As they near the end of life, many veterans look back on their military service with honor and pride. Others’ experiences were negative or traumatic, and some find it very important to resolve those feelings before they die.
When you enroll in hospice care, Agrace staff will ask about military service to learn if you are entitled to hospice benefits through the VA. We also want to know whether and how your experience in the military affects you and your end-of-life goals. This helps us to address your service in a way that feels right to you.
To help our caregivers understand the unique needs of veterans, Agrace nurses, nursing assistants, social workers and spiritual & grief counselors receive training from the Madison Vet Center about:
military culture, war history and experiences;
how military service affects a veteran and family;
trauma responses, including guilt, anxiety and fear at the end of life;
how to address moral injury; and
how to make veterans feel safe, affirmed and supported.
Recognizing Veterans for Their Service
Our patients who are veterans are recognized with certificates of service and pinning ceremonies, because they’ve earned this honor! On Veterans Day, ceremonies at Agrace are held to honor veteran patients—as well as our volunteers, staff and family members who have served.
These activities and more are coordinated by our Veterans Task Force, a group of staff, volunteers and community veterans who lead Agrace’s efforts to support veterans receiving end-of-life care.
Agrace also participates in We Honor Veterans, a collaboration between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help improve the care veterans receive from hospice and palliative care providers. Watch the video here to learn more about the We Honor Veterans Program.
Visits with Other Veterans
Many veterans enjoy spending time with other vets, to reminisce about the old days or talk about a life only another person with military experience would understand.
Through our Vet-to-Vet Volunteer Program, Agrace matches veteran hospice patients with volunteers who have a military background and schedules time for the two to get together. We’ve found that understanding a common code of honor builds trust in these conversations. It’s another way Agrace personalizes your care.
Are you interested in volunteering with veterans at Agrace? Get started here.
See what our Vet-to-Vet volunteers say about their experience with veterans, below.
“I believe veteran patients and their families inherently trust another veteran, based on mutual willingness to make the most supreme sacrifice, swear to protect the country and uphold the U.S. Constitution. ”
— Mike F., Vet-to-Vet Volunteer
“For many combat veterans the trust they build with another veteran allows them to process painful military memories that are meaningful, but cathartic to share. ”
— Mike F., Agrace volunteer
Partnering to Serve Veterans
Agrace coordinates with local veterans’ centers to both teach veterans about hospice care and to learn about veterans’ needs as they age.
We partner with the VA Hospital in Madison, which helps make it easier and smoother for veterans to transition between hospital, home and hospice.
Our social workers can help coordinate with Badger Honor Flight and VetsRoll to help veterans who wish to see the Washington, D.C. memorials built in their honor.
Ask Agrace about Services for Veterans
Do you have questions about hospice VA benefits, Badger Honor Flights, VetsRoll or Vet-to-Vet volunteer visits? If you or your loved one has already enrolled with Agrace, please ask your care team for assistance.
Not a patient? Please contact our Enrollment Team with your questions. It is our honor to serve those who served our country!