Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not
pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and
handed on for them to do the same. ~ Ronald Reagan
The American Revolution, also called the United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, a revolution by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. The U.S. military has returned to battle many times since then. Although over 246 years have come and gone, one thing remains the same: the U.S. military stands as a key element in protecting our freedoms and independence. Many of them sacrificed much to not only serve their country but to protect the independence we enjoy.
Today, many of those soldiers now need us to fight for them. A recent study conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network identified the top 10 things seniors over 55 fear most. The number one fear is the loss of independence. Regardless of their financial situation, everyone should have the opportunity to experience independence – especially our Veterans.
Loss of independence can be disheartening to Veterans. They fought to keep our country’s independence and spent their entire lives living independently, building careers, and raising families. Now, in their later years, that independence is personally being challenged. The natural effects of aging can sometimes make independent living harder than it once was. Difficulties with mobility, behavioral health conditions such as isolation and loneliness, and financial strains are just some contributors to a loss of independence in aging adults. Pride in being independent can keep Veterans from asking for help even when it’s needed. Veterans suffering from loneliness are more likely to report risky health behaviors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, or smoking. Fortunately, home care services can help our aging heroes keep their independence while protecting their comfort and security. These include:
Assistance with Daily Tasks
When mobility declines, simple tasks can become difficult. Stairs, steps, and slippery surfaces can be a burden for an elderly Veteran who is afraid of falling. Dressing can become a chore when arthritis or joint pain interferes with fastening buttons and zippers. Home care providers can help these seniors navigate daily tasks with dignity.
Loneliness is tied to high levels of depression and is especially common among older adults. Rather than being left to remedy loneliness on their own—often in unhealthy ways—the presence of a home care provider can bring companionship, solace, and both physical and emotional support.
A healthy diet is critical to those suffering from chronic symptoms such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Still, aging Veterans who live alone may not take the time to prepare and eat healthy, balanced meals. Home care providers can help cook nutritious meals that include plenty of fruits and vegetables so that elderly Veterans get the vitamins they need to live longer, more healthful lives.
Failing eyesight and slower reflexes make driving more difficult in advanced years, and public transportation isn’t always accessible or easy to navigate. A dedicated home care provider can provide safe transportation to the grocery store, pharmacy, or doctor’s office.
According to the CDC, up to 50% of prescribed medications are “taken incorrectly, particularly with regard to timing, dosage, frequency, and duration.” For elderly Veterans, missing a dose or taking the wrong dosage amount can end up in a hospital visit or, worse, be fatal. There is also the possibility that a medication causes adverse side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness—symptoms that can increase the risk of falling. Home care providers can help elderly Veterans remember to take their medications as prescribed and help to ensure they can safely move throughout their homes despite any side effects they may be experiencing.
While aging can sometimes make independent living difficult, home care can help seniors maintain independence in their own homes.
Home care services can help Veterans, and surviving spouses keep that independence while protecting their comfort and security with the respect they deserve. This month, as we celebrate our independence, VCC will also be focused on helping our aging heroes retain their independence with dignity and honor.
Veterans with limited income may be eligible for the Pension with Aid and Attendance benefit, which can help offset the cost of home care services. Surviving spouses of Veterans may also qualify for this benefit.
Veterans Care Coordination’s mission is to fight for the independence of our Veterans and surviving spouses. We do this by partnering with quality home care providers to help navigate the VA’s application process for pension funds, maximize the VA pension funds, get care started as quickly as possible, and assist in managing the benefit for as long as needed.