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Psychological PainThe harsh toll of war includes diseases, disabilities and illnesses that can complicateend-of-life care. Even if a veteran successfully overcomes military trauma, symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise at the end of life.In addition to physical and psychological conditions, emotional concerns may surface, such as feeling the need to purge themselves of memories by discussing their military experience with otherssometimes for the first time.Navigating Veteran Needs At VITAS Healthcare, the nations leading provider of end-of-life care, we have extensive experience with veterans. Our goal is to make sure our veteran patients feel safe and secure.Every VITAS program has hospice team members trained to address the needs of veterans and their families. This includes VITAS clinical staff, as well as skilled social workers and chaplains who help and counsel patients and their families. VITAS veteran volunteers also play a valuable role by listening, understanding and empathizing in ways even family members sometimes cannot.Honoring Veterans at the End of LifeGiving veterans the recognition they deserve can make a world of difference. At VITAS, we offer each veteran a recognition ceremony honoring their military service. VITAS staff help identify potential entitlements and help veterans and families acquire the benefits they have earned.At VITAS, it is our task and our honor to make sure veteran patients and their families know they are never alone. From challenging clinical symptoms to complicated benefits issues to a simple thank you, veterans should feel supported. It is never more important than at the end of life to show veterans unwavering honor and respect.For more information about hospice care or end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 866.759.6695 or visit VITAS.com.Article written byCathy Carlson, general manager for VITAS Healthcare
Theres power in music therapy. Music provided by trained and certified music therapists is often incorporated into hospice care for its ability to deliver benefits to patients, their families and those who provide end-of-life care. VITAS Healthcare, the nations leading provider of end-of-life care, employs more than 40 music therapists nationally.MULTIPLE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITSMusic can relieve anxiety and agitation, lessen pain, boost mood, promote deeper breathing, and facilitate communication, movement and emotional expression. For hospice patients nearing the end of life, music therapists provide and create moments of joy, peace and calming memories.When offered to patients at the end of life, music therapy can work in combination with other healing solutions and services to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of hospice patients and their families.Another benefit is musics ability to give hospice patients a sense of choice and controltwo factors they often feel slipping away.OLD MEMORIES, NEW MEMORIESMusic therapists begin by assessing whether music therapy is appropriate for a patient. Sometimes, music can increase agitation and anxiety in patients with life-limiting illness. For many others, including patients who are unresponsive, music can trigger positive emotions and memories. As health declines, hearing is thought to be the last active sense, meaning that music can aid in relaxation and expression up until the moment of death.Music therapy can take many forms. It can include music-assisted relaxation, musical imagery, song writing, group sing-alongs, one-on-one singing, vocal and instrumental improvisation, movement or dance.Sometimes, a trained VITAS music therapist will use music as part of a patients life storyimprovising or writing new songs, recording or videotaping a patients musical interactions, even creating a songbook that serves as a tangible memento for surviving loved ones and family members.Far more than notes on sheet music or keys on a piano, music therapy is a valuable tool that provides physical, emotional and spiritual benefits to seriously ill patients as they approach the end of life.Editors Note: Article submitted by by Robert Johnson, General Manager of VITAS Healthcare in Collier County. For more information about hospice care or end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 866.759.6695 or visit VITAS.com.
I have helped over 100 seniors move into retirement communities they all say they wish they had done it sooner. Change is hard even the changes we really want and look forward to. You have worked hard on your home over the years; now let that equity work for YOU, to provide a lifestyle that is more in step with where you want to be at this different stage of your life! But what do you do first? You call a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) with over 30 years experience. This is a good first step in the decision to move to a retirement community.Perhaps you are wondering..How much is my house worth? You and your SRES will review recent sales in your area and come up with a price range. Review an accurate days on the market study. Ask your SRES to prepare an estimate of how much money you will net at closing. Give this information to your investment counselor to help you determine how you can use the interest from the investment to subsidize your income.What if my house needs work? Many buyers want as is properties but if your home needs work to go on the market have your SRES help you get estimates. Or maybe a pre-listing inspection would fill the bill.What about all my stuff ? there are excellent resources available to help seniors downsize a good estate liquidator will help you get top dollar for the items you will not need in a smaller space and professional companies are available to help organize your move down to every detail.Is it a good time to sell? Absolutely! Rates are low and buyers are abundant! Your house will not be in competition with distressed properties! Find an SRES with a cutting edge marketing program that will get your house sold!How do you coordinate the move-in date with the sale of your house? Many seniors have found that moving into their new apartments and letting their homes be shown vacant is the most convenient. It is easier to show your house and a lot less stress on you.Article submitted by Sandi Hewins SRES, Metro Brokers. She can be reached at 303-887-2509 or on the web at www.denverseniorrealestate.com