Considerations for Care of Veterans

Our nation has designated the month of November as the 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.

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 program provides resources for the nation’s hospice organizations to learn about appropriate care, education and specialized services for veterans facing end of life.

Veterans in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Sumter, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties in Florida and Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Hall counties in Georgia have benefited from Cornerstone Hospice’s participation in this initiative.

When a veteran patient comes into Cornerstone Hospice’s care, the hospice team will develop a care plan with the patient’s military service in mind. The Cornerstone team has access to many resources that address the various and specialized needs of veterans and their families and will enlist them to enhance the level of care.

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. 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 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.