Considerations for Care of Veterans
Last updated 1/10/2021 at 11:39am
November is designated a time when American's recognize our nation's veterans for their service. Throughout the month, communities schedule special ceremonies to honor the men and women who have served in the military.
While these honors are important, many may not realize that veterans could have emotional and physical service-related conditions that require consideration beyond expressions of gratitude.
For example, veterans who served in World War II experienced different battle scenarios and health risks than those who served during the Vietnam War or even the more recent Middle East conflicts or Afghanistan. Such risks could lead to various medical conditions that present years later.
Many veterans keep their military experiences to themselves, so families and caregivers are in the dark about their loved ones' service-related needs.
With one out of every four Americans dying being a veteran, it is beneficial that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization have partnered to create We Honor Veterans. This specialized program provides resources for the nation's hospice organizations to learn about appropriate care, education and specialized services for veterans facing end of life.
Hospice agencies can try to reach We Honor Veterans partner levels which demonstrate an organization's success at implementing veteran-focused services internally and in the community. When a veteran patient comes into the care of a We Honor Veterans partner, the hospice team will develop a care plan with the patient's military service in mind.
Polk County veterans have benefited from the mission of the partnership. Cornerstone Hospice, a We Honor Veterans Four Star partner, conducts special ceremonies to honor veterans. Each honoree receives a certificate, a commemorative and a heartfelt salute. In some cases, it's the first time a veteran has been thanked for his or her military service.
The Polk County community should know there are numerous resources available to help veterans, but each citizen can do his or her part by thanking a veteran, no matter the time of year.