Showing posts with label hospice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospice. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2020

"Story about hope and kindness, not fear and despair" retired Navy psychiatrist volunteer at hospice

In a Farmington hospice, a friendship bloomed among two veterans

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
By Reid Forgrave
MARCH 27, 2020
“I’ll have sadness when someone I care about is no longer around. That’s a hard thing about hospice. But there’s something that tempers that for me: the reality I’ve been able to help somebody in their last days of life.” Tim Magee
In these uncertain times, a visitor and a patient bond over rich life stories.
Tim Magee, left, must defer his visits to Dave Roberts for now. But he’s grateful for the friendship the two veterans have forged over the past year.

This is a story set in a place where people typically die — but it is a story about hope and kindness, not fear and despair. This is a story about small gestures of grace that have blossomed over the past several years at Trinity Care Center, an AseraCare hospice in Farmington, Minn.

Life and death are themes forever present at hospices, places where people are cared for and comforted through the final chapter of their lives as painlessly as possible.

But in these uncertain times, this is a story of light for all of us.
read it here
Linked from Philadelphia Enquirer

Thursday, September 19, 2019

VA Hospice nurse accused of taking morphine from dying veterans leaving them suffering in pain

Former nurse charged for allegedly stealing morphine from dying veterans

ABC News
Sep 18, 2019

In one case, a veteran experienced increased difficulties breathing and increased suffering in his final days, federal prosecutors said, citing its investigation into the matter.

A former hospice nurse has been accused of ingesting morphine that was meant for dying veterans and, in turn, causing increased suffering for some of the patients in their last days, officials said Wednesday.

Kathleen Noftle, 55, was arrested and charged for offenses she allegedly committed while working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus in Bedford, Massachusetts, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in the state.

Noftle admitted to authorities that she mixed water from the sink with a portion of the liquid morphine to dilute the drug three times in January 2017, then gave the watered-down version to veterans and ingested the remaining amount for herself, according to the attorney’s office.

The investigation also revealed that before Noftle worked at the VA center in Bedford, she resigned from her position as a nurse at a different hospital because she did not follow protocol when throwing out narcotics on 60 occasions.
read it here

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Got Surprise Visit from Combat Vets Association

Upstate veterans association surprises fellow vet in hospice with motorcycle rev up
FOX Carolina
By Ashley Minell
Updated: Jul 20, 2018
"In my opinion, God puts certain people in place at the right moment. And I see Matthew Dordal and the association and all the people that showed up that night as that," said Dordal.
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina)
On July 17, 68-year-old Vietnam veteran and motorcycle lover, Jerry Palmer, got the surprise of a lifetime.

"My husband tried to explain that they were coming for him and he didn't believe it until we saw... Jerry started crying. My husband was there and choking them back as well. We all felt the chill," said Joyce Tebault, Jerry's friend.

The people on the bikes felt it too.

"When you see the emotional connection Jerry had with motorcycles and hearing them roll up and us being fellow veterans. It was emotional for all of us," said Matthew Dordal, Chapter Commander of Combat Vets Association.
read more here

FOX Carolina 21

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Vietnam Veteran and PTSD Service Dog Bonded and Dying

Despite illness, Honey the ‘wonder dog’ helps her human
Gainesville Sun
By Rebecca Santana / Correspondent
Posted Jan 26, 2018

Seven years ago, Michael Gaither felt hopeless. Long after his military service in Vietnam, he was still traumatized and suffering. He didn’t want to see his children. He drew the curtains and locked the doors of his Chiefland home.

This is how he planned to spend the rest of his life.

Then came Honey, a full mobility and post-traumatic stress disorder medical service dog.
Michael Gather, a Vietnam veteran, and his service dog Honey are reunited after Honey's 100th treatment at the University of Florida small animal clinic. Lauren Bacho Staff Photographer

Gaither and Honey met through a research project conducted by the Veterans Administration that pairs medical service dogs and veterans with PTSD.

Honey and Gaither were the first dog-and-man pair in the program. The moment Honey met Gaither she stayed with him, and she hasn’t left his side since. The couple call her “Honey the wonder dog.”

For the past seven years Honey has given Gaither physical and emotional support. She helps the 72-year-old dress every morning, picks up anything he drops and comforts him when he has night terrors.

“She’s like she’s part of me,” Gaither said. “I’ve never left the house for seven years without her.”

Both Gaither and Honey are terminally ill. Besides PTSD, Gaither has multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. He’s currently in hospice care at Malcom Randall VA Medical Center.

“Honey takes his mind off all that,” said Gaither’s wife, Kaye, 75.

Honey is affected by aspergillus, a fungal infection that no amount of antibiotics has been able to quell. She’s being treated at the UF Small Animal Hospital with the integrative medicine service.
read more here

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hundreds of Motorcycles Showed Up For Dying Vietnam Veteran's Ride


Vietnam veteran dies days after bikers honor him with 'last ride' motorcycle event

Wish comes true for dying Vietnam Veteran
Phil Dawson
July 28, 2017

MUSKEGON, MICH. - Before he dies, Muskegon Vietnam veteran and hospice patient Wayne Whisler wanted to ride a motorcycle one last time.

And Friday afternoon his wish came true.
“It was great,” he says.

The last ride was arranged after Whisler told a care Hillcrest Nursing and Rehab Center care giver Theresa Flynn how much he liked her Harley, and how much he would like to hang out with some bikers and go for a ride.

She sent a message to Muskegon Motorcycle Club member Vic Martin.

“Spend a little time with him, let him look at the motorcycles and enjoy himself for a few hours,” says Martin.

“And we needed to get as many bikes out here as we could,” adds motorcycle rider David Edwards.

Friday afternoon, a convoy of several hundred motorcycles streamed into the Hillcrest parking lot. Whisler was loaded onto a sidecar and taken for a road trip.
read more here

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Veterans Dying At VA Continues...In A Good Way

No, Gunny, I have not lost my mind with the title. I really believe in the care hospice offers patients on the last part of their journey though their lives. It is really good to know that they do not have to stop medical care to be in this one.
Dying veterans boost participation in hospice care
Ronnie Cohen
July 14, 2017
By 2011, they found that 44 percent of veterans who died in hospitals took their last breaths in hospice beds, compared to 30 percent in 2008. By 2012, 71 percent of veterans dying of cancer were enrolled in hospice.
(Reuters Health) - An initiative to enroll dying veterans in hospice care appears to be working, and its success may offer clues for how to persuade others who are terminally ill to join the highly lauded end-of-life program, a new study shows.

After the U.S. Veterans Administration implemented its Comprehensive End of Life Care Initiative in 2009, growth of enrollment of terminally ill male war veterans in hospice care outstripped enrollment growth in hospice programs for elderly men who did not serve, according to the report in Health Affairs.

More veterans likely enrolled in hospice care because the initiative allowed them to continue to have curative treatments, said Joanne Spetz, a professor at the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Other hospice programs require participants to cease disease-modifying treatment.

Spetz suspects that being able to use both hospice and concurrent care motivated people to sign up for hospice care "because it wasn’t an either/or decision,” she said in a phone interview.
read more here

Monday, September 26, 2016

Patriot Guard Riders Brought Vietnam Veteran from Hospice to Harley

Patriot Guard Riders escort disabled Vietnam War vet for his birthday
FOX 2 St. Louis
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

TROY, MO (KTVI) - A veteran got quite the escort service to his birthday party. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted hospice patient and Vietnam War veteran Benny Thompson to a flag ceremony in his honor. It's part of the "Gift of a Day" program sponsored by Crossroads Hospice.
read more here

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Iraq Veteran Made Sure Vietnam Veteran's Last Days Spent Loved

Veteran's final days of life at VA hospice prompt efforts to ensure dignity
The Daily Courier
Nanci Hutson
September 2, 2015
"Without a doubt, if it wasn't for that young man (Keith), the service would not have had the same complexion as it did," said Phil Whitehead, the coordinating ride captain. "He, singlehandedly, was responsible for making sure that veteran received the level of respect and recognition that he received.
Courtesy photo
John Keith poses for a photo with Richard Miller in his wheelchair at the VA hospice. Inset: Keith clasps Miller’s hand in his hospice room.
PRESCOTT - In the last five days of Vietnam veteran Richard Miller's life, his bedside companion was a two-tour Iraq veteran some 20 years his junior who wanted to be sure the Army soldier did not die alone.

Without formal permission from anyone, the former U.S. Navy sailor John Keith, 37, of Pine, opted to stand vigil with Miller, a patient in the Northern Arizona Veteran Affairs Health Care System' hospice. Miller died on the Fourth of July.

"I promised him that we would be brothers till the end," Keith said of the promise he made to the former U.S. Army combat medic.

The two became acquainted some four years ago when Miller connected with Keith through the online Facebook veteran community, OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Veteran Community, he founded in 2009.
read more here

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jacksonville families discuss end of life care for veterans

Locals discuss end of life considerations for vets
Daily News Staff
Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce hosted the 20th annual Living with Grief program this week, presenting information to local veterans, medical providers and caregivers.

“It’s for community education and so people can understand the different issues surrounding the end of life,” said Joanne Ciampi, the hospice volunteer coordinator for Continuum Home Care and Hospice. “Each year the hospice has a different topic discussed, and this year its veterans. That’s important because military experience shapes their lives and affects how they approach healthcare and end of life matters.”

Wednesday’s event, which was sponsored by the Hospice Foundation of America, featured an informational DVD of panelists who discussed the military mindset, special needs in treating veterans at the end of life, ritual and bereavement care and forming collaborative partnerships to better serve veterans.
read more here

Sunday, February 17, 2013

At VA, They’re Making Sure No Veteran Dies Alone

At VA, They’re Making Sure No Veteran Dies Alone
By Diane Taylor
Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hartford — Given a choice, Patti Crimmin-Greenan would prefer to stay behind the scenes. The 56-year-old resident of White River Junction who enrolled in nursing school when she was 29 is not entirely comfortable being interviewed by reporters or posing for photographers. But as the palliative care coordinator at the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction, Crimmin-Greenan is at the center of a new hospice volunteer program that aims to provide an around-the-clock human presence for any veteran who comes to the VA at the end of his life to use one of two hospice suites at the hospital. And for that, Crimmin-Greenan said, she is willing to “come outside the box.”

Standing alongside Crimmin-Greenan in her efforts to provide human companionship to dying veterans is Patricia West, of New London. At 53, West is the executive director of the Veterans Research and Education Association of New England, a nonprofit organization that administers non-VA funding to support research and education in veterans hospitals. Ninety-five percent of the time, West said, she oversees grants that fund research for clinical trials in areas such as oncology or cardiology or testing new drugs.

“But the fun part, the 5 percent, is education,” West said. “That’s one of the things I’ve really wanted to try to build up.”

The result of this partnership is a volunteer program called No Veteran Dies Alone. A first group of 10 hospice volunteers will begin training for the job on Feb. 21, under the guidance of Crimmin-Greenan and Kristin Barnum, of Bayada Home Health Care in Norwich.

Crimmin-Greenan and West recently spoke with the Valley News about No Veteran Dies Alone.
read more here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Honor Veterans, trains hospice workers to serve dying veterans

Program tailors hospice care to traumatized veterans


Special to The Star

The Vietnam veteran pulled low the bill of his baseball cap, staring absently at the small terrier splayed across his lap.

From his recliner, he wouldn’t let Crossroads Hospice chaplain Ron McCullough see his eyes or the trauma behind them — now decades old, yet intensifying as he drew nearer each day to death.

Though graphic memories of killing Viet Cong were resurfacing, increasingly, he insisted he didn’t want a chaplain. Nor did he want to talk about the war, as if trying to dismiss McCullough and his military service at once.

Gary Jones was dying of cancer, but McCullough detected another condition that he has seen more frequently in recent years: latent post-traumatic stress disorder afflicting dying veterans as they confront unresolved war memories, some for the first time.

McCullough is part of a new national program that offers terminally ill veterans honor and emotional healing. The program, We Honor Veterans, trains hospice workers to serve dying veterans by helping them die peacefully and with pride in their service.

Read more: Program tailors hospice care to traumatized veterans

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vet on Death Bed Ejected by VA

Report: Vet on Death Bed Ejected by VA
April 02, 2011
The Virginian-Pilot
HAMPTON -- The Hampton VA Medical Center inappropriately discharged a terminally ill veteran from its emergency room and failed to provide him hospice care requested by his wife, a federal investigation has found.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General found that staff members at the Hampton center were unaware of a VA policy requiring that end-of-life care be provided when veterans and their families ask for it.

The investigators' report, issued Wednesday, came in response to a confidential complaint about the treatment of the veteran, a man in his 50s, who came to the center in August ill with lung cancer that had spread to the brain.
read more here
Vet on Death Bed Ejected by VA

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Silver Star Families of America endorses Hospice for those veterans

Silver Star Families of America Aiding Dying Veterans
The Silver Star Families of America endorses Hospice for those veterans who are eligible.

Silver Star Families
Log (Press Release) – May 30, 2009 – OUR WOUNDED, OUR ILL AND OUR DYING

The Silver Star Families of America has one mission: To remember, honor and assist the wounded and ill of our armed forces from all wars. And while we struggle to meet the needs of our wounded and ill we cannot forget those that need us the most; our dying veterans.

More than 1,800 veterans die every day. (More than 600,000 a year) This represents one quarter of all deaths in the United States. 85 per cent of veterans do not receive V.A. care and most still die in their own communities with only about 4 per cent dying in V.A. facilities.

Our dying brothers and sisters deserve to die with dignity, respect and honor. And they deserve to die pain free with Spiritual and emotional support.

Hospice care is part of the basic eligibility package for veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration. (VHA) If hospice care is appropriate for enrolled veterans and has been approved by a VA physician, VA medical centers will either provide hospice care directly in their facilities or purchase it from community hospices.

“The need for education extends beyond the public to community hospice and VA providers as well. Many community hospices are unaware of the dedicated inpatient hospice units that exist in VA facilities. Likewise,VA facilities are often unfamiliar with the services community hospices can offer and how to work with them. There are also complex issues surrounding payment reimbursement and administration.” (Hospice Veteran Partnership Tool Kit)

End of life issues are always hard for us to deal with but it is an essential part of the mission of the Silver Star Families of America. We have started to issue Prayer Blankets to Hospice units at selected V.A. facilities. We can use your financial help.

Please go to:

Death is part of life and we will leave no veteran behind until they finally leave us for their last duty post.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dying veteran sent from Tampa VA to hospice died without breathing machine

Transfer of VA patient goes awry
By William R. Levesque, Times staff writer
In print: Sunday, November 9, 2008

TAMPA — His body racked by vascular disease, 85-year-old Varrian "Otto" Wigner struggled with every breath.

Doctors at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa could do little for him. They suggested the World War II veteran be sent to a hospice. Wigner's wife agreed but said she insisted on one condition:

The breathing device that eased her husband's suffering and helped keep him alive must be waiting for him. Haley didn't object.

But the device wasn't waiting on Aug. 29. The hospice immediately tried to get Haley to take Wigner back, his widow said.

Haley refused, his wife said, and Wigner died in less than 24 hours.

"They dumped him like garbage on the street," said Alina Wigner, 76, of Weeki Wachee, Wigner's wife of 53 years. "I never thought the VA would let him down like this."

The case is the third detailed by the St. Petersburg Times in recent months about allegations of poor patient care or veterans who said Haley was too busy to treat them.
click post title for more