Thank Our Veterans: Especially at End of Life

It’s Never Too Late to Say ‘Thank You’ to Our Nation’s Veterans: Even at the End of Life
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care Recognizes and Honors Veterans Every Day, Every Time

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military. These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

Heart ‘n Home wants to share its commitment to increase Veterans’ access to compassionate, high-quality hospice and palliative care for those who are facing serious and life-limiting illness.  As part of this commitment, Heart ‘n Home is a part of an innovative program, We Honor Veterans, developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through We Honor Veterans, we are ensuring that our organization is equipped to address the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans.

It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year – or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually.  A generation of World War II and Korean War Veterans are facing end-of-life care decisions now, and they are quickly being followed by younger Vietnam War Veterans, many of whom are confronting serious illnesses at an even earlier age.

The liberty that we, as U.S. citizens, enjoy comes at a price paid by these valiant men and women. Let each of us make sure we do our part to recognize and support them throughout their lives.

If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice and palliative care brings, please reach out and help them learn more about the services that hospice and palliative care can provide. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we support our nation’s heroes.

To all our nation’s Veterans, thank you.

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An Unforgettable Salute From a Veteran

Although I was excited and looking forward to a morning full of recognizing our nation’s heroes, I never imagined the everlasting impact that a seemingly simple gesture would have on me.  When Veteran’s Day arrived, Ed, one of our amazing Emmett Hospice Volunteers (also a Veteran) met myself and Sandie Turner, Volunteer Coordinator/Program Representative at the office so that we could prepare for our deliveries. Our first stop was at our patient, David’s house.  He was on services with us for over a year and had recently experienced a significant decline. During this most recent decline the care team grew especially close to David and his family. Upon our arrival we were told that David was still in bed sleeping and had been for the past couple of days. We contemplated waking him, but after discussing with his family we all decided that David deserved recognition for his service.

Upon entering his room with his family, we found David resting comfortably. Even after David woke he was lethargic and despite his best attempts, had difficulty speaking. I introduced everyone to David and explained our reason for visiting him; to thank him for his invaluable service to our country. At that time, Ed placed David’s card in his hand and Sandie and Gretchen, David’s daughter, assisted him in choosing a patriotic pillowcase that was carefully folded into the shape of the flag. Throughout this time it was difficult to tell if David could comprehend what was going on.  As we prepared to leave Ed thanked David one last time, pulled his hand up to his forehead and saluted David. At that time, it was clear that David knew exactly what was going on and what was to be an unforgettable salute began. David slowly raised his hand to his forehead and returned salute and mouthed, “Thank you.”

Once we were done we said goodbye to David and stepped out of the room with David’s family. We were all silent and there was not a dry eye as we gathered ourselves and stood in the realization of the truly incredible moment we had just had the privilege of witnessing. As we left David’s home to make our next delivery, Ed, Sandie, and I were still in awe.  We recognized the gift we had been given when we thought we were the ones that were giving gifts that day.

Just three days later we learned that David passed away. Upon hearing the news I felt sad, but I also felt grateful that we had the opportunity to thank David for his service to our country and affirm his life one final time. Thank you David, we will never forget you.

-Written By Cherise Wetzel-Burrow, LMSW, Heart ‘n Home Medical Social Services

Specialized Care Available for Veterans and their Families

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As Americans pay tribute to our nation’s heroes this Veteran’s Day, November 11, Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care will be quietly providing the best possible end-of-life care for Veteran patients and their families. Their “Veteran-Centric” care, delivered by a team of trained professionals, is tailored to address unique needs, concerns, and goals as they relate to the Veteran’s individual service experience.

Heart ‘n Home, recognized as a Level 4 (highest) “We Honor Veterans Partner” by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, makes it a priority to keep the patient comfortable, teach the family to provide care, and offer emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families. “All hospices are serving Veterans, but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO President and CEO. “Through ‘We Honor Veterans,’ we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve Veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.”

Currently, one in four Americans facing end of life is a Veteran. That’s 1,800 people a day; more than 680,000 Veterans a year. They have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and some may have never gotten the welcome home they deserved. At Heart ‘n Home, they believe it is never too late to give our Veterans a hero’s welcome home.

Contact Heart ‘n Home today at 1-800-HOSPICE, if you or a Veteran you know is in need of additional healthcare support. You may also visit www.goHOSPICE.com/veterans.

 

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Multiple Generation Family of Veterans/Service Members

A LEGENDARY CUSTOMER SERVICE STORY

“As a Hospice Social Worker, I have had the pleasure of meeting many Veterans who have proudly served our country as well as honor them with Veteran certificates in a pinning ceremony. I recently had the chance to partake in a special pinning ceremony  – one which touched my heart in a unique way by a special family.  The patient is Jim and in his immediate family are FOUR other members who have and/or are currently serving in the military; Kevin (Navy), Steven (Army), April (Army), and David (Navy).

After coordinating with the family and the help of the Red Cross, Jim’s grandson, David, was flown in to see him. Although this was quite costly and time consuming, the family was able to make it happen and Jim was elated. For one special day, Jim had all of his family around him; his two sons, two grandsons, and their families.  The look of pride and joy on his face was priceless. The family was gracious enough to let us share in this day and honor Jim and his family members with a pinning ceremony. Larry, a Heart ‘n Home Volunteer, pinned the family members as I read the card and thanked Jim and his family members for their service. My eyes welled up with tears. Jim beamed with pleasure and pride.

This reminded me of the importance of not taking life for granted and making the best of moments we have with our families. Even in small ways, can make a big difference in our lives and others.” – Mandy P., LMSW, ACHP

“Thank you for your brave service to our country.  There are not enough words strong enough to show our appreciation for your incredible sacrifices out of love and devotion to this country. We honor you now and always.” – Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care Staff

Veteran Services at Heart ‘n Home

Accessing Hospice Care for A Veteran

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