Vennard Recognized as Volunteer Manager of the Year
ROCHESTER – Cornerstone VNA, a local nonprofit home health and hospice care provider, announced that Ann Vennard, Assistant Director of Advancement, was recognized as the 2022 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Manager of the Year during the annual Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism on May 10.
Participants of this three-day virtual conference, which was attended by nearly 300 individuals from New Hampshire and across the country, received a warm welcome from Governor John Sununu, who also announced the Outstanding Volunteer Manager of the Year. “The work done by Ann exemplifies the very best of NH – going out of one’s way to care for others and provide a helping hand to those in our communities,” said Governor Sununu. “I could not be more proud to present Ann with [this award].”
Gretchen Stallings, Executive Director of Volunteer NH adds, “Ann’s dedication to the volunteers she supports is truly admirable. Volunteers are the backbone of so many wonderful organizations, including Cornerstone VNA, and they all deserve the special care that Ann pours into her program every day.”
Ann has been a volunteer manager at Cornerstone VNA for the past six years and has worked to build a comprehensive volunteer program that engages a variety of community members, from youth to older adults, as well as pet companion volunteers. According to Erika Lee, Director of Advancement at Cornerstone VNA, “Ann has done a tremendous job growing our volunteer program opportunities and making sure our volunteers have a successful and meaningful experience. I was proud to nominate her for this award and thrilled that she was honored as this year’s award recipient.”
Cornerstone VNA’s vibrant volunteer team is comprised of Companions, NH Senior Companions, Balance Coaches, Hospice, Music, Office, Pet Peace of Mind and Caregiver Café Facilitator volunteers. To learn more about volunteering at Cornerstone VNA, call 800-691-1133 x1109 or visit cornerstonevna.org/volunteer.
Benchmark at Rye recognized as one of the country’s best senior living communities
RYE – Out of the more than 120 assisted living communities in New Hampshire, Benchmark at Rye has been selected as one of the best in the state by U.S. News & World Report.
Benchmark at Rye earned “Best” status by achieving the highest possible rating for memory care in U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural Best Senior Living ratings following a comprehensive consumer satisfaction survey. Benchmark’s residents and family members gave the community high marks in critical areas, such as overall value, management and staff, resident enrichment, dining and food, safety, transportation, maintenance, housekeeping and location.
“For 25 years, Benchmark communities have set the standard for senior care excellence in the Northeast. The U.S. News & World Report designation is special because – once again – it’s our residents and their families who are validating the important and successful role Benchmark associates play in their lives,” said Tom Grape, founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark, New England’s largest senior living provider with 64 communities throughout the Northeast.
Benchmark at Rye offers specialized assisted living with memory care for those who would benefit from a safer, engaging environment, chef-prepared meals, 24/7 nursing care, supportive living services, transportation and assistance with daily activities, such as getting dressed and medication management. Memory care assisted living residents enjoy connecting over programs and amenities offered in many common spaces including spacious living areas, recreation room, wellness center, physical therapy studio, formal dining rooms, hair salon and a secure outdoor courtyard with walking paths, a water feature and gardens.
Benchmark’s award-winning Mind & Memory Care program offers carefully created living environments and unique opportunities for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia to find joy in each new day. Residents are supported by 24/7 care providers who have been hired for heart and educated in memory loss, communication and empathy. Neighborhoods provide the comforts of home and have unique features that help those with memory impairment stay connected to who and what matters most to them. Thoughtful touches, visual cues and purposeful amenities further promote familiarity and wellness.
“Whether it’s connecting our residents to their passions, providing meals just the way they like or making sure they get to doctor’s appointments, our associates constantly strive for excellence in all they do,” said Rob Memmolo, executive director of Benchmark at Rye. “Benchmark at Rye is truly an extraordinary community committed to supporting one another, and we are thrilled to now be among an elite group in New Hampshire.”
For more than 30 years, U.S. News has served the American public as an unbiased arbiter of quality across a variety of important choices. Whether picking a college, selecting a hospital or moving to a nursing home, consumers go to U.S. News to research and make consequential life decisions.
“Until now, families have had limited information when comparing providers of independent living, assisted living, memory care or continuing care,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “The Best Senior Living ratings fill this informational gap with comprehensive and transparent data to help older consumers and their families identify high-quality senior living communities that meet their needs and preferences.”
For more information about Benchmark at Rye, visit www.benchmarkseniorliving.com or go to its U.S. News profile at health.usnews.com/best-senior-living/benchmark-at-rye-1457.
Ticks are back—Tips for keeping your family safe from Lyme disease
LEBANON — While a mild winter in northern New England can seem like a good thing at the time, it often has the unfortunate side effect of ticks returning earlier than usual. It’s not even June and residents of New Hampshire and Vermont are already seeing deer ticks—which carry the bacteria which causes Lyme disease—in the wild, in their pets’ fur and on themselves. A tick doesn’t hurt when it bites, and deer ticks are so tiny that they can go unnoticed on the body until they become engorged, or not at all—unless the host develops Lyme symptoms.
“The classic Lyme disease symptom is an expanding, flat rash that often looks like a bullseye,” said Jeffrey Parsonnet, MD, a physician in Infectious Disease and International Health at Dartmouth Health’s academic medical center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), and Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics. “Other symptoms are flu-like—aches, stiffness, fatigue—and might develop five to seven days after receiving a bite. More advanced disease might cause swollen joints, infection of nerves responsible for heart rhythm regulation, or neurologic disorders like Bell’s Palsy (partial face paralysis), pain in limbs or, rarely, brain infection.”
While Lyme disease can be very serious, it can be prevented and treated. Parsonnet offers the following tips for keeping ticks at bay so you and your family can enjoy New England’s beautiful summer season.
Stay covered: Prevention begins with keeping ticks off of your body. Wear long pants, socks and long sleeves when outdoors, and insect repellents containing DEET are highly effective.
Check yourself thoroughly: Ticks can attach anywhere, so check your entire body and your children’s bodies as well. If you do find a tick, remove it with a pair of tweezers, trying to remove as much as possible, but the body will naturally reject bits left behind.
Remove ticks immediately: A tick needs about 36 hours to transmit the Lyme bacteria. If you find a tick that has been attached for more than 36 hours, a single, two-pill dose of the antibiotic doxycycline is highly effective at preventing Lyme disease.
There are times when a patient doesn’t find a tick and never develops the tell-tale rash but experiences other Lyme disease symptoms. “In those cases, many physicians will treat for Lyme disease with a 14 to 21 day course of antibiotics,” said Parsonnet. “There is a diagnostic blood test for Lyme, but it only turns positive a month or so after infection so it’s not a useful test in the acute setting.”
This summer might be a good one for ticks, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one for people. “Remember to cover up, check for ticks and remove them immediately,” Parsonnet said. “And, if you do get Lyme disease, treatment is highly effective at preventing late complications.”