Meeting the needs of our nation’s heroes at the end of life

Categories: In The Media.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the We Honor Veterans program join the nation in honoring and celebrating our Veterans this Veterans Day. Veterans with serious illness have unique needs at the end of the life.

There are over 4,500 We Honor Veterans partner programs across the nation, committed to providing Veterans with the Veteran- centric care and resources they deserve. We Honor Veterans partners address both physical and emotional needs, including the psychological toll of war and how it impacts the end-of-life journey.

“We honor and thank America’s Veterans and the over 4,500 We Honor Veterans partners that have made a commitment to provide quality Veteran-centric care to our nation’s heroes living with serious illness,” says NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “Now entering its eighth year, We Honor Veterans continues to grow amongst hospice programs, community-based healthcare partners, and non-hospice community partners.”

NHPCO, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, created the We Honor Veterans program to empower hospice and other non-hospice community partners across America to meet the unique needs of seriously ill Veterans and their families.

Partners engage in activities including utilizing a military history checklist at admission, pinning ceremonies and certificate presentations, as well as outreach to other community organizations. We Honor Veterans partners in partnership with VA staff, learn how to accompany and guide Veterans through their end-of-life journey toward a more peaceful ending.

In 2017, over 27,000 hospice staff (some duplicate) participated in We Honor Veterans training programs across the country. Hospices reported that they reached over 26,000 participants in community outreach at venues which include but are not limited to churches, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities.

There are four levels of distinction that partner programs can earn based on their involvement with Veteran education and interaction with the Veterans and family members they are caring for. The goal of these levels is to ensure the very best care is being provided to those who have served our nation.

As we celebrate our nation’s heroes this Veterans Day – and every day of the year – we must not forget that it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home.

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