May 23, 2023 | BY SARA BUMGARNER
Many community hospice providers have implemented an innovative model for serving Veterans at the end of life – 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. Establishing a Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program is also a criterion for hospices accomplishing We Honor Veterans Partner Level Three, which VNA has accomplished.
As a We Honor Veterans Partner, there are five levels an organization can achieve. Moving through the partner levels increases our knowledge and capacity to serve the Veterans in our community. It also demonstrates that VNA is making an active commitment to Veterans and can provide Veterans with compassionate care that is specific to their needs and goals.
What is the importance of Veteran Volunteers?
- Volunteers are essential to the delivery of quality hospice care.
- 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 supportive for all involved.
What activities can Veteran Volunteers do?
- Assist Veterans in reminiscing/telling life stories.
- Educate and assist patients in receiving Veteran benefits.
- Take part in pinning ceremonies or distribute certificates for Veterans Day and other recognition events.
- Assist in replacing lost medals.
- Provide transportation (based on organizational policy).
For more information and to view a short video about the Veteran-to-Veteran program, visit Volunteering – We Honor Veterans
Are you a Veteran or know a Veteran who would be a good fit for this volunteer role? Contact Volunteer Services at 772-978-5553 or email Sara Bumgarner at firstname.lastname@example.org.