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Author Archives: Siobhan Fitzpatrick Austin

January is Music Therapy Advocacy Month!

January is Music Therapy Advocacy month and VNA Board Certified Neurologic Music Therapist Lauren Meeks couldn’t be happier. “Having an official music therapy month gives music therapists a chance to spotlight ourselves and educate the world about who we are and what we do with such a unique focus,” she says. But what exactly is music therapy? Simply put, it’s…

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New Year’s Resolutions & How to Keep Them

It’s that time of year again, time to implement your New Year’s resolutions. January ushers in a great opportunity for a clean slate. Tabula Rasa. And who doesn’t like another chance at a fresh start, a chance to take that pottery class, shed those pounds, drink less alcohol, exercise more, find a job, find a partner or be a better…

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Blanket Buddies

VNA Foundation Accountant Tricia Palmer and her mom, Barbara Palmer, have been donating their time and talent crocheting beautiful blankets for VNA Hospice patients for over a year – and loving it. “There’s something special about giving someone a blanket at this stage of their life…it feels good to do,” says Tricia. “It’s a small thing, but to somebody it…

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How to Cope with Grief and Loss During the Holidays

A TIME FOR CHEER, A TIME TO GRIEVE The holidays are typically a time of cheer, but when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, they can be anything but merry. Karen Mattern, LCSW and VNA Grief Counselor, has a list of suggestions (below) for how to deal with your grief that includes keeping an open mind about how…

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A Happy Duet

D.J. & HARRY (& TONY & ROSE) They’re an unlikely duo, a young 23-year-old woman from a small town in North Carolina and an 84-year-old man from a rural village in India. But when D.J. Poplin began visiting Harishchandra “Harry” Mehta as part of her VNA Music Therapy internship, she found they had something in common – love for a…

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Coping as A Caregiver During the Holidays

Navigating the busy holidays can be challenging for the best of us, but for caregivers it can be particularly arduous. Dr. Wayne Creelman, Medical Director at UF Health Center for Psychiatry and Addiction in Vero Beach, who treats patients suffering from depression with talk therapy and medication (when appropriate), including a few caregivers, warns against holiday fatigue. “Caregiving is exhausting…

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VNA Patient & Veteran Pat Nardone shares his epic story about World War II

VNA patient and U.S. veteran Pat Nardone shares his epic story growing up in Italy during World War II below (the article was originally published in the Italian Tribune). Although Pat was born in Italy, he is an American citizen thanks to his father who was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of Pat’s birth, and who made sure…

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Thank you, Veterans!

In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to thank all VNA team members and volunteers who are veterans. VNA places a high importance on veterans and is a participant in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s ‘We Honor Veterans’ program. In this way, we meet the unique needs for veteran patients, whether that’s physical, psychological or both. We…

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Celebrating Home Care and Hospice Month

November is Home Care & Hospice Month, the perfect time to recognize VNA home health and hospice team members. These nurses, social workers, home care aides and therapists make such an incredible difference for patients and their families throughout Indian River and Brevard counties. Just last year, VNA home health care workers made multiple visits to nearly 5,300 patients –…

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Phil & Sally Savage On Hospice

  By Siobhan F. Austin When someone suggested to Sally Savage that she put her husband, Phil, on hospice, she was upset. “My heart dropped because I thought ‘well he’s not terminal.’” “No, I’m just old,” quips Phil, with a wry smile.  “But Phil’s mind is fantastic, his body’s not so great,” Sally banters back, adding more seriously. “He’s not…

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