We Honor Veterans Program (WHVP)
Gentle Transitions Hospice is a Level One Hospice Partner
We implement key aspects of the We Honor Veterans Program into our care model, including:
- Military History Checklists for all Veteran patients, so we can understand each patients'
- Veteran to Veteran Peer Volunteer Program
- Veteran Benefits training for staff to ensure that all available VA resources are being used to enhance patient and family care
Mission and Purpose
The mission of WHVP is to establish an enduring network of hospice and VA professionals, Veterans, volunteers, and other interested organizations working together to provide quality services through the end of life for Veterans. The purpose of WHVP is to provide leadership, technical assistance, and program development recommendations aimed at:
- Improving Veterans’ access to hospice and palliative care across all sites and levels of care to assure that every Veteran is able to receive hospice care at the time and place of need
- Strengthening the relationships between community hospice and VA facilities
- Initiating comprehensive end-of-life community engagement plans designed to reach
Hospice-Veteran Partnerships have successfully created an enduring network of hospice and VA professionals, Veterans, and other interested organizations providing quality end of life services for Veterans. WHVPs were developed to ensure Veterans receive the best quality hospice and palliative care, whether in the community or through VA. WHVPs were created to address confusion about Veteran hospice benefits; issues were related to both VA and hospice organizations being unaware and uninformed about one another, and a lack of communication between VA and various community partners. Over the past 10 years, WHVPs have been able to strengthen and create relationships between hospices and VA facilities, thereby allowing Veterans to easily access quality hospice and palliative care services. To learn more about WHVPs, visit www.WeHonorVeterans.org/hvp.
Comforting Veterans at the End of Life
At GENTLE TRANSITIONS HOSPICE, we understand that each veteran is unique, but that veterans share a common experience regardless of when and where they served. The rigors of military training, the bonds developed among service members, long separations from family and loved ones, and the stress of combat are all part of the veteran’s experience. Whatever their experience, whether they served in active combat or not, sustained military trauma or not, our goal is to make sure every veteran patient near the end of life is comfortable, maintains their dignity, and feels as safe as possible.
Honoring Veterans’ End-of-Life Needs
Veterans may exhibit certain clinical and psychosocial issues more often than other hospice patients. In some cases, symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arise at the end of life. Sometimes other symptoms mimic those of PTSD including:
Hyperarousal and agitation
We know the value of validating veterans’ emotional concerns. GENTLE TRANSITIONS HOSPICE has the expertise to help patients and their families work through these issues. We respond appropriately to challenging clinical issues while placing patients’ feelings first.
Understanding Veteran Patients
Our hospice teams receive ongoing training to help them better understand and address the issues faced by veterans and their families. In addition, GENTLE TRANSITIONS HOSPICE’ veteran volunteers play a valuable role, capable of listening, understanding, and empathizing in ways even family members can’t.
While it’s never possible to change the past, it is possible to change a veteran’s relationship with it—and to make their end-of-life journey more peaceful.
To learn more about hospice care for veterans, call 254-598-1389