Hospice of Siouxland received a grant from the National Rural Health Resource Center to develop a care coordination model that effectively serves the unique health care needs of a Veteran requiring end-of-life care.
Through this project Hospice of Siouxland has implemented an innovative model for serving Veterans at the end-of-life called the Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program. The Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program aims to pair recruited Veteran Volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as Veterans. Once paired with hospice patients who also have military experience, Veteran Volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with each patient, thereby creating an environment where life review and healing may occur.
Veterans are a part of a distinct culture with their own common language and experience. When Veterans interact, their common language and experience can form a strong relational bond. The camaraderie created between Veterans has proven to be support for all involved.
Also through this project Hospice of Siouxland has been able to provide enhanced staff training on the unique needs and challenges of Veterans who are facing end-of-life. Hospice of Siouxland has been able to work with the Veteran’s Administration to better help patients access benefits available to Veterans on hospice care.
“Hospice’s mission is to provide comfort and support at the end of life” says Linda Todd, Hospice of Siouxland executive director. “By understanding the challenges our Veteran patients are facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience, we are able to better serve our patients. Veterans have done everything asked of them to serve our country and we, at Hospice of Siouxland believe they deserve the best care we can give them.”