Authors

  1. MARRELLI, TINA MSN, MA, RN, FAAN

Article Content

This issue of Home Healthcare Nurse is dedicated to service men and women who are (now) primarily volunteers who go into harm's way. Historically, there were drafts for the many thousands of young men sent to distant shores in World War I, World War II (WWII), the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This issue is particularly close to me as I have a father and a father-in-law who were in WWII. In fact, the cover photo of this Home Healthcare Nurse issue shows my father-in-law, Otto, age 93 years, standing near his favorite chair in his home.

  
Figure. Tina Marrell... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Tina Marrelli, Otto Glass, and Bill Glass.

Every day, home healthcare and hospice clinicians care for these aging WWII veterans who we are losing at a staggering estimated rate of more than 1,000 per day (Honor Flight Network, 2012). In this June issue of Home Healthcare Nurse, Kathryn Smith, a hospice liaison nurse, explains "One Hospice's Project to Honor and Care for Veterans." In her article, Ms. Smith has a patient scenario in which one of the hospice veterans goes on an "Honor Flight." Some may wish to know about the Honor Flight Network. If you have ever been at one of Southwest's airports when an Honor Flight is departing or arriving you know-it is a scene you will not forget. Many veterans are in wheelchairs. There is much effort and lots of manpower that goes into the coordination and care of these older heroes-and the many people there at both ends of the trip to applaud them for their time of duty in the service. The Honor Flights are specially organized flights from certain airport hubs (Columbus, Ohio, is one) where veterans are flown-for free-to Washington, DC, to visit and reflect at the memorials. Priority is given to WWII survivors and veterans of other wars who are terminally ill. For information, applications and more, visit http://www.honorflight.org. Readers are also referred to the article by Deborah Grassman, titled [left pointing guillemet]Wounded Warriors: Their Last Battle,[left pointing guillemet] from the May 2007 issue of HHN.

 

Maria Colandrea's article is entitled "Patient Care Heart Failure Model: The Hospitalization to Home Plan of Care." This article addresses one care model through which heart failure readmissions have improved with careful transitioning of the patient back to home with education and support throughout and across the processes. Because of age and illness of spouses, veterans may be caregivers and may also need caregiving. In one study, "Strain and Satisfaction of Caregivers of Veterans with Chronic Illness," the lead author, Bonnie Wakefield, found that "the majority of caregiving responsibilities belong to veterans' immediate family members, often their wives" (University of Missouri News Bureau, 2012). In addition, "of the caregivers Wakefield surveyed, nearly half reported they felt they had no choice when it came to caring for their relatives" (University of Missouri News Bureau, 2012). Because of the advancing age and frailty of some of these veterans, most in their 90s, home care and hospice clinicians might help these veterans by offering them options and referring them to the aid and attendance program. (See http://www.veteranaid.org/program.php.) The VNAA column, by Emily Swanson, is titled "How Can We 'Join Forces" for our Veterans?" and also discusses how we can best honor and care for our veterans.

 

June 1 marks the official beginning of hurricane season. Although we used to think of hurricanes as impacting only the southeast coasts, the gulf coast, and the Atlantic and mid-Atlantic regions, after the last few seasons it has been seen that although the storm may grow and develop offshore, once is comes ashore, it can continue to have devastating impacts-far inland and for days, even weeks, later. There are two articles related to emergency preparedness in this issue. The CE article (that has been published ahead of print and was on the Home Healthcare Nurse Journal Web site, http://www.homehealthcarenurseonline.com) is titled "Emergency Preparedness for Home Helathcare Providers." In this article, Shirley Ruder explains one area's growth curve through living through a hurricane with important lessons learned and implications for operations. For those of us who lived through hurricane Charley on Friday, August 13, 2004, which quickly became a Category 4 storm, in southwest Florida, this article has practical implications for such scary and devastating events and is a CE article. The Commentary column, authored by Diane Mager, tells of the impact of a hurricane after it goes inland and continues its destruction and what that means for a Connecticut neighborhood shut off from the world for a time. This column will be available on the Journal Web site, http://www.homehealthcarenurseonline.com/, and will be available free of charge for the next 4 months, so please visit the Web site and take a look!

 

The world is now smaller, there is a wide range of things we can learn and be touched by wherever in the world we go. In the article titled "Transcultural Nursing Course in Tanzania, Africa," Rhoda Owens guides us on a trip where she travels with nursing students to this African country and the challenges, similarities, and differences about palliative care learned while there.

 

The veterans we care for have been all over the world: the Philippines, Australia, France, Italy, and on and on. We, too, can learn life lessons from them by listening to their stories: that people are in many ways the same and that we can impact people in a good way, one at a time. I hope you enjoy this issue of HHN and as always, I welcome your feedback at news@marrelli.com.

 

Sincerely,

  
Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Tina Marrelli Editor

 

REFERENCES

 

Honor Flight Network. (2012). "The History of Honor Flight: The Future of Honor Flight . . . Help Us Meet Our Goal." Retrieved from http://www.honorflight.org/about/[Context Link]

 

University of Missouri News Bureau. (2012). "Caregivers of Veterans With Chronic Illness Often Stressed, Yet Satisfied, MU Researcher Finds." Retrieved from http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2012/0305-caregivers-of-veterans-with-c[Context Link]