Veterans for Veterans
For veterans to help veterans is, in our opinion, the best way for a veteran struggling with a financial, physical, or emotional challenge to gain assistance. Veterans who understand the VA system and the challenges other veterans face are best equipped to help other veterans in need. One experienced veteran can do a lot for another veteran.
Regardless of which war, strong bonds exist between veterans young and old. These bonds develop between those who have placed their trust in each other as they defend our freedoms and country. Those who understand these bonds often refer to them as a 'quiet understanding' or brotherhood. These bonds foster a great amount of respect, trust, and long lasting associations between veterans, their families and other veterans.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are roughly 23 million American veterans (55% of which are over the age of 60). We have found that many of our nation's senior veterans are struggling with a myriad of issues related to aging.
Fortunately, there are a broad range of long term care programs and services provided by the VA to support older veterans, their spouses, and survivors. These programs and services include long term care benefits from the veterans health care system, state veterans homes, home renovation grants (HISA Grants), and two disability income programs called Pension and Compensation. These benefits, however, are vastly underutilized.
Below are 3 organizations directed by veterans who help senior veterans that need assistance.
National Care Planning Council (NCPC)
The National Care Planning Council is dedicated to helping seniors, veterans, and their families recognize the need for long term care planning and to helping implement that planning. Long term care refers to a broad range of supportive medical, personal and social services for people who are aging or unable to provide for their own needs for an extended period of time. Veterans benefits can provide extra income to pay seniors to afford long term care services such as home care, assisted living, or nursing care.
Thomas Day is the Director of the National Care Planning Council and is passionate about long term care issues. "This passion", he says, "in particular, spills over to my helping veterans deal with long term care because I am a veteran providing help to other veterans and because I am disabled myself and most importantly, thanks to the VA healthcare system sustaining my life, I am able to help other veterans become aware of their benefits."
Service Alliance (SVSA)
The mission of the Senior Veterans Service Alliance is twofold. First, this organization is dedicated to helping elderly seniors who served their country receive cash support or other services available from VA. Second, the SVSA has assembled a team of dedicated professionals to help senior veterans better prepare for their final years of life. This includes financial advice, legal help, preparation for eldercare, education on government support programs, care provider services and much more. This twofold approach to supporting those valiant elderly veterans, who served our country in a time of need, will improve the dignity, financial staying power and well-being of these valued American seniors.
Two members of the SVSA Board are Veterans. They maintain a veterans for veterans approach.
State and County Veterans Service Officers
County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO), working under the supervision of their respective states, are professionals who know their way around the VA system and can assist veterans and their families in a number of ways. Your local county service office can assist you with compensation/pensions, application for medical care, military records, grave markers and veteran home loans. Some counties may also have dedicated funds to assist you with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling, and transportation. Many states will only hire former veterans as county service officers because they feel strongly that a veteran to veteran relationship fosters a higher level of dedication from their service officers. Find State and County Veterans Service Officers in your area.