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Niagara Hospice initiative: 'We Honor Veterans'

by jmaloni
Sat, Nov 6th 2010 02:00 pm
Niagara Hospice has established a partnership with the Veterans Administration in Buffalo to ensure quality end-of-life care is available to all Niagara County veterans. Titled the "We Honor Veterans" initiative, goals of the partnership include educating veterans and the community about the hospice benefit that every veteran is entitled to; customizing hospice care plans specific to the special needs of veterans; and recruiting community veterans to serve as hospice volunteers who will be paired with Niagara Hospice patients who are also veterans.

Niagara Hospice reports it is now recruiting veterans to volunteer to visit with hospice patients who are also veterans. Veterans share a unique camaraderie that can be especially beneficial to hospice patients. A hospice volunteer training will be held in early December. Interested men and women are asked to call the Niagara Hospice volunteer office at 280-0748 to learn more.

Volunteers are also being recruited to craft patriotic quilts and lap blankets for Niagara Hospice's veteran patients. Donors are also needed to help purchase supplies for the veteran quilt project.

"Each and every one of our nation's veterans has sacrificed something for the rest of us. They deserve our thanks, our compassion and our care -- with dignity, especially at end-of-life. We are proud and humbled to partner with the VA on this especially significant initiative," says Niagara Hospice Director of Public Relations, Tricia Degan.

She reports the first step is educating the community about the initiative. Niagara Hospice representatives are reaching out to area legion posts and other veteran groups with information on this initiative for their members. Area veterans and members of veterans organizations are asked to contact Degan at Niagara Hospice to schedule an informative presentation. Degan can be reached at 439-4417 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Interested veterans who would like to learn more about volunteering for Niagara Hospice can call the Volunteer Services office at 280-0748.

Degan adds that Niagara Hospice will hold an open house on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, in honor of all veterans and their families. The community is invited to learn more about the "We Honor Veterans" initiative at the open house that will be held from 3 until 7 p.m. at Niagara Hospice House, 4675 Sunset Drive in Lockport.

A special tribute to all veterans and active duty service personnel will be held at 3-3:15 p.m. at the flagpole in the Niagara Hospice Memorial Gardens. Following the ceremony, staff will be available to provide tours and answer questions; light refreshments also will be provided.

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