Bethesda Hospice Care Earns Veteran Program’s Highest Level of Partnership

Leslie Schaeffer | August 20, 2015

Veterans have risked their lives serving our country, and we believe it’s never too late to give them a “hero’s welcome home” or acknowledge them for their service.

Throughout the United States, senior care professionals continually strive to better serve our Veteran population through the challenges they may be facing from:

In 2012, Bethesda Hospice Care joined the We Honor Veterans (WHV) awareness campaign conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Cindy Napoli, hospice LPN, honors a Bethesda Meadow resident on Veterans Day.

Serving Veterans through End-of-Life

By providing veteran-centered activities using practical resources, Bethesda has been able to progressively increase our ability to serve Veteran patients at end-of-life. Through ongoing veteran trainings, our hospice care team now specializes in their ability to identify the unique need of veterans and their families by focusing on:

As of July 2015, Bethesda Hospice Care achieved Level Four WHV Partner status—the highest level offered by the program.

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Angela Horton, hospice LPN, honors a Bethesda Southgate resident on Veterans Day.

Honoring Veterans Throughout Bethesda

Over the last 3 years, we have developed many new ways to honor and acknowledge not only our hospice veteran patients, but many other veteran residents throughout Bethesda and the community. Veteran’s Day Pinning Ceremonies and Memorial Day candle lighting ceremonies are two new rituals that we are very proud to provide.

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Hospice social worker, Laurel Willis attaches a lapel pin to a veteran resident during the Veterans Day ceremony at Bethesda Southgate.

Veteran Support Groups Offer a Safe, Friendly Environment

Veteran support groups are continuously offered by Bethesda Hospice Care within Bethesda’s communities, as well as in the general community. These groups provide an opportunity for Veterans to be honored and acknowledged for their service to our country.

Leslie Schaeffer, hospice veteran liaison, assists a Bethesda Orchard resident in lighting a candle for her deceased husband, a WWII veteran, on Memorial Day.

Leslie Schaeffer, hospice veteran liaison, assists a Bethesda Orchard resident in lighting a candle for her deceased husband, a WWII veteran, on Memorial Day.

They also provide an opportunity for Veterans to share their stories of courage in a safe environment in an effort to form new bonds within their community. Other activities that have been provided through these groups include:

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Veteran volunteer, Tony Cosentino honors a Bethesda Gardens veteran resident and his spouse on Veterans Day.

Providing Opportunities for Veterans to Volunteer

Lastly, we have determined the need to build a Veteran volunteer program to provide even better services to our veteran patients and their families. Veteran volunteers can provide a unique opportunity to care for other veterans during end-of-life, as they are part of a distinct culture with a common language and experience. Veteran volunteers have the ability to relate and connect with each patient, creating an environment where life review and healing may occur.

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Veteran Volunteers from the American Legion Post 404 participate in Bethesda Gardens’ Memorial Day candle lighting ceremony.

Want to become a Veteran Volunteer?

Call Bethesda Hospice Care at (314) 373-7025

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