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Author Archives: Meg Cunningham

Answer Nurse: Coping with Grief During the Holidays

  My husband passed away earlier this year, and I’m still coping with his death. My family is trying to cheer me up for the holiday season, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about celebrating. What is some advice to get me through the holidays?   Although our families are well intentioned, grieving is a very personal process, and…

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Your contribution keeps families together

When Annie met her husband Paul Conti in Brooklyn, New York 65 years ago, she never could have imagined where life would take them. Her family and his were close, and she lived in the unit below his. Paul had returned home from the Korean War and became a baker before going to work for the City of New York.…

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Your gift gives hope

Last fall, Elizabeth Morales was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without health insurance and unable to afford the cost of care, she was unable to seek treatment. Elizabeth created a GoFundMe account and spent many hours driving to Miami, where she has a sister, seeking alternative resources. Six months later, Elizabeth found herself to be so ill that she could not…

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VNA Answer Nurse: Basics in Parkinson’s disease

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As his primary caregiver, what are some things I should know about his disease? After a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it can be overwhelming to learn about the different aspects of the disease and treatment. As you and your physician discuss treatment options, here are some general tips to help you support your loved one…

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Answer Nurse: What is the difference between palliative care and hospice?

  I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and am currently receiving treatment. My doctor said that I could benefit from palliative care. Is palliative care the same as hospice? It’s a common mistake to confuse palliative care with hospice. There are many similarities between the two care philosophies, but they differ on some key characteristics. What is palliative care? Palliative care…

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What is hospice (And what it isn’t)

What is hospice? After diagnosis of a terminal illness, what will matter most to you? Do you want to manage your symptoms and pain level? Do you want to stay at home with loved ones? Do you want to ensure that your family members are receiving the emotional support they need? The goal of hospice is to provide you the…

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Preventing Falls at Home

Falling is a serious risk for seniors. Every year, one in three adults age 65 or older fall, and less than half may talk to their healthcare provider about their falls. Falling can cause severe injuries and even be responsible for being admitted into the hospital. It is important to take proactive actions to create a safe home environment to…

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Your gift offered comfort to a family in need

What makes hospice exceptional is its approach of not just caring for the patient, but also for the family. Hospice addresses their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This surprised Fran Amy when her mother, Catherine, became a VNA Hospice patient after her mental and physical health declined. Like many, Fran assumed hospice was for the last days of life and…

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You give so Eugene can stand

After a devastating car crash left him paralyzed from the neck down, the last two years of Eugene Stewart’s life have been focused on healing and re-learning how to do basic things like standing, walking and moving. A large hurdle for anyone to overcome, Eugene and his family have the extra barrier of not having the resources to pay for…

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