Changing Roles of Veteran Care
By Tamera Whitlow, LVN, USAF
Our veteran hospitals are overwhelmed, and our aging veteran population is increasing with wars closer together. Today we are caring for those from World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran-Iraq War, and Afghanistan War. Veteran patients used to go to the VA for support, now taking care of the veteran patient at home is the new normal for home health and hospice programs. The need for expansion of home health and hospice programs outside of the VA is exploding.
Today home care clinicians are the new resources for the veteran and their family. The clinician not only provides health care, they must also be efficient with assistance in filing the appropriate paperwork to help access veteran benefits. Home-Based Primary Care is the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Program to care for frail, medically complex, elderly veteran patients in their home setting. This program is unique to the VA but different than the Medicare/Medicaid home health and hospice programs.
The Home Hospice team provides professional medical services cultivating a plan of care that best meets the requests and needs of veterans and families. The plan focus is to keep the patient independent as long as possible and give the veteran and family access to multiple services: 24/7 on-call registered nurse, social workers, personal care aides, and other needed staff. We provide remarkable pain and symptom management and are equipped to give veterans the best care. We offer spiritual support from our chaplain and bereavement programs that help the family as they grieve after loss.
When people see a veteran, they say “Thank You” for your service, often not realizing the veteran wants to tell their story as they NEED to share it at the end of life. At Home Hospice we recognize this need and offer a Vet to Vet Volunteer Program. We realize that fellow veterans form a camaraderie based on common life experiences, respect and trust with admiration for a Veterans’ Phenomenon life review. Veterans share a common language: code of conduct and honor. Home Hospice pays a very special tribute to veteran patients by placing our American Flag upon the veteran as he or she leaves their home for the final time to ensure that no veteran dies alone.
If you would like more information on veteran programs offered by Home Hospice, please contact Tamera Whitlow, LVN, USAF at 940-868-9315 or 903-868-9315.