The people currently living in assisted living and nursing homes have been through a lot of wars in their lifetime, including the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and for the oldest residents, WWII. Many residents actively served in a war in one capacity or another, so if you have been wondering about the best way for you to honor the veterans in your life this Veteran’s Day, we have a few ideas for you.
- Ask Them About Their Service
Not everyone who served is willing to talk about their service, but some of them do appreciate a chance to talk about everything they did to help their country. Whether it is stories of heroism, boredom, friendship, fear, or just a chance to remember those they served with who did not make it back, talking about it can help keep those memories alive. It also makes them feel that their service is appreciated when people ask to hear those stories. As a bonus, you just might learn something.
- Do Not Confuse Veteran’s Day with Memorial Day
A common mistake veterans hate to hear about is confusing Veterans Day with Memorial Day. While both holidays are designed to honor those who served our country, Memorial Day specifically honors those who died in service to their country, while Veterans Day celebrates those who have served or are still serving our country and still living.
- Volunteer at Your Local VA Hospital
Check with your local VA hospital to see what their volunteer policy is like. Many of them have special events to celebrate Veteran’s Day, which can give you extra opportunities to interact with one or more veterans. Even if you do not get a chance to interact with a veteran, volunteering at your local VA hospital is a great way to give back to those who risked everything for our country.
- Get Outside with a Veteran
Spending time outdoors increases both physical and mental health, so getting outside with a veteran is a great way to improve both their spirits and yours. If you live near a national park, admission is free for all veterans on Veteran’s Day, which is all the more reason to explore the great outdoors with a veteran this year.
- Adopt a Military Family for the Holiday Season
One of the best ways to honor veterans and their families is to help those who may be struggling, especially during the holiday season. Some veteran families live on very limited incomes, especially if they have a parent who was injured after 9/11. You can make their holiday season a little brighter by checking out the Adopt a Family program, which allows both civilians and companies to sponsor a military family for the holidays.
At Stillwater Senior Living, we always look forward to celebrating our veterans during Veteran’s Day. Want to know what we are doing to celebrate this year? Just reach out and ask us. We would love to tell you how you can be a part of the celebration this year.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs does a lot to take care of its veterans, both during and after their time in active duty, but those benefits don’t automatically appear. Most of them have to be applied for, but sadly, many veterans don’t even know all the options that are available to them. So, if you or a loved one is a veteran, make sure you know about these important benefits.
Healthcare is expensive, and that’s especially true if you’ve been wounded in the line of duty. You or your loved one might be eligible for healthcare that is either free or low cost through a VA hospital or medical facility.
This also extends to mental healthcare. It’s common for wartime veterans to suffer from PTSD and/or to require professional counseling, which can also be expensive. Fortunately, the VA provides both counseling and PTSD support to its veterans.
If you or a loved one was wounded in the line of duty in a way that left you disabled and unable to earn a living, you could be eligible for disability compensation through the VA.
The VA Pension is a program that provides income to veterans who have no or limited income and meet one of the following criteria:
- Is aged 65 or older
- Is permanently and totally disabled
- Is a patient in a nursing home
- Is receiving Social Security disability benefits
Long-Term Care Costs
If you struggle to pay for long-term care for a loved one who’s a veteran, the Aid and Attendance Program offers help with long-term care costs, including the costs associated with living in an assisted living community, a nursing home, or having a caregiver come to your house to care for you. The program also covers long-term care costs for the surviving spouses of veterans, so if the veteran in your family has passed on, but their spouse needs help paying for long-term care, they could be eligible for funding from the Aid and Attendance Program.
The veteran in your life might have a hard time making sure you and the rest of their loved ones are financially stable after they’re gone because most insurance companies won’t sell them life insurance, especially if they were injured in the line of duty. The Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program offers life insurance to veterans with competitive premiums.
Free Tax Preparation
Taxes are complicated for most of us, but they can be especially complicated for veterans. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices located on military bases offer free help for veterans filing their taxes. They have experience dealing with the complex tax issues unique to veterans, so not only is it free, it’s also a great way to get an expert on your side who knows the ins and outs of your particular situation.
If you want to mark your loved one’s service to their country after their death, you can request an American flag to be draped over their casket and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, both of which will be paid for by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. They can also provide a free headstone or grave marker for your loved one.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.
Stillwater Senior Living knows how to honor Veteran’s with style and joyfully celebrate Veteran’s Day! Flags adorned our entry way, social areas, as well as our property outdoors. Our Veteran’s Day’s Activities began with our Veteran’s sharing their stories in our Fireside Lounge. We passed our Karaoke microphone around so we all could benefit from the volume and fully hear each others stories and thoughts. Some of the stories from our Residents made us laugh out loud and another one brought us to tears. We heard from not only our Veterans, but also from each of the Widows of Veterans who now call Stillwater Senior Living their home.
Following our delicious Veteran’s Day lunch of barbecued brisket, baked beans, potato salad, and corn on the cob. We gathered once again to listen to Patriotic Music brought to us by our guest Lynn Wellman. He included many of our old favorite songs in his playlist as well. The entire hour I could hear a variety of voices as each of our Residents sang along to Lynn’s magical fingers that played the keyboards in the most eloquent way! We served star shaped cookies with Red, White, and Blue icing to all who desired one. I would say that these cookies were a hit, because we had only 5 left from our huge tray after our Happy Hour had ended!
The Stillwater Bus was also all decked out for this special Veteran’s Day! Vinyl banners were on each side of our bus bearing the name of each of our Veterans and the branch of military in which they had honorably served! From the beginning to the very end of our day, we enjoyed celebrating this most special day together. We eagerly look forward to appreciating and celebrating each day of our veteran’s lives here at Stillwater Senior Living!God bless our Veterans!