Today, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran.
These men and women often carry experiences from their military service that present unique challenges at the end of life. Across America, hospice professionals are stepping up to build their skills and accept the mission to serve our nation’s veterans. Hospice of Lenawee proudly participates in this mission and has committed to the We Honor Veterans program. The program teaches respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement – to comfort patients with a history of military service and possibly physical or psychological trauma.
As the We Honor Veterans program is a program of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and the Veterans Administration, it is designed to empower hospice professionals to meet the unique needs of dying veterans. The Hospice-Veteran partnership is part of the national network providing leadership, technical assistance and program recommendations at the state level in order to:
- Improve veterans access to hospice & palliative care across all site and levels of care.
- Strengthen relationships between community hospice agencies and VA Facilities.
- Raise awareness about veteran’s end-of-life care needs & options.
How it works…
When a Veteran is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness by his or her VA healthcare provider or physician, the Veteran and/or family member should discuss care options and goals of treatment. As the need arises, the VA healthcare provider or physician may make a referral to Hospice of Lenawee. We will evaluate the Veteran’s needs and coordinate services that are available to the Veteran through the VA and other local Veteran service organizations.
In addition to being trained to support the Veteran’s needs and coordinate services for them and their family, Hospice of Lenawee will often facilitate a pinning ceremony. The ceremony allows for the Veteran to be recognized in front of loved ones for their dedicated service to our country.
In addition, Hospice of Lenawee has also implemented our “Veteran-to-Veteran” Volunteer Program. This program allows for our Veteran patients to be paired with a volunteer who, through their own service to our country, may have a better understanding of what the Veteran has experienced.
Although no medical care is provided by our volunteers, the program offers a host of services that are not only helpful to our patients, but also very meaningful. If you are a Veteran and interested in becoming part of our “Veteran-to-Veteran” program, contact us at 263-2323.