Veterans Day is November 11, and because one day isn’t enough time to honor our vets and the sacrifices they’ve made, November 9-15 is Veterans Awareness Week. Old photos showing family members in uniform will fill social media feeds as tributes to all those who have served our country, both at home and abroad.

For all the reverence American society shows its veterans, however, the Veterans Administration reports that only four percent of veterans receive its services upon passing. Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties believes that a life of service should be honored even in its final days. This is why we’re a member of the Hospice Veterans Partnership, collaborating with Castle Point VA Hospital to provide palliative care to our heroes.

Alongside the Castle Point team, we manage symptoms and provide additional services that meet the unique needs of veterans. In some cases where a family is unable to care for the veteran at home, we have been able to arrange admission to the Castle Point palliative care inpatient unit.

Beyond our work with the partnership, Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties has created a veteran-centered organization by educating staff and volunteers on the specific needs of patients who have served in the Armed Forces, building organizational capacity to provide quality care for veterans, and strengthening relationships with VA medical centers and other veteran organizations. These efforts have earned us the top-tier status of Community Partner Level IV within “We Honor Veterans,” a campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We’re proud of such recognition, but more important is our mission of recognizing the service of our patients. To that end, we honor all veterans in Hospice care with a special ceremony of their choosing. Each honoree is presented with a pin, framed certificate, a patriotic lap quilt/blanket, and a card from a child thanking them for their service.

To learn more about Hospice care for veterans, click here.