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Author Archives: Siobhan Fitzpatrick Austin

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)

As summer wraps up, it’s a good time to review what immunizations you and your family need, especially if you have young children. This is because immunizations are required for children entering kindergarten and seventh grade, as well as high school students entering college in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health website. The Florida Department of Health in…

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A Journey with Hospice Inspires a Volunteer

“My mom dying in a hospital was not the best, so that’s when I became interested in hospice,” says Karen Formont, a volunteer for the VNA Golf-A-Thon, VNA & Hospice Foundation’s annual fundraising event. During the monthly Golf-A-Thon volunteer meetings, Karen learned about the hospice care VNA offers, for patients at home and at the VNA Hospice House, an in-patient…

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The Importance of Advance Care Planning

While advance care planning is useful for anyone, it’s particularly important for those looking for the best end-of-life care experience and anyone considering hospice. “Advance care planning invites consideration of if and when a patient would desire hospice,” says VNA Advance Care Planning Specialist Genevieve Introcaso, LCSW. “Although hospice can be perceived as scary, it is what I have found…

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Eating Healthy This Summer is DELICIOUS!

Summer is a great time to focus on healthy eating, not only to help you feel comfortable in your bathing suit, but to support your overall well-being. And the perfect place to start is to eat what’s in season. Seasonal eating is not only nutritious, it’s delicious! And that’s because fruits and vegetables grow better during their natural season. Some…

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Recuperate at Home with VNA Home Health

Like most of us, *Jane was anxious to return home after she had been hospitalized for a fall that left her nearly immobile, but she would require round-the-clock care and her doctor proposed an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Jane, a septuagenarian, was disappointed and her daughter, Rose, empathized. “My mom had been in (outpatient) rehab before and didn’t do well and…

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July is Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month – Time to Put on Your Sunglasses!

As a Floridian, you need to protect your skin year-round from the sun, and come summertime, it’s even more important. Whether you’re going to the beach or just running in and out of stores doing errands, be sure to guard yourself from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays which can cause skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in…

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June Is Home Safety Month!

It seems like home should be the safest place on earth, but that is where most accidents and injuries occur. In fact, the home is the second most common location of unintentional fatal injuries. (Traveling via motor vehicles is number one.) Adults 65 and over are the highest risk groups for home injury, both fatal and nonfatal. As we age,…

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Learn More About Alzheimer’s During June, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s was diagnosed over 100 years ago in 1906 by its namesake, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German clinical psychiatrist and neuroanatomist. He discovered the disease during an autopsy of a former patient who had experienced acute memory loss, erratic behavior and language issues for several years prior to her death. During the postmortem exam, he noticed abnormal clumps in his…

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VNA Helps Hospice Patient Dominick LaCavalla’s Dream To Visit His Son Come True

When Vero Beach resident Dominick LaCavalla was told last winter at the hospital that he had two weeks to live unless he immediately started dialysis, his first thought was of his son who he hadn’t seen in four years, Dominick III, and how much he wished he could visit him. But Dominick Senior knew that was not a reality since…

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Coping with Grief

Last May, when Jenifer Mina’s husband passed away, she had never felt so alone. “You just walk out of the hospital all by yourself and that’s the end and everything falls in a hole,” she says. And then a day or a week later – Jenifer doesn’t remember precisely when or where – she was introduced to VNA Bereavement Counselor…

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