April 9, 2010
The Veterans Administration (VA) is making strides every day for today’s veteran and, yes, us older veterans who have waited a long time to see results come to light.
Thanks to the new electronic systems, issues concerning past veterans and today’s veterans are being viewed faster than sometimes government health care and disabilities systems can stay ahead of, but the Secretary of Veterans Affairs says the administration will get the issues under control while ensuring the respect and dignity of all veterans.
The Veterans Administration has hired an additional 4,000 workers across the health care landscape to take care of the backlog of those waiting for health care and compensations for service.
In doing so, the VA has made getting hearing aids and glasses more achievable.
Check with me if you need assistance in these areas.
The VA has also improved the handling of issues for women veterans and I am proud of that – it’s about time.
The best internet site for veterans is http://www.va.gov, and this site will lead you to an answer for any question you might have; if it doesn’t, call me and together we will get the answer.
Foster care for veterans is a growing program that has given veterans another choice in care. Just type “foster care for veterans” on a search engine, and find the VA foster care program, which online gives up-to-the-minute changes. Veterans and their families: If you need assistance, give me a call. As many as 600 veterans across the nation are using this system instead of a nursing home. The program now operates in 25 cities and serves Veterans who need nursing-home-level care.
Speaking of choices, veterans can ensure how their life and death issues will be handled in the future by making important care decisions now. Loved ones will appreciate it, especially in the present world of choice. It is never to early to make these choices. Inform family members about insurance information, where your DD 214 is, medications, your decisions in health care, your decision for short-term and long-term care and your decisions for end-of-life care and surrounding your death.
Late-Onset Stress Symptonatology (LOSS)
Many older veterans may have functioned well since their military experience. But later in life, they may begin to think more about, or become more emotional about, their wartime experiences.
As you age, it is normal to look back over your life and try to make sense of your experiences. For Veterans this process can trigger Late-Onset Stress Symptomatology (LOSS).
The symptoms of LOSS are similar to symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. With LOSS, however, veterans might have fewer symptoms, less severe symptoms, or begin having symptoms later in life.
LOSS differs from post traumatic stress in that LOSS appears to be closely related to the aging process.
Veterans with LOSS might live most of their lives relatively well. They go to work and spend time with family and friends. Then they begin to confront normal age-related changes such as retirement, loss of loved ones, and increased health problems. As they go through these stresses, they may start to have more feelings and thoughts about their wartime experiences.
If you are having a hard time dealing with these feelings, there are a number of things that you can do to help yourself. There are also ways you can seek help from others.
• Do activities that make you feel strong and safe in other parts of your life, like exercising, eating well, and volunteering.
• Talk to a friend who has been through the war or other hard times. A good friend who understands and cares is often the best medicine.
• Join a support group. It can help to be a part of a group. Some groups focus on war memories. Others focus on the here and now. Still others focus on learning ways to relax.
• Talk to a professional. It may be helpful to talk to someone who is trained and experienced in dealing with aging and PTSD. There are proven, effective treatments for PTSD. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist. You can also find information for PTSD treatment within the VA.
• Tell your family and friends about LOSS and PTSD. It can be very helpful to talk to others as you try to put your long-ago wartime experiences into perspective. It may also be helpful for others to know what may be the source of your anger, nerves, and sleep and/or memory problems. Then may be able to provide more support.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of all, do not feel bad or ashamed to ask for help. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of wisdom and strength.
Veterans if you don’t make the Veterans Dinner on March 25, not to worry. We will have another time to get together in the late summer or early fall.
Folks if you need assistance give me a call. I am available at 970-725-3122 or my cell at 970-509-9024. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your service, Dave Jones.