RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center is launching a Caregiver Support Group this November.
Open to anyone caring for a family member or loved one, the group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 11 a.m. to noon in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center.
The group is participant-driven with members deciding how the meetings will be designed, choosing a facilitator and picking discussion topics. Samantha Medved, a licensed social worker and behavioral health specialist at Gifford, will also work with the group, providing ongoing support.
“Caregivers invest so much of themselves – both physically and mentally – into caring for others. This group is an opportunity to have time away to deal with the normal range of emotions all caregivers experience, by gaining support from peers experiencing similar issues,” Medved said.
The group is offered as part of Gifford’s efforts through the Vermont Blueprint for Health. No registration is required. Medved and the Blueprint team can be reached at 728-7100, ext. 6, with any questions.
The Gifford Conference Center is in the main medical center at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. From patient parking, the Conference Center entrance is marked with a green awning. For handicapped accessibility, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center.
Mark your calendars: Gifford Medical Center’s Annual Craft Fair in support of the hospital’s Adult Day Program is coming Nov. 16 and 17.
The Craft Fair – now in its 17th year – takes place in the hospital’s Conference Center, hallways, spacious visitors’ entrance and the adjoining Menig Extended Care Facility’s large living room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The fair is an opportunity to start your holiday shopping while also supporting a worthy cause: Gifford Adult Day Program activities.
Adult Day provides safe day care, personal hygiene help, medication administration, healthy meals, activities and socialization to the elderly and disabled below the Bethel Health Center on Route 107.
The fair also supports our local craftspeople.
Items for sale will include handcrafted jewelry, homemade baked goods and foods, woodcrafts, quilting, homemade pillows, hand painted Christmas ornaments, and more made by area crafters.
The fair is open to the public and all are welcome.
Vendor space is still available, although vendors signing up now must supply their own table. Call organizer Bonnie Pettit at 763-8828 to become a vendor or learn more.
Gifford is on Route 12 south of Randolph village at 44 S. Main St. The Conference Center entrance is just off from the patient parking area and is marked. The handicapped-accessible visitors’ entrance, where crafts are also expected to be on display, is on the southern end of the hospital. Signs will also help guide you.
RANDOLPH – Experts from Gifford Medical Center will lead a free breast cancer awareness talk on Oct. 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. in concert with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Ob/gyn Dr. Anne Galante and radiologist Dr. Scott Smith will discuss screening and prevention of breast cancer among women of all ages. Specific topics include breast exams, clinical breast exams, the importance and limitations of various methods of breast imaging, and genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.
Time will be provided for one-on-one questions with these local experts.
Michele Packard, Health Connections specialist, will also be on hand to enroll qualifying women ages 21 and up in Ladies First as well as explore other insurance options.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and in Vermont. It’s also the nation’s leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, about 473 breast cancer cases are diagnosed among Vermont women each year. About 92 people each year die from the disease. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes.
While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment.
“We hope to increase awareness of breast cancer risks, prevention, screening and insurance opportunities available to Vermont women,” Dr. Galante said. “Early diagnosis offers the best chance of surviving breast cancer, but if we don’t know about the disease, we can’t treat it.
“This is an opportunity for women of all ages, and whoever they want to bring with them, to learn more about breast health.”
The talk, titled “The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening,” will be held in the Gifford Conference Center at the medical center at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph.
The event is free and open to all. No registration is required.
Class focuses on Chronic Disease Self-Management and peer support
A new Chronic Disease Self-Management Healthier Living Workshop series begins Oct. 15 and continues Mondays through Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Gifford Medical Center.
Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free – along with chronic pain workshops – throughout the year by Gifford as part of the Vermont Blueprint for Health.
The workshops are led by trained facilitators and are designed to help improve strength, flexibility and endurance. They also provide tips for managing medications, eating healthier and improving communications with family and friends.
The goal is to help people better manage their health conditions and deal with the frustration, fatigue, and pain that can accompany a chronic disease.
Participants also benefit from meeting other people with chronic conditions, learning how they cope and enjoying the camaraderie of knowing that they are not alone in how they’re feeling, notes Gifford workshop coordinator Susan Delattre.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, past participants report increased energy, reduced stress, more self-confidence and fewer doctors’ visits as a result.
Gifford Healthier Living Workshop participants have called the series “very relaxed and you really felt free to express yourself” and said they most enjoyed “meeting people who understand what I am going through.”
To register or for more information, call Zach Bean at Gifford’s Blueprint office at the Kingwood Health Center at (802) 728-7100, ext. 6.
The workshop will take place in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center at 44 S. Main St. From patient parking, the Conference Center is marked with a green awning. For handicapped accessibility, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center.
RANDOLPH – Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially so if you’re on a budget.
Gifford Medical Center Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian Jennifer Stratton is striving to help those on a budget better grapple with the issue during a free talk titled “Eating Right When Money’s Tight.”
The talk will be held on Sept. 26 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Red Clover room in the hospital’s Conference Center.
The event will feature tips from Stratton about eating healthier without over-paying, recipes will be given out, and Susan Moore, a diabetes patient, will join Stratton to share a tasty, easy-to-make dish.
The idea to hold the free talk was prompted by an increasing number of patients saying, “‘I cannot do this. It’s too expensive to eat healthy,’” Stratton says.
Stratton will show how it can be done with tips like looking for in-season foods and preparing more meals from scratch. Stratton hopes to follow-up the discussion with trips at a later date to the grocery store and food shelf for hands-on healthy shopping tips.
The strategies presented will apply to all who are shopping on a limited budget, not just diabetics. No registration is required, but anyone with questions is encouraged to call Stratton at the Diabetes Clinic at 728-7100.
RANDOLPH – The nation’s oldest collegiate band, the Norwich University Concert Band, will perform at the park at Gifford Medical Center on Sept. 25 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
The free concert, titled “Autumn in the Park,” will be led by conductor Lt. Col. Todd Edwards with a flute solo, “Concertino for Flute,” featuring Audrey Seaman.
Music at Norwich University in Northfield has been a significant part of the curriculum since its founding in 1819. With the arrival of William Baylay, the first professor of instrumental music, in 1823, the band became all-brass and an integral part of the daily life of cadets.
Today, the band is a full instrumentation band with woodwinds, brass and percussion, and it continues to perform in support of the Corps of Cadets at all formations, reviews and special parades. The band has performed for the inauguration of several U.S. presidents, including John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as well as for parades and concerts throughout Vermont and New England.
Conductor Lt. Col. Edwards spent nearly 25 years in the U.S. Air Force Band program, serving as a trombonist and vocalist as well as an audio engineer and lighting designer, after enlisting at age 18.
He received the Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in 2001 for designing and executing a seven-band deployment throughout Europe in 48 hours supporting Operation Allied Force, including a short concert aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt – a first for Air Force Bands while in an active combat zone.
Because of his vast deployment expertise, he was selected by the Pentagon to advance the first-ever band deployments in direct support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, during combat operations. Being the first bandsman on the ground in April of 2004, he led bands traveling to seven bases in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan and later led a second deployment group to perform additional shows in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Djibouti.
In addition to performing before U.S. presidents, he has played before several heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth II.
The concert is free and open to the public.
Valley Bowl of Randolph will be onsite with its food truck for anyone wanting to purchase dinner.
Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. The Gifford park is south of the hospital, before the Thrift Shop, at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. Ample parking is available.
The concert is weather dependent. If the weather is questionable, visit Gifford’s Web site, www.giffordmed.org, for updates.
Original blues and soul band renowned throughout Northeast
RANDOLPH – The Dave Keller Band comes to the Gifford Medical Center Park on Sept. 11 for a free concert thanks to the generosity of the Gifford Auxiliary.
A Vermont resident, Dave Keller is known as one of the finest soul and blues men of his generation. He is the 2012 winner of the Best Self-Produced CD award at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn.
In 2009, after being discovered by legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl, Keller appeared as a singer and co-writer on Earl’s BMA-nominated CD, “Living In the Light.” Next, blues and soul fans got to hear Keller with his own band on his all-original critically-acclaimed release “Play for Love” (September 2009).
Then in October 2011, Keller released his latest gem: “Where I’m Coming From” – a “deep soul” record produced by Bob Perry of Wu-Tang Clan, 50 Center, Brian McNight and Foxy Brown fame. In addition to winning the IBC award, the CD reached No. 2 on B.B. King’s Bluesville on Sirius/XM radio for May 2012.
This success follows decades perfecting his craft. Keller has been performing for 20 years across the Northeast at everything from prison gymnasiums to major tours, getting audiences out of their seats with deep soul singing, gritty guitar licks and what Keller calls his “super-tight, super-funky band.”
Originally from Massachusetts, Keller picked up guitar in his teens and started his own band in 1988. Keller moved to Boston, performing regularly but tiring of city life. He moved to rural Washington state and then to Vermont in 1993.
By 1993, Keller’s singing and playing had taken on a new depth. He began playing solo shows and by 1996 had put together a band, releasing multiple CDs.
Today, Keller keeps up a heavy performance, touring with band mates Ira Friedman on Hammond organ, Brett Hoffman on drums and Gary Lotspeich on bass. And now The Dave Keller Band comes to Randolph for a one-time concert sure to please.
The concert is from 6:30-8 p.m. The Gifford park is located between the hospital and the Thrift Shop on South Main Street (Route 12), south of Randolph village. Ample parking is available onsite.
The concert is weather-dependent. If the weather is questionable, check Gifford’s new and improved Web site, www.giffordmed.org, for an update.
RANDOLPH – There are an estimated 64,000 home caregivers in Vermont – those who care for a loved one or friend at home rather than relying on a home health agency or nursing home.
Gifford Medical Center’s Blueprint Care Coordination Team is collaborating with the Central Vermont Council on Aging to offer advice and peer support to home caregivers who often selflessly work long, stressful hours.
Over the coming months, Gifford will offer a one-night course called “5 Minutes for Yourself.” The class will be led by Samantha Medved, Gifford’s Blueprint behavioral health clinician and a licensed social worker.
“The class is really designed to identify why caregivers need to take five minutes for themselves, and we’ll also talk about how to find that time during the day.”
The class will be offered on Aug. 20 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Gifford in Randolph and from 5:30-7 p.m. on the following days and locations: on Aug. 23 at the Chelsea Health Center, on Aug. 28 at the Bethel Health Center, on Sept. 4 at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin, and on Sept. 13 at Gifford.
Participants need only take one of the classes, which will cover identifying stress in the caregiver role, how taking time for oneself can improve the caregiver’s ability to provide care, breathing techniques, how to find that “me time” and what activities to do during that time.
The class will be followed up by a six-week course from Jeanne Kern of the Central Vermont Council on Aging called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” and running Wednesdays, Sept. 5-Oct. 10 from 3-5 p.m. at the Council on Aging at 59 N. Main St., Suite 200, in Barre.
The six-week workshop is also anticipated to be offered in Randolph in the fall with Kern and Brooks Chapin, a nurse and Gifford’s director of senior services.
The educational workshop is designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend. Participants will learn ways to reduce stress; communicate effectively; reduce guilt, anger and depression; set goals; and problem solve.
And finally, Gifford is planning ongoing, community-based support groups for caregivers beginning in September. The participant-run groups will be offered based on participants’ interest and availability.
The goal of all of the programs is to support caregivers and the vital, challenging role they play.
“Caregivers typically are caring for people they really love and are allowing those people to continue to live in their homes, with their families and in their communities.
Simultaneously, it’s a very hard and under-recognized role,” Medved said. “What we know is healthier caregivers provide healthier care, so we want to make sure we assist caregivers in being as healthy and happy as possible.”
To register for any of the upcoming “5 Minutes for Yourself” classes or to express interest in joining a support group, call Gifford’s Blueprint office at 728-7100, ext. 6. The class is free and light refreshments will be served.
To sign up for “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” call Kern at the Council on Aging at (802) 476-2671. A $20 donation is suggested to help cover the cost of the course book that participants receive.
Participants need not be full-time caregivers. Anyone who helps support a loved one, such as through decision-making, providing transportation, or serving as a primary family support person is welcome.
Gifford also holds a monthly support group for those with chronic illnesses called the Chronic HealthShare Consortium. These free meetings continue on the second Wednesday of each month from 3-4 p.m.