Aria Hospice is the only hospice in the San Diego and Imperial counties that is Veteran Owned. Luis Velasquez has a special place in his heart for veterans, having served in the US Navy for over 23 years. (See the blog written by Luis, How I Came to the Hospice Care Field).
Because veterans are very important to Aria Hospice, we participate in the “No Veteran Dies Alone,” program which is a program designed to honor veterans and to meet the needs of those veterans who, for whatever reason, find themselves alone.
When other veterans partner with the Aria Hospice No Veteran Dies Alone program, they have the opportunity to support veterans who are terminally ill. Although at this time, Medicare has suspended the Program due to the pandemic, Aria Hospice Volunteers are standing by to help enhance the quality of life of those veterans they will visit as soon as the volunteer suspension is lifted by Medicare. Our volunteers bring companionship by just being present with the veteran patient and offering to talk or assist with non-medical tasks as well as offering emotional support through listening, sharing and just being with and spending time with that special person who served his or her Country and is now in the final phase of life. If you or someone you know would like to find out more on becoming a volunteer with Aria Hospice, please call us at 619-795-6010.
Through the Aria Hospice No Veteran Dies Alone program, our volunteers understand that death is a part of living. Although dying is a process that all humans are destined to experience, the experience is unique to each person. For many veterans an added dimension to the dying aspect and for his or her family is the military culture they became a part of when they began service in each branch of the military.
The military culture has changed over time; the experience of the veteran is dependent on the time and era of his or her military experience. World War II Veterans experienced a different military culture than that of the Korean War, Vietnam, or even the Desert Storm Veteran, etc.
Military culture has helped shape the man or woman, often in many varied ways, and, ultimately, it has an influence on the dying process for the veteran and his or her family.
Being a companion to someone as he or she is dying is a gift to both the dying and the living. Witnessing a death is sacred. Aria Hospice Volunteers enter sacred ground as they cross the threshold of a room to be with someone in the final days of life.
Aria Hospice ensures that veterans benefits are an integral component of our care to our veteran patients. The Veterans Administration tells us that about one third of veterans are over the age of 65. It can be an arduous and daunting task to navigate veterans benefits. There are over 2,000 veterans dying each day, and soon there will be no more World War II Veterans, that have been called the “Greatest Generation”
Veterans serve their country with courage and pride, these men and women who served our country may find themselves needing services at this difficult time in their lives. As veteran owned, Aria Hospice specializes in serving veterans. We have a list of veteran services that are available for those in our local veteran community and are happy to answer any questions at Aria Hospice.
Some of the hospice care benefits questions that Aria Hospice can directly assist a veteran with, are related to having been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. The veteran, or his or her family can call us 24/7, seven days a week for advice and help explain the veterans benefits. For example:
When securing benefits for aging veterans, the veteran must first be enrolled and establish care with the VA. To do that, the veteran may apply by mail, in person or online at:
or, call the VA at 877-222-8383 for further assistance. Ensure that you have your tax and financial information, health insurance information, and DD214 discharge papers (copy can be requested on line) . Once enrolled with the VA, it is important to establish care with a VA physician and Social Worker.
Here are the contact numbers for the local VA offices:
San Diego VA Medical Center, La Jolla: 858-552-8585
Escondido VA Clinic: 760-466-7020
Oceanside VA Clinic: 760-643-2000
Mission Valley, San Diego Outpatient VA Clinic: 619-400-5000
Once a physician certifies that an illness is terminal, (a life expectancy of six months or less), they will collaborate with the Aria Hospice team for services, tailored to the needs and wishes of the patient.
Many patients have cancer, but Aria Hospice cares for individuals with many other life-limiting illness, including heart and lung disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Family and friends also receive the benefit of hospice care, to help them support the patient and adapt to changes in their lives.
Many people mistakenly believe that all hospice patients are bed-bound, critically ill, and unable to continue living life to the fullest. Hospice celebrates life and supports you in achieving your individual needs in this chapter of your life.
Contact our Admission Coordinator at Aria Hospice in San Diego County or Imperial County with any questions you may have about hospice care or eligibility.
When a physician determines that there is no curative treatment for a particular illness, the treatment is not helping any longer or you decide that the side effects of treatment are too great, you may consider choosing comfort care as your ultimate goal.
Aggressive medical treatment focuses on curing the physical illness rather than satisfying the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. It often requires intensive care in a clinical setting that can diminish quality of life. Hospice care has the focus of comfort, by relieving pain and other symptoms, while continuing to address emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family.
Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death, but relieves pain and physical discomfort so that the patient can experience a more peaceful and satisfying quality of life. At Aria Hospice, care is designed to primarily take place in the home or place of residence. Many families tell us that they waited too long to take full advantage of all the benefits offered by hospice care.
“They treated my family member with a lot of love.”
“Finally someone who understands and listens to a family’s needs and concerns. Thank you for your light when my family was in darkness.”
“I just want to say to Imperial County that Aria Hospice cared for my uncle and grandpa for all their needs. They were always on time and were very responsive. I can’t thank the nurses enough for the care provided and the office staff for always accomplishing our needs – thank you very much.”
“I would strongly recommend this place. They help me all the way and are very responsible for what they do. Always provided what we need and always in time they know what to do thank god you guys exist keep all I he good work a special thanks to Josephina she definitely understands and knows what we need – thank you so much may god bless you always.”