Hope Hospice honors veterans with special recognition program

Hope Hospice honors veterans with special recognition program

DUBLIN, CA – For Hope Hospice clinicians, providing compassionate end-of-life care to a patient who is a military veteran is a special privilege, and the local agency finds creative ways to acknowledge and commemorate military service. Over the past five years, an average of nearly 10 percent of Hope Hospice patients spent many of their prime years in service to others as a member of our nation’s armed forces. 

Volunteer Thais Carlucci heads up Hope’s Veteran Blanket Program. She procures soft fleece fabric in designs themed after four major military branches (Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force) to make cozy lap blankets. An American flag motif is used for patients who served in any of the smaller branches, such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Hope’s medical social workers present a blanket in the appropriate design to the patient and family during the admissions process. 

The blanket program commenced in 2016, inspired by discussion in an interdisciplinary team meeting on how Hope might honor patients with military service. Carlucci, who has service members in her own family, suggested the idea of a themed blanket, since a comfort item is a welcomed gift.  

Recently, Hope created another piece of appreciation: a special lapel pin inscribed with the message “Hope Hospice Honors Veterans.” Not all patients want to or are able to wear their pin, so a patriotic stand lets families display it the bedside for visual enjoyment. 

Hope’s Veterans Appreciation Program could not happen without the support of the American Legion Post 237, based in Pleasanton. Legion member Earl Stevens, who also volunteers for Hope Hospice, was instrumental in connecting Hope with the Legion, which now annually donates funds to cover the cost of fabric. The number of blankets needed each year varies, but Carlucci says she and other volunteers find themselves making at least 30. 

“Feedback from patient families over the years has been that family members keep the blankets long after the patient has passed on, as a warm memory.” 

About Hope Hospice

Hope Hospice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, proudly serving the Tri-Valley and neighboring East Bay cities since 1980. Learn more about their services and community programs at HopeHospice.com or contact them at (925) 829-8770.