Providing senior care for an aging veteran is a valuable way to give back to a person who gave so much to protect this nation and everything that it stands for. As with any other senior, however, aging veterans are often resistant to care. In fact, many veterans are actually more resistant to receiving senior care than others. This generally stems from difficulty giving up control, and the perception that they should be stronger and more capable of taking care of themselves due to their military service. If your aging veteran loved one needs help overcoming medical, physical, or cognitive challenges, it is important that you approach this resistance carefully so that you can help them see how important it is to receive the care that he needs.
When an aging veteran is resistant to care, it may result in him experiencing a greatly diminished quality of life. Many seniors are still coping with physical and mobility challenges stemming from injuries sustained during active duty. These in conjunction with other challenges that frequently arise during aging can lead to a very dangerous situation for an elderly veteran living alone, or with a spouse who is not physically capable of assisting him in daily activities. Veterans may experience serious falls or other injuries attempting to fulfill daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, or getting around the home. Veterans with cognitive or psychological issues face their own challenges that can lead to serious problems if not properly addressed.
In order to protect your aging loved one and make sure that he receives the care and assistance that he needs on a regular basis, it is important that you discuss the issues with him carefully, respectfully, but firmly. Make sure that he understands what types of challenges you have witnessed, and how you feel assistance would benefit him. If you continue to have difficulty convincing your aging veteran to allow you to provide care, or to receive care from a care provider, consider contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs in your area. They can offer you information and advice for discussing these issues with your aging loved one, and establishing the beneficial care relationship that he needs. This may involve utilizing the services of the VA, including psychological support, to guide him through. Often senior veterans are more receptive to the opinions and advice of those who are also affiliated with the military, and your loved one may feel more comfortable about the situation after having these discussions.
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