As the nation honors those who defended our freedoms through their military service on Independence Day, it’s important to remember that they also deserve recognition and compassionate care when dealing with a serious illness. Crater Community Hospice is honored to deliver Veteran-centric care to those who served our country.
As a We Honor Veterans hospice provider, Crater Community Hospice is providing specialized care to Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs created We Honor Veterans to empower hospice and other healthcare providers across America to meet the unique needs of seriously ill Veterans and their families.
Many Americans do not realize that 1 in 4 of all deaths in the U.S. are Veterans. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year. 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. We see our patient demographics closely matching this national figure. With a quarter of all Crater Community Hospice families having served in the U.S. Armed Forces, we are committed to serving and honoring veterans with hospice support that acknowledges their service and sacrifice.
We do this in several ways, including educating our clinical professionals on an on-going basis to provide individualized care to patients with a history of military service and their specific needs. We also work collaboratively with the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center and McGuire VA Hospital, and provide Veteran-specific resources in our library.
But one of our most important programs is recruiting and training Veterans to provide specialized volunteer services to Veterans. If you are a Veteran we invite you to become part of this Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program. The program aims to pair Veteran volunteers with Veteran hospice patients. Veterans are part of a distinct culture with their own common language and experience. When Veterans interact, their common language and experience can form a strong relational bond. The camaraderie created between Veterans has proven to be supportive for all involved. Once paired, Veteran volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with each patient that has been proven to be supportive for all involved.
- Assist Veterans in telling their life stories
- Take part in Pinning Ceremonies and other recognition events
- Offer companionship, support, and friendship by visiting as little as one a month
Comprehensive training is provided to all volunteers and Veteran Volunteers will receive additional training with Veteran-specific content. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Teresa Brockwell at TBrockwell@cratercommunityhospice.org or call 804.526.4300 to learn more about this rewarding opportunity.
As we celebrate our nation’s heroes this 4th of July – and every day of the year – we must not forget that it is never too late to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s Veterans. 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.
If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice and palliative care brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about the services that hospice and palliative care can provide. Contact us at (804) 526-4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the ways we support our nation’s heroes.
To all our nation’s Veterans, thank you.
Brenda D. Mitchell, RN
CEO, Crater Community Hospice, Inc.