As we honor the centennial year since the end of WWI, we are reminded that many of our current veterans are well into their senior years. All seniors benefit from home care services, and veterans in particular, since home caregivers can adapt to anyone’s unique set of circumstances. The trauma of war, health problems resulting from contaminants and injuries, and often decades of struggling with depression and PTSD mean that aging veterans gain substantial benefits from receiving personalized, in-home care.
After spending years serving their country, aging veterans should be afforded the dignity to serve out the remaining years of their life journeys within the comfort of their own home. The Department of Veteran Affairs offers programs and assistance to help with the cost of home care services. There are also charities and other programs that vary by state and region that can assist with home care benefits.
5 Benefits of Home Care Services for Aging Veterans
Home caregiving has numerous benefits, and the following five benefits are of particular importance to aging veterans.
1. A Focus on Mental Health
Veterans who served in war zones, and especially veterans who served in combat and on front lines, tend to struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation and loneliness, even if it has been decades since they served. The symptoms of mental illness can resurface or become triggered with the challenges of aging into their senior years. For example, senior veterans who develop dementia can have more intense symptoms due to the violent quality of some of their memories and flashbacks. The benefit of home care services is that home caregivers can tailor the care to account for mental health issues. Being at home within a familiar setting provides a sense of safety and stability, and home caregivers can take the time needed to properly address and treat mental health symptoms.
2. Maintaining Dignity
Serving as a veteran can mean that many years of someone’s life was literally spent in the trenches. After putting oneself through such grueling circumstances and after forfeiting one’s own wellbeing in order to serve, maintaining end of life dignity is important. There is often a sense of pride in having served one’s country, which home care services honor by helping aging veterans maintain a sense of independence and identity as they settle into their late senior years.
3. Access to Community
One of the benefits of home care services is that caregivers can facilitate outings and connections to community. This can range from helping senior veterans attend Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day services to arranging visits with friends and family members. Having access to community also helps prevent and treat symptoms of isolation and loneliness, which helps ease feelings of depression.
4. Personalized Care
Aging into the late senior years and requiring assistance as a result can be vulnerable for anyone, but especially for veterans who may be particularly sensitive about their bodies due to injuries and traumatic experiences. With home care services, caregivers work one-on-one to customize the care plans for each individual client. This helps ensure that all of a veteran’s particular, personal needs will be addressed and taken into full consideration.
5. Enabling the Help of Service Animals
Since home care services are performed with one’s own home, there are fewer — if any — barriers to veterans having service or support animals. Home caregivers can help with the care of both companion animals and service animals. Enabling veterans to have the assistance of service animals can be of huge benefit. Service animals help with easing symptoms of PTSD and depression, can alert people to medical emergencies, and lessen feelings of loneliness. Home care services help make having a service animal possible.
Are You in Need of Home Care Services?
Alegre Home Care has been serving seniors and people with disabilities in Northern California for over 20 years. Being locally owned and a part of the community, Alegre Home Care can help with questions and services unique to the area. Our home caregivers are supported by an Experience Care Manager and office staff. Our Caregivers receive ongoing education and training. Caregivers are screened by verifiable work related references, pre-qualifying exams and criminal background checks. If you are interested in receiving home care services, please reach out to us at one of our many Northern California locations.