day, more information below

November 11th - Veterans Day, Stop by and visit us that day we will be at Redington Fairview General Hospital to honor the Veterans.

November 17th - Children's Grief Day, 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.  

Upcoming Events/Fundraisers 



Karen... Thinking out loud

I was thinking that I would like to share a personal experience. Earlier this week I lost a member of my family who was very special to me. I went and visited with her at the nursing home she was residing in a few days before she passed. I knelt on the floor…held her hand and said what I wanted to her. It was just her and me in the room.  Her eyelids fluttered almost constantly but she was not conscience. She had not eaten or had fluids in days. As I sat in my car outside the nursing home after my visit and had a little cry and collected myself I thought of all the people that go through this every day. I thought about how we had actually lost a big part of her years ago as Alzheimer’s disease had ravaged her mind. I thought about the fact that she did not live the final days or years of her life how she would have wanted to. I thought about the peace she would be finding as she succumbed to the disease. I thought of all the relatives that were waiting for her on the other side.  As I talk about this death to family members and friends I had someone say to me…”you work for Hospice…you must be used to this sort of thing and not bothered by this too much.”  That single statement continues to occupy space in my head as I try to fathom the audacity of it. No one is immune to the effects of death…to the loss of someone special, to the pain of others, or to the grief, emotions and memories that come with that loss.  On Saturday I will be hugging members of my family that I have not seen in years.  I will share in their memories…and in their grief. We will discuss others who have passed before this very special lady. There will be sadness mixed with laughter. It will be a difficult day but a good day and in no way will it be any easier for me because of the fact that I “work for Hospice”. The last funeral I attended was of my very young grandson. My son and his wife are expecting their second child in a couple weeks. New life.  New beginnings. I know this newborn will have a new angel watching over him.



Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Participants in the National Day of Morning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. Would it occur to most that while we are giving Thanks and gathering with family to cheerfully carve the turkey and pass all the Thanksgiving fixings around the table that such another large group of people would be gathering for such opposite reasons? This is a dramatic example of a holiday not being festive for all.  Many people cannot enjoy the holidays because they are missing family members that may have passed or are deployed or live too far away. The holidays can be a big reminder to them that they are missing these people. It can turn into a very sad day for them. Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County is offering two different times and days for a special support group called “Coping with the Holidays”. Let us help someone you care about that may be struggling with the upcoming holiday season to cope with it. Our first session is Thursday November 17th at 3:00 pm at our office.  The second session is Monday December 12th at 6:00pm. We will continue to offer drop in support groups every Tuesday at 4:00 throughout the holiday season or would be happy to arrange a time to meet with someone upon their convenience. Please call the office at 474-7775 with any questions.


Director's View

We will be at the polls first thing Tuesday morning November 8th and then be at the polls all day on Tuesday so please come see us. If you are a Skowhegan resident to get our petition signed.  We are asking for the same amount as we have in the past but need your support to get it on the 2017 Town Meeting ballot  it would be appreciated. By signing any of the petitions on Election Day you are guaranteeing nothing.  Your signature gets us closer to our 400 signature threshold so that our question can be raised at Town Meeting 2017.  It does not mean that you agree with amount or that you are voting in favor of it, it simply lets the question be asked.  If we do not get the signatures by November 28,2016 then the selectman will suggest the amount they deem appropriate and that suggestion WILL NOT be able to be increased at Town Meeting.  Getting these signatures ensures that the HVSC has at least a chance at full funding.

Hospice-Veterans Partnership Conference -The Journey of Grief. The event will take place Friday, November 18th from 8 am to 4:30 pm in the Theater at Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta.

Throughout the conference, we will hear from veterans, caregivers, social workers and chaplains. We will address different cultural perspectives, the complexity of grief and how to support veterans and their families. Randall Liberty, Warden of Maine State Prison, will keynote this event. 

Registration is $45 for VA Employees and Maine Hospice Council Members, $65 for General Admission; $30 for Students.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, this event is free for veterans. To view the complete agenda, please click here and register.

From our partners at VNA, they would like to share this with you.  A video that was filmed and produced by volunteer Kathy Vanaria. It features Hospice of Eastern Maine and honors past President/CEO of BAVN/HOEM, Helen Genco.   Volunteers who know Helen will recall how much she valued you and your services... and she still does 8 years later.  Whenever there is a volunteer/HOEM/Pathfinders function, she and Joe (her husband) support it financially and with their presence - if they are in the state. 

Dora Winslow who speaks in this video is the widow of Don Winslow, a fellow Old Town boy and very popular former Bangor Police Chief, who died much too young in HOEM's care a couple of years ago.   What is not revealed in the film is that his ability to stay at camp for 8 days was the result of close collaboration with HOEM and CHCS Hospice. It shows the work that we all do in a clear light. The video lasts a little over 9 minutes, but is worth the time, we hope that you enjoy. Please click here to view it. 

We would like to share with you the flyer below, and if you have any question please contact them here


We would like to share with you the flyer below from our Partners at United Way, for more information please contact them here.​

From the President

We are always looking for qualified, committed individuals to serve on our board or one of our several committees. If you or someone you know may be interested please contact the Executive Director here. Below you will find our current board members that help to shape the future of our agency.

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


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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