November is National Hospice Month and the Sheridan Veterans Administration Medical Center operates an inpatient hospice program for veterans at the hospital. The hospice at the VA is a relatively recent addition in the last several years and the facility has used former medical patient rooms to serve hospice needs. Doctor John Carmen is the Chairman of the VA Hospice Committee.
Hospice Nurse Elizabeth Goodyear says it’s a different focus when it comes to treatment.
Many people hesitate to use hospice services because of the association with death. However many of the families say they wish they had made use of the service sooner after the patient has passed. In addition to providing patient care, the VA Hospice also offers up to 18 months of bereavement services for veterans families who are left behind.