Talbot Hospice will Hold Memorial Walk April 22

Talbot Hospice will hold its 2nd Annual Memorial Walk on Oxford Day, Saturday, April 22, beginning at 8 a.m.The public is invited to walk in memory or in honor of a loved one to benefit hospice programs and services in Talbot County.  A brief ceremony and dove release will be followed by a one-mile walk to the Strand, closing with another opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed. The funds raised from this event will help provide services and programs for the patients and families served by Talbot Hospice.

“We are so grateful to the Oxford Day Committee for including us in their annual Oxford Day event,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice.  “We look forward to seeing our family members and anyone who would enjoy a chance to recognize and honor a loved one.”

Registration for adults is $25; students are $10, and children 12 and under are free.  The fee includes an adult t-shirt and light breakfast.  To register visit TalbotHospice.org/events or call 410-822-6681. For more information contact Katie Schroeder at kschroeder@talbothospice.org or 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice Celebrates National Healthcare Decisions Day

Talbot Hospice will participate in an annual nationwide effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). As a participating organization, Talbot Hospice is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and to execute written advance directives.

On Tuesday, April 11, at 1 p.m. Talbot Hospice will host a free public screening and discussion of the film Consider the Conversation at the Easton branch of Talbot County Free Library. Motivated by their personal experiences with loss, two long-time friends present a powerful and inspiring film on the American struggle with communication and preparation at life’s end. Consider the Conversation examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes interviews with patients, family members, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers and national experts from around the country. The film’s goal is to inspire dialogue between patient and doctor, husband and wife, parent and child, minister and parishioner. A panel of Talbot Hospice staff and volunteers will guide a discussion following the 60 minute film.

On Monday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,Talbot Hospice is welcoming the public at its Cynwood Drive location, with free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms including the Five Wishes and the Maryland Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST). Staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist guests in understanding and completing their paperwork.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge.  “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers, and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”

Registration for both events is encouraged. Call 410-822-6681 for more information.

Senior Nation: The Science of Forgetfulness with Dr. Constantine Lyketsos

The celebrated poet Billy Collins wrote in one of his poems that his memory had retired “to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones.”  It is perhaps one of the most accurate descriptions of memory loss and the disorientation it causes in almost every human being of a certain age from time to time.

But what if the feeling of “no phones” was a more permanent condition?  That beyond the simple and temporary experience of forgetting where one left the car keys, one also could not remember what those car keys do. In that case, the condition is called dementia. And what has intrigued Johns Hopkins doctor Constantine Lyketsos is why those “phones,” the neurochemistry of the brain, are not working.

On March 8, the Talbot Hospice will be sponsoring a lecture by one of the leading experts in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at Easton High School. Dr. Lyketsos, from the Hopkins department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will address these issues and the devastating effects of the illness, but also promising new treatments that give hope to patients and their families.

The Spy traveled to Baltimore to sit down with Lyketsos before the event for a primer on dementia and memory loss.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about the event please go here


Talbot Hospice Presents Caring for Individuals with Memory Disorders

Constantine LyketsosOn March 8, 2017, Talbot Hospice will hold its 2nd annual community outreach event Caring for Individuals with Memory Disorders: State of the Art 2017. The featured speaker is Constantine G. Lyketsos, M.D., M.H.S., Interim Director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and world renowned expert in Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The event is open to the public at no cost and will be held at the Easton High School auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. Providers will be available in the lobby for the first half hour to distribute materials and answers questions. The main presentation begins at 6:30, and afterwards a panel will field questions from the audience. Registration can be made online at TalbotHospice.org/events or by calling 410-822-6681. Presenting sponsors are Avon Dixon and Shore United Bank.

“A component of our mission at Talbot Hospice is education and outreach, and we are pleased to be able to bring Dr. Lyketsos’ to Talbot County,” said Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “We have chosen this topic because Alzheimer’s and the other dementias affect a vast portion of our aging population, and we believe that the information will be very helpful to both caregivers and providers in our community. Because of the present regulations governing hospice qualification, Talbot Hospice can only assist in the care of these patients when it has been determined that they have a less than six month life expectancy from whatever cause.”

Head 1An active clinician, teacher, and researcher on the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1993, Dr. Lyketsos’ primary areas of interest are neuropsychiatry and memory disorders. Many of his clinical and research interests are integrated in the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Center which he founded as a collaborative partnership between the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and geriatric medicine to offer patients comprehensive evaluation and innovative treatment for a range of conditions that affect cognition and memory, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, traumatic brain injury, and brain vascular disease. Dr. Lyketsos has carried out pioneering work on the epidemiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric features of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. His interest in traumatic brain injury has led him to leadership roles in military and veteran’s health and collaborations with the NFL Players Association.

Dr. Lyketsos has authored or co-authored over 350 scientific articles, chapters, commentaries, as well as five books. He is the recipient of the 2016 Jack Weinberg Award in Geriatric Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association, the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the 2006 William S. Proxmire Award for “extraordinary leadership in the fight against Alzheimer’s” from the Copper Ridge Institute. Castle-Connolly has named Dr. Lyketsos as one of America’s Top Doctors every year since 2001.

A native of Athens, Greece, Dr. Lyketsos graduated from Northwestern University and Washington University Medical School in St. Louis (1988). He completed residency and chief residency in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins (1988-92), followed by a fellowship in clinical epidemiology.

Talbot Hospice Offers Memoir Workshop

Anne McCormick

Anne McCormick, M.Ed.

Talbot Hospice is offering an eight-week memoir workshop – Looking Back with Gentle Eyes – facilitated by Anne McCormick, M.Ed.,Tuesday mornings 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., March 7 – April 25, 2017. The class is free of charge and open to the public. Class size is limited to ten participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

McCormick is the retired Associate Director of the Learning and Counseling Center and adjunct professor of English at American University, Washington, D.C. She is the co-author of two books and numerous journal articles about accommodating college students with disabilities. Since retiring to the Eastern Shore, Anne has co-offered numerous workshops in memoir writing and served on multiple advocacy boards for individuals with disabilities.

Talbot Hospice Nurse Mary Jane Meintzer Obtains Certification

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-17-41-amTalbot Hospice Registered Nurse Mary Jane Meintzer recently obtained her certification as a Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN). The certification program is administered by the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association, and applicants must have 500 hours of hospice and palliative nursing practice in the most recent 12 months or 1,000 hours in the most recent 24 months in order to sit for the exam.

According to Talbot Hospice executive director Vivian Dodge, “Achieving this certification is a hallmark of excellence and demonstrates achievement of advanced clinical knowledge and makes a strong statement to the community about our efforts to provide the highest quality services. We are very proud of Mary Jane.”

Meintzer has been an RN for more than 34 years and is a graduate of Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing. “My first experience with hospice was as a volunteer caregiver in Hospice House,” said Meintzer. “It was a wonderfully rewarding experience and ultimately led to my decision to choose a career in hospice nursing. I have been working toward this goal for two years and am happy to have finally obtained my certification.”

Talbot Hospice Offers Free Documentary Screenings & Panel

being-mortal-1During the month of November, Talbot Hospice will offer free screenings of the documentaries Being Mortal and Consider the Conversation in Easton, Oxford and St. Michaels. The screenings are open to the public.November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, the purpose of which is to encourage individuals to increase their understanding and awareness of care at the end of life. The 2016 theme is “Know Your Options.”

In the film Being Mortal, FRONTLINE follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. In conjunction with Gawande’s book, Being Mortal, the film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors — himself included — are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.

considerThe film Consider the Conversation is an intimate story about the American struggle with communication and preparation for life’s end and includes the perspectives of patients, family members, doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy and national experts from around the country. It was produced with one simple goal in mind – to inspire culture change that results in end-of-life care that is more person-centered and less system-centered.

Following each film screening, a panel will be available for discussion. The films are approximately one hour in length, and the discussion will last up to a half hour. Screenings are offered the following dates, times and locations:

November 7, 5:30 p.m. Talbot Hospice (Consider the Conversation)
November 9, 2:00 p.m. Oxford Community Center (Being Mortal)
November 10, 5:30 p.m. St. Michaels Library (Being Mortal)
November 14, 5:30 p.m. Oxford Community Center (Consider the Conversation)
November 15, 2:00 p.m. Talbot Senior Center (Being Mortal)
November 21, 11:00 a.m. St. Michael Library (Consider the Conversation)

“We are pleased to be able to offer these opportunities for the community to learn more about the importance of advance care planning and the options that are available for end-of-life care,” said executive director Vivian Dodge. “We also appreciate the Talbot Senior Center, Oxford Community Center and St. Michael Library for partnering with us to provide this important outreach.”

To register, visit talbothospice.org/eventsor call 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice Offers Bereavement Groups

Group SessionEaston, MD — Two six-week sessions of group grief support will be offered this fall at Talbot Hospice. Beginning September 13 a group will meet every Tuesday evening from 5-7 p.m. through October 25. A second group will meet Wednesday afternoons from 1-3 p.m., September 14 – October 26.

According to bereavement coordinator Shelly Kulp, losing a loved one can open up a wide range of feelings.  “Studies show that acknowledging and sharing thoughts and feelings reduces loneliness and supports the healing process,” said Kulp.  “Participants realize they are not alone as they share their experiences with others in similar situations.”

Talbot Hospice support groups are held at 586 Cynwood Drive and are free of charge. Sessions are open to the public regardless of county of residence and regardless of whether or not their loved one was served by hospice.

Talbot Hospice offers a variety of support groups including an ongoing weekly caregiver’s support group on Thursdays at 1 p.m. and a pet loss bereavement group in conjunction with Talbot Humane Society thefirst Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. Together…Silent No More is a monthly group for those grieving the loss of a loved one due to substance abuse held the second Wednesday of the month from 6-7:30 p.m. For a complete list of programs, visit talbothospice.org/bereavement and click on the Support Groups tab. For questions or more information contact Shelly Kulp at skulp@talbothospice.org or 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice Offers Memoir Writing

Anne McCormick & Shelly Kulp (Talbot Hospice)

Anne McCormick, M.Ed. (right) with Talbot Hospice bereavement coordinator Shelly Kulp (left).

Easton, MD — Talbot Hospice is offering an eight-week memoir writing workshop facilitated by Anne McCormick, M.Ed.,Tuesday mornings 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., August 23 – October 11, 2016.

McCormick is the retired Associate Director of the Learning and Counseling Center and adjunct professor of English at American University, Washington, D.C. She is the co-author of two books and numerous journal articles about accommodating college students with disabilities. Since retiring to the Eastern Shore, Anne has co-offered numerous workshops in memoir writing, served on multiple advocacy boards for individuals with disabilities, and is a member of the Eastern Shore Writer’s Association.

The class is free of charge and open to the public. Class size is limited to ten participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice Creates Artist-in-Residence Program

As part of its unique continuum of support services and pursuit of innovative programs, Talbot Hospice has created an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program. The Artist-in-Residence, during a year-long residency, will collaborate with patients and their loved ones in creative ways. Using various forms of art, families can work with the AIR to tell their stories, explore and express their feelings and sentiments and transform those emotions into art. The AIR will help facilitate ideas with the intention of creating a lasting legacy that captures the specialness of the individual through a favorite memory, for example.

BEAUTIFULWendy VanNest, who for 14 years has been Director of the Pathways program at Talbot Hospice, brought the idea to the staff in May. VanNest says she was inspired by Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, which, according to its website, may very well have created the first AIR program at any hospice organization in the country.

“I was struck by their program and immediately thought it would be a good fit for Talbot Hospice and for me as I continue my work here,” VanNest said. VanNest is an artist with a background in editorial illustration and has long been creating artwork for Talbot Hospice including holiday and sympathy cards, posters, collages and illustrations. She was the artist for the 2007 Festival of Trees. VanNest will serve as the first Talbot Hospice Artist-in-Residence and develop the program.

VanNest is currently working toward her certificate in Thanatology – the study of death, dying and grief – at the National Center for Death Education at Mt. Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. Her final project, “The Art of Losing My Mother; Anticipatory Grief Observed,” focuses on the use of creativity as a tool for meaning-making before a death. She hopes to bring awareness to the process of anticipatory grieving; that it can be a time of personal growth and creativity.

ALABASTER EGGS“The urge to create is part of being human,” said VanNest. “I believe that art in all forms can be used to make meaning for caregivers and their loved ones. Creativity may enrich their limited time together. For example, I found it much easier to articulate my keen awareness of the impending loss of my mother through art than in words. I realize in hindsight that the art I created of her and for her are visual eulogies.”

One example of how VanNest intends to share her talents with Talbot Hospice families is to provide a pen and ink and watercolor sketch of a special item or an illustration of a memory that is particularly meaningful. The image can include a person’s name, a song lyric, poem, quotation, bible verse, or any language that is significant. This memento is a gift from Talbot Hospice at no cost.

“Our Artist-in-Residence Program is an exciting initiative that will provide opportunities for families to express emotions in ways that words may not capture,” said Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “Through this program we hope to enhance the lives of people we serve in new ways. We are very proud to have Wendy spearhead this initiative, and we are thrilled she is named our first Artist-in-Residence. This AIR program is just one of the many creative ways we offer support to our families.”

Local creative and performing artists will be invited annually to submit proposals for the residency with the requirement of actively contributing their artistic skills in ways that will benefit Talbot Hospice patients and families. Talbot Hospice will offer space for the AIRs to exhibit or perform their work and time for presentations to the staff, volunteers and Board of Talbot Hospice on what has been learned and contributed through their AIR experience.

Talbot Hospice serves patients at the end of life and helps family members manage the practical details and daily challenges of caring for a dying loved wherever they call home – in their own residence, in assisted living and nursing facilities or at Hospice House on Cynwood Drive in Easton. For information about hospice services and programs, call 410-822-6681 or visit talbothospice.org.

For more information about the Artist-in-Residence Program at Talbot Hospice, contact Wendy VanNest at wvannest@talbothospice.org or 410-822-6681.