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How to Take Care of an Elderly Veteran

an American flag with senior elder handsWith 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 from wars written down in history text books.

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 outside activities before he needed assisted living, so make an effort 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 environment.

More than making sure that elderly veterans develop hobbies and are kept happy, is the financial responsibilities 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 with 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 find out more about little known benefits that veterans have concerning long term health care.

The best thing for a veteran is to understand and respect the time that they committed to service. By building a relationship, this can foster conversation and help your veteran communicate the needs the he or she may need.

Ultimately, being an attentive 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.