Veterans Serve Veterans in Hospice Care

Veterans Serve Veterans in Hospice Care

A local hospice program recruits veteran volunteers.

It's estimated that about 1/4 of the hospice population nationwide are veterans.

Men and women who are at the end of their lives.

But Lifetime Care in Rochester is working to pair veteran volunteers with veterans in hospice care.

News 8 met three of those veterans.

All of the men served in Vietnam and some of them have had hospice help their families.

"They were going to die with dignity anyhow I just think it's nice to have a little more company along the way," said Larry Langdon, a veteran volunteer.

They say they volunteer a few hours a week to help care for vets in hospice - whether it's helping with meals or being a listening ear.

The veteran volunteer program started in September of 2011

The volunteer program has grown to about 11 veterans from many eras and more continue to join.

"They are really educating me at the same time I think they are doing more for me than I am for them quite frankly," said Ron Trovato, a veteran volunteer.

"As the veteran population ages they are least able to help themselves but what we found out is that a veteran will talk to a veteran more readily than he will to someone in his own family," said Jerry McDermott, a veteran volunteer.

McDermott says they are able to record some of those war stories to share with family members, to keep that veterans legacy alive. 

Lifetime Care started the program after seeing other programs like it around the country.
And the organization says it's been beneficial to volunteers, families, and the vets.

"This is a huge part of someone's identity and what better than to match them with another veteran who can really identify, have that comraderie, and be a person who they can open up to if there is anything unsaid," said Rose Fletcher, Manager of Volunter Services for Lifetime Care.

Lifetime Care is looking for male and female veterans who would like to give some time.

Training is provided.

For more information you can contact Lifetime Care at: 585-214-1444.


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