With Memorial Day around the corner, the topic of veterans and ex-military personnel is on the top of everyone’s tongue. But what about the veterans that have long since moved on from the days of combat and decoration and are now in need of care themselves? The baby-boom generation is aging day by day, and many of these baby boomers are veterans of wars written down in history textbooks.
Often veterans are used to an active lifestyle filled with excitement, and aging has left them feeling bored and detached. It is important to incorporate their love and hobbies into their daily life, as with any other senior you might be working with.
Be aware of their needs and what makes them feel more comfortable. Maybe your elderly veteran enjoyed outdoor activities before he needed assisted living, so try to do outdoor activities once the weather gets warmer.
Things like strolls in the park, feeding ducks at the pond, or visiting a botanical garden are great ways to incorporate the outdoors into your elderly veteran’s life. Consider even picking up hobbies like bird watching, as these can incorporate many of the skills your veteran may have picked up during service, such as attentiveness and awareness of the environment.
More than making sure that elderly veterans develop hobbies and are kept happy is the financial responsibility of caring for those in need of constant assistance. Especially for veterans who require in-home care, the government has put in place various pension plans to help support this steadily aging group.
The Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension, developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, can provide benefits such as covering the costs of in-home health aids or living in assisted living or nursing facilities.
This A&A benefit can provide up to two thousand dollars a month in benefits for veterans and roughly one thousand dollars a month for widows of veterans. Visit VeteranAid.org to learn more about veterans’ little-known benefits concerning long-term health care.
The best thing for veterans is to understand and respect the time they committed to service. Building a relationship can foster conversation and help your veteran communicate the needs he or she may need.
Ultimately, being an attentive home caregiver, spouse, child, or grandchild to your senior veteran is the best thing you can do. This, combined with the constant care and affection of family, will create an environment in which veterans will feel welcome and allow them to feel comfortable when needing to voice their needs.