VNS Health offers specialized hospice care for veterans and their families. Our program is available to all eligible veterans — no matter their illness, military branch, combat status, era of service, or Veterans Administration (VA) enrollment status.
VNS Health is the only hospice provider that serves all five boroughs of New York City and has earned Level Five status with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is the highest level a provider can be awarded and shows our commitment to those who have served our country.
How Can Hospice Care Benefit Veterans?
If your loved one is in need of hospice care, you want to feel confident about the care they receive. VNS Health provides the right level of care and support veterans need as their care needs increase. It is focused on treating their physical and emotional needs — not curing their illness.
Veterans have dedicated their lives to our country. When they need hospice care, they deserve not just excellent care but also any extra support they may be entitled to from their military service, especially if they have any “service-connected” conditions.
Our dedicated veterans’ liaisons can help veterans and their families access supplemental VA benefits, such as additional home health aide support, treatment under VA health benefits, and additional primary care services.
When working with hospice veterans, it’s important to remember that many have already faced life and death situations. Many veterans experience difficulty in inquiring who or where to ask for help during their time of need. Our team is committed to never leaving a fallen comrade and to helping them and their loved ones access our quality services.Joseph Vitti, VNS Health Veterans Outreach Director and US Army veteran
The goal of hospice care is to improve quality of life and reduce hospice visits by:
- Reducing pain, nausea, and other symptoms caused by illness
- Supporting caregivers and families, including reducing their worry
Keep in mind — hospice is not “giving up” at the very end. Instead, it offers your loved one the comfort and dignity they deserve in the familiar place they call home.
Hospice care gives veterans and their families the chance to make the most out of their time together. It takes away the stress of unneeded hospital stays, and it reduces the panic and anxiety that some symptoms may cause.
In short, hospice offers you and your loved one the tools to live life to the fullest extent possible.
Why Do Veterans Need a Special Hospice Program?
Veterans can benefit from hospice due to many illnesses. However, veterans hospice care can also help with unique medical issues that may result from military service, including:
- Service-related injuries and illness
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Survivor’s guilt
- Substance use problems
- Effects of exposure to chemical agents, such as radiation or Agent Orange
What You Can Expect from VNS Health Veterans Hospice Care
VNS Health has the knowledge and tools to provide specialized care to veterans of all branches of the military and their families. Whether you’re a patient or a caregiver, you can benefit from the extra level of support from hospice care services.
VNS Health’s expert team members can also advocate for veterans and their families, hold special recognition ceremonies, and plan military memorials. Our veterans liaisons listen to veterans’ stories and can guide them through the sometimes upsetting memories that may occur at the end of life.
If you are a patient, here’s what you can expect from VNS Health Veterans Hospice Care:
- Medical care related to your hospice diagnosis
- Personal care according to your care plan
- Emotional support and spiritual care, especially for PTSD, MST, guilt, and depression
- Help with issues specific to veterans, such as applying for VA benefits and recovering medals or discharge papers
- Assistance with potential VA benefits, such as funeral and burial VA benefits
- Equipment and medications delivered to your home
- Hospice comfort pack for emergencies, which contains medications for sudden symptoms like trouble breathing or sleeping
- Other services, as necessary
If you are a caregiver, here’s what you can expect from VNS Health Veterans Hospice Care:
- Education on how to care for your loved one and what to expect
- Help with making decisions about care
- Round-the-clock access to a hospice nurse through VNS Health’s caregiver helpline
- Emotional support and spiritual care to help you cope with your own feelings and support other loved ones
- Support with family issues
- Respite care, which allows you to take a break or attend an important family event, knowing your loved one is in good hands
- Grief support for 13 months to help you and your family through important milestones and anniversaries
Is Veterans Hospice Care Covered by Insurance?
Yes, hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and most private insurance companies. Veterans must have received an honorable, other than honorable, or medical discharge to qualify. In most cases, they must have been on active duty for at least 24 months.
Note that VA benefits may vary. In general, benefits for combat or wartime veterans are not based on income. However, peacetime veterans’ eligibility may be income based. Benefits for veterans of the reserves and/or the National Guard will vary as well.
Veterans Home Care
Home care for veterans who have served our country.
At VNS Health, we have programs that help veterans navigate the health care system as they age.
Comfort, relief, and peace of mind — that’s what you can expect with VNS Health Hospice Care.
Emotional Support & Spiritual Care
Emotional support and spiritual care for hospice patients and their families and caregivers.