Hospice care can be a difficult time for the patient, their family, and even some of the professional workers. A program offered through Aurora at Home pairs veterans in hospice with veteran volunteers. The “We Honor Veterans” program is a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and allows the vets to bond with each other through similar stories and experiences.
Dennis Day is a U.S. Army veteran who served a year in Vietnam. Tim Thiers is a Navy veteran who served aboard the U.S.S. San Jose as a storekeeper. The two volunteers joined the program and said the time is worth it.
“You can see them when you walk in the room kind of perk up and smile and carry on a conversation,” Thiers said.
“They’re talking about their life’s experiences and what they’ve contributed throughout the course of their lifetime,” Day added.
Miranda Demske is the program’s coordinator and says it also helps out the families for the veterans in hospice.
“They can run some errands, they can go to the pharmacy, the grocery store, and they know they have someone there that’s keeping an eye on their loved one,” she said.
If you are interested in volunteering for the “We Honor Veterans” program, or would like to learn more information, email Miranda at MirandDemske@aurora.org.