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Hospice Care for Veterans

hospice care for veteransVNSNY’s Hospice Care for Veterans Program offers specialized care to veterans and their families. Our program is available to all eligible veterans, no matter what disease they have, which military branch they served in, or what their combat status is. VNSNY is the only home hospice provider that serves all five boroughs of New York City and has earned Level Five status with We Honor Veterans. That is the highest level and shows our commitment to those who served our country.

How Can Hospice Help Veterans?

Home hospice care provides the right level of care and support a person needs as they get sicker. It focuses on treating physical and emotional needs rather than on curing a person’s illness. The goal is to improve quality of life and reduce hospital visits by:

  • Reducing pain, nausea, and other symptoms caused by the hospice diagnosis
  • Supporting caregivers and family members and reducing their worry

Hospice care is not “giving up” at the very end. Instead, it offers your loved one the comfort and dignity they deserve—in the familiar surroundings of wherever they call home. Home hospice care is available to patients for several months. Many patients and families find the services so valuable that they wish they’d started hospice care sooner.

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Hospice care gives patients and their families the chance to make the most of their time together. It takes away the stress of unneeded hospital stays. It reduces the panic that some symptoms can cause. In short, hospice offers you and your loved ones the tools and support you need to live life to the fullest extent possible.

Why Do Veterans Need a Special Hospice Program?

Veterans often have medical issues that result from their military service, such as:

  • Service-related injuries and illnesses
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Survivor’s guilt
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Effects of Agent Orange

Veterans can be admitted to hospice care with any illness. Veterans with advanced COPD or heart disease are encouraged to seek clinical care from VNSNY’s COPD Hospice or Cardiac Hospice  programs.

What Can You Expect from VNSNY’s Hospice Care for Veterans Program?

VNSNY Hospice has expertise to provide specialized care to veterans of all branches of the military and their families. Patients and caregivers in this program get home hospice care services and an extra level of support. As a hospice provider with Level Five We Honor Veterans, we have special training to address the needs of combat veterans from all wars (with a focus on Vietnam War–era veterans) and to deal with service-connected disabilities among all veterans of the United States military.

In addition to the care team members that all hospice patients have, veterans care teams include liaisons who are veterans themselves. They understand how being in the military, especially in combat, can affect a person. Liaisons listen to each veteran’s story and can guide them through upsetting memories that may surface at the end of life.

Our expert staff can advocate for veterans and their families, hold special recognition ceremonies, and plan military memorials.

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What Patients in VNSNY’s Hospice Care for Veterans Program Can Expect

  • Medical care related to their hospice diagnosis
  • Personal care, as determined by the care plan
  • Emotional support and spiritual care, especially for PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and depression
  • Help with issues specific to veterans, including applying for Veterans Administration benefits and recovering medals or discharge papers
  • Equipment and medications  delivered to the home
  • Hospice comfort pack for emergencies
  • Other services, as necessary

What Caregivers of Patients in VNSNY’s Hospice Care for Veterans Program Can Expect

  • Education about how to care for your loved one, what to expect, and what to do in an emergency
  • Help with making decisions about care
  • Round-the-clock access to a hospice nurse through VNSNY’s caregiver help line
  • Emotional support and spiritual care to help you cope with your own feelings and support your children or others
  • Support in resolving family issues
  • Guidance with practical matters
  • Respite care, which allows you to take a break or even attend an important family event knowing that your loved one is cared for
  • Grief support for 13 months, to help you and your family through milestones and anniversaries

Is Hospice Care Covered by Insurance?

Yes. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, and most private insurance companies.

Note that Veterans Administration benefits vary. In general, benefits for combat or wartime vets are not based on income. Peacetime veterans’ eligibility may be income based. Vets must have received an honorable, other than honorable, or medical discharge to qualify. They usually must have been on active duty for at least 24 months.

For More Information 

Please call us at 1-212-609-1900 and ask for VNSNY’s Hospice Care for Veterans Program. Our professional staff will answer your questions and give you the information you need to get connected with care.

About We Honor Veterans

The We Honor Veterans program is a joint effort of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

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