Veterans Hospice Care
For those who answered our country’s call, we’re here to help you answer your final call. At the end of life, many Veteran patients on hospice care need support with medical, emotional, spiritual and psychological conditions that may differ from a civilian hospice patient.
The We Honor Veterans Program is a collaboration between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Together, their mission is to “ensure that veterans receive the best quality care in the best possible manner and setting while honoring veterans’ preferences.”
Hoffmann Hospice is proud to be a Level Five Partner with the We Honor Veterans Program, showing our dedication to fulfilling this mission and serving our local Veterans.
- Individualized plan of care for each Veteran patient on hospice care and their families
- Coordination of care with the VA and other healthcare organizations
- Veteran to Veteran Volunteers; including partnership with The Wounded Heroes Fund
- Assistance with determining VA benefit eligibility for Veterans and spouses
- Education regarding Veteran burial benefits and the National Cemeteries
- Support with Veteran resources within the community
- Assistance with the Honor Flight Kern County application
- Honorary pinning ceremonies
- Welcome Home Ceremonies for Vietnam Veterans
- Veteran Cafes held at Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Military culture and training (battle mind)
- Specific war
- Trauma (physical and mental wounds)
- Service related diseases, Illnesses and conditions
- Specific needs of Veteran populations
- Cold injury
- Exposure to nuclear weapons
- Chemical warfare agent experiments
- Nuclear testing
- Agent orange exposure
- Hepatitis C
- Exposures to smoke
- Chemical or biological agents
- Depleted uranium exposure
Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom
- Combined penetrating, blunt trauma and burn
injuries (blast injuries)
- Traumatic brain or spinal Cord injury
- Mental health issues
- Vision loss
- Traumatic amputation
- Multi-drug resistant acinetobacter
- Depleted uranium exposure
Connecting Veterans and Celebrating Their Finest Military Hours
After learning that two of our Veteran patients on hospice care, Raymond Zuniga and Richard Hoegh, were not only WWII veterans but fought during the same time in the same area of Europe, Hoffmann team members offered to bring the two together for a luncheon so they could meet and share their stories. The two were thrilled to say the least.
During the luncheon Raymond Zuniga said, “ It is wonderful to finally be able to speak with someone who understands and believes what I went through.” Both Raymond and Richard spoke of how they saw and experienced horrible things during the war and yet the countries and people were “so beautiful.” They expressed their deepest gratitude to Hoffmann Hospice for arranging the luncheon and for honoring them with a certificate for their service and a formal “We Honor Veterans” pin provided by Hoffmann Spiritual Counselor Mason Wren.
The experience was even more impactful for the Hoffmann Team. They shared that it was amazing to see two people who have never met have such an immediate connection and camaraderie. Mason said, “ It’s hard to find words to describe the meeting of these two veterans…the intensity of their stories, the openness of their hearts, the connection they shared…it was one of those special experiences in life when time seems to slow and even the silence between words speaks of the beauty in each moment. To listen to two men who went through such darkness and yet with humility hold on to what is still beautiful in life push on towards the good is unforgettable.” Raymond Zuniga passed away on September 15, 2014.
Raymond Zuniga (left) Richard Hoegh (right)
Hoffmann Hospice We honor Veteran’s Pinning Ceremony
Hoffmann Hospice conducts Pinning Ceremonies throughout the year at local senior living facilities. Pinning Ceremonies give us the opportunity to honor our Veteran patients and other Veteran residents of the facilites. Our staff and guest speakers acknowledge the service of these fine men and women and provide each with an honorary pin from the We Honor Veterans program while the spouses receive a red carnation.
At the end of life, many Veteran patients on hospice care need support with medical, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs that may differ from a civilian hospice patient. These include needs dependent upon the specific war that they served in, trauma they experienced, service-related diseases and the needs of homeless veterans. The Hoffmann Hospice teams, some of which are veterans and veterans’ spouses along with Veteran to Veteran volunteers, receive continued training so that they are able to meet the unique needs of veterans and their families. Most importantly, the hospice team has a genuine compassion for veterans and that compassion led Hoffmann Hospice to meet their goal of receiving the highest level within the We Honor Veterans program of the U.S. Department of Veterans and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
The Veteran to Veteran program at Hoffmann Hospice is an elite group of male and female volunteers who are veterans. They volunteer their time to specifically help veteran hospice patients and their families by providing companionship and caregiver relief. Veteran patients usually feel a higher level of connectedness with a veteran volunteer and enjoy the camaraderie. The most valuable benefit to a veteran at this season of his life is the opportunity to share military stories with another veteran as often as they can. Veteran volunteers also participate in veteran community events to maintain partnerships in the community and maintain awareness of all veterans’ services and resources.
Once the doctor agrees that hospice would be a good choice for your loved one, Hoffmann Hospice has a team that will come together and create a plan of care. This personal care team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, hospice aids, and volunteers. The team will provide comfort care for pain and symptom management, medical equipment, medications, social services, and 24 hour access to hospice nurses so you’re never alone.
Yes, you may be eligible for veteran benefits. Your Hoffmann Medical Social Worker will ask you several questions in order to connect you with VA benefits. They will also help you obtain and complete the necessary paperwork which will determine if you are able to receive Aid and Attendance Benefits or other resources you can receive.