Every day over 1,800 Veterans die, making up 25 percent of all deaths in the United States. Heart ‘n Home serves Veterans in several ways. In conjunction with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the VA, we work to ensure excellent end-of-life care is available for our nation’s Veterans and their families. Heart ‘n Home also guides Veterans through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending. We honor their service and provide support specific to their end-of-life needs and preferences. Heart ‘n Home understands that each Veteran is as unique as their individual military experience.
Heart ‘n Home is a level four We Honor Veterans partner, which is currently the highest level. There are four levels of distinction that can be achieved based on the involvement with Veteran education and interaction with the Veterans and family members we care for. The goal of these levels is to ensure the very best care is being provided to those who have served our nation. Because Heart ‘n Home is a We Honor Veterans partner, we are better prepared to build professional and organizational capacity to provide quality care for Veterans; develop and strengthen partnerships with VA and other Veteran organizations; increase access to hospice and palliative care for Veterans in our community; and network with other hospices across the country to learn about best practice models.
One of the special services is through Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteers. They are a committed group who participates in Veteran Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies as well as maintaining regular visits with the patients. Specialized care for Veteran patients’ starts right away when the Social Worker goes through the Military History Checklist with the patient.
Heart ‘n Home Social Worker, Cheri S., organizes our Veteran Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies in one of our Oregon offices. She shares, “It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s the most amazing experience when our Veteran patients are honored and thanked for what they did. For many, especially Vietnam War Veterans, this is the first time they are ever thanked. There’s a sense of relief. You can actually see a physical and emotional lift and increase in pride. When Volunteers come in uniform, you can see an immediate connection between the Veteran patient and Volunteer. They form an instant bond. Most times these Veterans have never discussed their service with family. I had a wife of a patient tell me her husband had never talked about it before.” Veteran Volunteers help Veteran patients to share parts of themselves that may have been hidden for many years.
Generally, it is the hospice team that gets the last opportunity to thank America’s Veterans and to provide them with Veteran-centric care that helps them find peace and comfort. Heart ‘n Home is honored to serve these individuals. If you are a Veteran and would like to see if hospice is right for you, please contact us today.
Public Relations Specialist
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care