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VNA Care Helps Fulfill WWII Vet’s Wish to Return Home 

When so many families were kept apart, VNA Care’s hospice program gave the Scarsciotti family a tremendous gift — the chance to bring their father Joseph home so his last days could be filled with family and love.

“He was just so special to me,” said his daughter Donna Scarsciotti.

She remembered her dad as the “rock” of the family. A World War II veteran, Joe was a corporal in the Army’s 1st Infantry Division known as “The Big Red One” and was at the Battle of the Bulge. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Edith, known to all as Hilda, for 72 years, and had three children.

Photo of Joe Scarsciotti on a boat“He was a very good dad, really good at taking care of kids and being there for us,” she said.

As Joe’s health began to fail, his family was there to care for him. He suffered several mini-strokes and began showing signs of dementia. He later recovered from pneumonia only to suffer a broken hip months after. He underwent surgery and was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Although he initially did well, his condition started deteriorating. Donna contacted VNA Care’s hospice program to fulfill her dad’s wish to return home.

VNA Care’s hospice team responded quickly, arranging for a hospital bed to be delivered to the Scarsciotti home. Treatments for pain were administered so Joe could remain comfortable. He and his family received emotional and spiritual support and guidance.

“I know the patient needs care, but it’s the family that doesn’t have the expertise to do all of that. The family needs that guiding hand, and that’s what hospice did for us,” said Donna. “(VNA Care’s) hospice walked us through every single phase. That was very calming to me. That was very calming to my family.”

Donna remembered her father was “so incredibly happy to be home.” Joe’s three children, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren all had the chance to tell him they loved him and say their goodbyes.

“We had everybody around him. He knew everybody loved him,” said Donna. “Given what this country went through, we were so incredibly fortunate to have him home. That’s what hospice gave us.”

Joe passed away peacefully at home at age 95. The family made a charitable donation in memory of their father and in gratitude for the support of VNA Care’s hospice team.

They shared, “We can’t thank everyone enough for coming out each day and holding our hands as we were holding Dad’s hands.”

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