Celebrating and Serving Our Veterans

Hospice Care of the West is dedicated to celebrating and serving veterans.

Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the lives and life experiences so many men and women dedicated to secure the liberty and protect the freedoms that unite us all as Americans. In honor of the their service, Debbie Robson, the Executive Director at Hospice Care of the West, is on a mission to give the viagra online canadian pharmacy service these veterans and their families deserve with a guide to access the benefits and care that will preserve their quality of life today and heritage to pass on to the next generations tomorrow. The inspiration came when reading Deborah Grassman’s book “Peace at Last: Stories of Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families.”

The time has come in our nation’s history when one in four Americans are veterans in need of care to ensure their dignity in life’s last chapter. Debbie is focused on shedding light on this transitional time in the lives of veterans.

Dee J. Valentine, a Hospice Care of the West patient, receives the flag from the Military Color Guard at his 100th birthday life celebration. Courtesy of Michelle Miller

Every patient who enters service at Hospice Care of the West is asked if he or she has ever served in the military. If the answer is yes then the nurse goes through the Military History Checklist that helps fine tune and tailor a plan of care for the veteran. Debbie and her team have come to recognize that each veteran depending on when and where he or she served in war actually have a unique set of needs. The military history checklist is just one of the many resources from the organization We Honor Veterans that equips hospice professionals with necessary information and resources to better serve veterans. She and her team at Hospice Care of the West have gone through training to understand post traumatic stress syndrome and evaluating veterans’ physical and psychosocial care through the lens of past war experiences. This knowledge prevents any misunderstandings in caring for the veterans who may encounter mental troubles. Nurses and the entire hospice care team are proactive in ensuring peace and comfort for the veterans and their families.

Often veterans who served in combat struggle with their life review which happens naturally to each one of us facing the end of life, but can be traumatic when vivid scenes of conflict arise in one’s mind. A life review is when a person relives moments from the past in the present. In most cases this is very uplifting and enlightening experience as a person takes stock of his or her life, but sometimes points of conflict, guilt and regret come up. The social workers, nurses and spiritual care coordinators at Hospice Care of the West have been trained to recognize and bring peace to these restless moments. On the same note, volunteers at Hospice Care of the West, video record the veteran’s life stories in a life review interview that is edited with pictures and music then given as a gift to the families. See a sample of John Marting’s life review interview and a recent life review story on Mary Burchard, a rare woman pilot who served in World War II.

Aside from the day-to-day care and support Hospice Care of the West provides, Debbie and her team also have a network of folks they work with to connect Veterans to the resources that will help honor their end of life journey.

Honor Flight is a special organization flying Veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. This tour of honor that includes flight and trip accommodations is a gift given to Veterans near the end of their lives.

H3 Assist, a company specializing in home care, can help veterans stay in their homes longer with government assistance. Often veterans want to stay at home and can receive financial aid to make that last wish a reality. Read the story of a veteran who is 100 years old and living at home. This assistance can also be applied to an assisted living facility if that is where the veteran and his or her spouse have chosen to live.

Dignity Memorial created a Veterans Planning Guide. Courtesy of Dignity Memorial

Dignity Memorial has a special Veterans Planning Guide that helps servicemen and women celebrate their lives and their service to America. They arrange for veterans to obtain lost medals, dog tags and service papers.  The Veterans Planning Guide also provides military families with the

benefits and access to funeral honors such as folding and presenting of the American flag and Taps performance. Dignity also gives a flag case and medal case to preserve these honorable heirlooms for veterans. Planning the ceremony in advance will not only take the burden off the family, but also helps veterans to know how the legacy of their service to America will be honored at the end of their life and live on in the hearts and minds of their loved ones.

“Hospice Care of the West is honored to serve the men and women who have served our country,” said Debbie Robson, Executive Director of Hospice Care of the West. “With these resources, we can identify our veterans and create a peaceful, comfortable environment to celebrate their lives in the company of family and community.”

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