An Interview with Day Away Directors

Fran Olson, Day Away Administrator, and Sandra Coleman, RN, Day Away Nursing Director interview with Bill York of Live Free Health Care in Meredith, NH and Member of the Steering Committee for Day Away.


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A Daughter’s Thank You to Day Away

Sheila and her husband Mike at a family get together at Day Away

 As a New Hampton resident I would like to take this moment to express my family’s gratitude that all of you have taken time in your life to put together the Day Away Program in Bristol, NH.  The Day Away Program allows a place for people to go and have stimulation and interaction with others.  It also gives a caregiver a day to get things done or just enjoy their time alone.  As a nurse, I know that caring for a family member can be a twenty four hour, seven days a week job.  This program you have developed is a great idea and has provided fun for people in our area.  When we were told by the neurologist to find more stimulation for my mother, living in a rural area this task seemed like a futile request. Miraculously we found out that you were starting this fun Day Away Program under the church at the foot of Newfound Lake.  My mom has been attending your program from day one.  My mom was a very social person and this allows her to have the appropriate social interaction she needs.  When I see the craft that she has made at the program that week and I ask her if she made it she always smiles. She may not remember that she made it but by the smile she has, I know she had a good time.  Thanks to people like all of you who dedicate your time to helping others, our rural community is a greater place to live.

Thank you,

Denise Stewart

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Second Year Anniversary, Christmas Party and Open House

Christmas TreeDay Away is holding its second anniversary, Christmas part and open house on Thursday,December 10th at 3:00 p.m. in Simard Hall at Our Lady of Grace Chapel, 17 West Shore Rd., in Bristol.  Public, families, volunteers and sponsors are all invited to attend.  Light snacks and refreshments will be served.  This is a great opportunity to come by and see what our wonderful program has to offer.

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Therapy Dogs at Day Away


Sheila , Linda and Max during one of his visits

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and well-being of both. While many of us intuitively understand the benefits of positive interactions with animals in our lives, an emerging body of research is recognizing the impact the human-animal bond can have on individual and community health.  Whether it is pet ownership that gives us cause to exercise, offers an antidote for loneliness and gives us loving companions to care for, or animal-assisted interventions that improve motivation to participate in treatment and lessen worry, anxiety and pain, we recognize that animals can influence not just our happiness but also our health.(

At Day Away, participants enjoy socializing with new friends, light exercise, crafts, games, visits from local musicians, and therapy dogs.  On any given Thursday Max and his handler Karen Downing come to Day Away and participants look forward to his visits.  Many of the participants have dogs of their own, or have had dogs in the past so visits from Max makes their day even more enjoyable and Max loves coming!  Thank you Max for making us smile!

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Day Away Volunteers Prepare Fall Harvest Meal

harvest dinner

Day Away volunteers prepared and served a Fall Harvest Dinner for the program’s participants recently.  The dinner consisted of fresh cooked turkey, vegetables and gravy.  Volunteers brought homemade pies which were served as the dessert. Earlier in the day, the participants painted pumpkins as their craft.

The Day Away Program is privileged to have such a great group of talented volunteers.  We are open Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in Simard Hall at Our Lady of Grace Chapel in Bristol, NH serving families in the Lakes Region who are caring for loved ones with all types of early onset dementia. Volunteers serve in many capacities:  being a one on one companion, helping with exercise, arts and crafts, meals, special events, fundraising, steering committee members, leading music, bringing their therapy dogs and much more.  If you would like to join us as a volunteer sharing your talents and bringing joy to our participants and families contact Fran Olson at 603-744-6828 or  There are currently openings available.  Participants thoroughly enjoy their Day Away and it gives caregivers a much needed, and deserved, day of rest.

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Day Away Receives Grant from Meredith Village Savings Bank

Day Away Program Receives Grant from MVSB PhotoThe Day Away Program held in Simard Hall at Our Lady of Grace Chapel in Bristol was selected as one of twenty-one local non-profit agencies to receive a grant from the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (MVSB Fund) this year.  The program will use this $2,500 donation to help offset the cost of employing a licensed Registered Nurse to oversee the program.

Day Away was designed to provide a period of respite for the caregivers of individuals in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s Disease or related Dementia.  This respite gives caregivers the opportunity to have a needed break from constant care for a loved one, as well as a safe and fun day for the participant.  Eligible participants spend the day with trained volunteer companions and enjoy a variety of social activities, including crafts, exercises and games, visits by local musicians and poets and enjoy the company of therapy dogs, and all activities are overseen by a licensed Registered Nurse.“Providing constant care for a loved one can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming for a family caregiver,” said Fran Olson, Founder and Administrative Coordinator for Day Away.  “This program gives local caregivers the opportunity to take some time for themselves to recoup, while having the peace of mind of knowing their loved one is in capable hands.”Day Away is a nondenominational program open to all residents within the Lakes Region. The program is sponsored by Holy Trinity Parish and supported by Newfound area churches. The program is held on Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm at Our Lady of Grace Chapel in Bristol, NH. There is a minimal fee which includes a light lunch and cost of the craft.  Volunteers are always needed for morning and afternoon shifts.  For more information about Day Away Program, please contact 603-744-6828 or

MVSB established the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund in 1997 under the leadership of John Starrett who was then president and CEO of the Bank. Since then, 269 grants totaling $1,071,067 have been awarded to a wide range of environmental, social, educational, and historic projects throughout the Greater Lakes Region and Plymouth areas. Over the years, the Fund has supported literacy programs, after-school programs, environmental monitoring and education, restoration of historic structures, organizations that provide support for individuals and families in challenging circumstances, and equipment that helps save lives.   The deadline for consideration for the next grant cycle is October 15, 2015. Applications are available on the Bank’s website and at all MVSB offices.

Meredith Village Savings Bank, founded in 1869, is an independent mutual savings bank with 11 offices serving individuals, families, businesses and municipalities in the Lakes Region and the Plymouth area. The bank and its employees are inspired by MVSB’s core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and stewardship. These values are intrinsic to every decision made at the bank and are illustrated by the high priority they place on trust, quality service, and commitment to community support. MVSB strives to make the communities it serves a better place to work and live. More information can be found at


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Day Away holds Volunteer Tea




The Day Away Program celebrated National Volunteer Week, by treating all their volunteers to a “Tea” at the Minot Sleeper Library. Libby Danahy provided a backdrop of piano music. Specialty teas were served by steering committee members, and a wide variety of food was enjoyed by all. National Volunteer Week occurs annually for one week in April. Organizations across the USA plan special volunteer work projects and recognize their volunteers, who contribute so much to the success of their programs.The Day Away Program is privileged to have such a great group of talented volunteers. Volunteers serve in many capacities: being a one on one companion, helping with exercise, arts & crafts, meals, special events, fundraising, steering committee members, leading music, bringing their therapy dogs, and much more. If you would like to join us as a volunteer, sharing your talents and bringing joy to our participants and families, call Fran Olson 744-6828 volunteer tea

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Day Away hosts movie “Still Alice” at Minot-Sleeper Library, Bristol, NH


Saturday, June 13th, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

Minot-Sleeper Library, Bristol, NH


Movie Showing with light refreshments, followed by a panel discussion to address questions, regarding memory loss, Alzheimer’s Disease, related dementias and caregiving challenges. This program is sponsored by the Day Away Program that meets at Holy Trinity Parish in Bristol, and serves the Newfound area. The panel will include Fran Olson, social worker and Administrator of the Day Away program, Sandra Coleman, RN Director of the Day Away Program and Dr. Dana Merrithew, Speare Primary Care.

For more information call Rebecca Herr 603-744-6526.


Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Also starring Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish.

-Winner of an Academy Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)
-Winner of a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Julianne Moore)
-Winner of a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julianne Moore)
-Winner of a SAG Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)
-Winner of a Critics Choice Award for Best Actress (Julianne Moore)

Based on Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart! Look for Lisa Genova’s next novel Inside the O’Briens.

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