Making Every Moment Count For Our Veterans
Thursday, November 11 marks Veterans Day 2021, a national holiday honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. We care for many veterans in our hospice care services in Santa Clara and elsewhere. We recognize the sacrifice made by our beloved veterans who fought for and died for our great nation, which is why we believe wholeheartedly that our still-living veterans must be treated and cared for with dignity, compassion, and respect.
While many view Veterans Day as a day off from work and school, it’s really so much more than that. For many veterans and their families, it’s a time of somber reflection and commemoration.
It’s critical that we celebrate the memory of our veterans’ service, both active service and retired, dead and alive, with memorable activities and gestures. Pathways is proud to be a We Honor Veterans hospice partner. We know how hard our veterans have fought for our country. Our hospice veterans are now truly battling the biggest fight of their lives, and we want to make every moment count. That’s why we do our best to connect them with the best home health care, palliative care, and hospice care possible.
We are also very sensitive to veterans’ needs, as they face unique challenges that range from PTSD to traumatic injuries, and are mindful of the branch of service, age, rank, combat status, and length of service. And because veterans in our care, due to their long history of toughing it out on the battlefield, are often more stoic than our other patients. This requires extra care and diligence to individualize their services.
Tips on How to Honor Our Veterans
You may be wondering what you and your family can do to make Veterans Day more special. This may be tough this year if your loved one is in hospice, but you can include them in ability-specific activities, and do the rest on your own with your family. Here are some tips:
- Plan a Flag-Raising Ceremony. If your hospice facility has a flagpole outside, plan a flag-raising ceremony to raise the flag, and play the bugle call at the same time. Check out the Veterans Day flag etiquette guidelines here.
- Play an Army-Navy Game or Air Force-Marines Game. Choose a popular floor game such as bowling or shuffleboard and invite the various military branch veterans to compete against the other. Winner gets bragging rights.
- Host a Veterans Day Speaker. Schedule a local veteran or two who can share their military stories with other residents or with your family members.
- Form a Veterans Story Circle. Visit with your veteran and others throughout the facility to encourage them to reminisce and share stories about their time of service. Focus on one topic, such as the day they were drafted or the day they returned home after service.
- Attend a Parade. Attend or participate in a local Veterans Day parade, enjoying the ceremonies, decorative floats, music, and flags.
- Organize a Care-Package Party. Assemble care packages for troops overseas.
- Make Paper Poppy Boutonnieres & Corsages. A great craft project with your senior loved one: make paper poppies to use as boutonnieres for the guys and corsages for the gals.
- Make Thank You Cards. Gather your kids and create thank you cards for veterans using paper and markers.
- Visit a Cemetery: Honor a fallen hero with a visit to your local cemetery, placing flowers and flags on veteran graves. Here are national cemeteries with designated veteran areas: VA National Cemeteries.
- Have a Moment of Silence: Pause for a moment of silence at 3:11 p.m. local time to reflect on their service and sacrifices of our veterans.
- Visit a Veteran’s Hospital: Make cookies or cards with your kids and bring them to a local VA hospital.
- Volunteer: There are many ways to volunteer your time, money or clothing to show your appreciation.
- Go on a Virtual White House Tour: You can tour this iconic landmark virtually.
- Shop Veteran-Owned Businesses: Here are some veteran-owned shops to visit on Veterans Day.
- Spend Quality Time With Your Loved One: Visit your veteran loved one in hospice. Spend some time listening to their favorite music, reminiscing about stories growing up, asking them about their service, and just enjoying each other’s company.
Here at Pathways, we do our part to celebrate the service and sacrifice of our veterans. Our social workers can connect them with community resources designed for their unique needs. Plus, we partner with local VA facilities to provide care for this significant portion of our hospice population. We recognize our veterans every Veterans Day with a pinning ceremony in honor of their service to our citizens and our country. They are awarded an Appreciation certificate and Veteran pin with an inscription reading: “PROUDLY SERVED.”
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
To inquire further about how Pathways cares for veterans in our hospice care program, or to gain more information on our We Honor Veterans team, please contact us at 888-978-1306.