We Honor Veterans

One out of four Americans who need end-of-life care is a veteran.  To meet the unique needs of former service men and women, RiverStone Health Hospice Services participates in We Honor Veterans, a national campaign created by The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The approach emphasizes respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement of an individual’s military service.

It is a privilege to serve those who have served our country. RiverStone Health Hospice Services staff receives specialized training on service-related illnesses and conditions, including handling trauma and other physical or psychological needs.  We realize that the effects of military service may continue for a lifetime. Some veterans who have coped well in civilian life may experience increased combat-related psychological pain as they approach the end of their life.

Each branch of service and each era of military history has its own unique culture. We respect those differences. Some veterans may need coaxing to talk about their military experiences, assuming that no one really cares anymore.

When possible, we try to pair veterans with hospice volunteers who have also served their country. The common bond sometimes encourages an immediate connection and comradery between them as they share stories. Our volunteers provide companionship, emotional support, transportation and brief respite time for caregivers.  The connections enrich the lives of both volunteers and patients.

Our social workers also provide veteran-specific services, including connecting veterans with local Veterans Administration staff, help them to secure VA benefits, and offering emotional support for the veteran and their family.