Visitors are always a bright spot when you are not feeling well. Even more special is a visit from a very large soft dog who patiently allows you to pet his soft thick fur and look into his understanding eyes.
Vikahn and Yulee were a father and son team of a breed called Leonbergers, very very large dogs, who have worked as hospice companion volunteers along with their owner Vic Neumann at the Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association. Sadly, the dad Vikahn recently passed away from age related disease. He was an amazing dog who provided so much love to many. Vikahn even provided comfort to the families in Newtown following their school tragedy.
Yulee is now visiting solo, following well in his dad’s footsteps and providing companionship to the homebound, hospice patients, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, nursing facilities and schools. He brings fond memories of patients’ own pets and the enjoyment of his company is obvious on the faces of those he visits. He often calms those who are upset and brings company to the lonely.
Leonbergers weigh up to 170 lbs. and can be over 30” tall. They are a lush-coated giant breed of German origin and have a gentle nature and serenity well suited to providing companionship in many situations. They truly enjoy the companionship and attention and will sit or stand patiently enjoying the moment. Yulee is so tall that patients can pet them right at their bedside and his gentle nature encourages interaction with all people. All dogs who visit hospice patients need to be certified pet therapy dogs and Yulee is certified through Therapy Dogs International.
The VNA is now offering blood sugar testing along with our other community health services of blood pressure screening and seasonal flu shots. As high blood sugar can often go undetected, these free clinic tests can be a key in preventative health care. View our Calendar at http://farmingtonvalleyvna.org/wp/events/h. (Fasting for 2 hours prior the test is recommended.) Why should you get tested?
Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. When something goes wrong—and cells aren’t absorbing the glucose—the resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, possibly setting the stage for dangerous complications. High blood sugar causes no obvious symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your blood sugar tested if you are at risk for diabetes. That includes people who are overweight, physically inactive, have high blood pressure or have a family history. A single high blood sugar test isn’t enough to diagnose diabetes, because blood sugar can spike if you are sick or under stress. But if repeated tests are elevated, it’s a sign you have a problem. The good news is that catching it early—before you have signs and symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, dry itchy skin, or difficulty concentrating, can help you get treated and avoid serious complications down the road. The VNA is here to help. So please stop in to one of our clinics.