The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, commonly referred to as the “VA,” explains that the Veteran population ages 65 or older exceeds 18 million in the U.S.. This group of men and women may have served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Persian Gulf War. As this group ages, they are facing new challenges that require a coordinated approach to care. The VA does provide benefits and services that address a variety of issues like changing health risks and financial challenges, but we want to dive a little deeper into what we can do to help.
Providing Well-Rounded Care for Veterans Starts with Companionship
According to the National Center for PTSD, many older Veterans find they have PTSD symptoms even 50 or more years after their wartime experience. (US Department of Veterans Affairs) In fact, roughly 87 percent of our Veterans were exposed to potentially traumatic events, averaging about 3.4 traumatic events per person. (Hill & Ponton) The truth is, many of our aging Veterans have experienced incredibly difficult situations that can still affect their daily living. We believe that attentive, thoughtful care that focuses on reliable companionship can make all the difference in quality of life for our Veterans.
The Importance of Companionship in Senior Care
For elderly populations, accessing companionship can be difficult due to several factors like leaving the armed forces or workforce, experiencing the passing of friends and loved ones, children leaving the area, inability to travel, and mobility issues. Unfortunately, many seniors experience isolation, or limited to no interaction with others, which can be incredibly damaging. According to studies done at Tulane University, effects of isolation include:
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Increased rates of anxiety and depression
Decreased cardiovascular health
Poor cognitive function
Lower immune function
Suicidal ideation and thoughts
But there are care options to help limit the risks associated with isolation and to improve the overall quality of life for our aging Veterans and seniors in general!
What is Companion Care?
At ameriCARE, our trained non-medical caregivers are available to spend time with you or a loved one, while helping out with basic daily needs. Our caregivers focus on managing daily living tasks like meal prep, appointment assistance, light housework, and transportation while also providing an ear to listen and a hand to hold. While our caregivers are professionally trained Certified Personal Care Aids or Certified Nursing Aids, they are also well-versed in providing meaningful emotional support, developing opportunities for reliable socialization, and creating a safe and comfortable living environment to help Veterans and seniors remain independent in their homes for longer.
Adding Companion Care to Your Care Plan
While many Veterans may have a primary care physician or a home health care professional, they may still need real human connection beyond medical care. Hiring a non-medical in-home care provider can help you or your loved maintain a more balanced life. Our caregivers work to integrate into your existing care team to help improve communication, advocate for your needs, and provide emotional support as you face the challenges of aging. We encourage you to visit our services page to learn more about your options and start on a path to better care today.