The Delaware Veterans Home recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the day when it welcomed its first residents. Two of the first five residents took part in a commemoration of the anniversary on Wednesday at the Home in Milford.
The residents and staff were joined in the festivities by Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn, Congressman John Carney, Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, General Frank Vavala, General Carol Timmons, state senators and representatives, as well as members of Delaware's veteran community and many others.
The Delaware Veterans Home (DVH) currently cares for 118 male and female veterans from all three counties and all military branches.
"One of the best ways for us to recognize the service and sacrifice of our veterans is to ensure they have the highest possible care and quality of life in their later years," said Governor Markell. "The administration and staff of the Delaware Veterans Home truly made it into a home, putting the needs of the veterans above all else, treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve."
The Delaware Veterans Home houses a 30-bed dementia unit, in addition to the 90 beds reserved for skilled and/or intermediate care for the First State's veteran community. An additional wing was recently opened to respond to high demand.
In 2004, Governor Minner signed into law HB 396 which appropriated funding to design and build a 150-bed veterans home. On Delaware Day 2006, the Delaware Veterans Home was dedicated. It opened to its first three residents on Wednesday, June 13, 2007. Two more joined shortly thereafter. By June 2008 there were 108 residents.
In 2011, after a two-year plan of improvement initiated by Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, the Delaware Veterans Home received its first five-star rating (highest rating) from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This significant increase in quality of care was also recognized in 2012 with a zero-deficiency survey by the federal Veterans Administration.
"The leadership of Deputy Secretary of State James Collins and the Home's director, Bill Peterson, was key to the significant improvements we have seen at the Delaware Veterans Home in the last couple of years," said Secretary Bullock. "However, it is the hardworking and dedicated staff of the Veterans Home that is ultimately responsible for the wonderful care our veterans are receiving day after day. Along with the support of residents' families, dozens of devoted volunteers and a caring community of veterans and non-veterans alike, we believe that the Delaware Veterans Home has truly become a special place."
"Delawareans have always held the service and sacrifices of our veterans and their families in the highest regard," said Congressman John Carney. "Today's celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Delaware Veterans Home signifies that our state is as dedicated as ever to ensuring that members of our Armed Forces get the treatment and care they deserve.