If your senior loved one is a Veteran, you may be looking for a skilled nursing community that is well-versed in caring for Veterans. Bethesda has partnered with We Honor Veterans, a nationally renowned awareness campaign coordinated with National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The campaign is designed to improve care for Veterans living in skilled nursing communities.
Here’s why choosing a skilled nursing community that specializes in veteran care would be beneficial for your Veteran loved one:
Providing Unique Care to Veterans
Veterans often require different methods of interaction as a result of their life experiences and the respect they’ve earned serving our country. Depending on when and where they served, Veterans have different needs to address. For example, senior Veterans who served in WWII will have a different set of health risks than Veterans who served in the Cold War.
A skilled nursing community that recognizes these unique needs will help your senior Veteran cope with any challenges they may face, like depression and isolation. Staff should be knowledgeable about recognizing the differences between depression and dementia in senior veterans and understand how to appropriately address it.
Support Through Veteran Groups
You should also look for a skilled nursing community that offers support groups for Veterans. These groups promote “community” among senior Veterans and give them a comfortable, safe environment to promote companionship and talk about their lives. Support groups also have special ceremonies to recognize their service, as well as volunteering opportunities to help their communities give back.
Compassionate End-of-Life & Hospice Care
Veteran care should also include compassionate end-of-life and hospice care. Staff who have been trained in Veteran end-of life or hospice care recognize that Veterans, especially those who saw combat, may have things they wish to talk about during their last days. Staff should discuss what is best for your Veteran loved one and know their wishes. They can also help you begin end-of-life conversations and find a veteran end-of-life or hospice program if that is what your loved one wants.