By Colleen Brock
It may surprise many people that 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are veterans.
The nation is seeing many veterans who served in World War II and Korea pass away and the number of Vietnam veteran deaths also is on the rise.
In partnership with We Honor Veterans, Yolo Hospice works to provide care and support that reflects the important contributions made by these men and women. We Honor Veterans is a campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
As a We Honor Veterans partner, Yolo Hospice has implemented ongoing veteran-centered education for its staff and volunteers to improve the care provided to the veterans they serve. In addition, Yolo Hospice is helping to educate the community about VA home care and burial benefits, which veterans may not be aware of. Yolo Hospice is also recruiting veterans who are interested in volunteering.
The We Honor Veterans campaign provides recognition to organizations that demonstrate commitment to improving care for veterans. Organizations can assess their current ability to serve veterans and — using resources provided — learn how to integrate the best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans. By recognizing the needs of our nation’s veterans facing a life-limiting illness, Yolo Hospice is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful end.
In cases where there might be specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Yolo Hospice will find tools to help with support.
“All hospices are serving veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Through We Honor Veterans, we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.
“VA shares a common goal with our nation’s hospices, and that is to provide the best possible care specifically tailored for veterans, meeting their goals of care in their preferred setting. As we focus on working together and unite our services and skills, We Honor Veterans will channel our combined strengths directly to veterans — wherever they are receiving care.”
— Colleen Brock is a public relations and philanthropy consultant for Yolo Hospice; this column is published monthly.