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Toula’s Tips for Caregivers: Military/Veteran Caregivers are Our ‘Hidden Heroes’

This issue of Caregiver Connections is dedicated to veterans and caregivers of veterans. From the start of the Caregiver Coalition nearly 10 years ago, we have hosted a caregiver conference specifically for them. We know they often have different needs, and there are many resources to help. You will see several websites listed in this newsletter. Visit them to find the support you need.

A few years ago we expanded our veteran outreach to include those caring for our active-duty military. We are proud to announce that because of this work, Jacksonville has been named a “Hidden Heroes City” by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Visit to learn more about this great honor.

For 10 years now Community Hospice & Palliative Care, the place where I work, has been “a friend to veterans.” Veterans often refer to us that way as we recognize and honor those in our care in special ways. Veterans admitted to our hospice program receive a commemorative pin and a framed certificate thanking them for their service. If they receive care in our inpatient centers, we fly the flag of their service branch outside their door. This is our last chance to honor and recognize these heroes. Families are so touched they often tell us they laid their loved one to rest with the flags.

Veterans served our country with courage and strength. It takes both to be a caregiver. Do you have the courage to ask for help when you need it? I hope so. When you are tired or don’t know where to turn for help, remember the Caregiver Coalition is here for you. Visit our website and the others listed for assistance. You aren’t meant to do this alone.

As always, thank you for what you do, and remember to salute a veteran this month!


Toula Wootan

Director of Community Programs

Community Hospice & Palliative Care

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