Physicians and healthcare professionals can be confident that their military veteran patients will receive hospice care from OASIS that meets their unique end-of-life medical and psychosocial needs, supports their families, and honors their service.
Our commitment to veteran patients and families at OASIS is embodied in a simple but powerful concept: Every Day Is Veterans Day at OASIS.
All OASIS team members, from clinicians to volunteers, are trained to inquire about a patient’s military service and experiences at the time of admission.
We make certain that veterans receive:
- Medical care that is specialized
- Emotional assistance
- Spiritual assistance
- Disease-specific therapies, such as respiratory therapy, massage therapy, and others
- Front porch salutes and bedside salutes
- Pinning ceremonies
We believe that the families of veterans are critical to the care plan. They are assisted with:
- Grief, both anticipatory and posthumous
- Funeral arrangements and memorials
- Navigating the military benefits system and obtaining well-deserved military benefits
What are you looking for?
It’s not easy, but the medical treatments you’d prefer near the end of your life should be discussed with others. Your medical wishes would be unknown if you never brought up the subject of end-of-life decisions, and you were unexpectedly incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
Despite the importance of the subject, only 27% of Americans report having discussed end-of-life care with their families even though 24 hour hospice care is available to millions of Americans today. Creating an advance directive and sharing it with your family and doctor is the best way to express your medical wishes.
Pre-Planned Death Directives
An advance directive consists of two legal documents that allow you to plan for and communicate your end-of-life wishes. When you create an advance directive, you are taking a proactive approach to your medical care and saving your loved ones from having to make difficult medical decisions during a crisis.
Don’t wait for a crisis to strike. Create your advance directive, distribute copies to your loved ones and doctor, and keep a copy in a location where others can find it.
Increasing Veterans’ Access to End-of-Life Care
According to research, veterans are less likely to seek aggressive curative care near the end of their lives, and those receiving care in US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are even less likely to do so.
- When compared to non-veteran Medicare recipients, veterans use hospice less frequently than the general population.
- The four-year Comprehensive End-of-Life Care initiative of the VA aimed to increase hospice enrollment among this population.
- The VA’s significant investment in palliative care appears to have resulted in increased hospice use by older male veterans enrolled in the VA, which is an important step forward in caring for veterans with serious illnesses.
These findings suggest that many veterans are already aligned with hospice’s goals and mission, and OASIS is ready to provide the care they require.
How We Assist Veterans Nearing the End of Their Lives
Extensive Experience and Strategic Partnerships with Veterans Organizations
Veterans and their families benefit from enhanced care as a result of our expertise and partnerships:
- Trained and experienced team members are well-versed in the VA benefits available to veterans, which vary depending on branch and years/locations of service.
- OASIS teams can explain available benefits, recover long-lost medals, and coordinate funerals/burials at national cemeteries.
- Many OASIS programs collaborate directly with local VA facilities as care partners.
- We work with veterans and their families/survivors to ensure that their hospice and VA benefits complement each other and provide the best hospice coverage and care possible.
- We educate our community partners (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians, nursing organizations, and hospitals) about veterans’ unique end-of-life medical care and emotional needs so that they, too, can provide high-quality care to veteran patients.
- We educate family members on how to care for their veteran who is nearing the end of his or her life.
Veteran Patients’ Expertise and Shared Experiences
Our expanded care team is a key differentiator for OASIS. We understand that only a veteran can truly understand the experiences of another veteran, which is why we hire veterans as full-time employees and recruit veterans as hospice volunteers.
Our hospice professionals have firsthand knowledge of the physical and emotional difficulties associated with military service, deployment, injury, and combat. They are aware of the physical, emotional, and spiritual difficulties that arise when veterans reflect on their lives in search of closure, recognition, and the meaning of their service.
Some veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder, survivor’s guilt, or emotional distress. OASIS encourages and facilitates veteran-to-veteran chats to allow veteran patients to share their experiences and work through service-related anxieties. Our teams are ready to assist these veterans in dealing with and resolving service- or combat-related experiences, memories, and emotions.
“Our mission and goal with the care we provide is to give every veteran peace and self-forgiveness at the end of life,” says Carole Quackenbush, RN, Admission Liaison, and veteran specialist.
Veterans Deserve Meaningful Recognition, as well as Community Support
OASIS also ensures that all veterans receive the recognition and gratitude they deserve for their service to our country. Among the efforts are:
- Installation of Veterans Honor Walls in nursing homes so those entire communities can publicly recognize and honor their veteran residents/patients.
- We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a proud partner.
- Honor Flight excursions to the nation’s capital are sponsored.
- We organize “flightless” Honor Flight events in their communities for veterans who are unwilling or unable to travel, as well as “virtual reality” (VR) Honor Flight experiences for bedbound patients using VR headsets.
- Touching bedside salutes in which veterans are presented with certificates of appreciation, pins, flags, and team salutes in recognition of their service and sacrifice.
- Culturally sensitive care for Black veterans related to their service, made possible through collaborations with the Tuskegee Airmen International, Montford Point Marine Association, and others.
Support for Veterans and Their Families on a One-to-One Basis
- Extra layers of support are provided by OASIS staff and volunteers.
- Partnering facilities host vet-to-vet conversation sessions to foster veteran camaraderie.
- During special observances, admission liaisons who specialize in veteran and community affairs organize recognition ceremonies and memorials.
- Volunteers sew hand-crafted Memory Bears from material, clothing, or uniforms donated by family members as a lasting tribute to a beloved veteran who has died.
- Volunteers make or crochet military-themed blankets and blankets for family members to provide warmth, comfort, and memories.
- Our bereavement services experts lead phone-in and virtual support for veterans’ unique needs and challenges as they approach the end of their lives.