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Caregiving Expert Series: Week 1, 11/4- 10. What is your experience with caregiving for veterans?

There are about 5.5 million family caregivers providing unpaid care for active-duty military service members and veterans in the U.S.

 

What is your experience with caregiving for veterans?

What are the unique issues they face?

How will you honor them or their memory this Veterans Day? 

AARPTeri
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@LeeW97739 @AARPTeri My grandfather was a veteran of WWI and WWII and a career officer in the Air Force. I cared for him the last 10+ yrs of his life, and he cared for my grandmother who had Alzheimer's. He was a hard core military guy (he cussed every other word!) and grandmother was straight-laced and proper (never cussed or drank) and had always cared for him, but when it came down to it he rose to the occasion and did his absolute best to care for my grandmother. He was quite a character. Back in the 80's and early 90's when I was caring for them, he didn't receive any help from the VA (except his pension of course). 


By contrast, my Dad was a WWII and Korea veteran, and he had Alzheimer's. I cared for him for the last 12+ yrs of his life. I eventually applied for Aid and Attendance benefits for him, and he received that cash benefit for many years (although it took a year to get it!), which helped so much. Eventually I also enrolled him in VA healthcare and he got hearing aids (which he couldn't tolerate but the VA gave him a hearing device called a "pocket talker" and he loved it - they replaced it for free every time it wore out!). He eventually had VA home-based primary care with a NP, nurse/case coordinator who came every 2 wks unless we needed him more often, home health aides every day to help us get him out of bed, bathed, dressed, respite care (about 6 hrs every other week), they supplied us with ramps and a wheeled shower chair (took forever to get those but when we finally got them they were great!) and more. 

 

I found that I had to be a very strong advocate (the VA staff told me the squeaky wheel gets the grease and I should keep at it and not give up!) and there were many frustrations and a lot of red tape. But the VA supports were crucial for my Dad's care. It was worth it!!! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

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I totally agree with this post especially the last paragraph. Our family is currently working through the slow VA process.
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13AB7481-E065-4BFC-B483-B6E24CCABC68.jpeg

Spotted this on insta and had to share as a weekend reminder!

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AARP Expert

Does anyone have a service dog story? Our Stand4Heroes Foundation team learned during the week of our annual stand up event, that many dogs are trained not to pee when the leash is on but in NYC one can not take off a leash and there is no grass in Times Square so the amazing Intercontinental Hotel let the dogs pee on their marble floor for our vets! What stories do you have?
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