Several Empire EMCO employees volunteered for the honor to spend an evening with our Vets.
Willow Lodge is a 20-bed Community Living Center within the Buffalo VA hospital. Our mission is focused on hospice/palliative care, rehab care and some long term care. In general, the vets are quite ill and their lengths-of-stay on the unit are quite short – anywhere from hours or days to 3 months or so. Veterans as young as 21 and as old as 103 have received person-centered care according to their own preferences. Each veteran has different needs for improving his or her quality of life. For some, this may be to provide group programs such as games and parties; for others, it may be to provide activities at the bedside – anything from craft kits to backrubs. For still others, it may be a cold drink and a smiling face or a push in a wheelchair to the outdoors.
We depend on our relationships with volunteers, community groups and veterans service organizations to provide for these varied needs. We are so grateful to the staff at Empire EMCO for their generous donation of a spaghetti dinner at the holidays, letting the residents of Willow Lodge know they have not been forgotten. We are especially thankful for the employees who helped serve the meal and provide for a spirited, fun-filled evening. Mr. M, a veteran receiving hospice care, ate his fill of spaghetti and Italian bread and, as the festivities wound down, remarked, “It feels good to laugh”.