Did you know that of all the Americans who will die this year, one in four are veterans? As the nation honors these American heroes for their military service on Veterans Day, November 11, it’s important to remember that they also deserve recognition and compassionate care when dealing with a serious or 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 non-hospice community partners across America to meet the unique needs of seriously ill Veterans and their families.
WHV partners address both physical and emotional needs, including the psychological toll of war and how it impacts the end-of-life journey.
“Through We Honor Veterans we are helping healthcare professionals and volunteers better understand and serve Veterans at the end of life,” said Edo Banch, NHPCO president and CEO. “Hospice and palliative care providers are committed to caring for these men and women who have served our nation with the dignity they deserve.”
Within the WHV program, there are five levels of distinction that partners 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.
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. In some cases, veteran patients are paired with volunteers who have also served their country and share a unique and honorable bond.
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.
Learn more about the ways organizations can honor our nation’s Veterans at www.WeHonorVeterans.org.