Memorial Service Hosted by Bennington VNA & Hospice

The Bennington Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, an office of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, invites the community to attend a free memorial service on Sunday, December 11 at 3pm at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse on 108 School Street in Bennington. Through music, poetry, art and fellowship, this special ceremony, open to individuals of all ages and faith, will help pay tribute to loved ones that have passed away.  For questions about the service or to register, please call 802.442.5502

CLICK HERE: PSA about the Memorial Service

Remembrance Ornaments On Sale


click on image above for an order form

Remembrance ornaments are now on sale and are a meaningful way to honor a loved one or friend while helping the Hospice program of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR). Each ornament is beautifully crafted and engraved by New England Ornaments.

Remembrance OrnamentThis year’s tear-drop shaped ornaments are made of a clear optical glass with beveled edges and can be engraved with the name of a special loved one and a date of significance. Ornament measures 3-3/4 long x 2-3/4 at its widest.  Ornaments are tied with a satin ribbon and presented in a dark silver gift box.  Ornaments are $20 each. Orders can be shipped directly or picked up at the Tree of Remembrance ceremony on December 6 (for pick-up at the ceremony orders must be placed by November 18).

“Since we began this project Remembrance Ornaments have been given as gifts to loved ones living across the United States,” says Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN and Director of the Hospice program.. “For some people, giving the Remembrance Ornament has become a family tradition. It’s heartwarming to know we are part of that special tradition.”

For information, please call 802.775.0568

Tree of Remembrance Ceremony Hosted in Rutland

The Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) will host its 28th Annual Tree of Remembrance ceremony at the Franklin Conference Center, Howe Square in Rutland on Tuesday, December 6 at 5pm.  The event is free and open to the public. For inclement weather a snow date of December 13 has been set.

The Tree of Remembrance ceremony is a way for community members to reflect, honor and celebrate loved ones and friends who have passed away. The ceremony will feature music by the Hospice Trillium choir, remarks by Hospice medical director Allan Eisemann, MD, recitation of loved ones’ names, the lighting of the tree, refreshments and fellowship.

Director of Hospice & Palliative Care“This ceremony is about families who have lost a loved one and their legacy,” says Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN and director of the Hospice program. “Our caregivers, volunteers and staff care deeply for the families of our patients and offer a variety of services to them to help deal with grief and loss. This ceremony is a beloved annual event and is just one of the many ways we want to honor and remember their loved ones for years to come.

To add a loved one’s name to the wall of remembrance, to RSVP or for event questions, please call 802.775.0568.



How do I Become a Hospice Volunteer?

Hospice volunteering is a unique opportunity to serve our fellow human beings at a potentially scary time in their lives.  Hospice volunteers  are an integral part of hospice care.

Why do so many step forward to volunteer? It may be a sense that this is a way to “give back” to an organization or system of care that was there for the volunteer’s own family in a time of crisis.  Or it may be a “calling” that beckons us to give of our time and compassion for others. Here’s what some volunteers have shared about what being a volunteer means to them.

  • Giving relief to a caregiver
  • Receiving more than you give
  • Volunteering means caring and being cared for – giving my heart to others
  • Volunteering feeds my soul

The volunteers who sing in Trilllium, the hospice chorus, share their love of music by singing in small groups in a patient’s home.   For them, the smiles and singing along with the old standard songs that patients enjoy is what motivates their volunteer participation.

Hospice volunteers go through a rigorous training that is provided over several weeks and generally includes an introduction to hospice and palliative care, education on death, dying and grief, and communication and support skills. The goal of the training is to provide each person with the knowledge they will need to confront a wide range of possibilities as a volunteer. After completing the training, you have the option to become an active volunteer or opt to support the program in other ways if you are not ready for in-home care. Once you elect to provide in-home care, we will complete a background check.

Some questions commonly asked by volunteers as they start in with the training program are: “Am I really ready to make this commitment and will I be able to do it?”    “Will I know what to do in a difficult situation?” We can anticipate many things people experience as they near the end of their lives, and some we can’t.  But with training and the entire hospice team available to assist you, most things can be dealt with.

Volunteers can help the family by providing a needed respite. The time the volunteer spends with the patient provides family members and other caregivers with a chance to get out of the house or spend time with other family members. On a typical hospice visit, a volunteer may read to the patient, or simply sit and hold their hand.

Rarely are volunteers called upon for hands-on personal care such as helping people go to the bathroom or changing their clothes – that is usually what the nurses, home health aides and family or other close caregivers do. As a volunteer you will have the support you need to do what you have been asked to do – – to support the hospice patient and other caregivers.

For more information on becoming a hospice volunteer in:

Bennington Contact Mary Pleasant, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at 802.442.5502.

 Rutland and Dorset Contact John Campbell, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at 802.770.1683.






Spring Hospice Volunteer Training

RAVNAH’s Spring Hospice Volunteer Training starts next week! It’s not too late to register. For more information contact John Campbell at 770-1683 or jcampbell@ravnah.org

Click on the image below to view in full scale:


Start the Conversation Presentation

As many of you know, talking to your family about healthcare needs, especially during the end of life, can be the hardest conversation to have. Start The Conversation is a free education initiative on advance care planning from the VNA’s of Vermont, Home Health and Hospice Agencies.

On Wednesday, February 24th at 1pm at the Godnick Center in Rutland, RAVNAH will hold a presentation about Start The Conversation. The presentation is free and open to the public.STC Flyer for Godnick Center 2.24.16

At any time, you or someone you love may be unable to communicate health care choices as a result of an injury or serious illness. When time becomes short, every moment is precious. Avoid having to make last minute decisions or wondering if your decision was what your loved one would have wanted. Starting the conversation early is vital and is the first step to ensure that the choices for yourself and your loved ones are heard.

This presentation will give you the tools to help you get started.

For more information about this presentation, contact John Campbell at jcampbell@ravnah.org or call 775-0568.

BAVNAH Hospice Volunteer Training

Have you ever considered volunteering for a good cause? It takes very little time to make a positive impact in the life of someone in need. The Bennington Area VNA & Hospice (BAVNAH) will be holding a volunteer training course starting in March. This 9-week course will help teach you the ins and outs of volunteering your time with our hospice patients and their families. For more information about the program, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Pleasant, at 442-5502.


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