66°F
Sponsored by

VA Offers Multiple Hospice Options for Veterans

"You know they may be in a situation where they have no control over their illness and where that illness is going to take them, but they do have control over how they want the end of their life to look," said Ann Crispina, Hospice and Palliative Care Coordinator.
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -  For many families, choosing hospice care for a loved one can be a difficult decision to make. The Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg opened it's new hospice wing six months ago and they're trying to help make the decision a little easier.

For Jennifer Lastner and her father, the new hospice wing at the medical center is a second home.

"This place here is the closest and the best thing you know for him being home," said Lastner, who's veteran father uses hospice care.

Palliative Care counselors said families chose hospice care when it becomes too difficult to continue home-based care. And at the medical center they make the whole family their priority.

"When we have a patient come in, we really, I always really try to make it clear to them that we're treating the veteran and the families. So we really look at the whole family as our, you know, responsibility," said Kathleen Elias, Palliative Care Bereavement Counselor.

Counselors say transitioning to hospice care often helps families focus on their relationships.

"If you've been a caregiver for a veteran all the time, all of a sudden you get to be the wife or the daughter and so in a sense once they're admitted there's often more time for the family to focus on their relationship with the patient rather than on all the care giving needs," said Elias.

The medical center also hosts an annual hospice open house to educate veterans and their families on the various hospice options around the four-state area.

"You know they may be in a situation where they have no control over their illness and where that illness is going to take them but they do have control over how they want the end of their life to look, what they want their end of life to be and really make that important," said Ann Crispina, Hospice and Palliative Care Coordinator.

And for veterans without family, the hospice unit has volunteers who help them through this process.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

More Headlines