Resources / Hospice Care for Veterans

Hospice Care for Veterans

Hospice care improves comfort and quality of life for patients with a terminal diagnosis. This is a benefit covered by Medicare/Medicaid and most private insurance provided wherever patients call home. The care St. Croix Hospice provides includes a personalized plan to meet each patient’s individual needs and wishes.

Hospice care plans are created specifically to meet the unique needs of veterans. St. Croix Hospice also offers a variety of specialized programs including a Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer program which includes specialized support for hospice patients with a military background. We work to connect you with a volunteer who has a common service history. Through this program, veteran volunteers and hospice patients form unparalleled bonds through their shared experiences.

Benefits of the Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program:

  • Camaraderie that supports positivity and trust.
  • Shared language and experiences that create strong bonds.
  • Unique companionship that decreases loneliness.

End of Life Care: Hospice for Veterans

Common conditions veterans may face near the end-of-life include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Presumptive diseases
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • PTSD
  • Depression

Common signs it may be time for hospice:

  • Increased hospitalizations or ER visits
  • Progressive weight loss
  • More needed assistance with activities of daily living, e.g. personal care

Specialized Veterans Programs

At St. Croix Hospice we recognize the unique needs of veterans. Our commitment to honoring veterans is reflected in services provided such as:

  • We Honor Veterans program
  • Quilt of Valor program
  • Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer program
  • Veteran pinning ceremonies
  • Coordinated care with the VA

Understanding VA Hospice Care Benefits

To be eligible for VA benefits, you must be a veteran, a veteran’s dependent or a surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran. The VA hospice benefit covers all hospice care, medications and supplies relating to your primary hospice diagnosis.

How to Apply for VA Hospice Care

Hospice care is a part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits package; therefore, all enrolled veterans are eligible if the clinical need for hospice is met. More information about VA hospice benefits can be found here.

How Can Veterans and Their Families Benefit from Hospice Care

St. Croix Hospice provides guidance and support for each patient and family’s unique hospice care journey through at-home hospice services or anywhere you live. Hospice can be beneficial to both veterans and their families through the multidisciplinary care team. This care team includes clinical, spiritual and social support:

  • Registered Nurses coordinate and provide clinical care and education for patients and families.
  • Hospice Aides assist with patients’ personal care and provide caregivers a respite.
  • Social Workers identify community resources for additional support.
  • Chaplains support the personal beliefs and spirituality of each individual.
  • Bereavement Counselors provide grief support to families for up to 13 months after a loved one’s death.

How to Enroll in Hospice Care

You can request a hospice referral from your loved one’s primary care provider, but a physician referral is not required. Anyone, including a family member, may make a hospice referral.

Enrolled veterans are entitled to this service only if they meet the clinical need for service. A patient’s eligibility must be confirmed by our clinical care team who review medical records while determining a life expectancy of six months or less. When a patient is found eligible during the assessment the hospice benefit details are explained. The patient and family can then determine if they want to move forward.

Hospice helps people with advanced illness live life to the fullest in the time they have, with a focus on comfort and quality of life. Contact St. Croix Hospice 24/7 at 855-278-2764 for a complimentary consultation.