America’s veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country, and it is never too late to acknowledge their heroic service. That’s why the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a program called We Honor Veterans to encourage hospice agencies to take part in respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement of veterans in life’s final journey. 

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care focuses on quality of life and managing pain and symptoms, rather than curative treatment. At the center of hospice care is the belief that everyone has the right to die pain free, with dignity, and that your loved ones deserve the necessary support to allow you to do so.

Hospice provides personalized services and a caring community to provide emotional and spiritual support, such as social services, spiritual services, bereavement support and help with household duties or errands.   

What Is We Honor Veterans?

When your hospice agency participates in the We Honor Veterans program, it receives educational tools and resources that help advance these goals:

  • Promote veteran-centric educational activities
  • Increase organizational capacity to serve veterans
  • Support development of strategic partnerships
  • Increase access and improve quality

Each hospice agency receives a star rating on how integrated their services are with these goals. Kindred Hospice proudly takes part in the We Honor Veterans program.

How Is Hospice Care Different for Veterans?

Hospice professionals in We Honor Veterans locations are trained to support veterans and their loved ones through the unique needs associated with the stresses of military life.

When a veteran is admitted, the hospice team inquires about the veteran’s wartime service, the branch of service, whether the veteran served in combat and whether the veteran is eligible and enrolled with the VA to receive benefits. These questions are asked because post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, financial and benefit concerns and other unresolved issues can affect the end-of-life process for both veterans and their loved ones. To help veterans live all the days of their life to the fullest, special support is provided for their unique situation and experience.

At Kindred, our volunteers and staff, often with military experience or backgrounds, are empathetic, responsive listeners. In addition, they can help celebrate important holidays in military anniversaries – often coordinated with local veterans’ services and community organizations. For the veteran’s family and loved ones, we offer a full range of bereavement programs and published resources as well as support groups and memorial services.

This unique program offers a specific, tailored care plan to our nation’s heroes. If you have questions about hospice services or the We Honor Veterans program, please call 1.866.KINDRED to speak to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By Caroline South