Approximately 680,000 Veterans die in the US every year. That’s nearly 25% of all deaths in the country* Sadly, the majority of these veterans are not enrolled in the VA and so, may not be aware of end-of-life benefits and services available to them.
Every person that has served our country is unique. The men and women of the armed forces have put their lives on the line to uphold the freedoms we enjoy. They serve our country for many reasons, but most often, we hear it was a sense of duty to family and country that prompted their service.
The ProCare Hospice family is proud to honor all those who have served. As a family-owned and operated hospice, we understand the desire to protect and care for families. We celebrate families of all kinds. We know that the veterans who have committed to our country should be celebrated and cared for with the same commitment.
Veterans play an important role at ProCare. We employ veterans who understand what others like themselves have gone through, and the unique challenges only another veteran can comprehend. We set aside a special room for veterans in our facility to ensure each one knows how much we appreciate and honor their service.
We Honor Veterans
ProCare Hospice is proud to be a Level-Four partner of the We Honor Veterans Program. The program was developed by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal of the partnership program is to improve hospice care for all veterans across the country. The program focuses on education for hospice workers and volunteers, promoting hospice and public awareness of the veteran-centric needs at the end of life and increasing access and improving the quality of each veteran’s end-of-life care.
Through respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgement, hospice care providers are able to recognize a veteran’s unique needs at this vulnerable time and learn how to guide each veteran to a more peaceful end. Partners in the program work towards increasing their organization’s ability to serve veterans with compassion, understanding and dignity. Partners are also connected and help develop strategic resources within their community and promote activities that foster veteran-centric education and awareness. One of the activities we are most proud to participate in is our Veterans Recognition Ceremony
ProCare Hospice is family-owned and operated. Just as brave soldiers found pride in their service to our country, we find pride in our service to these veterans. We believe in treating these veterans as members of our own family. We work with the local VA and other community resources to provide each veteran with the care they and their family need during the end of life. Whether it’s navigating VA requirements or a simple, heartfelt “Thank you for your service,” our goal is to let these individuals know they are uniquely appreciated and their contributions will not be forgotten.
Veteran Recognition Ceremony
Did you know many veterans never discuss their military experiences or even their service records with civilians?
Military service is a proud tradition in our country. We honor that tradition and are proud to celebrate all that veterans have done for us. We know that each person’s sacrifices, large and small, have contributed to our way of life. We feel strongly that each veteran should know how much they are appreciated before the end of life. It’s what we want for the veterans in our ProCare family and we are committed to treating each veteran in our care as part of our family.
ProCare Hospice conducts Veteran Recognition Ceremonies to pay tribute to our veterans and acknowledge the sacrifices they and their families have made for our country. This special ceremony allows us, family members and loved ones to understand and appreciate the depth of service and sacrifice these men and women have given.
Our ProCare Hospice Veteran Recognition Ceremonies pay tribute to our veterans, and acknowledge the sacrifices they and their families have made for our country. This special ceremony allows us, gathered family members, and loved ones to understand and appreciate the depth of service and sacrifice these brave men and women have given.
During the Ceremony, each veteran receives a special We Honor Veterans Certificate of Appreciation. As We Honor Veterans participants, ProCare Hospice proudly recognizes and honors the service and legacy of our veterans. We appreciate their service and make sure to honor their legacy.
1. What special needs can veterans expect at the end of life?
Veterans can often face extreme physical challenges. Each war and conflict incurs a variety of long-term physical damage, such as reactions to chemicals, respiratory conditions and many, many others. Symptoms can increase exponentially at the end of life. For veterans who have lost limbs or mobility, age presents even more problems.
Mental and emotional effects often come hand-in-hand with physical ones. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most commonly-reported claims to the VA. The PTSD spectrum can range from manageable to severe and can impact a veteran’s wellbeing on every level. Over the years, we have seen anger, grief, guilt and fear intensify towards the end of a veteran’s life. These feelings can be especially overwhelming for those veterans who have seen combat.
Veterans may exhibit aggressive or compulsive behavior or express thoughts of self-harm. Veterans may have struggled with these difficult feelings for decades and at the end of life, these feelings can escalate.
When a veteran survives the loss of their friends or colleagues, a powerful feeling of isolation can manifest. The feeling that no one understands what they experienced can lead to worsening loneliness for veterans as they age. This can impact a veteran’s care throughout their final journey.
Our caring and professionally-trained staff, including those that are veterans themselves, can help. Even as they manage pain and symptoms for the patient, they help veterans work through these feelings by providing empathy, understanding, and support.
2. What about veteran families?
As with all ProCare Hospice services, families and loved ones are key to patient care.
Family members, especially if they have not served in the armed forces, may have difficulty understanding what their loved one is going through. Veteran-centered hospice care provides education to those families, along with counseling, that allows them to understand what their loved one is experiencing.
As with all the patients and families in our care, we strive to educate and support the loved ones around the patient, understanding the difficulties they face as a loved one ends their journey. We also provide grief and bereavement support, and have social workers knowledgeable about how to most effectively interact with the VA.
3. When should a veteran receive hospice care?
For many veterans, asking for physical help, much less emotional or mental help, can be counter-intuitive. These individuals have been trained to be self-sufficient warriors. After years of caring for themselves, even if they have family, to suddenly need to depend on others or equipment can be mentally and emotionally devastating. We know from years of experience with our veteran patients that this is not an easy transition.
All hospice patients deserve dignity and respect. Veterans may need additional time to build trust with a care team where they can fully benefit from the resources available. We know the cost of service to our country can be great and can never be fully repaid. However, we are committed to making sure each individual veteran is able to receive the care they deserve.
We encourage veterans eligible for hospice to explore their options as soon as possible, to allow them the time to feel comfortable with what hospice is, who their care team is and to get the most out of hospice care.
* NHPCO Webinar Tuesday, September 20, 2011