There are a number of benefits associated with senior living and assisted-living facilities and this is especially true for other subgroups like senior veterans. Older individuals who are dealing with a disability can benefit greatly from what assisted living facilities have to offer. Likewise, other groups such as veterans can continue on to the next chapter of their lives while receiving the care and social stimulation that they require at an assisted living facility.
Veterans deserve to live their lives to the fullest after the sacrifices that they have made. An assisted living facility can offer veterans the care and amenities that they need and want. And, luckily for seniors, there are benefits that they may be eligible for if the requirements are met.
Challenges Senior Veterans Face
Living independently can be difficult. There are many challenges that senior citizens and veterans face when living alone. Veterans specifically normally face more problems than regular citizens as they are prone to a number of health risks. For example, veterans experience mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury at disproportionate rates than non-veterans.
According to the scientific and medical research journal, Dovepress, medical records show that “at least one in three patients was diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder.” Depression ranks as the most common mental health disorder and affects 14 percent of veterans. Veterans were found to be at a higher risk of manic-depressive disorder, binge drinking and alcohol related problems. Similarly, veterans are at a higher risk of suicide. While the issue primarily affects younger veterans, older vets are still at risk.
The stress and problems associated with military service and discharge increase the risks of veterans having problems with substances like alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, or some combination of the three. For many veterans, substance abuse is a comorbid condition that needs to be treated from a multi-pronged approach to properly resolve the problem.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an issue that has affected veterans forever, also known as “shell shock” and “combat fatigue”. PTSD results from experiencing some sort of traumatic event. While the disorder is not limited to veterans, military personnel are four times as likely to deal with the issue. Treatment for PTSD focuses on therapy, social support, and medication like antidepressants.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is described as “a traumatically induced structural injury and/or physiological disruption of the brain function as a result of an external force”. TBI can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the situation. The problem is dependent upon length of unconsciousness, memory loss, and responsiveness. Mild TBI is the most common but is difficult to diagnose because of the problems associated with it.
It is important to note that TBI is associated with a 60 percent increase in the risk of developing dementia. Dementia is a progressive, debilitating disease that involves a decline in memory, thinking, judgement and learning ability.
How Assisted Living Can Help
Despite all the problems that veterans, and seniors may face when it comes to day-to-day life, there are solutions available for you or your loved one. One option is to hire a caregiver to help with daily tasks, however, if the problem is severe enough and requires medical attention, the best solution may be to sign up for an assisted living facility.
There are many benefits to assisted living. Including medical assistance, help with day-to-day activities, personal care, and social activities.
There are normally a number of care options available for residents of assisted living facilities. For example, there is options daily checkups, personal care assistance, memory care, and more
Overall, all seniors can find some benefits from registering for an assisted living facility.
It should be noted that veterans may be eligible for certain benefits due to their service. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers veterans an increased monthly pension to help with home-based care, nursing home services and more if they meet some criteria.
One specific program that is available for senior veterans is Aid & Attendance and Housebound Pension Program. The program offers veterans additional monetary compensation if they require the aid and attendance of another person, such as a caregiver or assisted living facility.
Veterans will be eligible for this if they meet one of the following conditions:
- Require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
- You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
- You have limited eyesight
Your or your loved can learn more about this program on the VA’s website.
Veterans, and seniors in general, are at risk for a number of health problems. Senior veterans can suffer from issues at a higher rate than civilians. For example, mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and dementia are just some of the problems that veterans are at an increased risk for. These problems are real, and if not treated properly and seriously it can lead to major issues such as suicide. However, there are options available for you or your loved one.
Assisted living facilities can offer residents access to a number services and amenities to help them not only with any medical issues they may face but can help keep them happy and mentally stimulated later in life. At Landmark Senior Living, our facilities and staff are dedicated to giving your loved one the kind of care that they deserve at this stage in their life. If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark has to offer, please visit our website and reach out to us to schedule a complimentary walkthrough of one of our facilities.