Stand Up To The Fear of Falling

Fall Prevention Strategies

How the Fear of Falling Hurts

As the golden years unfold, older adults often face a silent adversary that can significantly impact their well-being — the fear of falling. This apprehension, though understandable, can have profound consequences on their physical and mental health. Research studies suggest that over a third of older adults report a fear of falling. Within this demographic, an estimated 25% to 50% admit to limiting their activities as a direct response to this fear. Consequently, such restrictions can result in diminished social interaction and physical deconditioning.

The fear of falling is not an irrational concern but rather a natural response to the increased vulnerability that often accompanies aging. As bodies undergo changes in muscle mass, bone density, and sensory perception, the risk of falls naturally rises. In an attempt to avoid potential harm, older adults may limit their activities, leading to a sedentary lifestyle that, paradoxically, exacerbates the very issues they seek to avoid.

Take Control

Falling is not an inevitability.  There are strategies and resources available to reduce risk and increase safety. The most important thing is to be fall-risk aware and use action instead of avoidance. The following are some of our top recommendations:

  • Know your fall risk. A good starting point is the CDC’s “STEADI” program. Their simple fall risk assessment brochure evaluates an individual’s risk for falling and encourages appropriate escalation.
  • Stay up to date on your health and talk to your doctor about fall history and your risk factors. Be sure to review areas such as bone health, vision, foot health and proper shoe wear, any dizziness, and medications and potential side effects.
  • Adherence to an exercise routine is a cornerstone to fall prevention. Exercise not only decreases the incidence of falls but also acts as a deterrent against fall-related injuries. Seniors identified as being at risk of falling should engage in exercise routines meticulously crafted by a health professional (like RVNAhealth’s Rehabilitation team!) to enhance or sustain their balance, strength, and endurance.
  • Home safety is a priority. Home is where a large majority of falls can occur. Slippery bathroom surfaces, poorly lit rooms, clutter, loose rugs or wires on floors are some of the most common fall hazards. Modifications such as improving lighting, securing rugs, decluttering, installing bathroom grab bars, and placing frequently used items at easily reachable levels are all helpful strategies to reduce fall risk.  

RVNAhealth Fall Prevention Resources

RVNAhealth offers a variety of expertise and services that can help address the fear of falling and give you the confidence to keep moving!

  • Rehabilitation Therapies. The Rehabilitation team offers evaluations and physical and vestibular therapy techniques focused on improving balance and strength. Our trained therapists can provide individualized exercise recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of falls, and can also assess the home for safety. Services can be provided in-home upon doctor recommendation or outpatient at our Rehabilitation & Wellness Center in Ridgefield.
  • Exercise. The Rehabilitation & Wellness Center also offers weekly drop-in Balance & Beyond and Strength & Beyond exercise classes aimed at improving strength and stability. In 2023 the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center was also introduced providing expertise in exercise and fall prevention specific to Parkinson’s disease patients.
  • Personal Medical Alert equipment. RVNAhealth offers Lifeline Personal Medical Alert equipment and service subscriptions, including set up and maintenance, for in-home and/or on-the-go monitoring. Having this service can dramatically speed emergency support in the event of a fall.
  • Private Caregiving Services. Available short or long-term, our StayingWELL hourly and live-in personal caregivers provide non-medical and household assistance to loved ones that need help to remain safe, independent, and confident in their place of residence.
  • Nutrition. RVNAhealth’s Nutrition Services and Registered Dietitian offer one-on-one consultation and individualized nutrition strategies for patients concerned with osteoporosis and bone health, as well as for those dealing with illness or medications that might affect overall strength and stability.
  • Education. RVNAhealth’s Wellness Academy is pleased to offer an ongoing calendar of educational events each month held at our offices or on the road throughout the many towns we serve. We regularly offer classes on fall prevention strategies, bone health, and nutrition education, as well as a popular class called “How to Fall.” We encourage you to check our calendar regularly for updated events!

For more information on any of the above resources, please contact us at 203.438.5555.

We Can’t Do What We Do Without YOU!

RVNAhealth donor giving

For 109 years, RVNAhealth has been a community-based non-profit organization that provides care for people of all ages, from birth through end of life. Today, we serve more than 5,000 people annually across 35+ Connecticut towns, with home healthcare, rehabilitation therapies, palliative and hospice care. Our donor-funded community programs for Chronic Care patients, underinsured children, and first-time, low-income mothers serve those who might not have access to care without our support. Please make a gift to RVNAhealth today and know that every gift – no matter the size – is critical to upholding our mission and sustaining our important work.

Click here to learn more about our commitment to your community and how you can donate to support those who might not otherwise have access to care

Adaptive Equipment on Someone’s Holiday List?

RVNAhealth adaptive equipment recommendations

Okay, so adaptive equipment may not actually be on your loved one’s holiday wish list.  But for those who struggle with strength, mobility, or sensory issues, adaptive equipment can enable independence, enhance quality of life, and boost confidence. So RVNAhealth is here to offer great suggestions that might make someone’s holiday brighter!

Our clinicians are always eager to share suggestions on equipment that can make life easier when it comes to mobility and independence around the home. From kitchen, dressing, bed and bath, to grooming and beauty aids and even clothing — we’ve taken some of our clinicians’ most frequent recommendations and created a new webpage where you can browse these items and link directly through to purchase.

We welcome you to check back frequently as we continue to expand our list of recommended products. If you have questions regarding any of these products or usage, feel free to contact us.

See our RVNAhealth Adaptive Equipment Recommendations here!

Medicare Enrollment: Understanding Your Options

Understanding your Medicare options

REMINDER!  Medicare enrollment ends December 7th this year. If you are still finalizing your decisions or just want to be better educated, RVNAhealth hosted a presentation on November 10th covering Medicare enrollment options. Michael Bush, a specialist in Medicare education who guides individuals through their enrollment concerns annually, led the presentation.  If you missed the event, you may find the presentation materials and video playback below.

Understanding your Medicare enrollment options is crucial for several reasons, as it directly impacts your access to healthcare coverage and the cost of that coverage. Here are some key reasons why it’s important to understand your Medicare enrollment options:

  • Access to Healthcare Services: Proper enrollment ensures that you have access to the healthcare services you need. Medicare coverage includes hospital stays, outpatient care, preventive services, and prescription drugs. Understanding your options helps you select the plan that best meets your health needs.
  • Avoiding Penalties: Enrolling in Medicare on time helps you avoid late enrollment penalties. For example, if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible and you don’t have other creditable health coverage, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty, resulting in higher premiums.
  • Cost Management: Different parts of Medicare come with different costs, such as premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. Understanding your options allows you to choose a plan that aligns with your budget and healthcare needs. This can help you manage your healthcare expenses more effectively.
  • Coverage Gaps: Medicare alone may not cover all your healthcare needs. There are coverage gaps, and you may need additional insurance, such as a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, to fill those gaps. Knowing your options helps you choose the coverage that addresses your specific requirements.
  • Changing Healthcare Needs: Your healthcare needs may change over time, and so should your coverage. Understanding your enrollment options allows you to make changes during specific enrollment periods, ensuring that your coverage continues to meet your evolving health requirements.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage: Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage. It’s essential to choose a plan that covers the medications you need at a cost you can afford. Failing to enroll in Part D when you’re eligible may result in a late enrollment penalty if you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage.
  • Timely Enrollment: Enrolling in Medicare on time ensures that you have coverage when you need it. Delaying enrollment could lead to gaps in coverage, leaving you responsible for paying for healthcare services out of pocket.
  • Preventive Services: Medicare offers a range of preventive services, often at no cost to you. Understanding your enrollment options allows you to take advantage of these services, promoting early detection and prevention of health issues.

Understanding your Medicare enrollment options empowers you to make informed decisions that align with your health and financial goals.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the event, please contact us at marketing@rvnahealth.org.

Giving Tuesday 2023 to Support RVNAhealth’s Pet Therapy Program

Pet Therapy

At RVNAhealth, we know what a difference YOU can make by supporting us on Giving Tuesday and bettering the lives of those in your community.

Sophia is RVNAhealth’s cherished pet therapy dog who spends her days with our patients and their families. Since birth, she has been in training with ECAD – Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities. Her RVNAhealth handler is formally trained and recertified annually, as well.

Sophia truly comes to life when doing her job.  With every visit, she brings comfort to our hospice patients and compassion to bereaved family members. She spreads joy to the homebound. She can also be found befriending and snuggling with children getting vaccines at our Well Child clinics. Her love and support is embraced by everyone she meets, most especially the more than 100 RVNAhealth patients she visits each year!

“Giving Tuesday reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.”

In Support of Our Pet Therapy Program

This Giving Tuesday, we are asking for your support of our priceless Pet Therapy program and to help offset $5,000 in annual expenses that keep Sophia well-nourished, well-groomed, healthy and current with veterinarian visits. Your gift to Sophia and our ComfortWELL Hospice program will help us continue to deliver unmatched, compassionate healthcare when and where it is needed.

In this season of gratitude and giving, please consider making a contribution to RVNAhealth on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023, and give the gift of health, comfort and peace to the patients and families we serve.

Contributions can be made here.

Thank you for your support!

Celebrating Our First Parkinson’s Disease Bootcamp Warriors!

RVNAhealth Parkinson's Disease Center Bootcamp 2023

On October 9th six brave Parkinson’s Warriors completed RVNAhealth’s first Parkinson’s disease (PD) Bootcamp program. These six clients spent eight weeks coming to our Ridgefield Center of Excellence twice a week to participate in our innovative PD Bootcamp. An intensive eight-week program, PD Bootcamp only takes six participants at a time, providing Parkinson’s patients with in-depth education about their disease, disease management, and exposing them to over sixteen different types of exercise. This first group of ‘bootcampers’ was funded by a grant from the Connecticut Chapter of the APDA. Graduates they are, but we like to call them “warriors!” Read on learn why…

About the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Disease Center

Since the Parkinson’s Center launched in April of this year, the response from the Parkinson’s community has been overwhelmingly rewarding. “It’s been an amazing experience creating a formal program to provide vital Parkinson’s disease education, exercise programs, and support and resources. I am grateful to the entire Parkinson’s Center team for their tireless dedication. And of course, my congratulations go out to our first Bootcamp warriors who trusted in us and our program,” said Gigi Weiss, Director of RVNAhealth Rehabilitation Services and the Parkinson’s Center.

If you haven’t already heard about the Parkinson’s Center, check out our website and watch our spotlight video below!

PD Bootcamp…Dedication, Commitment, and Tools for Life

PD Bootcamp is designed as a small, intensive education and exercise program for those affected by Parkinson’s disease. Participants met together, with our RVNAhealth trained Parkinson’s specialists twice per week over the course of eight weeks. Our goal is to create relationships with our participants, deliver personalized education and plans, and equip them with the tools needed to live their best life.

Participants attended two exercise classes each week, with each class introducing them to a new type of exercise. Exercise classes included dance, boxing, Pilates, strength training, high intensity interval training, tai chi, and more! The goal in introducing so many different types of exercises is to help individuals find the exercise they enjoy most. “The only medically proven method of delaying the progression of Parkinson’s disease is exercise. So, what’s the best exercise to do? The one you enjoy and will keep up with!” says Kate Campbell, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Parkinson’s Center Program Manager. “Through our format, we really get to know these individuals and can best educate and guide them toward living their best life and taking control against their Parkinson’s.”

Bootcamp participants also attended a weekly educational session covering topics such as sleep, mental health, medication management, speech and cognition, and nutrition. PD Bootcamp workbooks provided reference materials and worksheets for individualized learning plans.

In the Words of Our Parkinson’s Disease Bootcamp “Warriors”

Thank you and congratulations to our first Bootcamp Warriors. We are grateful to share a few parting words from some of our graduates about their experience. If you have any questions about the Parkinson’s Center or its programs, please visit the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center website, join our newsletter subscription list, or email us at PCinfo@rvnahealth.org.

“Over the last year my PD has accelerated rapidly. Perhaps it is not noticed by others, but I can feel the loss of muscle, the exhaustion, each slur of words, every scuff of foot, forgetfulness, constant pain, and confused action. The only hope a Parkinson’s patient has to forestall a total and deliberate, debilitating decline into dependency is exercise. Fortunately, this RVNAhealth Bootcamp program addresses this and more! The RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center and its PD Bootcamp program demonstrates how to interweave exercise and information into your daily schedule. It is a lot to do – but it gives you control, and a confidence you cannot find elsewhere! This program helps guide those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease through the myriad of symptoms they must confront and gives them the knowledge and defensive tools needed to continue on and live a purposeful life.” – Barbara

“I just finished the PD Bootcamp at the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center. What a great program and what a great experience for someone like me who is relatively newly diagnosed. Kate, Andrea, and Meg led a thorough program that kept me engaged for the entirety of the program. You were so visionary in designing and offering this program. I am now more aware of my disease what I can expect and the things I can do to help me cope with the Curveballs of Parkinson’s. I hope you are able to include this in your regular programming because it is so needed.” – Joe.

 

Congratulations again to all of our first Bootcamp Warriors!

Are You Prepared? Advanced Care Planning 101

advanced care planning

This month, November, is Hospice and Palliative Care Month. In recognition, we strongly encourage all who haven’t initiated discussions about Advanced Care Planning to take advantage of November as a steppingstone. If you’ve already done your planning – congratulations on this important step – just be sure to review and update your directive to reflect any changes in your preferences or medical circumstances.

What is Advanced Care Planning?

Advanced care planning is a process that involves making decisions about your future healthcare preferences in advance, particularly if you become unable to make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity. The primary purpose of advanced care planning is to ensure that your medical care aligns with your values, beliefs, and personal preferences. It also helps reduce the emotional burden on your family and healthcare providers by providing clear guidance.

Key components of advanced care planning include:

  • Advanced Directive (also called Healthcare Directive or Living Will): This document allows you to specify your preferences for medical treatments, such as life-sustaining measures, resuscitation, and organ donation. It outlines the circumstances under which you want specific treatments or interventions and when you do not.
  • Appointment of a Healthcare Proxy or Agent: In some cases, you can designate a trusted individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. This person is often referred to as a healthcare proxy or agent.
  • Discussion and Communication: The process involves open and honest discussions with your loved ones, healthcare providers, and, if you’ve appointed one, your healthcare proxy. These conversations are crucial to ensure that your wishes are known and understood.

Resources for Advanced Care Planning

Creating an advanced directive is an important step in ensuring that your healthcare preferences are documented and followed when you cannot make decisions for yourself. There are various resources available to help you create an advanced directive:

  • State-Specific Forms: Most U.S. states have specific forms or templates for advanced directives that are legally recognized. These forms are usually available through state government websites, local hospitals, or legal aid organizations. They are designed to meet the legal requirements of your particular jurisdiction. Connecticut’s starting point webpage for Advanced Directives can be found here.
  • Online Resources: Numerous websites and organizations offer advanced directive forms and guides. Some popular resources include:
    • CaringInfo: This is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) that provides free state-specific advanced directive forms and information.
    • Five Wishes: This is a user-friendly advanced directive document that is accepted in most U.S. states. It goes beyond medical decisions to address emotional and spiritual issues. You can purchase a copy online.
    • AARP: The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers advanced directive forms and information that can be customized to your needs.
  • Consult an Attorney: If you have complex medical preferences or want legal advice, consider consulting an attorney who specializes in healthcare or estate planning. They can provide guidance, answer your questions, and ensure that your advanced directive complies with your state’s laws.
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (including RVNAhealth!): Many hospitals and healthcare providers have resources available to help you create an advanced directive. They may offer informational brochures, access to standard forms, or guidance from social workers or ethics committees.

Remember that creating an advanced directive is an important legal and healthcare document, and it’s essential to follow your state’s specific guidelines to ensure its validity. Be sure to share a copy of your advanced directive with your healthcare provider, family members, and your chosen healthcare proxy or agent, if applicable.

Contact RVNAhealth for More Information

Begin the dialogue regarding Advanced Care Planning by reaching out to our team at RVNAhealth. We’re here to assist you in starting these conversations proactively, without the urgency of a crisis. We provide informative materials to assist you, and our team members are available for discussions. Planning ahead is a choice that no one has ever regretted. In fact, it’s a precious gift you can give both to yourself and your loved ones. To learn more, contact us at 203-438-5555, or visit our website.

A Primer on Dementia and RVNAhealth Support Services

Dementia and Alzheimer's

While former President Jimmy Carter has made headlines about his current journey on hospice care, the former First Lady, Rosalynn, has also been notably in the news. In May of this year, the family announced that Mrs. Carter has dementia. Like her husband’s hospice news, the former First Lady’s diagnosis shines a further light of awareness on the topic of dementia and, in particular, on caregivers. Carter has been a long-term advocate for mental health and caregiving issues, including dementia.

Understanding the Basics…Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a broad term used to describe a group of cognitive impairments (including Alzheimer’s disease) that interfere with an individual’s daily life and functioning. It is not a specific disease itself, but rather a syndrome characterized by a decline in cognitive function beyond what might be expected as a result of normal aging. Common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulties with problem-solving, language and communication problems, and changes in mood and behavior.

What Causes Dementia?

There are various underlying causes of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. The exact cause of dementia depends on the specific type, but in general, it often involves damage to brain cells or a decrease in the brain’s ability to function correctly. This can result from various factors, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: Abnormal protein deposits in the brain, such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, contribute to cognitive decline.
  • Vascular dementia: Reduced blood flow to the brain, often due to strokes or small vessel disease, leads to cognitive impairments.
  • Lewy body dementia: Accumulation of abnormal protein deposits (Lewy bodies) in the brain.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: Degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to changes in behavior and personality.
  • Other causes: Dementia can also result from conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, traumatic brain injury, or infections.

The Statistics

Many find the staggering statistics around dementia surprising. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some of the statistics include:

  • One in three of seniors, ages 65+, dies with a form of dementia.
  • It is the fifth leading cause of death for older adults in the U.S.
  • Specific to just Alzheimer’s, the lifetime risk at age 45 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men.
  • In 2023, all dementias will cost the nation $345 billion and by 2050, costs could rise to nearly $1 trillion.

RVNAhealth Dementia offerings

Caregiving in the Dementia Equation

At the announcement of the former First Lady’s dementia diagnosis, the family stated “As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Mrs. Carter often noted that there are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

The Alzheimer’s Association estimated that in 2022, unpaid caregivers (family, friends, neighbors) provided an estimated 18 billion hours of care (or an average of ~26 hours/week) for individuals with dementia. While the impact and care needs for individuals affected by dementia are multifaceted, we cannot forget the needs of dementia caregivers. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be an emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging experience, and it can take a significant toll. It’s crucial for caregivers to prioritize self-care and seek assistance when needed to maintain their own health and well-being.

RVNAhealth Dementia Services and Support

Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning that symptoms tend to worsen over time. There is no cure for most types of dementia, but some medications and therapies can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia. Caregiver support and appropriate healthcare are crucial for those affected by dementia.

Early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference in managing the condition and improving the well-being of both patients and their families. RVNAhealth offers a variety of patient and caregiver support services for dementia. Please see some of our patient and caregiver support services below. Click here if you would like to join our dementia-specific mailing list for updates on RVNAhealth dementia education, events and support offerings. Or, if you have any questions, please contact us by email: intake@rvnahealth.org, or phone: 203.438.5555.

RVNAhealth Dementia Support Services:

  • Dementia Caregiver Support Group: In support of the challenges and needs facing the caregiving population, RVNAhealth offers a Dementia Caregiver Support group monthly, in coordination with the Alzheimer’s Association. Held on the fourth Monday of every month from 11:00am-12:00pm at the RVNAhealth Ridgefield office, the caregiver support group aims to create a safe, confidential, supportive environment and a chance for participants to develop informal mutual support and social relationships. They also educate and inform participants about dementia and help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems.
  • Personal Medical Alert Services: At the early stages of a dementia diagnosis, when round the clock care may not be necessary, a personal medical alert device can provide caregiver peace of mind for the health and well-being of a loved one. RVNAhealth offers a variety of in-home and on-the-go Lifeline device options.
  • Rehabilitation Services: Rehabilitation services help patients extend their independence in activities and speech.  Occupational and Speech Therapists help to stimulate cognitive and fine motor skills while providing practical tools to maximize activity, safety, and enhance quality of life.
  • Nutrition ServicesNutrition services for dementia, offered by our Registered Dietitian, are aimed at promoting appetite, healthy body weight, and positive engagement with food, while balancing each patient’s unique nutritional needs.
  • Private Duty Caregivers: Available as hourly or live-in, our private duty caregivers can provide a variety of non-medical personal and house-hold assistance based upon a patient’s evolving need.
  • Private Duty NursingProviding immediate access to care for medical needs and treatments not covered by insurance.  From medical care in the home, to medication preparation and administration, to peace of mind medical assessments and vital sign checks when getting to the doctor is too difficult – Private Duty Nurses provide immediate and customized care in coordination with a patient’s doctor.
  • Palliative & Hospice Care: For advanced dementia disease, palliative and hospice care with RVNAhealth provides in-home comfort care and peace to patient and family. An experienced team consisting of medical, social, spiritual, and family support volunteers bring their expertise and experience in dementia care to families and their loved ones.
  • Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) Program : RVNAhealth proudly offers Certified Dementia Practitioner training to its staff. CDPs are equipped with training and tools to help deliver appropriate and effective communications with patients. This additional expertise enables improved communication and assistance between our team, the caregiver, patient, and family.

 

Have You Seen Us? Thank You to Fairfield County Bank for the Billboard Space!

Thank you to Fairfield County Bank for donation of their billboard space to RVNAhealth

Thank you to Fairfield County Bank for generously donating time on their billboard space again. Next time you are traveling on I95 South past Norwalk, be sure to look up!  The Bank has been a loyal supporter of RVNAhealth for more than 25 years. Use of this billboard is another example of the many ways in which the Bank partners with RVNAhealth to support and help expand our services in the region.

RVNAhealth’s success has been gratefully supported over the years by the steadfast assistance by Fairfield County Bank, its dedicated staff, and board members. From financial services, insurance, and investments to invaluable counsel, guidance, and tireless volunteer efforts, Fairfield County Bank’s influence on RVNAhealth has been beyond measure. They are genuine allies and collaborators of our organization, and we deeply appreciate their unwavering dedication to our support of the well-being of the communities we serve.

Thank you Fairfield County Bank!

A Celebration of Health, Wellness, and Friendship at the 2023 Autumn Dinner

On September 30th, RVNAhealth held its annual Autumn Dinner at Silver Spring Country Club. Great fun was had by all, enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, scotch tasting, dinner, our amazing “Date Night for a Year” raffle, an exciting live auction, and heartwarming generosity in support of our vital programs and services. We are proud to offer home health and hospice care, Well-Child Clinics for children and families in need, and our Chronic Care program to help vulnerable uninsured and underinsured neighbors.

Jeanette Rizzo, this year’s impact speaker, shared a personal story about how RVNAhealth was “without a doubt, the best decision” she made when choosing health and home care for her mother. Her story highlights the very special bond that was created between her family and her mother’s RVNAhealth caregiver – a relationship which reflects the experience RVNAhealth strives to create for every patient and family member in their care.

Theresa Santoro, the President & CEO, delivered an inspiring address, underscoring RVNAhealth’s mission and both its commitment to and profound role it plays in the community’s well-being.

RVNAhealth serves a diverse range of people across 35+ Connecticut communities, from uninsured children to those in need of sports medicine, to elderly individuals with varying medical requirements, and those requiring end-of-life care. Mrs. Santoro highlighted the organization’s broad-reaching impact and its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all.

The evening’s program included a scotch tasting sponsored by Compass Box Whiskey, live musical entertainment by singer/songwriter Nick DePuy, and autumnal centerpieces generously donated by Mary Jones at Rodier Flowers. The charismatic Tom Pesce guided guests through an engaging live auction and paddle raise to raise funds in support of RVNAhealth’s mission.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the dedicated RVNAhealth staff, we extend our deepest gratitude to Jeanette Rizzo for her valuable contributions as the evening’s guest speaker, our sponsors and advertisers for their unwavering support, and every member of the Autumn Dinner committee for their tireless efforts, enthusiasm, and dedication in planning and organizing this unforgettable event.